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Hello, Seattle. It’s Nice to Meet You!

How do I get around at MLA ’17 in Seattle? What is the troll eating? What can I do with my down time? Tell me about art and sports in the 206. This FAQ-filled post will help you get acquainted with the city of Seattle and the Puget Sound region of Washington.

Q: Where will the meeting be held?

A: At the Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place Seattle, WA.

Q: What is the MLA ‘17 conference hotel?

A: The Sheraton Hotel, located at 1400 6th Ave, Seattle, WA. It’s centrally located and close to attractions, such as the Seattle Art Museum (10 minute walk), Pike Street Market (15 minute walk), and many restaurants, coffee shops and bars. It’s also near public transit and many shopping options. You can check room availability and make reservations via onPeak, the official hotel reservation service for MLA '17.

Q: How far is the conference hotel from the Convention Center?

A: Across the street!

Q: What’s the best way to get around in Seattle?

A: Public transportation is the easiest way to get around downtown Seattle. The King County Metro site has information about bus, light rail and more. From there, you can  use the Trip Planner feature, download apps, and find fares and schedules.

Q: What is happening in Seattle at that time?

A: The Northwest Folklife Festival is held during Memorial Day weekend at the Seattle Center. The Seattle International Film Festival will also be taking place in venues in the Queen Ann Hill and Capitol Hill neighborhoods. The Seattle Mariners may be in town, too, playing baseball at one of the best outdoor stadiums with great views of downtown Seattle and the waterfront.

Q: How do I find the troll under the bridge?

A: In the Fremont neighborhood at 3405 Troll Ave N., which is under HIghway 99. He’s eating a Volkswagen bug with a California license plate.

Q: Where’s a good place to hear live music?

A: Downtown: The Triple Door, the Showbox Theatre, the Moore Theatre, Benaroya Hall, Jazz Alley, and the Crocodile; Ballard: The Tractor Tavern. Conor Byrne, and the Sunset Tavern; Capitol Hill: Neumos, Chop Suey.  See The Stranger and Seattle Weekly entertainment sections.

Q: What are some interesting local shopping options?

A: Pike Street Market downtown, the Fremont neighborhood, and the International District all offer unique options.

Q: Where are the art exhibits and galleries?

A: In addition to the Seattle Art Museum downtown, the Henry Art Gallery in the University District, and the Frye Art Museum on Capitol Hill, the Pioneer Square District is home to several small art galleries.

Q: What’s the ‘dress code’ in Seattle?

A: Casual! Also, bring a light jacket, umbrella, and layers in case it’s cool. You will travel uphill and downhill in every direction, so wear comfortable shoes.

Q: How far is Mt. Rainier?

A: Mt. Rainier is about 90 miles away from Seattle and would be a nice day trip.

Q: Can we see whales from Seattle?

A: Rarely! But whale watching adventures/cruises are available in the San Juan Islands.

Q: Where’s a good place to take a walk or go for a run?

A: Waterfront or Olympic Sculpture Park: Downtown visitors and residents can run several miles out and back along the Puget Sound from Olympic Sculpture Park north past the Seattle Center, home to the Space Needle, Experience Music Project and other attractions, and on through Myrtle Edwards Park.

Q: Can I rent a bike in Seattle?

A: The Pronto! bike sharing system has stations around town. Green Lake--a bus ride from downtown-- is also a popular place to rent bikes.

Q: Where’s the best place to get coffee in Seattle?

A: We have many charming independent coffee shops, with our own coffee bean roasters. Look for places serving Herkimer, Slate, Vita, Zoka, Ladro, Vivace and Victrola.

Q: What are some non-touristy things to do in Seattle?

A: If you have a free afternoon, try exploring Georgetown, one of Seattle’s oldest neighborhoods and former home to the original Rainier Brewery. Along the main arterial, Airport Way South, old brick industrial buildings now house bars, restaurants, record stores and the Fantagraphics bookstore. Check out the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall. Also consider visiting the nano-breweries in the Ballard neighborhood – 10 breweries within 5 square miles, many walkable distance from each other. And Capitol Hill has its own collection of small independent art galleries with contemporary art. Bainbridge Island is only a short ferry-ride away, with a great view of Seattle on the way. Dining and shopping options are within walking distance of the ferry terminal.

Q: Where are the best views?

A: Some of the places to see a great view of Seattle are: the Space Needle, the Great Wheel on the Seattle waterfront, Gasworks Park in the Wallingford neighborhood, Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill, Olympic Sculpture Park north of Downtown, and the Columbia Tower Sky View Observatory ($15 admission) downtown. All of these are accessible by bus.

Q: Where can I find vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free food in Seattle?

A: Seattle tends to be accommodating of dietary requirements, with many restaurants labelling options on their menu. Those who are gluten-free may want to check out Capitol Cider, Niche, or NuFlour. Local vegetarians and vegans frequent Plum Bistro, In the Bowl Vegetarian Noodle Bistro, and Café Flora.

Q: Have you got any good donuts?

A: Try Top Pot Donuts and Mighty-O (vegan!)


Submitted by Patricia Devine, MLA '17 Local Arrangements Committee 

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