Greetings from Seattle!
This is my first visit to this wonderful city, and whenever I visit a place for the very first time, I insist on being a little more fearless than usual. Otherwise, I may not get to explore as much as I would have liked.
So, let me just start by saying that I have officially tasted the best cinnamon roll ever, and it is in Seattle. All thanks to Piroshky Bakery. Yup, a Russian Bakery in Seattle, serving some of the best pastries I have ever tasted. It has real apples slices in between the delicate layers of the roll, gently draped with cinnamon and sugar. Not overpowering like Cinnabon, and it doesn’t give me a toothache from sugar overdose. Piroshky Bakery is located in the famed Pike Place Market. Of course, this is just one of the many delectable pastries they bake fresh every day. For example, Piroshkies itself are actually hand held Russian pies with diverse fillings. However, I chose the Cinnamon Roll instead because the aroma was just too enticing. I could smell it from afar. Sometimes, following one’s nose is a good idea. Sorry, no pic of the Cinnamon Roll to share. I gobbled it all up like Jaba the Hutt 😉
The Pike Place Market is a must visit. So many wonderful fresh foods and delicacies to be found. Naturally, you have to stay and watch how they ‘throw’ the fishes at the marketplace. Yes, please google ‘throwing fishes at the Pike Place Market’, because it is no fun if I tell you everything 🙂
Also, it is at this same Marketplace which you will find the very first store of Starbucks. It is the only store with the original logo displayed on their window.
The guy playing the guitar was an added bonus. His whole look just blended perfectly into this nostagic scene. Could not have asked for more 🙂
One could easily get well-fed while strolling along the marketplace. There are several stalls, from fruits to confectionary, and they will gladly give you samples of their products to taste. So, by the time you reach at the other end of the Marketplace, you would have snacked on a variety of foods. There was a man who kept slicing different fruits for me to eat. Oh, I could easily get used to that – a man who slices fresh fruits for me to eat. Haha
Seattle is beautiful city that is separated by various bodies of water, be it locks or lakes. Hence, there are several bridges that connect the city to other neighbourhoods. One of my favourite neighbourhoods is Fremont. Some of you may well recognise Fremont from the movie, “10 Things I hate About You”, which starred a very young Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles. The movie was a modern and light-hearted version of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew”, and it was based in Fremont, Seattle.
Fremont is a lovely residential area, with quirky shops and artistic installations at every corner. They even have a troll under the bridge, a real statue of Lenin brought back from Russia, and a 1950’s South Korean rocket to name a few. During Halloween, they dress up their Lenin in gothic garb. If only Lenin could see himself, he’d roll over his grave!
Not far from Fremont, dotted along the waterfront lie the floating houses or the houseboats. One of those floating houses is that very same house used in the movie, “Sleepless in Seattle”.
For those who love the marina, and fishing – you must make a stop at Seattle Fishermen’s Terminal. It is located on Salmon Bay. One of the best chowders can be found there in Chinook’s Restaurant. Please remember to order their “New Jersey” Chowder. It is a mixture of the ‘red’ and ‘white’ chowder. Yes, you can afford to be fearless in trying traditional things in a new way. You’ll thank me later 🙂
It is home to some of the vessels that are on the Discovery Channel show the Deadliest Catch. It was also the topic of a documentary film Fishermen’s Terminal. The documentary centers on the conflict between the moorage needs of the fishing fleet and pleasure boaters.
The facility provides freshwater mooring for fishing vessels, and pleasure craft (since 2001). It can accommodate vessels up to 250 feet (76.2 m). Preference is given to commercial fishing vessels. It serves more than 600 vessels. A public access float provides free moorage for up to four hours for visitors.
The facility also includes 227,000 square feet (21,100 m2) of office, retail, restaurant, light industry and warehouse space. Among the retail establishment is the Wild Salmon Seafood Market, which started as a cooperative for fishermen to sell their local catch.
Fishermen’s Terminal is home to the Fishermen’s Memorial, a bronze and stone sculpture with plaques memorializing more than 500 local commercial fishermen and women who have been lost at sea since the beginning of the 20th century.
This particular boat caught my eye. To me, it looked like it was made out of a ‘sardine can’, and somehow I just imagined “Popeye the Sailor Man” lives there. LOL
Seattle is a city that can be truly savoured by exploring on foot. And it is very enjoyable to walk around the city, because pedestrians are KINGS. The cars have to watch out for you, and they will not honk impatiently when you stroll across the streets. Among the many tours offered in Seattle, please do try the “Underground Tours”. As extracted from Wikipedia –
The Seattle Underground is a network of underground passageways and basements in downtown Seattle that was ground level at the city’s origin in the mid-19th century. After the streets were elevated these spaces fell into disuse, but have become a tourist attraction in recent decades.
Yes, I did go up the Space Needle and even had lunch up there. However, I must say that their service was far more superior than their food. Of course, the views are to die for as the whole dining area revolves a full 360 degrees while we dined. Only the salted caramel ice cream really stood out. No, I am not going to post a pic of the Space Needle. I will, however, post a pic of the Chihuly Glass Garden right next door to the Space Needle. It is a very interesting place to visit. Do try to arrive just before the sun sets. That way, you can see the beauty of the glass garden in the day time, and linger on for its night illuminated experience.
Seattle has an abundant good eats to offer. Naturally, being so close to the ocean, seafood is their ‘star dish’. One of the best places to feast on seafood is Salty’s. It is located on the waterfront, but at the other side of the city center. You’ll start to appreciate this when you arrive at the restaurant. The property itself is about 100 years old. It used to be a flower mill, and now it is a seafood restaurant with a magnificent view of the Seattle’s skyline. In the evening, when the city is all lit up, the view from Salty’s is almost postcard perfect. Oh yes, please do leave some room for dessert. A must try is their White Chocolate Mousse Cake or the Grand Marnier Cheesecake. The Mousse cake is refreshingly light, where as the Cheesecake is rich and chocolatey.
Personally, I see Seattle as a city with fearless spirit. They support the arts and various communities fearlessly here. They brave the long winter months in order to relish the short glorious burst of Summer. They appreciate unique modern creations as much as traditions. After all, this is the birth place of many great wonders – from Boeing, Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, Expedia, UPS (United Parcel Service) and Nordstroms, to name a few. It is a very youthful city, meaning the average age group is around 35 years old. Although it is known as the ‘rainy city’, I did not see much of it. My days here have been blessed with warm sunshine and cool breeze. Fall has descended upon Seattle. It appeared like a gift with its trees and leaves changing its colours. I bet you would not have guessed that Autumn is my most favourite season of all 🙂
By the way, the sizes of the pictures posted here are a little off. I still have yet to figure out how to scale them appropriately to fit into the blog. Please pardon my ‘I.T. Blondness’. FYI, all the above pics were taken with my iPhone 4S. Not bad for a phone that has been through hell and back with me.
In truth, I was not only sleepless in Seattle due to the jet lag, I was also fearless in Seattle. I did something I normally would not do – I talked to strangers. In the process, I discovered new things and made some new friends. I will definitely plan another visit to Seattle sometime in the future 🙂
Always remember to bring along your own brand of fearless in your travels, and enjoy your adventures.