Thursday, August 22, 2013

A visit to Pike's Place Market and other fun places

     Linda and I had a fun visit to Seattle on Monday.  The excuse for the trip was to pick up a 3/4 size violin for my grand daughter, Madelynn.  I found a good deal on craigslist but we had to drive to Belltown, a downtown Seattle neighborhood, in order to pick up the violin.  As it turned out, the violin had never been played. It was absolutely brand new. It was very easy to tell. It not only looked new, but there was no rosin whatsoever on the bow.  I had to spend about a half hour working on the bow to get enough rosin on it so I could try out the tone of the fiddle. By the way, it seemed to have a nice tone.

     Being as we were that close, of course we had to stop by Pike's Place Market, one of Linda's favorite Seattle destinations.  That gave us an opportunity to do some birthday shopping and sample the local fish and chips. The fish was great, but the chips were a little greasy. Linda is a pretty cheap date when it comes to eating out.  We either share one meal or most of hers comes home in a doggie bag.  We left Pike's Place Market with a big bouquet of sunflowers and a number of lavender items for the birthday girl.

     The market usually has quite a number of street musicians of varying degrees of skill. Some are pretty lame and some are quite good.  We ran into this wonderful little band from North Carolina that included a fiddle, a standup bass (or a doghouse bass as Aunt Dolores would call it), a dobro, and an accordion.  Their music seemed to be a mix of bluegrass, jazz, and klezmer, depending what number they played. The fiddler sounded more like a gypsy violinist and they had great harmony on their vocals.  I was sufficiently impressed that I bought one of the CDs they were selling.
The Resonant Rogues

I really love a good standup bass

     We next searched out La Reve, a little french cafe and bakery located on Queen Anne Hill.  A bee store customer had periodically brought us some of their baked goods as a show of appreciation. I brought a few of them home once and Linda was hooked.  Her favorite is a double baked chocolate croissant. I personally really love their Queen Amman rolls.  You don't even want to know exactly how much butter is in them. I have to confess to a little disappointment when we were greeted by a pretty young oriental girl standing behind the counter. I guess I was expecting someone with a French accent and a chef's hat. A few minutes later she was joined behind the counter by a young man with a punk hairdo and numerous body piercings. The pastries were so wonderful that they easily compensated for the lack of French accents in the hired help.

    Our last stop was the Dusty Strings in Fremont, my favorite music store.  I needed to buy yet another copy of "Jumping Jim Goes Hawaiian", the ukulele song book we used at Cousin Camp. I've tried to distribute one to each of the grand kids with an ukulele.   I would be very happy to buy yet another copy if I have a little ukulele player out there who I have overlooked.  I also bought myself a laminated ukulele chord chart. After some careful examination of the chart and with the help of a light green permanent marker I determined that I can comfortably play a grand total of 11 chords.

    The Dusty Strings has a whole wall covered with various ukuleles.  I noticed some that had banjo bodies and asked the nice clerk about them. She explained a bit about banjo ukuleles and took one down and played a little tune on it. It has a banjo sound and is much louder than a regular ukulele. I quickly overcame the temptation to purchase it after I noticed the $1,100.00 price tag. I still think the nicest sounding ukulele I have played on is Aunt Dolores' Martin ukulele.


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