I enjoy reading One Mile at a Time’s posts about living in Bellevue and the struggles he’s endured finding good boba. But I think I have him beat many times over. I’ve written some tips before on where to stay, where to eat, and where to go if you’re a tourist. You might find them useful if you plan to visit for Frequent Traveler University or the Seattle Sessions.
Huffington Post cracked me up with its “36 Reasons Why Seattle Not Only Won the Super Bowl, But Also Wins At Life.” I can’t resist commenting.
1. Seattle is home to the world’s first Starbucks.
I go to Starbucks when I want something quick and cheap. I don’t go to Starbucks when I want something that tastes good. If you must go to Starbucks, skip Pike Place because it’s so crowded and busy with tourists. There’s a much better one in Madison Park.
2. Connoisseurs prefer Vivace.
I think Victrola, Cafe Javasti, or Caffe Vita are better — depending on the drink. The biggest problem is that many places with good coffee rarely have good food, too.
Don’t get me started on who has the best cupcakes.
5. Seattleites love to get naked.
You don’t need to go to secluded Denny-Blaine Park to find a nude beach. It’s not uncommon to see topless sunbathers at Golden Gardens, which has lots more people.
6. Seattleites love backyard chickens.
I had friends who camped out all night to protect their chickens from a raccoon, and there was a house down the street from my old apartment that put eggs out for sale on the curb with an honor system. There are 50-something varieties of eggs for sale at my local Whole Foods.
7. People love Goodwill.
Seriously. People have conversations on Monday about what cool finds they bought at Goodwill that weekend. The one near my new apartment in South Lake Union is almost as good as Nordstrom Rack.
10. More naked people at the Fremont Solstice Parade.
It’s kind of fun to watch naked people paint themselves and ride their bikes. It’s less fun when:
- You take your mother-in-law to Fremont after forgetting what day it was.
- You spot your boss watching from across the street.
- You’re heading down the street afterward to get brunch and people are still walking around naked like it’s nobody’s business.
(Yes, all of these things have happened to me.)
13. Tossing fish at Pike Place is fun.
Also fun to watch, but you need to buy the fish first or all they’ll toss is a stuffed animal. You’ll get better seafood a few stalls down at Pure Food Fish, where they don’t toss fish but we do buy halibut each Christmas for Megan’s dad.
14. Seattle is obsessed with Dick’s.
…And I don’t know why. McDonald’s is better. There are so many other great places to get a burger in Seattle, particularly Red Mill, Rain City Burgers, and Blue Moon Burgers. If you have the time, dine in at Latona Pub, where they have live jazz on Friday.
15. Obama flies to Seattle to buy Fran’s Chocolates.
They’re good. See’s is better, and you can buy it in Washington, DC.
16. It rains only 140 days a year.
But it’s cold and wet for 280 days, because even when it’s not raining, it’s still cloudy and refuses to dry out.
23. In Seattle, biking to work is totally normal.
…And unfortunately some people think showering when they arrive is totally optional.
25. Real Seattleites don’t use umbrellas.
Go back to #16. Remember how it rains 140 days a year? Barely. It’s usually a drizzle and even when it’s raining hard it bears little comparison to the flash thunderstorms I remember from a summer internship on the East Coast. You could stand in the rain for an hour without an umbrella as long as you have a good jacket.
30. Seattle has good beer.
Choosing a beer can be like perusing a fine restaurant’s wine list. The bartender is your sommelier. And you better learn to drink an IPA if you want to be taken seriously.
33. Seattle loves reading and cocktails. Sometimes both.
While HuffPo mentions the monthly happy hour read-a-thon at The Sorrento, I’ll tell you that all restaurants at The Alexis Hotel have a literary theme (e.g., the Bookstore Bar).
If you don’t care about reading, there are plenty of good places to get a cocktail for under $10. One of my favorites is Lucid, a jazz bar in the University District with no cover.
35. Mount Ranier is actually rarely in view.
I don’t know where HuffPo gets its information. It’s a good day in my book if you can see Mount Ranier from the city. But fortunately it’s always there waiting on the left side when your departing plane breaks through the cloud layer.