One of the many reasons working at Board and Vellum is awesome is the location of our office. While many people assume I grew up Children of The Corn Style when they learn I spent the first two thirds of my life in Ohio, or putting out pesky river fires when I clarify that I grew up just outside of Cleveland, the truth is I was raised in Lakewood, a suburb that was—and by all accounts remains– a densely populated, safe, urban neighborhood. I walked to school, and everywhere else I wanted to go for years, and some of my favorite memories are of the fun had traipsing around the town with friends at all stages of my childhood.
Seattle is a city of neighborhoods, something hugely appealing and welcoming to me. While downtown Seattle itself boasts a quite walkable core, there is something about the scale of each of the many neighborhoods that feels very much like home to me, and a huge reason I love this city. Walk-ability and an evolving tapestry of pedestrian friendly streetcapes was something I took for granted growing up, and has been such a welcome return to my daily life as I’ve settled in to work-life in Capitol Hill.
My introduction to the neighborhood took place in the spring of 2013, when I attended a continuing education class at Seattle Central College. I immediately took a shine to the Broadway area, spending my lunch breaks at Twice Sold Tales or hanging out at Cal Anderson Park. It was a welcome surprise to discover the 15th Ave district this summer, and I delight at the fact that my commute includes experiencing it twice a day.
The best part about 15th Ave East is its size. I’m a sucker for a narrow thoroughfare, and 15th fits this bill with aplomb. At 40’-0” wide, two lanes of through traffic with parking lanes make it prime for pedestrian traffic. Narrow sidewalks add to its coziness and invite patrons in to the many shops, offices and restaurants that line the 3 block stretch that runs from East John to East Mercer. It is amazing how much good stuff is packed in to this small area. In my short time here, strong allegiances have been formed with both the Wandering Goose and Victrola Coffee. My bank account is already quivering at the idea of Christmas and the Red Balloon Company-Casita International-Ada Trifecta.
As an extra special bonus, because 15th functions as the eastern edge of Capitol Hill’s commercial area, it takes nothing to find oneself strolling along the tree lined streets of Millionaires Row or, my personal favorite, 16th Ave East, where 10,000 square foot mansions sit across the street from delightfully modest classic brick apartment buildings. This diversity and quirkiness makes the area of town among my favorite spots, though what makes Seattle really special is that it is really only one of a dozen or more neighborhoods that boast unique and vibrant enclaves that invite a sense of community and provide an opportunity to explore without leaving the city.