Seattle: Experience Music Project

If you’re visiting Seattle and you’re not into kitschy touristy sights and only wanted to do that ONE thing, go check out the Experience Music Project! This was probably my favourite thing to do in Seattle. But know that I’m a sucker for all things pop culture too!

Experience Music Project is a pop culture, and science fiction museum. The building itself is quite a sight too!

I couldn’t get the entire thing into frame but this is a standing structure, spanning across a few floors.

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Seattle: Fremont market

Flea markets are pretty cool.

Flea markets with food trucks are even cooler. I come from a city with maybe 5 food trucks in operation. For a mobile business that is supposed to be low-cost, a food-truck business in Singapore is ridiculously high.

Throw in the mix of local produce, antiques and art, Fremont Sunday market was a must-visit for me. While I didn’t purchase anything, it was fun to have a look and poke around the antiques.

I also had my first grilled cheese sandwich here. Initially, I didn’t get the fuss about grilled cheese sandwiches. Erm, hello? How good can it get?

But I ate my sandwich, and I ate my words.

Hi Shaggy!

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Seattle: Chowders

I never thought I’ll go on a diet – me and food? It’s always a love relationship.

One thing that I really miss about Seattle is the wide variety and amazing soups and chowders filled with fresh seafood. My favourites are those places that have sampler platters! Four different chowders in a meal. Ship me over please someone.

In everyday situation, I normally can’t finish an entire meal on my own. In USA, I find that the portions are so huge! Each meal seems to feed two of me. Chowders and soups are easier for me to finish.

I didn’t manage a picture but my favourite soup was the crab and corn bisque from Seastar. If you’re ever in Bellevue area, it’s a great restaurant although the prices veer on the pricier side.

My most memorable chowder experience came from Duke’s Chowder House in Southcenter Mall. I love having variety in my food and the ability to build my own platter.

Quad Dinghy, 11.20USD

The most affordable soup that is a one-meal dish (not literally) is clam chowder at City Soups near the Seattle office that I visited. With each soup, I believe you have a choice of toppings and a side of a bread. I vaguely remember my meal being affordable, about 5 – 6USD?

Clam chowder (I think) with mushrooms topping and cornbread

My most underwhelming chowder was probably from Pike’s Place. I went there with a lot of expectations, my brainwaves went, “Omg it’s Pike’s Place Chowder! So many travel sites recommends this!”

When I tried my first spoon, it was just a “Oh.” Not in a good way.

Locations

Seastar restaurant and raw bar
205 108th Ave NE. Suite 100,
Bellevue, WA 98004

Duke Chowder House (They have a few locations)
757 Southcenter Mall
Tukwila, WA 98188

City Soups
601 108th Ave NE # 130
Bellevue, WA 98004
United States

Pike’s Place Chowder
601 108th Ave NE # 130
Bellevue, WA 98004
United States

Seattle: First Starbucks Store

Didn’t manage to get the any images of the store inside but Google Images will show you plenty!

While Starbucks fact sheet will tell you that the Seattle’s Pike Market is the first store ever, it looks like the founders opened the initial store on 2000 Western Ave from 1971-1976 before relocating the entire store to Pike’s Place.

The first store is a popular tourist place hawking limited edition “first ever Starbucks store” paraphernalia. It’s absolutely teeming with tourists. You could get a beverage to-go and purchase some limited edition stuff but there are no sit down areas to enjoy your cuppa.

I’m a caffeine addict but not that big a fan of Starbucks but I still purchased some first Starbucks store swag here! Do be prepared to queue if you pop by on a weekend, I waited in line for approx 20 – 30 minutes and was out of the store in 10 minutes.

First Starbucks Store
1912 Pike Pl
Seattle, WA 98101

On Google Map

Seattle: Gum Wall

The Market Theatre gum wall was named one of the top five germiest tourist locations globally by TripAdvisor yet tourists flock to the location daily!

The back story was: patrons queueing for tickets at the Market Theatre used to get annoyed waiting and started sticking coins into the gum wads onto the wall in the 1990s. Which got me thinking, why would you stick a coin into the gum when you can just stick the gum on? There were attempts to scrape off the gum but tradition stuck (Pun haha) on tight. The gum wall was officially named a tourist location in 1999.

Gum wall sticking has also become an art.

And maybe a method for leaving notes?

I saw many tourists posing with the hanging threads of the gum… I seriously wonder has any of the gum dropped into a mouth before? Surely that must have happened.

Also, boys roughhousing and bullying, does anyone get pushed to the wall? I shudder at that thought. Yucks.

Pretty cool to check it out, especially if you’re in the area for Pike’s Market or the first Starbucks store. Follow the crowd, you can’t miss it.

Seattle gum wall,
1428 Post Alley,
Seattle, WA 98101, United States
Seattle gum wall Google Map location

Seattle: Forza coffee

Forza is this little coffee joint, not as commercialised as a big chain but not one of those “single store” cafe. This stop wasn’t a deliberate one but I was craving for a chai latte before heading to where the tourist hot spots (Seattle Space Needle and EMP Museum) were.

Forza has an Italian origins and I remember my chai latte to be one of the best I ever had. I tried Googling for other locations nearer to my hotel but there were only a few locations available. The outlet that I popped by was near the Seattle Needle but has been reported to be closed.

There was only one other customer when I was there and it’s a great place to sit back, chill and read a book. I was quite intrigued by the decor too.

See the table?

It’s filled with coffee beans!

Check out the locations of Forza’s outlets to see if you’re near one.

Seattle: Let’s go Huskies!

Sports is an unknown concept to me. I grew up with a focus on arts – I started dancing since I was a kid (on and off in my growing up years) and music was a huge part in my secondary school days. I ended up in the military band somehow (actually it was because there was no dance CCA then). Well, without music you can’t dance so I think there is a relationship there.

Anyway, it was intriguing for me to see that in USA, varsity sports is a huge thing. You support your alma mater team (most likely) and you’ll catch their games on TV/live. Watching games and matches that bit, I get it. Every four years, when the World Cup comes round the corner, Singapore gets into the football frenzy.

However, if you ask me, do I even know what’s my alma mater sports mascot… err, is it a bear? or a lion? Maybe it’s me being an ignorant but varsity sports is definitely not that big a thing in Singapore. Well if you think about it, we only have that few universities in Singapore (the official ones you can count with 1 hand, maybe two if you’ll like to include the Australian affiliated ones). The varsity games in Singapore include polytechnics, universities and vocational institutes because there are too little universities to compete within. That doesn’t make it much fun or competitive huh if you’re just competing amongst four teams.

The U District is named for University of Washington. The Huskies are what the sports team of UW are called. UW is often referred to as U Dub – which is short for W (which is pronounced as Double U).

There’s a paraphernalia store for Huskies smack in the middle and you can get all sorts of things you can possibly imagine to shout and scream your endless support for the dawgs

What’s a Husky store without some cute huskies?

 

Clothes for your huskies

I personally don’t think car plates are that a great idea, what if you’re driving in front of someone who’s supporting your rival team, is drunk and has road rage?

University Book Store
4326 University Way NE, Seattle,
WA 98105, United States
University Book Store on Google Map

Seattle: Trabant (U District)

Before I went to Seattle, I was a latte kind of girl. My friend, got me to try chai latte when I was there. It’s really hard to find a good chai latte in Singapore. The best one I had in Seattle was at this little cafe in U District, the chai latte was aromatic (which didn’t smell too herby/spiced) and the milk added to the fullness of the beverage.

Sipping hot chai latte in the cold weather was my sneaky comfort. I finished it so fast I forgot to take a picture of it. But it was a good chai latte!

Trabant was like this hipster cafe where patrons typed away furiously on their laptops. It’s complete with a graffiti filled toilet.

 

Trabant Coffee & Chai
1309 NE 45th St
University District
Seattle, WA98105
Trabant Coffee & Chai on Google Map
 

Seattle sight: University District farmers market

I love visiting markets – it’s this aunty-ness in me that finds it super fulfilling. The farmers markets in USA are quite intriguing and different from the local ones we have in Singapore – well, I bet they say the same thing when Americans come to Singapore.

BUT Singapore markets are so different. The Seattle market that I went to, was more of a “look see” market with fresh yummy homemade/home grown goodies and local farmer’s produce. Sounds like the ones we have in Singapore – nah, I think it’s quite different. Simply from the way these farmer markets are laid out to the type of produce they sell and crowds they attract. I also think, these farmer markets are more “hipster” than your regular Targets and Walmarts. Farmers markets are typically open on weekends only.

Coupled that with sunshine, breeze and 18 degrees weather, how more perfect can you get?

The market that I went to was Seattle’s University District Farmer’s Market. It’s a food market stocked with local produce, opened on Saturdays mostly.

I realise flowers are a big thing. In Singapore, we hardly buy flowers to display at home unless we get them as a gift

Mexican food for the day: Horchata (a Mexican milky drink) and some.. flour/meat mixture thing

For market opening days and hours, see Seattle Neighbourhoods Farmers Markets.

U District Farmers Market
5031 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105
U District Farmers Market on Google Map