Sunday, April 14, 2019

Guest Post: A Tour through First Hill and Downtown Seattle by Faith René Boggus

So I’ve got some good news, and I’ve got some bad news. As is tradition, I shall deliver the bad first. My mom and I have been planning to walk el Camino for several months now, and we aimed to start our pilgrimage next week actually. Unfortunately, she tore her meniscus, and the doctor prescribed a month of rest and physical therapy—aka PT, which my mom fondly refers to as physical torture.

Long story short, our journey has been delayed. Or not delayed. It’s morphed into something not quite a month-long physical journey across countries. I have yet to see where it takes us and what it will fully become.

As for the good news, the first of my guest posts is here! Last month, I announced the theme travel, so a dear friend and fellow blogger agreed to write a post for me. After several proposed ideas and drafts, she wrote a lovely little piece on Seattle. Having lived in Washington State for a large portion of my childhood, I look back fondly on my visits to the city, though my experience is quite different from hers.

Without further ado, please welcome Faith René Boggus, tea enthusiast and book blogger at A Boggus Life.

Ah! There’s no place like home, with the former-coat-closet kitchen, wonderful view of a parking garage, ambulance sirens, car alarms, radio noise, and horrible water pressure. Now let’s get our shoes on and head out for a tour of the city.

Wonderful Seattle air! Breathe it in, but not too deeply, or you might get a lungful of the dog—or human—feces over there in the corner by the planter. Now if you walk with me this way, I’ll show you where to buy double-yolk eggs for $3.50. 98% guarantee. You’ll have to use cash though, as this little corner shop only takes cards at $5 or higher. Any takers? No?

Photo Credit: Faith Boggus

Okay then! After we cross this bridge, we’ll enter part of what’s called Freeway Park. It has loads of concrete, a tiny amount of trees, and lots of trash. It’s really pretty when it snows though. We’ll be taking the Union stairs to downtown, past the Convention Center. Yes, it’s huge. No, we can’t go inside. Oof, I need a breather after all those stairs. Anyways, now you just see tons of buildings and tons of construction. This is city life. Well, that and hoping you can find a parking spot with your crappy parking permit.

This is where we buy our dry goods, dairy products, and eggs. We also buy many non-food essentials here. The lovely Pike Place Target. Its top floor has baby supplies, kids’ clothes, house stuff, electronics, shoes, and super sketchy bathrooms. The second has cleaning supplies, adult’s clothing, the pharmacy, and a rarely used checkout area. The bottom level has food and the main checkout lines, even though the checkout lanes make less sense.

We buy our produce in a place that most of you will have never heard of before: Pike Place Market. It’s this little place that runs along 1st Ave. with various vendors. Nothing too crazy. We go to Corner Produce, the first produce vendor you walk by when entering, catty corner to the fish-throwing booth. Aaron is the best and always make sure we get what we need. He’ll also tell you fun stories about other customers, trips he’s been on, and what meals his drunk self cooked most recently. His alter ego apparently makes amazing pasta salad. The prices are some of the best in town, and they have a discount section where you usually get 65% off. It’s great! They also have a local discount. It saves us tons of money every week. After glancing around a little bit, we’ll make our way down these stairs. Or we can take the elevator, if you want.

So World Spice Market is a bit of a gem that isn’t unknown, but for some reason isn’t as popular as you might expect. It looks a bit cramped and small when you first go in, and it kind of is. But there’s two levels and so many spices to explore! They even have tea!! You just grab a clipboard and take notes on how much you want of the various spices, blends, teas, and herbs you desire, and they package it up for you. Their bulgogi blend and Osaka seasoned salt are mind-blowingly delicious.

Now that we’ve stocked up on sesame seeds, curry, and chile, let’s take a walk down to the waterfront. So here there’s a giant Ferris wheel that I’ve not been on yet, the Seattle Aquarium that I’m going to next week, and a bunch of weird restaurants and a couple little arcadey areas. The bakery always smells good, the water of the Puget Sound is nice and relaxing, the mountains are off in the distance, and the air is a bit more breathable. It’s a nice spot. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game is quirky. Donatello can’t go right, which makes it impossible to play as him, but definitely funny. And there’s giant Invaders and PacMan games too. Now we’re going to go back up this giant staircase to downtown. I need to mail something, and I might as well do it while we’re in the area. There’s a post office in the building across from the library, and we’re heading there next anyway. It’s up on 4th and Spring.

Is everyone okay after those steep hills? Alrighty we just need to go another block this way, it isn’t too steep of a hill. Oh, come on! I never get this right… It’s at the bottom of the building. What? Yeah, down the absurdly steep hill. Ugh. Well, we won’t have to walk it. We can go inside.

I love revolving doors. And their energy efficient too! Oh, no, don’t go that way. The elevators are more confusing. Here are the skinniest escalators in the world. We’re using them. It’s a few stories down. Okay. Down this weird hallway, past the gym, where it doesn’t look like we’re allowed. And now America’s smallest post office.

Sorry about the long wait. You didn’t sign up for that. But it’s time to go back up the escalators and across the street. This is the Seattle Library Central Branch. The coolest building I’ve ever seen. Sustainably built, eight stories, cool angles and lighting, unique interior design. This place has got it all. Floor 4 is completely red. You don’t believe me? Just take the weirdest feeling elevator in the world and you’ll see. 

Hahaha! Told you. There’s a strange art installation on the escalator from Floor 3 to Floor 5 too. This is a beautifully bizarre place. I lost my favourite water bottle here too. Bummer.

Alright. I’m starving. Kanpai has some decent sushi, the best calamari ever, and scrummy teriyaki tofu. Plus it’s cute and only a few minutes from home.

Oh, you’re full now? To St. James!

it’s best to always be quiet here. this church has some of the oldest architecture in this part of the city, which is kind of weird to think about. i love the way the outside is lit after dark. it’s absolutely gorgeous. but my favourite part is the stars in the ceiling of one of the shrines on the side. the light shines through so prettily and makes me want to just sits and stare for hours. oh, you’re finished looking? that’s alright. we can go across the street now.

Talking normally is so nice! So this building across the street is where I work. The Frye Art Museum. This is the only free museum in the greater Seattle area and has really cool shows. The Frye Salon is a crowd favourite. Paintings covering the walls from floor to ceiling. It’s overwhelming. The other exhibits rotate every three or four months and are usually contemporary. They’re always really interesting. Take some time to roam around, and we’ll meet back up in the front in a couple hours.

Dinnertime! Plum Bistro is in a cool location, where most of the nightlife in Seattle takes place. Capitol Hill. The food is vegan and sooooo goooooooood. Choose what you want and enjoy. We’ll stay and talk for an hour before heading home to sleep.

Well, that was a very full and lovely day. I’m exhausted. Goodnight!

Faith Boggus is the writer of A Boggus Life blog and is working on her first book, a contemporary magical realism novel. She started her writing career at Evangel University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in English. In her spare time, she bakes, drinks tea, and creates her own recipes and tea blends based on her travels and reading.


Let’s chat! Be sure to give a warm welcome to Faith! What did you think of the tour? What are some of the treasures and quirks of the place you live?

Next up in Theme: Travel!
To be determined...

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