1.) How long have you been in your city? When did you first visit your city?
I have lived in Seattle’s gayborhood Capitol Hill for nearly four years now. I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida and first visited Seattle when I was 8. I remember driving down Broadway Avenue for the first time back in the early 2000s and seeing two men walking down the street holding hands with a curtain of mountains hanging in the distance. I thought it was the most magical place I had ever seen.
2.) Where should people stay and visit?
Capitol Hill is the epicenter of the city; rich with performing arts, nightlife, and amazing cuisine from SE Asia and the Pacific Northwest. The Hill is also a central location to all other parts of the city. It is a short and beautiful walk from downtown, the University District, and the Central District.
3.) Give us a tour of your gayborhood?
Capitol Hill is famous for its drag queen scene, home to the likes of Jinkx Monsoon, Bendelacreme, and Robbie Turner. Capitol Hill’s drag scene is vibrant, avant garde, and theatrical to say the least. The Hill has countless gay bars and night clubs, including R Place and the newly opened Queer Bar. If you want to escape the busy city streets, Capitol Hill is home to Volunteer Park – an urban green space with water tower views of the Olympic mountains and monstrous cedar trees that will transport you to another time. The best time to visit Capitol Hill is in the summer when just about every type of gender expression you can imagine is happily prancing down the sidewalks of Pike and Pine, starved for sunlight. Pride in June is a week of walking-street parades and dance parties that perfectly capture the essence of this neighborhood – anyone can be whoever they want to be here.
4.) Where do gentlemen go for brunch?
Linda Derschang has a monopoly on exquisitely delicious brunch spots. Oddfellows Bar and Cafe and the Volunteer Park Cafe always have lines out the door and for good reason. Monsoon is an equally wonderful spot for upscale Vietnamese brunch. If you’re looking for something more low-key or are working with a tight budget, Glo’s cafe will serve up all the greasy diner goodness you desire.
5.) What’s a hidden gem?
Glasswing is my guilty pleasure homing and goods store on Melrose Avenue. The shop is perfectly curated, like a page ripped from Folklife brought to life with succulents and minerals adorning each open surface. You will either spend way too much money here or leave wishing that you had.
6.) What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Kedai Makan is a Malaysian restaurant serving authentic and inspired dishes and street food. The interior is warmly hued, the drinks are exotic, and the cuisine is one of a kind.
7.) What’s your perfect day in Seattle?
My perfect day in Capitol Hill starts with a visit to Vivace. We are all coffee snobs in the Pacific Northwest, and this is the spot I have pissed all over and declared my favorite. I would order a mocha to go and would walk a loop around Volunteer Park with friends. As an avid outdoorsman myself, my perfect day would lead me an hour’s drive from the city the the Cascade mountains. In the summer months, the Seattle sun does not set until after 10, so after a long day of hiking I would land back in the city for dinner at Lil’ Woody’s. Nothing sets me right after a hike like their Fig and the Pig burger. My friends and I would then start the evening with drinks and the nightly drag show at Queer Bar hosted by Robbie Turner. My perfect night always ends dancing the night away at R Place with one too many margaritas.
Keenan McGarvey is a Seattle club kid who loves nature.