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8 Seattle and Renton Art Street Fairs You Don’t Want to Miss This Summer

Categories: American Classic News, Events, Lifestyle, Renton, Seattle | Posted: June 19, 2019

The sun is shining, and city calendars are overflowing with activities. Farmer’s markets, festivals, parades, and beer gardens are brimming all over the Seattle area.

There is so much to celebrate, blue skies, perfect weather, a sparkling Lake Washington and a market filled with creative, talented makers from around the country. Pull on your favorite summer outfit, grab some friends, and peruse the artsy side of the city.

 

Seattle:

  • Celebrate the First Thursday of every month except July in Occidental Square. Located just inland off of Pier 48 in where the ivy hangs thickly off of red brick buildings and the cruise ships drop thousands of passengers off flooding the streets with happy travelers. This lovely outdoor square is covered with overarching London Plane trees creating a beautiful shaded canopy overhead. Concrete ping pong tables will keep your kids happy while you shop. Every First Thursday from April through October except for in July, 55 of Seattle’s artisans set up booths here from 12-9:00 p.m., it has an atmosphere like a European market under the trees.
  • Art on the Rocks at the Bar Shoppe and Lounge is a neighboring event, and it’s also on the First Thursday of every month. Hit up the market then wander over to Art on the Rocks in Pioneer Square. They house a monthly art show with local artists who set up across three rooms inside the bar. You can enjoy craft cocktails and a DJ with no cover charge. If you haven’t yet discovered this venue you should give it a shot, it’s really cool. The bartenders are masters at their craft and are happy to customize drinks on the spot with only your preferences to go off. Take a look at their Facebook page; they’re beverage artists.
  • The Full Moon Market June 8 & 9, July 20 & 21, August 24 & 25, September 21 & 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you like modern jewelry, bohemian designs and clean, trendy looks this market is for you. Located in the Stumptown Coffee Roasters building downtown, a team of Pacific Northwest makers creates a fresh exchange of products that look like they leaped off a modern, stylish Pinterest board.
  • The SODO Flea Market located at the Epic Antique parking lot at 3701 7th Ave South takes place the second and last Saturdays of every month. Enjoy free parking at this event where you’ll find vintage and antique furniture from stylish local vendors. The SODO Flea Market was recognized as one of the best flea markets in the country. Don’t be fooled by the title; they house vendors selling more than the typical flea market finds. You’ll find products here like, handmade jewelry, dyed textiles, ceramics, vintage clothing, housewares, and even fresh cut flowers. Food and coffee trucks will keep you fueled up for the hunt.
  • Urban Craft Uprising 2019 Summer Show on June 22 & 23, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. This is one of Seattle’s largest craft shows, it’s held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. People line up around the block to be one of the first ones in for this event. The whole family is welcome. Hopefully, you’ll leave with ambitions and creative ideas flooding your head for potential projects.
  • Urban Craft Market and The Seattle Street Food Festival held on July 6 & 7, Fourth of July weekend, a marriage of two of the best festivals ever have combined forces to drain your pocketbook and make your home awesome. A massive celebration of makers, artists, and chefs are working together to create this fabulous downtown festival located at 217 9th Avenue in Seattle. Bring the family; there will be something here for everyone.

 

Renton:

  • Rummage Sale July 20, from 3-9:00 p.m. Located at the Renton Pavilion Event Center. Come treasure hunt to find that perfect something you’ve been looking for to complete your home décor or a rare vintage cameo necklace. You never know what to expect at this annual event. The best part is, it doesn’t start until three o’clock in the afternoon. For those of you who never make it to early morning garage sales, this one’s for you.
  • Summerfest July 20, in the Piazza Park, Renton is celebrating summer alongside the Rummage Sale. Live music, an art exhibit, and food trucks will be open for business downtown. A beer garden will keep the adults happy, and the evening will end with an open-air movie in the park.

 

Meeting so many artists and crafters might inspire you to create something wonderful. Come and visit If not for the artists, for the food trucks, culinary inspiration is great too.

Sharing the Excitement of Your New Home’s Construction on Social Media

Categories: Home Owner Tips, Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: May 15, 2019

Social media is a big part of all our lives. Most of us use Facebook to stay connected to friends and family in different cities (or even countries!). And Instagram has let us take part in other peoples’ lives, whether it’s a new addition to their family, a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, or just day-to-day living.

These platforms are outlets for us to share big, exciting news with the people we love and care about. What could be bigger or more exciting than building a new home? Not only can you use these platforms to share the news – you’re building a home! – but you can take people along for the ride. Here are a few ways you can document and share your new home journey through social media.

Keep Your Friends & Family Updated

Use social media to document the home building process and give your friends and family updates on the process. Let them celebrate each milestone with you, even if they are hundreds of miles away. Regularly post updates and share photos of your new home as it’s being constructed.

They’re sure to offer words of encouragement and love, sharing in your excitement and joy each step along the way.

Reach Out to Your Followers for Style Input

As you know, there are a million decisions that go into building a new home. Like paint colors, flooring, kitchen cabinets and countertops, and so much more. While there are a lot of places to find inspiration, why not turn to your friends or family for ideas?

You could post photos of different rooms and ask for decorating advice or input. If you have particularly stylish friends or family, maybe reach out to them directly by tagging them in the photo. It’s a fun way to get people involved in the process and let people see the progress you’re making.

Create Photo Memories of Your Building Journey

Social platforms like Facebook make it super easy to create digital photo albums. By posting images of your new home in an album, you can both share it with your followers and keep a record of it for yourself. Years down the road, when you’re happily living in your new home, you will appreciate being able to look back at the process.

You’re going to be so busy in the next few months; you’ll hardly have time to really appreciate how amazing it is to build a home! Luckily, you can revisit these digital albums again and again to relive the journey.

Social media platforms are great for sharing updates and photos during your home building journey. Share learning moments and excitement with friends and family. Even better, each time you post you’re building digital photo albums you can revisit years from now.

7 Local Cinco de Mayo 2019 Locations in Seattle to Attend

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: March 29, 2019

This year Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday, a lucky thing about that is that you can make a weekend out of it. Local Seattle events will be happening Saturday and Sunday this year so you can expect lots of the neighborhood Mexican restaurant and bar will be packed and offering drink specials. Here’s a list we’ve compiled for celebrating Seattle locals to check out this holiday.

We’ve compiled a list of the biggest bashes in Seattle.

Waterways Cinco de Mayo Party Cruise May 4, book now for a party cruise $62 saves you a spot on board including one free drink and a taco bar. You’ll be dancing down the lake on this party boat with a live DJ and sparkling water below.

Fiesta 5k Ole! & Food Truck Festival May 4, located the in Volunteer Park. Register to run in the 5k starting at 9:30 a.m. and stay for two live bands and a DJ in the beer and margarita tent. Food trucks from all over Seattle will be joining in the fun bringing fresh, Mexican inspired meals to the party. It will last until 5:00 p.m. when the crowd will let loose on Capitol Hill joining in on other parties throughout the city.

15th Annual Cinco de Mayo Block Party located at Tacos Guaymas in Green Lake Sunday, May 5, this event is so big that you might want to call into work the next day. Even the evening news will be here filming. The day’s events include a jalapeño eating contest, a rotation of live music and DJs, a margarita bar, beer garden, prizes, giveaways and of course, Mexican food.

Cinco de Mayo located at Las Palmas Restaurant in SeaTac on Sunday, May 5, register now to guarantee yourself a free ticket and reserve VIP seating. DJ’s will play Latin dance music all night beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Cinco de Drinko Sundaze May 5, 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. if you’re tired of the same old bars here’s a different idea entirely. Hosted by event planners, this second annual affair will take place in a pretty Seattle event space, Studio 116. Buy tickets ahead of time or pay double at the door to enjoy drink specials and a DJ.

Tim’s Tavern May 5, the show starts at 5:00 p.m. come in for three live bands; Los Flacos, Amigos Nobles and Thomas Del Real from Chile. All these bands are playing for only a $5 suggested donation.  Tim’s is an excellent, little, community dive bar. If you love little digs with full vegan menus Seattle style, you’ll love this space.

The Substation May 5, the show starts at 9:00 p.m. Substation is a night club in Ballard, Come out for live bands Grunge Tree, 627, and More Shade than Sun.

Cinco de Mayo is always a good time, no matter where you go you’ll find good music, old and new friends and (arguably) some of the best food in the world.

 

6 Cool and Unusual Things To Do Around Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Seattle | Posted: March 8, 2019

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.

 

5 Offbeat Cinemas You Have to See in Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: March 7, 2019

Millions of people were raised on big box cinemas that rose from the suburbs and every outlying area in the 90s like AMC and Regal Theaters. They posed a huge hit to independent places and put thousands of small theaters and drive-ins out of business around the country almost squashing independent industry altogether.

For some, there will always be a feeling of nostalgia when you remember first dates and Friday nights at artsy little one-room cinemas. Each neighborhood location has its own stamp of individuality, and luckily there’s been an undercurrent of independent theatergoers that have kept these special places alive through modern times.

In a city like Seattle where individuality, art, and passion are celebrated, it’s important to remember that theater is a place of education, growth, and expression. Supporting independent theaters is important to communities, local landscapes and subsidizes artists and business.

Not only do theaters support owners and workers, but it makes our communities interesting and unique. Giving a nod to our heritage and keeping Seattle the amazing and vibrant city that it is.

Central Cinema is located in Seattle, sitting in a pretty brick building with a vintage marquis and a mosaic tree lining the front door. Inside, high ceilings with exposed brick, local artwork, and industrial lighting hang in cords from the ceiling with light-bulbs shining through glass milk jugs that light up this funky, artsy space. You can have dinner in the dining room before the show or dine at your seat during the film. The menu is gourmet and affordable offering bacon wrapped shrimp, a tasty list of burgers and sandwiches, specialty pizzas and curry popcorn among others.

Check the calendar often for a quirky list of old and new school flicks, cult classics, little known Indy films and classics like Dancing in the Rain, Blazing Saddles and Super Troopers light up the big screens. Central Cinema is guaranteed a hilarious and entertaining night out, they not only show extraordinary movies, but there are also sing-alongs, something called hecklevision that’s said to be hilarious, trivia nights, jam sessions and some have a Q and A afterward.

Central Cinema hosts award shows like the Grammy’s and Academy Awards, Oscars and every Thursday night is a Cartoon Happy Hour where kids can bring their friends and watch a free night of cartoons. The Cinema often offers $1.99 shows and free events, don’t miss out and enjoy a quirky, entertaining night out with a first date or the whole family.

Cinerama has been a neighborhood staple downtown since 1963. In 1997 it went through a bit of a rough spot when it almost went under to the bigger chain cinemas but was saved by a big-hearted investor. Seattleites are happy that it’s not going anywhere in the foreseeable future.

Cinerama has recently undergone a huge renovation, installing state of the art sound. The new laser projectors show incredible color and detail, they are the only one of their kind in a commercial theater. Red leather reclining chairs create luxury in the Cinerama’s one and only theater. All of the upgrades were implemented without losing any of the vintage character. Red and blue artwork covers the top of the building, bringing charm to the neighborhood and highlighting themes found in movies played within the walls. The Cinerama is a favorite for cult classics, first-run movies and film festivals.

All the guests rave about the offbeat chocolate popcorn. The concessions list is small but perfect hitting everything that you could ask for and sourced from local taverns, chocolatiers and ice creameries with local brews and wines available. A rotating exhibit of movie costumes graces the lobby behind glass offering interesting conversation pieces.

The Grand Illusion Cinema, located next to the University of Washington, is a little gem of a building. If you’re looking for a big box cinema, you will be disappointed. The Grand Illusion is an experience in itself, It’s the oldest, continuously running cinema since 1968 in Seattle. A non-profit, run entirely by volunteers.

This little theater is worth going to, just to help fund it with your ticket price, which is usually under ten dollars. The ends of the rows are beautifully carved and wooden with heavy red velvet curtains and deep-set ceiling tiles above. The Grand Illusion shows the classics, rare films and global, independent pictures covering every genre. Ticket prices are low, there is a small concession stand, and the volunteers running it are passionate about the location and films they play.

Ark Lodge Cinemas is a vintage Cinema located in Colombia City. Three theaters are small and intimate, two are what you might expect with traditional theater seating. Upstairs is the Prestige theater, a collection of armchairs, love seats and side tables greet you like a comfortable alternative to traditional seating. Colorful murals and bright red-carpet line the walls in the entrance creating a fun and inviting atmosphere entering the fresh bright space. A small snack section is available with high-quality popcorn at good prices.

Northwest Film Forum is a small indie theater in Capitol Hill that shows small productions and often hosts international film festivals. They offer classes for budding filmmakers in every stage of the process from children’s workshops to adult learners.The lobby is what you might expect from this little place with a quirky plaid couch and a small concession stand offering beer and wine. Repurposed glass light fixtures give a fitting and artistic vibe. If you’re interested in learning something about little known parts of the world check their schedule often, the films are quickly fleeting, but always worth seeing. Northwest holds popular children’s film festivals, so bring your kids, it’s a beautiful way to educate young minds in a way they’ll remember.

These theaters bring an appreciation of the unique and vibrant people who strive to bring cult classics and indie films to the small and large screens around the city. Bring your kids and re-discover your childhood loves and laughs sharing moments on indie screens with your neighbors.

10 Must Try Coffee Shops in and around Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Sammamish Washington, Seattle, Washington | Posted: February 22, 2019

The Pacific Northwest is famous for rainy days, misty beaches, the Puget Sound and coffee. Seattle arguably made coffee the powerhouse that it is today in the United States. Their most famous export is THE hugest, most mass marketed coffee brand on the planet.

You’ll most likely get disapproving glances for mentioning that name to true Seattleites. Locals prefer the hundreds of quirky, small-batch roasters who tend to have, cough, better coffee. These little beaneries are spread far and wide throughout the city.

Try something new, bring your caffeine fixes elsewhere and support local business in the process.

  • Caffe Umbria is located in three locations in Ballard, West Lake, and Pioneer Square. Caffe Umbria is a local and visitor favorite with some of the best coffee around. Come in and appreciate the European vibes from the good coffee to the ceramic cups they use. Large crystal chandeliers hang above the giant light-filled windows, sip and watch the world go by.
  • Analog Coffee on Capitol Hill, is a cozy little neighborhood space done right along with quality coffee, you can enjoy the newspapers lining the walls and comic books scattered around the place. It’s a friendly local haunt with a record player playing vinyl over the speakers. A funky little throwback to old school Seattle.
  • NEKO A Cat Cafe in Capitol Hill, if you love cats but don’t have one of your own or you’d like to cheat on your cat with another, this is your space. NEKO has a very popular cat room, reservations are needed and are charged $11 an hour to sit and pet the kitties. Ten cats wander the room while you sip your coffee. Most are adoptable, so take your time and get to know them. Maybe you’ll bring home a new friend.
  • Cloud City Coffee in Maple Leaf, Cloud City is a cozy neighborhood staple that’s always busy. Its comfortable, laid-back vibes keep it the perfect place to drop by after the gym or with your kids. A large child play area will keep them happy while you catch a few relaxed minutes to yourself. Cloud City makes all of their bakery items in house and they are to die for. Homemade pies, big poufy muffins, and famous coconut bread will leave you drooling in front of the case, cravings will keep you coming back.
  • Five Stones Coffee Company located in Redmond and Bellevue, this is a coffee shop worth eating at. Gaze behind the glass counter at the huge powdered sugar covered almond croissants, wide-brimmed muffins, sky-high donuts, and fluffy baking powder biscuits. All perfectly balance with a rich, soft cappuccino. Five Stones has a modern interior with subway tiles and an open kitchen concept. Dark stained wood and communal style tables make this space open and inviting. It’s a great place to bring friends, they offer a larger menu on the weekends.
  • Third Culture Coffee in Bellevue, Third Culture has a great idea, they’ve taken coffee drinking styles from all over the world and combined it into one beautiful, aesthetically pleasing café. Come in and experience a coffee styled from Japan, Italy, Vietnam, India and New Orleans. Floor to ceiling windows bring in the outdoors, and large swing allows customers to swing inside on a rainy day. A large play area for kids with a great big blackboard softens the space making it more approachable and fun. Artists are hosted monthly keeping a rotation of fresh new art lining the walls.
  • Convivial Café on Mercer Island, before Convivial came to town Mercer Islanders often complained about the lack of independent coffee roasters on the Island. Convivial has changed that with a simple, no-nonsense coffee list and a comfortable, bright, open space to spend time in with homemade pastries.
  • Boon Boona Coffee in Renton, specializes in East African pre-roasted green coffee. You can reserve a space to watch a coffee ceremony where baristas will roast the beans for you much like they do in their homes for guests in East Africa. The space is very large, interesting and artsy, big enough to bring groups. The coffee roaster is set up right in the middle of the café, so you can watch and smell the coffee being roasted while you read.
  • Anchorhead Coffee Talus is located in two locations, downtown, and Issaquah. Anchorhead has a very cool dark industrial aesthetic, with terrific coffee to boot.Impressively, all of the non-dairy nut milks are pressed in house. They source locally when possible and have a good number of vegan options available. The baked goods are made on the premises, and they have a number of interesting non-coffee drinks like pistachio matcha and an oolong drink called Shy Bear Fog.
  • Issaquah Coffee Company located in Issaquah is tucked away in Gilman Village and can be a little hard to find the first time. The Coffee Company is an Issaquah favorite, you’ll see from the crowds. The coffee company makes handcrafted coffee drinks without the sad syrup found lesser coffee shops. The Coffee Company makes pumpkin lattes with real pumpkin and spices. Local drink names like Cougar Mountain Latte and Tiger Mountain Mocha are on the menu. Handmade pies, pastries, and breakfast sandwiches line the case. The walls are covered with local chalk artwork in this cozy little wood cabin coffee shop. It’s a busy place, but there’s a cordoned off section to keep your little ones happy with a few toys so you can be comfortable knowing they won’t be underfoot.

Try going on a coffee journey, use what’s left of this winter and the rainy spring to enjoy a new cup of joe at a different place each day. Though it will be over a year before you run out of coffee locations to try in Seattle!

9 Awesome Music Venues Around Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Seattle | Posted: February 13, 2019

Often cities have things they’re famous for, something that’s ubiquitous to the town name. Orlando has Disney World, New York City never sleeps, Nashville and country music. Up until the last ten years when Microsoft and Amazon moved into town changing Seattle’s vibe, our legacy was Nirvana. The grunge era started in the rainy city and spread like wildfire across the United States. Music in Seattle didn’t die with Curt Cobain, it’s still here alive and well. You just need to know where to look.

It’s been swallowed up with the recent development of high rises, caramel macchiatos, and techies. If you dig deep enough you can uncover the soul that made this town. The great thing about live events is that you can catch them everywhere from world-class historical theaters to funky local coffee shops.

Click on theater titles for a calendar of events.

 

  • Dimitriou’s Jazz Alley Seattle, Dimitriou’s has been a staple here for 30 years. Pick any act off the calendar and it will not disappoint. It’s a swanky affair, so leave your jeans at home and get dressed up for a night out. The food is a bit pricey and you can probably have a better dinner elsewhere but come early to get a good spot. Choose between seating downstairs or in the mezzanine, everyone has a view of the show whether it’s side or center. The music is set up well, with just the right with a fabulous sound that won’t send you home with hearing loss. Dining in just for dessert and or drinks is available and it’s all ages, except for the bar. Bring your teenagers for an unforgettable night out and teach them what good music is. This venue has had a number of famous acts through the years and won’t disappoint.
  • Egan’s Ballard Jam House Ballard, Egan’s is an old school intimate venue small enough to entertain only 35 people. It’s so much fun to see a local band close up in such a small space. The bands decide the door fee, usually around $10. Egan’s is all ages until 11:00 p.m. which is usually when the bands stop playing anyway, impress your kids with an exceptional night out. With everything growing and changing it’s nice to know these little spots are still here in pockets. Check the schedule before you come, they’re closed Sunday – Tuesday and close on nights when they don’t have performances.
  • Paramount Theater is Seattle’s most opulent, historic theater originally built in 1928. The Paramount is a classically beautiful Seattle theater that has been a place of inspiration and creativity for 91 years. The gold-leafed interior is hand painted, enormous chandeliers dripping with crystals hang overhead. The Paramount shows all types of entertainment from rock bands to orchestras, plays, and musicals. Choose from multiple mezzanine balconies allowing every seat to have clear views of the performers.
  • The Neptune Theater Seattle, The Neptune is another classic theater originally built in 1920. The theater doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the Paramount, but the sound quality and the shows are first class. Originally built as a single screen movie theater it continued as a theater all the way up until 2011 when the building changed hands to the Seattle Theater Group. It was converted to a multi-use theater with a state-of-the-art sound system and now plays a variety of shows, music, and theater.
  • The Showbox Seattle has been around since 1939, this place has lived through dozens of music genres. it’s a fantastic, mid-sized venue, the stage is visible from everywhere on the floor with areas for seating and dancing. Come early to get a bite and a reasonably priced drink at the historic, Kerns Music Shop next door, they’ll let you in ahead of the crowd if you’re waiting for a show.
  • Tractor Tavern Ballard, don’t let the name fool you, the Tractor Tavern plays a wide variety of genres, including country music. In Seattle that can be a rarity. It’s a small venue with exposed brick and wooden accents and affordable entrance fees, usually under $20. Check the calendar for nights with free entry.
  • Soul Food Coffee House Redmond, this is the quintessential coffee shop, exactly what you would expect out of the Pacific Northwest. Soul Food serves organic coffee right off the bike trail next to the Sammamish River. It has a cute little artistic gift shop filled with trinkets from local and global artists. Local talent regularly plays guitar on their little stage, perfect for low key, unplugged listening, also open for poetry nights. There’s a children’s area to keep your little ones happy while you relax and listen to free live music.
  • The Lime Kirkland, keep an eye on the events calendar, they tend to host live music once a weekend. The Lime is a neighborhood favorite bar with rave reviews from loyal followers. It’s definitely a dive bar, no theater clothes needed. You can doubly entertain yourself by playing darts and pool while watching the band.

No matter what type of venue you’re looking for and what your budget is, there are a number of options in and around Seattle, from coffee shops to theaters. Check calendars often to find your jam.

Top 10 Places to Take Your Dog in and Around Seattle

Categories: Lifestyle, Seattle, Uncategorized | Posted: February 8, 2019

If you live in Seattle it’s almost a given that you own a dog, big or small, this is a dog city. People will love you for it. Hopefully you love four-legged, big mouthed, slobbering friends. If not, avoid dog bars. Dogs don’t usually drink at these bars, but they are allowed in with their human pets.

During winter cold snaps and the rainy months, it’s nice to have an alternative to an outdoor dog park where you can take your cooped-up friends to run out some energy. Each location has rules, most of which involve dogs to be spayed or neutered if they’re over the age of six months. They also must be well behaved and socialized, with up to date vaccinations and flea less.

A city of dog lovers brings wonderful dog parks inside and out. Here is a short list of the best places for your pooches to play, not in this order.

Inside Bark and Play Ideas:

  1. Dogwood Play Park Lake City, Dogwood has an indoor and outdoor space for your dogs to run wild. A large concrete room is open for pooches to play, with arches and tunnels, to jump and crawl through, giant tires provide hiding places. There are two spaces, one for shy little dogs and another for the large and rambunctious. A beer for you and a Barkery treat for your friend, freshly made on the premises. Private rentals are available for your dog to invite all of her favorite friends to her birthday party. Before coming, email proof of rabies, Bordetella & DHPP before you come. Membership or door fees are required for your dog or dogs. Open M-F 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
  2. House of Ruff Lounge Seattle, concrete floors, exposed brick walls and industrial plumbing over-head make up the indoor doggie play area. For only $40 your first year of visiting the Ruff Lounge is covered. Local beer and cider are available with a large screen TV. You’ll never know what to expect on it. The staff gets to choose corny old movies or football games, so come with an open mind. Call for an initial meet and greet where your dog’s temperament will be evaluated. If your puppy is over six months he must be spay or neutered, flea treatments and vaccinations will be checked initially, open M-F 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Sat 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Sun 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  3. Voff Bark and Brew Seattle, is a low-key indoor, outdoor space with a bark play area (no pun intended) it’s actually covered in bark keeping your dog’s paws mud free, and offering a heated, enclosed patio. Come to be entertained by Trivia Tuesdays, outdoor movies and sports. Be aware that Voff isn’t as stringent on the rules as some of the other dog friendly spaces. It’s possible that some dogs might not be vaccinated, but no one checks vaccinations at a dog park either, so there’s that.
  4. Pawz n Play Woodinville, come enjoy an indoor swimming pool with your dog! You can coax them in from the stairs. If you’re dog has a fear of water, this is a stress-free place to let them test it out before jumping right in. Pawz n Play has an outdoor agility course for experienced agility pet parents and a green grassy, private dog park for those who aren’t. Play and swim times must be reserved and scheduled a head of time with an orientation swim for first timers.

For Outdoor Days, when the sun is shining and it’s not too rainy there are dozens of parks to take your little one, below are some of the best.

  1. Martha Washington Park Seattle, this is an unofficial wink, wink off-leash dog park. Bring your paddle boat or board for your pup to float on. He’ll enjoy 50 feet of shoreline to swim off and you’ll enjoy views of Mt. Rainer, Lake Washington and happy doggie smiles.
  2. Seward Park Seattle, 300 acres of land jut out into lake Washington on the Bailey Peninsula. A 2.4-mile paved loop for dogs, bikes, skateboards etcetera loops through the park. Hiking trails and beaches create an outdoor playground oasis for you and your pup.
  3. Westcrest Park Seattle, has a huge off leash area set aside for your darlings. The dog park is fenced off and contains an obstacle course. Dogs can run through large concrete tubes and climb on wood bridges and tunnels. Trails and concrete paths run through the park to tire out your furry friends. If you have children of the two-legged variety a playground will keep them happy too.
  4. Marymoor Park Redmond, is arguably one of the best dog parks in the world. 40 acres of off leash play is had here allowing your dogs to come home wet, muddy and happy. Hundreds of dogs play every day, it’s a mucky, messy version of Westminster. Shoreline opens to the river allowing dogs to retrieve and play in the water, large open spaces allow for fetch and smelling butts. Marymoor has so much space you’ll forget you’re right in the middle of a city.
  5. Jose Rizal Park Seattle, Rizal Park has the best view in the city. A phenomenal lookout and four acres of park land with a large off-leash dog area. You’ll appreciate spectacular downtown and Puget Sound views with colorful sunsets over the water. Look at the freeway below and revel in the fact that you aren’t sitting in the traffic with the rest of them. But be aware, there are sometimes people living here in tents, and dog parents aren’t as vigilant about cleaning up after their dogs as they are at most Seattle Parks. That being said, it is the prettiest lookout in town.
  6. Warren G. Magnuson Off-Leash Dog Park Seattle, Magnuson has a massive, 8.6 acres of an off-leash dog park. A covered enclosure keeps your dogs dry on rainy days. A small dog area for shy pups is available and generally dog owners are clean and courteous, picking up after their dogs. Multiple shoreline access points are available for your dogs to jump in and cool off. Gravel paths create a nice, clean space to run with doggie pick-up stations along the way.

No matter what size pup you have in Seattle there is a place for him here. Dogs are an easy ice breaker if you’re new to town. They come complete with a community of other dog lovers and friends. Try out a new space and in the mean-time, you might find they’re people parks too.

Fabulous Ferry Day Trip Ideas from Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Seattle | Posted: January 29, 2019

The Washington State ferry system is the fourth largest in the world and the largest in the United States. Not only is it a relaxing way to travel, but it’s also beautiful. With such an abundance of marine life at our fingertip’s ferries are the best way to see marine life while you travel. For example, whales can be seen any time of the year, but they are most frequently spotted from April through September from the ferries!

Ferries are fun, like a vacation in and of themselves. You can go out on the open water, stand in the breeze and float with the seals while on deck. Make sure to bring snacks and enjoy the ride threading through magical islands with mountain views while riding the waters of the Sound like the whales. If you can score public transportation you might be able to hop aboard without even paying for parking. And note that you can even bring a bike on, which is great because you can arrive in town with your own transportation and enjoy dozens of parks on neighboring islands.

No matter where you go, ferry day trips feel like mini vacations, you’ve stepped off of dry land onto another planet. Although the ferry destinations are close to Seattle, island life is different, laid back, slow moving and a little bit funky. Leave the hustle and bustle for the day and enjoy a complete change of pace right at your fingertips.

From the Seattle Port, you can head to Bainbridge Island or Bremerton. Bainbridge Island is also just a quick 35-minute ferry ride away, lots of little eateries and restaurants are within a few blocks walk off the ferry in the historic downtown, with museums, art, and recreational parks.

  • Come out for First Friday, you can hop right off the ferry terminal and appreciate wine and art on the First Friday of every month.
  • Pegasus Coffee is a darling little coffee shop to try out in a redbrick building covered with ivy and oozing with character, it’s been serving up coffee for 40 years.
  • Bruciato is a beautiful venue with pizza to match, this place alone is worth the trip.
  • Saturday mornings from April-September you’ll find a farmer’s market with fresh colorful local ingredients, artwork, bread, fresh caught fish and flowers.
  • Parks, Parks, and more Parks. This island is loaded with trails and parks. Lakes, forests, coves and beaches, you’ll find hiking, camping, boating, kayaking, biking and even scuba diving here. Including Fort Ward Park 137 acres of waterfront park with an underwater park for scuba divers. Bike trails connect Fort Ward to 40 acres of Blakey Harbor Park.
  • Bainbridge Island Museum of Art the architecture and exhibits here are beautiful, it’s free admission and definitely worth a visit. Check out their schedule, they often have live music and other events. The café inside is delicious and activities are available for children.

Bremerton hop on the ferry for a one-hour ride to Bremerton, the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula. Bremerton is the largest Naval base on the West Coast with thousands of crew members and a palatable Naval vibe. If you’re into U.S. history, this is your ferry. This area has been home to the men in white since 1891.

  • USS Turner Joy is a U.S. Naval Destroyer ship that has been converted into a museum. This is a fun museum for kids and history buffs to wander the halls, climb into the gun mount and check out the engine room. It paints a picture of what life was like on board.
  • Puget Sound Navy Museum is completely run by volunteers and free to visit. This beautiful old building is revamped with hands-on activities and plenty to keep visitors of all ages happy.
  • Parks and trails, it wouldn’t be the PNW without parks. Come and enjoy dozens of them with disk golf and green spaces without the crowds of Seattle.
  • Harborside Fountain Park is over two acres of a downtown plaza. What’s impressive about this plaza is five giant fountains with wading pools at their bases. Kids love to splash and play at the base of the fountains in the summertime and they’re lit up beautifully at night.

From Fauntleroy (Just Northwest of White Center) head to Vashon Island.

Vashon Island is a true release from the city, if you really want a day to get back to nature this is the place to do it. Accessible only by boat with a population under 11,000 people. You’ll need to bring your car unless you’re ready for a challenging five-mile uphill bike ride to town. Vashon is a darling little funky town with artsy restaurants and a great live music scene, but for the most part, it’s pretty sleepy.

  • Point Robinson Lighthouse, the lighthouse itself is not open to tours but is a beautiful building to visit and makes a perfect focal point for photos sitting on top of a 10-acre shoreline park featuring sandy beaches, a saltwater marsh, woodlands and views of the East Passage and Mount Rainer on a clear day.
  • 19 stunning parks and recreation areas with all of the benefits that you’ve come to expect from Washington’s thousands of meticulous parks and trails.
  • First Friday, an eclectic group of artists lives on the island, and you can find them with their artwork at nine participating galleries and locations on the First Friday of the month.
  • VIGA Farmer’s Market April through the fall they offer a Saturday farmers market with live music.
  • The Vashon Island Coffee Roastery is a must visit while on the island, it’s a landmark in a 100-year-old building and character seeps out of its fragrant, old island, fir pores.

Seattle not only is an incredible city, but the opportunities for stay-cations and micro-adventures just outside your door are endless. With so many opportunities you should never stop exploring.

12 Unexpected Places to Visit on the East Side of Seattle for Valentines Day

Categories: American Classic News, Bellevue, Renton, Sammamish Plateau, Seattle, Washington | Posted: January 28, 2019

Valentine’s day is coming, try to up your game this year and woo your valentine with something really special. Use this occasion for an especially creative, well-planned out evening or evenings to show your significant other just how much you care. If you decide to go the traditional route of dinner at a nice restaurant it’s important to, make reservations ahead of time. If you’re going out on the day of, be sure to make reservations now to avoid any last-minute hassles. Open table makes your reservations and dinner decisions easy with most restaurants participating all on the same platform.

Another option is to choose a weekend before or after to celebrate, you’ll avoid massive crowds, waiting lists and generally have a better, more relaxing and romantic dinner without rushed food and service. You can make it a special, yet low key evening and order in. There are so many delivery options available now there’s no reason to leave your wine glass and the glow of your own fireplace. Uber Eats and Door Dash are two delivery services that will pick up your order from any restaurant and deliver it to your front door.

For those of you looking for something a little unexpected, look into local classes, shows, stand-up comedy or a couple’s massage. Below is a list of ideas to surprise your special one with everything from high tea to musicals.

 

Bellevue

D.L. Hughley is playing at the Parlor Bellevue. He’s a political speaker and Def Comedy Jam veteran, now touring as a stand-up comedian, if you’re in the mood for political humor this is your act, he’ll be in Bellevue from February 14 – 16.

Bake’s Bar and Bistro come for dinner and a show on Valentine’s Day, featuring The Darelle Holden Quartet with their funky, soulful sound of classics that you already love. Enjoy Bake’s fresh seasonal, rotating menu with live music to boot.

 

Issaquah

River Valley Cheese, Learn to make Burrata or come on Valentine’s Day to a chocolate dipping party, this would be a fun group event to bring other couples. Go out for a glass of wine after at Vino Bella.

Village Theater, this highly rated, local favorite theater is playing I Do! I Do! A Musical About Marriage. The entire musical has only two characters, it spans their entire marriage of 50 years and all of the ups and downs they experience together. The musical is playing from January 16 – February 24.

 

Kirkland

Kirkland Wine Walk, February 8th, Kirkland puts on a 21 and up, humans only wine walk only four times per year. Taking place in downtown Kirkland. Bring your own wine glass and tour around boutiques and galleries while tasting Washington State wines. This walk starts at The Heathman Hotel and tickets are required.

The Heathman Hotel Afternoon Tea, try something really unique and special. Bring the tradition of afternoon tea to the States. The Heathman does it well with a beautifully prepared spread for a special treat that she will not be expecting. Travel to England for the afternoon with a modern menu. The food is fantastic and there are a number of sweet and savory foods to taste, so come hungry and expect a lot of food. Reservations are required, and tea time is available Thursday – Sunday.

Sur La Table, offers dozens of cooking classes, with options from Valentine’s day macaroons, classic French croissants, hand-made pasta, date night dinners and cooking with wine. There’s something on the calendar for every type of eater. Bring your spouse for a date class or surprise him with your new skills creating a romantic breakfast or dinner at home.

 

Mercer Island

Oh Chocolate, get nice and messy learning how to temper chocolate while dipping and drizzling all of your favorite chocolate additions into it during this chocolate class. You’ll get to bring home your creations. The class is offered on February 23, leaving you and your Valentine something to look forward to, to enjoy together later in the month.

 

Renton

The Moon Over Buffalo, by Ken Ludwig, is a silly, farce comedy show playing at the Renton Civic Theater. With rave reviews from other cities, go check it out if you’re up for a night of rowdy thespians, shows are from Thursday – Sundays February 8 – 23.

Beginner Floral Arranging, wow the lady in your life by surprising her with a floral arranging class. You two can sip wine while learning to create beautiful floral displays just before the springtime. For the price, you might actually save money on buying her flowers for Valentine’s day. You’ll both bring home an arrangement and a skill that you can use over and over all year long.

 

Sammamish

Tanoor, for a different take on the traditional, high-end Valentine’s dinner give Tanoor a try. You won’t be skimping on the romance; the building has large windows with beautiful sunset views. Colorful, geometric lanterns hang from the ceiling casting a warm colorful glow on highbacked, leather booths. Traditional Lebanese food is delicious and interesting, it will not disappoint or break the bank. The best part about Tanoor is the fresh, endless pita cycling out of the kitchen’s wood-burning oven.

Bliss Massage, head on into Bliss for a 60 minute Swedish, couples massage with hot stones on your back, or choose from their extensive list of other massage services. Perfect for relaxation before dinner.

 

No matter what you decide to do, the most important thing is not to forget how much you love each other even on the days that aren’t Valentine’s Day.