West coast: Best coast?

A park in Seattle with sculptors and blue trees.
Pikes Place Market, Seattle.

Well, I don’t know if I think the “west coast, best coast” motto is completely true. I mean come on, east coast, beast coast. Duh.

Over the summer (oops.. that was three months ago) I hit up America’s Pacific Northwest. Specifically I went to Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon. At the least the west coast certainly is more relaxed than the uptight east coast. Realistically, how many parks have you seen in which the trees are painted blue? I also do not think I have ever seen someone with a tattoo of a fetus wearing retro headphones until this summer. Bizarre.

Another main difference I noted in this neck of the woods (see what I did there because there are so many trees!) was the number of locally owned small businesses.

I attribute this to the hippie-ish attitude of Oregon and Washington.

So many of the neighborhoods in both cities had so many small and quirky shops; in numbers that I have never seen in DC or New York City. When I was younger I remember reading about new boutiques in Georgetown each week in “The Sunday Source” of The Washington Post. I am fairly certain most of hem no longer exist. What I loved about Seattle and Portland: this is the opposite.

Of course you go to the downtown sections of the cities and you will find American Eagle, Barnes & Noble, whatever.

Go to the Hawthorne neighborhood of Portland and just block after block is a shop you have never heard of. When in Pioneer Square in Seattle,

Utilikilts, Seattle.

don’t forget to hit up Utilikilts, the store with all of your everyday kilt needs?

Powell’s Books, Portland.

I must not forget to mention the best example of locally owned: Powell’s Books in Portland. Powell’s is the largest independent used and new book store in the world! It is a highlight.

Of course, let us remember that since Seattle is the coffee capitol of the United States, there are countless coffee shops that do not bear the name Starbucks. However worry not; it is likely that you can also find a Starbucks right next door.

Monorail Espresso, Seattle.
Well, I don’t know the store name, but really anyplace that sells body parts in a bottle must be unique. Seattle.
Flower vendor in Pikes Place Market, Seattle.

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