Greetings from Seattle

About 10 am on Saturday, sitting in the lobby of the Westin hotel, watching conference-goers and others cruise by…  

Ann and I have been here since late Tuesday night.  I’m very fond of Seattle in lots of ways.  It’s a really beautiful city, lots of cool places to eat, drink, listen to music, buy books–very gentrified.  At the same time, there’s a fierce kind of counter-cultural underbelly in the city, as if everything strange about it (the bad weather, which really isn’t all that bad; the fact that this area boasts the highest rates of serial killers and UFO sightings in the US; the fights between environmentalists and loggers; the fact that the region’s economy is built on the backs of some of America’s most nasty corporate mega-giants) is both loved and hated by residents.  It’s a funky place.  

Probably the highlight of the tourist phase of the trip, at least to me, was the hour-and-change we spent on the Observation Deck at the Space Needle.  I’m a sucker for panoramic views, and you can’t really beat that one.  We took a zillion pictures, which I hope I can figure out how to download from the camera :).  The Sci-Fi Hall of Fame was fun, although I’m not nearly as much a sci-fi fan as Ann.  The Underground Tour was better in concept than execution.  Seeing the remnants of the original Pioneer Square was interesting, but my brain can only process so many empty rooms filled with debris (and the occasional anachronism, like the box fan and all the electric Exit signs).  

Now that the conference is starting in earnest, we’ll probably spend most of our time in panels and hanging out with friends.  Can’t beat that!  If you’re a nerdy academic, that is…

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