Travel Diary: Seattle Day 4 - Museum of Pop Culture (Part 2)

January 18, 2016 (continued): Making my way throughout the museum, I ended up in the "Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic" exhibition (still currently available). The kid in me was a bit too excited to see many of my favorite childhood films represented there, I didn't realize how much of a fantasy buff I was.

The exhibition room is decked out with a large holographic tree house, dragon and dungeon so you're automatically transported into another world, which I thought was a fun touch.

For this post, I thought I'd do something a little different in that I'll discuss why the films featured here are some of my favorites and the lessons you can learn from them.

Wizard of Oz - The film no doubt tickles the visual senses yet the messages behind it's story are what makes it most powerful. Like life, Dorothy had to go through a lot of trials and tribulations in her journey on the Yellow Brick Road, and through those challenges she realized she "always had the power" to achieve what she wanted. Without going through life's lessons would we know what we're capable of? Everything's for a purpose. The "no place like home" aspect also resonates with me, in that she wished so much to be transported to another place, somewhere different and exciting and she got it, (in technicolor!). Yet, she found it wasn't what she expected and what made her happy was what she had at "home", that you should appreciate what you already have in front of you.

The Princess Bride - I feel this is a pretty universal film, in that most people of all ages and genders list it as one of their favorites. It's fun, adventurous and doesn't take itself too seriously. I think the the message behind this one is, while possibly cliche is that love conquers all. There's romantic love, Wesley and Princess Buttercup reuniting after all those years, and his love for her helped him through literal torture. There's familial love, where Inigo Montoya vowed to get revenge on the person who killed his father. Even where Fezzik and Inigo were kidnapping the Princess, they saw the love the protagonists had for each other that they ended up helping them.

Labyrinth - I used to watch the Labyrinth religiously as a kid, something about all the different elements she encountered was fun, and the contact juggling in the beginning always used to always fascinate me. The message at the end is something that still sticks with me to this day, where the heroine confronts Jareth and says, "You have no power over me". Like Dorothy in Wizard of Oz, she must go through a series of challenges to get to what she wants, but then realizes that she held the power all along. We put so much stock into what other people think about us that we let it control our lives, from how we dress, to career choices, and beyond. When we finally see that we gave them that power and take it back for ourselves, the barriers disappear and receive our lives back.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of my visit to the Museum of Pop Culture!


All pictures are taken by me and opinions are my own.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 2 - Seattle Public Library & The Pink Door

January 16, 2016 (Continued): Due to the heavy downpour that ensued after visiting Bruce Lee’s gravesite, and my hesitance to walk around in the freezing rain to tour the Lake Union area, I decided to head back into town and visit the Seattle Public Library.

Now, why would you visit a library when visiting another city? The Central branch of this library is known for it’s stunning glass and steel built architecture, and was voted #108 of 150 on the American Institute of Architects’ list of Americans’ 150 favorite structures in the US. It is free to visit as it’s a public library and there’s even a cafe inside to enjoy a little hot beverage while you read.

The structure was definitely impressive in person and the huge diamond cross windows give you 360 views of the city. You can go to the top floor and get a little vertigo when you see the ant-size people walking around below. It’s a good place to check out if you’re in the area, or if you need a little shelter from the rain. I wouldn’t go out of my way to see it, but it was interesting view to take a break in.

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Hunger struck, so I headed back to my hotel room nearby to change for dinner. I was greeted with pretty, leftover Christmas lights adorning the trees as I walked.

For dinner, I decided to go to “The Pink Door”, a highly coveted Italian - American restaurant located in the Post Alley near Pike Place Market. Reservations were already booked out, so I took a chance to see if I could get a walk in. When I got there, there were no signs, only a literal “pink door” to signal you’ve arrived at your destination and a line of people hanging out front. I guess exclusivity is the best advertisement! I made my way through the crowd of people inside towards the hostess and turns out flying solo has its perks as they had an open space at the bar, where they served the full menu.

I love handmade pasta and will try it any chance I get, so I decided to go with the PAPPARDELLE AL RAGÙ BOLOGNESE slow simmered meat sauce, fresh pasta. The pasta was perfectly al dente and the sauce was rich but clean, I was satisfied although it came in a somewhat small portion. 

For dessert I opted for the fresh made bombolone with custard dipping sauce - basically a fried doughnut deconstructed. The bombolone was perfectly cooked, crunchy on the outside, soft in the inside. The dipping sauce was nice because you could control how much sweetness you wanted.

Another perk of solo travel, and being seating side by side at the bar is you notice things that you normally wouldn’t being with other people (though it was hard not to due to their yelling because the room was packed). This particular night was a group of former Microsoft employees griping on how things have changed within the company over the years and it just wasn’t the same. It was an interesting inside scoop on the mega-corporation.

Filled to the brim as the carbs expanded in my belly, I made my way back for the night, since it was too chilly and rainy to explore further.

All photos taken by me via Canon 70D and iPhone 6.

Travel Diary: Seattle Day 2 - Bruce Lee's Gravesite

January 16, 2016: My second, though first official full day in Seattle started off in a stereotypical, rain soaked, gloomy gray fashion. It didn’t deter me, in fact I kind of missed the rain and different seasons having lived in Hawaii for a while, plus I was pumped to explore this new-to-me city.

Breakfast began at Smith, after my initial choice had a line out the door. It was a killer to get there from where I was since it didn’t look that far on the map but I didn’t factor in having to go UP hill after hill! I finally arrived, a little disheveled but with a worked up appetite. They had an interesting decor aesthetic with antique paintings and taxidermy animals scattered about.

I ordered their Brioche French Toast with homemade apple sauce and chantilly cream, and since I like my starch with starch, a side of crispy potatoes. The food was decent, and the service was nice.

A pit stop in their bathroom lead me to discover on the toile wallpaper, humorous little graffiti-isms that customers left behind as they were doing their business.

While I was waiting for the bus to take me to Lake View Cemetery where Bruce Lee’s gravesite is, a beautiful rainbow appeared giving me a sign of good things to come.

I arrived at the cemetery, and the rain had started to pick up to a drizzle again. Tucked away towards the top was the quiet, unassuming final resting place for Bruce and his son, Brandon. Bruce has been one of my heroes, not only for his martial arts and pioneering days of bringing Asian Americans to western cinema, but his philosophies on life. My dad recently pointed me to his daughter Shannon’s podcast discussing her father’s views and also the struggles of retaining his brand after his passing.

While I was there, I overheard another tour group’s guide talking about how someone tried to chip off the picture of Bruce on his gravestone and steal it. Also, this place was chosen because it was near where he went to high school at Garfield High School where he met his wife Linda.

After I paid my respects, I made my way out and got caught in a heavy downpour. I was planning to tour the nearby Lake Union area but since it was raining heavily and I would be walking most of the way I decided against it and took a detour that provided a little more shelter.

Note: I’ve decided to split up my Travel Diary series by locations visited within that day, to make the post a bit more digestible.

Photos taken by me via Canon 70D and iPhone 6.