This June marks our 24th year visiting the great city of Seattle for our anniversary. Why Seattle? We visited once before we got married, and decided to spend part of our honeymoon here. We also went to Lake Tahoe (where it snowed in June), and another favorite place, the Carmel Monterey Peninsula. But Seattle remains at the top of our yearly visits.
One really good reason for liking Seattle is it walkability. We try to walk most everywhere, weather permitting. Though the homeless issue is among the worst in the U.S., we manage the city streets. One of our favorite walks starts downtown, where we usually stay. We pass through the business district, the fabulous Seattle Public Library, and end up in the International District at one of our favorite super markets, Uwajimaya. It is about a half hour walk, rather hilly in spots, but a decent way to start the day after a hearty breakfast.
If we get tired, we jump on their great public transportation, mostly the light rail, called Sound Transit. If we should decide to head out toward South Lake Union, we take SLUT. That stands for, you guessed it, South Lake Union Transit. Great name! Only in Seattle.
Many people see Pike Market as a tourist trap, which is probably correct. But I think it still has charm, with great fresh flower vendors. We always get a bouquet for our room. Once in a while, we will send a fresh salmon home, or buy something to eat on the spot. One of our favorites in the past, was Jack’s Fish Spot. Their scallop and chips are just outstanding. But much like everything else, it has become quite pricey!
Don’t fall for the “original” Starbucks store across from Pike. It is NOT the original, bears little resemblance, and in reality, just a tourist trap for unknowing tourists.
But a few doors down is our favorite bakery in the world, Le Panier. I often say it is better than anything I have had in Paris, Tokyo, Istanbul, or Hanoi. My personal favorite is the amandine croissant, Sheri’s is the chocolatine. Everything there is good! Expect a line out the door almost any time of day.
While we are talking about food, our favorite pizza place is also located here. Serious Pie has been our pizza favorite for about ten years now. Our favorite is the homemade sausage and cherry bomb pepper pizza. Two or three locations, one in South Lake Union, one in Belltown, and the newest on Capitol Hill, complete with a Starbucks Roastery.
We have toned down our shopping habits, now that I am not working full time. But, we still have fun looking. Our friends, Michael and Tanya own a really interesting boutique. Many of their clientele are famous or nearly famous. And they have their little dog, Theo, standing guard in the back room.
The Belltown and downtown areas have changed over the years, some for better, and some, as recently publicized, for the worse. The homeless issue here is ubiquitous, as are Amazon, google, and Microsoft. I am not sure if the city will eventually implode or become a ghost town like Detroit. I hope the people here figure it out. After all, this city has the highest achieving population as far as higher education.
While on the homeless issue, many documentaries have pointed to drug use as the cause of most homelessness. If that is a given, why the hurry to add marijuana to the mix? Somehow, that seems rather counter intuitive.
We often enjoy both live music and the theater when visiting. But perhaps not this trip, as we will meet some friends from Montana for a good portion of the trip. But since this is the home of Hendrix, The Kingsmen, The Ventures, Nirvana, and Pearl Jam, music is a big deal here. A visit to the Experience Music Project at Seattle Center is always worthwhile.
Perhaps we will see the ghost of Jimi walking down the street with his guitar. Maybe not!