You know the feeling, when you need to treat yourself to something fun, delightful, and special, or need to find that perfect cute gift for your girl friend, mom, or sister? Anandi's Laboratory is really THE place to go. Her beaded and jewelry is all handmade (hand hammered silver, unique glass beads, she even made me a couple of custom bracelets) and of far better quality and taste than any stuff you can get at the department store. I especially appreciate all the little details she puts into her work -- the packaging it comes in, the story she tells about each piece, she'll even accommodate any unique little thing you want specially added or sized. Wonderful store!
We found Dr. Batteiger through the Seattle French Bulldog group (thanks Dale!) and he has exceeded our expectations in every way, by far the best vet we've used yet. He's very friendly and doesn't act like he knows exactly what you or your dog needs soon as he walks into the room, unlike some vets we've met, and he's obviously very knowledgable. He never makes us feel rushed and has always patiently answered all our questions. He prescribes medication as needed and not as a crutch or cure-all, and his prices are reasonable compared to some of the other vets we've seen in Seattle. We highly recommend him for all Frenchies in the area!
We went here for gifts for a relative who visited us in Seattle and who wanted something authentic to take back as a souvenir. I had a hard time finding a place to buy crafts and arts made by artists from Native American tribes in the area until I found this store and gallery. Their selection is of goods is of such high quality and variety that the Seattle Art Museum buys pieces from them. If you want to find something that you can treasure forever, backed by guarantees of authenticity, including the name of the actual artist, look no further than the Legacy.
I happened upon this store since it's right by Bel Square and behind Cost Plus, in a hard-to-find corner. They have nice things, but at $120-$200+ for a pair of pants, you'd hope that the fashion would last longer than a few months. I'd advise going here for a couple of accessories or accent items since their quality is much higher than anything you can get from a typical store in the mall. However, bear in mind that the fashion that they sell now has already passed in Europe (which is always about 2-3 years ahead of fashion in the US); for example, flared jeans are in here, but straight jeans are back in fashion over there. So would it be worth spending $200 for a pair of jeans from this store?
This place is also known as the International School of Classical Ballet. (One for the school, one for the performing theater.) I took some of the open ballet classes for adults and was very impressed with both the instructors and facilities. Whether or not this schools classes are for you depends on what kind of style of teaching you prefer, and whether you enjoy traditional or more avant garde dancing styles. Admittedly, some of the instructors, who hail from the Russian school of ballet, are strict and somewhat intimidating, but they are experts with long experience, and I would not recommend taking pointe or other advanced ballet classes with anyone who had less. Entry into a class still requires an audition, though for adults entering their open sessions, this is just to confirm that the class matches your skill level.
Located on the UW Campus is the Burke Museum, which focuses on Pacific Northwest cultures and natural history. They hold many events during the year for students, adults, and teachers (it makes a great place for a field trip), and you can even volunteer here, to learn more about museum studies and preservation. They often have special exhibits and talks led by UW professors in various cultural studies, archaeology, and anthropology departments, making it a nice educational resource for the public.
If you have a Northwest Center Pool in your neighborhood, head there for the best swim workouts. Northwest Centers is a non-profit aiding the disabled, but they also operate several indoor pools in the Puget Sound area, convenient since there are few pools to begin with, and most of them are open only during the summer. Ive tried both the Redmond Hartman and Northshore Ruth-Costie pools for lap swimming. Costs for lap swimming are $5 per adult, but they also hold open swim, swim instruction, and exercise classes for youth and adults. A good bet for after-school activities!
The decor here is straight out of South Beach, but everything else is lacking, including the people watching. Masquerading as a restaurant during dinner, it stays open late to serve as a bar for the nightclub crowd. The Friday night we went for dinner at 6PM, they were out of materials to make mojitos, caipirinhas, and the gazpacho blanco. The food pricey and awful (large fried potato wedges pass for tapas). Avoid this place, and if youre looking for tapa-esque food, head to Andaluca instead.
Before there was Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, and Sur Le Table, there was City Kitchens, located right in the heart of downtown Seattle on 4th. This is no chain, and it shows. (They just won an international award for best retailer at the housewares trade show in Chicago.) Their selection beats any of the high-end kitchen providers (their ceiling is covered in handmade baskets of any shape, size, or need), especially because they focus on quality. No China-made barbeque sets selling for $200 here. The staff are extremely knowledgeable and friendly. The best time to shop? Their annual fall sale, of course!
When I first moved to Seattle, a friend who lived here many years ago told me I had to visit Archie McPhees. Its got to be the most unique store...anywhere. They specialize in slaughtering sacred cows you can buy a fire-spitting Nun wind-up toy, rubber live strong bracelets glorifying the 7 deadly sins. This is another one of those stores that has a strong online presence but whose retail selection is even bigger and varied when visiting in person. A great place for Halloween diehards in Seattle you can buy full-sized latex mummies at their retail store, but not online!