Seattle – The Welge Report

 

 

Hello Fellow Travelers:

 

Welcome to our world of business information, museums, adventure, birding, botanical gardens, dining and fine wines.  This newsletter provides you with “The Welge Report for Seattle.

Please share it with your friends, customers and associates.  You can also access more than 120 cities on our website plus lots of other helpful travel tips at:  thewelgereport.com/

Recognition:  We extend special thanks to the people who manage and/or own the institutions, museums and restaurants featured in our guides.  In some instances we have relied on their descriptions and photos.

 

Seattle

 

Note:   If you want to fit in and look like a local, here’s the drill.  Tats are a must, carry a small back pack  and a cup of coffee.  Further adornments could include a hard hat and brightly colored sneaks.

Wine Tour:   Our wine tour included a knowledgeable guide in a Town car to Woodinville Wine Country.

 

Because of traffic we had an opportunity to discuss the Seattle wine scene with Mary, our wine tour driver and guide.  Washington and neighbor Oregon make hundreds of interesting wines, boutique and otherwise.

Yet the restaurants we dined in had very few local wines on their menus.  Most wine menus were severely over-priced, using a 4X markup.  Mary didn’t have an answer for us.

Our first stop was at Chateau Saint Michelle where our guide John explained the crushing, fermentation and bottling process after which we went to the wine tasting room.  Here we tasted sauvignon blanc, merlot, muscat that was very dry with just a hint of sweetness.

Mary and John explained their relationship with Antonori and their wine Col Solare that is sold under a separate label and has its own tasting room.  We opted not to do any additional tasting here.

Chateau St. Michelle has over 100 acres and a huge campus with lovely grounds (designed by the Olmsted Brothers) and plantings, a few sculptures and paintings.

Our next winery stop was Efeste – Daily 12-5, 144th ave, Woodinville, 425-398-7200.

We had a lively and interesting conversation with Tina about her family and their wines.  We tasted their Riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, cabernet and three syrahs from different vineyards.  They were all excellent.  Our favorite was their Ceidleigh syrah.  Efeste is a family owned and operated boutique winery.

If you don’t take a tour we suggest concentrating on the Warehouse District and the Hollywood District in Woodinville..

Convention center: Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, 206-694-5000.

PublicTransportation:  This is your site for public transportation (http://www.seattle.gov/visiting-seattle/finding-your-way-around-town).  From our place in Capitol Hill we found it very convenient to use the buses.  Dee was great about asking if they were going where we were and the drivers were very helpful.

Taxis -  About taxis in Seattle – there is a war going on between Uber and the local companies such as Yellow.  It’s not to the customers benefit.  We called Yellow to be picked up to go to a restaurant and waited over an hour.  Our suggestion is to hail taxi on street or use public transportation.

Amtrak (www.amtrak.com) – Your connection to more than 500 stations in 46 states. For online information and train schedules visit www.amtrak.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).  This is the best way to go to Tacoma.

Business Information:  Here is help in regard to your business: (http://www.seattle.gov/business-in-seattle)

 

Day One:  Start at the Seattle Center – Daily: 7 AM – 9 PM, F,Sa: till 10 PM, 305 Harrison St, 206-684-7200.  It’s a 74 acre park that was used for the 1962 World’s Fair.

To get here you’ll take the Seattle Center Monorail from Westlake Center Station – M –F: 7:30 AM – 11 PM, Sa, Su: 8:30 AM – 11 PM, 5th Ave & Pine Sts.

 

The Space NeedleDaily: 8 AM – 12 AM, 400 Broad St, 206-905-2100 is the symbol of Seattle.  The observation deck offers great views and there is a revolving restaurant – Skycity – L & D: Daily.

 

Next to the Space Needle is the Chihuly Garden & Glass House – M – Th: 8 AM – 9 PM, F – Su: till 10,

The Chihuly Garden and Glass House is 45,000 square feet of galleries and landscaped garden, a café and a gift shop.

This is a phenomenal museum for glass lovers.   There are several mesmerizing displays in the glass house and a rapturous garden.  It’s actually worth a trip to Seattle to see it.  Dale Chihuly is famous world-wide and his glass art can be found in many museums.

 

Nearby ( the monorail goes through it) is the EMP Museum (formerly the Experience Music Project) – Daily: 10-7, 325 5th Ave N, 206-770-2700

Paul Allen hired Frank Gehry to design this 140,000 square foot museum and then filled it with really cool stuff.

Some of the jaw dropping exhibits are: Star Wars, Science Fiction Fantasy, Myths and Magic and lots of Games.

 

By all means lunch at ll Corvo – L: M-F, no reservations, 217 James St, 206-538-0999

You will remember this place for a long time.  It’s lunch only.  The line will be out the door and quite possible down the block. They have about 40 seats.

Il Corvo’s rules are: you order -  there are about 7 choices on the blackboard.  Next you look for a seat.  When you find one they will yell out your name and bring you the food.  If you order wine (choices  are red or white) they will bring it, with a glass.  Get your own water.  Bus your plates when you are finished.  The food is worth the effort!

 

You’ll love the Museum of Science & Industry (MOHAI) – Daily: 10-5, Th: till 8, 860 Terry Ave N, 206-324-1126

The MOHAI considers itself to be a local museum with 50,000 square feet of exhibit space and 4 million objects.

The first commercial aircraft made by Boeing in 1919 hangs from the ceiling.  It didn’t have wheels so it landed on Lake Union with airmail from Canada.  Lake Union can be seen through the museum floor.

A more modern experience is the touch screen that lets you examine treaties made with the region’s Indians.

UPS started here as the American Messenger Company in 1907 and you have probably heard of Microsoft and Boeing.  They are all local.

 

Time for a walk about Kubota Gardens – Daily: 6 AM – 10 PM, 9817 55th Ave S, 206-684-4075

You’re here to enjoy a 20 acre Japanese garden set on hills and a valley with streams, waterfalls, ponds, bridges and rock out-croppings.

Fujitaro Kubota was a horticultural pioneer who merged Japanese design with North American plant materials.

 

Dinner is at Six Seven in the Edgewater Hotel – B,L,D: Daily, Pier 67, 2411 Alaskan Way, 206-269-4575

This is why you go to Six-Seven.  The gorgeous bay with bobbing sail boats and ferries and the Cascades for a background.  There aren’t any bad tables and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and service.

We started with a glass of bubbly and shared a salmon crudo.  Our appreciation for halibut won out and we both ordered it and a bottle of A to Z Pinot Noir.  Our server should get photo credits.

 

Day Two:  Our favorite place for coffee is Stumptown (two locations) 616 E Pine St, Su-F: 8-4, and 1115 12th Ave, M-F: 6-8, Sa,Su: 7-8.

 

Here is where we start our day.  They have a large variety of coffees and some pastries.  Rudy’s Tatoo’s is next to the Pine St. locaton.

 

 

 

Your first stop today is the Seattle Art Museum – W-M: 10-5, Th: till 9, 1300 1st Ave, 206-654-3100

Their permanent collection has more than 25,000 pieces including early Italian artists and a large collection by Jacob Lawrence and Mark Toby.

They have a very active touring exhibit schedule.  Check for current shows.

 

An affiliate of SAM is the Olympic Sculpture Park – Daily: 6 – 6, 2901 Western Ave, 206-654-3100

Lots of big names and interesting sculptures by Bourgeois, Calder, DiSuvero, Oldenberg, Kelly, Nevelson, Serra and Smith.

Make sure you a lot plenty of time when you visit the Olympic Sculpture Park – Sunrise to Sunset,

Follow the 2200 foot Z-shaped path that zig-zags form the entrance pavilion to the water’s edge to show world-class sculptures.  Here are just a few to tempt you.

Above you have Beverly Pepper’s Persephone and  Richard Serra’s Wake .

Next is Calder’s The Eagle framing a sail boat.

Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen offer a Typewriter Eraser

And Louise Bourgeois created Father and Son

Dee is listening to the Jaume Plensa Echo

 

Lunch is near the Seattle Sculpture Garden at Boat Street Kitchen – L & D: Daily, 3131 Western Ave, 206-632-4602

First we ordered the Muscadet and then Dee had a beautifully composed plate of poached salmon  served on cous-cous with greens and I had duck breast with greens.

We got into a conversation with one of the owners, who had grown up in one of our all time favorite places to visit – Mendocino, CA.  We shared some fun memories.

 

 

The Chinese community has an important presence in Seattle.  While exploring the China town area our Cousin Ben recommends visiting the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience – Tu-Su: 10-5, 719 S King St, 206-623-5124.

The Wing offers community driven exhibitions and programs.  Its stories range from the struggles of early Asian pioneers to accomplished works by Asian Pacific American artists.

Guided neighborhood tours are available.

 

It’s time for Pike Place Market – 1st Ave & Pike Place

This is Seattle’s most popular destination with more than 10 million visitors annually.  It has several levels and a variety of businesses.  The market’s motto is “Meet the Producer”.

You’ll find things here that you had no idea you were looking for.  The main attractions on the upper street level are the fishmongers, produce stands and other food related businesses.

The covered arcades below the main level feature antique dealers, comic book shops and a variety of family owned craft shops.

Many of the restaurants have been here for generations.

 

It’s time for a wine break at  The Pink Door – L: M-Sa, D: Nightly, 1919 Post Alley, 206-443-3241

We shared a wonderful charcuterie platter and a half carafe of Nero d’Avola.     Good service, nice ambience, outside seating with a water view.

 

Dinner is at List – D: Nightly, no reservations, 2226 1st ave, 206-441-1000, small intimate place with an urban following,( translation: a young early (after work) bar scene).  On Sundays and Mondays they have happy hour all day.  $15 for a nice Italian wine and half the menu is half price.

Start with the grilled octopus salad and citrus emulsion,  then the grilled chilean sea bass with faro and for a finale the handmade gnocchi with black truffle cream.  Your wine is the Barbara Fontanafredda and dessert is Belgium chocolate tortino and gelato.

 

Day Three: You’ll get a kick out of the Oddfellows Café & Bar – B,L,D: Daily, 1525 10th Ave, 206-325-0807 and a good breakfast.

They offer homemade biscuits, eggs and bacon, French toast, granola and yogurt, a fruit bowl with honey, mint and nuts or the breakfast Panini.

 

An interesting experience is a visit to the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks known locally as the Ballard Locks – Daily: 7 AM – 9 PM, 3015 NW 54th St, 206-783-7059

The locks enable boats to navigate from the fresh water of Lake Washington and Lake Union to the salt water of the Puget Sound.

Another feature of the locks is the fish ladder that enables the salmon and steelheads get upstream to spawn and the young fish to reach the sound.

Nearby is the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Gardens – Daily: 7 AM – 9 PM

Carl transformed the locks construction site into an English garden.  Today the garden has 500+ species and 1,500 varieties of plants from around the world.

 

We can’t help it, when we’re in Seattle we always have a meal at Café Campagne – B,L,D: Daily, Pike Place Market, 1600 Post Alley, 206-228-2233

Today you’ll share the Salade Nicoise or the Pate de Campagne and sip on a glass of Brut Rose.

Personal favorites are their lamb burger with grilled onions, roasted red pepper and aioli or the duck confit with goat cheese and toasted pine nuts.

The ’10 Hubert Lapierre Chenas is a good match.

 

Your next adventure is at the Tacoma Art Museum – Tu-Su: 10-5, 1701 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, 253-272-4258

Their collection is focused on Northwest artists defined by the geographical territory of Washington, Oregon, western Montana, British Columbia, Idaho and Alaska.

TAM has 4500 artworks and 3000 of them are by Northwest artists.

The glass artisans shown include Dale Chihuly.

Another initiative includes art work depicting Native American cultures.

 

You have seen a lot of beautiful glass in Seattle and Tacoma.  At the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio – Tu-Su: 9-5, 114 S 23rd St, Tacoma, 253-948-9699 you can create your own glass art.

They offer a hands-on session that allows you to pick and apply colors, blow or shape glass into a piece of art.

 

On the way to dinner in Pioneer Square we saw lots of activity and sculpture

We enjoyed dinner at Bar Sajor – L: Tu-F, D: Nighlty, 323 Occidental Ave S, 206-682-1117

Local guy makes good with five or six places.  Really interesting menu, cooking is done on a wood fired grill in front of us, sides include several pickled condiments and unusual spicing with locally sourced ingredients.

We started with a liverwurst pate with ground cherries served with a flat bread.  Dee had the grilled salmon, mashed potatoes and pickled okra.  I had the lamb sausage with a red pepper medely.

 

We have a couple of lagniappes for you.

A must see place is the Asian Art Museum  – W: 10-5, Th: 10-9, F-Su: 10-5, 1400 E Prospect St – located in Volunteer Park (designed by the Olmsted Brothers).

It’s housed in a 1933 Art Deco building designed by Carl Gould, a Paris trained Seattle architect.

This was the original building for the Seattle Art Museum.

The AAM’s collection comes from China, Japan, India, Korea, Southeast Asia, the Himalayas, the Philippines and Vietnam.  Some that we loved

 

 

They have a special exhibit now by Chino Aoshima titled “Rebirth of the World” that we highly recommend.

This is an active graphic that I felt visually described a recent article I read in the New Yorker magazine titled “The Really Big One” by Kathryn Schulz who outlined how an earthquake will destroy a sizable portion of the coastal Northwest US.

A fault line known as the Cascadia subduction zone runs 700 miles from Cape Mendocino to Vancouver Island.  The last earthquake in this area occurred at 9 PM on January 26, 1700.  In the prior 10,000 years the area experienced 41 quakes or a quake every 243 years.  We are now 315 years into the 243 year cycle.  There is no warning system in place.  As Yogi Berra said “you can look it up”.

 

After a lot of research by Dee we set off for Bainbridge Island by the Washington State Ferry across the water of Puget Sound.  These are large vessels that accommodate lots of people and cars.

After exiting the boat we walked to Winslow Way enjoying the gardens on the way.

It’s impossible to miss the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art – Daily: 10-6, 550 Winslow Way E, 206-842-4451 and admission is FREE.

The BIMA is relatively new, very well designed and beautifully landscaped.  They have an attractive and very good café and an appealing line-up of events.  We especially enjoyed the art.

We were taken by the art and personal story of German-born Horst Gottschalk who was forced to join The Hitler Youth at age eight, ending up in the German Army in World War II.

This exhibit reflects his artistic journey, finding personal expression, escape, strength, and joy by immersing himself in the contemporary art movements of his day. Gottschalk moved to Bainbridge Island with his wife Barbara in 1989 and passed away in 1998.

After this unexpected and wonderful experience we walked about the commercial area of Bainbridge Island before returning to Seattle on the ferry.  We had great views.

 

 

Until next time, best wishes and happy travels,

Dick & Dee Welge

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