Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Paddy's Day

Hi Mom,

S and I have been married for 16 years today. Thanks for helping us to have the great party that we wanted. I'm sure it was very different from your wedding (though you never really talked much about it, and it took me FOREVER to see your wedding photo, but we had it just the way we wanted. You were a great help in the planning and helping us to be sure that Freddie Brown (remember "Consider It Done?") got it and made the day the wonderful celebration we intended.

I have a little something I've been rolling about in my head for some time, and I want to try to get it down for you today.


There's a bit of downtown that I pass on the bus each day, both on the way to work and at day's end. It takes up the entire block between 4th Ave & 5th Ave with Seneca and University streets acting as bookends on the north and south.

It's one enormous building that houses several different businesses, each of which seems to have been placed there specifically with my mom in mind.

The west side, seen in passing from my homeward bound bus, was the first to grab my eye. We start out with Shuckers, a seafood restaurant. I've no idea how the fare is, but I'll wager that they probably have something oceanic that would please herself. Next is a tiny patisserie, complete with wee table and ice cream parlor swirly wire chairs. The display cases are always empty, and the place is nearly always closed by the time I pass. Surely they'd have some macaroon or hazelnut delight to tempt her. Lux watch shop is next in line, and while I only recall seeing a Timex on her slender wrist, I did find lots of tiny ladies timepieces in Mom's jewelry box. Perhaps they do repairs?

There is a shop that sells all silver jewelry. Clutch, a handbag boutique with a window-full of kaleidoscopic bags and purses is the next shopportunity. Big totes, tiny evening bags all a-glitter and primary-colored leather bags with pockets and tassels and flaps abound.

Catch your breath, Luly Yang's designer showroom comes next. Robin's-egg blue is the color of her window box backings, and it seems to be the right foil for her creations, no matter their hue. She's had classic bridal wear, shimmery evening gowns, and sexy suits featured in these windows, and they all look right. She's also designed for the local "Dinner and a show" troupe, Teatro Zinzanni, and the costumes are occasionally in her shop; the monarch butterfly creation is amazing.

Turn the corner and head east and you're strolling by the main entry of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel. Presiding over this patch of downtown since 1924, it's the kind of classy place she'd love. Huge columns at the entry, a scrolling staircase-rail in a soft cream, and lots of windows to let in the rationed Seattle sunlight. It's what the old San Diego hotel was in it's heyday. Look to your left as you walk up the slight hill to see what Louis Vuitton has in his window--today it's a giant cupcake with a purse on top!

Hang a right and you'll pass the employee's entrance, a very busy bus stop, and you'll get a peek into the window of one of the hotel dining rooms. This is my view in the morning; lots of suits chatting over coffee and busily filling up plates from the silver-plattered buffet, bright chandeliers cheerfully attempting to cut the early morning gloom.

Last, but far from least, a right at the corner heads you west. This is the quiet side of the edifice. There is a door into the hotel and a shop display window. The single item on view sums up the fact that this building is all-around the right place for my mom. A name is written in wide, swooping calligraphy on the glass; Renee Bassetti". Encased within is a shirt. It's a confection of pink silk. I can't say for certain if Mom would wear it, but I know she'd stop in and see what this designer has to offer. It's just a classy-looking spot, and I know it'd suit her down to the ground.

Here ends our tour. It's an interesting piece of real estate, good from any approach. It's both wonderful and a little difficult to see it each day. I think I'd prefer to see it than not, but it makes me sad that I wasn't able to share it with my mom when she was here. I hope I've done a good enough job of sharing it with her now.

I love you, Mom.