The Geekiest Spots in Seattle
Let’s face it: There are a lot of geeks living in Seattle. It’s really not that surprising when you think about it. We have Microsoft in our backyard, as well as more video game developers, comics publishers and record labels than you can shake a slide rule at.
In spite of what you might have heard about geeks, we don’t spend all our time hiding in basements and shunning social interaction — but the kinds of places geeks like aren’t always obvious. Here’s a short list of some of the best hangouts in the city for geeks … or for those who just want to find out if it’s true that geeks have more fun.
Archie McPhee, 1300 N. 45th St.
Toys, knick-knacks and decorations for every taste and style, as long as those tastes and styles are a little weird. You can’t walk into Archie McPhee without finding something you need to own, and chances are good you never knew it existed until you saw it on their shelves.
Central Branch Seattle Public Library, 1000 4th Ave.
The Rem Koolhaas-designed Central Branch is one of the most interesting buildings in the city, both inside and out. Not only is it filled with books — food for the geek soul — but the library regularly hosts author appearances, movie screenings, art shows and live music.
Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum, 325 5th Ave. N.
It really doesn’t get much geekier than the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. Their collection of artifacts and memorabilia is unparalleled. They have Captain Kirk’s chair from the original “Star Trek” series and the Death Star model from the original “Star Wars” trilogy. What more could you ask for?
The Fremont Troll, N. 36th St. (under the Aurora Bridge)
It’s a troll…under a bridge…in the middle of a city. Awesome!
Georgetown Liquor Company, 5501 B Airport Way South
Food, drink and retro video gaming all in one place. The menu features dishes like the Darth Reuben, Leia’s Tacos and the Obi Won Ton plate. And there are several Atari 2600 and Super Nintendo consoles that are always switched on and free to play.
Golden Age Collectibles, 1501 Pike Place, #401 (lower level)
If you’ve already visited your local comic shop and still feel the need to drool over collectibles, check out Golden Age at the Pike Place Market. Their amazing selection of games, comics, action figures, movie memorabilia and more will make the geek heart flutter.
Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co., 8414 Greenwood Ave. N.
Yesterday’s vision of tomorrow is just a short rocket ride away. Need a retro ray-gun to fight off the Martian invaders or a bright red “Panic Button?” These guys can hook you up. In addition to taking care of all your space travel supply needs, Space Travel Supply Co. is the fundraising front organization for 826 Seattle, a non-profit writing and tutoring center for the young people of Earth.
Metro Seattle Gamers, 1600 West Armory Way #C106
A venerable Seattle organization. In addition to putting on the annual board and role-playing game convention Dragonflight, Metro Seattle Gamers has space available year ’round that members of the public can rent out to host their own game nights. Quite a boon for those of us with large gaming groups and small living spaces.
Neptune Coffee, 8415 Greenwood Ave. N.
Serving excellent coffee and Molly Moon’s ice cream, Neptune also plays host to geek-themed trivia nights. Form a team or test your individual knowledge on topics ranging from “Lord of the Rings” to “The Simpsons.”
Pacific Science Center, 200 2nd Ave. N.
You don’t need to be a kid to discover (or re-discover) the simple joys of science! Also, you can visit Pacific Science Center’s IMAX and catch a movie on its big, big, big screen.
Scarecrow Video, 5030 Roosevelt Way N.E.
You remember that one movie you saw once, many years ago in that tiny theater with about eight seats? And it had that one guy in it from that one TV show? And no one you know has ever heard of it, and they think you’re confused or just making it up? Yeah, they have that movie at Scarecrow.
Top Pot, 2124 5th Ave., and Cinerama, 2100 4th Ave.
The only combination on the list, and here’s why: Have you ever had one of those weekend mornings when you’re up early and don’t have anything planned? Here’s what you do: Go downtown, get coffee and a doughnut at Top Pot, then walk a block west and catch the first showing at Cinerama, whatever it may be. Start the day with the best doughnuts, the best coffee, the best movie screen and the best sound system in this city.
Wayward Coffee, 8570 Greenwood Ave. N.
The geek set will feel welcomed from the minute they through Wayward’s door. There are “Star Trek” and “X-Men” posters on the walls, spaceship models and action figures on display, and the menu choices are all “Firefly”-themed (we recommend the Mal Ploughman). Depending on which evening you visit, you may also run across the Seattle Browncoats (the “Firefly”/”Serenity” fan group) or a casual Steampunk meet-up.
Matt is the co-host of the Seattle Geekly podcast. Every geek in Seattle should listen to it… weekly.