Tales From Road: Seattle
Seattle is your day three camping outfit. Cozy, crusty in spots, but comforting and accomplished. It’s the last clean tee-shirt layered under a hoodie that smells of campfire and fresh dirt. Over all, it’s not matching or doing a thing for your figure. Yes, I found Seattle, Washington to be just like that.
Carrie Brownstein lowered the clouds on my expectations for the city. I gleefully began her memoir, Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl, on my flight from LA. An apropos counterpart to my dissention into the cloudy area, it made me giggle, pensive, and feel a bit weird just like I did when I walked off the plane and into the land of the outdoorsman and the moody.
I had a moment to reflect in my brand new trench in the cool damp air. “This weather isn’t that bad, and I’m making function fashionable,” I thought, as I wrapped my coat and tied my belt in the perfect quick knot like a pro (don’t worry, this it what I trained for).
My tour guide and Seattle’s newest local, picked me up with a smoothie. What service. Our plans had been a mix of health & fitness and gluttony & debauchery. Clearly, close friends. Leaving the airport we were ushered along the 5, a familiar west coast interstate. Here we road along side of a herd of Subaru. I had always wondered how this car stayed in business (and also the plural, Subarus or Subari). Not to your surprise, but the Subaru is practically an endangered species among the Hollywood gridlock. Here it’s the apparent mascot of the Pacific Northwest.
My host’s apartment was in the colorful capital hill area. I say colorful because there is a mix of homeless, fitness, whole foods, sloppy eats, and record stores. Record stores are alive and well in Seattle. This I could infer from Carrie Brownsein’s tales, yet it was still shocking to see with my own eyes. I thought the only market for vinyl was on ebay. Correction: ebay and every other block in Seattle. We followed up our smoothie with a workout at a local studio where there were at least 20 people available for a noon sweat session. With our health and fitness accomplished, we set out to fufill the gluttony portion of our day.
Walking from Capital Hill to the famed Pike Place market was a breeze. Seattle is a walking city. The sights and culture are easily assessable on foot. I quickly noticed people had a lot of holes in their faces. I mean, a surprising amount of facial jewelry on nearly every passerby.
Pike Place is Seattle’s answer to the Venice Beach Boardwalk. Vendors, tourists, and restaurants crowded in one area with rumored gimmiks and novelty items. We tasted wine, purchased the best smoked salmon on earth, and tasted oysters. With our bounty of fish, wine, and cheese we caught an Uber back to indulge.
After brunching the next day with our salmon friends, we dissected the Seattle crowd on a brewery crawl of our own. There are a lot of people trying to not be attractive and an alarming amount of babies and dogs for an establishment exclusively serving beer. Young professionals all wore plaid, puffy vests, and casual sneakers. With more beards than I could count on the drinking bleachers, we retreated to an outdoor heat lamp next to a clique who was less than enthusiastic. It’s obvious that the biggest complement you can give someone in Seattle is proclaiming his/her counter culture.
Between our brew stops we found ourselves the recreational marijuana experience. This shop was surprisingly open late, clocking out at 12am. Free smells were not allowed as all goods came prepackaged. The budtender, with several holes in her face, was cordial yet less friendly than her brewmaster counterparts.
To beat the munchies before dinner we split a Chicago-style meatball sub three ways at our next brewery, where we played a couple games of pool and thumped to a DJ. Despite it’s latitude, Seattle has famous Mexican food. Dinner was on a blurry side of decadence and delicious nonetheless.
Returning to Capital Hill, we indulged the nighttime view of the space needle. Towering cranes redressing the skyline, decorated in lights masked their functionality.
Walkablity, neighborhood culture, nearby wine country (Washington is known for their Shiraz), mild weather, and endless nature excursions, if you can get past the apathetic and edgy rudeness of strangers, Seattle offers much more than just rain. Put it on the list.