While the silhouettes of the mountains poke through the dense clouds, I gaze out of the mini coffee shop’s front door. A pretentious barista, with a stoic personality and a beautiful face, breaks my trance while he fights with my friend over who has better chai: Portland or Seattle? But in my head, I’m thinking, “Ain’t real chai from India, though?”
Ah, we’re back in Seattle where the greenery is forever damp and there is an enclave of locals who fight over the specifics of beverages… I love it!
As someone who is from the East Coast of the United States, I’ve had the opportunity to explore Seattle twice. Each time, I had mixed feelings; the problem is that I’d always discover the best of this city a day or two before I was about to leave.
The next time I visit Seattle, I’ll keep these in mind:
Pot Shops are Inviting and Accommodating, but Pot is Pricey
Legal marijuana is an entire industry in Seattle. Just like it’s the law to be 21 to enter liquor stores, you must be 21 to enter pot shops. Since I was not allowed to visit one my first time, my friend and I decided that we’d have to visit one during our first few days in Seattle as someone who is finally allowed in. The outside of the shop was extremely minimal, yet inviting with a beautiful cobblestone walkway. Once we entered, the shelves seemed empty. They did not look empty because nothing was on them, but all marijuana items were neatly placed and beautifully condensed. We were greeted with a smile, and extremely sweet, happy people assisted us. I didn’t know smoke shop etiquette, and I didn’t want to embarrass myself, so I asked basic questions:
– Do you have anything to make you feel upbeat?
– Any products that aren’t too intense… just a light buzzing feeling?
– THC beverages? Tell me more about those, please.
Simple questions like these warded thorough with helpful responses. As an apartment warming gift for my friend who lives in Seattle, we purchased two THC-infused beverages and a bit of flower (a fancy name for weed in its traditional form). The cost totaled to $60.
Since legal marijuana is still super taboo in the U.S.A – with only 10 states that allow their citizens to recreationally enjoy it – I felt like I was petting a unicorn’s horn when I bought those THC sodas! But darn, $60 for some weed? That’s equivalent to six plates of pad thai, in the form of weed, for someone who rarely smokes. Regardless, there was astonishing service at the shop, so I simply disregarded the price and handed the cashier three $20 bills. The next time I visit Seattle, I’ll keep in mind that marijuana is on the pricier side. But considering it’s definitely off the beaten path of things to do, it is worth it!
Ditch the Hipster Restaurants –– The International District Is Where It’s At
During one of our last days in Seattle, my friend and I felt like preparing a home cooked meal; we had been eating out every single night, and we needed to cut back on our spending habits. The part of Seattle in which we were staying had a pricey organic market where the prices made Whole Foods look like Save-A-Lot. So, we had to look elsewhere for cheap and good food. After scrolling through Google Maps for an extensive chunk of time, we realized that Seattle had an International District with all sorts of foreign delicacies – somewhere we had never known about!
Did someone say cheap Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean food? We hurried our little behinds to this district, because we were tired of paying $20 per meal for aesthetically pleasing, yet underwhelming food. Just because it’s good for the ‘gram doesn’t mean it’s actually good! No shade, but no one should have to pay $15.00 for huevos rancheros that consist of one egg, minimal rice, and bean juice.
Anyway, as soon as I entered a-hole-in-the-wall Chinese shop, my mouth dropped! It’s impossible to measure the amount of light that filled my eyes when I bit into my barbecue pork bun. Each bun cost $1 and there was no tax – always a plus! As someone who had been dropping guap ($$$) on dinner every day, my wallet thanked me when I bought an entire meal for less than $5.
TIP: Hole-in-the-wall ain’t bad at all!
In no way do I mean to discredit the “fancier” options in the International District, but as a broke college student, I was doing just fine with my $2 shumai.
Biscuit Bitch Will Forever Own My Heart
Southern comfort food on the West Coast… why not?
Despite everything that I just said above, my taste buds will always have a special bond with Biscuit Bitch. My future trips to Seattle will not be complete without paying homage to this establishment. Although comfort food is all over the States, Biscuit Bitch manages to triumph with its fluffy biscuits and cheesy eggs that give me more life than a drag queen doing a DIP on the runway. And for this reason, I’ll forever be Biscuit Bitch’s bishhh!
When are we going to get a Biscuit Bitch on the East Coast? I’m waiting!
A City that Has Mastered Aesthetics
It would be foolish to say that Seattle isn’t a cute city… it truly is. Must I say more?
Seattle is an Explosion of Queerness
Capitol Hill is the center of LGBTQ+ life in Seattle. Rainbow pride flags wave freely on the streets, while many locals break away from traditional gender norms with their style of dress and presentation. This area gives travelers and residents alike a super chill and laissez-faire attitude. Although everyone has a different experience when visiting certain places, I entirely felt comfortable navigating Seattle as a rather “out” queer person –– crop tops and all! My crop tops looked like a nun’s gown compared to the six-inch platform boots, fishnets, and pastel hair that other people were rocking!
This is not to say that the LGBTQ+ population never experiences microaggressions or discomfort… homophobia and transphobia don’t just “disappear.” It is just super refreshing to experience a concentrated space of queerness that adds to the city’s overall culture.
Whether or not the locals see this as true, Seattle gives the impression that queer people roam freely and proudly; as a visitor, this is extremely encouraging. With strips of colorful establishment and rainbow-colored crosswalks, it is only natural to feel welcomed on Capitol Hill.
Sometimes Love Grows with Each Visit
Sometimes it only takes one visit to fall madly in love with a city. On the other hand, it can take up to five visits to develop an appreciation for a certain place. Every time I visit Seattle, my opinion changes; changing opinions on a city often reflect a change within ourselves, and that’s okay! Although it took me two visits to recognize the parts of Seattle that I enjoy, my third visit (in the future) will seal the deal with my love for Seattle!
Has there ever been a place that you’ve visited more than once and had a change of heart?