Historically the climate and landscape in Seattle have brought all types to the PNW, fishermen, tourists, outdoor enthusiasts, and most of all artists. Quirky personalities who lose themselves in conversation over a fair-trade coffee or an IPA homebrew love to call this place home.
The Emerald City is a fitting name for Seattle in more ways than one. Not only is it the city of evergreens and lush forests, but it has as much art and imagination as Alice and Wonderland. Seattle has a personality of its own and die-hard locals are working to keep the old city alive with art and music. Below are just a few of the places that make Seattle quirky.
Café Racer and the Official Bad Art Museum of Art (OBAMA) Room located on the North end of the University district. The bar is often packed full of engaging artists that work with all mediums from music to murals. The Café Racer calendar is full of entertaining shows, open night mics, cartoonist work parties, board games, comedy, improv and writing groups, any night of the week you might find artists painting or sketching at the bar. Thursday through Saturday there’s a revolving door of live music acts across all genres and Sundays are reserved for Jazz. For those who love art, but don’t take it too seriously, Café Racer is worth checking out, they’ve got everything, entertainment, great food, stiff drinks, bad artwork and a sense of humor.
Henry’s Murals, hopefully, you’ve noticed the abundance of colorful, and curious cartoon murals painting the streets of Wallingford, Ballard, and Fremont. Ryan Henry Ward is the artist, he signs all of his pieces Henry. This prolific artist is brightening up dark and boring spaces all over town from pet stores to dingy alleys.
Henry brings creativity and imagination to life while creating vibrant and lovable spaces. He paints big, bright silly characters straight out of his imagination and onto the wall, a whimsical window to his soul. Make a day of it and drive around looking for his pieces, they grace hundreds of walls and storefronts throughout the city.
Seattle Metaphysical Library is an underground library that is literally underground. Tucked away downstairs in the Kress building on NW Market Street in Ballard. This secretive little spot is worth finding if you’re into the quirky and unknown.
All types of offbeat subjects from spirituality to aliens are tucked away on the shelves of this little space. It’s worth a visit to anyone interested in secrets. The books, papers and newspaper clippings that pack the shelves are all hard to find and wouldn’t be at a regular library. $40 buys you a one-year membership allowing patrons to take home three books at a time, or you can come to browse the shelves and read in the stacks for free.
The library hours are odd, it’s run by volunteers, so you never quite know if it’ll be open. Check the schedule and look for the sign on the sidewalk, the building isn’t marked. The front door can sometimes be locked by residents who live upstairs, so if they’re open, you might need to give them a ring to come let you in.
UPS Waterfall Garden Park is a tiny little pocket park within the limits of the busiest section of the city in Pioneer Square. This little gem has a 22-acre waterfall creating a relaxing bubbling oasis to drown out the sounds of the city. Security guards make sure the area stays clean and available for anyone who needs a moment away from the crazy. The park was created as a commemoration of the very first UPS that was developed here in this spot in 1907 before it became the powerhouse company that it is today.
The Fremont Troll is one of the most unusual neighbors in Fremont. Located underneath the Aurora bridge the Troll has been guarding this space for almost 30 years and has turned this little cove into a tourist attraction.
An 18-foot cement troll appears to come out of the darkness with one shiny metal eye looking out from the depths. His left hand appears to be crushing an actual Volkswagen Beatle, which he dwarfs it in his enormous hand. Visitors are encouraged to climb on his face and take lots of pictures.
Hat ‘n’ Boots at Oxbow Park, this hilarious 1950’s roadside attraction was once very popular. It drew in massive crowds of tourists to the gas station whose owners commissioned it, making them a lot of money.
The 22-foot-tall boots once housed the gas station bathrooms and the 44-foot hat held the office. The Hat ‘n’ boots heyday was over when the interstate I-5 was built. After falling to decay, Georgetown residents fought against letting the accessories go out of style. They had them revamped and moved to Oxbow Park where residents can enjoy them daily while the kids play next door.
The weird, the obnoxious and the peaceful are only a few of the amusing and wacky oddities found within city limits. Keep your eye out, there are interesting people and pockets around every corner.