When I first lived on Capitol Hill in the ’90s, I loved living within a short stroll of great movie theaters, coffee and any number of dimly lit bars that tended to me and my vintage-clad peers. But I truly fell for the Hill on a dusky fall run. A couple of wrong turns and I happened upon forested Interlaken Avenue, the bare branches on that nearly lightless street covered with hundreds of crows. These days, I love that I can still cozy up to a civilized cocktail at, say, Liberty on 15th Street, or any of the Hill’s other dozens of mood-lifting bars, and know there’s some unruly wilderness just a few blocks away.
Don’t miss: Trying out cheeses at The Calf & Kid in Melrose Market, playing vintage dress-up at Le Frock and playing tag at Cal Anderson Park, followed by indie-licious ice cream and beer at Bluebird Microcreamery.
Go-to for out-of-town guests: View from the Volunteer Park water tower, spiky flora at the park conservatory’s cactus house and books (natch!) at Elliott Bay Book Company.
Micro ’hood watch: Call it what you will, South Capitol Hill or even SOMAD, no matter: With Little Uncle for Thai street food, the greener-than-thou Bullitt Center and gorgeous Seattle University beyond, the south side of Madison is groovier than ever.
Famous for: The whitest of white-hot stars of Seattle’s past left footprints across the Hill. Check out Bruce Lee’s grave (and stellar vistas) at Lake View Cemetery and swing by the Singles apartment building (1820 E Thomas St.) on the way to hear live music at the essential grunge bar, the Comet, still rocking after all these years and all that gentrification.
Sara Dickerman is a food writer who has lived on Capitol Hill off and on, but steadily, since 2000