A friend who frequents the Queen Anne Farmers Market recently Tweeted (what? you aren't on Twitter?) about a mobile knife shop and sharpening service that sets up there on Thursdays when the market takes place. This tidbit (Tweetbit?) made me think of two things. One was that if I had my knife sharpened it would ruin my blog. The other was, "maybe if it was free." Which of course led me to think of all the free things Seattle has to offer that make for a nice life. When I'm not daydreaming about how I'll spend my future lottery winnings my thought processes follow a fairly logical progression.
The first free thing I'm going to mention doesn't necessarily top my list of free stuff, but it's time sensitive. Starbucks, love 'em or hate 'em, is running a promotion called We-Love-You Fridays. They're showing their love by offering free tickets to local events and venues on Fridays. Show up after 2:00 pm this Friday, May 28th, to get a free ticket to one of the Seattle International Film Festival films. Next Friday, June 4th, you can get a voucher for free weekday admission to the Seattle Art Museum. They're running the promotion through June 18th and of course there are terms and details you'll want to read about on the website. The best part? You don't have to buy anything to get a voucher. Yes, we all know they're counting on your sense of guilt to prompt you to open your wallet anyway, but show a little spine. It's the dull knife way.
Next up: FreecycleSeattle. Let me tell you, my life would not be what it is without freecycle.org. This global movement of people giving and taking free stuff from each other not only keeps trash out of landfills, but allows me to do nice little things like drink wine out of real wine glasses made out of real glass instead of plastic kiddie drinking cups. Score! Not everything given away is little - about a year ago I saw a listing for a working organ. Really. Just today, someone listed a refrigerator, but what really tempted me was a working 8-Track player with dozens of tapes. I mean, 8-Tracks were on the way out when I was in high school and that was so long ago that most banks didn't have ATM machines. *gasp* Anyway, it would be owning a piece of history, almost like a Victrola, but I don't have a stereo receiver, or any more room to store stuff I might use "some day," so I passed it up.
This post is getting long, and as most Internet savvy pundits will say, the average reader has a short attention span. Hence the popularity of Twitter, right? So I'll wrap it up by saying you can get a free ride in a wooden sailboat from The Center for Wooden Boats on Sundays. You can also get a free canoe ride with a Master Haida carver. You can visit the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park in Pioneer Square for free. Calling it a "park" is a stretch, but you can see a gold panning demo and take a free, 80 minute walking tour of Pioneer Square, among other things.
Lastly, hurry and visit the very, very lovely Volunteer Park Conservatory, "a Victorian greenhouse modeled on London's Crystal Palace" filled with acres of beautiful and interesting plants. There is no admission fee, but the Conservatory is threatened by City of Seattle budget cuts and could possibly close forever. I understand budget cuts. My own budget is shredded like a 90's teen clothing experiment gone really bad, but this is a wonderful place for Seattleites to appreciate the beauty of the natural world and gain some peace, for free, in an increasingly dismal world.