In town for 2 days before leaving for WisCon and looking for food/drink suggestions? Here are the handful of places downtown i can vouch for.
Sake Nomi [Pioneer Square] The place to go for sake in Seattle. Johnnie doesn’t serve food (“nomi” means “only”), but he’s really cool about people bringing in food from outside (because who wants to drink on an empty stomach?). There are daily tastings, which cost $5 — the cost is then waived if you make another purchase. Bottles for sale. Johnnie is happy to guide you thru’ the sake to help you find one that suits your tastes.
Umi Sake House [Belltown] For when you want a good sake selection with a nice meal. I had a nice birthday dinner here the other year. Sushi was good (tho’ i won’t again get the shrimp wrapped in ramen noodles and fried, ’cause that’s just weird) and the sake list is extensive.
Maneki [Chinatown/ID] Maneki is a Seattle institution — serving “traditional family-style Japanese food” for more than 100 years. Reservations recommended.
Maekawa [Chinatown/ID] Maekawa is an izakaya — what some call a Japanese “pub”. Food is served small-plate style. Order a few things, take your time enjoying them, maybe order something else, have another sake, get one last skewer of bacon-wrapped tomatoes. If you want the incredible cheese-filled pork football (“Pork Cutlet Served w/ Cheese and Garlic”), order that 1st because it takes 20 minutes to prepare.
Delicatus [Pioneer Square] If you need a sandwich to take to Sake Nomi, go here.
Bathtub Gin & Co. [Belltown] I’m taking Andy’s word on this one. He had a great time here ordering fancy drinks. Technically not a speakeasy, but it is down an alley!
Years ago i worked in the UW’s Registration Office. Every spring, i’d get parents who’d ask, toward the end of the conversation, “And are the cherry blossoms out yet??” Every spring! Over and over, the same question!! I didn’t work anywhere near where the cherry blossoms are on campus so i had no idea. Moreover, who cares if there are cherry trees blooming on campus?? I love blooming trees, don’t get me wrong, but come on.
Then i switched jobs to an office that was closer to the Quad, which is where the much-heard-about cherry blossoms are. The 1st spring that i worked there i decided to randomly walk thru’ the Quad on my way home, just because it was one of the 1st nice days that year — a sunny day, warm enough to not need a coat.
I walked across Red Square. Past Suzzallo Library, past Kane Hall. Toward the steps up to the Quad….
I came to a dead standstill for a few seconds. Then i started walking around, near-breathless. Getting giddier and giddier. Getting practically tipsy.
These pictures are crap — tho’ today was sunny the lighting in the Quad was horrible, and i was just using my phone anyway. But, y’know? I really don’t know how to convey to you just what an amazing experience it is to stand there in the middle of the Quad surrounded by trees that are just bursting all over with light-pink flowers. It’s like you’re walking amongst clouds. You’re practically floating. And the scent! It takes you a moment at 1st to realize that the air is different, and then you slowly realize you’re smelling millions of tiny blossoms.
It is sublime. It’s transcendent. It leaves me buoyant.
If you are ever in Seattle in early spring, you must — MUST — visit the UW campus to see the cherry blossoms in the Quad. Bring a blanket and a picnic (but no sake — it’s a state school, so campus is dry). Make an afternoon of it.
This is what my neighborhood looks like when the sun is out. I-5 bridge over the Ship Canal.
Thanks, Magus! Pretty much the best used bookstore outside of Powell’s. Now i just need the 1st 3.
If you know where to look in the U-District, you’ll find this flippin’ sweet octopus.
Friends, i’m desperately seeking some zine-related stuff to do in Paris. This … isn’t what i’m going for:
I’ve checked Zine World’s website under both libraries/infoshops and stores/distros, and there’s nothing listed. Any suggestions? I’m here thru’ the evening of monday, july 2nd.