Archive for August, 2006

Vancouver Adventures

Friday, August 4th, 2006

Today Jason and I took a tour all around town. Since we only had one day we opted for the Grey Line/Trolley tour bus. It takes you all around all day (hop on/hop off) for $33 plus a free ferry ride! So we went all over town. We saw gorgeous Stanley Park, Chinatown and the amazing garden there, Granville Island, the beach, mountains, and Gas Town (the old-timey area). We’re taking a break now and chilling for a bit. There is just so much natural beauty here it is amazing! I definitely want to come back, in fact I think it’d be great to be here (and really the Pacific Northwest in general) for every summer in the temperate climate and fun surroundings. Maybe one day…

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Hello Vancouver!

Friday, August 4th, 2006

I got up quite early in Seattle and got a cab over to the train station. One thing I noticed about Seattle and Portland. Cute, tiny train stations with clocktowers. So tiny! The ride was pretty uneventful aside from the gorgeous scenery! I also saw a bald eagle up close on a tree. Gorgeous! At the station (after being interrogated by customs) my kind handler Fleur and Robin (from the inkstuds radio show on CITR) drove me over to CITR for my radio appearance. It was a cool place and we had fun doing the interview. They even played some of my music and bands I requested as well. Sweet!

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Afterwards I got to the hotel where my good friend Jason was waiting for me. He flew in from NY just for the occasion and was already in love with Vancouver’s temperate climate. I’m loving it too! Our suite has a porch with windows that open wide so we took some photos of the view.

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Then we headed towards Sophia Books for my signing and had burritos and crepes on the way. This is a terrific food city!
The Sophia signing was great and the employees so friendly (thanks Sean!)! They hung up the art I sent and set up a great display. They had wine for the guests, and my friend Albert from NYC showed up too, I hadn’t seen him in ages! We sold a bunch of books and I spoke to lots of people. It was a fitting way to end my tour.

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I can’t believe it’s almost over! By far the most surreal thing was seeing my face on the paper all over the place. Yikes! and Yay!

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Later on we went out with Albert and I had poutine (my total for that and a juice was 6.66!) as well as some really great gelato.

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Now that’s celebrating! Plus we took some fun photos on the gay strip.

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Elliot Bay!

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

I had lots of fun at Elliot Bay, it’s a gorgeous store in a historic 1800’s building and the event room is in the basement, which used to be above ground before Seattle was built up a story a ways back. They do underground Seattle tours now to show the underground old city. The cafe was good and I got free cafe mocha and a vegan rumball. Yum! The audience had some really good questions and afterwards Zan interviewed me for his Superfag podcast. Great place. The room was a bit too dark so no pictures. Sorry! Though apparently Bill Clinton signed in the very same room 3 years ago. Neat ^_^ Greg, the coordinator was very sweet and helpful too.
I did get some pics of the signage and book displays though, Zan took the ones with me in them. Then we went to a place called Teapot which had the best miso soup I’ve ever had. For reals! I’m off to Vancouver extra early tomorrow. Time for bed!

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Seattle adventures!

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2006

So I picked the 2 main touristy things to do today. Go to Pike Place Market and also the Experience Music Project / Sci Fi Museum. The weather is, again, gorgeous and Spring-like. I really feel bad for the NYCers suffering in the heat today. I wish you could be here with me! I started out to Pike Place via bus. The transit system is pretty easy to deal with here but it seems the bus run mainly on the half-hour. Not often enough! Anyhow I got down there and it was an impressive collection of shops and markets. I picked up some tea at MarketSpice and had a hot cinnamon brioche from Belle’s Buns. After more walking around and scoping out the fishmongers I also had some sushi. It just made sense. I also got some Mt. Rainier cherries from the farmer’s market people. All yummy!

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Then I caught another bus up to Seattle Center where it seems they’ve conveniently put all tourist attractions in one place. That include the Space Needle, The EMP, The SciFi Museum, and a bunch of other stuff including carnival rides.

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The EMP and the Sci-Fi Museum were cool, though quite pricey considering their size. (They were in the same big and crazy Frank Gehry designed building). Also no photos allowed, Oh well. The SciFi Museum is a good place to indulge one’s geekiness and some of the cool things they had included props from Bladerunner (the clear raincoat one of the replicants wore when she was “retired”, Sean Young’s costume, etc.), also stuff from Dune, Star Wars, Star Trek, lots of info on books and history which I thought was cool. Pretty fun! The EMP was pretty cool too with stage costumes on display including Michael Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Billy Zoom, and Elvis. There was a whole Jimmy Hendrix section and also a section specifically on the Northwest history of rock which of course included grunge and also Heart. An extra cool section was all about silkscreen rock posters and that was very interesting. They had a hip-hop section, a guitar section (my guitarist would love that part!), and a section all about recording and the technical aspects of it. There were interactive displays there and the kids were loving it! It’s nice seeing the youngsters get into music. Anyway, better get ready for my reading tonight!

Hello Seattle!

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

I pulled into Seattle early this afternoon and promptly napped when I arrived at my host’s place. Zan and Steve are super-sweet and I’m very lucky to be hosted by them and their cute cats! They’re skittish at first but now sleep by my feet on the bed. Cool. Zan and I had dinner at a nice veggie place. Then I went by bus to check out Capitol Hill area. It’s a pretty cute college/trendy area with record shops, bars, restaurants, and cafes. It seemed kind of smaller than I expected but maybe that’s just the New Yorker in me. Like Portland, Seattle is a city in the mountains with gorgeous views just beyond the urban landscape. I managed a few Space Needle photos with some mountain views and sunset. Nice.

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Gonna get to bed early so I can take in the touristy sights AND do my booksigning at Elliot Bay tomorrow. Wheee!

Farewell Bluebird Guesthouse (and Portland!)

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Early this morning I left the lovely Bluebird Guesthouse in Portland. It’s one of the few paid stays I’m doing (so many kind friends are hosting me!) and I would totally recommend it to anybody who wants to visit Portland. It’s cute, old, but with modern conveniences, in a great location, and cheap. Woo-hoo!

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On the way out I snagged a bagel and a tea bag from the kitchen for the train ride. They always have surprisingly good bagels (considering how far from NY it is) set out. Angels on Earth Joe and Belinda gave me a ride to the train, what dolls! A major plus of this tour is meeting great people I never would have met otherwise. The Amtrak Cascades ride from Portland to Seattle was uneventful and arrived only about 30 minutes late (not bad for Amtrak). The train was nice and roomier than the East Coast ones I’ve taken so far. They also had a totally different menu. (not that I bought any food this time around). They had TV screens and showed Swiss Family Robinson which I hadn’t seen since I was maybe 8 years old. I didn’t remember the teenage sons who were topless for most of the movie at that time. I watched it with the sound off. I remember liking that they had a girl with short hair who disguised as a boy in that movie too. Ah, classic Disney! I’m now in Seattle and just woke up from a much needed nap (with a cat curled by my feet). On to do some fun stuff!

Powell’s on Hawthorne signing

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

The signing was fun and a lot of old friends turned up which was great. Carl Horn, Hova, Jamilah, Jason, Joe, Belinda, and a bunch of people I didn’t know as well. Also, Randy (Matt’s editor at Oni). Cool! Scott from the store really took care of me and is very nice. They gave me a free drink and cookie from the cafe and I set the presentation up on a projector. Fancy! So far I’d just done it on TVs.

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Afterwards I hung out at Bagdad with Joe, Belinda, Jason, and Jamilah and it was really nice.

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It was very cool meeting Joe and Belinda, I just knew them from The Engine website and they were so welcoming and kind! They’re even driving me to my train tomorrow. What sweeties! I ended up taking them to a dessert place called Pix with really good pastries! Tomorrow morning it’s off to Seattle!