Welcome to Seattle. We should hang out. Maybe.
Is Seattle the land of passive aggressive friendships? Is it the weather that gives Seattle locals a bad rap?
At first look one would think Seattle is full of hipsters, but then I realize they aren’t hipsters, they just have beards and flannels on.
Powering Through the Awful Weather
Grey Skies don’t mean a thing. I’m embracing outings with college buddies, making new friends and even doing things solo.
Anytime a local has recommended something, I’ve jumped. Concert? Yes! Hike? Yes! Coffee? Yes! Since quitting my “real job” I’ve tried to stay active regardless the day of the week.
Top 6 things I’ve done in Seattle that aren’t your typical Lonely Planet’s Recommendations
Driving out of Seattle.
Ask anyone and they will say the landscape is what makes this place beautiful and unique. On most days, the clouds will hide the mountain ranges around the city. Based on a local recommendation, I drove out to Deception Pass State Park.
Since It’s spring time, I made a quick stop in La Connor to see the Daffodils bloom. Acres of beautiful yellow flowers. I imagine any local man could take a person here for a movie –esque proposal.
The most visited state park in Washington. Its got a perfect combination of giant trees and hidden trails for hiking, Cook out spaces on the beach, navy jets roaring around the Naval Air station Whidbey Island, and countless breathtaking views.
It seems like every other week there is another band in town. Seattle has many local convert venues. I’m able to walk / bus to different venues without worrying about parking or uber. In Los Angeles, oftentimes, shows are sold out or just far away enough to deter me from going. So far I’ve been able to see The XX, RJD2, and Powers.
Most people visit Pike’s Place Market, but I would say the real hidden gem is Pioneer Square. Its Seattle’s first original neighborhood. The first place to host an artwalk in the US. The neighborhood reminds me of what San Francisco was like in the late 90’s. Filled with young people going to work, occasional tourists, and homeless people. Every First Thursday of the month, the area features an Art Walk. Intrigue Chocolate Co. does a great job on these art walks melting down all their truffles to create a free sipping chocolate for visitors.
Edmunds Underwater Park and Ferry.
Of course no list would be complete without a scuba spot. If you scuba dive, I highly recommend this spot. Not just because I volunteer here, but because it’s a great example on how scuba divers can make any location a diving location. Bruce Higgins has spent 40 years adding different structures to this park for divers. Each week I help to pull cinder blocks into the water to create trails for divers. The site has grown so large that the cinder block trails have morphed into streets. The sunden wooden boats have deteriorated and provided lots of carbon food for the wild life. I’ve seen link cod with heads larger than mine.
In case you don’t scuba dive, you can walk along the beach and then drive onto the ferry for a quick trip across the bay to Kingston. Each ferry costs less than $10. You simply drive onto the boat, park and enjoy the ride. I parked, and took a walk around the ferry. There’s a great viewing spot at the top of the boat, along with a cafeteria.
Spring Time – Cherry Blossoms in Seattle.
If you are lucky enough to visit Seattle in March/April, I would take advantage of all the cherry blossoms around town. University of Washington has a great quad that highlights the bloom. Most don’t talk about the history of these cherry trees, but a local told me some interesting stuff. The first trees were planted just before WW2 (1939). 3 years later, 400 Japanese American students were sent to internment camps. Most recently, 18 new trees from Japan were added in 2014.
Outside of the university, I found that my Capitol Hill / First Hil neighborhood is filled with Cherry Trees. Pink Blooms, White Ones, Reddish flowers. The rain doesn’t seem so bad with a pink backdrop. I know I’m not in California anymore when I spend 45 minutes walking in the rain without minding it.
Museum of Pop Culture
A nerd’s dream come true. I spent 3 days at this museum. Each installation struck a cord in my inner nerd being. Here are some of the exhibits featured:
Horror Movies – The art behind what makes something scary. See props from Friday the 13th, Hostel and other movies. Watch clips of the Exorcist and see why it’s the scariest movie ever.
Fantasy – (Magic, Lord of the Rings, the Hobbit)
Invention of Games and Independent Games – Watch interviews, play games, interact with
Born in Seattle, Jimi Hendrix’s career was short but intense. This exhibit features information on his rise to fame as well as his journal.
Interactive Music Sessions ( Guitar, Drums, singing, Mixing, Turntables, singing): I spent 10 minutes pretending to be a DJ with a complete lesson on how to “scratch.”
Sci-Fi Movies – Fifth Element, Star Trek, Star Wars, Men in Black clothing and movie props.
Enjoy it while it Lasts
I don’t know how long I will stay here, nor do I know where I will go next. But as long as I am here, I will continue to enjoy the live music. Coffee. New and Old Friends.
Until Next Time…