a visit to my former stomping grounds

I just came home from a whirlwind trip through Seattle. By which I mean, “about forty eight hours.” The purpose? To visit my mommy for our shared birthday weekend. Mom’s birthday is the 23rd, and mine is the 19th, so we decided to celebrate a couple weeks early and take advantage of the Canadian long weekend.

I have a fairly full writeup to get to – which, let’s face it, with the way my life’s run lately, I probably won’t make time for – but here’s the Cliff Notes on my former stomping grounds:

  • I *heart* Seattle and forgot how much until I actually got there
  • Hotel Max is way cool.
  • Belltown is like all of Silver Lake squashed into a few blocks
  • Punk and grunge looks are still pretty lively down at Shorty’s on 2nd.
  • Many restaurants in the Northwest now feature “organic, locally harvested, sustainable food”, which is right in line with my views and beliefs, especially because it involves a lot of fresh fish and fresh berries.
  • Watching news clips of B.U.I’s (boating under the influence arrests) on NWCN (Northwest Cable News) is AWESOME.
  • The Royal Argosy dinner cruise is about 90 minutes too long (three hours on Lake Washington is two too many)
  • Did I mention that Seattle is really insanely gorgeous in August?

    I also did get a chance to get dressed up and sneak out to the Mercury – the members only goth club in Seattle – for a while on Saturday. This caused my mother to refer to me as looking like Cinderella – “in some sort of alternate bondage universe”. I pointed out that I got my love of dress-up and costumes from her, and she settled down. I’d picked a perfectly appropriate Los Angeles outfit: a complicated pleather top (it has buckles and laces and ribbons on it to adjust the fit) and a long triple-layer skirt, with elbow length fingerless spiderweb gloves, and knee high flat black buckled boots. Sorry, Mom. Didn’t mean to scare you. However, when I got to the Mercury, I realized – I actually looked L.A. goth. When I got to L.A., I was shocked that even the goths were perfectly outfitted and coordinated and made-up and styled. Now, I’m one of them.

    The music at the Mercury was also different than it is in L.A. Here, there’s much more industrial and synthpop, with some classic goth and 80s rolled in, depending on which club and which DJ and which night it is. But the newer classic goth – the Projekt label bands, for example – are not played much. So when I walked into the Mercury to a Cruxshadows track, I was shocked. I adore the Cruxshadows, and they’re a staple of 90s goth music – but I never hear those sort of mediaeval influenced bands in the clubs here. The Mercury still played Sisters of Mercy (albeit a different single than the two or three in frequent rotation in L.A.) and the new Zombie Girl single, but overall, it just seemed to be a bit more organic music than in L.A. Much like the people themselves, who all seemed less shiny than in L.A. I can’t describe it any better than that.

    Actually, I can. Paul refers to goth music as either “swirly dreamy” or “stompy angry”. The L.A. clubs fall more on the bouncy to stompy spectrum; the Mercury fell on the swirly side of the fence. The dancers on the floor were mostly whirling rather than stomping. And the only people who came close to consistent stomping were the two (count ’em, TWO!) cybergoths. I tend to fall somewhere in between the two camps, as I love swirly dancing as much as I adore stomping to industrial. It fits, since I also dress that way when I’m in goth, in a sort of cyber-Victoriana, long skirts with punk accessories, velvet chokers and PVC.

    I finished the evening by dancing to a Covenant track – one of the new ones off Skyshaper, which I do not have memorized, and then headed home early, so Mommy didn’t have to wait up too late for me. And that was Seattle.

    OK, time to shower and get some sleep. G’night everybody!

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