With its seamless blend of shrewd commerce, uncompromising luxury and countercultural abandon, all set against a dramatic mountain backdrop, Washington's capital of cool is a study in complementary contrasts
Author Michael Kaplan Photography Nick Hall
THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM THOSE IN THE KNOW
TALENT COORDINATOR, AMAZON.COM
“Discovery Park is an incredible place right on Puget Sound, with driftwood along the water and big pine trees up on the hills. People hike with their dogs and everybody goes shelling on the beach.”
“One of my Sunday rituals is to walk through the neighborhood of Ballard, where there’s a great weekly farmers’ market. After stocking up there, I always go to King’s Hardware, my favorite bar, for bloody marys and hamburgers.”
PRINCIPAL, KIRSTEN GRAHAM PUBLIC RELATIONS
“Alhambra is my go-to for jewelry. It’s an independent shop downtown with beautiful, unique stuff ranging from delicate necklaces to big, bold rings. The owner always has a smile and the perfect piece to tempt me with.”
At one local retailer, the Seattle sound has more to do with whoopee cushions than with grunge
We’ve all been in novelty stores and gag shops, but Archie McPhee is something else. This low-slung operation brims with the stuff your parents told you not to waste your money on. There’s an entire section dedicated to weird candy (absinthe gumballs, bacon-flavored necklaces, banana slug suckers) and another devoted to novelty underwear, for instance, plus a staff that will encourage, nay, demand you try on the shop’s inflatable beards. In a city that prides itself on bleeding-edge innovation, Archie McPhee is good, basic, lowbrow fun. 1300 N. 45th St., 206-297-0240.
POUNDS OF COFFEE STARBUCKS ROASTS A YEAR 20 MILLION
NUMBER OF RESTAURANTS IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA ≈9,000
PEOPLE PER SQUARE MILE (COMPARED WITH ABOUT 25,000 IN NYC) 7,246
PERCENTAGE OF RESIDENTS OVER 25 WHO HOLD A BACHELOR’S DEGREE (THE HIGHEST IN THE U.S.) 51
PERCENTAGE OF RESIDENTS CLAIMING GERMAN ROOTS (THE MOST REVALENT ANCESTRY IN SEATTLE) 15.2
GOING RATE,IN DOLLARS, FOR A DOZEN LOCALLY SOURCED OYSTERS 7.99
NUMBER OF ACTRESSES WHO TURNED DOWN THE LEAD ROLE IN SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE BEFORE MEG RYAN TOOK IT (KIM BASINGER, MICHELLE PFEIFFER AND JULIA ROBERTS) 3
NUMBER OF TIMES THE SEATTLE MARINERS HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES 0
Some of Seattle’s best gourmet attractions aren’t actually in Seattle
Drive 75 miles north of Seattle and you will come upon the two foodiest tiny-towns that you can imagine. Between them, Edison and Bow have just a pair of bakeries, one grocery store, a couple of bars and an antiques shop—but these are all remarkably good and worth a drive on a lazy day.
FARM TO MARKET BAKERY: Start here with a bowl of the day’s soup—the Senegalese peanut soup is renowned—and get a slice of lime-soaked polenta cake for dessert. 14003 Gilmore Ave., Bow, 360-766-6240.
BREADFARM: Drive four minutes to Edison and pick out a loaf at this terrific bakery. Selections change with the seasons and are based on what’s available from local farmers. 5766 Cains Ct., Edison, 360-766-4065.
SLOUGH FOOD: Right next door to Breadfarm is your spot for meat and cheese. Check out the freshly sliced prosciutto di Parma and the goat’s-milk offerings from Gothberg Farms. 5766 Cains Ct., Edison, 360-766-4458.
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