Welcome to the Wooooorld of Tomorrow
I only got to spend a day or two in Seattle last time I was here, where I said the place was businesslike and getting-on-with-it, and my opinion hasn't changed drastically. There are nutty people here, but they're not nutty in the parrot-on-shoulder bay area way (before you ask, I did actually see a guy with a parrot on his shoulder walking along in Mountain View once), or the I'm-walkin'-heah NYC kind of way. It's an unpretentious kind of nuttiness I can admire.
I don't know if it's an artificially-enhanced thing, but there's definitely a massive gigs scene still here. I wasn't particularly bothered this time round, since 14-hour days were the order last week, but I can see some gigs in my future (I'm going to be back every 3 months or so for the foreseeable).
I got to head to a couple of places this weekend : Pike Place Market and Seattle Center.
Pike place market is reasonably nice. It's a mostly inside/underground marketplace, with everyone from flowers, fish, meat, wood products, art, and obligatory hippie stuff. It goes a couple of levels below ground, but I found the lower you went, the more empty it got. I guess times ain't what they used to be. It's pretty well set up, though, with good parking and most of the stands took cards.
Seattle Center is also decent to walk around. It was the site of the World's Far in 1962, and is a great example of Googie Architecture (or Populuxe, or "Raygun Gothic" if you listen to/read William Gibson). The arches in the picture above don't really conform (unless you look inside and see more shaped concrete than you can shake a stick at), but the Space Needle certainly does. Even the logo for the area is a tip of the hat to the style. I love how architecture of a certain time can directly reflect hope in this way -- this was a future that never happened, and preserving and using it like this is great.
Seattle, on the whole, is decent. It's got weather similar to Dublin (although less changeable and with more extremes), and it's walkable if you like walking (I walked back to Pike Place today from the hotel, on a route I drove yesterday). I didn't get to see a lot of it this time, but I suspect that'll change in the next year or so.