Seattle was my next stop after Portland. When I arrived in the city, it was close to +15C with sunny skies! Seattle was a really nice city. The kind I imagine would be a wonderful place to be a student and raise a family. Heaps for those who love the outdoors, a handful of great neighbourhoods for cafes and nightlife, comparatively affordable rent, loads of museums, and a vibrant downtown. I stayed in the Fremont neighbourhood of Seattle, north of downtown and close to Ballard. Fremont was a great place to be staying, full of young people, neat bars and quirky shops. It was a MISSION to get anywhere else in the city, and next time I visit Seattle, I'll probably splurge and stay downtown.
On my first two days in Seattle, my friends Brett and Jen came down from Vancouver to hang out for two days (Seattle and Vancouver are only 3 hours driving distance away from each other). Staying in the same room as us at our hostel was an Australian guy named Darcy, who ended up joining us for our evening out, and ended up being my travel companion for the rest of my time in Seattle. The four of us ventured downtown to a bar called Pony, after pizza and whiskey at a bar in Fremont. The music they played that evening was AMAZING: 70s and 80s alt rock, so anything from Patti Smith to David Bowie to The Smiths. My favourite! The staff at the bar were unbearable though. They almost didn't let Darcy into the bar even though he was well over 21 with ID, the DJ was extremely rude to Jen when she requested a song, and a bartender actually threw a drink in Brett's face for not tipping enough. I mean, really?!
Jen, Brett, me, and Darcy.
The walls of Pony are decked out with vintage porn...They also had an old school photo booth! I took several on my trip.
The next day we all had hang over brunch, laughed about the night before and then headed downtown for some sight seeing.
The first things we checked out was the space needle, which at first I was hesitant to go up, but it was actually pretty neat. The views of the Seattle harbour were pretty stellar. And on the ride down, you exit in an outdoor-facing elevator - it's a bit scary, but awesome!
Next to the Space Needle on the old 1962 World's Fair grounds, is the Chihuly glass and gardens, definitely my FAVOURITE attraction in Seattle so far. Dale Chihuly is an American visual artist who works primarily with glass, creating abstract glass sculptures that remind me of Alice in Wonderland/an acid trip. If you've ever been to the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the giant glass sculpture in the foyer is Chihuly. Here are a few shots from the museum. I'll be posting way more on my tumblr.
The bright flowers in the naturally lit, concrete hall was by far my favourite. This space would make for such an amazing wedding.
Me in the glass garden.
After the space needle and Chihuly, we moved on to yet another tourist attraction - Pike Place market. It did NOT disappoint! It was far more extensive than I ever anticipated. We got boring old Mac and Cheese from Beechers (it was delicious!), as well as a crumpet from the crumpet shop.
This day was finished off with the historical underground walking tour near pioneer square, which if you are ever in Seattle and like history, I'd really suggest. We got a walking tour of the underground tunnels of 19th century Seattle, and learned about the bawdy history of the neighbourhood. followed by a few cocktails at Ohana, a Japanese - Hawaiian restaurant with a great DJ and one stellar strawberry martini. Their chicken teriaki was perfection.
On my last two days, I wandered around the Capitol Hill neighbourhood and came away with some great vintage finds, and for cheap! I also checked out the Seattle Art Museum where I saw a Miro exhibition. Sunday I went for brunch alone in Ballard, saw The Wind Rises at a cute art house cinema, stopped by Lucky Dry Goods, and then hopped a plane home late that night.
This cafe was one of my favourite restaurants in Seattle! Housed in an old warehouse with shared tables, such a neat use of space.
The best thing about my trip was meeting Darcy. While I was joined for two of my four days in Seattle by familiar faces, the remaining two days were, technically, solo. My brief time in Seattle reaffirmed the importance of solo travel. Traveling alone makes me break out of my comfort zone, forces me to make friends, do new things I might not normally do in "real life" or if I am with other people. From the moment he walked into my dorm at the hostel with Jen and Brett - they were on the same bus from Vancouver - we hit it off. We talked about EVERYTHING. So freely, as well. Darcy is from Sydney, has a degree in film making and is currently thinking of doing an MFA in creative writing here in Canada. From topical commonalities such as the same music and movie taste, we gelled about deeper things, too, and so quickly. We also have the same sense of humour. We talked to each other in accents like crazy people in the street, and laughed so loudly about the stupidest things. What a guy!
Sometimes I tell complete strangers my deepest, darkest secrets, fears, goals, more than my own friends. There is something extremely special about travel friendships, chance meetings. New people see you differently and objectively than friends and family do, there's no history, and sometimes their perspective can be exactly what you need to gain clarity. I feel so refreshed and reaffirmed, and all thanks to a chance weekend spent hanging around Seattle with Darcy. This time around, I gained some well needed perspective on myself in a positive way. I truly feel that if I end up in Australia later this year, I have yet another friend down under that would welcome me warmly.
Thanks for reading! I am excited for the faces and spaces I will see the rest of this year. Maybe my path will cross somewhere you live!