Wednesday, September 30, 2009
In the grand scheme of things as we move forward with urban planning, there are certain types of businesses that no longer make sense in certain neighborhoods. The BMW dealership just moved off Capitol Hill, and I suspect many other luxury car dealers eventually will as well. Capitol Hill has become a residential and nightlife district, so the cost of a large car lot is hardly worth it. A similar out-of-place business is the funeral home, and several years ago, one of the hill's two funeral homes converted into an office building. Its stunning chapel is now a bar. A fabulous bar.
There are three very different bathrooms onsite. One is a unisex bathroom which makes excellent use of the "infinite mirrors" effect, wherein you see copies of your reflection trail off into the beyond. It's always an amusing effect, but it makes it impossible to get a picture without you in it.
I'm serious. I tried.
There are two more bathrooms near the front door. One was once unisex, but is now girls only. Because I'm a dedicated journalist, I went in anyway. It used to be a little nicer, back when it wasn't so brightly lit.
They did make nice use of the mirrors again.
The bathroom next to it has a urinal and a stall, which is why it has always been for men only. Like the one next to it, it was nicer when it was lit a little less. My flash didn't do it any favors, either.
But really, how often do you see cool details like columns in a bathroom? Still great in any light.
Happy hour at Chapel is now daily 5-9 in spite of what their website says, and they also have a great upstairs lounge area and outdoor patio. For you furniture freaks out there, they've got hilariously tall barstools, fabulous white vinyl padded seating along the sides, and a whole bunch of those really famous Vitra Panton chairs. A lot of bars in the neighborhood have come and gone since it arrived, and I'm glad it has become a fixture.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
1221 E Madison
Pony's new location on Madison is now open for business, in a more permanent home that still may end up a temporary one. The lot it sits on has been under review for a possible condo project for ages, but it's unlikely anyone will want to build there now that several other projects in the neighborhood have been sold at auction. It's obvious by looking at their sign that they plan to be around a while this time.
The space is an old flower shop that has been extensively remodeled and features an outdoor deck with walls made of discarded street signs. (If you want to build your own Pony at home, signs are available here.) The bar has a very different feel in its new location. Still naughty, but more established. It's as though the bar has a paid profile on Manhunt instead of its number on the truckstop wall. This all makes sense because they're going to be around for more than six months this time.
There are two bathrooms this time, labeled MEN and BOYS. They're nearly identical with their Stryper-meets-Beetlejuice-in-a-Jane-Fonda-workout-video stripes, but MEN features a black light and a strobe light. The black light isn't strong enough to have much of an effect, but the strobe is a lot of fun.
If it's your first time using a bathroom with a strobelight in it, you might be shocked to learn that urine doesn't leave the body in a steady stream. It actually comes out in small droplets. I made a video of this for you, but you'll have to click over to flickr to watch. Don't say you weren't warned.
If the strobe is too much for you, there's a lightswitch you can turn on for additional light. You can also visit the BOYS room, which I hope ends up with a disco ball in the future.
During our visit, I found an issue of Honcho from 1989 laying around, which reminded me that we always found porn hidden away at the old location. They also produced a PONY zine, which I bought. If they start it up again, I'll happily pick up every issue.
CC Attle's is going to close in a couple of years, and the future of The Cuff has been uncertain for quite some time. The Eagle also tried to expand into the space next to their bar several years ago, but couldn't get approval for their plans. With the sleazy gay bar scene in Seattle petering out, I'm happy to report that Pony has risen again, and has brought their air hockey table along for the ride.
One last thing I'd like to mention about Pony: the music was fantastic. Kudos to whoever mixed it!
Monday, September 7, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
953 6th St S, Kirkland
My man took me all the way to Kirkland because he was dying for a falafel from Meze, which has been his favorite place to get one since 1995. They've been open since 1993, so you can stop in without worrying that they haven't gotten their act together yet.
His falafel was amazing, and I wish I'd gotten one for myself, but I'm glad I tried the open-face chicken pita. It was served in layers, with the pita chopped into small squares underneath. It's a very creative presentation that I plan to copy at home.
Today was just supposed to be a shopping trip, so it didn't even occur to me to bring my camera. I just need to carry it all the time. Meze's bathroom is quite lovely, and my phone didn't deal well with the light. In fact, I was only able to get two pictures and I had to face away from the light to get them.
Kirkland's a ways out so I'm sure it'll be a while before I'm there again. Hopefully one of my eastside friends will stop in and grab some pictures soon.