Friday, December 30, 2011

City View 4

I can never seem to get enough of seeing the Space Needle.  It makes me smile each time it comes into my view, especially when it pops up unexpectedly in the background.

I have wondered if and when this phenomenon will wear off.  I also wonder if I will become immune to the breathtaking views with mountains in the background.  Most long-term residents say that it will wear off, without being able to say when.  A few people who have lived here many years say that it never wears off.  I tend to think that I will be in that category.  I have always tried to stop and smell the posies.

So this is just one, of what I am sure will be many, pictures of our views here in the Puget Sound.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Small Park, Big View

I haven't written about any parks for a while.  I have still been going on my hikes, but not as much.  The weather is not so motivating, though it is still typically temperate enough for most hikes.  I hope to try one up to some snow, but for now I am looking at a park that takes about 60 seconds to walk from one end of the other.  This is perfect for borderline weather because you can take a car or bus and be done in just a few minutes.

 This is the Louisa Boren Lookout Park.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Window Shaping

It was exciting once again living in a larger city with a vital downtown during the holiday season.  Honestly, I did most all of my present shopping in Capitol Hill supporting smaller businesses.  However, it was a joy to go downtown into the shopping area during December.  In shopping malls that time of year, people seem stressed and hurried.  On Pine Street, people were smiling and festive.  It was just as crowded as a mall, but people seemed much happier to be there.  I guess there IS something soul-sucking about the mall.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Lights

Some lights and decorations from around town.  Not the most or the best, just some I saw and thought were interesting and fun.

Nube window in Capitol Hill

Friday, December 23, 2011

Holiday Stuff Around Town 5

I keep saying I am going to write something, but this time of year, who am I kidding.  But I have been out taking lots of pictures of lights, so they will be up this weekend.  For now enjoy this video.

Someone's apartment balconies in Belltown.   

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Get Lit in Greenlake

Another cool thing about this city.  Each year, people line the path around the lake at Green Lake with luminaries.  Then people dress up themselves and their pets in lights and parade around the lake.  It is a beautiful sight.  Unfortunately, I could only see a taste of it this year, so I hope to see the whole thing next year.

Here is one of the dogs waiting for his entrance into the park.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Scotch in Ballard

I have to admit I am excited about the McLeod's Scottish Pub opening tonight in Ballard.  It is from the owners of Poquito's and Bastille.  I think that Poquito's food is hit or miss and I have not eaten at Bastille, but both have incredible atmospheres and great drinks.  So I am sure the atmosphere will be great and I love Scotch Whiskey.  They will serve 50 of them and hope to have 100 more within the year.  I cannot wait.  I am going to go right now and see if I can find some change under the sofa cushions to fund an outing. 

Local Cereal

I love finding unique local products and supporting local businesses.  Sometimes it takes a bit more effort than shopping at giant (though convenient stores).  Luckily, living in Seattle there are not as many big box stores to go around and even some of the chains that are here like to support local business.  It is awesome to discover a product that is readily available (and of which you might already be a fan) is local.  Such was the case for me with Cascadian Farms.  I supported them long before moving to Seattle.

I eat massive amounts of cereal these days.  Not having a 40 hour work week, I am always eating at home.  So I am always trying to find the best deals on the most healthy cereals.  Some locally made granolas are tasty, but not inexpensive (or even that healthy), so are a rare treat.  I was happy to find that Madison Market and local groceries carry a brand called Nature's Path, and I was even happier to find out that it is made locally.

The cereals are delicious and healthy.  I have tried almost every flavor now and have liked almost all of them.  The cranberry ginger sounds good on paper, but the fruit and ginger had the consistency of cardboard.  A rare miss for this company.  Right now I am eating the Heritage, made from ancient heirloom whole grains.  It goes great with bananas.  Give this company a try. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Stuff Around Town 3

From a community center in Capitol Hill
It is an inflated carousel with Christmas character riders.  It is actually revolving on the inside.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

Light Party

This is in an apartment, and it runs like this every night.

If anyone is home, how does this not drive them crazy?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bar Notes 2


You may have read that Rachel Marshall (of Rachel's Ginger Beer Fame), along with Kate Opatz and Adam Peters, have opened a bar in lower Capitol Hill on Olive Way.  They will sell the Ginger Beer next door.  I went and Montana is a great little bar.  Nothing fancy or pretentious; just a good hangout.  I will write more about it and my love for Rachel's Ginger Beer soon.

 Moscow Mule


I wrote about this before.  It seems that the opening has been pushed back to early 2012.  Work on the space has slowed down because of the holidays.  Rather than freak out, they decided to just take their time and get it right.  Cannot wait.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Little People Have Bigger Trees

The saddest little "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree I ever did see.  Actually, even Brown's tree was about three times taller.  This one is less than two feet tall.  As you can see, the tag is about as long as the tree is tall.

It was so sad that the employee at the QFC said she was sort of hiding it in the bushes so that people did not really think that it was for sale.  The price was $16.  As she said, I think they just lopped off the top of a much larger tree.  I think she had the best interest of the company in mind because this tree was embarrassing.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Unicorn Love

As much as I love exploring the city and trying new places, I also love to return to places I already discovered.  With limited dollars, it is sometimes difficult to chose between venturing out and returning to the tried and true.  Unicorn is one place I return to again and again.

Why?  Good question.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Move Over Brits, Local Gin is Here

I love to drink.  I also love supporting local businesses.  Across the country, there has obviously been a long wave of local breweries opening.  I have supported that movement since its inception.  I have sometimes supported that movement to excess.  I have also supported the craft cocktail movement (again sometimes to great excess - liquor is quicker).  Of course that often meant buying booze from giant multinational corporations.  Now, Seattle is again on the forefront of the craft distillery movement (calling it a movement sounds more high-minded than just drinking local booze).  There has been a boom of local distilleries.  Several have opened just since I moved to Seattle six months ago.  Several more are on the horizon over the next year.

I plan to sample each and every one of them (just in the name of journalism of course), but I am going to begin with Sound Spirits.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Stuff I See Around Town

Not sure this was for the holidays as it shows little traditional holiday trimmings, but it was stuck on a post in front of a house (and was not there before this week).

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Future Transit

I am a big fan of mass transit.  I would not have moved to this city if it did not have decent transit, but it is also the promise of future expansions that made the place attractive.  The underground light rails and above-ground street cars are going to make this city so much more attractive and livable.  Someday we may even catch up to Portland.

While I was already well aware of the line being constructed from the University of Washington to downtown (through Capitol Hill), and the streetcar that they are about to start on (from Capitol Hill to the International District), I was unaware of the plans beyond that.  I did know that some people are trying to get a line run to Ballard (and I totally support that).  I did not know that the UW line will keep going north some years after the current line is finished.  I recently discovered these cool videos of simulations the constructions sites (and thus where the stations will be). The first is of the Brooklyn Station.  This will be located right off of 45th in the University District, right next to that tall building with the "U" on top.  This will be so convenient for getting to the funky shopping and cheap ethnic food of the U District, though buses already do a pretty damn good job.

The other station is the Roosevelt station, located further north. This will be near 65th street and serve the Ravenna and Greenlake neighborhoods.  

The line will then continue north to Northgate.  This is all several years in the future, but it is still good to know.  The videos may be a little esoteric, but I found them interesting.  Call me a geek, if you like.