What do you do and why do you do it?
I'm a store manager for Starbucks, and I do it because I get a satisfaction in working for a company that appreciates its employees, it allows me to work to constantly improve existing systems and create organization, and to ALWAYS be improving my chalkboard lettering. I live for those moments of genuine connection that are made over caffeine and in quiet moments in the morning, or breaks in the midday chaos. But, most importantly, I do it for the free coffee.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Hmmm. I'm going to be THAT person and split hairs a bit because I think that there are different kinds of heartbreak that are best soothed/embraced via different music entirely. I'm going to answer with a song for each of the stages of grief following a breakup, and then I would add in a smattering of Etta James (always) and copious Adele tracks (also always) to ensure you're feeling the feels. 1. Denial: "We're on Fire" by Airplane Man; 2. Anger: "Goddess" by Banks; 3. Bargaining: "I've Told You Now" by Sam Smith; 4. Depression: "Save Myself" by Ed Sheeran; 5. Acceptance: "Good As Hell" by Lizzo. Feel free to find me on Spotify!
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Joss Whedon's writing in Firefly. The whimsy of Pushing Daisies (both of these were cancelled well before their time). Doctor Who because I am obsessed with Stephen Moffatt. The boundary pushing, yet nuanced, Looking. Six Feet Under because everything. The quick, rapid fire diologue of Gilmore Girls. Parenthood because Gilmore Girls was over and I needed more Lauren Graham in my life, and because Jason Katims is the king of the moving TV drama. And I definitely binge watched all of the Marvel shows on Netflix when I first moved to Seattle and didn't want to leave my apartment in the "Seattle Grey" weather.
Name some spots in Seattle that are good for a Tinder date.
1. Fremont Brewing. Odds are, there will be at least a dozen other people there on any given night ALSO on a Tinder date. The chill atmosphere and lack of food menu means that there is no pressure to stay if it's a "no", but potential to take the date to a second location for a bite to eat if it's a "yes" 2. Little Oddfellows. This little cafe is inside of Elliott Bay Book Co, so you can grab a drink, talk about books, and let conversation evolve as you wander thorough the different topics/categories. If things go well, you're in the heart of the Hill and options abound.
Who’s your hero and where in Seattle would you take them out for a serious hang?
Hans Zimmer. I'm obsessed. I enrolled in his Masterclass for film score the SECOND it was available, and his soundtracks are staples in my Spotify. Honestly, I have a sincere admiration for his creative process and his professional/creative relationship with Christopher Nolan. Plus, he's scored EVERYTHING (seriously, look it up). If I was lucky enough to hang with Hans (yup, we're on a first name basis now), I would take him on a Paramount Theatre tour, head to St. Mark's for the INCREDIBLE acoustics, and then bond over/geek out about music over Ethiopian food at Queen Sheba. Dunno why, but Ethiopian food felt like the right call.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Goodness, they're not THAT fabulous! I have an eclectic mix of thrift store finds (shout out to Out of the Closet!), American Eagle staples, TagPop, and Target (because who doesn't love Target?). Out of the Closet is an awesome stop for thrifters in Seattle, since the proceeds benefit AIDS Healthcare Foundation and help provide free HIV testing, and the selection can be AWESOME.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Westlake Mall area. No. Thank. You. I tend to get anxious in crowds, and many of the storefronts in the mall have better, local alternatives in other parts of Seattle, so there isn't much incentive to brave the crowds of tourists, determined walkers, and professionals on breaks. At any given time, I would rather be just about anywhere else in Seattle.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
I think that this is true of MOST Seattleites: go to the Market. Every time I take the time to wander through the market, or pick up fresh produce on the way home from work, I wonder why I don't make the time more often... and then I remember the hassle surrounding parking, crowds, and lines. I've learned that if I go really early in the morning, I get to enjoy all the things I love about this Seattle staple, but avoid all the things that make me avoid it! Because Ellenos, fresh fruit, a bouquet of fresh flowers, and a stop at The Crumpet Shop make up the perfect Seattle morning.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Seattle and where did you get it?
Going crazy with the "Treat Yoself" attitude on a brunch spread at Toulouse Petit. We ordered SO much food (and I googled to make sure that I recounted every decadent word): Eggs Clark with Beef Filet Tournedos and Mushroom-Tasso Merchand du Vin, Bananas Foster Pancakes with Candied Pecans and Butter and Vanilla Ice Cream, Beignets with Chicory Caf Anglaise, and cocktails. The table top was LITERALLY filled with food. The aroma was heavenly. Even better? The drinks were strong. I've never had a single bad experience at Toulouse Petit, but this goes on the books as the best meal there ever and 100% worth the food coma that followed.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Seattle that you particularly like?
White Horse Trading Company is tucked away in Post Alley, and overlooked by the bustle of Pike Place Market. Cross the threshold, through the Dutch doors marked with a white horse, and enter into a dimly lit, book lined pub that is cozy and welcoming. Be warned that this place is cash only, and the menu is limited (and mostly imports), but there is always something interesting on cask, and (usually) a chess board open. If you're feeling up to a challenge, ask the owner for the scavenger hunt list and comb the interior while nursing a pint!
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Seattle? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
Sky City at the Space Needle. This was shortly before I moved here, and I wanted to splurge on a nice dinner for my boyfriend at the time's birthday, and dinner at the restaurant atop the Space Needle seemed the place to do that. The deck at the top rotates slowly, and dinner includes complimentary tickets to the observation deck, so we were able to see the entire area from our perch up there! He had the Steak Frites and lobster mac, I had the bacon-wrapped Filet Mignon, and we ate our weight in bread and crunchy salted butter. Factor in dessert, drinks, a hefty tip for our extremely attentive service, and tip for the photographer: $241.
What restaurant in Seattle looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Memos Mexican. Having spent a good chunk of my formative years in Southern California, there is always going to be a spot in my heart for Cali-style burritos that are the size of your face, cheap, and wrapped in yellow paper, and the only place that I've found this no-frills eat is at Memos in the U-District. Open 24 hours a day, this run down looking store front with an equally cringe-worthy (oddly silent) interior hides the Mexican food that transplants (like me!) crave at the rock bottom prices they remember.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Seattle? Which one do you like?
Hands down, the best cocktail I have ever had was at Bathtub Gin & Co. in Belltown. I had marched through the dark streets to an unassuming alleyway entrance. BUT once you make it inside, there are a few intimate tabletops and a small bar up the stairs with an expert bartender that can create for you a custom cocktail based upon your tastes and specifications, which he will serve to you with a deadpan expression (or a wink--if you're lucky) and will be absolutely spectacular. Definitely the kind of haunt that you want to arrive (kind of) early to, and hole up at a dimly lit table with your date.
Where would you take your partner in Seattle if you wanted to really pamper them?
Canlis. There is no other place in Seattle with more all around accolades, and when combined with the beautiful mid-century modern architecture, view of Lake Union, and the wine selection? Sold. In fact, a fancy schmancy date night is the ONLY time that I can think of going to/wanting to go to Canlis, and it does make for a brilliant Seattle evening.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
When I went to visit family in the UK, they told me that Americans are obsessed with the peanut butter and chocolate combination (which, apparently, isn't as popular elsewhere?), so I would definitely recommend trying Butterfinger candy bars and Reese's. Oh, and I believe in trying every limited edition Oreo flavor at least once starting with Cinnamon Bun and ending when you are nearly in a sugar coma.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Seattle?
Weirdly enough, I think that the Market is both underrated for its hidden gems AND overrated for its hotspots. Now, don't get me wrong, Pike Market is a total photo op, but I would snag your photo in front of the iconic red sign, the fish throwers, or the gum wall, and then take the time to delve into the deep recesses of the lower levels. Or, alternatively, brave less-than-ideal weather or the early, early morning to avoid the crowds.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Seattle?
Lower Queen Anne/Belltown. Until I started working in Belltown, I hadn't spent all that much time there and realized that there was plenty that I had overlooked in all the time I had spent in Seattle! Lower Queen Anne/Belltown is the area between the Market and around the Space Needle, and those two MAJOR attractions tend to overshadow all the amazing restaurants, music venues, and bars that are in between.
What are the Seattle spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Year round, the view of the city skyline from Gasworks Park. It's the perfect vantage point to see all of Seattle's skyline, the looming Mount Rainier, and Lake Union without navigating the lines at the Space Needle. Plus, during the warmer season, it's the perfect place to access the Burke-Gilman walking trail, be close to both Fremont and Ballard (which are both incredibly walkable neighborhoods), and to see an iconic part of Seattle--the park itself.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Seattle. How do you spend it?
Ideally? Breakfast at Toulouse Petit. Kayaking on Lake Union. Buy a bouquet of flowers at the Market. Lunch at Il Corvo. Record shopping at Easy Street. Grab burgers at Uneeda, but eat them while drinking out of a flask at Ella Bailey Park. Cap off the day with drinks on the observation deck at Smith Tower. Sleep for two days to recover.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
London, although it may change the more I travel. It's the first city in which I traveled solo, and felt completely comfortable doing so because of the transportation system and friendly locals! I'm a total geek when it comes to history, and there is a wealth of it there--literally everywhere you look. I cannot wait to go back and to further explore!