I’m a guy who really likes revisiting some places. Actually, I prefer to go 10 times to the same city if I really like it, than going somewhere new. Maybe this is not ideal, but that’s just who I am.
Therefore, it was with great pleasure that I faced the opportunity to go to Seattle for the third time. Not only is a city I thoroughly enjoy, it was the first time that I got back since writing Straight and Lethal which made it rather special, as I passed by the places where the characters of the story “Queen City Rockers” interacted.
Of course it rained a lot, it was Seattle after all. But this is nothing that a good umbrella or overcoat can’t take care of.
A few things changed since the last time I’ve been there, chiefly among them the change of location of the two best record stores in town: Silver Platters and Easy Street Records. Silver Platters is on First Avenue now, in a place you can easily commute by bus and they have a store in Bellevue that you can walk to, if you’re willing to do a 25 minutes back and forth exercise. Easy Street is on the West Side, complicated if’ you don’t have a car (which was my case), so I couldn’t go there this time. But Silver Platters was more than enough for my little record shopping spree.
Another change of address was form the wonderful Elliot Bay Book Company. One of my favorite bookstores ever, it is now located on Capitol Hill. Coming from downtown is a steep slope to walk and a long distance, but it’s worth it. The place is still beautiful with a maddening variety of titles. And as we are talking bookstores, I can’t forget to mention that Silver Platters now carries books. I found a used Freddie Mercury biography I was looking for a long time there. And let me give honorable mention to Mercer Street Bookstore; a lot of great titles at ridiculously low prices.
And how about great museums? This time, the exposition at the Seattle museum of art wasn’t something I like, but went to three great places: the Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Worlds exposition at the EMP, the Chihuly Garden and Glass and The Flight Museum.
I’ve been to the EMP (Experience Music Project) before so this time I didn’t visit the Rock and Roll part, which is great, by the way. But this expo was so different. You could see things from a lot of movies and series including Alien, The Shinning, Lord of the Rings, Wizard of Oz, Star Wars, Lost in Space and many others. Plus, a lot of informative short-films with interviews and much interaction. It’s a mandatory visit.
The Chihuly Garden is just beside it (they are all at Seattle Center, beside the Space Needle). It’s one of the most beautiful things I ever saw. You can’t see me in the photo above, but the important thing is the installation. These are all glass sculptures! It looks like something out of a dream, absolutely gorgeous. The guy was a true wonderful artist.
The Flight Museum is on a category of his own. You would need about three days to visit only the WWII planes part. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to stay very long, but there’s just one more reason to go back.
And food and drink? Amazing options! Aside from the usual suspects: Yard House, Rock Bottom, Pike Street Brewery, Maggiano’s (in Bellevue) and Gordon Biersch, there are two other places I went to for the first time that are worth mentioning: Elysian Fields Brewery (right beside Century Link Field; great beer and definitely a top three best burger I have ever eaten) and Duke’s (marvelous seafood that you can enjoy eating looking at the no less marvelous Lake Union). And if you have a sweet tooth just like me, try Gelatiamo at 3rd Street and their wonderful candies and ice-creams. As a final thought, a great salute to Seattle local beers. Wonderfully tasting!
All in all, if you’ve never been to Seattle and your likes are similar to mine, I highly recommend a visit.
W.A.S.P. – Babylon
Bathory – s/t
Thin Lizzy – Jailbreak
Bridge of Spies
Blood Canticle – Anne Rice
Be sure to check out my book “Straight and Lethal”
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