Hidden Seattle

Put away the guide book and check out some of Seattle’s best hidden gems

1428 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Taking just the ‘right’ wrong turn on a visit to Pike Place Market can land you in Post Alley, where spearmint, wild cherry, and tropical punch bubble gum drizzles down the window panes and grape, peppermint, and lemon ice gum-cicles form from sills. It may be one of the lesser-known Seattle tourist attractions, but it certainly makes a big impression with plenty of chaotic color on a rainy day. And if you’re a gum chewer, be prepared to stick a drop of your own favorite flavor to leave a colorful mark on the city.
1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
The Elliott Bay Book Company is the Seattle bookstore and, thankfully, survived its move from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill with soul and towering cedar bookcases intact. Elliott Bay lost a significant chunk of square footage during the move but gained a home right in the heart of Capitol Hill. Which makes it even easier to execute the ideal lazy Sunday afternoon combo: new novel + Fonte latte and one of the book-size housemade muffins from the on-site café (if it’s sunny, make a beeline for the grassy Cal Anderson park, just across the street). The food is northwest downhome—unpretentious salads with local greens, wholesome soups—but the abundant outlets and cozy café vibe make up for any food misses.

Try it there: The lemon crepe

Bring it home: Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice and tickets to a Neptune Theater reading
913 S Jackson St suite A, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
With one of the largest Cambodian communities outside of Southeast Asia, the Seattle area is an ideal place to be introduced to Khmer cuisine. Twenty five years ago, the family-run Phnom Penh Noodle House in the Chinatown/International District was the city’s first Cambodian restaurant. My favorite standby when I revisit my erstwhile hometown is “Battambang’s Favorite.” The menu description of this dish reads: “Ground shrimp and pan roasted peanut with salted radish and pickled cucumber, served over a bed of roasted sweet soy sauce thin rice noodles and bean sprouts. Finished with a hardboiled egg, green onion, and cilantro.” Surprise the staff by saying, “Jeum riep sue” (“Hello,” in Cambodian). (The owner, Seng “Sam” Ung, has recently written a memoir about surviving the Pol Pot regime, entitled, I survived the Killing Fields.)
2101 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Gas Works Park should be one of the places to stop and explore if you go to Seattle. It offers an amazing view of the city, which looks just as good at night as it does during the day so whenever you choose to go will be perfect. Gasworks Park was the site for the manufacturing of gas from coal back in the early to mid 1900s. But later in 1975, the city opened the park to the public. Check out the graffiti on the machinery, visit the sundial on the top of the hill, or sit down and look out across the Lake Union. It’s also a great spot for photography so bring your camera as well! *the picture shows the view from Gas Works Park.
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Journeys: Africa + Middle East
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