Best Seattle Attractions to Visit

Best Seattle Attractions to Visit

Something you might not know about Seattle is that it has a nickname, “The Emerald City.” It gets that name because it is surrounded by water, mountains and evergreen forests and has thousands of acres of parkland in and around the city.

“Let’s take a holiday in Seattle”, is not something that you would often hear. When people talk about taking a vacation, the cities that are spoken about are Paris, London, Sydney, Rome, New York, and Madrid. So is there an attraction about Seattle that would bring people, other than US citizens, there? With less than 1 million residents you wouldn’t call Seattle an enormous city. However, there must be something about it because even tech industries such as Microsoft and Amazon.com have their headquarters in the metropolitan area.

  1. Seattle is located just below the Canadian border and in reasonable proximity to Washington and Portland. One of its most favorite buildings is the one called the Space Needle which was built over 50 years ago for the 1962 World’s Fair. Incorporated into this building are the Pacific Science Centre and Chihuly glass display in amongst the food courts and theatres. There is some debate as to whether this building or the Smith Tower is the better one of the two.
  2. 2. You stayed up late the night before so the only meal you are going to have today is brunch. Head off to Portage Bay Café, which offers you delicious, local, organic food.
  3. 3. After such a hearty breakfast you can take the option to walk it off and head to the Seattle Arboretum where you can be at one with nature and enjoy the beautifully laid out gardens and fantastic plant life.
  4. There are not many things in life that are free but if you go to the Centre for Wooden Boats in Seattle they have volunteer skippers there who are only too happy to take you out on their spirit boats, schooners, and even the occasional yacht. You can do this on any Sunday of the week.
  5. While its name is somewhat mundane, The Museum of History and Industry is a must-see for both visitors and locals. You can catch up on the maritime history of the city and see some of its cutting-edge cultures. Part of this visit can include a pleasant walk along the harbour front where you can visit shops, eateries and saunter along wooden piers jutting out into the bay. Beware of a place called Brouwer’s Café as you might be in danger of becoming addicted to a drink that you can get there called Dragon Sauce.
  6. Visiting an art museum isn’t always for a rainy day and you can visit the Seattle version on any day of the week. They have paintings there from European masters, ancient Asian artwork, and some Native American carvings. There is always a restaurant and a gift store in the museum where you can pick up some unusual souvenirs and a bite to eat.
  7. If you’re looking for somewhere to hang out in the evening, and you’ve already had your dinner at a nearby restaurant, you can head off to a place called The Rock Box. This is a Japanese style karaoke club which has a full bar and while you’re drinking, you can munch away on some cheese and biscuits while you’re singing your heart out in your private room. If you want to know what the citizens of South East Asian countries do at the karaoke places, this will give you a good idea. Karaoke is a favourite pastime in Japan and throughout Asia.
  8. You can’t have a holiday in Seattle or any other city for that matter without being involved in an outdoor adventure. So make sure you plan a day out at Discovery Park. Don’t forget to bring your camera because this huge City Park, which covers over 500 acres will give you the opportunity to take photographs of breathtaking beauty. It is situated on Magnolia Bluff overlooking Puget Sound and that means sea cliffs, sand dunes and lots of forests and streams.
  9. It seems that every city has its Chinatown and Seattle is no different. Although they removed the name Chinatown and now call it The International District, it has retained its Asian flavour and has restaurants and shops representing countries such as Japan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and of course China. You’ll be happy to know that in this place you can pick up an authentic dim sum meal.
  10. It’s always worthwhile to understand the history of the city and Seattle has a historic district which features a vast area that includes Victorian Romanesque architecture, museums, art galleries, many restaurants, and nightlife. Seattle was originally a young lumber town in the 1800s and the city was built on that industry. The name of this area is called Pioneer Square and you can brush up on the Seattle history that included the sawmill industry and its place in the Klondike Gold Rush in the 1890s.

In addition to this list of 10 interesting things to do in Seattle, there are any number of other activities that will attract your interest. The city actually has a sensual side in which trendy Seattle restaurants regularly feature burlesque shows. If you have a sweet tooth, you can always pop into Fran’s chocolates which gained a bit of fame when President Obama said they were his favorites.

If you love animals and music, you can get a dose of both by going to a concert at the Woodland Park Zoo where they host Zoo Tunes, which are outdoor summer concerts. Like most cities in the world, it’s sometimes the unadvertised and unlisted sights that can turn out to be the most interesting. If you have a plan to visit the city of Seattle, there is lots of information available about many different things to see and do. You should never be bored.

What It Means to Be a Bartender

What It Means to Be a Bartender

The first time and got behind a bar I was still at college and at the time I was looking for a way in which to make some extra dollars to get by. There was an advertisement at the local bar looking for some help on the weekends. I applied, got the job, got a little bit of training and after about two weeks I was left to my own devices behind a bar serving the regulars. So initially it was just a job for money. Bartenders today are called mixologists, and it’s more of a profession than just a part-time job. We even have celebrity bartenders, and they work behind bars where people come to see this person operate. I find that a bit weird. We’re here to provide customers with a service and not to put on a show.

The longer you serve behind a bar, the smarter you get and the better you operate. Obviously, I had to learn how to mix many different drinks such as cocktails, and I learned a lot about wines and whiskeys and even became an amateur brewer in my time. I developed a certain way in which I spoke to people, and I also picked up from their body language and the way they spoke how they should be treated. For example, a 300 lb tattooed giant isn’t necessarily a mean son of a bitch. Some people that I’ve met that look like that are also some of the nicest people with whom to talk. So one thing I have learnt is that appearance means nothing.

While our primary job is to serve drinks to customers, it also includes being able to communicate with everyone, checking to see who’s coming into the bar and who is leaving, who’s drinking too much, who’s looking for trouble, and who needs a listening ear. The business aspects need to be looked after as well. That means making sure that the beer kegs are not running out, that there are plenty of spirits and mixes available, that the ice is topped up, that the correct money is being taken, and that exact change is being given and that the area behind the bar is kept neat and tidy.

The fact that we are on our feet for the whole shift makes it a physically demanding job. I always make sure that I buy the best quality shoes, exercise and work out regularly by going to the local gym, and personally, I don’t drink at all while I am working. And yes, that means if you buy me a drink I won’t drink it. If you want to tip me, then I much prefer cash. Maintaining a family life or a relationship outside of my work is tough mainly due to the hours that I keep. If you’re not finishing work until about 3 AM or 4 AM then things like early morning breakfasts, evening dinners, and nice romantic lunches are difficult to schedule. But I’ve set myself a pretty good routine over the years, and I wouldn’t change it in the immediate future.

Once upon in Clever Dunnes

Once upon in Clever Dunnes

During the many years I worked behind the bar it goes without saying that I met many, many interesting people. There was no end of characters that came in for a drink, spent their time chatting, some telling me about their life story while others just had something to whinge about. My job as a bartender was to listen, nod, agree and keep the drinks coming. Every bar has its regulars, and Clever Dunnes was no different. This bar probably had about a dozen regulars that came in almost every day. They would usually order one or two drinks for the period that they sat there. Many of the regulars became friends and popping into the bar for a quick drink was their way of having a bit of a gossip.

One particular guy, Frank, was one of my favourite regulars. If I was on the midday shift, it wasn’t usually busy, so I could spend a bit of time with regular customers chatting as well as doing the standard bar work. Frank never wanted to talk about politics or religion, but he was erudite about an unbelievable number of other interesting topics. I’m pretty sure he was retired, and I would have put his age at about 62. He generally popped in for a drink and about 2 pm most days and it wasn’t long before we would get to chatting about the day’s topic.

He was an avid gardener, and I couldn’t help but notice that his fingernails always had some black soil under them. I would ask him what gardening job he had been doing that day and he would answer with words like “weeding, planting, and growing.” Even in the middle of winter, he would say that his plants were growing. When I asked how he managed that he stated that he had invested in some good plasma grow lights that he used on his flowers as well as his vegetables. Yes, he actually grew vegetables at home! While I would never call myself a keen gardener I was certainly interested in being able to grow organic, chemical free vegetables.

Frank spent time explaining to me how, by using correct lighting and providing his plants with the right amount of nutrients, he was able to have fresh vegetables all year round. He told me that if I was interested, I should look at some more information on http://plantozoid.com where I would find everything I need. Frank said that since his wife had passed away, his passion and hobby was the growing of fresh flowers all year round and consistently given to his two daughters who had their own families, and fresh vegetables which he also supplied to them. He said that his ability to grow vegetables was so good that he was able to trade some of them to the local shop for bread, milk and eggs. That was awesome to hear that the old barter system was still alive and working today.