Downtown Seattle
View the photo gallery. Photos by Mike Siegel.

Stumbling Around Seattle

Senior shares six of her favorite downtown-Seattle finds

I’m a born-and-raised Seattleite. I have no problem walking in the rain without an umbrella or rain boots. I have a Zune, not an iPod, and seeing socks with sandals doesn’t bother me.

So, to get to know my favorite city better, I decided to dedicate my senior year to “blind adventuring” — going out with friends, barely any money, and no destination.

After etc magazine asked me to chronicle these adventures, I came up with my six favorite places in the under-explored world of downtown Seattle.

I only have three months left of my senior year, but the blind adventuring will not stop. It’s more than enough time to unearth some new favorite spots in my favorite city.

Art

If you’re searching for an artistic experience, try walking into some art galleries located downtown. Not only are they free, but you also get to see what local artists are up to.

Personally, my favorite piece at one gallery we randomly picked, Pacini Lubel Gallery on Second Avenue, is “Taxidermist Mannequin.” It’s a bright pink leather mannequin of a small dog. Pretty cool, right?

This gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Water

When you picture 5,000 gallons of water cascading over natural boulders every minute, Second Avenue probably doesn’t come to mind.

Which is why it’s perfect.

Guarded from the surrounding skyscrapers in an iron-gate portal to the natural world, Waterfall Gardens is a relaxing place to go and reconnect with nature. Try it out. It’s free and open from 8 a.m. to 3:45 p.m every day.

Flour

Hole-in-the-wall bakeries generally have some hidden secrets, so we knew we had discovered something special when we entered the Grand Central Bakery and Café.

Located in Pioneer Square in a building that resembles a tower of ivy, the bakery not only had amazing food (including whole-wheat cinnamon rolls!) but it also had a cozy café feel accompanied by soul music playing in the background. Not to mention it’s affordable.

Freedom

If there was a piece of clothing more rebellious than punk culture, it would have to be the kilt; or at least the “Utilikilt.” If you’re thinking Braveheart, try going more along the lines of motorcycles, combat boots, and piercings.

This hallowed ground of masculinity, located on First Avenue, is strongly committed to providing men “unbifurcated garments.”

But, honestly, it’s more of a cultural experience than a place to actually buy stuff. Then again, if you’re man enough ...

Height

If you love beautiful views and coffee, you’re in luck. The Columbia Center, located on Fifth Avenue, not only offers a Starbucks on the 43rd floor but also an observation room on the 73rd floor.

If you make the high-speed, elevator ascent, I would suggest going on a sunny day.

It’s been said, when it’s clear, you can see all the way to Tacoma.

Probably a cooler view than what we saw on our cloudy-day adventure, but looking down at semis the size of Tonka trucks is legit.

Teatime

Before adventuring, I had no idea what a crumpet was. But The Crumpet Shop, located in Pike Place Market, brought answers to the questions childhood stories of wonderland and tea parties left unanswered.

The crisp English muffin Eggo waffle hybrid, smothered by a cascade of strawberry pieces and syrup, was out of this world.

And the best part was I didn’t have to eat anything to experience a new part of Seattle.





By Senior Emily Morehouse, Photos By Mike Siegel

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