Let me start off by saying Seattle may be my Utopia. Albeit the least diverse place on earth, the city’s energy is inspiring, positive and unpretentious. It’s where folks stuck in the 90s live to celebrate thought, culture, music, eating and life. Not to mention it’s probably the cleanest, healthiest and most beautiful city I’ve ever been in. A New Yorker for life, I was impressed by this place and you may find me in the 206 again one day…
After landing, I went to the Smith Tower for a meeting. Apparently, it was once the tallest building in the West and the city’s oldest skyscraper…which makes sense because it smelled really old and had old-fashioned elevator operators. We went up to the observation deck to get 360° views of the city. Awesome…great way to start the vacation!
Had business lunch at Metropolitan Grill. A traditional steakhouse with photos of celebrities on the wall. Favorite part was when the bus boy called me “my lady.”
While I was at my meeting, Vanessa went to a cured meat place she heard of called Sulumi. She said they make fresh mozzarella while you wait. She only ate half the sandwich…the 2nd half met its demise later that night.
After my lunch, Vanessa and I met at Sluggers …a sports bar near the stadiums. My girl loves her some baseball so we had a drink while the Giants game finished. This is 4pm.
Off to Brave Horse Tavern another sports bar…recommended by my vendors. Huge place with homemade pretzels and tasty mustard dipping sauces. Here we meet Ryan-Seattle and Jose who invite us over to play shuffleboard. It was my first time playing and Ryan and I beat Jose and Vanessa…go me! Alcohol consumption continues…and not the last we see of Ryan.
The four of us grab a cab to get dinner at Shiro’s a small sushi spot recommended by a co-worker. It reminded me of Yama on Irving in NYC. The place is fully booked so they tell us to come back at 9pm. Now there’s a “sun break” which is when the sun peaks out for a bit…these moments are cherished by Seattlites.
Ryan and Jose take us to Bathtub Gin & Co. a speakeasy nearby to kill time before dinner. More drinking…more talking. Learn both Ryan and Jose are half Mexican. The cute bartender made us fun red shots and at one point I had to take my shoes off to prove my height to other strangers in the bar. Nothing new.
After dinner at Shiro’s, the four of us head over to Ryan’s “studio” to continue to drink and enjoy ‘refreshments.’ Here is where we experience our first time warp. He had VHS tapes, a VCR, cassette tapes and boom box. He played Bone, Thugs and Harmony and we watched skateboarding videos.
Ryan-NY and Liz finally arrive and meet us at Ryan’s studio. We all head over to Lava Lounge where they played 80s music. Folks from goth to grunge were hanging out there. Time warp #2.
Finally head back to the Hyatt Olive 8 which is apparently where the Top Chef contestants stayed. It’s new, clean, luxurious…and we got a great rate. We liked it a lot. Thanks for finding Ryan-NY!
Today is tourist day. Vanessa, Liz, Ryan-NY and I walk over to Portage Bay Café for breakfast…another recommendation from a co-worker. It was so packed in there I forgot it was a workday. But I’m reminded that many Seattlites do not have traditional 9-5s….and by the time we got there it was almost lunchtime.
We walk over to the Space Needle and ride the high-speed elevator to the observation deck. We see the snow covered Cascade and Olympic mountains in the distance and I’m in awe of how beautiful and majestic this city is…even on a nasty day. It was too cold to stay very long so we hop in a cab to Pioneer Square.
We decide to take Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour, a walking tour of Seattle’s buried city. The short version: Original Seattle was built too close to the water and kept getting flooded. So they built retaining walls and raised the street level one story higher. You can go below ground to see the old facades and sidewalks. Felt like we were in the bowels of the NYC subway…not a nice place to be but interesting.
After a short rest at the hotel, Vanessa and I have a cocktail at Urbane the Hyatt’s lobby bar while we wait for Liz and Ryan-NY. This is where we’re assaulted. A random woman elbows everyone at the bar as she storms out the door. We all reacted with confused faces but no one stopped her or did anything. If that were NYC, things would have ended differently for her.
Off to Matt’s in the Market for dinner. Fancy food but not so fancy décor located in an old building in the Pike Place Market. They cook with fresh food from the market every day. We had the chef’s tasting which was absolutely delicious. I was the only one who liked the chicken liver…apparently a delicacy in Seattle. Ryan-NY said it tasted like vomit. The maple Crème Brule was to die for.
After dinner we head over to Vermillion Wine and Gallery to meet up with Ryan-NY’s family and friends. It was a bar/club in the back of an art gallery. More drinks, more great music from the 80s and 90s and another eclectic crowd of people. Here is where Vanessa meets Kyle and I meet Specs the DJ. We close this place down and each of us disperse separately with our cohorts to various parts of the city.
I end up at Specs’s house for refreshments. I learned that 30 or so people live in the house…artists, musicians, nomads… There’s a Casio keyboard hanging on the wall and a typewriter in the middle of the living room. Time warp #3. Some dudes come from another room and offer me chicken nuggets on a plate. No thanks :-) Here is where I meet the Pacific Northwest Advanced Yo-Yo Champion…a goth looking woman complete with pierced bridge, lips and dark black Mohawk-type hair. I say to her, “You can’t claim that title and not prove it!” I’ll show you the video some day.
For brunch, we meet Ryan-NY’s family at Manhattan Seattle, a restaurant situated in an old library. They even kept the card catalogue case. Bloody Mary’s were amaze and food was delish. I envied Ryan’s chicken and waffles. No carbs before 4pm!
We head down to Pike Place Fish Market to see the fish throwing show. The guys were super fun and friendly. One of the dudes scares Vanessa with a fake fish.
We go down to the waterfront to see the Seattle Great Wheel. It’s just a Ferris wheel so we didn’t go on plus it was raining pretty hard by this time.
We have drinks at a small restaurant/bar on the water called The Crab Pot. Another Bloody Mary and Ryan-NY ordered the crab cocktail. Yummy!!
Ryan-NY and Liz head back to the hotel while Vanessa and I meet up with Ryan-SEA at Lowell’s Restaurant on the top floor of the market. Great views of the waterfront. We enjoy a long sun break while drinking some more.
Vanessa and I leave Ryan-SEA and head over to Spur Gastropub to meet back up with Liz, Ryan-NY and his sister and brother-in-law. Food took forever but was worth the wait. They’re known for their burger….and we understand why. Definitely overpriced tho. Here we meet KC.
Ryan-NY and Liz head back to the hotel while Vanessa and I go to Ryan-SEA’s apartment. He played an album on an old-fashioned record player. Don’t ask who the artists were but they were from the 70s and he seemed to love them. Then he tells us, “New York City was cool like back in the 80s and 90s.” My response, “Once again, people keep proving my point.” Note: He had a beautiful Apple computer with no internet access or cable TV. Time warp #4.
While walking around attempting to find some place fun to go with Ryan-SEA, I had to do a NY “watch my ass as I walk away” when one of his friends tried to insult me. No, no, no….I am not getting into a verbal altercation on this trip! Left them standing on the corner with their mouths open.
So Van and I head over to Quinn’s Pub. Here I discover my favorite drink of all time…an espresso martini. Not much happened here. Van met up with Kyle. I met Canadians.
Van and I are on our own now. We head over to KC’s dispensary in Fremont, NW of the city. I was expecting a seedy place but it was a real business…clean, organized….and more MJ in more forms than I’ve ever seen.
We hang out under the Fremont Bridge but never saw the troll. We walk past a couple of Farmer’s Markets on our way to Bastille Café and Bar in Ballard. We shared another great burger and something called a Socco Galette…a chickpea pancake. Once again, happy with my meal.
Ballard is a suburb and unimpressive…however, it was a Sunday. We ride the public bus back to the city (no cabs around) to meet up with Ryan-Sea. He takes us to Oddfellow’s Café. Ryan had dinner while Van and I drank. Afterwards, I beg to go back to Quinn’s for the espresso martini. Here I meet Andrew.
The four of us walk over to Unicorn, an arcade/bar. Andrew and I chatted while Ryan and Vanessa played a buck shooting game. I fell in between two arcade games while Andrew stood there and stared at me. Last call was at 1:30am so we head back to Andrew’s place for a night cap. He also had no cable. We meet his beloved cat Izzy and we all have a heated debate about something I don’t remember. Andrew ended it all with the voice of reason. (Note: Ryan and Andrew both live alone and their apartments were impeccably clean for single men.)
After having delicious coffee at Bauhuas Books and Coffee (We sat in the big window on our computers enjoying their free WiFi,) we go back to Specs’ house so Vanessa can see what I was talking about. We meet sweet Jessica…another roommate. On the coffee table, there was a tube of fake blood, a bong they named Goldie Hawn, cachaca, horseradish, a baseball mit and a drawing of a flying bus….random!! Jessica asked if I wanted to type on the typewriter.
After I rest and Vanessa goes for a run, we meet up with KC at POCO Wine + Spirits. KC tells us that people say he talks like Seth Rogen…I can see it. But KC is just hilarious! The bartender injected into our conversation more than once and I didn’t mind it. I’m in Seattle damnit!
Truffle mac and cheese, pork sliders and two drinks each later, KC takes us to Kerry Park to see a great view of Seattle before sunset. (See photo.) This was a nice treat thanks to KC but he almost killed us with his driving.
KC, this time more calmly, drives us back to Capital Hill to Elysian Brewing Company where Andrew and Ryan-Sea meet us. Three guys, two girls, lots of beer and a ton of laughs. I talk about how all three of the guys use perfect grammar and punctuation in their text messages. (One day, Ryan-SEA asked Vanessa what ‘NP’ meant.) KC tells a story about being a “panty thief” in a porn…not sure if that was true. Ryan-Sea tells us “he can’t wait for us to leave so he can piece his life back together.” Who says something like that? Then Andrew tells us “When you step outside of your comfort zone, people are drawn to you.” Blush, blush.
KC goes home and the “couples” end up at Linda’s Tavern, kind of a dive bar with pool tables and wooden booths. While Van and Ryan-Sea are outside, Andrew and I chat. Ryan comes back in with a power saw he bought for $20 on the street. Again random, but we’re all hysterical. Couples depart.
We took it easy today. Later in the evening, Ryan-Sea and Van go to the Mariners game and I hang out with Andrew. We say our goodbyes.
Suburban Girl, April 2013