Old town Ballard has cobble stone roads that are lined with trendy boutiques and European toy stores. There are Swedish bakeries with all kinds of delightful treats and fish markets where one can get the catch of the day.
Ballard has some of the most brilliant spots to watch the day go by. Golden Gardens Park has beautiful sandy beaches to build a bonfire and watch the sun set on the Puget Sound. During the summer days you can find people sun bathing and children (and adults) double dutching. You are bound to see someone playing bongos and witness other strange events like a wedding I saw last time I was there.
Further down from the beach you can visit the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks where you can see salmon make their trek from fresh water to salt water and back at the fish ladder. If you come on a Friday night, you can see sail boats and yachts make their way through the locks towards their weekend destinations. I find it entertaining to read the boats names and where they are from. So far my favorite one has been Third Wish.
On Tuesday evenings we have "Tuesday in Ballard" where peeps from within the neighborhood and from outside neighborhoods are encouraged to come eat, shop, and play. Shops stay open late with fantastic deals and there is always an incredible happy hour to check out. Kids can play at the fountain across the library and once they had a scavenger hunt that I hear was a complete hit!
What I love the most about Ballard is the people. Every morning you see runners and bikers, dog walkers and people of all ages walking up and down the neighborhoods and they stop and greet each other. During the hot days, neighbors line the side walks in front of their home with water bowls so the little pups can stop for a drink. People here take things slow and always stand their grounds, like Edith Macefield did back in 2006. Ms. Macefield was offered a million dollars to sell her home to a developer, and she stood her ground against it. The developer built the building around her home and she was just fine with that, but she wasn't going to give up on the place she loved. Although she past away last year, her home is still there. I chuckle every time I see it. Most importantly it reminds me to not give up on the things that are most important to me, and to be a little bit more like Edith.
So if you ever visit Seattle, make sure to head up to my northern neighborhood and enjoy the rain. Maybe I'll see you around.