Seattle: The troll

Token post on Seattle’s Fremont troll: My take is, don’t bother to see this. While it has a nice history to it, the troll isn’t worth making a special trip down.


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: 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: 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: Taylor’s Shellfish

Seattle is a coastal city with lots of seafood, cheaper, fresher and with way more varieties as compared to Singapore. I also liked that in US, sampler platters are very common, giving customers more options as compared to a single set item.

If you’re a fan of fresh oysters, then Taylor’s Shellfish is your thing. It’s somewhat like a mini supermarket/oyster bar at the same time. You can purchase the oysters unshucked or get them shucked and slurp them on the spot. Taylor’s offered numerous types of oysters from different parts of the  Pacific coast, ask the staff, he’ll gladly explain them. I was at the Capitol Hill (Melrose) branch.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of oysters but I enjoyed the couple of oysters I sampled at Taylor’s, they were a little briny, fresh without an overly fishy smell and makes me think of the sea.

You can check out the menu

Numerous locations in Seattle but here’s the one I went:
1521 Melrose Ave, Seattle, WA
Google Map

Sun-Thurs 10am to 9pm
Fri-Sat 10am to 10pm

Seattle food: Dick’s Drive In

Dick’s Drive In was one of those names that kept popping up in my research for my Seattle trip. In fact, in 2012, Dick’s Drive In was voted as one of the “most life changing burger” in Esquire’s poll. There’s also a Reddit thread discussing In-n-Out (which I didn’t see) and Dicks Drive In.

There are seven locations at the moment and I went to the Broadway outlet, not so early one night.

When my US colleagues asked me what were a couple of places I’ll like to check out and I told them Dick’s Drive In and they went like, “yeah, it is a quintessential Seattle experience.”

Wrapped in gold foil

I had a deluxe, fries, a milk shake and tartare sauce. It was quite an inexpensive meal.

If you check out Dick’s Drive In menu, this meal would have cost:

$2.90 (burger) + $1.65 (fries) + $2.30 (milk shake) + 0.05 (tartare sauce) = US$6.90 which is about $8.50 in SG. If you change your MacDonald’s for a milk shake, it’s probably about this price. I would pay for Dick’s Drive In any day over MacDonald’s.

Dick’s Drive-In

115 Broadway E
Seattle, WA 98102

Seattle: Hotel Monaco

If you’re traveling to Seattle for business trips (I’m guessing Microsoft?) and you’re the kind who like a little more life/buzz, I would suggest for you to room in one of the Kimpton Hotels in downtown Seattle instead of Bellevue where most of the offices are located. Kimpton Hotels own a chain of boutique hotels in Seattle.

Staying in downtown simply offers way more options in terms of shopping, necessities and food. The trip from downtown Seattle to Bellevue is a relatively easy one by bus or taxi. If you’re a survivor of Asian traffic,  Seattle public transport is peanuts to navigate. I had initially opt for Alexis Hotel but ended up at Hotel Monaco as the former sold out on the basic room. Alexis Hotel was closer to the city centre and Pike’s Place but Hotel Monaco was merely a couple of blocks down. I believe the features of both hotel are similar.

I stayed in the Queen Room, the most basic room but even the most basic room is a 1-room suite.

The view once you step into the room

The work desk area for me

The sleeping portion

Each room gets a leopard-print and/or zebra print robe

No breakfast in the morning but there is free Starbucks basic brew with various options of milk and sugar

I remember my stay being enjoyable and pleasant!

Plus points:

  1. Register ahead before you book your hotel stay as a Kimpton InTouch member, this will give you free wireless and $10 mini bar credit.
  2. Comfortable plush bed with different options of pillows.
  3. Central location with a bus stop nearby for travel into Bellevue, it took me approx 30 minutes to travel into Bellevue from downtown Seattle. The bus ride is quite okay since not a lot of people take public transport in Seattle, you’re almost certain to get a seat. The Seattle public library, downtown malls, Target and Pike’s Place is merely a walk away.
  4. There was a recycling programme, if you don’t need your linens changed, I think they provided a coupon ($5 or $10) which you can redeem at the hotel restaurant.
  5. There’s a evening wine hour from 5-6pm where you get to sample a few types of wines
  6. There’s a gym onsite but quite minimal so don’t expect too much.

There wasn’t a free breakfast option but free breakfasts don’t appear to be common in Seattle. There were morning tea and coffee from Starbucks.

If I have the chance to travel for business again, I’ll probably go for Hotel Alexis for closer proximity to sights.