For one of my final days of vacation, I decided to spend the day exploring my city. Here’s what happened when I wandered around Seattle in the middle of a workday.
11:21am: La Marzocco Cafe
I mostly know about La Marzocco, the cafe attached to KEXP radio in Lower Queen Anne, because of an influencer I follow on Instagram. I am neither as trendy as this person, nor an Instagram influencer, so La Marz had always felt a bit out of my element. But curiosity got the better of me, and I decided to give it a try.
As expected, La Marzocco is a beautiful hipster paradise filled with people who are lightyears cooler than me. Standing in line, a saw a gorgeous woman in a hijab, a handful of attractive interracial hipster couples, and an adorable family whose three-year-old had the coolest fauxhawk. I am not worthy.
I mentioned to the barista that the vibe here reminds me of a small coffee roastery I visited in San Francisco, and he said, “Oh, which one? I know most of them,” because, of course he does.
I felt a bit out of place in my 8-bit WALL-E t-shirt and bright skinny jeans. I should probably swap out my Pixar t-shirt for and ironic cat shirt and some bright red lipstick, and maybe a knit cap I made myself. (If I, like, actually knew how to knit.)
My espresso came in a tiny clear glass. It’s a mix of Nicaraguan and two types of Ethiopian beans. And I am fairly certain that it is the best espresso I’ve ever had.
It’s also the first time in the history of coffee that I have genuinely enjoyed espresso that is bright and acidic. I’ve tried so hard, and every roast has always let me down.
But this one is magical. 11/10, would recommend.
11:59am, Seattle Center
I’m walking past MoPOP on my way to lunch and, oh my gosh, grandpas with selfie sticks are the best.
12:15pm, Blue C Sushi, Downtown Seattle
Yes, I know, Blue C is the fast food of sushi. But I’m on vacation and I want to eat the overpriced sushi that circles around you on a bright colored conveyor belt.
For the record, I had tako sashimi and an amazing ume shiso maki at Tsukushinbo yesterday. So I’ve had real sushi lately. Now let me enjoy my sushi McDonald’s in peace.
Also, I spilled tobiko on my “STAR Labs” Flash sweatshirt, so that was fun.
1:32pm, Capitol Hill
Walking to my next destination took longer than I expected, and it felt really hot outside, so I stopped to get a fruit smoothie with kale, spinach, and chia seeds. My phone then informed me that it’s only 70 degrees, as if needed any further confirmation that being born and raised in Seattle has made me a total weather wimp.
1:43pm, Roy Street Coffee and Tea
Starbucks does incredibly well around the country and world, but when it comes to the chain’s birthplace, people aren’t so enraptured with it. So Starbucks opened up a couple of cafes made to look like the local, independent, socially conscious coffee shops that everyone here is so obsessed with. But, in reality, they’re actually just another cog in the corporate chain — clothed in a chic hipster disguise. Roy Street Coffee and Tea is one of them. And in the name of trying coffee shops I haven’t been to yet, I decided to give it a try.
My coffee tasted ok. It was pour-over, so it definitely captured the unique flavors of the coffee well. (This one was also an African roast, because apparently I’m the only person in Seattle who actually likes Asia Pacific beans.) But this roast was not nearly as amazing as the La Marzocco roast.
Also, my cup was chipped. Okay, Starbucks in hipster clothing, we get it. You’re, like, independent and SO NOT corporate. You’re real. I wonder if they order the mugs pre-chipped, and if they cost extra that way.
I’d call it “distressed ceramic” and sell it for $75 a pop, but that’s just me.
3:56pm: Elliott Bay Book Company
I arrive at Elliott Bay and promptly sit down in the middle of the Religion aisle. It’s probably a little strange to sprawl out in the middle of the walkway, but this is Cap Hill and I’m in the Religion section — its not like I’ll have a ton of company.
After perusing the C.S. Lewis selection, and thumbing through a couple books on female pastors and LGBTQ Christians, I land on a book about the Christian sacrament of the Lord’s Supper. It’s $13, and even though I have three books I just bought waiting unread in my car, I take it up to the register, then go drop $7 on a glass of kombucha like a fool (but, kombucha!), before settling down at a cute white table near a tiny potted succulent.
I’ve written plenty about my love of the Eucharistic mystery — how I’ve experienced God’s presence, emotion healing, comfort, you name it, more powerfully and tangibly during Communion than any other religious space. It’s one of the most powerful, beautiful, meaningful things in my existence. And reading about it is the perfect way to cap off the day.
“Jesus took a blind man by the hand and restored his sight. He fed a crowd with loaves and fish … He did not even exclude persons who were collaborators with the empire, such as the tax collector Matthew. He bound himself to those in need.
Jesus’ parables are clear as water in regard to power. Don’t be absorbed in who is sitting at the head of the table. The last shall be first. The meek will inherit the earth.”
I can get so upset with the world: So frustrated at how so many people are getting so sickenly rich off of polarizing us against each other on the web, TV, and social media, and how we’re all just gobbling it all up and begging them for more. I’m so tired of the places where people toss around Jesus’ name for their own ends, while their actions are the polar opposite of how Jesus acted when he was on earth.
I need to spend some time in Communion. I need to read words written by others who see faith as a beautiful, challenging, frustrating, messy wrestling process: not a way to obtain power, but a constant (and tbh, sort of annoying) reminder of how completely powerless, and ultimately ineffective, we are apart from God.
This day has been great, but after 6 straight hours of (much needed) introverting, I’m about to hit my cap on alone time for the day. Some college friends are meeting up for dinner, and I should probably head out soon if I’m going to get back home in time to carpool.
Days off are wonderful. I love my city. But please remind me to stop spending so much money on espresso, kale, and kombucha.