Freak's Guide to Seattle

Posted Dec 7th, 2015.

If you are gothic industrial person looking at visiting or moving to Seattle, this article is meant to give you at least a start for looking around at what there is to entertain yourself. It will describe some fo the basic information about the area, how to look for information yourself, and give some specifics.

The first place to start would probably be the local newspapers, the Stranger and the Seattle Weekly. Both can be found for free at the various stores and restaurants around town as well in many newspaper stands on the streets of Seattle proper. The Stranger is the hip paper targeted at Seattle 20-somethings with an emphasis on the gay community. The Seattle Weekly is a bit more suburban and probably targeted a bit more towards couples that have settled down, but is still deals with fun things going on as well as the political nature of the city. To be honest, besides something to read for brief entertainment, the main use of these two papers will be to look through the ads and see what bands are playing at what venues. Anything worth doing and being advertised will be doing so in these two papers. They are also a wealth of information about the local city. Both have websites that can be viewed well before actually arriving at in the city.

What most people reading this article are going to want to know, is when are the club nights? There used to be a wealth of clubs and night in Seattle but that has faded down to just a few. Mechanismus is held at the Highline at 210 E. Broadway and caters to the industrial crowd with music, vendors, and bands. For the goths, there is Resurrection Sundays at the Baltic Room.

The Mercury is the one remaining dedicated club. Originally formed as Machine Werks by a trio of industrial kids more than 20 years ago as a speakeasy where they could drink and hear the music they wanted, it was eventually busted one too many times and went legit. At the time the easiest way to get a liquor license was to become a private club, so that's what they did. Thus, because of constant threat of the Washington Liquor Board, you will be need to be a member or a guest of a member to get in. This is usually not too hard. There are numerous trial nights where non-members can attend or purchase membership. Their Facebook page is a good place to find information on the different nights and inquire about membership and perhaps find somebody to guest you in for a night.

There are a collection of venues whose schedules you'll want to check for bands. The large venues are the Paramount and the Showbox, both downtown and SoDo. These two will have many of the national acts that come through. The smaller venues are El Corazon and Studio 7.

Then there are the pure tourist things to do. The Space Needle is nice to look and from at but the admission, food, and drinks are otherwise expensive and unremarkable. nearby in the Seattle Center, the leftover tourist trap of the 1964 Seattle World's Fair, you can find the EMP. It contains both a music museum and the Science Fiction Museum what are not bad ways to spend a few hours. Another tourist thing to do is head to Seattle's original downtown and go on the Underground Tour, which goes underneath the street level to explain most of Seattle's history. Pike Place Market is in the current downtown and is a combination farmer's market, fish market, and tourist trap. Walk around, get some food, buy some gifts, watch people throw fish, see the gum wall, etc.

For outdoors and stuff, there is plenty of things to do that Seattlites are into. Description of all the things to do in the ocean and mountains around Settle is a bit beyond this article and there is plenty of info elsewhere. Know that hiking, rock climbing, and camping are a big things and lots of "granola goths" partake if just to go drink in the woods with friends while others are serious about the outdoors and exercise. For a drive of a few hours, there is Mount Ranier, various beaches, and hiking trails. The quickest and easiest would probably be taking the ferry across the Sound for a trip to Port Townsend on the peninsula to get a good view from the ferry and see a Victorian town, perhaps during their annual Steampunk festival.

Other things to check would be: The Mourning Market which is a quarterly venue ot local vendors of clothes, trinkets, and many other items centered on goth and punk. Speaking of punk rock, there is the Punk Rock Flea Market which is exactly what it sounds like. You can also check to see what Gothic Pride Seattle is up to.

For those of the geeky persuation, there's plenty to check out. Emerald City Comic Con and the PAX gaming convention are both held in Seattle. Various palces to buy and play games would be Gamma Ray Games or The Mox/Cafe Mox. For other stuff to buy, there are both Arcane Comics in Ballard and The Dreaming in the U District for both comics and games.

For all this, there is the question of how to get around. If coming or going between the airport, downtown, of the select places in between, there is the light rail. Metro Buses travel most of the area and in general, if you think the Seattle bus system sucks, you are probably from one of the few cities that has a better one in the US. Cabs exist but have a reputation for being dirty and not showing up leaving many locals willing to pay more expensive prices for UBER or similar for better service. If driving, parking is done by paying for a sticker that you will afix to your window. The prices keep going up and the times getting later for said stickers, but the good thing is once you have one, it is good for any of the public pay parking till the time on the sticker.