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Tuesday, May 19, 2009
At the Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co.
I spent a rainy day-off in Seattle last month. On the way out of town I wound up at the Green Space Travel Supply Co. A description, from the store's website:
GOING UP? Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co. is the finest purveyor of necessities for adventurers of all varieties, gifts both fine and amusing, objects of distraction, curios and miscellany. We carry a large selection of items from the brands you trust.
Greenwood is, of course, the Seattle chapter of 826 National, the nonprofit organization founded by authors Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida. The after-school program/kooky gift shop chain now has seven locations around the country, each with its own unique theme. Given the Emerald City's most recognizable icon, it's only natural that its chapter has a shop devoted to outer space gear.
Greenwood isn't quite as large or as filled with irony-drenched brick-a-brack as the org's flagship pirate shop in San Francisco. There's no fish theater or booby traps involving mopheads but there is an "atomic teleporter" that whisks kids from the gift shop into the classroom. The gal working the cash register offered to let me try it out but I didn't want to explain myself to the dozen-or-so future NYT Best Seller List authors on the other side of the wall.
Among the items for sale in the gift shop: black holes, rocket fuel, dark matter, terraforming starter kits, thermographic dispenser nozzles and ocular vulnerability reduction systems (aka goggles). I bought a bumper sticker advising all would-be space travelers that "a lack of preparation is a recipe for mishaps."
I'll keep this in mind the next time I get the opportunity to spend an afternoon in zero gravity.