Seattle: The Good, The Bad And The Mugging

I went through a fairly ridiculous range of emotions in my first few hours in Seattle so I figured I’d just roll with that theme for this post. I present to you: Seattle By Feels.

Relief: I took the Bolt Bus (great rates, friendly driver, no collisions) from Vancouver to Seattle and made it through US immigration without being cavity searched – a pleasant surprise. Customs confiscated my avocado. Seemed like a small price to pay. 

Frustration: The coach arrived late due to delays at the border and in my haste to meet Jenna on time I went to 2327 South 2nd Ave instead of just 2327 2nd Ave and spent a couple of hours riding around in city buses until I found the hostel. I missed my date with Jenna. 

Bemusement: While I bussed in circles pondering the lunacy of having 2 places on the same street with basically the same address, a dude got onto the bus with a cat. The bus. With a cat. The cat leapt nonchalantly out of the dude’s lap while he was securing his wheelchair and sat regally in the adjacent seat. NB: turns out there actually FIVE 2327 2nd Avenues including north, northeast, west, south and just regular old 2nd Ave. I double checked and these are definitely 5 completely different locations.

Seattle knows how to do signage

Surprise: I ran into Dave Francis while checking in to City Hostel in Belltown (sweet location, friendly staff, awesome common areas). DAVE FRANCIS! 

Disgust: I ate the worst meal of my life. This is no exaggeration, I spent some time thinking about it. The meal was rice and black beans and some kind of unrecognisable dark leafy thing presented in three shameless lumps on my plate. It looked, smelled and tasted awful. I ate it anyway. 

Fear: I turned down a dark alley and saw an Innocuous Looking Dude walking toward me. Innocuous Looking Dude gave me the heebie jeebies. Innocuous Looking Dude’s behaviour validated my heebie jeebies. I implemented my exit strategy and escaped the dark alley, narrowly avoiding being mugged (sorry, the title was click bait). 

Intoxication: Dave, Katie and I discovered Bathtub Gin & Co (so much rad; a little pricey on a backpacker budget but lots of character – “Let me check if there’s seating available in the library” -, craft cocktails and a refined ambiance). We then moved on to Shorty’s (a different flavour of so much rad; hot dogs, beer and arcade games including an entire room of pinball machines).

The entrance to Bathtub Gin & Co is hidden down an unassuming alley | Shorty’s commit to their theme with tables made from old pinball machines and arcade paraphernalia and collectibles lining the walls

Exhaustion: We retired to the hostel and I passed out.

Hunger: I wasted a perfectly good opportunity to eat free food by sleeping through breakfast. Gah! The day was saved when I stumbled upon the Flying Apron in Fremont and discovered their vegan and gluten free baked delights! The brownies are DELICIOUS. Like, regular people delicious, not vegan delicious.

Quietude: I spent the rest of the day wandering Fremont, pondering the many street art installations (check out the dog’s face on the Waiting For The Interurban statue next time you’re there) and perusing quirky book shops and record stores.

Fremont bookstore complete with resident cat | The Fremont Troll | George Washington Memorial Bridge

Self-Satisfaction: I learned from the previous day’s folly and got an early start on day 3, securing myself a free hostel breakfast. I stuffed myself silly.

Glee: While buying my ticket for the Experience Music Project Museum (EMP) I participated in this glorious exchange:

“Are you a student, or do you have military ID?.. An ISIC card or something?”

“No but I have a really nice… personality?”

“Good enough for me. I’ll give you the student rate.”

Self portrait | Lots of weird art to be found in Seattle | Guitar Gallery at the EMP

Captivation: I spent hours at the EMP but somehow missed the entire horror film exhibit. Huh?

Perspiration: Afterward I walked to Kerry Park, ignoring the advice of concerned Seattle residents “It’s pretty far. And it’s uphill.” It took about 20 minutes. It was uphill. The classic view of the Seattle skyline was worth it.  

The view from Kerry Park

Alarm: A distracted driver almost mowed me down on a crosswalk but my cat-like agility saved me. I did not expect Seattle to be so perilous. On the bright side, I’m rackin’ up street cred like nobody’s business.

Life Lessons Learned:

  • Be prepared with an exit strategy/escape plan for every situation. Anytime, anywhere. You’ll appreciate it during your next natural disaster, crime or awkward social situation.
  • Never sleep through breakfast. A wise man once said “Anything for free is probably worth it.”
  • Awkward charm may secure discounts at reputable museums. Turn it up.
  • Never forget to pack your cat-like agility.

Soundtrack: Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe

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