Field Report No 20150416RC
Topic: A stroll and shopping in Spokane
COMMENTS: Walking the vibrant, hardscrabble Second Avenue in downtown Spokane is a favorite experience of mine. Like my city, it's a mixed bag of reality. I'm humbled by the poverty I see, remembering folks I've met through involvement at places like Crosswalk and The City Gate. I'm reminded of special celebratory meals I've had at places like Wild Sage. But today we are looking for an uncommon retail experience.
We step up into the light-filled Lolo Boutique. I get a steal of a deal on a vintage world map. Maybe I'll varnish it onto a piece of old wood and hang it up in our house, if I'm feeling all Pinteresty later. Probably won't happen for a few months, though, to be honest. Then it's on to Echo Boutique, a consignment spot with a friendly vibe. My date is interested in the clothes, but I'm taken by the really excellent local art by Darcy Lee Saxton. It's hanging all over the place from a recent First Friday event at the store, and super-reasonable prints are for sale. Since I've upgraded my home with something global, maybe it's time for something local, too.
If "Beast Mode" Marshawn Lynch was on this relaxing little walkabout with us, he'd almost certainly offer the following advice: "Stop freakin', go boutique-in'."
RECOMMENDATIONS: Talk to strangers: folks spending time on the street, and the regulars and proprietors in the shops. In Echo, a funny, no-nonsense woman named Bitsy ("NOT Betsy") told us all about her favorite boutique shops in town. Linger long enough, and you'll hear a good story or learn something new.
On December 15th, Jane and the crew (including her three kids) will serve their last Saturday night dinner on the lower South Hill.
The LaRues live downtown where they work, and through relationships and intentionality, they are investing in a store that is making their neighborhood (and the world) a better place.
Swinging by The Blackbird before they opened, we asked owner Patrick McPherson his opinion on the best breweries in Spokane.
"We watched. We remembered that long winter on the farm, the solitude of hill after hill rolling white toward some faint horizon, beautiful and bare."
For Seth and Laura, Veraci Pizza is the story of the little cart that could… and still does.
As the kids happily drop their hard-earned quarters in the Ms. Pac-man machine, we realize we haven't complained about the heat all day... the sign of a well-played summer day.
COMMENTS: It's an uncommon night at O'Doherty's when the Lord Mayor of Limerick, Ireland stops by... sister-city love on Spokane Falls Blvd.
COMMENTS: ...Since then, Gordy's has become a go-to date night when they can find a sitter for their two little boys. Bigger than that, it's just a small part of their ongoing story. That's the simple power of a secret spot.