Seattle Jet Lag Journal
Rain City. When my plane hit the tarmac I had to laugh – I left beautiful weather in NYC for stereotypical Seattle rain and gray skies. I was actually thrilled! This was a quick jaunt, so instead of using this as a travel guide, take a couple of my shop and restaurant recommendations and just enjoy the Seattle scenes.
A great place for my favorite things – brunching and blogging – Seattle is home to so many cozy, lazy cafes. This one, Arabica Lounge, hosted lots of nerds doing math homework, working on their laptops, and even staring out the window, notebook in hand.
The Seattle Art Museum, or SAM, was great for a loner traveler like me to spend a couple hours. When I’m traveling alone, and realize that I have no one to talk to, a museum is usually a good fix for me to get my spirits up. This one had a fantastic exhibition of contemporary Indian art called City Dwellers: Contemporary Art from India. I was particularly drawn to the work of Nandini Valli Muthiah, who displays traditional Hindu iconography – the blue-skinned Krishna – in modern urban environments. I strolled the exhibit listening to a cover of Lorde’s Royals:
And the shopping! I spent a fortune at Totokaelo but overall showed impressive restraint. The clothing is Japanese and Scandanavian – you know, simple lines that make you look modern and like an immigrant at the same time. I want to throw away all my tableware (better yet, throw it on the floor!! OPA!) and replace it with these flat, stackable white dinner plates and bowls by Adonde, pale blue bubbly, short and stocky recycled glassware from Hawkins New York, and little wooden trays for the glassware by Hasami. But what I actually bought at Totokaelo is a gold band with five square garnets – depending on my mood it’s Tudor, it’s Cruella, or it’s just modern. Seattle is filled with my people: it is the most literate city in the U.S. and has the most library card holders per capita. When I walked into Elliott Bay Book Company, I was thrilled to find that Fiction was not front and center. Oh no, it was the Nature section (books on hiking, mountains and the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest) and the Regional Writers section. I was introduced to a local paper cut artist from Olympia, Washington named Nikki McClure, and her lovely book is now on my wish list. Oh me, oh my, the food! I explored the Ballard Farmers Market with its dollar dahlias and homemade sodas that were served from a spigot out of the side of a van. I had oysters at The Walrus and the Carpenter – an excellent recommendation from Kyra – and it was so fun to see only Washington State oysters – no East Coasters at all! The hot local cupcake shop is called Cupcake Royale, and I took a break with my book, a big cup of tea, and a lavender bud flavored cupcake. And finally, I have been a big fan of Orangette and particularly the dorky, funny Spilled Milk podcast for years. Hosted by Seattle locals Molly Wizenberg and Matthew Amster-Burton, the podcast reviews a different food product every week – chicken broth, Japanese junk food, canned spaghetti sauce. So I stood in line for a seat at Molly’s famous pizza restaurant Delancey and am now reading her memoir!