Okay. This might be a fast one. Keeping to my own schedule had me high tailing it up the inclines of this bourgie (how does one spell that?) neighborhood on the north side of downtown Seattle. These views put the canyons of LA to shame.
An unprecedented sunny day in Seattle had me itching to get out and get to know this beauty of a city more. I’ve been here once before, back on tour in 2012, and just like last time, the lifepath that lead me here was so exhausting that I barely have the energy required to take in this urban colossus of hills and coffee. It seems like a city built on coffee. A coffee lover’s paradise. It’s of course the mecca of the Starbucks empire, and I made the customary tribute to the site of the (semi) original location. Refer to Wikipedia for more (ˌwɪkɪ*’peĭ*diə to you HIMYM fans). I managed to see it around 8 o’clock on a weekday just before close when it wasn’t entirely overrun by tourists and was able to snap a decent photo. If I can figure out how to attach photos to these posts soon, I’ll regale you with one.
But this city, both times, seems to elude me. A few days into being here, I found myself beleaguered by a feeling I had last visit- that I still can’t quite grasp what this city is, like it’s too big to get an emotional handle on. Of course I know that’s true of ANY city. Try understanding the nuances of Toronto or New York in a few short weeks… But usually a week is enough to feel like you’ve scratched more than just the surface..
Exhaustion from a week adventure on the road (Yellowstone, Jackson, Boise) subsided today and with 48 hours left my heels jetted me out to Queen Anne on the recommendation of a friend to get some /literal/ perspective.
“queen anne coffee co” is a cute shop that sits atop (i think?) the massive Queen Anne mountain neighborhood overlooking downtown Seattle. It’s a trek up here and I’d be surprised if any public transport other than a bus makes the climb – I just checked- just buses..
It’s got three spaces – the first a serviceable, bright indoors with white countertops and flowers on the tables as well as a front patio where locals bask in the sun reading books and lounging their dogs. The third space is a secluded back patio tucked between it and the building next door, that makes this place a standout. I had the patio all to myself and found a neat little moment of zen by the bamboo and elegant wooden poles/navy tones.
The coffee: an iced cappuccino that was the perfect mix of chocolatey espresso and cool leche – – perfect for a balmy 68° day. The service was kind and attentive. Straight caffeine cappuccino today. I need the energy for some shooting later with a friend and drinks with another after that.
I love this city. I don’t think I’ll ever live here. 31 has me admitting to myself more than I used to that there are probably some places at this point that I just won’t live. A few years ago, right after getting married, my wife and I packed up our ’99 nissan maxima and moved to LA. We were over NY and needed a change and just..did it. We were there a year, which was about what we expected the season to last, and found ourselves back in NY two winters after we left, but I bring it up to mention that trip taught me what it takes to move your life from a place. The thing is – it’s possible. I remember scoffing at the disbelief and shock we got at the time from relatives and acquaintances (friends mostly on board) and while I will still contend that its much less risky than a lot of people think, after 9 months of being on the other side of the country, we grew to understand the feelings of isolation and seclusion that come from uprooting your life and planting so far away from most of the community you’ve known up until that point. How’s THAT for a run-on sentence! You can certainly make friends anywhere. But there’s something about being near friends that you’ve known for years.
It’s a shame its so hard. I love the Pacific Northwest. Maybe I’ll do a contract here someday. 6-8 weeks would be a perfect amount of time to feel like I’ve carved a little space out of this city for myself.
Speaking of friends I’ve known for years, next week will find me in Portland where a friend of ten years has recently relocated. We realized that I’ll actually be there the very week of our ten-year friendaversary. We met ten years ago to the week at a welcoming cook-out in Holland Michigan with Hope Summer Repertory Theatre and have been friends ever since. I forget where it was that I heard this but someone once said to me that the sweetest thing in life is friendship. I really believe it. Admittedly, I know that I’m a relationship-oriented person, and in some ways I know it’s just how I see the world. But there are few things to me that are trickier or more valuable than friendship. And its difficult too! Especially with age. They certainly require a bit of work. But there’s nothing else in the world quite like it. I’m blessed to have friendships of all shapes and sizes and some of certain length and magnitude. They all ebb and flow and some have fallow seasons and in a way I just think that’s healthy and normal. And like the depths of affection, there really is no telling where the end of some of them lies. That’s what I love. There’s no goal. How can there be? Abiding is an incomprehensibly sweet gift. Difficult yes, but man.. it heals..and inspires..and confounds..and defeats in the most soul sounding way.
May you be blessed with the depths of un-efforted friendship this summer. If you make the trek up into the hills of Queen Anne, check out this sweet little find to spend a lazy afternoon. I can only imagine the rain on this awning would make an incredible soundscape for whatever would bring you this way.