MY FAVORITE THINGS: current addictions

Like most of us, I see new shiny objects every few weeks.  Sometimes they’ve been around awhile, sometimes they’re brand new, but once I catch on to something I love I just can’t stop.    Here’s a few of my latest addictions -

MY NEW FITBIT FLEX:

I was super late catching on to this trend, as I saw friends of mine start purchasing last fall.  Now that I’ve had mine for two weeks, i’m obsessed.  As a naturally competitive person, this little $100 wristband is motivating me to walk and run more and eat healthier.  I can compete against friends of mine through its little social network to be the most active in a 7-day time period, cheer them on, “taunt” them, and message.  I can input what I eat and have it track calories.  And my favorite feature is being able to monitor my sleep and see why I’m grumpy some mornings due to the amount of restlessless I had in the night.

SEATTLE CIDER COMPANY SEMI SWEET CIDER:

Although usually an avid beer drinker, with spring on the way I find myself picking up individual cans of this once or twice a week from Ballard Market.  Based in SODO, the relatively young Seattle Cider Company is the first cidery in recent history within Seattle city limits, and they’re doing a great job.  The two regular ciders they produce are Dry and Semi Sweet – and I’m loving the latter.

cider

MAPLE LEAF ACE HARDWARE:

I moved to Maple Leaf last August and bought a fixer I’ve been remodeling since (almost done, woohoo!).  Maple Leaf Hardware has been phenomenal – they carry way more than I expected them too, they’re dog friendly inside so I can walk there with the beast, and at any given time there appears to be about 500 employees ready to help.  Ok, that might be an exaggeration, but have you tried finding someone to help you at the Home Depot lately?  Maple Leaf Ace also has tons of gardening equipment and with it finally becoming spring, it’s a super convenient north Seattle spot to get planting.

GOOD EATS: WITNESS, CAPITOL HILL

As someone who has always had an easier time making friends with men instead of women, I am thankful for a monthly meetup among girlfriends that we call “NewBar.”  The first Friday of every month, one girl picks a bar she’s never been to – and the rest of us meet there for a drink and maybe light meal. The most recent NewBar was my choice – and since I never find an excuse to go to Capitol Hill, I chose a place called Witness – 410 Broadway East.  We unanimously decided this has been our most fun NewBar night in quite some time.

Witness has a Southern Baptist theme.  It’s hard to find, as the sign out front is similar to what you’d see outside a church – a black box with white letters behind glass.  Inside, the church theme continues with pews as seats and inspired cocktails like the Saint Christopher and the Heaven is a Place on Earth.  

witness

Witness claims to focus on hospitality and boy do they.  While waiting on a crowded Friday night for a table, we were served our drinks, approached several times to make sure we were okay, and then finally seated.  Once seated, we had two visits to the table from the owner, who talked to us a little about the food and atmosphere.   I couldn’t resist ordering chicken and waffles (O.M.G. – best in Seattle).  Other classic southern dishes on the menu include shrimp and grits, and Carolina pulled pork sliders.  But make no mistake – this is still Capitol Hill and not actually a church, so there was vibrant music and plenty of fun to be had.  

Well worth the ~40 minute wait for a seat, this place was fantastic!

I’M BACK, BABY.

This blog has been on hiatus for about five months now fully – and that was for a few good reasons.  First of all, I was considering a move outside the city (can you believe I actually considered leaving this place?).  Secondly, it was “like, totally stressing me out, man.”  No, really – as I gained more and more readers, it became more of a situation where i felt obligated to post anything just to keep everyone happy.   But as of late, I’ve realized the only person I need to keep happy is myself.   So the format is changing a little – I’m not going to keep trying to post a wide range of happenings in my neighborhood for the sake of satisfying a broad audience.  Instead, I post events and anecdotes that are personal to me, that I actually attend, and that I care about.  So check back often to keep up to date on the happenings of North Seattle Sarah.

This Weekend: PNA Winter Beer Taste

This Saturday is my favorite beer festival of the year: the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Winter Beer Taste.  As a sort of “kick-off” to winter beer season, the event features 30 local breweries pouring both the classics, and their newest winter concoctions.

The event starts at 7pm on Saturday, November 9th, and costs $35 for non-PNA members ($25 for members).   It’s held at the Phinney Center, at 6532 Phinney Ave N.   For $60, you can head in early for a sneak preview tasting and beat the crowds.

Some recommendations to look out for?  Big Al’s Nutwarmer (which is usually gone halfway through the night), Naked City’s Wild Cherry Barrel Aged Sour, and a cider this year from the new Seattle Cider Company.

More info and tickets here: http://www.phinneycenter.org/beer/

Naked City turns 5

Who’s a big kid now? Naked City, that’s who.  They’ll be celebrating their 5th year all day on Saturday, October 19th, and its sure to be yet another packed party.

26 taps will be devoted to Naked City beers that have been brewed over the years – a lot of classics and a few new ones.  And to top off the beer presentation, they’ll have a special bottle release of their famous Big Lebrewski, a white Russian imperial stout.

They’ll also have food specials, oyster shooters, live music and t-shirts available to purchase to commemorate the special day.   For those that don’t frequent the brewery & taphouse too often, this was a big year for Naked City – they finally opened The Walrus beer garden in the vacant lot next door.  Come out and celebrate with them at 8564 Greenwood Ave North.

Pig out in Phinney Ridge today – for a cause

Do not make dinner at home tonight.  Grab the spouse, or the kids, or just yourself, and head out to eat at one of 30 Phinney-Greenwood area places today, October 9th, to benefit the PNA’s Hot Meal Program.

It’s the annual Phabulous PhinneyWood Pig Out – the one day of the year when local restaurants donate a portion of their sales to this program.  You don’t have to wait until dinner, either – there’s places to stop for lunch, or coffee, or happy hour drinks – view the full list of participating businesses here.

The Hot Meal program, produced by the Phinney Neighborhood Association and led by volunteers, provides two cooked dinners and one lunch each week to those in need.  Everyone is welcome, and with the seasons changing this is a particularly important time of year for the service.

So, eat out so that others can continue to get a nutritious meal when they need it!

Why I moved to Maple Leaf (and why you should, too)

I lived in Phinney Ridge for a year, and Green Lake for three years, before moving to Maple Leaf this summer.  A good friend of mine still jokes that I moved to “southern Canada,” and some other friends less familiar with the area ask me where Maple Leaf is.

Maple Leaf is pretty much considered to be everything east of I-5 to Lake City Way, and then as far south as 80th and as far north as Northgate Way.  And now, it’s home.

So why would I ever leave Green Lake, and move to Maple Leaf instead? Well, affordability for one.  If you look at every currently active single family home on the market in Maple Leaf right  now, you get an average price per foot of $228.91 (average price of $562,238).    Compare that to Green Lake, whose borders are 80th to the north, 50th to the south, and Aurora and I-5 west to east, and you see a big difference.  The average price per foot of a home in Green Lake right now is $338.30.   That means if you take a 1500 square foot house in Green Lake you’re likely to pay $507,000 – put the same house in Maple Leaf and you’ll be paying closer to $343,000.

But Green Lake is cool, right?  Short answer: yes.  But, Maple Leaf was listed by Redfin earlier this year as one of the hottest and most “up and coming” housing markets in the entire country. They attributed this to the lower housing prices, local schools and easy commuter access.

I’ll admit I was hesitant to leave Green Lake.  But did I really leave?  I can walk to the lake in about 15 minutes.   More importantly, I’ve discovered a whole new slew of restaurants, bars, coffee shops and more that are right in my own neighborhood (not the mention the amazing Maple Leaf Hardware, who is getting me through some remodel work).

So if you’ve been shopping for a home in Green Lake, Phinney Ridge, Wallingford or surrounding area, and are feeling down at the rising prices that are edging you out of the market, come see me in southern Canada.