23 April 2005
First adventure of the day was to head for Pike Place Market, which isone of the high points of the Seattle experience. It's an old farmersmarket on the waterfront, lovingly restored several years ago, losingnone of its original charm or joy. It really is a triumph, deservingto be held aloft as a model for all other cities in the country. Freshfish is a big part of the appeal, but the flower stalls are gloriousand this time of year there were rakes of fresh spring produce. It wasuplifting to just walk through the place. Bugger Tesco.
Within the market building is 'Athenea', another pin on my map, arestaurant/diner which has been there, they claim, since 1909, makingits menu the North American equivalent of the Magna Carta. Said menu includes wonderful breakfast items such as Kippers and Kedgeree, which are becoming a rare find in this country. Or any country for that matter.Smasher came with me and we chowed down, enjoying the fabulous view over Puget Sound which in some way served to take the edge off this morning's rather disorientating news that the video package for Europe currently stands 20% over budget. Regular readers will know that I finally got the European lighting system settled and paid for whilst we were in Denver, and the staging was sorted a couple of weeks ago.Regarding video, right now I can't begin to imagine how we are going to make the numbers work, but am putting off thinking about it untiltomorrow when I am sure many long and intense conversations will take place. It's ironic how often friends and colleagues will mention how huge the budgets must be on a tour of this scale and indeed they'd be right, but somehow, whether you're designing a club tour or stadium tour, the budgets initially never seem to be quite big enough.Experience is a great educator though, and in 25 years I have neverdesigned a tour that didn't eventually get moulded into financialshape, so I know we'll figure it out. It's just one of the rather lessfun parts of the process.
Come the evening Smasher announced he was off to see a band composed of one-legged midgets who play for a while and then wrestle (apparently).Not 100% sure of how to respond to that.