Seattle Long Weekend

The Gaugain exhibit at SAM was a great excuse to duck out of Portland for a few days to explore our northern city-cousin, Seattle.  The first order, of course, is where to eat. Our mission was further complicated by family visiting from San Francisco, both discerning diners and travelers. Luckily our family likes to eat both low and high "on the hog," so we had lots of latitude for both sightseeing and dining.

Of course, we went to Pike's Market to see fish getting tossed about, the the very cool retro neon festooning the market ceilings, but a fun distraction was a couple having their wedding pictures taken in the middle of the fish market- proving that Portland is not the only entertaining NW city. Beecher's cheese is across the street and a fortifying cup of liquidy cheese sauce with penne is a great belly warming stop.

This is my third trip to the central Seattle Library, which is truly jaw dropping. The architecture from the exterior cantilevers the building like a glass accordion. From the interior this creates gorgeous light spilling in through the structure. Neon lime escalators move you upstairs. A bank of displays, show in real time, book titles being checked out of the library.

The Gaugain exhibit at SAM is the only American stop of the show, a mix of 60 Polynesian sculptures and art displayed alongside 60 of the  painter's works and is showing until late April- very enjoyable and really puts the artists work into context.

Dinner at Spinasse is a must for northern Italian, and probably the best food I have had in Seattle. A new discovery for us was Sitka and Spruce, in lovely spot in the Melrose Market on Capitol Hill that we went to for lunch. Sitka has a middle eastern influence on the best seasonal NW ingredients served in a French bistro atmosphere. Also not to miss in the same Melrose Market are the young bearded butchers sawing hanging sides of beef a few steps away, and within sight, of a very tasty wine bar and coffee shop, Ferd'nands. Other stops included Ballard Street to see Curtis Steiners jewelry store and a few oysters at the Walrus and the Carpenter- which alas had a two hour wait list! Waiting list first, and then shopping is advisable, dear visitor.  For atmosphere, stop by the Zig Zag Cafe for a late-night cocktail. The setting feels like a 1940's intimate club, complete with a vintage-clad bartender and women that actually wear filmy dresses in the NW winter.

Coming back home after a three night stay at the Hotel Andra (sister hotel to our Modera) made me appreciate both of our cities all the more.  More photos...