Hello From Seattle!
The photograph above shows cars driving across a floating bridge on I-90. Though it’s unclear to me which floating bridge this is, as there are several near Seattle — one of which sank in 1990, fifty years after it was constructed — it’s hard to feel alone when looking at this photograph, when wondering if the bridge these folks crossed on June 5th, 1959 is the same bridge I crossed at the wheel of a hefty moving truck earlier this month, or if those driving westward were experiencing the same emotions I did while crossing: the impatience in being only a few miles from my new home; the relief in knowing that I’d be out of that metal box within minutes; the anxiety of the unknown — seeds are to be planted here, however deep, however shallow, at whatever depth is required for their roots to take hold.
Some say that anxiety is a combination of excitement and nervousness. And that’s apt. Tangled are the two, and natural is their product, particularly when transplanting what had sprouted elsewhere.
As alluded to in this blog post, there’s a great sense of home still in Grand Rapids, Michigan, it being where all of this began. But I’m anxious to settle in here, to embrace the transplantation process and uncover opportunities, to adopt Seattle as my home, like I hope so many from that 1959 photo did.
Part of that settling in process, I believe, involves the development of favorites, the likes of which can take several different forms. Maybe you find a favorite nook within your apartment, something cozy, something cool. Maybe it’s a vibrant shop in your neighborhood, or a lush, open park. Or maybe it’s a vast rooftop deck somewhere across town with a stunning panoramic view.
It can take time to cultivate these things, these places. As I continue to explore this beautiful city, there will certainly be more favorites to come, but I want to share with you two places I’ve quickly come to love in Seattle.
Before I jump in, I do want to assure you that, as we continue to settle in here, Orson’s Publishing will be returning to its somewhat-regularly scheduled programming shortly (yay!). Expect more activity, generally, but particularly on the blog, and on social media. Stay tuned!
Favorite Coffee Shop
C & P Coffee
5612 California Ave SW,
Seattle, WA 98136
Walk Seattle for just a couple hours and you’ll quickly discover that you can basically get coffee anywhere. If there isn’t a Starbucks on the corner, there’s probably an Uptown Espresso, Tully’s, or a Top Pot nearby.
I hold nothing against these powerhouses. I just prefer distributing my money among the “little guys”.
Because the “little guys” don’t adhere to an IKEA catalog when it comes to providing your back comfort; because the rewards program the “little guys” instill is that of the “thoughtful questions and attentive listening” mold; because the others, like you, aren’t visiting the “little guys” so that they can grab and go — no, they plan on staying a while.
When you can basically get coffee anywhere, you return to a specific coffee shop because of its atmosphere. And C & P Coffee in West Seattle knocks atmosphere out of the park: there’s a front patio (which overlooks the street) and a back patio (tables on grass, under the shade of trees); the interior is cozy and dim until the sun arcs just right, the wood sturdy and old; and the staff is the friendliest I’ve encountered in Seattle.
Just the other day, I visited so that I could chip away at some backlogged work, and I walked in on the monthly band practice of five talented gentlemen. Up on the platform they sat, and played (banjo, guitars, mandolin), and talked. About the songs, sure, but also about their cars, about their families, and about memories made together. They were old friends, you see, and they were right at home here.
The Elliot Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
I’ll admit it: I’m a sucker for bookstores. I can easily spend hours moseying the aisles, reading back covers, and going back and forth for far too long on what books — or, more importantly, how many books — to buy.
I’m that bear.
And The Elliot Bay Book Company is the perfect place for a bear like that to get lost. While the selection there is top-notch (they really do cast their nets far and wide when it comes to genre), it’s their placement of books that I excitedly honed in on. Upon entry on my last visit, I was greeted by a section dedicated solely to Pacific Northwest authors (one section in particular I can’t wait to sink my teeth further into). I walked a dozen feet or so, through the central aisle, and I found a comprehensive science fiction section. Alongside that was a stand full of literary journals & magazines. A bit further up the central aisle and you have collections of literary essays. Further, a towering display of photography and film books…
Based off of my bookstore experiences, this isn’t normal — to feature at the front of the store, so near best sellers and new releases, 1) local, 2) science fiction, and 3) literary journals. I loved seeing that. And I loved how the arrangement continued to unfold, because, inherent in that is the idea that The Elliot Bay Book Company isn’t trying to be anything other than what it is: a bookstore for those that care deeply about reading.
Again, I’m that bear.
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