Two weeks ago marked one year back in Seattle, back where I belong. One of the fastest years of my life. Most days, I can’t believe we are truly home again. During four years away, my love and longing for Seattle made its way back into my heart. Sure, the winter was tough and there were days (weeks?) when I was in full hibernation mode, popping 10,000 IU of vitamin D3 and researching UV desk lamps.
Luckily seasons always change, and this summer in Seattle is reminding me why my heart aches with adoration for this beautiful corner of the US. I am so grateful to be here. Summers here remind us why we put up with such a long gray winter. Long days, capped off by watching vibrant, peach-colored 9pm sunsets, the royal blue daytime skies, parks and patios at capacity. I always used to say I’ll never live anywhere as scenic and gorgeous as Seattle, and still believe it.
Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, each with their own vibe, that surround a downtown. I’d be content to live in any of the neighborhoods, but for the sake of rent prices and work commutes, we ended up in West Seattle, which happens to be the 5th Seattle neighborhood in which I’ve lived. This area is mostly residential housing, apart from the main Junction of California & Alaska Streets which is more apartments mixed with retail shops and restaurants. I can walk out the front door of my building and across the street to the weekly year-round farmers market. We have a post office, gift shops, yoga studios, grocery, banks, bus stops all within a few blocks or less.
West Seattle has certainly changed over the past decade, the building we live in did not exist a few years ago. However much of this part of the city still feels like old Seattle, which is becoming more and more rare and appreciated in an ever growing, developing and changing city.
Here is a roundup of my neighborhood favorites.
The best baguette in town. Pastries that taste as buttery and as good as they look. You can order cakes, get pre-made sandwiches to go, coffees/teas. My personal favorites include the quiche and apricot croissants. And maybe the marble cake loaf slice.
Easy Street Cafe
The greatest breakfast value around. When Andrew’s brothers and my dad were visiting in February to surprise Andrew for his birthday, we ate breakfast at Easy Street four out of their five day stay. – that’s how much they were obsessed with it, and for good reason. The portions are large enough for sharing, the prices as if it’s a diner in the year 1998, named meal options such as Dolly Parton Stack, Notorious B&G, Bennie and the Jets. You can peruse the music selections while you wait for a table since the cafe is inside one of the few remaining record stores in Seattle.
Husky is my go-to for sandwiches & Andrew’s spot for European snacks, such as his beloved Twiglets and decaf PG Tips tea. On any given summer day or evening, there’s a line waiting for scoops of homemade ice cream. I love Husky even though one time they forgot to add pickles to my sandwich.
This little gem was recently featured on Diners, Drive Ins & Dives and once you taste the pappardelle bolognese or Finocchiatta pizza, you’ll understand why. I mean, leeks and fennel on wood fired pizza?! Dead. The flavors in the pizza and everything we’ve eaten here cause me to close my eyes and chew with a giant grin on my face.
Yes it is true I am a convicted plant killer. That doesn’t stop me from admiring beautiful green plants from a distance. Fleurt is the sweetest little space with candles, unique greeting cards, jewelry and loads of potted plants in every direction.
Click has all the stuff you don’t need but love to look at and try to come up with a spot for it in your apartment. I scored a Trees of the Northwest print there recently, along with kitchen gadgets, puzzles, wall-mounted record holders. The staff is incredibly friendly and you can easily spend 30 minutes oohing and ahhing at every little thing in Click.
Northwest Art & Frame
Similar to Click, you can easily kill an hour wandering the displays of NW Art & Frame. A gazillion gift ideas, art supplies, frames, giftwrap, greeting cards, books. Next to drug stores/pharmacies, these types of stores are what my dreams are made of. I find such enjoyment in the browsing.
We just signed another twelve month lease to remain in West Seattle, in our little apartment at the Junction, which might be my favorite apartment in which we’ve lived. This neighborhood, this city has everything we could ever want. Summer, please stay around a few more months. You sure make me fall in love with this place all over again.