Monday, November 27, 2006

Seattle Center, Early 21st Century

We had lunch in the Seattle Center's Center House, according to local mythology the original indoor food court, then copied to all the big malls (Seattle's Northgate serving as a "big mall" prototype, as did Portland's Lloyd Center).

Dawn had a berry smoothie, which Tara and I shared, along with our pizza slices and bread sticks.

The Koreans held center stage, providing dances to music, with lots of young Seattleites in on the act.

Nearer the entrance: a large scale model railroad set in some idyllic Norman Rockwell style urbia, closer to the Horseless Carriage Era (which we're still very much in, but no one calls 'em that anymore).

I keep thinking the Bubbleator started its career in this building, but it's the other way around: it moved to Center House after KeyArena was remodeled into a sports stadium.

I just ran a fact check on the Bubbleator's story over the web, a 21st Century asset hard to foresee as recently as 1962 (when the Seattle World's Fair opened, myself a visitor at age 4), although Vannevar Bush aimed pretty well in his 1945 MEMEX prophecy, As We May Think.

Anyway, we rode an ordinary elevator to find free eating tables on the 2nd floor, one up from the crowded Food Circus. Families were pushing giant chess pieces in the alcove next to ours, while strange-talkin' vets with laptops availed themselves of free wireless.

We chose Center House after discovering the Dead Sea Scrolls were booked until evening, and figuring we didn't have time for the whole science museum. Some Food Circus food, and a quick tour of the Space Needle satisfied our craving for some Seattle high culture, having already seen Bodies on the trip north, plus we'd stopped at Math n' Stuff earlier that morning.