There are many parts of Seattle – so many of them not on the beaten path for tourists who come here. It’s a shame, because downtown & Pike’s Place are such a tiny little sampling and barely give a taste of what Seattle is.
The first area that Mr Nikki and I ventured out to was Ballard. My parents came to visit over Christmas, we’d just moved, and Nugget was all of 6 weeks old. We were disoriented & hadn’t been out, alone, in ages. So we went to the furthest part.
We fell in love, immediately. It’s still one of our favorite areas – actually, it’s part of the our favorite triad – Ballard/Wallingford/Fremont. There are several shops that we frequent like Monster Art & Clothing and Clover. Monster is where I first discovered Ricicli – which led to Nugget being in their last two photo shoots and also led to me finding out about the awesome Urban Craft Uprising shows. (We got some really cool, handmade art for the house at the summer show.) I also just discovered Shesho at Monster and am, at this exact moment, wearing an adorable and entertaining pair of handmade, one of a kind underwear made from an old Hooters tshirt. And every time we want to buy new toys for Nugget, we head to Clover first – all the toys they sell are eco friendly and non toxic. The women that work there really know their stuff, too – they’ve been hugely helpful in helping us pick out toys each time we’ve been there.
Then there’s the Ballard Sunday Market which goes year round, saving me from a Fall and Winter of shopping at Whole Foods. Every single Sunday we go and do my weekly shopping – picking up kale & collards, beets, potatoes, squash, etc, as well as yummy products from local vendors like Jon Boy Caramels (oh my god, you’ve never had such a caramel as this) and Dante’s Inferno Hot Dogs. Dante’s are a solid part of our Sunday tradition – we hit the Dante’s cart every week (lunch!) – sometimes we each even get TWO hot dogs at once. (I’m old skool – saurkraut and brown mustard for me.) Before leaving, we always stop at Cupcake Royale – it used to be for the salted caramel cupcakes (my favorite), but now it’s just as much or sometimes ONLY for their lattes. They brew Stumptown coffee and no one makes lattes as well as Cupcake Royale. I’ve been completely ruined – I cannot go to Starbucks anymore. I went last week, for my usual latte, and couldn’t even finish it. We are now thoroughly addicted to Stumptown – it’s pricey but we brew it at home, drink it when we’re out, and won’t take anything less.
During the summer, we spent a lot of time up in Shilshole Bay area – wandering around Golden Gardens Park & the beach (stunning) or checking out the Chittenden Locks (awesome.) Which reminds me … I wanted us to go up there again one of these weekends.
All Ballard photos here, on Flickr.