In the meantime, if you're looking for something fun to do in Seattle this weekend:
- Shoreline Solarfest
- Bite of Seattle (not my favorite festival, but if you're in the neighborhood it might be fun to check out. Free admission.)
- SeaFair Indian Days Pow Wow
Century Ballroom has all sorts of different dance nights for straight people, too. I randomly stumbled in there a couple of Thursdays ago for salsa night. My friends and I were walking around Capitol Hill one night and we passed by Century Ballroom. We heard the lively music and we just had to check it out. That night I attempted to salsa dance with a very patient stranger who probably had very bruised toes the next day from me stepping on them repeatedly. The best part of salsa night at Century Ballroom was there were a lot of available dance partners. I have gone to swing dance events in the past where they claimed "no partner needed" but everyone else came with a partner and I did, in fact, need a partner. I was pleased to discover there was no need to bring a dance partner to Century Ballroom for their salsa night.
Until now, thanks to the 9lb Hammer which has taken back the pinewood derby and given it back to the people. To boot, now I can participate AND I can drink beer while doing it. Take that, Boy Scouts of America! Anyone can enter the competition for the Pinewood Derby in Georgetown:
The 2nd Annual Pinewood Derby Saturday, November 17th, 2007 9lb Hammer 6009 Airport Way S, Seattle WA 98108 (206) 762-3373 Car kits now available for $30 at the 9lb Hammer Includes car, entry into the race, t-shirt and more! Rules are included in your car kit. Weigh in starts at Noon on November 17th, race times will be assigned when you check in. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd prizes will be awarded for both the fastest cars, and the most artistic!So, go get your piece of wood from the 9lb Hammer and turn it into a hotrod you can show off on November 17.
Oh yeah, and you will see bands.
This year's headliners are Presidents of the United States of America on November 9 and The Dandy Warhols on November 10, with DJ RAD'EM playing both nights. I have seen the Dandy Warhols too many times to count, so I'm going on Friday night to see the Presidents of the US of A.
This year there are over $10,000 in prizes from the sponsors, and these sponsors do not mess around with cheesy prizes, so you actually have a chance to win some really great gear.
The Get Snowed In party is happening next weekend, Friday - Saturday Nov. 9-10, at the Pyramid Alehouse. You can order tickets for Friday or Saturday's show now, and this event can sell-out, so I suggest getting your ticket early.
If you need an excuse to get out of town this weekend, here is my suggestion: drive east of Seattle on Highway 2. After a 2 hour scenic drive on a portion of the Cascade Loop, you can enjoy Oktoberfest this weekend in "Washington's Bavarian Village," Leavenworth. However, I must say that I am not a fan of Leavenworth's Oktoberfest, because I am not 70 years old, nor do I travel in an RV. If you do not understand what I mean, just go to Leavenworth and find out for yourself. I do not want to tell you to avoid the festival, because a lot of people like it. But, if you are like me and would like to avoid the Oktoberfest crowds, there is still plenty to do around Leavenworth in October.
- My favorite breakfast spot in Leavenworth (which also serves lunch and dinner) is The Renaissance Cafe. This restaurant offers vegetarian options in a town full of bratwurst.
- Uncle Uli's is where the locals hang out. They offer a nice selection of beer, outside seating with heaters, and hearty food.
- If you are looking for a fun diner, stop at the 59er Diner at Cole's Corner on Highway 2 (about a 15 - 20 minute drive west of Leavenworth). They have THE BEST milkshakes, and they give you half a stick of gum with your bill. Yes, that is weird. They have fascinating bathrooms as well.
- If you want to go for a hike, there are many day and overnight hikes around Leavenworth. Again, this time of year the scenery is breathtakingly colorful and gorgeous.
- The area surrounding Leavenworth is also renowned for its excellent rock climbing, and if you grab a beer in the early evening at Uncle Uli's, you will probably be sitting with some really skilled rock climbers who are enjoying a beer and sharing stories after a day of climbing.
- The Alps candy shop has great peanut brittles; my favorite is their hazelnut brittles. Downstairs they sell a wide variety of delicious mustard and sauces. The Alps is literally on the side of Highway 2 right on the Wenatchee River, so be careful when you pull off the highway and make sure you use your turn signal. You will find this shop just before you get into downtown Leavenworth. If you go to The Alps, don't forget to go downstairs. They usually offer free samples downstairs.
If you do not want to drive all the way to Leavenworth (or you want to make a stop on your way to or from Leavenworth), you can stay on the west side of The Cascades and go to a pumpkin patch and corn maze just outside of Monroe, WA, on Highway 2 (you will see the signs from the highway). My friends went to a pumpkin patch last year and they had a great time, so I am going with them this year. For a list of pumpkin patches, hay rides, and corn mazes in the surrounding Seattle area, click here.
Last Friday night, my first stop of a full evening included grabbing a beer in Georgetown at the Georgetown Liquor Company. Before I tell you about this wonderful restaurant/bar, I want to share a tidbit of information about myself:
I am the proud owner of an Atari 2600, and I am a skilled retro gamer. My stealth motor skills, vivid imagination (which is used to interpret pixilated graphics), and years of practice have made me one of the best retro gamers in the world.
If you would like to challenge me, meet me at the Georgetown Liquor Company and I DARE you to attempt to beat me at any one of the many retro games available to play. The Georgetown Liquor Company has two Atari 2600 consoles and over 70 Atari games. They also have Nintendo and Super Nintendo. Download the complete list of games. The restaurant/bar also has arcade games including Defender and Ms. Pac-Man.
Aside from retro games, the Georgetown Liquor Company has developed a reputation for its excellent food. The entire menu is 100% vegetarian, with many vegan options. Non-vegetarians, do not be scared-off by the vegetarian menu, as the menu items are hearty and filling.
The icing on the cake of the Georgetown Liquor Company experience is you can enjoy their food, ambiance, and beer or cocktail while watching a sci-fi movie every Sunday night, starting at 8pm. Give them a call to find out what is showing this week.
For your viewing pleasure, Human Space Invaders:
- Take this time to catch up on work. Pretty soon it is going to be dark outside whether you leave the office at 4:30pm or 8:00pm. If you don't have kids, might as well stay at work later.
- Cook a nice meal for your friends and family. It's time to add that extra weight (I like to call it "winter weight") so you won't shiver like a chihuahua all winter. My favorite local grocery stores are PCC and Madison Market. Both are co-ops that feature local and organic produce.
- Pick up some good books to read. I generally go to Elliot Bay Book Co. This bookstore is one of Seattle's best independent bookstores, and is conveniently located near my work, which makes it even better. They have an amazing selection of books, including a well arranged corner of the store that features local authors. The coffee shop downstairs has good food, with a decent selection of vegetarian options served by a variety of Seattle hipsters.
- Dine out at a cozy restaurant. For breakfast, The Library Cafe has more than one fireplace to dine next to, books galore, and delicious comfort food. Bleu Bistro has to be my favorite fall/winter dining spots. It's perfect for a first date, but probably a depressing place to go alone as it seems to be designed for small groups and couples. I recommend any of their hot specialty drinks; they come with a cookie!
- Go for a steam at the spa. My favorite spa in Seattle is the affordable Hot House in Capitol Hill. Sorry guys, it is ladies only. It is a tiny place that makes great use of the space by providing the basics: a steam room, sauna, hot tub, massage room, shower room, and lounge area. The butch clientele generally scares off the bourgeois condo-living-yuppie-trash who have taken over most spas in Seattle, so Hot House is a safe haven for the down-to-earth lady who just wants to relax and warm-up.
I checked out their website, and it commanded me to RUN, DRINK, and PLAY:
- Run. The Brew HA HA 5K Run & Walk is a 5K race on Sunday morning. Registration is at 8am and the race begins at 9:30am. It seems to be the Seattle spirit to attach some sort of athletic activity with drinking beer. It's the Seattle way. You can even run with your dog.
- Drink. You will have a choice of over 70 beers to sample. You can view the list of beers that will be available here.
- Play. There will be vendors, kids have a designated play area and can enjoy activities like Lederhosen making, and no one will want to miss the Texas Chainsaw Pumpkin Carving Contest which takes place on Saturday and Sunday at 1pm.