30 December 2010

Seattle City Pass, Day 4

December 16 - Pacific Science Center, and our last ticket from the City Pass booklet.

The PSC is in the Seattle Center, right by the Space Needle and EMP/SFM. The original plan had been to do all three places in one day, but that didn't work out. So instead the PSC got a whole morning to itself!
Our pass included entry to the museum's exhibits (but not the Special Exhibition, which in this case was a Harry Potter thing) and a ticket to one of their IMAX screenings.

The sign on the cafe door was rather clever. And geeky.
This was a very hands-on museum, with lots of interactive displays and things to try out. The section with puzzles was the highlight for me.

From here we walked back into downtown, and had something to eat from Piroshky Piroshky.

The mountain was out! A view over the stadiums south to Mt Rainier.

In Pike Place Market, we went back to my two favourite haunts there. Down on the lower levels are a second-hand bookshop and music shop. Every time I've been in Seattle, I've found some great bargains in both places.

First, the bookshop, BLMF. Labelled on signs as a "Literary Saloon", the owner moved into the shop next door (a larger space) since our last visit. This is the kind of shop where bookcases line each wall, floor to ceiling. Further piles of books stand on the floor, run along the walls under the windows, and adorn the edges of the front desk. Yet this is also the kind of shop where you can ask for a specific book, and without recourse to a computer, the owner knows whether he has it, and if so, where it is in the store.

Case in point: flashback to 2005, and Kara and my first visit to the store.

After browsing shelves for a while, and finding a copy of Volume 1 of Malory's "Morte d'Arthur", I asked if he had a copy of "Das Boot". (I've since found a copy of the novel in Australia.) Instantly he replied "I just sold my last copy of that the other day." So I went with my next question. "Do you have Volume 2 of Morte d'Arthur?" "You know what? I'm sure I've got a complete edition over here..." I followed him back to the history section, and without a beat, he goes to the right pile on the right shelf, and pulls out a complete Morte d'Arthur. Now you don't get that in Borders.

BLMF is also a good source of graphic novels (these are the ones piled on and around the front desk), and I was able to score some Hellboy for my collection. And when I say some... I found a few issues of Hellboy in the stacks on the desk.

Owner: "There's more over this side... Which ones have you got so far?" He came out from behind the desk and started helping me scan through the piles of graphic novels on the floor. Five minutes later, and without causing too much disturbance to the stacks of books, I was able to get volumes 1 to 8. And some of the spinoff BPRD issues as well. Score!

Across the hall from the bookstore is Mad Cow Records. Good-priced second-hand CDs and vinyl (with some new behind the counter), across a pretty good range of genres. The guy in this store didn't quite do a double take upon seeing my stack of CDs taken to the counter, but he did comment on the big dent I was taking out of his African section. :)

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