Friday, October 7, 2016

Destination Neighborhoods: Lower Queen Anne (the final part) or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Amazon

Kinda do a pub crawl of the places I remember in Queen Anne. I lived there back in 2003, so of course it's changed. But it looks like most of the bars and so forth hung on. One that didn't was Jabu's. Jabu's was the bar that sounded like an ethnic slur. I don't know what ethnicity it was slurring, but it just sounded bad."We're going to Jabu's.""Grow up.""No, it's a bar.""You know, it's not funny. That's insensitive.""I swear it's a bar."Jabu's had nickle Pabsts at some ungodly hour when no one drinks. Like 1 to 3 or something. It was a cool bar. It had an upstairs and downstairs and you could see people walking on the sidewalk above like in Cheers. But it was probably an ethnic slur.One bar that I'm surprised survived is The Great Nabob. Not because it wasn't cool, but because it only got customers on weekends. It's kindov hidden from downtown, along with a lot of these bars, so I don't think a lot of people knew about it in 2004ish. I think it had just opened when I arrived. The thing about it, and maybe it had to do with my drug intake: something was going on. Like they had an upstairs that the bartenders and owner would disappear to. And it remained open and hardly did any business. Also, it was way too fancy for only getting local drunks...and....and....turned out they ran a catering business. But still, I was positive SOMETHING was going on there. Something evil. Something....sinister....but probably not. But maybe? No.The place has probably changed big time, but back in the day it was really nice inside. It was dark. I remember that. There was a pool table or two. One really cool thing is they sold local art inside. That's somewhat normal now, but I had never been to a bar where they sold the paintings on the wall. And the art was really good. It wasn't like cats hanging from trees or something. Back then, they only sold food they could cook in a toaster oven, I think. It was like fancy sounding food, but it was limited to the toaster oven they had. So it was like flat bread or something. I remember being in there once and a dude wanted some food and the toaster oven was broken and I ran across the street and got the guy a hot pocket from my house. Or something. The only thing I hated about the Nabob was I was back in my Budweiser days and the closest thing they had was Pabst. You might laugh, but there was a time when craft beer tasted like shit, but no one cared if you drank it. Now a days everyone drinks craft beer and it still tastes like shit, but people will act like they passed a math test or got into Yale for ordering it. IPA: rich man's malt liquor. But anyway, cool bar.But something was going on.Right about next door is Cafe Vita. Because Seattle was a circle in Dante's hell to drive and park in even back then, I was forced to drink Cafe Vita or walk to the Starbucks in the Center House. Let fly! That last sentence pretty much will have me thrown out of Seattle and Reddit for good, but it's how I felt. If the beer comment didn't piss you off, boy howdy, that Starbucks over Cafe Vita will. I have never been able to understand Cafe Vita. Maybe it's because I'm a smoker and my tongue is essentially one big tumor. But it's just bitter with some strange sweetness to it. Also, they only had sugar in the raw. Not real sugar. Not real, fake white paper sugar. I think a French press just flew by my head, but it's how I feel. With beer I went through the Budweiser, Sam Adams, Rogue, Sierra Nevada, Fremont, Total Indie Beer made out of hemp and seaweed, only to find myself 40 and drinking Modelo exclusively. My biggest memory of Cafe Vita is going over there after the Tsunami in 2004 and being blown away to see a headline saying over 100, 000 were dead. Then I went and forced myself to drink rich people coffee and felt bad that I wasn't impaled by a palm tree.By the way, woe to you that still have to put up with that parking and traffic thing in Seattle. I lived there in 2004 and commuted to Issaquah. If there was a concert, basketball game, and baseball game at the same time I was in traffic for three hours. And the parking tickets....Jesus. I can't count how many times I would tell myself I'd be awake at seven to move my car only to wake up at ten with parking tickets. I had a drawer full. I had a buddy who discovered the drawer (which by then contained collection notices) and he yelled SWEET MOTHER OF PEARL! loud enough to scare children at the Fun Forest. Years later, his brother was my lender for a condo purchase and was warned of the parking tickets before he looked at my credit report. I still remember him going "Yeah, I know. My brother told me. It shouldn't be a big de - JESUS!"Who the hell doesn't like fondue? I know I do. That's why The Melting Pot always seems like a good idea. It is and it isn't. Every time I have dinner there it's just way too much. And by the time you get to the end of the vegetables and meat, everything tastes like burned broccoli. Then I found out they had a happy hour that just did the cheese. I think they had a Mexican one where it was queso and tortilla chips and then a Emmantuelerswisswhite - you know, that cheese. Anyway, that's your best bet for Melting Pot: Happy Hour cheese. All the other stuff is just way too overwhelming.How do I begin? I want to talk about Ozzie's, but it's hard. Imagine taking every bar in Seattle and squishing it into one bar. You get all the bad and good of the other bars in one simple location. Christ, Ozzie's has karaoke, food, pull tabs, gun fights, drugs, bouncers, video games, music, live music, midgets,'s basically Stefan from Saturday Night Live's wet dream. His really wet dream. I mean soaking wet. You never know what you are going to get in Ozzie's. Typically, herpes. If I recall, the food was majestic bar food. Like really good greasy shit. If you have like ten people with ten different ideas of where to go for the night, Ozzie's has all points covered. Every walk of life has pissed on the floor at Ozzie's, while drunk, coked to the gills, and trying to hump the hand dryer.Moving away from bars and things that exist, there was a Tower near Nabob and Cafe Vita. It was like the last Tower in the area. I remember they had a blowout sale at the end. Tower was once a place you get a giant selection of music totally overpriced. But it was fun to go in there at night and see people on drugs. The entire store was like the cover of that DJ Shadow album, Entroducing. I thought I might mention Tower, because it was a force in Seattle. If an album was getting released at midnight, you'd go to Tower. Same with getting autographs from the band. I remember getting Division Bell there at midnight (actually in the U district, but....). Man, that was a disappointing album.Quit throwing French presses at me.Like I said, I lived across the street from the Nabob in what was called the Sevi. I think. I had a studio for about 900 dollars. Like 900 square feet. It was super nice, too. I think a shitty 900 square foot studio in a way shittier area in Seattle is probably 2000 now. Pretty nice. But it gets worse. The whole place up and went condo on me and I moved. This is when you need to throw a French press at me: they offered the units at a discount to current renters. I think the unit was being offered for 200 grand. It's probably worth five or six now.Stop what you're doing and go to the Five Point now. I mean it. That place is nuts. Some of the best times I've had in bars have been there. There's a periscope in the bathroom, panties on the walls, and boob shots, boob shots, boob shots behind the bar. They also serve greasy spoon food. You could easily find yourself sitting next to a junkie, a homeless person, and a member of Soundgarden while eating a cheese omelet at one in the morning. Just a really cool place to talk to strangers. I met one guy who told me he arrived there in a time machine.Buckley's is a cool sports bar. I couldn't, for the life of me, tell you what team they endorse. I've been in there numerous times and they basically tell me they're an (INSERT HERE) bar. A buddy told me they were a Notre Dame bar the other day. But I could have sworn they were a Husky bar about five years ago. The food is good. At one time they had sliders and they had like chicken, beef, and pork sliders. I asked if you could just get three beef and they told me NO, so I stopped eating there. The Reuben there is to die for. They added a location down the street, which I find odd (only blocks away). Anyway, I lived across the street from there too. That place was like 900 for a studio, but it was kinda crappy inside and smelled like pets.OK. Now I'm absolutely pissed. Apparently the Hurricane is closed. See, this is when I just put up my hands and go fuck it. Seattle is gone. I was gonna write more. But, seriously, fuck it, Seattle is gone.Happy Friday!PSA: No, people on bikes, who drink expensive beer and coffee are not bad people and, yes, enjoying melted cheese, Modelo, and Starbucks isn't a badge of courage. Also, Seattle is not dead and that is probably the most pretentious ill-informed things to say about Seattle. But, a Seattle I knew is pretty much gone and that's just a selfish thing. Kinda like saying TV is dead because Seinfeld isn't on. A lot of Seattle is still there. In fact, Seattle downtown was never what I would call Seattle. It was really the outer suburbs and the folksy Schmidt, Nirvana, and Hydropane guys. Even in 92 the downtown area was mostly the same yuppies that are there now. So, you's just dumb jokes.But Seattle is way dead. via /r/SeattleWA

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