Sunday, August 16, 2009

A few of my favorite Seattle neighborhoods (Part 1)

I love Eastlake. Of course, I am biased because I have lived there for most of my life, but let me count the ways of why it is so endearing.

For starters, Eastlake is a small, friendly and charming neighborhood, between Lake Union and I-5. It's filled with a variety of new and old quirky houseboats, brand new condos, Victorian and Colonial-Style houses, and several local businesses, including the infamous Pete's Market, well-known for its wine selection. (Side note: We went there today and found an Abeja cabernet sauvignon for $35, which is a great deal!)

The original Red Robin is also in Eastlake, by the University Bridge. I can't get enough of their Banzai burgers, but since they started including the calories on the menu, I always order the petite size! For dining with a great neighborhood feel, there's Louisa's cafe and 14 Carrot, Serafina's, Pazzo's pizza place and bar, the Zoo Tavern, and I've recently been introduced to the Tako Truk, which is a delicious $5 gourmet taco stand. It's only open Thursday through Saturday and it's so popular they often close early. It also has an ever changing menu, so you may want to check their websites in advance. According to Facebook, this week's menu is beef brisket, coco piggy, yamirindo, tako taco, green beans with harissa and fried chickpeas.

In all seasons, walking around Eastlake is enjoyable. (According to walkscore.com, South Lake Union ranks in the Top 10 most walkable Seattle neighborhoods, and Eastlake is in the Top 30.) After brunch this morning at Louisa's, we walked along Fairview Ave E, over to Fuhrman Ave E along the Montlake Cut to Portage Bay. There were so many flowers in bloom, picturesque parks along the water,

and fun houses that I had to share the photos. On Fairview, there's a cool T-rex sculpture in a garden! On the corner of Hamlin and Franklin, there's a neat tree that is always decorated according to the season. Today it had a beach theme complete with sand buckets and plastic shovels! There were also some ripe blackberries on Fairview that we sampled, yum!

We also stopped into Lake Union Mail from some stamps and to get the latest neighborhood news from the shopkeeper, Jules James. He always has his finger on the pulse of Eastlake. If you need a rental, help with shipping or moving, or even the sense of the neighborhood and the TOPS/Seward school, talk to Jules.

Eastlake has a very homey feel and if you don't believe me, just walk along Eastlake Ave E. You're bound to see children playing at the Seward school, catch a whiff of the freshly baking bread at Louisa's, perhaps even hear a strain of music coming out of Serafina's. On any given day, you'll see the seaplanes take off or hear the whistle of the Virgina V. If you're interested in a longer walk, the 6 mile route around Lake Union is well paved and connects with the Burke-Gilman Trail on the North side of the lake.

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