Monthly Archives: August 2011

Being (a little bit of a tourist) around Seattle

Friday afternoon proved to be decidedly pretty after a foggy and cool morning. I breathed a small sigh of relief when the hope that I felt as I donned capris and tank top at 5 am when I headed to work, turned out to be well founded. After sitting in the sunny garden with the cat for a relaxing half hour or so, I headed to meet Andy downtown at Kell’s. We were planning on meeting one of his work friends at Bookstore Bar for Happy Hourvlater and figured that the Kell’s patio was as good of a place as any to while away the time. Alas, it wasn’t to be. There were so many tourists that we were relegated to the dark back area by the bar (which is great on a rainy November afternoon with a pasty and a Smithwicks) but doesn’t really do it for one of the few nice days that we have had this “summer.” We made our way through the market past the Mexican grocer (no sour oranges yet – apparently they only have them for a short period of time when they are in season) and the fish monger (I love the salty, fishy smell. It is so Seattle) and out onto First Ave. As we debated where Bookstore Bar was, a very nice lady, probably mistaking us for tourists scrutinizing the Yelp App on our iPhones, asked us if we needed any help finding something. It was very sweet and made me feel like I was on vacation for a moment. As we walked down First towards our destination, I noticed that the street that was once home to the Lusty Lady, several head shops and other dark and dirty corners, had gone through something of a revival. A few cute shops have sprung up and some intriguing bars. Of course the SAM also lends it an air of, if not sophistication, at least artistic vigor…this is still First Ave after all and really, as a native Seattleite, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Bookstore bar is in the Alexis Hotel and across from Hotel 1000 so I am sure that there are quite a few tourists that go there. It is a unique spot though and a place that natives can enjoy as well for a few after work happy hour drinks and bites. The bartender wasn’t the best however, which was a little disappointing. I am always dismayed when bartenders who wear nice vests and look, well, “old timey” don’t make good drinks. It seems an affront to the profession. Andy’s work friend and her husband appreciate good food and drink so it was fun hanging out with them and they suggested our next stop, the ultra touristy yet awesome Ivar’s Fish House on the waterfront. Happy Hour from 3 to close. Enough said. It was packed but we got a table and sampled that calamari (plentiful and not too greasy and accompanied by a delightful sauce), a seafood cocktail with shrimp, prawns, crab, mango and avocado, chowder of course (tasty and the right consistency and quite bacon-full) and BBQ pork sliders on soft buns. Yummy! After an inexpensive snack, we decided to kick it up a notch at Zig Zag, just up the hill towards the market from the Waterfront. Many whiskies and good conversation later, we headed to 2nd Ave for late night eats at the newly remodeled Wasabi Bistro. Two rolls and two bowls of miso later, we felt we had the wherewithal to stumble into a cab and head home after a lovely extended happy hour, which is the best kind of course.