Monday, November 01, 2021

Painting the Town with Viry and Lolo

We were savoring our last day with Viry and Lolo. One of my favorite parts about Seattle is it seems to blend urban and nature together just about as well as any US city that comes to mind. It was a big reason that we moved here. In that spirit we took our tour group on a hike in Seattle's Discovery Park.

There were some sort of spooky buildings around that seemed both fake and well cared for. Sort of like the fake town you'd build for a bomb test. The park, Seattle's largest, is built on the historic grounds of Fort Lawton. 

After a little Wikipedia-ing, I learned that the yellow building above is the fort's former post exchange and gymnasium. Wiki: "While Fort Lawton was a quiet outpost prior to World War II, it became the second largest port of embarkation of soldiers and materiel to the Pacific Theater during the war. The fort was included in the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure list. Fort Lawton officially closed on September 14, 2011."

Here's some interesting trivia: "The post was also used as a prisoner-of-war camp, with more than 1,000 Germans imprisoned there. Approximately 5,000 Italians were passed through en route to Hawaii for imprisonment. On August 15, 1944 an Italian POW, Guglielmo Olivotto, was found murdered at Fort Lawton after a night of rioting between Italian POWs and American soldiers. Twenty-eight African-American soldiers were later court-martialed, convicted of the crime, and sent to prison. They and their families challenged the convictions; after an investigation, the convictions were set aside in 2007. A formal army apology ceremony was held on July 26, 2008; officials also presented the relatives of former US soldiers and the two remaining survivors with years of back pay, following the overturn of their dishonorable discharges."

I like how some beaches in the area just become these giant graveyards of very large trees that wash ashore. We've seen a bigger example of this phenomenon on the coast of Olympic National Park.

West Point Lighthouse

We stopped at Cloudburst Brewing for refreshment. They make really good stuff but are a prime example of the area's IPA obsession. They'll literally have ten IPAs available at the same time. THE ARE OTHER KINDS OF BEER, LOSERS.

Next we poked our heads in the Rendezvous. It was dead in there but I think it's main purpose is as a venue so I'll let it slide. It was a pretty classy joint, that's for sure.

Bangrak Market had some very creepily dressed bartenders making so excellent cocktails.

Viry had the excellent idea to try dinner at Taiwanese restaurant chain Din Tai Fung. I'd say in additional to the balance of city and nature, the Asian food scene is another big reason we were attracted to move here. 

I've heard locals amusingly shorten the name to DTF which I very much appreciate. DTF is known for its xiaolongbao which in this context I think is soup dumplings.

They are fun because when you bite into them not only is there the expected meat but some hot broth that has been sealed in as well.

We ended the night with some ice cream at Salt & Straw which I bet you $5 was Lydia's idea.

I think inflation and big city living is making me feel old. When I worked at Baskin Robbin in highschool I think I made $7.25 an hour and we weren't even allowed to have a tip jar. $27 an hour is more than I made at my first tech job.

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