Christen Cottam can describe scents on an atomic level, although she prefers to discuss the emotional, memory-based side of fragrance with her clients at Knows Perfume. According to the West Seattle Herald, Cottam taught high-school science and worked as a biotech sales rep, explaining complex, ethereal concepts to laypeople. Now, she helps clients discover their favorite fragrances and find words to interpret their sensory experiences. Cottam backs up her methods with hard facts: She eschews paper test strips because scents evolve when they mingle with chemicals on the skin, and explains that citrus seems fresher and lighter than musk because of its lower molecular weight and the deodorant it wears.
Cottam opened the boutique in 2010 to showcase uncommon fragrance lines such as Smell Bent and Aroma M, which are not necessarily distributed at department stores. Under a high, wood ceiling that maximizes ventilation, Cottam cultivates an indie fragrance community through perfume classes, scent "tastings," and an art gallery she curates and opens for the monthly West Seattle Art Walk. Cakes from Baked Seattle grace every Knows event, as do patrons' keen-nosed, four-legged companions, who are also welcome to sojourn from the gossip at the fire hydrant into the shop's aromatic yet apolitical atmosphere.
In keeping with the rest of the Plum Restaurants family, Plum Burgers food truck has no meat products on board. Its burgers are entirely beef-free, organic, and vegan—but within these restrictions, the cooks have gotten more than a little creative. The Jerk + Yam burger piles yam and Jamaican-spiced grilled tofu with caramelized onions, whereas the 8-ounce Mediterranean burger layers mint-kissed seitan with pickled figs. Other patties incorporate lentils, portobello mushrooms, and panko-crusted tempeh as meat substitutes.
Also on the menu are a variety of sandwiches and sides, including the popular Mac & Yease, which is a vegan version of mac and cheese that can also go gluten-free upon request. Milkshakes made with vanilla coconut ice cream conclude meals with cool, sweet sips. To track the truck's location, customers can refer to its homepage. It even takes pickup orders via phone call, text, or really loud yelling from across town.
The Seattle Times engages and informs area readers with a wealth of local and international stories that have racked up nine Pulitzer Prizes since 1950, including a 2012 award for investigative reporting. Subscribers can wake to the satisfying thud of the paper hitting their doorstep or download a complimentary digital issue to their smartphone or tablet, treating eager peepers with current-events headlines. Special supplements, such as Pacific NW magazine, compile dream-home real estate articles and local features, and the NWArts&Life section offers astute criticisms of fine culture. Parade Magazine, on the other hand, focuses on popular culture, and readers can expect crossword puzzles and coupons to help plan their shopping excursions. Regular columns reporting on sports, travel, and local dining destinations enrich everyday adventures, and a classifieds section assists readers in finding a job, car, or long-lost left sock.
By day, staffers decant 70 premium teas at La Romanza Bistro Italiano's afternoon tea service, which pairs pours with venetian finger sandwiches and in-house baked goods topped with flourishes such as edible glitter. Lunches and weekend brunches last until nightfall, at which point the bistro transforms into an intimate eatery for cocktails and cuisine inspired by rustic Tuscany flavors. Chefs whip up abundant appetizers and salads, handmade pastas, and entrees accompanied by house-baked bread. Gluten-free options accompany each course.
To complement each bite, the staff pours house-crafted cocktails infused with specialty tea as well as wines by the glass, imported from Italy—a country that knows as much about wine as Einstein knew about having eccentric hair. To celebrate the weekend's arrival, local jazz pianist Loren Temkin and bassist Dune Buter entertain diners every Friday and Saturday night with their interpretations of classic compositions.
Founded by movie-industry veterans Scilla Andreen and Carlo Scandiuzzi, IndieFlix culls a massive collection of independent and festival-selected films from across the globe into a convenient online streaming-video library. Filmmakers can submit their comedic, dramatic, or documentary masterpieces to the site, which fairly distributes movies of all genres and lengths, with artists fully retaining their films' rights and action-figure tie-ins. Audiences delve further into IndieFlix’s arsenal of cinema gems with Film Festival in a Box game—lauded by the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and Seattle magazine—which allows cineastes to display their knowledge without having to stroll through the local megaplex with a megaphone.
QFC West Seattle, the latest outpost of the growing local grocery chain, is designed for maximum convenience. Not only is the store open 24 hours, it also offers indoor parking for those looking to avoid the rain. With an extensive produce and organic section, a wine department that offers generous bottle discounts to QFC Advantage Card holders, a hot food bar, deli, bakery and in-store Starbucks counter with limited seating, nearly anything is possible inside the bright, clean space. Other amenities include a daily pharmacy and RedBox machine, perfect for anyone under the weather needing to pick up a prescription, grab a meal to take home and wanting to catch the latest new release DVD. Parent company Kroger offers a self-scanning checkout option, as well as an app that lets shoppers download digital coupons straight to their phones – how perfect for the tech-friendly Pacific Northwest.