Bikes, Beers, Ballard
I did end up going on a bike ride last night. At 6 I found myself dressed and stir crazy, and so I tried to go to some event at Magnuson Park that the Stranger suggested. The whole bike ride over — down my street, across the Burke Gilman, into the park — I thought wonderful things about myself. ‘Look at me, going to a community event at my local park on a Friday night. How great am I?!’
When I got into the park I could find no party. This may be in part because I never got off my bike to look around. But when I start riding it is such a hassle to stop. All I could see was a bounce house and I didn’t much feel like strolling over there all like, ‘Where the booze at?’ So I just kept on riding. It was such a lovely evening, all fall cool and invitation, with a cozy grayness that felt like a cloud hug. I rode around Sand Point until I found the Burke Gilman, and then I rode on through to Ballard.
I didn’t have any plans. The Stranger’s suggestion had thwarted me once. I just wanted to ride. I decided I’d stop in Fremont if I felt tired, I’d go on to Ballard if not, and hell, if I got to Ballard and still wanted to keep going, I’d go over to Capitol Hill or some shit. That didn’t happen. Once I passed Fred Meyer my neck and left shoulder started aching from being hunched over, and Capitol Hill is not exactly my happy place. So I locked up my bike in Ballard and wandered up and down Ballard Ave looking for something to do.
For a few minutes I listened to a fun folk band from Reno, Buster Blue, play outside Conor Byrne; they’re playing inside tonight. I stumbled around and finally wandered into Percy’s and Co., a speakeasy-esque bar that opened six weeks ago. They offered to spray a lady’s vitality tincture on my cocktail but I just ordered a draft and some fresh, local wilted pea vines and carrots. They were delicious, if oversalted. The bar was nice but after poking around I discovered a gorgeous heated open back patio that looked out over the water. So I sat back there with my book and my beer, my peas and carrots and, later, summer tomatoes with house-made ricotta, crushed croutons and fried basil. Perfection.
Two beers in, I was drunk and sleepy. I hopped back on my bike, rode back to Wedgwood, ate a chocolate cupcake, watched some 30 Rock and went to sleep. Goodnight Friday.