Seattle………..The Renegade’s Way
It is a bit of a bummer that this city sits over 3,127.66 miles from my doorstep. Seattle, Washington, also known with love as the Emerald City of the Pacific Northwest was a special oasis for me where some rainy days can bring 37 inches of rain, and you get the double bonus prize of both sea and mountain backgrounds that are simply breathtaking to these old eyes.
And this area also has a long standing tradition/ love affair with baseball. From the Triple-A Tacoma Rainers to the feisty home dwellers of beautiful Safeco Field, the Seattle Mariners, this region is a baseball haven. One of the Rays ex-Bullpen Coaches, Matt Sinatro still has a baseball facility in this region.
People forget, that the Tampa Bay Baseball group was in the process of buying the Mariner’s when the local government stepped in and saved the sale of the team buying promising a new stadium and development in the SODO (South Downtown) district.
So it is about time that I list some of the great thing the guys can do in their off time while they are out in Seattle, or at least some of the thing I would be into doing if I was there this weekend.
First off, if you are a music fan, this town can be a haven for lovers of all different types of music. You can go celebrate like Sir Mix-a-lot and his crew on Broadway right to the west of the Space Needle and stop at Dick’s and get you a burger to die for. This is the region talked about in his classic video, “Posse on Broadway.”
Or if you want to pay your respects to those who have fashioned some of today’s music tastes and visit the final resting places of Jimi Hendrix in Renton or maybe Bruce Lee and his son Brandon Lee. While you are out there, you can visit the Troll under the Bridge in Freemont. This awesome sculpture is actually fashioned within the underneath support of a highway bridge in the small town.
As the Rays get up in the morning while they are staying at the Westin on 5th Avenue near the downtown district, the Rays could stroll on down to Doc Maynard’s and take in the Underground Tour which starts in Pioneer Square and will make them aware of some of the odd characteristics of this town, and maybe you will get a ghost sighting at the old bank vault. Seattle was originally built at sea level. And this brought about some interesting plumbing problems during high tide.
Or maybe they are just thirsty and want to travel out to the Red Hook Brewery, which has its home base here in Seattle. The company, which crafts different types of beer was started in this are in 1981. Red Hook started in an old transmission shop and moved 20 miles east of the city where they still have Tuesday Night Trivia at the Forecaster’s Pub located right off the brewery.
Or maybe Hard Lemonade is your thing? You know that Seattle is also home to Mike’s Hard Lemonade, which was first made here back in 1999 after they moved the operations from Lakewood, Colorado to Seattle.
But then you have local food icons like Beth’s where the team can all join in to take on their signature 12-egg omelette’s and hash browns, or maybe sit in the Pope’s Room at Buco de Beppo near Lake Washington. But then there are local icons like Ivar’s. where the fish is so fresh the fish slaps you before you eat it.
But there is a host of ethnic variety from Turkish food at Bistro Turkuaz to Catfish Corner on Cherry Street that brings back the Southern charm of soul food to this Florida boy. Icons like Iron Chef Mario Batali and his family’s deli Salumi in this town, along with some of the local flavor of places like Flying Squirrel Pizza Company founded by ex-musician Bill Coury.
It would take me 10 years to sample all the different types and styles of dining in this town. I mean small breweries like Pyramid Brewing, which is within the shadow of Safeco field, or the small brewhouses like Circa that make a Sunday brunch of Hawaiian sweet-bread French toast. The region has all the great flavors and tastes of the world hidden within 30 miles of the center of the city.
The region is a gold mine for seafood, and you can get some of the finest and freshest in the world off the docks or, in the local Farmer’s Markets. But he granddaddy of them all is Pikes Market located right on the ridge of the city’s hub and is within walking distance of the monorail that goes up and down the Seattle slope towards the World’s Fair location.
Everyone knows their “Public Market” sign that has been emblazoned on movies screens and backdrops for years. But it is within the confines of this small market that is found one of the true gems of this city, and my personal favorite fast food. Just mention the name Prioshky-Prioshky to a local and their mouth will water. They do not do sushi, but does the Eastern European classic pirogies that are to simply die for………totally. the last few times I went out to Seattle, I brought back a dry ice box filled with 10 pounds of their tasty morsels.It is simply worth the trip to just taste one of them.
But there is a huge combination of places in the market that are great, like Taxidogs, or even I Love New York Deli that does the mile high sandwiches just like Katz’s Deli in NYC. Oh, and be sure to visit the Spoon Man and tell him the “Florida Cracker” said Hello. I loved this guy and his unique take on music from raps to old boogie-woogie with just two spoons. Classic entertainment.
The region is teeming with great sightseeing adventures too, like the compound of the 1980 World Fair that houses the city’s icon, the Space Needle, or wander out to Ballard Locks and check out the salmon steps put into the lake’s lock system to keep them jumping to their spawning grounds. Or maybe take the amphibious Duck Tour and see Microsoft founder Bill Gates compound from the lakeside.
Seattle is one of the town that has stayed in my mind for what seems like forever. It is a perfect meshing of technology and culture, with a spice of ethnic individuality and pride.
I hope you can some time in your life hit a baseball game at Safeco Field ( my favorite park) and stroll around the city a few days. Just like the charm of San Francisco, Seattle can take you away from stress and responsibilities for a few minutes with just the aroma of the freshly brewed coffee along the storefronts. Off days for a baseball team can be either a day of rest, or exploration.
Whatever your taste in anything, I bet you I can find what you need in this town during your travels here. From crafted beers made daily, to sending a fresh slab salmon back home, this town has what you need, what you desire, and will make you smile for years afterwards just by its vibe.
Seriously, this is one of those town after you visit you will talk about for a long time…..I know I am still talking and dreaming about it now, 35 years after my first gaze at the Space Needle.