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Seattle Diary


JULIA FRODERMAN
Posted 08/14/2010

One of the most romantic cities in America, Seattle is a place of romance and... great coffee!

Seattle is a city of contrasts, and that means a city of neighborhoods. For example, visitors can enjoy one day exploring the twisted streets that converge within Tangle Town, sampling the fare of its many restaurants or the micro brews of the Tangle Town Elysian Brewing Company.

On the next day, they can search out their favorite Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Cambodian, or Filipino specialties in the International District before catching a game at the Mariner's nearby Safeco Field. After that, there will still be dozens more unique and fascinating Seattle neighborhoods to explore not the least of which is Downtown.

DOWNTOWN SEATTLE AND BELLTOWN

Downtown is the heart of Seattle laying at the edge of the sound. The modern business district slopes up and away from the water starting at the world-famous Pike Place Market and rising toward the shimmering angular sculpture that is the new public library designed by renowned architect Rem Koolhaas.

Pike Place Market with its dozens of vendors and rows upon rows of fresh flowers is probably best known for the energetic goings-on at the Pike Place Fish Company where the staff happily barks out orders as fresh fish literally fly through the air to be wrapped for the customer who ordered them. The philosophy behind the market : that of making and finding joy in everyday work so captivates visitors that among the top selling items at the market is their own book about how it's done.

The dazzling new Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is here as well. In terms of both architecture and art it is an amazing melding of old and new. Tour it for free on the first Thursdays of any month.

Just northwest of Downtown, is Belltown. Once a ragtag mixture of bars, dance halls and theaters, like similar neighborhoods in New York and elsewhere, Belltown underwent an artistic renaissance starting in the 70's and has since attracted lots of young professionals and others looking for a hip place to live and set up shop.

SPORTS

The sports scene in Seattle has grown in recent years and Seattle is now home to Mariners baseball at Safeco Field. Seahawks football and Sounders soccer are played at Qwest Field. The WNBA's Seattle Storm plays at the KeyArena at the Seattle Center.

ATTRACTIONS INDOORS AND OUT


For nature lovers, this is the place. There is freshwater boating, water sports and fishing on Lake Washington and Lake Union as well as on nearby rivers and streams, and the sea beckons from the shores of the Puget Sound. For sun and surf lovers, the Pacific shore is not far away. To try mountain biking, hiking, climbing, or skiing, head to either of the two great mountain ranges overlooking the city : the Cascades or the Olympics.

Back in the city proper, head out to the Space Needle to grab a spectacular 360 degree view of the city and its surroundings. Once back to earth, head out to the Woodland Park Zoo, the Hiram Chittenden Locks, the Tillicum Indian Village, or the Seattle Aquarium.

CULTURE

There is plenty in Seattle to satisfy your thirst for art and culture as well including 37 historical sites, an equal number of performing arts centers and 17 museums. Some of the most popular are the 9-acre Olympic Sculpture Park beginning at the beach in Belltown, the Henry Art Museum at the University of Washington, the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the downtown Seattle Art Museum.

McCaw Hall at the Seattle Center is home to the Pacific Northwest Ballet and the Seattle Opera. Touring performers of all types come here as well.

DINING

Seattle has long been recognized as a Mecca for foodies, so it was no surprise when Travel & Leisure magazine included no fewer than 7 Seattle restaurants in their list of the 50 best new U.S. restaurants for 2009. Among them is Poppy where chef Jerry Traunfeld melds south Indian cuisine with that of the Pacific Northwest.

Try lunch at the Bizzaro Café where the fresh ingredients on your plate will never have traveled more than 300 miles.

BUSINESS

Seattle is not just a place to play. It is a world-class business city as well. Amazon is here as are Microsoft, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Safeco, and Weyerhauser.

The city is a center for international business as well and Washington leads the U.S. in the exporting of goods. The city's airport is served by eleven international airlines and direct service is available to dozens of capital cities and trading centers around the globe.

Health care is important to the area as well, with Seattle's sophisticated health care complex providing cutting-edge services to the entire Pacific Northwest.

So, whether you plan to come to Seattle for work or play, or a great deal of both, you're sure to be landing in exactly the right place.