Seattle’s Space Needle
This past weekend was a long weekend for us in Ontario so we were itching to go on a trip somewhere. We picked Seattle and Portland, two cities we had never visited before and which had DJ and craft events going on: one of Jason’s favourite DJs, Derrick Carter, was on, and so was Seattle’s biggest indie craft fair, Urban Craft Uprising.
First up was Seattle. At first glance, the city has a future-modern aesthetic, especially with the iconic Space Needle and the raised light rail system that weaves between buildings around the city. Almost everything is accessible on foot or well-served by public transport (inculding free bus rides in the downtown area). Luckily for us, the West Coast is currently experiencing its highest temperatures on record and each day we were there we had perfect weather (very different from images I have of a rainy, cloudy city). And I’ve got to say Seattle is one of the most friendliest cities I have ever visited – one local gave us a bunch of insider tips as we waited for a bus to Ballard and drew us several maps during the bus ride!
We were able to catch most of the touristy spots on the first day in Seattle, and check out some of the neighbourhoods outside downtown on our second day.
Some shots around Seattle:
Derrick Carter hits the decks at Neumos (925 E. Pike St. @ 10th St.) in the Pike/Capitol Hill area.
People waiting at the Pike Place Market bus stop on the water’s edge, home of the flying fish, the first-ever Starbucks, and some great local handcrafted items.
Guitars at the Experience Music Project (at the base of the Space Needle, 325 5th Ave. N.) housed alongside the Science Fiction Museum in a building designed by Frank Gehry. Features an interactive history of the science fiction genre and of music in the Seattle area (from the 1920s to grunge to today’s scene).
Easy Street Records: one of the largest music shops in Seattle
Ballard: a cozyup-and-coming neighbourhood that’s about 15-20 minute bus ride from downtown with some great shops including Horseshoe, Dolce Vita (pictured above), Space Oddity, and Souvenir. Also check out Ballard’s neighbourhood blog and pick up a Ballard map inside stores.
Fremont: Seattle’s artsy neighbourhood, in which you can find the Centre of the Universe, a former NASA Rocket Ship (pictured above), a Lenin statue and a troll under a bridge (pictured below). Also check out Fremont’s neighbourhood blog and pick up a Ballard map inside stores.
More pics from our trip can be found on spin off stuff’s Flickr page.
Some tips for travelling there:
- We flew to Seattle from Ottava via Vancouver, although it might have been a little bit cheaper (ast least for Canadians from the East Coast) to fly to Vancouver and drive two-hours or take the four-hour bus to Seattle.
- Take the new light rail from the airport to downtown Seattle (it costs only $2.50). Plus take advantage of a day pass at only $4.00 to get around Seattle’s neighbourhoods.
- We stayed downtown at 8th St. and Olive Ave., which was in a central area and within walking distance of the Pike/Pine/Capitol Hill area, Pike Place Market, car rental places and the Greyhound bus station.
- The Seattle Weekly’s Best Of issue came out the week we were there and has a lot of useful suggestions. Also check out Designsponge and Urban Outfitters for their city guides to Seattle.
- A lot of clothing/design boutiques and the Seattle Art Museum are closed on Mondays (so make sure you plan accordingly).
Coming up next: a more in-depth post on our visit to Seattle’s biggest craft show, Urban Craft Uprising, and our day trip to Portland.