After re-reading my last post, I realized that while it’s fun to dream of faraway lands, I should not take for granted the city in which I live. So I made it my mission this weekend to embrace the offerings of Seattle. And God smiled on this plan by giving us a bout of sunshine!

My adventures began Saturday morning with a trip up to Fusion Beads. Shane had given me a gift certificate that was burning a hole in my pocket. I walked in and was immediately overwhelmed. This place is stocked with all kinds of shiny little treasures – glass beads, metal beads, plastic beads, wood beads, etc. Below is some of my loot (don’t know yet what I’ll do with any of this, but there’s some definite potential here):


From Fusion, I headed over to Irwin’s Cafe in on N. 40th to enjoy a latte do a little reading. I scored a table by the window and enjoyed the comfy-cozy, slightly funky, laid-back vibe. This place has a great neighborhood feel to it – flower pots and Adirondack chairs out front, people walking by with their dogs, newspapers strewn on the tables… I’m still waiting for a fantastic cafe like this to open Columbia City. Patience.

That evening, Shane and I met some friends up in Maple Leaf for dinner at Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon (how could you not want to eat at a place that has a name like that?). Kind of a hole-in-the-wall, but clean and super-delicious. Juicy dumplings, broccoli beef, prawns with veggies, sweet and sour chicken, Szechuan green beans, mmmmm… I walked out of this place about 4 pounds heavier, but it was worth it.

Got up bright and early Sunday morning (is 9 a.m. early?) and headed to Joe Bar in Capitol Hill to grab a cup of coffee, a scone, and a table where I could get some studying done (I take my first architectural licensing exam next month – yikes!). I used to frequent this place back when Shane and I lived in the ‘hood and have really missed it. Great rotating art on the walls, good espresso, wonderfully varied clientele, and a little mezzanine which serves as the perfect perch from which to take this all in:


From Joe Bar, I walked over to Volunteer Park, where I could fully revel in the sunshine. Good Lord, this city is beautiful:


Some further wandering around the park led me to this completely amazing greenhouse, open to the public and stocked with everything from tropical, jungly plants like Birds of Paradise to all kinds of cacti. I opened the doors and when the warm, moist air hit me in the face it was like I was in a different world. Talk about an urban oasis!


My final stop on Sunday was the Frye Art Museum, to take in some art. This place is great – it’s not large by any means, but the work is beautifully displayed and most of the galleries have comfy chairs where you can sit back and just absorb the paintings around you (I’m a big fan of seating in art galleries). I usually gloss over the paintings of cattle and many of the landscapes, but some of the portraits here are stunning. I was drawn to this one in particular (love the contrast of the dark, foreboding snake with her pale, glowing skin). It’s called “Sin” and was painted by Franz von Stuck around 1900:


And thus, my appreciation for Seattle is replenished…