Recently, I read an article about what to wear in London. It covered all four seasons, but in the end the writer recommended that to be safe, it would be best to dress as if it was Winter, the whole year around. That advice would work just as well in Seattle.
This year, Seattle is hosting the Associated Writers and Writing Programs conference. I’ve read that the conference is expecting 10,000 plus writers/teachers to attend. The conference is open to the public on March 1st. If you are packing your suitcase this weekend, plan to bring a wool scarf. It’s not that the weather is ice-cold. But it is damp-cold, the kind that makes your feet freeze all day long and your neck feel exposed.
The basic costuming of a Seattleite incorporates a long-sleeve shirt, a sweater on top, with jeans and boots on bottom. Add the scarf, and you’ll be ready for anything.
For your final layer, it would not be out-of-bounds to wear your down jacket, but the best outerwear is a raincoat with a hood. In fact, as a Seattleite, I own at least four raincoats. If you’ve got a hood, you can skip an umbrella, but those mini-umbrellas can come in handy to keep extra dry. You can find more packing suggestions here.
Of course, if you are attending the conference, you’ll be indoors most of the time. Still, if you find yourself needing a mental break, I’d suggest walking up to Capitol Hill to visit the Elliott Bay Bookstore or down to the Pike Place Market for some sight-seeing.
Maybe you want a lunch option while you visit Seattle’s number one bookstore. Then hop a bus or continue up Pine or Pike Street, for about four more city blocks, where you will cross over Broadway right by a Bartells drugstore. Make your way to 1oth ave and half way down the block is Elliott Bay Books. In back of the bookstore is a great cafe with lunch and coffee and baked good options, and the bookstore itself is wonderful, big and has a great Pacific Northwest section, if you want to bring home a local writer:)
Right next door is Totokaelo, a modern high fashion shop, Lost Lake Cafe and Lounge, Oddfellows restaurant, Molly Moon ice cream-dreamy flavors, and Poquitos. More gift ideas can be found at Retrofit home, on Pike. On 12th, I like Momiji for sushi. The literary center, Richard Hugo House, looks out toward the nearby Cal Anderson Park.
Not enough time to venture that far for lunch? Right around the convention center, I’d recommend Blue C Sushi, or Nordstrom Cafe, or for something filling and delicious; Saley’s Crepes.
There is nothing wrong with grabbing a latte at Starbucks, but if you can, treat yourself to a latte at Victrola or at Bauhaus. If you wander over to REI flagship store, don’t miss getting a quality espresso drink across the street at Vivace Coffee.
I was at Pike Place Market last week, and got a simple tasty crumpet at The Crumpet Shop. I also like Emmett Watson’s for fish and chips, the Pink Door for drinks and dinner, and the Perennial Tea Shop for a cuppa. You can’t go wrong with any of Tom Douglas’ restaurants. Etta’s is at the north end of the market. While enjoying the views, I love to browse the shop Watson Kennedy, and if you end up on the lower level of the market, Hands Across the World has some lovely fingerless gloves that would make sweet presents, the Golden Age Collectibles (comics shop) is loaded with Star Wars, Firefly, and Star Trek delights and Solstice Designs next door has a window full of darling earrings.
There are so many other cool places in Seattle, but even if you are pressed for time, you might want to squeeze in a quick trip to the Seattle Center to dip into the history of Seattle’s music scene at EMP and to drench yourself in color at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum.