Well, if you have not worked it out from my title, I am a big fan of Frasier. Not a crazy obsessive fan I hasten to add, but myself and Sacha do have the box sets and each episode has been viewed on more than one occasion.
So for the unacquainted, what is it about? In a nutshell Frasier is a US sitcom set in the city of Seattle which is based around the escapades of two pretentious yet well meaning brothers, Frasier and Niles Crane, their down to earth father, Marty, plus several other cast members including a dog named Eddie. Most evenings before bed I enjoy tuning in to an episode or two, where their peculiar and competitive obsessions for status recognition lead to shenanigans with hilarity and a hint of mirth. So now that we are in Washington it would seem to be a missed opportunity if we did not go and explore the Emerald City for ourselves and discover Frasier’s territory.
This is Frasier’s Territory Isn’t It?
OK well I suppose it is time to break the news. Stop reading this post if you wish to continue viewing the show in blissful ignorance, but the truth is Frasier was not filmed in Seattle. In fact there was only one episode which was filmed in Seattle, which was called ‘The 1000th Show.’ Even on this show the only location I could really pinpoint would be the Space Needle. So facing facts this means;
- There is no Cafe Nervosa
- KACL is not a radio station in Seattle
- There is no Elliot Bay Towers where Fraiser’s apartment was based
- And all the people in the show are actors pretending to be real people, I want to cry.
Actually when you come to think about it, there are very few Seattle locations referenced throughout the eleven seasons. There is in fact very little time that the show is not set in an indoor location, and when there was an outdoor location it was always in a nondescript location generally filmed in Los Angeles, not as I had believed, Seattle. I truly hope I can watch the show again and not feel that the lies taint my enjoyment.
So, what does Seattle have then? “An excellent symphony and world-class dining” and oh my god I am quoting Niles Crane, enough already.
The World-Class Dining
Actually I cannot vouch for the symphony but our experience of the cuisine was indeed first Class. We started our culinary adventure on 4th Avenue at a mediterranean restaurant called Lola, where we stopped for brunch. The food was great. Sacha ordered lamb kebabs and I beef kebabs. There could not have been a better start to our visit.
Later that day we booked ourselves into a seaside restaurant set on pier 56 called Elliot’s Oyster Bar. Sacha, who is crazy about Oysters, was in her element as she ordered six oysters for us to share, and then proceeded to order another six from the amused waiter. For me, however, the highlight was the main courses. Sacha had crab marinated in sweet chilli sauce and I had blackened rockfish cooked in creamed beluga lentils. It may be some of the best food I have ever tasted. Definitely put this place in your itinerary for a visit to Seattle.
Pike Place Market
When most people think about this place they probably imagine the fish sellers flinging the customers orders to each other across the market place. I didn’t in fact see this, I think to initiate the process people have to actually buy the fish rather then stand around with cameras just waiting for the action to unfold. I wasn’t willing to purchase or wait, but the sellers chanting to the customers was entertaining and gave the market a great atmosphere.
There are in fact a lot of stalls at the market place and you can easily pass a couple of hours wondering these. Most entertaining to us was a man who was charging $1 to sit with people’s dogs while they entered some of the shops and stalls. The man, who I may be unfairly guessing was out of employment but was at least was showing some slight entrepreneurship to get his dollar, had the dog on his lap, and it couldn’t have looked any happier to have a new friend.
The Space Needle
Pictures describe the views from this much better than words. We went up at about 4pm and it was not at all crowded with tourists. At the top you could take in the view from inside the observation deck or walk on the platform outside to get a better picture. The platform gives you a chance to see the city from all angles, as you see the yachts at the Elliot Bay harbour, downtown Seattle and I could just make the outline of Mount Rainer which stands large over the city.
Good Night Seattle…
So obviously we didn’t go and discover Fraiser and Niles’ haunts, but what we did discover Seattle. We saw the markets, the views and the homeless and the wealthy. It is a great city to visit and as Fraisier says, ” we love ya.”