I damn near forgot! I let the weekend get away from me as usual, with two other days passing after it, that I nearly spaced telling you about Happy Hour with Laney on Friday -- which yielded its own, dedicated photo album on Flickr, with 37 shots. I even already captioned all the photos, so you can go there to get further detail about the evening. All three photos embedded in this very post are from that visit to the top of the 16-story Graduate Hotel in the U District, formerly known as the Hotel Deca, that former name having been a nod to its art deco building design, as it opened originally in 1931 as The Edmond Meany Hotel.
That, really, would make it having been the tallest building in Seattle outside downtown for 44 years, until the 22-story University of Washington Plaza (formerly Safeco Plaza) was finished, in 1975. That building is literally right across the street on NE 45th from The Graduate, and it's the building you see to the left behind Laney and me in the above shot. As I noted to Laney, one of the many things I loved about being up there was that, while no one tends to feel like the University District is an urban environment much like downtown, it sure felt that way in the rooftop bar at The Graduate, with the taller University of Washington Plaza right across the street. (The Graduate building's height is 215 ft; UW Plaza's is 325 ft.)
UW Plaza has a pretty blah design, though; the same cannot be said of The Graduate Seattle Hotel, which has a far more compelling architectural history. It really only occurred to me just now how many decades The Graduate building was the solitary high-rise -- even at only 16 floors -- in the University District. Now there are three that particularly stick out, what with the University Plaza Condominiums (1965, 269 ft, 24 floors) standing just a few blocks away. That, in fact, renders The Graduate Seattle Hotel merely the third-tallest building in the University District neighborhood.
But, whatever -- excluding office space atop UW Plaza or private homes atop University Plaza Condominiums, The Graduate has the best views in that neighborhood -- in fact, the best views with any public access in the neighborhood. I even included it in my Observatories collections on Flickr -- and specifically part of the "Seattle Skyscraper views (no official observatory)" collection, although this particular one is easily the shortest of them all (with the exception of the Seattle Great Wheel, which itself only goes up to a height of 175 feet).
I really had a blast up there with Laney on Friday, even though The Mountaineering Club ("What a view!") has no Happy Hour -- no need, presumably; they are packed at all hours for obvious reasons -- and the service was pretty terrible. Once we were finally seated, Laney noted that we had only two servers in our section, and they worked both the reservable tables inside and the open seating out on the deck that surrounds the top floor. This building has a pretty small footprint to begin with, and with the indoor area of The Mountaineering Club set back even further to accommodate the deck seating area, that made for pretty limited space in there.
The views alone made it all worth it. And the food was surprisingly good too -- Laney and I both ordered the solitary vegetarian entrée, a marinated zucchini sandwich, and it was quite tasty, and even pretty reasonably priced ($13.50) given the location. Also, at Laney's suggestion due to the slow service, we each had two drinks and we ordered them all at once, so there would not be too much time taken . . . and then later we both ordered a third drink anyway. Laney had her Manhattan on the rocks as usual; I had three cocktails called a "Banana Pancake," which was not quite as sweet as it sounds -- its base was banana milk -- and slightly nutty with hazelnut. They were quite tasty. I had budgeted $50 for this and I wound up spending closer to $65. Laney told me to tell Shobhit she made me do it. I was like, "As if you could ever make me do anything." I still told Shobhit that later though.
Even the lobby was quite lovely, and I took a few pictures in there on our way back out, after we spent some time out on the patio -- where Laney was scared, but for a fleeting moment she was comfortable leaning on a ledge. (She later made that shot her profile picture on Facebook.) They had book shelves in the lobby where they put all the books in backward, the pages facing out, and it made for a very cool look.
I did get pretty buzzed that evening, but not quite drunk. And for once I have done so well with controlling my calorie intake overall that my weight has been steadily declining since last week. I'm already back down about five lbs, which makes me happy. My hope and intent is to maintain this until I get back to around 140 lbs. again -- 15 lbs to go! I've decided to go with this concept of a "cheat day" and just allow myself sweets on Fridays. I have still been drinking on other days, more often than not some of the massive amount of wine we now have. We have to burn through it at some point!
The rest of my weekend was less eventful, as Shobhit had work shifts both Saturday and Sunday, although he and I did have a late dinner right after he got off work Saturday, at Wedgwood II Vegetarian Thai on Broadway, where we used another of our two-for-one coupons from VegFest. And the lady who irritates us every time we're there was apparently not working that evening, which made it more pleasant and smooth. My sweet and sour dish that was supposed to have pineapple in it had at best five tiny pineapple pieces, but whatever. It was still very good, and it made little difference that I ate the whole dish since all I had for lunch was a small bowl of hot and sour soup.
I had otherwise spent the afternoon on Saturday at Steamworks, not having been there since March -- but, I didn't get much out of it. At least now I have a $5 off coupon for the next time I go, which I have to redeem before it expires June 7.
I spent a little time yesterday captioning more of the photos from my Birth Week. I'm currently in the middle of the photo album for Bellingham. I also finally mapped out my seven movies I'll be seeing for the Seattle International Film Festival -- six from the 6-pack I bought on Black Friday that came with four vouchers for movies at SIFF Cinema theatres the rest of the year, and a seventh using two free tickets Shobhit gets through SAG-AFTRA. Between those, regular-release movies I always also still see, and my trip with Danielle to Canada and New York happening in the middle of the festival, I'm set to be quite busy for the next month or so -- starting later this week.
Anyway, I took the bus yesterday afternoon downtown and then up to the Interbay Total Wine & More where Shobhit works, and we did our liquor shopping. Shobhit had $55 worth of Grand Reserve member points to spend; I spent my entire budget for this shopping trip, of $150. We got several bottles of liquor and our coffers are plenty replenished. When we got home we still just had wine instead of cocktails, because he had been sent home with sample wines to taste and give feedback on. For once Shobhit gets sample products to take home just like I do, only his is booze!
We made pizza for dinner and watched Game of Thrones (awesome, I don't care about all the whining online today) and the series finale of Veep (bittersweet) and the penultimate episode of the current season of Barry (pretty good) before it was time to get ready for bed.
So that brings us to today, and my having just returned from lunch with Karen down at the Six-Seven Restaurant at the Edgewater Hotel, a bit later than usual as she had to bump it back to 12:30 due to a conference call running late at work.
We split the gyro sandwich as always, and we got ourselves caught up -- her on a lot about my Birth Week; me on some of her weekend trip two weekends ago to Portland for Anita's college graduation. Apparently she was actually hanging out at Karen's office while we had lunch. I was like, "You could have brought her to lunch!" But, apparently, Anita did not call to let her know she would kill time at her office until Karen was already pulling into the parking lot at the Edgewater.
It was kind of shockingly busy when we arrived, and then by 1:30 it had nearly emptied out. We had a new waiter today, but other staff still there who know us, which I'm guessing was why our gyro sandwich was still split onto two separate plates and with our own full portions of potato chips as a side. The weather is much cooler today than it was over the weekend; in fact today was the best day this week for me to be able to bike down there to meet her -- I probably won't be biking the rest of this week, based on the current forecast. It's showing rain every day the rest of this week. Works for me!
[posted 1:44 pm]