Friday, October 16, 2009

Seattle - Day 2: Space Needle's a bust + views from Queen Anne + Capitol Hill rainshowers

There was no rain on Day One in Seattle. Apparently Day One was a fluke. A bad, bad, misleading fluke.

From the moment I awoke this morning, Seattle was dark and rainy. I would persevere--the solo traveler--despite this, but with slightly more reservation than the day before.

Here are the highlights from my adventures on Day Two...

I headed down to the complimentary breakfast at the Ace to grab some light grub before heading out. The Ace Hotel NYC serves croissants for breakfast. The Ace Hotel Seattle has a make-your-own waffle station. We have a clear winner.

LA and Seattle sensibilities collided as I braved the morning rain for a yoga class at the Seattle Athletic Club.

A friend told me that I had to stop by a Macrina Bakery while in town. I believe the claim was that you could smell butter out the door. I stopped by Macrina this am, asked the counter girl what the best breakfast item on the menu was, and she suggested the cinnamon bun. The bun happens to be called a 'Roly-Poly.' Um, I'll pass. I went with her second favorite, the Budapest Coffee Cake, instead.

I headed toward the Space Needle, the giant building erected in 1962 for the World's Fair. It's known for its height and its 360 views of the city. I drank the Needle Kool Aid. I paid $16.50 for a ticket up and got 10 minutes worth of hoards of other tourists--most of them unattractive families wearing drab colors and toting around drab children.

This picture is of the view to the West and my favorite.

Next up was Queen Anne, a quaint, mostly residential neighborhood where everything is old school and adorable.

Including the interior of Dick's. I had been advised to get a cheeseburger here. Instead I took this picture.


I came across Athina Grill for lunch when I didn't think my bladder would last another block in the rain. While I wasn't hopeful for good Greek food in Seattle, the gentleman at the front was Greek so I figured it couldn't be that bad. It was actually bad-ass. My Greek Salad with falafel and hummus was totally killer.

The restaurant owner's daughter, as it turns out, used to live in LA. He whipped out the business card of a breakfast joint I've got to try in Manhattan Beach, The Local Yolk. What are the chances that a Greek immigrant to Seattle would know better restaurants on LA's beaches than me? God, I love strangers.

The reason folks trek to Queen Anne and then trek even further to its peak is for the view from Kerry Park. I hustled up the steep hills to the top, passing by beautiful 19th century residences on the way.

The flagship Nordstrom store is here in the shopping district of Downtown Seattle. Let me save you the time if you're visiting the city. Nordstrom does not need to go on your itinerary.

I did, however, stop by Sway and Cake--the only small boutique in the shopping district. When I told the clerk I was visiting from LA, the clerk told me that the store was like, totally like LA. Um, yeah. Okay. I did manage to buy some cute items which, yeah, I totally could have scored in LA. Like this House of Harlow ring which I [am sort embarrassed to wear as its Nicole Richie's line, but] sort of adore.

Next up--off to Capitol Hill, a neighborhood know for its eclectic style, its bar scene, and its gays.

Stumptown Coffee is all over Capitol Hill. From its 'I'm too angry and cool-for-school to heed your order' baristas to its free trade mumbo jumbo, it reminded me of a cross between Itelligentsia and Groundwork.

After walking by loads of semi-chi chi restaurants that my wet and ruined bangs were embarrassed to enter into, I settled on Chao Bistro. The food was okay--nothing I couldn't get better of in some other city. But the bartender--bless his heart--introduced me to apple sake. And sake will never be the same.

I didn't make it to a bar tonight and I'd be disappointed in myself if I didn't feel like I was going to keel over.

Here's to a fun and active last full day in Seattle starting tomorrow morning. And hopefully the energy [and courage] to venture into Seattle's nightlife in the evening.

Passing out now,
Jessie B. R.

P.S. - For more pics from Day Two, visit my Picasa album where you'll find shots of naughty stores, the 'other' Melrose Ave and more fun neighborhood adventures.

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