Cinderella Liberty

The Chief Engineer from my trip to China on the Hanjin Baltimore was in town Sunday night. I met him up at Pier 46, accompanied by Rene, a machinist. Both are from Germany.Seattle July 2011 057

Sunday was the last day of Seattle’s annual Hempfest in Myrtle Edwards Park. We didn’t go but Belltown and lower Queen Anne were full of very stoned people, walking around on the hems of their blue jeans. We found a cigar shop on Pike and looked for German-language newspapers at the Pike Place Market news stand. The two Germans had no interest in a fish dinner so I ruled out Ray’s and took them instead to the 5 Spot. Annoyingly, the current theme of the restaurant is “Portland.” Portland is the Doobie Brothers of American cities.

Beer is important in Germany and I began to feel the pressure as several of Seattle’s220px-Lenin-statue-in-Fremont artisanal brews were found wanting. I couldn’t disagree; the beers on offer at the 5 Spot tasted over-hopped. It was entertaining to listen to the German pronunciation of “Deschutes.” We moved to Fremont and a pitcher of Mac & Jack’s at the Red Door. This was cloudy and declared unfinished, with the suggestion that it was hurried out the door of the brewery for quick sale. We visited the Lenin statue. Rene appreciated the irony of the thing but, having grown up in East Germany, didn’t find it humorous.

We found offerings more to their liking at the George & Dragon Pub, which has Pilsner Urquell from the Czech Republic on tap. While seated at the bar a man sat down across from us, dressed in a white shirt with four-striped shoulder boards and a nautical officer’s cap. He had mutton-chop sideburns and his appearance caused murmuring in German as my guests tried to figure out if he was truly a master or dressed in drag. The universal antipathy of engine room hands toward deck crews was again on display. After the man left the English bartender told us that he drove for the Ducks, the amphibious landing craft that tour Seattle.  tourist n drunks

We ended the evening at the 5 Point Cafe, in the shadow of the Space Needle. The Chief recalled the neon sign – “We Cheat Tourists -N- Drunks Since 1929” – from a previous visit. The place was jumping for a Sunday night, and it appeared that the organizers of Hempfest had retired there after that event ended. Rene was pleased with the eclectic Seattle-centric jukebox and found a “Les Canards” sticker over the restroom entrance. “Look! Prostitutes!” he blurted on the trip back to the Pier. I got them back to the ship before midnight.

About Saint Expedite

Retired early, then took a trip across the Pacific from Seattle by container ship. From China I stopped in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, France, Holland, Denmark, England and Ireland before heading home to Puget Sound. This blog is an account of my travels. Write to me at
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5 Responses to Cinderella Liberty

  1. herb jepko says:

    Good to see you writing again, Kenny. There should be a book churning around.

    I write short sentences, like Hemingway.

    Was in Seattle with wife visiting daughter a couple of weeks back. Short time in Seattle. Got in Thurs nite and took the morning train to Vancouver BC on Fri. Back in Seattle Sunday nite and on the early morning plane back home. Next time, when there is more time, I’ll give you a heads up.

    Went to Ivar’s to relive my past, btw. Apparently my past wasn’t as excellent as I thought it was.


    • Call me next time you have a free night in town and we’ll do it up right. Remember that bar back in the 1970s called The Price Is Right that served budget liquor and baked potatoes, in grudging compliance with Washington’s law that food be served with hard booze?

      • Herb Jepko says:

        I do remember that place. Barely, tho. I’ll give you some advance warning next time I’m on my way to Seattle.

      • Matty says:

        I remember that place at the ripe age of 11 and the first time I ever went to Seattle….but didn’t get to drink. A 1 1/2 pound spud was some serious carbs to devour.

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