Strolling through Ballard on a sunny Sunday afternoon is one of the best things I’ve found to do in Seattle. Or at least one of the recent pastimes I’ve seemed to acquire on a consistent basis. It’s that damn Cupcake Royale. Why? I have no idea. The tops of the cupcakes are flat, the bottoms are dry. They’re too sweet. Their coffee is whatever. The ambiance? Nothing much to speak of. Yet, I have fallen into the trendy trap. I don’t even live in the Ballard neighborhood. “Why don’t you just move there,” my mom asks, “since you’re always there anyway?” Yes I am always there. And no, I have no real reason, say like work or whatnot. Ballard isn’t as trendy and dirty as Capitol Hill (yet). It isn’t as yuppie and “adult” as Queen Anne (where I actually do reside). And it isn’t as bum-ridden or touristy as downtown. While it is quickly growing, it still has a real livable feel. I’m sure when the monorail moves in, some of that charm will disappear. Cute and trend-yup shops (i.e. Olivine and Cupcake Royale) are moving in little by little. Hipster Capitol Hillers have been transitioning to the hotspots of both Tin & Hatties Hats. But for now, the charm remains. So why not take advantage of it while it lasts, I ask? Hence, my explanation.
Even though I haven’t yet made the move to the great Norwegian neighborhood, I do dream about it. While meandering down Ballard Avenue on a sunny afternoon, I dream of wearing my cute, flowery dress I just bought at Olivine for a mere million, slipping on my Jackie-O suns and hopping on my Vespa to meet friends at the “Cupcake” for a little mocha nosh, before racing over to Café Besalu to pick up a few treats to bring to a friend’s backyard barbecue. Wait a minute? What am I doing on Queen Anne again? And is the Vespa store open today? O.K. back to reality. While I may not be making the big move or a scooter purchase anytime soon, I do appreciate hanging out in the Ballard area with buds. I also really love all the shops and the Ballard Sunday Farmer’s Market, where, by the way, I just bought some deliciously smelly cheese.
On one of my recent visits, I FINALLY stopped into Cookies, THE place to find absolutely everything you may need for forming and stamping fabulous cookie fun. I’d always wanted to go in there, and just never made it–probably because I knew I’d end up spending money. Well, I was right. After all, who doesn’t need a cookie-making utensil? They have just about every kind of cookie cutter or stamp you could want. And if they don’t, well, then maybe they can just make it for you, or order it. They are just the most helpful people. I ended up with a delightful fleur-de-lys cookie stamp (along with recipe), which I am very excited to use when making this year’s Bastille Day cookies. (Might have to experiment a little beforehand) The next time you’re perusing Ballard, you must stop by. Fun for the whole family! And have a cupcake while you’re at it. If you can’t beat ’em….

2211 N.W. Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107
(tel) 206.297.1015
(fax) 206.297.1285

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