Seattle Part II: Why it’s called Mt Rainier

Seattle doesn’t seem to make a big deal out the rivalry with Portland, perhaps because they already have all the well paying jobs etc. Portlandians seemed to play it up a bit and one apparent advantage Portland had over Seattle was its lower average rainfall, hence why it’s called Mt Rainier. To steal a joke from one of our tour guides if 50 shades of grey were set in Seattle it would be called 100 shades of grey. (Disclaimer: I have not and never will read 50 Shades of Grey not even ironically or for the purposes of criticism, if you must read something with Shades of Grey in the title read Jasper Fforde’s distopian future/dark comedy; Shades of Grey

As a city which was previously the last vestige of civilisation where explorers and prospectors would buy their stores before heading sailing North to Alaska, Seattle still has a very maritime feel to it in parts. From the chowder on the waterfront to the seafaring scandinavians who used to make up a majority of the Ballard population, Seattle has a love of the sea. Not hard to see why when it is located on the beautiful Puget Sound, which is, apparently, a great diving spot. It would be far too cold for me I’m afraid. We enjoyed the food which came with this love of the sea. In Ballard we tried fresh local oysters at the Walrus and the Carpenter, this place is award winning and it isn’t hard to see why. I’m not usually a fan of oysters but they have 12 different varieties which range in flavour and their mains were also delicious. Try their fried oysters. The owners clearly understood the visual beauty of food when they designed the oyster bar, you are able to see the chefs as they create the food and the aesthetic of the restaurant has been developed from the ground up. I would recommend eating at the bar so you can appreciate it all.  

Photograph The Walrus and the Carpenter by David Cooling on 500px The Walrus and the Carpenter by David Cooling on 500px Ballard’s scandinavian population is dwindling and it is being replaced with Seattle’s young trendy crowd, you can still see glimpses of its heritage though, from the vintage Volvos around the area. Ballard now feels more like Portland and San Francisco than the rest of Seattle. Just a short walk from the centre of Ballard is the Ballard locks, this spot has some great opportunities for wildlife photography with cormorants, herons and kingfishers flying around and seals and salmon swimming in the locks.


More Seattle photos here.


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