I have a new apartment. I'm living upstairs of Kate in Lower Queen Anne, which automatically guarantees wacky-neighbor shenanigans galore , and I'm starting to move in even though my lease on the other place (in Eastlake) isn't up till April 1. I couldn't resist getting some of my shit into the new one early, though; for starters, I'm going to be in Austin next week, taking my first ever South by Southwest plunge; also, the other place is decent enough but too small, especially for two people. My roommate and I get along really well, so that's not an issue; what is is that we're both crunched for space. But the new place is a 1BR and is incredibly well situated--Tower and the Experience Music Project and Seattle Center are all literally across the street, which means I can walk 200 feet to both the Pop Conference and Bumbershoot. I'm also within walking distance of the Monorail, Larry's Market (the best grocery store in the U.S., I'm dead certain) as well as a Safeway and a 24-hour QFC; Larry's has a 24-hour Bartell's Drugs over it as well. Across from that is Easy Street, the best indie record shop in the city (bought a bunch of old R&B and gospel reissues from them today), plus a number of decent eateries. Literally around the corner from my apartment is a good Thai place (not difficult to find, really, since I've never had less than decent, and in some cases outright great, Thai food in Seattle; the pick to click is the wondrous Thai Tom in the University district), and a couple blocks up from that are a few other good places, mostly Asian but not all. I'll know more as I explore them. And I'm about four blocks from Denny Way, where there's the 24-hour Five Points Cafe and the adjoining 24-hour Five Points Laundromat.
This is the neighborhood I lived in the first time I moved to Seattle, August 1996. I stayed two months at the Green Tortoise Hostel on 2nd and Roy, three blocks from my new apartment; I kept very odd hours and worked at Pagliacci on Queen Anne and Mercer, where Larry's is. This has always been my favorite Seattle neighborhood--there are several terrific ones (Seattle's greatest attribute as a city is a proliferation of excellent neighborhoods), but I've always felt right at home in LQA even when things sucked there (like, uh, the entirety of my first living stint here, 8/96-1/97). The area's been undergoing a boom lately--both Twice Sold Tales opened a store there, and the Mirabeau Room started up last year. And since I turned 30 last month and have been thinking more about my future, I've come to realize that if I want to be anywhere permanently (I don't, necessarily, but barring any upheavals I'm guessing I won't be moving anytime soon), this is probably the city and that's probably the neighborhood.