Seattle Journals

Living in Seattle

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A travel journal to Seattle by sararevell

Pike Place Bar & Grill Photo, Seattle, Washington More Photos
Quote: I have lived in Seattle since 2003. There are elements I love, hate, take for granted, and wanted to share with anyone planning a visit. Many of the best places can be hidden so I have written about some regular haunts and will update from time to time.

Living in Seattle

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Overview

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
First off, Seattle’s geographic location is a highlight in its own right. Happily stuck between the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges, the views on a clear day are humbling and uplifting. And if you’re in the right place at the right time, the mountains are framed by the beautiful waters of Seattle’s other great asset: the Puget Sound. The Puget Sound also provides a pleasant alternative way to travel and you can venture out to Bainbridge Island, Vancouver Island on the Victoria Clipper, not to mention Alaska if you fancy a cruise in the Summer.Pike Place Market is an obvious choice and without it Seattle would be soulless. The market is the hub of great food shopping, home to fresh fish, fr...Read More

Pike Place Bar & Grill

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Restaurant | "Pike Place Bar & Grill: Morning After Breakfast"

Pike Place Bar & Grill Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
I’ve only been to the Pike Place Bar and Grill twice, both times for breakfast, which they serve until 2pm - a godsend if you have a hangover and can’t drag yourself out of bed before noon. To be honest, I’ve heard bad things about Pike Place Bar: that the service is slow and the food isn’t very good. Howeve,r both times I’ve been there, the service has been friendly and efficient and whilst the food may not be gourmet, it’s comfort food at its best and is served in generous portions.The Pike Place Bar has an impressive list of egg breakfasts: scrambled, fried, steak and eggs, omelette, frittata, benedict. But what draws us back is the Belgian Waffle Bar, where you can indulge in "all-you-...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 16, 2007

Pike Place Bar & Grill
90 Pike Street
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 624-1365

Harvest Vine

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Restaurant | "Harvest Vine: A little slice of Spanish heaven"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Harvest Vine is a small restaurant set in Madison Valley. It’s worth every bite for the short drive out of the city center because there’s nowhere else quite like it in Seattle. Open for almost ten years, Harvest Vine’s menu focuses on Basque cuisine. Reservations are recommended as it fills up every night of the week and whilst the food here comes highly recommended by me, vegan or vegetarian options are slightly limited as the real delights here are animal-derived. That said, on my third visit to Harvest Vine, we were with a vegetarian couple and they did OK. We were seated downstairs, which is possibly preferable to the area upstairs which often seems a bit cramped, except at the bar where ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 16, 2007

Harvest Vine
2701 East Madison
Seattle, Washington 98112
(206) 320-9771

Mama's Mexican Kitchen

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Restaurant | "Mama’s Mexican Kitchen"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
I love Mama’s. It’s one of the last surviving neighborhood haunts in Belltown and I really hope that city planners don’t push it out of its corner on Second and Bell as it really would mark the end of an era. Mama’s is a small, funky labyrinth of booths, decorated by an historian, a kitsch fanatic, and a wild-west enthusiast. I made up the story about the decorators but it would be nice if it had happened that way. I can’t describe the interior and do it any sort of justice, you just have to see it for yourself. But I will mention that they have an “Elvis Room” (available for reservations) which was apparently inspired by a meeting between the real “Mama” (who you can read about on the back of their m...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 16, 2007

Mama's Mexican Kitchen
2234 Second Ave.
Seattle, Washington 98121
(206) 728-6262

Ezell’s Famous Chicken

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Restaurant | "Ezell’s Famous Chicken: Famous for Good Reason"

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
I’d driven past the Ezell’s in Seattle’s Central District a few times before a colleague mentioned to me that their chicken is so good, Oprah has it flown cross-country. I’m not a big fast food fan but when I do get that rare craving it’s usually for KFC and even then I’m left with a somewhat sick, gross, guilty feeling that fast food has a habit of leaving me with.So I decided that next time I had a craving, I’d try Ezell’s Famous Chicken. Ezell’s has been open since 1984 and has recently expanded beyond its original store on 23rd and E. Jefferson and now boasts six stores in the Puget Sound area.Open seven days a week from 10am to 10pm, the original Ezell’s is compact. I was ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 17, 2007

Ezell’s Famous Chicken
501 23rd Ave.
Seattle, Washington
(206) 324-4141

Carta De Oaxaca

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Restaurant | "La Carta De Oaxaca: A Taste of Real Mexico"

Carta De Oaxaca Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
La Carta de Oaxaca is what I’d call a boutique Mexican cantina. It has class in its food and in its interior design. Located in the heart of old Ballard, this place would be easy to miss if it weren’t for the queues of people waiting out the door. The wait can be a drawback but if you time it right then your patience will be duly rewarded.Oaxaca has only been open for a couple of years and the bright interior and light wooden furniture still has an air of newness to it. The walls are covered in beautiful Mexicana photography, some of which is backlit. I always want to study them more closely but Oaxaca is a busy place and there’s no room to stand and stare, only to sit and eat or to sidle ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 19, 2007

Carta De Oaxaca
5431 Ballard Ave. NW
Seattle, Washington 98107
(206) 782-8722

Etta's

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Restaurant | "Etta's: Seafood Douglas-style"

Quote:
If you’re researching Pacific Northwest restaurants, it probably won’t be too long before you come across the name of Tom Douglas. Douglas and his wife Jackie Cross are responsible for five prominent downtown restaurants in Seattle: Palace Kitchen, Dahlia Lounge, Lola, Serious Pie, and Etta’s.Etta’s was the last on my "to do" list of Douglas restaurants and with the exception of Lola, where the food is uninspiring and grossly overpriced I can recommend them all. With all the other restaurants clustered around the Fourth and Virginia area, Etta’s stands alone at the end of Pike Place Market, directly opposite the worthy competition of Cutter’s restaurant. I have yet to sample their infamous...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 23, 2007

Etta's
2020 Western Ave.
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 443-6000

Marco's Supperclub

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Restaurant | "Marco’s Supperclub: Mellow Dining in Belltown"

Quote:
There’s a multitude of dinner and drinking places along First Avenue with the busier weekend places concentrated mostly between Virginia and Vine. If you’re looking for drinks and action, you’ll probably be attracted to Amber, The Apartment, Tia Lou’s and Del Rey. If you’re looking for gourmet food then Flying Fish and Cascadia will be more your style. But if you’re looking for a quiet, decent quality, reasonably priced meal then I can definitely recommend Marco’s Supperclub on First between Wall and Vine Street.Set back just slightly from the street, Marco’s is a deep, dark restaurant that glows in candle and fairy lights. The tall host kindly took our umbrellas and showed us to a table i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 23, 2007

Marco's Supperclub
2510 First Ave
Seattle, Washington 98121
+1 206 441 7801

Fremont Classic Pizzeria and Trattoria

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Restaurant | "Fremont Classic Pizzeria & Trattoria"

Quote:
If you have the time, I’d urge you to check out the neighbourhoods of Capital Hill, Ballard, and Fremont. These small enclaves all have something different to offer and all three are great for boutique shopping and neighbourhood dining.A friend who lives in Fremont took us to the Fremont Classic Pizzeria on a Monday night. We all had a hankering for pasta and he recommended it not only for good value Italian food but also for the courtyard, which was just what we needed on a warm July evening. From the outside the pizzeria looks like it could be somebody’s home. The interior is also fairly sparse but you can’t help thinking that the lack of costly decoration means customers can continu...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 24, 2007

Fremont Classic Pizzeria and Trattoria
4307 Fremont Ave. N.
Seattle, Washington 98103
(206) 548-9411

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)

Attraction | "Seattle International Film Festival"

Quote:
The Seattle International Film Festival, or SIFF as it’s known locally, is now in it’s 33rd year. Every year, from the last week of May through to the second week of June, the longest film festival in North America bursts quietly onto the Seattle cultural scene, playing across six screens. The problem with SIFF is that it’s too eager to please too many people. Whilst it celebrates its lengthy three-week run, quality suffers under quantity and it’s scheduled just after, and therefore in the shadow of, the Cannes Film Festival. Finally, what should draw crowds to the core of Seattle is now so spread out geographically (playing in the University District, Capital Hill, and Bellevue) that the fest...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 16, 2007

Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF)
911 Pine St (office)
Seattle, Washington 98101
(206) 324-9996

Seward Park

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Attraction | "Suburban hike from Seward Park to Leschi Park"

Seward Park Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
In southeast Seattle, Seward Park occupies a small peninsula of land which overlooks Lake Washington and Mercer Island. The park itself is 300 acres and offers biking and walking trails, picnic and barbeque areas as well as a small amphitheater that is used for concerts and events year round.We usually enjoy walking the perimeter of the park but on a sunny Sunday in June, there was a “Furry Fun Run” in progress. It wasn’t a Big Foot marathon, it was a charity run where athletes could bring their dogs along. We decided to avoid the center of Seward Park as it’s difficult to find a parking space there even in the absence of a special event and instead parked along Lake Washington Boulevard South...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 16, 2007

Seward Park
5900 Lake Washington Blvd South
Seattle, Washington 98118
(206) 684-4075

Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

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Attraction | "Seattle Art Museum Downtown"

Seattle Art Museum (SAM) Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
Now is the time for art lovers to visit Seattle. Not only has the Olympic Sculpture Park opened this year but, in addition, the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), having undergone a considerable extension, has recently re-opened for business. Now spanning the entire block between Union and University, the SAM has grown for the better. The building’s exterior may not be too inspiring but inside, the space has been opened up beautifully so you can wander around in a well-lit environment and admire pieces from near and far.The first installation which cannot be ignored is Cai Guo-Qiang’s Inopportune: Stage One, an explosion of cars across the second floor ceiling and best viewed at night for th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 16, 2007

Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
1300 First Avenue
Seattle 98101
(206) 344-5275

Black Bottle: Socialise in style

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Attraction

Black Bottle: Socialise in style Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
When Black Bottle first opened two short years ago I had high hopes of it becoming our new local hangout and, until everyone else in town found out about it, we went there almost weekly. On the corner of First and Vine, Black Bottle is dressed for success. Unlike some of the other cheesier crowd-pleasers along First Avenue, Black Bottle has managed to preserve some dignity that’s sadly lacking between Lenora and Vine.If you manage to get there before 5pm, you can enjoy the last rays of the afternoon sun that stream through the large windows at the far end of the bar. Where the windows run out halfway down the bar it’s noticeably darker but dangling light bulbs and bountiful candlelight help il...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 16, 2007

Black Bottle: Socialise in style
2600 First Avenue
Seattle 98121
(206) 441-1500

Quote:
Discovery Park is possibly one of Seattle best kept secrets, and to be honest I hope it stays that way. You need to take the bus (#33 towards Magnolia from 4th and Pike/Pine) or to drive out to Magnolia Bluff where there are at least three, free car parks available to the public. Be sure not to drive down private access roads in Discovery Park though, as military housing is still in use within the 534-acre park.As described on the City of Seattle website, "the site is one of breathtaking majesty. Situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound, Discovery Park offers spectacular view of both the Cascade and the Olympic Mountain ranges." If you’re fortunate enough to visit the park on a c...Read More

The Olympic Sculpture Park

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Story/Tip

Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
In January 2007, one of the most exciting projects to happen in a long time in downtown finally opened to the public after eight years in the making. Posters for the Olympic Sculpture Park had given anxious downtown residents more lead time than a Michael Bay film. I say anxious because if you visit the city of Seattle, you may notice the distinct lack of green spaces. I live in Belltown so the idea of having a large park within walking distance was a very exciting prospect! The Seattle Art Museum and the Trust for Public Land purchased the land between Western Avenue, Alaskan Way, and Broad Street in 1999 for a modest $16.5 million. That same year, Microsoft alum Jon Shirley and his wife, Mar...Read More
Pike Place Market lunch spots Photo, Seattle, Washington
Quote:
Pike Place Market is the heart, soul, and stomach of downtown Seattle. Without it, Seattle would probably be just another built-up city with the usual cluster of big name clothing stores. I find it a bit frightening that this wonderful site was almost sold off for commercial development in the 1970s. Like any self-respecting market should be, Pike Place is the place to come to experience food at its best, particularly Pacific Northwest produce. In the summer, tourists swarm to the market, marveling at the throwing skills of the fishmongers at the corner of Pike Street and Pike Place, or shuffling along from stall to stall to admire the elephant garlic and Bing cherries. Having lived in Seattle...Read More

Half day trip to Bainbridge Island

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Story/Tip

Quote:
Taking a 30-minute ferry ride to Bainbridge Island is a perfect half-day trip if you don’t have the time to venture out to the San Juan Islands, and if you’re happier being a pedestrian during your stay. Along Alaskan Way at Pier 52, ferries leave for Bainbridge Island every hour and for a foot passenger, the cost is only $6.70 (less for under 18 yrs and seniors). The ride out to Bainbridge will give you not only the best views of the Seattle skyline, it will also give you a taste of the Puget Sound air, which gets noticeably fresher the closer you get to the islands. The ferries that shuttle between Seattle and Bainbridge are fairly large, carrying cars, bikes (another option if you want to e...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
I’d not been to a baseball game since moving here and to be honest, the people I’ve met haven’t given me much incentive to go. Coming from the UK, the only sports I could liken it to were rounders, which I played as a child, or cricket, which is even slower and duller than baseball sounded.But when we were offered a couple of free tickets, I thought it would be worth checking out. I’d already been a season ticket holder for the beleaguered Seattle Supersonics basketball team and had been to more than my fair share of Seattle Seahawks American football games. I could appreciate basketball for the fast and furious action. American football I’m not sure I’ll ever understand (what kind of sport ha...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
If you’re enjoying the view of the Puget Sound from Victor Steinbrueck Park at the end of Pike Place Market then chances are at some point you’ll be looking directly toward Alki Beach in West Seattle. On a map, West Seattle is an arm of land that juts out into the Sound, accessible most directly by the dramatically arched West Seattle Bridge. Thankfully the perimeter of West Seattle has preserved a small scattering of public parks and beaches, most of them blessed with stunning views of the Sound and the Olympic Mountain range.Alki Beach is the most accessible of all the parks, especially if you’re without your own transport. A few bus routes (including the number 37) run from downtown Sea...Read More
Travel Photo by IgoUgo member
Quote:
Since 1962, Tillicum Village on Blake Island has played host to millions of guests in search of Native American Indian-style dining and cultural entertainment. With boats leaving twice daily through the summer from Pier 55 on the Seattle waterfront, access to Blake Island is made easy on this four-hour tour.We decided to join the tourists and try this experience for our wedding anniversary. We signed up for the 4.30pm departure (there’s also a lunch tour leaving at 11.30am) and about 40 minutes later we arrived at Blake Island, but not before slowing down to photograph a couple of sea lions sunbathing on a yellow buoy. There’s a bar on board the boat so we were able to enjoy a bottle of Me...Read More

Duwamish River Clean-up Coalition Cruise

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Story/Tip

Quote:
When friends or family come to stay and ask for recommendations on what to see or where to go, possibly the last place you’re going to send them is to one of the more unattractive parts of town. The Duwamish River runs close to the heart of the City of Seattle. You can even see its beginnings from across the Puget Sound at Pike Place Market, yet you’ll hear few residents talking about it. During the summer months, the Duwamish River is the last place you’d take your kids for a day out or meet your friends for a picnic. Having said all of this, I can’t recommend the Duwamish River Clean-up Coalition Cruise enough.The two-hour tour talks you through the history and the demise of the river and ...Read More