I wish I could take a photo right now. Katie Chang, I’m drinking bubble tea like I said I would: a matcha tea with tapioca pearls (little chewy balls of starch from cassava plants). It’s super photogenic… well interesting looking, however my phone has ran out of charge and this first draft was scribbled – so no image for ya. They said I could lower the sweetness of the drink to 25% (whatever that equates to I couldn’t figure out), so I did so but it’s still super sickly, sweeter than my Maccy D’s strawberry shake any day. I also feel like these little tapioca pearls are just like frog spawn… or caviar or some such thing. I don’t think there’s going to be a happy ending here. The matcha tastes like modified sugar and the pearls don’t really taste of too much at all. I’ve tried to expand my palette today but this experimentation has failed and I shan’t be frequenting any more Bubble Tea shops any time soon.
This post isn’t about my culinary ventures (as good as Seattle is for just this) Rather it is about my day immersed in popular culture.
*You could say my pursuit of bubble tea could be included as part of my day of pop culture, only tried in an attempt to understand more about a particular current trend. One that’s been sweeping metropoles mostly, (I think they should stay there personally, this other-wordly beverage wouldn’t sit so well with rural folk and small-towners).*
Today I went to MoPop (formerly EMP Museum): The Museum of Popular Culture. This big metallicy building is located at the Seattle Center just in the shadow of the Space Needle. I walked here from Fremont, a nice little 4.4 mile round trip mostly along the waterfront, a necessary jaunt after all my Canadian fattening over the last few months.
The MoPop is currently home to Bowie by Mick Rock: an exhibit featuring 65 photographs capturing David Bowie’s transformation into Ziggy Stardust among other beautiful, cosy, behind the scenes theatrics AND The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited – I paid extra for this little exploration.
The museum is super pricey at 30 bucks a pop if you’re going to get all access. I wouldn’t have paid it if it weren’t for these two exhibits, which I’d pay for anywhere. If I’d pay for Lichtenstein and Pollock of course I’m gonna bloody pay for a bit o Bowie n Henson (I did however pay a lot less for the former in England).
Bonus Exhibits also worth the cost: Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magi and Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds.
Although clearly a popular culture museum in general, I couldn’t help but feel that a lot of the exhibits catered to geeky fandom a little more than pop culture dabblers. But that’s a-okay by me.
Highlights: Kermit, Labyrinth costumes, Bowie mime pictures.
The mime photos are super interesting, Bowie actually trained with a mime for some time to include some work in his performances. Foremost an entertainer. I’ve never actually seen many of his live performances on video, something I must do, especially now I know a little bit more about how he prepared for them.
Also those of you who are actual fans will know about his fear of flying and how he traveled via train, bus and boat. Some great photos of him in the dining cart of trains.
I didn’t find out too much new stuff about Henson but it was great to just look at all the muppets up close and hear lots of giggling among the exhibits visitors.
I spent lots of money today but I don’t feel too bad about it. I made a list of goals for the coming months yesterday and they included: Consuming more art/cultural content, fulfilling my need for a creative outlet, being more physically healthy and learning new things everyday. I’m pretty sure by walking (physical health✓) to the exhibit (art/culture consumption✓),reading more about cultural icons and their audiences (learning✓), and then writing about it when I got home (creative outlet✓) I have achieved quite a lot to feel good about today.
Finally, things I’ve discovered today:
- Seattle has more than 500 houseboats- more than anywhere else in U.S. I saw lots of these on my walk – tons
- Seattle’s nickname The Emerald City is due to the city itself and the surrounding area being covered in greenery. It’s pretty obvious, but I hadn’t heard it’s nickname much outside of the U.S. and hadn’t really thought about it. All this greenery is visible on the flight over – super cool stuff.
I learnt some more stuff about Fremont too, the area I’m staying in, but I’ll save that for when I’ve given my folks a little tour perhaps.
The Ever-loving Abigail