seattle is very beautiful, very cold (alas, i read geegaw's weather alert at a kinko's on queen anne hill!), and very difficult to navigate in a car. without the other cars, maybe - i'm convinced that everyone else was driving like tourists. happy to report that coffee vendors : seattle :: slot machines : las vegas, and they function the same way - i pass a cafe and realize there's change in my pocket and one more americano, just a single shot, wouldn't hurt anyone...

hunting for a place to live is probably a good way to meet a new city. you crawl through neighborhoods evaluating buildings, pop in and see a few in close focus - so, this is what windows and bathrooms and staircases look like here - and settle down in a coffeehouse with a newspaper to look for more. you catch snippets of conversation and see how the local kids do their hair as you muck through your crossword puzzle. we broke for pure tourism a few times (the space needle, a mexican modernism exhibit, a pilgrimage to toys in babeland), but mostly we wandered and peered and chatted. i met bartenders and dogs.

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