Sally’s latest post gave you a first taste of our desire to expand our understanding of what it means to live locally. Eating local foods is an important part of that but so is taking the time to explore and appreciate the place we call home. I wanted to give you a closer look at our stroll through the International District in case you might be inspired to try it on your own. Having a camera in hand, even if you don’t consider yourself a photographer, helps you take the time to slow down and look — really look at things you might normally walk right past. Having a friend along, while not essential, makes everything more compelling and a lot more fun.
Where to park? Going east on Jackson, the parking is free for two hours right under the freeway where you’re surrounded by brightly painted red and yellow columns decorated with carp and dragonflies . From there we headed down Jackson meandering past curious little shops and intriguing doorways on side streets, letting our eyes lead the way.
We took a peek into the Wing Luke Museum. Definitely a place I’d like to come back to and spend more time. It gives a much needed voice to Asian American art, culture and history.
From there we passed through Hing Hay Park. “The park for pleasurable gatherings” is a Seattle city park in the heart of the district and is a popular meeting spot for families and friends.
Winding our way down the streets, we took a brief look around Uwajimaya. I could spend hours here in the chili aisle alone. Unfortunately, we were asked not to take photographs but luckily I had already gotten a few.
Fifth Ave. marks the western border between the International District and Pioneer Square. From there you can see the Chinatown gate and head back up Jackson.
Turn left on 6th into what is known as Japantown and you’ll pass the Maneki Restaurant which serves authentic Japanese home-style food. They will reserve tatami rooms for 4-10 people but are open only in the evening. We weren’t able to see much from the street but I made a mental note for future birthday celebrations.
Turn east on Main St. and you’re right at the historic Panama Hotel and Tea House. We enjoyed a delicious mug of lemongrass infusion tea and a sesame cookie while we spent time looking back over our photos ( and taking a few more).
Across the street and up the hillside is the Danny Woo Community Garden. It has over 100 plots that are used primarily by the elderly low-income residents of the International District. Wandering through the garden you’ll see vegetables you don’t normally see at the average pea-patch. It has a decidedly Asian feel.
Places we love in the International District:
Then there’s always karaoke, bubble tea and dim sum………