Since the knee has been bothering me lately, I’ve been making more of an effort to go for walks. The University of Washington’s Burke Museum, which focuses on natural history and culture, has a special exhibit on … Coffee. In Seattle. Of course.
Cynicism aside, it was an interesting overview of the history of how coffee spread outside of Ethiopia with a focus on the present day. Lots of interesting facts, like how one result of the Stamp Tax and the Boston Tea Party was that coffee became “Patriotic”. There were live coffee plants, information and videos on processing and growing techniques, coffee-producing vs coffee-consuming parts of the world, and so on. I was faintly surprised to learn that Scandinavian Europe drinks much more coffee per capita than the US, but then, they’re further north than even Washington is…
I also checked out The Life and Times of Washington State. Less of it was actually familiar to me – either I hadn’t known, or had totally spaced, that much of Washington was once underwater. I’d also forgotten that dinosaur fossils have been found in Washington.
The $9.50 entry fee seemed a bit steep, but it’s free on the first Thursday of every month.
Walking-wise, the museum is not so bad. It’s a pretty good size, and if you don’t find it enough walking on its own there is the entire rest of the UW Seattle campus :) In my particular case, however, the plethora of stairs were an issue. I was there on a day when my bad knee hurt enough going up stairs from the parking lot to the entrance that going down stairs to the other exhibits was prohibitive. The elevator was hidden in the back, so I ended up just sticking to the top floor of the museum. I’ll go back when my knee is happier with stairs or when I feel up to finding the elevator.
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