Chocolate – How Good Can it Get?
Here are some photos of Chocolopolis, the ultimate in chocolate shops, located on Seattle’s Queen Anne Hill. Every single person who worked there knew their chocolate. I had no idea that chocolate had surpassed even coffee in the degree to which it’s being evaluated, cultivated, and made into an absolute art form. The confections look like jewelry and the bars are wrapped in museum-quality art. And Chocolopolis is the mecca. The staff holds tastings once a week. Yesterday, when Richard and I were there, they were holding a public tasting for Dandelion Chocolate, a new gourmet brand.
The chocolate-covered cacao beans were ten times better than chocolate-covered coffee beans. Everyone needs to carry them around in their pockets.
The store owner says chocolatiers generally produce either confections (individual candies) or bars.
We had cups of the most flavorful hot chocolate on the face of the earth. I could not believe how intense and rich a cup of chocolate could be. It took half an hour to drink it.
The Northwest Chocolate Festival is October 22-23, but I don’t think I’ll be over that cup of hot chocolate by then. It’s at Seattle Center.
While drinking this ultra-fabulous chocolate grog, Richard and I had an emotional discussion about global warming. When you really let yourself think about it, this topic gets you crazy, even in Chocolopolis. The spectre of rapidly accelerating global warming is, as Richard says, the most critical of our problems – way beyond the comedic Republican presidential slate, the state of the economy, wars, or anything else.
This poor guy is being cultivated for November 24th. By my own dear brother, no less. You are looking at a doomed animal. Fortunately, turkeys go through their whole lives without a consciousness of Thanksgiving.
For those with achy knees and hips, it is good to know that St. Helena Hospital in the lovely Napa Valley of California, is pioneering less invasive ways to replace arthritic joints. They use robotic instruments from several manufacturers, depending on the procedure. The effort is headed by Dr. Thomas Coon, seen below speaking. Technology includes bluetooth data transfer from one machine to another. And you can put the data chip from an MRI into the machine being demonstrated below. The robot actually prevents the surgeon from burring off defective bone outside the affected area (aka coloring coutside of the lines).
The surgery candidates (partial knees and full hips) are often in and out of the hospital in one day. Incisions are small. Pain is greatly reduced. See you soon, genius team!
The Art Walk
On the first Thursday of each month, there is an evening Gallery Walk in a trendy part of downtown Seattle. Dozens of artists have studios and lofts here and you can walk from one to another. Most of the work is for sale.
This week, Susan and I went trekking around. Although we liked a lot of the art, we were disappointed by the inadequate refreshments. The economic downturn is everywhere.
The work below is by artist Patte Loper.
Here are some other pieces I liked, from various artists on the Gallery Walk.
Justin Gibbons did this odd bird and other strange animals. He is an artist with a background in scientific illustration.
Below, is a portrait of Shawn, who we met on The Walk. His unusual ear decor, according to Susan, has some distasteful sexual application that I don’t need to know about. There is actual ear material going all around the huge ring. He said he started with a small opening and increased it gradually. Yes, initially it hurt quite a bit, he says, but it’s okay now.
After the Gallery Walk, Susan cleverly located the only restaurant in Chinatown that is not Asian. We each had a fabulous slice of pizza. World Pizza, 672 S. King Street.