Seattle is Saturated

After graduation, I wanted to go travel a bit, and especially visit some friends on the west coast that I haven’t seen for a while, and probably won’t get to see for a little while. Hunter has been working in Seattle and is moving back to Boston soon, so it was also a good opportunity to visit her before she moved.

I arrived Thursday night, with an excellent view on the approach in to SeaTac.

Since I’d just flown from the east coast, I was about 3 hours ahead, and woke up early Friday morning. Hunter went off to work and I headed towards Seattle Center, to see the Space Needle and some nearby attractions, which most notably included the Museum of Popular Culture, a beautiful Frank Gehry building that photographed well from every single angle.

Here's where I wish I had some sort of gallery feature, instead just have a wall of photos... Edit 6/27/18: now have a gallery!

Heading to this area was definitely best done in the early morning. I arrived around 9, and there weren’t many people around. By the time I’d gone down from the Space Needle and had wandered around for a bit, it was around 11, and starting to get pretty crowded.

After walking around Seattle Center/MoPOP, I wandered towards the Olympic Sculpture Park, which continued with the trend of saturated and geometric shapes.

After the Olympic Sculpture Park, I turned south and walked along the waterfront toward Pike Place, intending to meet up with Hunter for lunch. Pike’s Place was super vibrant, lots of cute little stores and coffee shops and bars and restaurants. I could definitely have stayed there and explored more, and it seemed like the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night.

I met up with Hunter for lunch and we went to a food court/restaurant place nearby and got some excellent pasta. We also caught the tail end of the Spain/Portugal game, which had an exciting conclusion, back and forth, with Ronaldo kicking in an equalizer at 88’, finishing the game in a 3-3 draw. In the afternoon, I went back to Seattle Center to actually go inside MoPOP. The Marvel exhibit was interesting, especially the original costumes and some of the original artwork for the comic books. The rest of the museum was a bit too music-centric for my taste.

I stopped by DeLaurenti in Pike Place per Hunter’s suggestion, a pretty nice organic/meat and cheese and wine type of store, and picked up some pasta and wine for dinner. I suggested making Pasta Aglio e Olio, the most popular Binging with Babish episode, though I utterly failed at estimating the 1 tsp of red pepper flakes the recipe called for, and we instead wound up with a palate-cleansing level of spiciness. No photos of that, because I can do better another time and maybe make a proper post about it.

That pretty much concluded Friday, which was an awesome day, and instantly upgraded Seattle to probably my favorite west coast city.

Saturday, we met up with a couple of friends that were in Seattle for the summer and hiked Rattlesnake Ledge, a ~5 mile round trip hike with excellent views. There were 3 tiers of lookout points - Rattlesnake Ledge, Middle Ledge, and Upper Ledge, with Rattlesnake Ledge being the largest and most popular. We stopped by each, and they each offered unique and excellent views. The climb was a little steep, with about 2k ft of climbing in just 2 miles, but otherwise was pretty easy. It was definitely best to arrive in the morning, as we saw an absolute zoo of cars when we left around noon.

Again this is about where I wish I had some sort of gallery feature... Edit 6/27/18: now have a gallery!

Saturday night, we went to Poppy for dinner, which had really interesting thali combinations. I didn’t take photos, because I’m not usually in to taking photos of dinners that I didn’t cook - dinner at a restaurant should be enjoyed for the experience, I think.

Sunday, we visited the Arboretum, which was very pretty in the early summer - everything was green and there were lots of flowers.

Sunday afternoon, we went to Ada’s Technical Bookstore, which had an amazing vibe, and super interesting selection of books. If I weren’t just visiting, I probably would have walked out with at least 3 books. Added to my list were:

Sunday evening, Hunter had a lamb burger recipe for us to try, with arugula, roasted bell peppers, and a mint/lime yogurt. It was excellent, the burgers were some of the best I’ve ever had.

Monday, Hunter was at work again, so I explored the Starbuck’s Roastery in the morning, and the Amazon Biospheres exhibit in the afternoon. I’m not a huge coffee fan, but I was promised that the roastery was interesting for its aesthetics and engineering, which definitely undersold it. It was super interesting to see all of the machines and hoppers and sensors, and they had a gigantic split-flap display, which is probably my favorite type of updateable signage. It also had some insane ovens.

Amazon Biospheres sadly wasn’t really available for public tours except by appointment on Saturdays, which I didn’t realize until planning my day Monday morning. They did have a small visitor’s center with some interactive videos about the space, the theory behind it, the construction, and other details. That was all pretty interesting - it looks like a really nice space to walk around (though I don’t think I could be productive there). It also didn’t look like it was being very heavily utilized (though, to be fair, it was near the end of the work day when I visited).

After Amazon Biospheres, I wandered around a bit more, then went up to University Village to grab dinner with another friend - we went to Sizzle and Crunch, a perfectly passable Vietnamese Chipotle-style restaurant. There were also some awesome bike trails around that area, which I would have loved to ride if I’d had a bike with me.

Overall Thoughts

This was my first time visiting Seattle, or the Pacific Northwest at all. Everything felt very green, both in the metaphorical sense of environmentalism and the literal sense of foliage. Seattle itself was hillier than I’d expected, but it was incredibly easy to get around via buses or light rail - the bus network was probably the most useful of any city I’ve been in. There was also a shocking abundance of rack-less bicycle shares, the bikes littered every corner. There were coffee shops everywhere, all sharing the bring-a-macbook-and-read-the-new-yorker vibe. The city was clean and the air was clear, though I also lucked out with a beautiful weekend of weather - sunny and low 70’s the whole time. Seattle has probably jumped to my #1 favorite west-coast city.

Thanks Hunter for hosting me, and thanks for reading :)

Tags: #travel