Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Seattle is one of my favorite cities…it was even the subject of my very first blog post back in 2007 on my old xanga account. I’ve probably been to Seattle 20 times; my grandpa lives in Federal Way, a suburb just south of the city. But after our cruise, Hayley and I decided to stay in Seattle for the weekend, and it was the first time I’d ever been there without my family. It was my turn to take charge and show her all that the Emerald City has to offer!

So, after returning from the wilds of Alaska (there were NO Starbucks to be found!), we did what had to be done first—manicures, lunch at Nordstrom (the world’s first, by the way—and dang, it’s huge), and then some lovely lattes. Here’s some other stuff we did in Seattle; "the essentials," if you will:

Hop on the monorail and take an obligatory visit to the Space Needle. It’s not a tourist trap…you must go here if you visit Seattle. I sincerely love the Space Needle. Its distinct shape—it looks like a UFO—and super-fast golden elevators (Willy Wonka would approve) are so fun. The view of the city and the Cascades from the top (on a clear day…which can be tricky in Seattle, but which we got!!) is gorgeous.

Pike Place Market. This is one of my favorite places ever. It’s lively and eclectic, the soul of Seattle. The market flowers are so fresh and beautiful, the fish are stinky and flying all over the place, colorful produce shines in neat rows, and there are tons of ramps and alleys and nooks to shops that are waiting to be discovered. Everything’s here. If I lived in Seattle, I would come to the market every week and buy fresh fruit and flowers.

Bookstores. You already read about them though. Did you know that Seattle is the most-literate city in America? You can see kids reading books at bus stops in the summer (mass paperback + summertime = reading not required for school). I love it.

SAM—The Seattle Art Museum. After trying to regain some dignity after I was gently yelled at for taking a couple of harmless flash-free pictures, (I’m telling you…the more minor the museum, the weirder the security, regulations, and rules. You can freaking lick paintings in Europe and no one bats an eyelash, but one little photo in Seattle, and they think your next move is throwing acid on the walls), I let myself enjoy the day here. I was surprised by how many different categories of art were well-represented, including ancient Greek and Roman antiquities. I was most impressed with the contemporary and modern art though. Sea Change by Jackson Pollock is one of my favorite Pollocks, and there are also some incredible Warhols. Overall, it’s worth the $15 “suggested fee” for admission. Here are the heretical snaps...

The Seattle Underground Tour. You’d never know that the ruins of the modern city of Seattle lay underneath the streets you walk on today! Not only will you get a nice walk and a healthy dose of history from this tour, but the guides that do these tours are hilarious! I wish I had written down some of their jokes; I don’t remember any now but Hayley and I were laughing so hard. This is the tour to take to learn all about the history of Seattle (i.e. the many ridiculously stupid decisions that its first settlers made) and glimpse an entirely new view of the city.

Seattle doesn’t have the hardness or pretension that many cities have. It’s accessible, clean, and the birthplace of Starbucks...I don’t know what else you could ask for!

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