Maybe you’re new to town. Maybe you’re newly single. Maybe you are in a relationship, but neither of you wants to make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. No matter the reason, if Valentine’s Day feels a little awkward for you this year, there are plenty of options in Seattle.
In ascending order from least social to most social, here are five activities around town that allow you to make the day special, even if it isn’t overly romantic.
Books and Pie in West Seattle
If you live in Central or Northern Seattle, West Seattle can seem a world away (especially during rush hour). But really, with the Rapid Ride C Line, it’s not a big time commitment to make the trip.
The main streets of Alaska Junction are lined with great restaurants, cafes, bars and retailers. A beloved used book shop, Pegasus Book Exchange (4553 California Ave. SW), is right at the center of it. It closes on the early side (6pm) which means you may not have a lot of time to browse if you are rushing from downtown after a 9 to 5. They have you covered, though. The staff recommendations at front are solid and they also have mystery books wrapped in brown paper. They write the theme of the content on the front, and so you aren’t choosing totally blind. It’s a fun way to discover new books and perhaps even new interests.
Once you have your book, there are plenty of places to sit down and chill and read. We recommend A La Mode Pies (4225 SW Alaska St.), just around the corner. There are sweet and savory pies to enjoy (and share, if you aren’t alone). The drink menu includes coffee, beer, wine and boozy milkshakes.
As John Waters famously said, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck ’em!” As such, for each of the remaining activities, will also include a featured indie book shop nearby, because any date is improved with a good book.
Tuesday Night Bingo at Targy’s in Queen Anne
Targy’s Tavern (600 W Crockett St.) is one of the oldest bars in Seattle, and certainly the oldest on Queen Anne hill. It’s tucked away in the middle of a residential area, making it a very cozy, homey bar. Tuesday night is bingo night at Tragy’s, so you’ll have a mildly social activity to engage in if you so please. Or you can just drink and chill in a place that is well off the beaten path for most people. Get more details on the Facebook event page.
Featured Book Shop: Before heading up Queen Anne hill, check out Mercer Street Books (7 Mercer St.) in Lower Queen Anne.
Open Studio with Celeste Cooning in Pioneer Square
Prolific artist Celeste Cooning has shown work all over town, in public spaces large and small. (E.g. She’s adorned the marquis of Manu’s Bodegita on Madison St, and she has a large permanent sculpture at the Jackson Park Trail.) Cooning also regularly hosts open studios, and on Valentine’s Day evening she welcomes guests to her creative space in the ’57 Biscayne arts studios (110 Cherry St., Suite 214) in Pioneer Square. Not only can guests get a peek at her latest work…she’s holding a little raffle for attendees. Someone will win a Cleste Cooning original! Can’t beat that.
Featured Book Shop: In the beautifully lit Occidental Park, find rare treasures at Arundel Books (209 Occidental Ave S).
Drink and Draw at Revolver in Capitol Hill
The monthly comic and art event Drink and Draw at Revolver Bar is every second Tuesday. It’s business as usual. From the organizers:
We provide the pens, comic panels, and last month’s zine. Start a panel and pass it on, or create your own drawings. All skill levels and weirdness levels welcome. No cover.
See (not much) more and RSVP (even though you don’t need to) on the Facebook event page.
Featured Book Shop: Twice Sold Tales (1833 Harvard Ave) is just a few blocks away, and even has a book happy hour (i.e. sale) in the early evening.
Cake Walk, Art and Dancing at Jacob Lawrence Gallery at UW
As part of a city-wide celebration of the centennial of artist Jacob Lawrence’s birth, University of Washington’s namesake gallery is showing a collection of works by the artist. On Valentine’s Day, the Jacob Lawrence Gallery sweetens the occasion with a Cake Walk and Party. Those who care to submit a cake are welcome, but should confirm in advance. As the staff at The Jake say: “Cakes of all shapes and sizes, welcome! Shortcakes, tall cakes, beefcakes, conceptual cakes, cardboard cakes, JFcakes…”
There will be prizes for best cakes and costumes. The cake walk itself starts at 7pm, followed by music and dancing at 8pm. Check out the Facebook event page for details and directions on how to confirm if you are submitting a cake.
Featured image via Pegasus Book Exchange.