Seattle, Part One

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photos by:
October 27, 2010

Seattle did nothing to cast away its stereotype as the country's wettest city earlier this week. I traveled north from our Dwell headquarters in San Francisco to visit a house that will be featured in an upcoming issue and to get a taste of what the city has to offer. Here's part one of what I discovered.

  • 
  Before I left San Francisco, I solicited advice from my colleagues for must-go places in Seattle. Our photo editor, Amy Silberman, could not say enough good things about Cafe Besalu in Ballard so I made it my first stop.
    Before I left San Francisco, I solicited advice from my colleagues for must-go places in Seattle. Our photo editor, Amy Silberman, could not say enough good things about Cafe Besalu in Ballard so I made it my first stop.
  • 
  Amy's number one recommendation: the almond croissants, which are handmade every Sunday. The suggestion—-and the latte and leek-and-goat-cheese quiche I enjoyed as well—-did not disappoint. I was only sad the cafe wasn't open the next two days of my trip.
    Amy's number one recommendation: the almond croissants, which are handmade every Sunday. The suggestion—-and the latte and leek-and-goat-cheese quiche I enjoyed as well—-did not disappoint. I was only sad the cafe wasn't open the next two days of my trip.
  • 
  Next, I headed to Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood to visit the house we'll be featuring in an upcoming issue. I don't want to give away too much but here's a sneak peek of a detail: built-in cubbies in the playroom made from scrap pieces of plywood.
    Next, I headed to Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood to visit the house we'll be featuring in an upcoming issue. I don't want to give away too much but here's a sneak peek of a detail: built-in cubbies in the playroom made from scrap pieces of plywood.
  • 
  The next morning I headed out for a photo jog, despite the wind and frigid temperature. From my hotel near the Seattle Public Library (more on this in part two!), I headed down the Harbor Steps to the waterfront and was soon in front of the Seattle Aquarium, where I spotted this delightfully playful bike rack.
    The next morning I headed out for a photo jog, despite the wind and frigid temperature. From my hotel near the Seattle Public Library (more on this in part two!), I headed down the Harbor Steps to the waterfront and was soon in front of the Seattle Aquarium, where I spotted this delightfully playful bike rack.
  • 
  My running destination was the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park, which we voted one of the world's best public parks in our June 2010 issue. In the background, the iconic Space Needle, which was built in 1962.
    My running destination was the Seattle Art Museum's Olympic Sculpture Park, which we voted one of the world's best public parks in our June 2010 issue. In the background, the iconic Space Needle, which was built in 1962.
  • 
  My favorite part of the zig-zagging park designed by Weiss/Manfredi was the "Valley," which among other sculptures houses Beverly Pepper's Peer's Ventaglio III, shown here with the exhibition pavilion in the background. Stay tuned for an upcoming slideshow exclusively about the park.
    My favorite part of the zig-zagging park designed by Weiss/Manfredi was the "Valley," which among other sculptures houses Beverly Pepper's Peer's Ventaglio III, shown here with the exhibition pavilion in the background. Stay tuned for an upcoming slideshow exclusively about the park.
  • 
  On my way back downtown, I stumbled across an interesting piece of public art underneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct at Bell Street. I wasn't able to find out who it's by or what it's called so if you know, please do post a comment.
    On my way back downtown, I stumbled across an interesting piece of public art underneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct at Bell Street. I wasn't able to find out who it's by or what it's called so if you know, please do post a comment.
  • 
  The reason the art under the viaduct compelled me so was that ramps over the I-5 highway make for what I consider some of the most beautiful underpasses to drive. The greenery that clings to the concrete bridges above stumbles over from Freeway Park.
    The reason the art under the viaduct compelled me so was that ramps over the I-5 highway make for what I consider some of the most beautiful underpasses to drive. The greenery that clings to the concrete bridges above stumbles over from Freeway Park.
  • 
  Completed in 1976, the downtown Freeway Park is speckled with nooks and crannies—which several locals told me was a nice idea in theory but unfortunately make for great hideouts for less-savory activities. Nevertheless, it's a beautiful, lush solution to what could have been just more asphalt.
    Completed in 1976, the downtown Freeway Park is speckled with nooks and crannies—which several locals told me was a nice idea in theory but unfortunately make for great hideouts for less-savory activities. Nevertheless, it's a beautiful, lush solution to what could have been just more asphalt.
  • 
  My walk back to my hotel continued through Pike Place Market and, of course, included a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks. The exterior and interior there are much softer than the sleek, corporate design of most Starbucks, and it's a shame the company didn't stick closer to the original shop design.
    My walk back to my hotel continued through Pike Place Market and, of course, included a cup of coffee at the original Starbucks. The exterior and interior there are much softer than the sleek, corporate design of most Starbucks, and it's a shame the company didn't stick closer to the original shop design.
  • 
  Just down from Starbucks is Beecher's Handmade Cheese, which boasts the "world's best mac and cheese."
    Just down from Starbucks is Beecher's Handmade Cheese, which boasts the "world's best mac and cheese."
  • 
  Beecher's wins my heart, however, because it sells cheese curds, aka "squeeky cheese," the key ingredient of my favorite Canadian dish: poutine. The other reason I love it, though, is that every day you can watch the cheese being made through the large corner windows and glass partitions inside the shop, too.
    Beecher's wins my heart, however, because it sells cheese curds, aka "squeeky cheese," the key ingredient of my favorite Canadian dish: poutine. The other reason I love it, though, is that every day you can watch the cheese being made through the large corner windows and glass partitions inside the shop, too.
  • 
  Later in the day, I hopped the streetcar to the new Lake Union Park, as recommended by one of @dwell's Twitter followers. The relatively new line takes but 10 minutes to travel from downtown to the new park and was definitely the best way to get there.
    Later in the day, I hopped the streetcar to the new Lake Union Park, as recommended by one of @dwell's Twitter followers. The relatively new line takes but 10 minutes to travel from downtown to the new park and was definitely the best way to get there.
  • 
  Lake Union Park officially opened September 25, 2010, on a former naval reserve center. Though I was a little disappointed on arrival—it's a very flat park with too much concrete—I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt that it was only because it's just a month old. Once the trees grows—and the sun comes out—it's sure to be a nice spot to picnic.
    Lake Union Park officially opened September 25, 2010, on a former naval reserve center. Though I was a little disappointed on arrival—it's a very flat park with too much concrete—I'm going to give it the benefit of the doubt that it was only because it's just a month old. Once the trees grows—and the sun comes out—it's sure to be a nice spot to picnic.
  • 
  One detail at the park that did catch my eye was the bike rack. The simple design houses the bicycle parking and a water fountain on one side and a raised garden on the back.
    One detail at the park that did catch my eye was the bike rack. The simple design houses the bicycle parking and a water fountain on one side and a raised garden on the back.
  • 
  Next, it was off to Cascade People's Center for lunch. On my way, I ran into the Cascade P-Patch Community Garden. There are more than 70 P-Patches throughout Seattle that offer residents individual plots to tend. The gardens are supported by a partnership between the P-Patch Trust and the P-Patch Community Gardening Program.
    Next, it was off to Cascade People's Center for lunch. On my way, I ran into the Cascade P-Patch Community Garden. There are more than 70 P-Patches throughout Seattle that offer residents individual plots to tend. The gardens are supported by a partnership between the P-Patch Trust and the P-Patch Community Gardening Program.
  • 
  Around the corner from the P-Patch was Marination, a Korean taco truck and another Twitter tip. The line took about 10 or 15 minutes to get through, which I was told was incredibly short for this popular mobile eatery.
    Around the corner from the P-Patch was Marination, a Korean taco truck and another Twitter tip. The line took about 10 or 15 minutes to get through, which I was told was incredibly short for this popular mobile eatery.
  • 
  For lunch, I tried both the kimchi rice bowl with a fried egg as well as a spicy pork taco. The taco was my favorite and I was happily satiated before continuing my adventures around Seattle, which I'll unveil in part two. Till then!
    For lunch, I tried both the kimchi rice bowl with a fried egg as well as a spicy pork taco. The taco was my favorite and I was happily satiated before continuing my adventures around Seattle, which I'll unveil in part two. Till then!
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