Commentary

January 17, 2014

Evergreen State

A variety of macaroons are displayed in the Le Panier, a French bakery in Seattle.

Also known as the state where TV show “Grey’s Anatomy” is set in, Washington is filled with a ton of local eateries, including fresh seafood, places to shop and offers up a dynamic nightlife on weekends.

As we made our approach to Seattle, Wash., I remember feeling my heart drop. It had been so long since I’d been back to my second home away from home. I missed the large bodies of water, abundance of trees and greenery, and, of course, my family.

Coming from Arizona where good, quality Asian food is not in abundance, the evergreen state is the opposite with great tasting food at an affordable price.

Having had a craving for Korean barbecue, I had to make a stop at Palace BBQ. Located in Federal Way, Wash., Palace BBQ is my favorite place to go for authentic Korean barbecue since they don’t charge by the plate. You can choose a meat combination and pay a fixed rate ranging from $20 to $25 a person, which is a deal considering that one plate of a Korean meat dish is typically $17 to $20. You also grill the meat yourself on the table. Meat combinations come with a soup, several Korean side dishes and rice. If you haven’t had Palace BBQ, I recommend you try it.

If you’re in Washington, the city to be in is Seattle. I recommend first visiting the Pike Place Market. Established in 1907 the market was Seattle’s first farmers market and continues to thrive. When making your way through Pike Place you’ll notice from the old bumpy brick road to buildings, everything is original. Outside there are small kiosks where locals sell anything from handmade ocarinas, artwork and photography to hand-sewn scarves and more.

Viewing the Space Needle from below in Seattle looks every bit of its 500-foot height. The tower was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and is a famous symbol of Seattle.

Pike Place is also home to the very first Starbucks and has a abundance of bakery shops to visit. Inside they not only have fresh produce, but also freshly butchered meats and the world famous Pike Place Fish Market. Passing by the fish market you may see large salmon being tossed into the air and caught by the “fish guys” or “mongers” behind the counter. You’ll see very quickly it is constantly swarmed with cheering people, and if you’re in need of seafood, it’s the perfect place to go.

If you are one of those people who like to chew gum and then stick it to a wall, you must visit the Market Theater Gum Wall located in Post Alley under the Pike Place Market. The tradition of sticking gum on the walls began around 1993 and has continued. Unfortunately, I forgot to bring gum when I went there to make a contribution, but I got an up-close view of thousands of pieces of chewed gum stuck to a wall. Warning to germaphobes: This may not be for you.

One of the last stops we made was to the top of the Seattle Space Needle. The Space Needle is an observation tower and is a famous symbol of Seattle. I would advise going at night when you can see all the beautiful city lights. To get to the top requires the purchase of a ticket. There is a discount for military members.

Making our way to the elevator we were greeted by a friendly escort who gave us information on the Space Needle as the elevator travelled 500 feet at 10 mph. Atop the needle is a beautiful 360-degree view of Seattle and all the surrounding areas. It’s very romantic and if you want to dine-in while enjoying the view there is also the SkyCity restaurant located at the top of the tower.

The Market Theater Gum Wall is located in Post Alley under the Pike Place Market. This wall attracts thousands of tourists every year and has been collecting gum since 1993. Serving as a backdrop to Seattle is Mount Rainier standing at 14,410 feet above sea level. Geologists consider it to be an episodically active volcano, meaning it will erupt again even though it is quiet now.

Overall, Washington is a very romantic state with many places to see and things to do. In the winter it can be very cold and rainy so I recommend going in the spring or during the summer months when it gets warmer and there are more sunny days.




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