I’ve only been to Seattle twice in my life, but that’s where I’ve decided to spend the next four years, at the University of Washington. Having lived in Texas for 18 years, stepping out of the airport, I found Seattle’s climate to be the complete opposite of Austin’s; the sky was overcast and the rain continually sprinkled on the windshield of our rental car. But the rain never impeded on our daily adventures.
QUARTER FINALIST 2013 FTF TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Despite the long eight hour flight from Austin, I knew the first place I had to visit was the Seattle Public Library’s Central Library. Nine years ago when I was in Seattle for the first time, one of the memories I remember the most was stepping onto the neon escalators and exploring the unique building. Seattle’s Central Library is a must see because its design is like no other. As I walked into the glass building, the capacious space is filled with books (obviously) as well as vibrantly-colored and interestingly designed rooms. Walking up the red staircase through the completely red-covered second floor, I ran upon a set of neon yellow escalators that took me past a distinctive “Book Spiral.” Traveling to the highest point by elevator, I got to look down and admire the incredible architecture and watch the ant-sized people in the library.
The next two must see places are no-brainers: the Space Needle and Pike Place. The Needle has become an iconic symbol of Seattle. Tourists with time to spare should take a trip up to the top; tourists with no time to spare should also take a trip to the revolving observation deck for an indescribable experience. As I was about to leave the Space Needle around 9pm, I looked up at the towering structure which was surrounded by a unique glow through the mist. I’ve never ever seen anything so incredible.
Pike Place is special in its own way. It doesn’t have the same iconic architecture as the Needle or the Library, but Pike Place is the place to go to experience Seattle’s culture and history. It is a farmers market with fresh food and flowers and unique souvenirs. I waited by the fish market until someone bought fish, and I got to experience Seattle’s famous fishmongers tossing fish. As I made my way out of the market, I found myself walking along the sidewalk and making frequent stops at shops that had long lines (there were many shops). The world famous Mac & Cheese at Beecher’s was one of the first stops I made. Sitting down at a table with my cup of Mac & Cheese, I got to watch workers make homemade cheese while I enjoyed the richest and creamiest Mac & Cheese I’ve ever tasted. Another notable stop I made was at a little shop called Piroshky Piroshky. The cherry white chocolate, smoked salmon pate, and the potato and cheese are three of countless amazing Russian pastries sold at that tiny bakery. They were so good that I had to make another stop before I left for the airport. What’s going to Seattle without coffee? An important and historical stop is the first Starbucks Store (established in 1971). The coffee is the same but the line is ten times longer.
I am excited and honored to call Seattle “home” for the next four years. Even though I am home, I will continue to make countless, exciting journeys around the city to sightsee and find amazing food. I hope that everyone who visits Seattle will find it as amazing as I’ve found it, if not more.