Living on the West Coast is great. But one thing I love about going to the older, longer settled parts of the planet is intimate shops meant for everyday and just in time need fulfillment. Out West, a place only recently starting to get tight and build up, is the land of the destination shop. The supermarket. Even the super-super market.
Now that cities like Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Diego are embracing their relatively young heritage districts and embracing their rough coats while making them realistic residential neighbourhoods the accompanying services are coming with them. But in new forms. Honest real texture, patina and sense of natural place. No drywall or exposed HVAC interiors here.
In Seattle over the weekend in Ballard, a once thriving fishing haunt home to legions of Norwegian fishermen, came across this great Bodega (as they say in New York) beside one of my favorite hang outs King's Hardware (part of the brilliant Ace Hotel / Rudy's Barber empire.)
It wasn't fancy, just a basic space that let the brands speak for themselves. Certainly more refined than your 7-11's selection. Micro-beers, so old they are ironic cool brands and rolling papers for "tobacco."There is something about the honesty of a place like this, trying to be true to the past while not being drunk on nostalgia and grabbing firmly but couthly on the tastes of the presence. Bravo Ballard Bodega.
Brown paper sacs. Left wall features food, the right sundries including emergency underwear and school supplies actually designed for the office or a service profession.
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