Capitol Hill Area, Seattle

When we awoke, “Jimi Hendrix” was outside the window playing his guitar and walking from place to place chatting with people though windows. We made a quick trip to the grocery store and got the necessary ingredients to make avocado sandwiches and omelets. There are a few places on Broadway where you can get breakfast for a dollar or two so we grabbed a quick snack.

Broadway is at the top of Capital Hill where Maya lives. Broadway has an eclectic mix of people from cross dressers, grunge rockers and homeless youth with various body ornaments that make my nose stud look boring and respectable. Getting your nose, nipples, eyebrows and ears pierced is considered tame and most kids have their face pierced or mutilated. When I say “kids” I mean people aged 9-16. “Kid” is a relative term because most of these people have dealt with things that would make an adult fall apart. Living on the street is a culture and has its own rules and regulations. While we were walking we ran into “the granddaddy of the street kids.” He had just come back into town, his whole face was pierced / mutilated and he was carrying a walking stick. I am told that this is the guy who calls the shots for all the street kids and he is the “granddaddy” because he is 17.

The sidewalk on Broadway has bronze dance steps embedded in various places. In 1982, Seattle artist Jack Mackie created these and called them the “Dance Steps on Broadway.” From what I could see there are eight different dance patterns: the foxtrot, waltz, tango and mambo to name a few. There are plaques next to each dance pattern that give instructions on how to do the dance patterns correctly and tell you when to speed up or slow down.

The shops are interesting: second hand shops, retro clothing stores (where I found some very cool hats), grunge music stores, bookstores and cafes. One group of homeless kids we saw were asking for change and using it to spell out the word “beer” with the money they got.

Seattle is a very different city. It is not like Calgary at all, and from what I have seen nothing like the movie Singles makes it out to be. The graffiti is amazing. I guess you would call it more art than graffiti and it’s everywhere.

Towards the end of the day we headed over to a party put on by the Edge; the local grunge radio station where we saw the Barenaked Ladies and Screaming Trees play live. Afterwards the station reps were giving out free Trees CDs and Nirvana posters.

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