Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pigs at the Bacon Mansion

Why are there Pigs seemingly everywhere in town and at the Bacon Mansion?
This is a questions I get asked often at the breakfast table. My first answer is often answered by one of the other guests at the table with regards to the pigs at the Bacon Mansion with a simple one word. "Bacon" and they get it.
On a side, we do not serve bacon at the Bacon Mansion and I have taken some raps for it in some of my reviews. When we started in 1993 we felt that we should serve a all you can eat heart healthy breakfast and bacon is not on that menu. I do occasionally have a BLT, so it is not that I don't really like bacon, I actually really like and the last thing I need is a plate of left over bacon every morning.
Also the Mansion is named after Cecil Henry Bacon whom had the home built in 1909. It is only right to honor the person who built the house and use his name and besides "bacon" is great alphabetically as it even comes before "bed".
Anyhow, in 1993 some neighbor friends of us gave a concrete pig that is at the front door to great you upon arrival. This unfortunately is the second generation as the first one grew legs and walked away. The current model is a bit heavier, so less likely to do the same. Anyhow, over the years a few other people have sent some and more importantly when I have traveled, it has been one of the things that I have kept my eye out for as a souvenir. Pigs as art (not piggy banks) are actually quite rare when compared to some other animals. The prior owner collected elephants and had them all over the place. He left two that are the pedestals for the glass top living room coffee table. Have tried to pick one up on many of the trips I have been fortunate enough to take. The little children or grandchildren of guests often get a kick out of them. I even have a couple outside on the the back patio to keep watch over things. I don't really need many more, but if I see one that is of particular interest, I will pick it up. None of them are really very valuable, but do have a sentimental value to me for where I acquired them. Unfortunately, the tiny art glass one from Moreno/Venice Italy and hand painted wood one from Guadalajara decided they would look better in someone else's house and were forced into adoption without my knowledge. Definitely a very rare occurrence over the 16 plus years.
As for all the pigs around town, that is a different story. Seattle in the late 1990's decided to do what many other cities around the world have done and have an art project called "???-on-Parade. We chose a pig because of the big bronze piggy bank at the entrance of Pike Place Market. The Pigs-on-Parade at the end of the exhibit all over town were auctioned off in support of the Pike Place Market Foundation. This foundation not only supports the upkeep of the Market but also has some senior housing and low income and homeless services. Different individuals and businesses bid on them and placed them on a permanent basis in their yards or sidewalks. There is no pork industry in Washington. You would think that next time it would be a "Dungeoness Crab" ,"Puget Sound Octopus", "Steel head Salmon" or maybe "Orcas on Parade" but they actually did "Pigs on Parade" again a year or two ago so now there are even more of them around town. I guess pigs are easier than my other suggestions.
So that's the story of the pigs at the Bacon Mansion and all over town.
On a "Bacon" side note:
There is apparently a company in Seattle that makes all sorts of bacon food products including something called "Baconnaise". They received some recent national press. It is not us. I have had a couple of calls asking us if it is us. When you google "Bacon Seattle" we are going to come up.(I should hope as I have worked hard to insure it) I suggested to one gentleman to google "Baconnaise Seattle" and maybe that would give him his answer and he nearly yelled at be saying that if he didn't know the name of the company how is that going to get him there. Google???
Hope you found this a least a little interesting.
Daryl