Northwest Nirvana: the Emerald City's post-grunge luxe life.Even on a quiet day on the waterfront, Seattle is thrillingly, noisily alive. Gulls screech while dive-bombing tourists' chowder. Espresso machines grind. Ferry horns boom. Boeing jets take off for their first flights from nearby Boeing Field. Out on Puget Sound, orcas blow as they surface. The Olympic Mountains create a breathtaking balustrade across the western horizon and "The Mountain," as Mount Rainier is known, looms to the east. Cruise ships up anchor for Alaska and "mosquito fleet" commuter ferries beetle across to island communities. Downtown, a crop of super-stylish hotels has sprouted. Belltown hot spot Hotel Andra and funky Hotel Max, sister hotel to Portland's chic Lucia, were joined in late 2006 by the sumptuous Pan Pacific and haute tech Hotel 1000.
Tuned Trek mountain bikes and their toned riders are as likely to attract admiring glances as higher-horsepower rigs, and the calendars of gay Seattleites teem teem 1
v. teemed, teem·ing, teems
1. To be full of things; abound or swarm: A drop of water teems with microorganisms.
2. with bookings like kayaking off the San Juan Islands San Juan Islands (săn wän), archipelago of 172 islands constituting San Juan co., NW Wash., E of Vancouver Island. The islands were visited and named c.1790 by Spanish explorers. and scaling the adjacent Cascade peaks in pursuit of personal records. Throughout the city, coffeehouses fill to capacity with clean-cut, Mac-toting telecommuters, while Seattle's laidback, outdoor-craving Microsoft graduates and down-to-earth gay inhabitants snap up chic lofts on Belltown's waterfront, nest in the turn-of-the-century brick apartment buildings and mansion houses of Capitol Hill, and colonize up-and-coming suburbs, such as the former Scandinavian fishing settlement Ballard and its neighbor Phinney Ridge.
Practically since Klondike Gold Rush Klondike gold rush
Canadian gold rush of the late 1890s. Gold was discovered on Aug. 17, 1896, near the confluence of the Klondike and Yukon rivers in western Yukon Territory. The news spread quickly, and by late 1898 more than 30,000 prospectors had arrived. days, Seattle has been a destination for gay men. Seattle's gay scene is buoyant, with more than 20 bars, lounges, and venues catering to those with a social bent, and over 1,000 women flocking to the slick monthly Girl4Girl parties. June's pride festival attracts upwards of 100,000 people annually, while the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival celebrates its 12th year in October. The annual festivities fes·tiv·i·ty
n. pl. fes·tiv·i·ties
1. A joyous feast, holiday, or celebration; a festival.
2. The pleasure, joy, and gaiety of a festival or celebration.
3. of Syttende Mai (held in cities and towns around the world in recognition of Norwegian Constitution Day The Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen , May 17) see twin celebrations in Seattle, with Syttende Gay celebrating LGBT LGBT Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender folks among the 10% of the city's population who claim Scandinavian ancestry. And domestic partnerships, voted into Washington State law this past April, are bound to prove particularly popular in the "Emerald City": In a 2006 survey conducted by the Williams Institute of the University of California, Los Angeles UCLA comprises the College of Letters and Science (the primary undergraduate college), seven professional schools, and five professional Health Science schools. Since 2001, UCLA has enrolled over 33,000 total students, and that number is steadily rising. , 12.9% of Seattle residents who responded identified as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, a population density second among U.S. cities only to San Francisco's 15.4%.
AM Grab a Budapest coffee cake and an espresso from gay-popular Macrina Bakery and Cafe (2408 First Ave., 206-448-4032) and take it to the Seattle Art Museum's new Olympic Sculpture Park The Olympic Sculpture Park is a public park in Seattle, Washington that opened on January 20, 2007.
The park consists of a nine acre outdoor sculpture museum and beach. (2901 Western Ave., 206-654-3100) to contemplate the realistic male nudes in the fountain. Continue your culture crawl with a visit to SAM proper (100 University St., 206-625-8900), home to an impressive collection of Asian, Northwest Coast Indian Northwest Coast Indian
Any member of the North American Indian peoples inhabiting a narrow but rich belt of coastland and offshore islands from southeast Alaska to northwestern California. , American, and European art. It reopened in May after an $86 million expansion. Close by, the covered Pike Place Market Pike Place Market is a public market overlooking the Elliott Bay waterfront in Seattle, Washington, United States. The Market, which opened August 17, 1907, is one of the oldest continually-operated public farmer's markets in the country. (First Avenue, 206-682-7453) entices locals and visitors with decadent delights like wine and truffles, and the wares of more than 200 artists and artisans. Make your way to Belltown, home to a hip, artistic gay and lesbian set. Sample fried rockfish platters at the lesbian-owned neighborhood bistro Flying Fish (2234 First Ave., 206-728-8595). Explore Belltown's boho boho bohemian (usually referring to fashion) galleries and boutiques and stop in at one of the neighborhood's new hot spots, the art bar McLeod Residence (2209 Second Ave., 206-441-3314). The century-old building's six rooms exhibit 19th-century American landscapes, 21stcentury video works, and artistic points between. PM Once you've worked up an appetite, travel just two blocks to Brasa (2107 Third Ave., 206-728-4220), where lush, deep red drapes cascade from high ceilings, adding dramatic ambience to the Mediterranean Rim cuisine of lesbian Iron Chef America Iron Chef America: The Series is an American cooking show based on Fuji Television's Iron Chef, and is the second American adaptation of the series, following the failed Iron Chef USA. contender Tamara Murphy. Cap off the night with drinks at The Baltic Room (1207 Pine St., 206-625-4444), an upscale jazz lounge that attracts a hot mixed clientele.
AM While away the morning hours in the stores and cafes of Seattle's well-established gayborhood Capitol Hill. Pick up your morning brew at funky Victrola Coffee and Art (411 15th Ave. East, 206-325-6520), a palace of percolation percolation /per·co·la·tion/ (per?kah-la´shun) the extraction of soluble parts of a drug by passing a solvent liquid through it. popular with the neighborhood's lesbians and gay men. If weather's on your side, join the locals in a sashay through gay-frequented Volunteer Park (14th Avenue and Prospect Street), a great site for pride festival shenanigans, people-watching, and incredible Olympic Mountain views. The 1933 art deco Asian Art Museum Asian Art Museum is the usual name for a number of museums, including:
tr.v. sa·ti·at·ed, sa·ti·at·ing, sa·ti·ates
1. To satisfy (an appetite or desire) fully.
2. To satisfy to excess.
Filled to satisfaction. , head back down to Lake Union, where the Center for Wooden Boats The Center for Wooden Boats is a place where urban residents of Seattle and the greater Pacific Northwest can watch their sails instead of their cells. The public is invited to explore maritime history, by rowing, paddling or sailing a diverse collection of classic boats, (1010 Valley St., 206-382-2628) rents lovingly restored rowboats and sailboats. There are fabulous skyline and Space Needle views from the calm waters. PM Back in Capitol Hill, sidle si·dle
v. si·dled, si·dling, si·dles
1. To move sideways: sidled through the narrow doorway.
2. into 1200 Bistro and Lounge (1200 E. Pike St., 206-320-1200) for elegant drinks among the city's most stylish gay denizens. Next, tuck into nourishing Northwest fare, such as roasted black cod or Hudson Valley foie gras "steak," from the comfort of Vernon Panton chairs, at Crush (2319 E. Madison St., 206-302-7874) in nearby Madison Valley. The converted Tudor house books up well ahead, so reservations are a must. Back on the Hill, admire the diverse set of pretty, energetic boys from a couch on the mezzanine at R Place (619 E. Pine St., 206-322-8828).
AM For a diversion favored by gay Seattleites, hop aboard a ferry to rustic Bainbridge Island (Pier 52, 206-464-6400). After a 30-minute crossing, stroll up shop-lined Winslow Way to the patio at destination dining room Madoka (241 Winslow Way West, 206-842-2448). A gleaming gold wall sculpture welcomes diners to this lively, elegant, pan-Pacific spot. Back across the Sound, gallery-hop round Pioneer Square, picking up java jolts at Caffe Umbria (320 Occidental Ave. South, 206-624-5847), where handsome staffers serve scoops of the day's granita gra·ni·ta
A granular dessert ice with a sugar-syrup base, usually flavored with fruit purée, coffee, or wine.
[Italian, from feminine past participle of granire, to make grainy, granulate . Those who need a dose of retail therapy can pick up Coach or Cartier necessities at the city's most upscale, gay-favored mall, Pacific Place (Sixth Avenue and Pine Street, 206-405-2655). PM Watch the sunset over Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains from the verandah lounge at the Edgewater Hotel's Six Seven (2411 Alaskan Way, Pier 67, 206-269-4575), a haven away from the hordes. For a final fabulous food experience, soak up the penthouse ambience of Veil (555 Aloha St., 206-216-0600), with its Philippe Starck chairs, pink-lit bar, white leather booths, and progressive world menu.
Almost 30 million passengers passed through Sea-Tac (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (IATA: SEA, ICAO: KSEA, FAA LID: SEA), also known as Sea-Tac Airport, is located in SeaTac, Washington, United States at the intersections of Washington State Route 518, Washington State Route 99 and , 206-433-5388) in 2006. Seattle-based Alaska Airlines (800-426-0333) is the most prominent carrier, with flights to cities throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Southwest Airlines (800-435-9792) reaches dozens of U.S. cities. Gay-friendly Amy's Limousine Service (206-730-7781) will deliver you to your hotel door in a Town Car, H2 Hummer, or Cadillac.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel 1000 (1000 First Ave., 206-957-1000; from $209) is high-tech and hot. with electronic doorbells and two-person pedestal tubs that fill from the ceiling. Even pets can luxuriate lux·u·ri·ate
intr.v. lux·u·ri·at·ed, lux·u·ri·at·ing, lux·u·ri·ates
1. To take luxurious pleasure; indulge oneself.
2. To proliferate.
3. To grow profusely; thrive. at the Alexis (1007 First Ave., 866-356-8894, from $249), home to "Doggie In-Room Dining Service" ; its Etherea Salon. Spa spoils human guests. The art-filled hotel is within easy ambling distance of the waterfront. Further artful accommodations beckon at Hotel Max (620 Stewart St., 866-833-6299; from $169) a showcase for works by local artists.
"DISCOVER the cool neighborhoods like Capitol Hill, Fremont, and Belltown. Don't forget about day trips to Tacoma, Spokane, and Whidbey Island-very romantic. My favorite spot in Seattle is the top of Queen Anne hill--breathless!"--D. Mode, via e-mail