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A buon giorno in Seattle

September 27, 2008

My husband took me to Seattle today for the Festa Italiana and overall urban invigoration. The Festa featured music and a grape stomp, but my favorite activity was standing in Seattle Center’s Fisher Pavilion smelling the food. None of the enticing aromas emanated from food I particularly wished to eat; I simply enjoyed savoring the redolence of the spices and oil and sausage and pasta as they blended into the best of what is known simply as Italian Cuisine. My grandmother was masterful at creating food that smelled like this. I inherited only her blue eyes.

Cooking demos might as well be boson physics. . . .

Cooking demos might as well be boson physics. . . .

 

Grape stompers competed to produce the most juice in three minutes.  The juice stuck on stompers' legs didn't count.

Grape stompers competed to produce the most juice in three minutes. The juice stuck on stompers' legs didn't count.

 

While a pressing task, the real point of grape stomping is a good time.

While a pressing task, the real point of grape stomping is a good time.

We sampled swigs of espresso and admired beautifully designed stainless steel stovetop espresso makers. We sampled gnocchi and watched some happy Seattleites stomp grapes in barrels. Attached to the barrels were plastic tubes leading to jugs that captured the juice. Italians are brilliant at soliciting volunteers to do such things. When we were in Mondello, Sicily, I was tricked into playing the tambourine with a band in a cafe. I was promised a condo. I shook that tambourine and even attempted a few steps of the Tarantella, but I never got the condo.

We left the festive Festa and walked through Belltown, ate Subway sandwiches in Fisher Plaza, walked along Elliott Bay and through the new sculpture garden, and headed home before my annual glycogen allowance was totally depleted. What a pleasant sunny day in Seattle, the city I love to visit twice a year whether I need to or not, even if it’s only 45 minutes up the road.

 

Belltown iconography can be subtle.

Belltown iconography can be subtle.

This guy gets the best ideas....

This guy gets the best ideas....

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