Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Fun in Redmond: Delicious Food, Great Friends, and Microsoft at Night

The Greater Seattle area is kind of daunting to explore because things can be far depending on your starting point and the near-constant traffic. We have friends who live in the far east side, and it takes us around 45 minutes to meet them at their home. It's hard to meet in downtown Seattle because we would have to figure out parking, and our friends would still have a long trek back to their home. We found out this weekend that Redmond might be a good mid-way meetup place for us!

We met up for a casual dinner at Pomegranate Bistro and tried to think of fun late night things to do in Redmond since our respective homes were too far. Since none of us were into the bar or club scenes, and coffee shops were closed, we finally decided on touring our friends' office at the Microsoft headquarters. I think after the word got out about the cool office features at the Google offices, tech company office tours are now a valid "fun" activity! Having worked at Epic, I was curious how Microsoft would compare.

Pomegranate Bistro - Crispy Calamari and Artichokes with Citrus Aioli and
Northwest Cheese Platter

Pomegranate Bistro - Spinach Salad with Grapefruit, Pomegranate, and Hazelnuts

Pomegranate Bistro - Flank Steak Firebread with Horseradish Cream

First off, the campus is more like a town. Sure, it's not whimsical like Epic, but it's functional. There are temporary housing options on campus, campus shuttles that you can schedule for pick-up at the entrances of buildings, on campus clinic and vision care, and a plethora of restaurants (including 2 stories of food vendors in the cafeteria and a buffet restaurant). Our favorite "decorative" piece were the hydroponic garden pods throughout the buildings, which was apparently a side project started in the office "Garage" by an employee that was then implemented throughout HQ. The Garage is basically lab spaces throughout the campus where employees can pursue their own projects using awesome tools like 3D printers and laser cutters. That's really the coolest part of the campus!

Microsoft HQ at Night

Hydroponics Pod
Microstang Featured on Discovery’s Velocity Network during the Inside West Coast Customs show


Mike also got really excited about taking pictures with the Halo characters in the Xbox One building.


We found other employees hanging out in conference rooms playing computer games, chatting with friends, and reading in the library so we figure that this would be a great spot to meet up and play board games next time we want to catch up!

Thanks, M, B, and Y for a fantastic evening!

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