I am now in the land of poutine and maple syrup, although not in a part of it that is particularly known for either. Yes, I am in Vancouver, B.C., where the weather continues pretty cold, which is a pity, as Vancouver has some beautiful beaches and a fantastic forest park that I imagine must be lovely to stroll through on a warm, sunny day.
I'll give a fuller description of my time in Canada once I've spent more time here, but I feel I gave Portland and Seattle short shrift in my last post, so I will attempt to rectify that now. Unfortunately, I was too busy having fun in Portland to take very many pictures - in fact I only took one:
And even on that one I managed to fuck up the depth of field. So it goes.
Seattle was a pretty nice place, though. I was staying in the neighbourhoud of Fremont, which seems to be a bit of a hip, artsy area. They've got some nice sculptures, including a rocket, Lenin, and, under a bridge, a troll devouring a VW Beetle.
Seattle also has a highly enjoyable pop culture museum, covering SF, fantasy, and music - I had a bit of nerdy fun looking at props from famous movies, including the sword of Inigo Montoya(!).
Oh, and an exhibition of tall buildings from around the world constructed out of Lego.
In general, Seattle and Portland share a feeling of catering to fairly niche tastes. By that I don't mean that they have limited appeal, I mean that there is something or someone there for every possible interest. Phil described Portland as a place that was very big on locally produced products, and as a place that had someone producing virtually everything you could want. Also big on taxidermy, apparently.
People up here seem to take things to extremes - witness the doughnuts photographed above. In Seattle I visited a place that was really invested in cupcakes, and a "tea bar" that was probably way more obssessive about tea than any English person ever has been. It's nice though - I like seeing people who are passionate about things, even if those things are kind of weird.