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
WHEN YOU THINK about Seattle, you tend to think Microsoft, or Starbucks, or grunge, with a little Boeing thrown in. While these associations aren’t necessarily wrong, they don’t do the city justice. What makes Seattle so appealing is the way in which its disparate influences come together. It’s a place where dot-com barons sport elaborate tattoos and tattoo artists look like history professors, where you’ll encounter dealmakers in the punk clubs and bike messengers in the cocktail bars.
There’s a very specific air about Seattle, a sense of inclusiveness, optimism and energy. And while the people here often seem obsessively casual, the focus on quality is intense. You see this in the city’s baristas tending to the sheen of golden crema, in its chefs devising new ways to enhance oysters, in its software engineers coding with elegant economy.
When visiting Seattle, leave your pretensions behind, raise your expectations and let loose your pioneering spirit. You’ll fit right in.