Monday, June 29, 2009

Old Naked Man Replaced by Ole Nekkity Man

A lot of readers asked to be kept up to speed on the saga of Old Naked Man. I'm sorry to report that only a few weeks after my last ONM post, he began to slowly stack boxes in front of his kitchen window until my view into the kitchen was completely blocked! I feared he was packing to move and it appears I was correct. For the past several weeks the apartment has been empty, windows open, no lights...

Not to worry though, a different "Ole Nekkity Man" has moved into the building across the alley. There's a full view of his room from our dining room window during the day. He's not as sweet and innocent as the former Old Naked Man. In fact, he's a little creepy. His room is small and contains a sheetless mattress with a black ashtray sitting atop, a small chair, a television and a phone with a curly attached cord. We have never seen him doing anything other than sitting in his chair smoking while talking on his phone. He appears to be wearing a shirt but no pants...and he will occasionally give himself a scratch (a visiting friend insisted that what I think is a phone cord is actually a tube from an oxygen machine and that the occasional scratching was more than occasional and perhaps not scratching, ew!)

Whatever the case, this new Ole Nekkity Man is certainly an interesting character. We've been wondering if he'll ever get some sheets for his bed...and some pants.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A map for every occasion

From the fresh produce and meats to the incredible cornucopia of restaurants, food is the very best thing about living at Pike Place Market, hands-down. That being said, there are many other treasures to be found within the Market, and Metsker Maps is one of them.

There are too many maps to adequately describe in this short writeup - general navigation maps, marine navigations maps, sky maps, street maps, satellite images. There are maps that are purely fanciful, like the world map prominently displayed in a front window: instead of simple linework, the shapes are created with musical notations (and yes, "The World" is a playable composition).

Stop in here for new ways of looking at the world (upside-down map, pacific-centered map) and new ways of understanding issues (world population map) or history (world history timeline). Or get ready for your next adventure with hiking maps, wine maps, and travel maps. Explore faraway places, discover hidden local gems - all these things and more have been committed to maps.

Here is a small portion of one of my favorite maps: "Seattle Central Business District" by Kroll Map Company. Don't let my cell-phone photo fool you - this detail-packed map is highly readable and utterly lacking in clutter or any overwrought graphic flourishes.

In fact, many of my favorites are local maps: the shaded relief maps of the Puget Sound are beautiful, historic maps of Seattle and the Market area are fascinating, and of course there's an embarrassment of wealth if you're seeking maps for a hike or backpacking trip in the northwest.

Globes of all sizes fill one corner of this spacious shop. Rows of shelves carry travel guides covering places around the world. Compasses and travel gear round out the offerings.

Metsker Maps of Seattle
1511 1st Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 623-8747

Friday, June 19, 2009

Steelhead Slacker

It's been over two months since we last visited Steelhead Diner. I'm not certain why I didn't write a review soon after our last visit with friends because now the menu has changed (as it often does) and I can't recall the dishes we ordered that are not on the current menu. Not that the food wasn't memorable...our first visit there I ordered the best cod I had ever tasted in my life! No worries though because what I do remember is that almost everything we ate was top notch and we'll definitely be returning.

Steelhead is located on 95 Pine Street on the steep hill in the last block before you get to Pike Place Market. You can't miss the neon sign. In fact, it's the sign on the left on my blog photo. It's more of an upscale food, casual feel restaurant than a diner, but there is a "diner" counter you can sit at if you fancy watching the chefs do the "galley dance". This is your best bet to get seated on a weekend evening if you don't have a reservation. Unless you're set on watching the sunset over Elliot Bay through the floor to ceiling windows, the counter is great entertainment.

Here is what Chef/Partner Kevin Davis and General Manager/Partner Teresa Davis have to say about Steelhead on their website: "Our diner is a place of no pretensions where locals hang out, chat with others, watch the kitchen fun and have a great meal. It’s the perfect place to bring out-of-town visitors. They’ll get a real Seattle experience—great local food in the historic Pike Place Market setting with a view of the Market, Elliott Bay and the Olympic mountains." It's true! On our first visit, our neighbor at the counter was an instructor at the local culinary institute who had trained the head chef. He gave us the lowdown on the menu and informed us that deep fried capers in the asparaus dish were "so yesterday," even though we had never heard of them.

Despite the unhip "yesterday" factor, we ordered the pan roasted asparagus with battered deep fried capers and hazelnuts and it instantly became one of our favorite dishes. Whaddya gonna do? We just like what we like.

Here's a rating on a scale of 1-10 on the food we have tried at Steelhead that is currently on the menu:

JUMBO LUMP DUNGENESS CRAB CAKE [I've had better once, but not by far] *9.5*
With Crispy Parsley & Sauce Louis

CHICKEN & ANDOUILLE SAUSAGE GUMBO [Smoky, rich, right on] *8*
With Hempler’s Smoked Andouille Sausage
$9.95/$7.95 Cup

KASU MARINATED CANADIAN BLACK COD [Recommended by the culinary instructor] *10*
With Baby Bok Choy, Roasted Butternut Squash & Carrot ~ Ginger Salad
$28.95/$21.95 8oz/5oz

With Roasted Chestnuts & Cracked Sage Brown Butter

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH [The other half said it was just OK] *6*
With Tangy Cole Slaw Dressing

THEO’S CHOCOLATE PECAN PIE [Cue the chorus of heavenly hosts: The dark chocolate "crust" layer and cocoa nibs!! put it over the top] *10* *10* *10* *10* *10*
With Cocoa Nibs & Bourbon Chantilly Crème

SPICED STOUT POUND CAKE [Num num num but, problem is, we had the Pecan Pie too] *8*
With Poached Pears, Vanilla Pastry Cream & Snoqualmie Farms Fireweed Honey

Steelhead also has an extensive menu of local wines. I highly recommend visiting Steelhead Diner if you're near the market.

Steelhead Diner on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Ooh, Ooh that Smell

You know that fresh clean scent that comes after a nice summer rain? Well after over a month of no rain in Seattle it finally rained downtown today for about an hour. Not a downpour, just a nice little misty sprinkle. Just enough to awaken the putrid scent of dog and human urine from the alleys, crevices of the sidewalks and planters around the trees. Nice when expertly blended with the funky fish aroma wafting from the market when the wind blows over Elliot Bay and up Stewart Street. Mmmmmm Seattle. Take a deep breath, this is city livin' at its finest!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Summer is crazy with tourists at Pike Place Market. We could hardly make our way down the aisles last Sunday, let alone take photos of crabs that I promised to post for my friend Reama back in Tampa who is craving some Seattle Seafood.

Reama, I hope you and Frank had a very Happy Anniversary. Sorry it took me so long to get these photos up! XOXO

Monday, June 15, 2009


We spent a nice afternoon at Pike Place Market last Sunday. After I photographed some seafood for my friend Reama (see the next post), we did some shopping.

The variety of fresh cut flowers for sale is overwhelming, and the bargains are just too good to pass up. Bouquets that would cost $65 minimum at a florist cost between $10 and $15. We picked up a $10 bouquet of small branches with fragrant white flowers labeled "False Orange Blossoms". They made the apartment smell like Florida in January.

Next stop was some honey from Snoqualmie Valley Honey Farm and some of the other half's special soap from "Soap Girl"(a nickname coined by our friend Rick who had a short-lived but passionate crush on her during one of his visits) at Moon Valley Organics.

The fruit and veggie stands change every week depending on what's in season and I just can't help but take photos like a tourist. We picked up some "Garlic Spears" (see photo at right) for dinner...a new veggie to us, they are actually the flower stem of Elephant Garlic. You eat both the stem and the flower. I sauteed them in a little olive oil and sprinkled them with a little fresh lemon juice and Himalayan Pink Sea Salt (from Market Spice). They were absolutely delicious and tasted like a combo of lightly garlicky asparagus and artichokes. The vendor explained that they are only in season for a few short weeks a year...we will definitely be looking for them next summer.

Lastly we stopped at the Pike Place Market Creamery located in Sanitary Market Building, behind Jacks Fish Spot. This is where we buy our local free range and organic chicken eggs. They also have duck eggs, quail eggs and others. We buy their half and half and milk (unhomogenized from a local dairy) that comes in glass, returnable bottles. They also stock the best fake chicken product on the market: Quorn. We had never heard of this weirdly named product until our friends Karl & Lisa pointed it out to us when they were visiting. Now we're hooked.

What a great Sunday!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Punk Rock Flea Market, Oi, Oi, Oi!

The Punk Rock Flea Market held in the Belltown Underground Building on June 6, would be there year-round if it was up to me.

Here's a sampling of what we saw: Grafitti covered walls, offbeat and super hip flea markety stuff, tons of local crafts, local art, baked goods and music including DJ's inside in the afternoon and a brass band outside. We missed the evening bands that played until 10pm.

Our take: An "up-cycled" granny pillow with felt embroidery saying "Fuck You Very Much"(a gift for a friend), record albums including Charlie Parker, Jackie Wilson, Beethoven, vintage fabrics, lots of $1 shirts, a local comic book and a card featuring a photo of the neon sign of our favorite dive bar, the NiteLite. I could have stayed all day but we had plans for the afternoon. Can't wait til next time.