I like the Pike/Pine area of Capitol Hill.
It’s got a “Brooklyn on a Hill” thing going on. It’s dense, it’s walkable, it’s reasonably affordable by inner-city standards, it’s just dirty enough not to feel sterile, it’s not so filthy as to feel Mott Haven-y, and the views of downtown are great. Were it not for some safety issues, I would definitely call it one of Seattle’s greatest neighborhoods.
Of course, with the good comes the bad. Like many neighborhoods that meet the above criteria, Pike/Pine is overrun with silly creatures known as “hipsters”. These guys are everywhere. Ironic glasses … check. Fixed gear bike … check. Bedhead … check. Skinny jeans … check. MacBook … check. Scrotal piercing … check (don’t ask me how I know, a guy has to make a living).
Even though I used to loathe these folks, I am finally getting used to them, and possibly even embracing them.
You see, hipsters are more comical than they are harmful, and they actually boost my own self-esteem by giving me a group to feel superior to. This is important for a man’s fragile psyche.
I remember moving to LA and being the only white guy who rode the bus. I remember sitting on Santa Monica Boulevard and looking out the bus window into other white guys’ BMW convertibles. The drivers would always look back at me with pity. You could see it in their eyes. Part of them wanted to hold a L-shape above their head and mouth “looooooser”, but in their mind, it would have been like kicking a three legged dog.
Now, however, with the advent of hipsterism, the tables have been turned. These very same rich white guys are now trying to emulate the way I have lived for 40 years. How cool is that? Hell, I look like so many of the wealthy folks around here that everyone just assumes I have a Liberal Arts degree and a standing invitation from my parents to come back home after I “find myself”.
God Bless you comical posers, for every day, you make me look just a little less lame.
With cashiers pierced so many times they look like Hellraiser, and prices that make those without trust funds feel insecure, Melrose Market is a place I have always been warned about. From my neighbors, I’ve been regaled with tales of trendy pretendsters, high prices, and service that isn’t always friendly.
Sometimes, you have to see for yourself, however.
While walking down Pine yesterday, I was hit with hunger pains, so I decided to give Melrose a shot.
I walked inside to find the place nearly empty, and standing at the sandwich counter was a tastefully triple-nosed-pierced young woman who greeted me with a smile. I asked her about some items on the menu, she cheerfully answered my questions, and I decided on the crabcake sandwich. I have to say, her attitude exceeded my expectations. I half-expected her to make me name three Yo La Tengo songs (which I can’t do) before accepting my order, so I considered it a pleasant surprise when she didn’t.
After ordering, I waited about 15 minutes, and took possession of my lunch. At first, I was underwhelmed. The sandwich didn’t look like much, but when I took a bite, I changed my mind immediately.
Inside of that bun is a large crab cake buried in lettuce, topped with bacon and avocado, smothered in a spicy sauce.
This sandwich is like your first hit of cocaine, and at $13 a pop after tax, it costs about the same too. God damn, hipsters know how to make a sandwich. I almost … ALMOST … take back every bad thing I’ve ever said about them.
I honestly wasn’t expecting this nondescript looking thing to be so good. I mean, it looks like nothing more than a bun stuffed with lettuce, but trust me, it’s so much more. It makes me really, really wish I had a trust fund (and a fixed-gear bike) so I could eat here every day.
Alas, at this price, it will be relegated to a weekly or semi-monthly treat. A treat I shall look forward to.
If you decide to order this sandwich, do yourself a favor and wear a condom while eating. Don’t ask me why, just do it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go do a load of laundry.