I ♥ Seattle

Ahh, Seattle.

Seattle is godless.

We are, rather famously, one of the least churched cities in North America. It seems that most of us have better things to do on a Sunday morning than go to church. Seattleites would rather take a hike. Or nurse a hangover. Or fire up the bong.

It sounds like my kind of place…and it should, I grew up there.

So I’m taking a little vacation to the Pacific Northwest, and will be visiting family and taking in the sights the first week of July, from the 1st to the 8th. All you Seattleites can use this thread to tell me how wonderful the place is and what I ought to do in my brief visit there. Is the Science Fiction Museum worth seeing? Any fabulous seafood restaurants that have opened in the last 10 years? Good brew pubs? I think I’ll skip the churches.

And of course, if anyone wants to meet up somewhere, sometime, maybe we can arrange something here. It’s a brief visit, unfortunately, but I should have an evening or two free.


  1. Kearby says

    The Sci-Fi Museum is pretty underwhelming. It’s basically just a closet in the back of the Experience Music Project with Captain Kirk’s chair and a couple of models.

  2. argystokes says

    Any good brew pubs? Yeah, about a dozen. But I think the one most up your alley would be the Jolly Roger (the brewery being Maritime) in Ballard. In terms of beer quality, I’d say your best bet is Hale’s, also in Ballard.

  3. shiftlessbum says


    If it’s in the cards, post where you’ll be. Beers are on me!

    Ok, so YOUR beer’s on me. I suspect that there will be many in attendance. Still, I would very much like to buy you a beer. The sea of ignorance and theocracy we find ourselves in here in the good ol’ USofA, it is easy to give up hope. There’s a reason I moved to Seattle; sort of like those folks climbing to the stern of the Titantic. Pathetic and desparate. BUT. I read Pharyngula daily and between you, Dr. Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, all the other blogs you link to (which I also read) and many, many regulars here…. I owe someone something.

    Beer is always good, no?

  4. says

    Forget Seattle, as a former Duck you surely know that Oregon is the true godless state (well, Eugene and Portland that is, the only two places that really count :-)

    Come on down to Portland while you’re in the area and get a real taste of hedonism. Our microbreweries will have you sloshed faster than Ted Haggard can phone a prostitute.

  5. Prof. Bleen says

    I wouldn’t say the SF Museum is quite as disappointing as Kearby makes it sound, but I have to agree that it is not overwhelming. The prop collection at the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas is as impressive (albeit more restricted in breadth) as the SF Museum’s.

  6. says

    Seattle is very near the top of my favorite cities list. The only bad experience I’ve had there was waking up with a massive, brain-shredding hangover. But, that’s more a reflection on the hospitality and my willingness to cave to peer pressure than a complaint about the city. It is an absolutely beautiful place.

  7. RavenT says

    Is the Science Fiction Museum worth seeing?

    Just don’t go to the bathroom there, either, if you’re feeling particularly pedantic that day :).

    The signs are a nice try at design, but biologically wrong–among other icons like the Voyager man and woman, they have the bird sex chromosomes ZZ and ZW. Only they indicate the men’s bathroom with the heterogametic ZW, and the women’s bathroom with the homogametic ZZ.

    All that money Paul Allen spent, and the designers couldn’t bother to crack open a basic biology book to get the facts right. :)

    Mr. Raven and I will buy you a beer while you’re in town, though–just let us know when and where!

  8. says

    My biased opinion on the SF Museum: “Dang it, their book exhibit is too small!” Otherwise, if you like ogling movie props…

  9. Jen says

    Hey, oddly enough, I’m flying to Seattle from Oakland on the 6th. I’ll be there that weekend.

    If there’s a bar you want to meet at, pick it and I’ll show up. Possibly with some other god-free heathens in tow who read your blog.

  10. says

    Skip Seattle and come to Vancouver! That’s what I did (on the advice of some woman I met on a train), and I ended up moving here…

  11. Sparkomatic says

    Head north to Orcas Island PZ. I’ll introduce you to the local orca whales and the beer’s on me.

  12. Jeff says

    I’m heading to the Boeing Museum this weekend to fill up my digital camera SD cards. I’ll let you know how it is.

  13. Travis says

    Indeed, don’t bother with that Seattle place. Just keep going a little north and visit us here in Vancouver. I’m sure you can find more than enough people to buy all the drinks you could possibly need.

  14. David says

    Good fish restaurant: Flying Fish.

    I’ll buy you and Mary dinner there on the 1st, if you’re available. Details in private email.

  15. Crudely Wrott says

    Article said; “Seattleites would rather take a hike. Or nurse a hangover. Or fire up the bong.”

    I find the reverse procedure more efficacious. Used to use it as preparation for hunting marine fossils and petrified wood. Amazing how the eye becomes focused to just certain kinds of stones!

  16. says

    I actually just got back from a trip there, oddly enough.

    I will first point out that Chateau St. Michelle winery and the Red Hook brewery are literally across the street from each other, and both run free tours that include tastings. Those are a bit out from Seattle, though, in Woodinville.

    Despite what the other commenters said, I enjoyed the Sci Fi Museum. It’s not huge, but it doesn’t lack for stuff to look at. My only gripe would be that it had no Serenity/Firefly memorabilia. ;) The admission isn’t very much, and you also get access to the Experience Music Project on one ticket.

    When it town, I ate at two restaurants that were fabulous in their own way. One was Elliott’s on the waterfront. They had amazing salmon. The other was a little Italian place called Pasta Freska (sic). Don’t ask me how to find it, but it was fabulous. There’s no menu, the chef just comes out to your table and asks if there’s anything you don’t eat. Then they whip up a bunch of courses according to those restrictions. The food was delicious, but prepare to leave completely stuffed.

    Interesting about the lack of churches. Looking back, I don’t think I noticed even one during the two days I was there. A weird change from Boston, where you pretty much can’t find a piece of skyline that lacks a steeple. There were a lot of private-run parking lots in Seattle, though. Maybe that says something about the city, or maybe it doesn’t.

  17. says

    Catch the Bainbridge ferry at the downtown terminal and come on over to Bainbridge Island. A 30 minute ride, and you’ll see the best view ever, snow-capped mountains on all sides while you float on Puget Sound. Maybe even an orca if you’re lucky.

    Once you’re here on Bainbridge, there’s Cafe Nola, Harbor Public House (pub), Mora gourmet ice cream. All googleable or ask for details and I’ll join you.

    And if you’ve never seen Seattle from on high, take the tourist elevator to the top of the hokey Space Needle, and see the 360 panorama from Olympic Mtns to Ranier to North Cascades to Mt. Baker. Awesome.

    If you’re feeling lively, rent a kayak and paddle on the Sound one day. Salmon fishing??

    Absolute best thing you could do? It’s a bit of a drive, but incredible, take a day trip to see Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (it blew it’s top in 1980, I saw it!!!). Truly awe-inspiring view of a recent explosive eruption site, natural forces at their grandest.

    The new outdoor sculpture park downtown is nice. Enjoy, you’re coming at the best time of year here.

  18. Sophist, FCD says

    I will first point out that Chateau St. Michelle winery and the Red Hook brewery are literally across the street from each other, and both run free tours that include tastings.

    And if it’s been your lifelong dream to see Chris Isaak or the Moody Blues, they’ve got that covered too.

    I bet you can hardly contain your excitement…

  19. Shane says

    If you’ve never seen one, on July 4th you can take a tour of the Abe Lincoln aircraft carrier up at Everett.

    I’d offer a tour of the Boeing plant, but they don’t let us do that except once a year (this year it is on August 19).

  20. Brian says

    Skip Seattle and Vancouver, head a little bit south-west and after a day or so, you’ll be in Melbourne, Australia. I’ll by you a beer for your effort.
    And offer too good to resist me thinks!

  21. CalGeorge says

    I love going to Seattle. Go see the Ballard Locks. The have fish passage ladders. Peek inside the new Library. Beautiful modern architecture.

  22. K says

    I went to the Science Fiction Museum in the beginning of May. It wasn’t great but it wasn’t terrible either. I found it interesting.
    The best part was the oral history exhibit in the Experience Music Project which is awesome. It’s a chance to watch different authors discuss their craft, SF conventions, and other influential authors. I could have spent hours in that section alone.

  23. says

    I concur w/the poster who said to visit the Locks (free thanks to the Army Corps of Engineers – though Bush budgets have them considering admission) and the downtown library. Also, sneak a peek at the Univ of Washington (U Dub). The quad is beautiful and some of the buildings date from the mid and late nineteenth century – not bad for a west coast city. Hope we would get to meet you while you’re here. Have a great time.

  24. says

    the only time i’ve been to the science fiction museum was when my boyfriend’s office holiday party was hosted there. we had the place to ourselves, it was late, and we had a lot of alcohol. THAT is the way you stare down the alien queen.

  25. pg says

    Hey PZ,

    In case you do decide to check out the churches (ha!), read ‘A Month of Sundays’ in this week’s The Stranger (www.thestranger.com) for a fairly broad survey of churches in the area. The feedback about the article was pretty interesting, too. The Stranger is edited by Dan Savage, who writes a column in the back of The Onion and is pretty frequently hilarious.

  26. says

    Add my name to the list of eager hosts.

    Seattle remains a good restaurant town; I’m sure we could find some great new seafood places, though I still favor some of the old standards down on Alaska Way.

    The SF Museum is nice. Like many say, it is completely overshadowed by the Experience Music Project at the other end of the building. Still, it is worth the time for the total geek (and I speak as one).

    You know that the Drinking Liberally gang will want to lay claim to you for a night. They usually meet on Tuesdays in Montlake, across the canal from the U District. It’s not within crawling distance of any brewpubs, but it is within ten minutes designated driver time of about a dozen. That might be a good day and place to start a pub crawl. I’ll bet they would gladly meet on another night if that fits your schedule better.

    Will you be staying down in the old homeland of Kent or up in the city? Considering the density of brewpubs around here these days, I’m sure we could find enough in the Kent neighborhood for a good crawl. Finding enough liberal secularists is another matter.

    We really should organize some sort of obnoxious mass visit to the Discovery Institute. Maybe we could spend a whole day calling to ask if they have Prince Albert in a can or if their refrigerator is running. (I’m kidding. Harassment is a crime and wrong. Just say no to mooning the DI.)

    My suggestions just get worse from here on out. I’ll stop now.

  27. Dr. Strangelove says

    I lived in the SeaTac area while I was an exchange student at UPS, and I totally fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. Apart from the beautiful landscape the people are very nice, quite different from most other parts of the USA. The atmosphere in Seattle is very laid back. It seems Seattleites can’t do anything without first having a coffee on a terrace, which is a very European attitude.

    Americans aren’t very popular here in Europe at the moment. They’re seen as loud, fat, dumb and uninterested in world affairs, except when there’s some blowing up to do. When I try to counter this attitude by explaining that there are also lots of ‘good’ Americans, I always tell people to visit Seattle and see for themselves.

  28. Bossy Joe says

    Definitely get to the new SAM Sculpture Garden, which is free and beautiful, even if you’re an art know-nothing like myself. I haven’t been to the revamped art museum proper, though I’ve heard it’s very well done.

    I’ll second recommendations for the downtown library, Flying Fish, and the Science Fiction Museum. They did recently lower prices and put EMP and SFM admission on the same ticket, which is a pretty good deal. The SFM collection is small, but they have some interesting stuff. Most amazing (at least when I was there) was the enormous stack of paper that is the longhand first draft of Neal Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon.

    Oh, and if you’re looking for a new restaurant, try Steelhead Diner. Great food and great location.

  29. says

    I want to put some hearty seconds on several items already mentioned:

    Ride the ferry to Bainbridge Island as a pedestrian.

    DEFINITELY eat at Pasta Freska. It’s at Roy and Westlake across from the Lake Union Marina Mart. Joshua ruined the surprise for you, but you won’t be disappointed. From Fremont, cross the drawbridge and take Westlake Ave left/south until you get to a funky pedestrian bridge. That light is Roy St. From Downtown, take Westlake Ave north to same location. The restaurant is on the West side of the street.

    The sculpture garden is cool too.

    I agree that the Sci-Fi museum is underwhelming, but you could get really into it. The Seattle Art Museum just reopened after a 2 year remodel. It is actually worth seeing now.

    We may not have a lot of churches, but we sure have a lot of libraries. There are a number of really nice neighborhood ones – with excellent architecture spanning from the original Carnegie Libraries to Classic Northwest Modern to our crown jewel: the Rem Koolhaas designed central library at 1000 4th Ave.

    It would be really neat to meet you – maybe at drinking liberally Tuesday at 8:00? Montlake Ale House, 2307 24th Ave E. It’s hosted by Nicholas Beaudrot and Chris Mitchell: seattle (at) drinkingliberally.org

  30. Leo Ger says

    Finally! I’ve been getting jealous at all the other towns that get to buy you a drink, PZ.

    Skip the sci fi museum. Red Hook Brewery in Ballard makes some fantastic microbrews, as does the Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Bellevue if you’re willing to cross Lake Washington. I’m looking forward to the the inevitable meeting of the godless that will take place.

  31. Greg says

    Seattle is wonderful. Check out the Coastal Kitchen on 15th ave on Capital Hill. Their rotating menu when I was visiting a few weeks ago was Jamacian, and the key lime pie is always great. Sadly, you will miss Science on Tap at the pub at Third Place Books in Ravenna (last monday of the month). You could spend your entire sunday there as the whole day is happy hour (so that’s why church’s aren’t cutting it). If you find yourself on the UW campus head down to the Agua Verde Cafe down by Fisheries and Oceanography – rent a kayak and paddle around Lake Union a bit, try to board the Thomas G. Thompson if it’s docked (is pirating allowed from kayaks?) and then paddle back to the cafe for some tacos. The Burke Museum is good too, but my favorite stuff is hiding in the research collections rather than the displays.

    Three last words: used book stores.

  32. Duncan says

    Not a brewpub, but it was a second home when I was working in seattle – the Great Nabob, lower Queen Anne (walkable from the space needle, science centre and all that…).

    Otherwise, I’d also recommend Ballard and the various random cafes, bars and so forth. the Lockspot is pretty famous, and apparently rightly so, for its fish and chips.

  33. MikeJ says

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that Drinking Liberally is at the Montlake Alehouse on Tuesdays. I haven’t been myself in a month or two, but I hear there’s always a good crowd.

    You’ll be just a bit too late for the Yukon river salmon (available this week in the area) or Copper river (two weeks ago). Even so, you can still find plenty of good fish.

  34. Brian Thompson says

    WOOT! Seattle! I miss her so! I don’t have anything more to add to that discussion, except that its very odd that I now live in a place where I don’t have a landmark I can see from any vantage point in the neighboring 50 miles…

  35. says

    I pretty much agree with the other comments about the SF museum: not as bad as all that, but not that great either. I did like the bathroom signs, though:

    Men’s room
    Ladies’ room

    While you’re in Seattle, don’t forget to go to Archie McPhee.

    Oh, and be sure to visit Mount St. Helens and see how it supports a young earth and a global flood.

  36. Nicolette K says

    Hi Professor Myers… :) I love Seattle – I’ve decided to stay here though I’m done with grad school.

    Nice liberal attitude, very little racism, very few crazy religious people… what more could you ask for??!

    My favorite beer here is the Mac n Jacks African Amber.

    My two cents…


  37. says

    PZ – you could always take a little spin through the “Mars Hill Experience”, seems right up your alley!

    Seriously though, when you are out here visiting us godless heathens, make sure you hit up Bellino’s in Belltown for the best coffee anywhere.


  38. MegS says

    As for above restaurant suggestions I’d say Costal Kitchen and Flying Fish are fairly run of the mill and unintersting, I’ve had a couple bad meals at Costal Kitchen and never have been impressed with Flying Fish. Better yet are Cafe Zoe, La Medusa, Monsoon and Boat Street Cafe. All serve the frestest and “slow”est foods around Seattle. My favorites! Also go to the large Asian Grocery in the ID for a real treat, and eat there too, they have a cafeteria that is pretty good and full of all sorts of asian and polynesian places to eat –Uwajimaya just south of Downtown. My siblings and I like to play “Uwajimaya Fear Factor” and get each other something we have to taste or sip and present it to each other at the end of the grocery tour. :) I once had to drink and energy drink with turtle extract while my broth had a thai soda that had extract from cliff bird’s nests, which happens to be made of their spit. It’s a really neat place and much better than the SciFi museum.

  39. Bruce says

    Skip Seattle, drive north to Vancouver, catch a ferry ride and drive for two more hours, and we’ll meet you with the boat to get out to Nelson Island. Fresh fish and shellfish, lots of squid swimming around. Offer good 7/4-7.

    Sounds like you need to pick a place in town where all your fans can come and meet you.
    Where’s it gonna be?

  40. says

    Hale’s Ale’s has been mentioned: it’s got great bar food, excellent ales, and big stuffed chairs and couches. Flying Fish is excellent food, a little trendy and expensive, but excellent. If it’s a nice day, the Waterfront Cafe has outdoor dining right on Elliot Bay. Also a little expensive. Also on the waterfront of Elliot Bay is Anthony’s, newly opened. Lots of outdoor seating, which is nice. Food is good, if not fabulous. At the north end of Pike Place Market is Etta’s Seafood. Very good. It’s always worth strolling through the Market. Grab a Hum Bow or piroshky. Fabulous. Chinook’s is right amongst the boats at Fisherman’s Terminal, is big and noisy and very good. And, of course, there’s our house, which overlooks the Mukilteo Ferry, with views up toward Deception Pass and Mt Baker, and in which resides one of the great cooks on the West Coast, and the one who eats her food.

    If you’re into farmers’ markets and are there on Wednesday, take ride to Columbia City (it’s within Seattle, southish). It’s among the most ethnically diverse parts of town, and you’ll hear every language on the planet (OK, a few) and find some great stuff. Best tomatoes and potatoes ever. You can bring them over and we’ll make a salad.

  41. ifriit says

    If you’re in the mood for sushi at all, I highly recommend Nishino at Madison and Lake Washington Boulevard, very good.

  42. CaseyL says

    If you’re in the U District – and, really, how can you visit Seattle and not go to the U District? – Pams’ Kitchen on 50th and the Ave is an incredibly good, incredibly inexpensive restaurant serving Trinidad food (think African-Carib fusion).

    If you have wheels, head out to Third Place Books in Bothell (at the interesection of Bothell and Ballinger Ways; take 5 North to the Lake Forest Park exit, stay right as you exit, then stay on Ballinger Way for about 4 miles. You’ll see Third Place Books in a plaza on your right.) Not as big as Portland’s Powell’s, alas, but like Powells offers new and used books right next to each other in the stacks. Also has food court nearby, including a Honey Bear bakery.

  43. says

    Well, you’ll need to post from Seattle, so I suggest University Zoka’s for Coffee and free Wi-Fi, great music too. I’ll buy you a coffee, Professor. For brewpubs, I love Dad Watson’s in Fremont, or for just a pub, there’s the Red Door. Hale’s is okay, but Dad’s has better beers. Then there’s the monthly Science on Tap at the Pub at Third Place books: http://www.scienceontap.org/

  44. QrazyQat says

    So you don’t have to waste time watching the news while you’re in Seattle, here’s every night’s news:

    Someone killed
    I-5 was shut down due to an accident
    Mariners’ scores

  45. Wilson Fowlie says

    I assume that Bruce of comment #5 and Bruce of comment #44 are two different Bruces. Since I suspect the chances of you actually leaving WA at all are microscopic at best, it is with a mild sense of futility that I vote with the second Bruce and urge you to come up to Vancouver.

  46. says

    I would love to come up to Vancouver, but it’s only a one-week visit, I’m spending some time with my family, and I’m spending some more time with the in-laws in Longview…so it’s just not feasible this time around.

  47. says

    I second the Jolly Roger in Ballard. They have great food and great beer, even if it’s hard to get a table on occasion. The onions rings are the best I’ve ever had. Ask them what they have in the casks, as they usually have two cask-conditioned beers on tap…very tasty IPA from the cask. Seattle, however, has no shortage of good pubs, saloons, wateringholes, and dives for one to hang out in.

    I just moved to Seattle from Minneapolis in October, and I love it here. I’ve already managed to live in Belltown, the ID, and now I’ve settled out in Ballard. I don’t see myself moving any time soon.

  48. Morfydd says

    Do please drop me a line – I’d love to buy you a beer, and introduce you to my premed friend up from Chico.

    I’ve been going far too often to Brouwer’s in Fremont, which has a terrifying selection of mostly Belgian beers, and good fried food.

  49. Karl Rove II says

    Eats in Seattle

    Any of the Tom Douglas places are good, I’ve been to Etta’s, Dahlia Lounge, and Serious Pie (pizzaria).

    Flying Fish is really good.

    Pike Place Brewery for some amazing local and hard to find import beers. Here is a bunch of local places to go:

    If you’re hanging out near Seattle Center I suggest Mediterranean Kitchen, Racha Thai, McMenamins, or T.S. McHugh’s.

    The SciFi Museum/EMP is pricy, you can get in free on the third Thursday(?) of the month after 5pm.

    Boeing Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (just south of the UoW), etc..all good.

    Have fun, relax and try not to let the SeaTac mess get on your nerves.

  50. Steviepinhead says

    This is so cool!

    You’ve already got lots of great recommnedations on tap, although a fair few seem to assume that you haven’t been here in years (I suspect you’re well aware of the Space Needle and the Ballard Locks…), but what the heck!

    Please, PZ, just pick ONE of any of the excellent brew-pub suggestions, pick a night, and LET US KNOW at least a little bit in advance.

    You will clearly not have to buy yourself a single brew all night long.


  51. Karl Rove II says

    Almost forgot, T&T Seafood Restaurant in the International District and Edmonds for great seafood.

    If you get a chance try a Korean place like Hosoonyi in Edmonds or Soojung Korean B.B.Q. in Lynnwood.

  52. Karl Rove II says

    Good news, I was wrong about it being the third Thursday:

    All Access Nights at EMP/SFM
    EMP and SFM join the Seattle tradition of celebrating art and culture by offering free admission from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the first Thursday evening of every month, beginning January 4, 2007. For more information on All Access Nights at EMP/SFM, phone 206-770-2700.

    Have fun!

  53. says

    Excellent suggestions, I plan on trying a few myself and I’ve been out here for 4 years. For the alcohol consuming portion of the evening I second Brouwer’s in Fremont though the Jolly Roger Tap Room is also perfectly acceptable (try their deep fried pickles if you get the chance). Brouwer’s has a 3 page menu of bottled beers and usually about 30 on tap. It’s truly one stop shopping. As for food, Mashiko in West Seattle if you enjoy your fish raw. It’s a new age sushi joint and I suggest calling a day ahead of time and ordering the omakase tasting menu. If Italian is your thing Volterra on Ballard Ave is excellent and for lunch I recommend a Cuban joint in Fremont called Paseo. Their midnight pork sandwich changed my life. Uwajimaya is awesome for an adventurous foodie. I thought my friends and I invented “Uwajimaya Fear Factor”. Weird.

  54. Russell says

    Hey PZ,

    You ought to come visit Portland sometime. There are a few of us in the Bio & Chem departments that would love to take you out to lunch or something.

  55. Martha says

    I suggest the Seattle Aquarium over the Science Fiction Museum. They actually reopen today with new exhibits and a huge new tank. They also keep Giant Octopi, Sea Dragons (they’re touchy so they might not still be there) and cuttlefish.

    I also suggest hitting Ivar’s a few blocks from aquarium along the water front. Spend the afternoon watching the fishes, and then dinner eating them.

  56. christian aaron says

    yes, SF museum quite underwhelming. wouldn’t even go there, honestly.

    i would second the good reviews about the Coastal Kitchen, and there’s a great coffe place on 15th almost next door called the Victrola… mmmmm… if you’re here on a Saturday morning, you’ll likely find me and my girlfriend at the Crumpet Shop on 1st Avenue in Pike Place Market enjoying unbelievable crumpets with various additions (i like the egg + smoked salmon spread) and a crossword puzzle or two…. maybe you can help? sadly, we rarely finish that Saturday Stumper. ENJOY!!

  57. says

    I’m not from Seattle but last time I was there several year ago one of the most amusing tour was the “Seattle Underground Tour.” Apparently at some point Seattle decided to level out parts of the city which resulted in several building moving below street level that were eventually abandoned.

    You also get to learn some of the more colorful history of the pioneer days, such as the role of prostitution in the early Seattle economy. But don’t let me give the wrong impression it isn’t an “adult” tour more like pg-13. I also won’t attest to the accuracy of what they tell you only that it was fun and amusing.

    see: http://www.undergroundtour.com/

  58. BlueIndependent says

    I’d add another reason for the lack of “churchiness” in the Emerald City: it’s so damn beautiful. Seattle kicks ass, period.

    The restaurant I’d recommend was a sort of combination Irish Pub and seafood place. It was at either the Northwest corner of Columbia and 4th Ave. downtown (at the base of the Columbia Center), or the northwest corner of Marion and 4th a block up. Great crawfish etoufee dish. I’m pretty sure it’s owned by McCormick and Schmick’s. It wasn’t expensive, around $10-12 bucks if I recall correctly (lunch time).

  59. says

    Too bad you’re going out west. I mean, good for you, but I finally made it to Madison, Wisconsin for the weekend, which is as close as I’m likely to get to Morris anytime soon. LotStreetWiz is planning to run the ironman triathlon in Madison this fall, so he’s going to go over the bike course a couple of times to get the feel of it. I think I’ll go to the Geology Museum… after I buy a new camera. I dropped ours one too many times as of this morning. If cameras were intelligently designed for me, they’d come with rubber bumpers on the corners. Any science bloggers near Madison?

  60. Kaleberg says

    Take advantage of the compact downtown. Make a day of it. You can check out the Seattle Art Museum (good NW native art collection), hit Pikes’ Place market (good fish show, even a few cephalopods), walk down the steps to the Aquarium (possibly more cephalopods), then walk north along the waterfront to the sculpture garden. From here you can visit the Sci Fi museum, if you wish, or head to Belltown (Flying Fish is there, and it’s one of our favorites) for dinner.

    Unlike many urban harbors, Seattle’s is still working. That grain elevator up near the sculpture garden, it pumps a big percentage of US winter wheat out to Asia. Also, keep your eyes peeled for the phantom mountain. On clear days you can see Mount Rainier from downtown.

    If you are energetic, and have enough time, start in the International District (Uwajimaya is the place for lunch), wander through Pioneer Square (glass blowing, toy stores, art galleries) and then head towards the museum and market.

    We’ll second recommendations for any restaurant by Tom Douglas. Right now, Seattle is on a roll in the food department. Since you are in the NW, you should probably try some NW food. Flying Fish and Dahlia Lounge are the archetypes. Ray’s Boat House and Ivar’s are from the more traditional school. Unless you loathe fish, you should have at least one fresh salmon feast. Even my friend from Boston who hates seafood eats seafood in Seattle.

    If you do get out of town, Bainbridge Island is kind of neat. If nothing else, the ferry ride is a modestly priced entertainment that offers a great view of the city and a taste of the country. If you have more time, I’ll recommend Hurricane Ridge, perhaps three hours from the Bainbridge ferry terminal to the summit. The alpine flowers are in bloom in the wake of the melting snow. (I blew off a day at a conference back in ’87 and checked out the Ridge. Now I live out here).

  61. HCN says

    Someone has also mentioned that the Seattle Aquarium opened today after a remodel with bigger and better exhibits.

    The Seattle Art Museum has also reopened after a long remodel. My son was part of the opening ceremonies, he was in the marching band that marched around it as it opened its doors.

    BUT… yet another museum has also expanded and opened new exhibits. The Museum of Flight:

    While it is bordering Boeing Field (actually the King County Airport), and across the street from the Boeing Developmental Center — this is NOT the Boeing Museum… a term I associate with the smallish display you pay extra for when you tour the Everett plant: http://www.boeing.com/companyoffices/aboutus/tours/index.html

    I am sorry I cannot help you find fishy food. I am married to a person who hates eating anything that once breathed water… even though he is from Vancouver Island (and for you folks telling PZ to go to Vancouver, hubby is from Pt. Alberni!). I get fish whenever we go out to eat, and I am seldom disappointed.

    I had wonderful fish at “Rover’s” on Madison for our 27th anniversary… but it was pricey. I also had wonderful fish at “The Herbfarm” in Woodinville for our 25th wedding anniversary, but that is a seasonal thing. Those two are very expensive special occasion places.

    I had truly wonderful scallops at a neighborhood restaurant that we walked out of previously because that week they had too much cilantro (I am one of those folks who thinks cilantro tastes like soap). I recently had some nice salmon at Seattle Skeptics dinner at the Rock Salt (you may remember it as the Latitude 47 on Westlake from the days you were at the Univ. of Washington). I had some okay stuff at Anthony’s Home Port recently. I’ve had the same kind of luck at Ray’s Boathouse, sometimes it is nice and other times it is so-so (I am thinking of trying out the other restaurants listed in this thread). Check out what your relatives think is a good deal. There may be a nice small restaurant in their neighborhood that is under the radar (like the one in mine called “Pair”, except it will be closed from July 1 to 9th… I’ll eat there over Rover’s any day!).

    If you want decent seafood… Portlock has started to sell individually wrapped frozen salmon, cod and halibut at the local grocery stores. This stuff is great. In my anti-fish family I can take one of the pieces and cook it up to fishy perfection while they have something vile (like pepperoni pizza).

  62. Leni says

    povertyrich wrote:

    I just moved to Seattle from Minneapolis in October, and I love it here.

    I made that same move almost 15 years ago (yikes!!). Don’t you just feel like you lost 50 pounds and cured your cancer?

    I only lived in Minneapolis for about 3 months and god, was I happy to get out. On one of my last days there I was accosted by a “prophet” who declared, at the top of his lungs, that I was the anti-christ. And then followed me for several blocks shouting insanities and insults. I hated that place. That guy has become a sort of icon of Mpls. in my mind.

    Ok I guess it wasn’t all bad. There was a liquor store downtown that delivered, lol.

  63. Mooser says

    If you’re in Settle, take an eternal ferry ride to Bummertown, Warshington, where the restored destroyer “Turner Joy” is on display, tours $8, and don’t forget this was the ship what was totally destroyed by North Vietnamese nuclear speedboats in the Golf of Tonka-Toys incident.

    And the churches are thicker than horseshit on a stall floor as soon as you leave Settle for the ‘burbs.

  64. Martha says

    I only lived in Minneapolis for about 3 months and god, was I happy to get out.

    I’m sorry to hear you didn’t care for MN… Though depending on which 3 months you lived there, it could be an entirely different place than the next 3 months.

    I moved to Seattle last year from the Minneapolis area as well, but not because I disliked Minnesota. I grew up there, so I guess I’m somewhat biased. Seattle is awesome, but I’ll always have that special place in my heart for little towns built on frozen lakes, hotdishes and “goin’ up nort’ for da weekend, ya know”.

  65. isabelita says

    If your relatives are in the southern reaches of the Seattle area, you could always head to the Nisqually River Delta park for a nice bird-watching walk, or come into Seattle for a city hike in Discovery Park, out near the Magnolia neighborhood, to work up an appetite for dinner. Chinook’s Restaurant has good fish, and it’s not as expensive as the Tom Douglas restaurants. It’s at Fisherman’s Terminal, right on the way to Discovery Park – which of course has nothing to do with the so-called Discovery Institute.
    We recently took visiting relatives to the Seattle Aquarium, and the pair of Giant Pacific octopi were worth the cost of admission. They had some cuttlefish, too, and hungry, hungry otters. Adorable spiny lumpsuckers as well. Good rainy day activity.

  66. BlueIndependent says

    Well I for one LOVE the Twin Cities, about as much as I love Seattle. I’d take both over the deserts of Arizona in a heartbeat…it’s just that every time I go looking for work, someone here in AZ ends up snagging me. =(

  67. Sheila says

    I cannot believe no one has yet suggested visiting the Discovery Institute. I still haven’t figured out how godless Seattle spawned that one.

  68. says

    I recently to a friend to Ivars Salmon House for her birthday and had the best salmon I’ve ever eaten. And since I lived in the SF area for 15 years, I have pretty high standards.

    I liked the SF museum, but I’m an SF nut. Note that the Victrola Coffee House mentioned above has free wifi as does the nearby teahouse and a couple of the restaurants in the area. I’m really familiar with that area as I live about 5 blocks from the block that contains Victrola and Coastal Kitchen and we walk up there frequently. So if you’re in the area… (15th Avenue East on Capitol Hill) I’d hoped to be able to meet you at Confusion back in January but was unable to go. I’m not a frequent commenter but I do read faithfully. Err. Regularly.


  69. says

    You know more about Seattle than I do, since I’ve only been here a month. I’m still in the extreme newbie stage – “like, wow! Gasworks Park is neat!”. But along with everyone else – pick a bar; I’d love to meet you there, along with the rest of your fan club. :)

  70. markmier says

    Yes, I agree with lots of folks here. There are plenty of alcohol possibilities here. I work in downtown Seattle, and live about 1/2 mile from Chateau Ste Michelle / Redhook, so I would love to meet up either in downtown or in Woodinville. Please post an approximate itinerary and I’d love to meet up!