by Michael Sarko
– The Capitol Hill Times –
There are a lot of ways to do Thanksgiving. You can do the tried-and-true roasting of an ornery bird indigenous to this equally ornery land of ours and invite your loved ones to help you put it in the past tense. You can, through mad science and determination, imitate said bird with soy or wheat protein and vegetable gravy for the benefit of those with a meatless diet. You can also skip the whole song and dance, opting for foreign cuisine, a politically motivated hunger strike, or maybe some other activity that has the audacity to not make food the central purpose of a national observance. You can do all these things and more in Capitol Hill this Thanksgiving.
For the utterly lazy or those simply not gifted in the culinary arts, a few local restaurants are opening their doors on Turkey Day to do all the cooking, all the cleaning up, and all of the profiting. Chief among them, Julia’s on Broadway will be serving an all-you-can-eat tryptophan coma starting at 2 p.m. and ending at 10 p.m. Adults get an endless plate for $17.95 and kids get the same for $7.95.
Fun fact: In 1795, President George Washington decreed that Thanksgiving be celebrated on Feb. 19. He also used the phrase “deeply penetrated” in the opening remarks of his Thanksgiving proclamation, so it’s no wonder we didn’t continue to respect his wishes.
As an alternative to filling your own belly, you can help those less fortunate on Thanksgiving by taking advantage of volunteer opportunities. All Seattle food banks will be closed on Nov. 22 but many shelters will be open. Operation Nightwatch on 14th Avenue South will have a hot meal at 9 p.m. and shelter beds for men and women. Even if you can’t make it on Thanksgiving proper, the organization always needs volunteers and is happy to train newcomers. Throughout the holiday season, the Millionair Club Charity is seeking food donations to prepare traditional meals for those in need. If you miss Thanksgiving, they will still glad to accept a bit of the city’s abundance for all those other holidays on the calendar over the next month.
Plymouth Pillars Park is also hosting the fourth annual 100-meal event for homeless and extremely low-income individuals on Thanksgiving afternoon. The plates come out at 1 p.m. care of the Melrose Project coalition of local businesses. Visitors will also receive vouchers for new winter coats to battle what has already been a pretty brisk season.
Also, don’t forget to descend the slick climes of Pike/Pine on Friday to inaugurate another year on the Holiday Carousel at Westlake Park. Hop onto a brightly painted horse and watch the nightmarish fracas of Black Friday shoppers enter a commercial frenzy in downtown’s retail core. It’s tradition, after all.