I know Pike Place seems like a total tourist destination, and it is, but I just can’t help myself, I love going there. Heaps of food stalls, great street musicians and fantastic people-watching (folks in Seattle dress weird and love tattoos and piercings). What more do you need? Don’t skip this place. If you must skip something, skip the Space Needle. It’s fucking boring and they charge you $18 bucks! If you insist on an amazing view, go to the Bank of America Tower instead. It’s a quarter of the price, almost twice the height of the Space Needle and has the best view in Seattle.
Eugene, Oregon has an illustrious and storied history and I’m not talking about my epic college career. Eugene is where Animal House was filmed, The Blues Brothers concept was solidified and the birthplace of a tiny little running shoe company you may have heard of, NIKE, of course! With these credentials, it shouldn’t be surprising that Eugene has been a hotbed of musical activity, an area that has more great restaurants in its small city than many places twice its size (Houston, I’m talking to you!) and a serious sports town that has earned the moniker “Track Town, USA”. Prefontaine, anybody?
This is a public service announcement: Voodoo Doughnuts will put you in a sugar coma. Seriously. These are the most spectacular doughnuts that have graced my palate in this millenium. If you are anywhere near Portland or Eugene, Oregon, I will not speak to you again if you don’t go to Voodoo Doughnuts and consume upwards of 2,000 calories. Okay, maybe that sounds a bit harsh, but it’s true. My top two choices at this elegant establishment are the Bacon Maple Bar (Yes a maple bar with two strips of bacon on it) and the Old Dirty Bastard (Oreo’s on a doughnut!!!).
I’m sure you’ve heard of the maid cafes in Japan. But did you know they also have cat cafes? Yes, Japanese people and some American tourists (I’m not naming names here) like to go to cafes where they can feed, pet and play with cats. Now, I’m talking normal stuff here. Not some bizarro otaku, anime, cat-woman fantasies. These are adorable cats. Fancy-ass cats like purebred Russian Blues and Siamese and what-not, but normal cats nevertheless.
Tickets purchased. Bag packed. Stomach empty. I was ready to eat Lithuanian food, hang out with old friends and speak Lithuanian to anyone willing to listen, including some French tourists who I mistakenly assumed were Lithuanian. All was right when they heard me say “Frank Zappa” as they too were on a quest to find the Frank Zappa bust in Vilnius. What better symbol of freedom and democracy than a bust of the late, great Frank Zappa?