Monday, February 23, 2009

Favorite neighborhood?

I have yet to really find my favorite neighborhoods in Seattle. David and I went to town to run some errands on Saturday, and I forlornly said, "Where do you want to go?" The day was beautiful, but I couldn't think of anywhere fun, cute, and funky to walk around. It was slightly depressing. If I were in Portland, I'd know exactly where to go, and it's probably because I grew up there.

I'd go to 23rd street for espresso and boutique shopping, and to the Pearl District for martini bars and upscale kitchen stores. I'd go to Hawthorne or Belmont to mingle with hippies and look at African drums, maybe catch a movie and beer at a McMenamins theater. I'd go to NE 28th street for the most delectable happy hour imaginable at La Tabla, where bartenders with pierced lips serve fancy cocktails. I'd walk down to Burnside to go shopping for vintage clothes or furniture, or Alberta to look at the new art galleries and old homes with huge, wraparound porches. I love that traffic is slow, and that almost everyone is friendly.
When I first came to Seattle, I enjoyed Queen Anne. But I soon tired of the snotty "Greek system" mentality, and girls with jeans that didn't cover their rears. David and I used to walk around Capitol Hill, but that lost its luster very quickly for me. Greenwood is cute, but a little too busy and indifferent, and Green Lake is stocked with too many bikes and rollerbladers. Redmond with its windy one-way streets is too confusing, Lake City too trashy. Bellevue too plastic. Fremont doesn't do much for me either. I think Ballard may be the closest I've found to home. I love the coffee shops, and the funky bars. I love La Carta de Oaxaca and that delicious cupcake store. There are also entertaining botiques and furniture stores.
Another of my favorites is Bainbridge Island, which is precisely why I live there. I love the trees and parks and beaches, and that people drive a little slower. There are a handful of delicious restaurants, and exquisite art galleries and bookstores. I wish I could stay there all week long and go to Seattle only for special occasions.
Why can't I find many places to fit in here? Where is your favorite place to hang out? What is your favorite neighborhood?


dog grrrrl said...

I'm beginning to appreciate my "tri-cities" Snoqualmie, Fall City and North Bend.

Snoqualmie has the Salish, my favorite place to eat when you are being fancy. Or a nice lunch at "The Attic" after a walk down to the falls but bring a packed wallet. It also has the "Woodman Lodge" an old recently renovated building, for steak. Plus it's so picturesque with it's little white churchs and train station. Ignore "The Ridge" and casino we do.

Fall city has a couple good breakfast places and the Fall City grill, good for a burger. Plus a really cute outdoor theater to see very amaturish productions of South Pacific and Guys and Dolls.

North Bend has Rattlesnake Lake. It's like Greenlake East in the summertime. Much better than it's larger sister Mt. Si.

Kristin said...

Thanks for your suggestions! I think I would like that area a lot..sorta reminds me of Bainbridge Island because its heavily wooded, with beautiful mountains. I'll have to try some of those restaurants sometime, the only problem is its so far away from me!

Colleen said...

Fremont. Love Fremont. Julien knows her way around the cute Seattle neighborhoods and knows all of the hidden restaurants, too. I'd ask her :) She was always the person I'd call if I needed a date night plan. Haha

Paula said...

I don't know Seattle well, but I do know that Bainbridge is a cool, laid back and beautiful place. I think in larger cities things are just on a larger scale....when I lived in Long Beach, CA, I felt swallowed - endless sprawl with few cute little places to go. I think Portland does keep the hometown feel because it's smaller, and seems to have a good urban growth plan in place. I do wish we had a Jillian's, though, a place to go play Ping Pong etc on a rainy day.

Travis said...

West Seattle is a fantastic neighborhood. Black Bird for breakfast, see a show at Art West or movie at the Admiral, CupeCake Royal and Verite Coffee in to while away the afternoon, dinner try Ephesus (amazing turkish food) or Buddah Ruska for Thai...a walk along Alki as the sun sets and maybe margarittas at Cactus.

Also..Columbia have to get through some gritty sections of town to get there, but downtown is fantastic. So cute, funky, fun and Curtis's favorite restaurant in the whole city is there La Medusa. There are a couple of Jamiaca restaurants, a threate, a toy store, several wonderful pubs...a farmers market in the nice weather.

And finally...I love the internatonal district. It seems a little run down, but if you look...lots of fun stuff: Uwajamai is incredible (books, groceries, food, toys, every asian culture)...Purple Dot for Dim Sum, the little Hong Kong bakery around the corner...Jet Tea...and karaokee at any number of seedy spots after dark.

McRiguez said...

I am lucky enough to live in my favorite neighborhood: NW 23rd area. There is no place I'd rather be. After having lived in Mexico and Eugene, walking to and from everywhere was a big positive deal for me and that's why I love 23rd. Also, I like the atmosphere. I feel more at home where than anywhere else.
Seattle? I have no idea! I think I've been to Ballard. Did I go there with you? Is it the Scandanavian area?

Kristin said...

Wow everyone thanks for the suggestions. I just don't know where to go, and I like to get off the "beaten Path" to find the more quaint neighborhoods. I definately want to try out Columbia City, I've heard great things about its development.

And Andrea, yes you went to Ballard with me when you visited. It's such a cute neighborhood, but also feels busy to me. I'm so small town.

Paula said...

I liked Andrea's post. I look forward when my youngest goes off to college to perhaps moving to an area where I can walk most places, and where I like to be. That sounds like a dream. Also close to transit.

Dan-Eric Slocum said...

I'm loving South Park. Sure everyone snickers when I tell them I live in South Park, but it's a wonderful community. Mostly impoverished. Heavily Latino. WONDERFUL neighbors.

There is such great character here because it feels like a small Mexican town - with Spanish spoken on the streets and pesos exchanged for dollars at the corner market. I love it.