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Chunga goes to MOHAI


The Museum of History and Industry in Seattle was for many years located in a difficult-to-find pocket of the city. I only made it there once, although it's true that I'm not actually a big museum-goer in general. A few years ago I heard that they were moving to the old Naval Reserve Armory building on the south shore of Lake Union, and I was intrigued. Since I've started walking along the Cheshiahud Loop (most often just along the western side) I've been keeping my eye on the remodeling going on at the Armory. It's a lovely old building with subtle Art Deco features that was apparently built by the WPA in 1941-1942.

The grand opening of the new MOHAI was December 29, 2012. When the date was announced, I mentioned to my Chunga co-editors that it might be fun to do a joint expedition, even if we didn't end up writing about it. We had previously made a joint expedition to the Science Fiction Museum, and Andy did write a piece about that. Anyway, carl and Andy were both agreeable, and so the three of us, along with Carrie, visited the museum this past Sunday.

It truly is a wonderful museum. The space is much larger than the old space, allowing them to not only house a full seaplane and hydro boat but also an enormous hollow sculpture made out of wood that you can stand inside. Most of the exhibits are on the second floor, and they cover an enormous variety of Seattle's history, much of it from a technological or economic point of view. The fascinating artifacts are too numerous to list, but one that for whatever reason stuck out for me was a chair from the '50s with upholstery using Tlingit designs. So cheesy, and yet so cool looking. I'd take that chair in a hot minute. The other thing that blew my mind in a happy way was in the Cinema in Seattle room, where they have the model of the city that we see the character Hawk building in the movie Trouble in Mind, which is the best movie ever made in Seattle. carl, on the other hand, seemed most visibly moved by the original Altair 8080 on display in the Microsoft silo. Andy enthused about seeing the Sonics' otherwise homeless 1979 NBA trophy. A collection of feminist posters reminded Carrie of Jessica Amanda Salmonson's Guest of Honor speech at an early Wiscon, which covered obscure Seattle feminist history to apparently hilarious effect.

Well, it was a great lot of fun, and as I said over on Facebook it seems like a natural place to take fan fund winners. It has plenty of stuff for geeks to geek out on. We considered the expedition a great success, and afterwards we retired to Andy and Carrie's place to eat pizza, watch the Golden Globes, and do some actual editorial work on the next issue of Chunga. All in all, not a bad way to recover from the Seahawks' disappointing playoff defeat earlier in the day. carl and I topped it all off with a stop at the Big Time to sample some of the malty fruits of the microbrewing revolution also featured in the museum.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 16th, 2013 02:23 am (UTC)
Sounds like a lot of fun! Also very amusing that everyone found their special happy place. ;>

Jan. 16th, 2013 02:29 am (UTC)
Well, that's just my gloss on everybody else's reactions. I'm sure they'd all characterize their reactions quite differently.

For example, carl sent me some of his pictures from the museum, which are great. Perhaps they'll show up in other venues.
Jan. 16th, 2013 10:00 am (UTC)
Clearly I need to take another TAFF trip!
Jan. 16th, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
Here's a plan: Win GUFF, and then while you're in Australia win DUFF. Voila! Back in Seattle again. AND YOU HAVE TO COME BACK TO SEATTLE NOW!!!!!!! MOHAI commands it!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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