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The New York Times does Seattle

A local travel writer scans the Grey Lady's tips on visiting Seattle

Admit it. You like to read travel stories about where you live. And being a travel writer, I'm even more rabid about it. Naturally, the first thing I look for are inaccuracies, errors, and overused stereotypes. Maybe it's just the journalist in me, but I think we all want to see if outsiders get us in a fresh, new way.The New York Times has paid homage to our region once again, this time in one of their regular travel features, 36 Hours in Seattle.

My initial scan of the story left me feeling a bit squeamish. There in the first paragraph I spied Sleepless in Seattle. Well, at least nothing about Starbucks or a guy named Gates. Although there was a post-grunge reference — I guess better than post-Sonics.

The bars and cafes selected were not a surprise: Matt's in the Market for dinner (although no mention that Matt has left the building); Zig-Zag for cool cocktails after dinner; Cafe Presse for a French-style breaky; and Quinn's Pub for good grub and brew. Writer Matthew Preusch, whose byline appeared in The Stranger 2001-2002, suggests Capitol Hill's Volunteer Park Conservatory and the Seattle Asian Art Museum for rain or shine activities — a refreshing alternative to downtown's splashier and oft-written about Seattle Aquarium and Seattle Art Museum. Preusch's other recommendations include the Olympic Sculpture Park, Seattle Public Library, Center for Wooden Boats, and venturing over to Columbia City. I haven't been to the latter in at least three decades, when it was simply called Rainier Avenue South. It might be time for another visit.

Sue Frause is a Whidbey Island freelance writer and photographer. You can reach her at sue@suefrause.com.


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