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My excellent Uptown adventure


I had a nice weekend that was comprised of folding and stuffing Jim Mowatt's TAFFzine into envelopes, doing a bit of work on the Corflu XXX progress report (coming Real Soon Now), and watching movies. One movie-viewing was the opportunity for a big expedition. The film was playing at SIFF Cinema Uptown in Lower Queen Anne, three miles from my house, and I decided I could hike to the theater and get some cardio along with my culture. ("He fills his head with culture/He gives himself an ulcer.")

So at 6pm Saturday I headed down Westlake, cutting over to Queen Anne along Mercer. The movie didn't start until 9pm, but I wanted to eat something first. It was a cool, drizzly night, perfect for a long walk, singing Prince songs all the way. I ran into a well-dressed crowd arriving for a show at the Seattle Opera House, and I caught fragments of cheerful gossip as I passed them on the sidewalk.

Sushi was my dinner goal, but I wasn't sure where I wanted to eat. I went all the way to the theater and started looking from there. About two buildings down was Sam's Sushi, which looked fine. I ordered a combo plate and began reading a Seabury Quinn story in Weird Tales: 32 Unearthed Terrors -- a Jules de Grandin weird detective tale full of vurry Frrrranch phrases such as Mon dieu! and Parbleu! It took me a while to discern that the sushi chef's were speaking to each other in Mandarin, not Japanese. Globalization at its finest.

The movie was a Lithuanian science fiction film called Vanishing Waves, which I liked very much indeed. (See my review.) The SIFF Cinema Uptown used to be just the plain old Uptown, but it was taken over by SIFF (the Seattle International Film Festival) about a year ago and now shows both contemporary films like Django Unchained but also weird avant garde science fiction films that play in mini-festivals such as the Women In Cinema Film Festival. It's a terrific resource to film fans, and it preserves a wonderful old theater as well.

After the movie I headed up the Counterbalance -- an infamously steep incline on the south side of Queen Anne Hill that in the days of streetcars required a counterbalance to get a tram car up the slope. It was good cardio. I stopped at the Hilltop Ale House for a pint and a shot of whiskey before continuing on to the downslope into Fremont. It was zero dark thirty by the time I got home, feeling I had been There and Back Again.


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