Seattle street, Space Needle in the background
  • Seattle street, Space Needle in the background
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The bus rolled into the Seattle Greyhound station. I can’t explain my excitement in getting off that bus. The passengers in front of me showed the highs and lows of riding the “dirty dog” – but mainly the lows.

The lady in front of me and the gentlemen in front of her were conversing about parole, halfway houses and the fine jails of Seattle and Boise. Riding the rails might have been dangerous, but this was just tedious.

I grabbed my pack and walked toward Capitol Hill, where there was a bar there I wanted to lounge in. I thought about picking up a Seattle hot dog from one of the many vendors while I waited for my sister.

What the California burrito is to San Diego, cream cheese on a hot dog is to Seattle. There’s no consensus on what makes a Seattle hot dog – but in my book, and in many Washingtonians’, it’s cream cheese, grilled onions, sauerkraut and mustard. It’s weird but it works.

I swung by Pike Place Market because I was having a hell of a time trying to find my destination. I walked into the cavernous building across the street from the public market. Restaurant and food stalls lined the hall. I’d been here before where I ate green borscht at a Russian establishment.

Today I decided to go to Oriental Mart, a Filipino market and eatery accessible from Pike Street. I ordered a plate of pancit, rice and a sour pork stew. I ate a plate, and the lady must’ve taken pity on this lowly drifter because she offered to refill my plate. Maybe it was my ruffled German army shirt, or my disheveled hair, or the dirty pack that I lugged, but I was given another plate and charged less than full price for my meal.

With a full belly, I wandered 5th Avenue looking for a bus to take me to Capitol Hill. I hopped on the #10 bus and paid $2.25. I exited before the crest of the hill, and hiked past the Jimmy Hendrix Museum in front of Seattle Community College and onto East Olive Way.

I’d stumbled into the Crescent several months before when I was waiting to meet some friends. It was a rowdy karaoke dive bar that epitomized Capitol Hill – an amalgam gay and straight, young and middle aged, hip and not. On this afternoon, the bar was only middle-aged gay and lesbian. They gave me a weird look as I walked in. Looking like a shoestring traveler didn’t make this the best fit for me.

I walked up the hill to Clever Dunnes and waited for my ride. This place had a special even I could afford. I paid $5 for a shot of Tullamore Dew whisky and a pint of PBR and sat down to watch the Boise State game.

The locals were generally opposed to the Broncos – this being Husky town. As the son of BSU alumni, I decided to be the vocal contrarian. My sister fortunately came to pick me up before the game ended.

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