fish and chips for grabs

It was a gloomy, tired-feeling Saturday. Are these the dog days of winter? We had breakfast at Skillet Diner, a Capitol Hill eatery on the opposite corner of the block from Piecora’s. This was our first time. I’d heard from a handful of people the food is very good, Diana thought it lived up to its billing. But my griddle cakes and sausage were inoffensively bland. The Mt. Rainier-sized cinnamon roll (the size of a small dinner plate) that only gets served on the weekends brought a big smile to my face (and it was tasty).

After breakfast we stopped at a secondhand store just down the road from Skillet Diner so I could dash inside and grab a 1976 copy of 101 Hikes in the North Cascades I spotted earlier in the week. I originally passed on it because the cover is coffee stained. I had a change of heart as the week passed. It was still there, exactly where I left it. I ended up paying only 54 cents for it, I think the Eritrean cashier took pity on me and only charged the magazine price. Because what kind of idiot pays money for a decrepit old hiking guidebook with a coffee stain on it? I collect these purely for the sake of fascination. The old 101 Hikes books The Mountaineers published ushered in a different era in the mountains of Washington state (perhaps one a lot of old-timers rue). These aren’t just guidebooks, they’re important historical documents. I find myself mesmerized by the larger-than-life black and white photographs in these older editions.

Diana had to spend part of the day at her office. We headed downtown where we split off for awhile. Adam and I hung out at Pike Place Market where we spent at least an hour looking at tiny glass figurines and making the shopkeeper nervous. Then we went to a little bookstore where I was surprised because brand new looking Hardy Boy mysteries were only six dollars apiece. After sitting around at SAM people-watching, I decided to drop Adam back off to Diana because he really wanted to be with her and he could spend a couple hours entertaining himself while she worked. I went back to Pike Place Market hoping to shoot a little but I was mesmerized by the human activity around me so taking the camera out seemed trivial. I took this picture at the start of Pike Place. There was a basket of soggy-looking fish and chips sitting on a narrow ledge of the wall below this somewhat ironic sign, a clean cut-looking guy with bags under his eyes had been nervously watching me and finally got up the nerve to sidle over and ask me if they were mine. I said no in the most affirming way I could muster because my sixth sense told me what was coming next and he picked the tray up and started daintily dunking the breaded salmon into tartar sauce, disappearing into the throbbing masses.

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