Seattle at a glance!


You never have to ask a local if there is a Starbucks nearby. There always is.

While their is Starbucks on almost every block in downtown Seattle there is only one Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room located in Seattle's hipster community of Capitol Hill. It is like a brew pub for coffee lovers. You get to taste some of their experimental coffee flavours. 


Seattle has an amazing urban forest everywhere - from their City Centre to the University of Washington campus.

Typical tree lined street in Seattle's City Centre. There is a wonderful filtered sunlight on the sidewalks that enhances the pedestrian experience. 

The University of Washington is like going to school in a forest or park. 

Child and dad practising their zip lining in a wonderful treed park in Seattle's city centre. 


If the number of clocks on downtown streets is any indication, Seattlelites have been obsessed with time for a long time.

In the early 20th century many jewellery stores would have an iconic clock on the sidewalk outside the store or attached to the building - they always make me stop and look. 


What’s with the biscuit culture? You’d think you were in the South given the number places with biscuits on the menu. But they are REALLY good!

We began noticing biscuits on the menu of restaurants almost immediately upon arrival, but it wasn't until we discovered Morsel Biscuits & Coffee in the U-District  next to the University of Washington that we actually tried them.  This tiny cafe was hopping with people, so we thought it must be good.  We ordered the buttermilk biscuit with fixin! Fixins include - tomato jam, raspberry jam, strawberry balsamic jam, honey butter, apple butter, maple butter, chocolate hazelnut butter, fig honey, herbed goat cheese or bacon jam.  Guess which one Brenda chose.  


Seattlelites love their dogs!  Never seen so many dogs on urban streets. Even found a private downtown Dog Club or should I say doggy day spa.

This doggie day care is located in a retail space at ground level of a new condo building in downtown with windows onto the sidewalk. This was a first for us. Could this be a new trend in street retail?


What’s with the “Seattle Freeze?” Debbie, our local, incidental bus buddy to the Sunday Freemont Flea Market shared with the insider story about “The Seattle Freeze” as referring to the fact that while Seattleites are friendly it is hard for new comers to get to know people. We found everyone very friendly; it must be one of those urban myths.  Even the sea gulls were friendly, especially the one that landed on the window ledge at the Mayflower Park Hotel while I sat enjoying my morning coffee.

I never did find out his name but he sat on the Mayflower Park Hotel's window ledge for several minutes as I had my morning coffee and enjoyed the view of the city and waterfront. 


Amazon is taking over downtown Seattle, one block at a time. Every young male we talked to had just moved to Seattle to work for Amazon.

Amazon has purchased three blocks in downtown Seattle to create an urban campus. The purple tower in this photo is the first of several modern colourful office towers that will reshape the link between downtown and Belltown and Denny Triangle. 


What’s with all the fire trucks? Never saw a fire (except in the wood-burning ovens in many restaurants) but sure saw and heard lots of fire trucks. 

This is the new downtown fire station. Love the synergy of modern and traditional aesthetics.  Good architecture links the past with the present and creates as sense of place.  Love the red doors!

Sentinels by Gloria Bornstein was inspired by forms found in Asian art, architecture and folk craft.  Located next to a downtown Fire Station, they are guardians of the Chinatown, International District and Pioneer Square neighbourhoods just like the staff inside.  


Seattle is the “City Of Happy Hours.” Every hotel, bar and restaurant seems to have one.  We especially loved the free beer at Hotel Max and free wine at Hotel Monaco. That’s what we call a “HAPPY HOUR.”

Happy Hour in the lobby of the Hotel Max with Samuel Beckett looking on.

Happy Hour at Kimpton's Hotel Monaco is a lively time where guests mix and mingle.  We met and chatted with a lovely couple from Chicago and shared some Seattle tips, as well as our thoughts about Chicago and Calgary. 


Seattlelites have balls.  Not baseballs and footballs, but the balls to use the acronym S.L.U.T for their “South Lake Union Trolley.”

South Lake Union Trolley is part of a diverse transit system that includes streetcars, buses, LRT and a monorail. 

Ride the SLUT tshirt

Bonus Lesson:

We loved all of the free art. The Frye Art Museum is free every day. Their outdoor Olympic Sculpture Park is also  free anytime. We were lucky enough to be in town on the second Thursday of the month when SAM (Seattle Art Museums) is free. Tour their Convention Centre for free and enjoy 100s of artworks for free. We were also treated to a free photography show at Hotel Max (every floor features a different photographer’s work on the room doors) and our Hotel Monaco room was like living in a pop art painting right out of the ‘60s. Too much fun! 

We called this our cloud bed - Hotel Monaco. The entire suite was full of bright, playful art and design.  We called it our happy place!

Just one of the many photographs on doors of each hotel room at Hotel Max.  Each floor features a different local photographer creating mini exhibitions each with their own theme. 

Olympic Sculpture Park is a wonderful calm oasis full of blockbuster artworks and spectacular views of the water and city skyline. 

Close up of an installation at the Seattle Convention Centre, just one of hundreds of art works available for free viewing by the public seven days a week.