Spring Comes To Ballard

I always discount the whole Seasonal Affective Disorder thing until about this time of year. It’s been a long winter and I’ve just mushed along for several months, listening to sad music, watching the sky turn its various shades of gray before the sun goes down at five, and just assume that the reason I feel so melancholy is because of completely internal factors. “Sigh,” I say to myself, not infrequently. January and February pass, cold and damp, and keep to themselves. March flirts a little with its occasional blue skies but doesn’t give you its number at the end of the night. April…this April at least…calls you on the phone late at night, drunk, to tell you that it always loved you, maybe loved you too much, in fact, and that it will never forget you no matter how many other people it teases with its cherry blossoms and wispy white clouds, interspersed with rain and rain and rain. “I called you last night?” says April the next morning. “Man…I don’t even remember that.” And that’s spring in Seattle for you, a manipulative ex-lover whom you consider having professionally killed on a regular basis but wrote a song for you that its band played at their one gig and was the best kisser that you or anyone else should ever hope to meet.

So yesterday Spring and I were getting along pretty well, clear skies, short sleeves, and I celebrated by not only making an executive decision to retire my cool winter bag and break out my cute DIY summer bag from last year, but also to order another cute DIY purse for this year. Yesterday after I had a free massage and a sort-of slumber party with various wonderful, gorgeous women, I began to feel as though maybe Spring and I would be considering more of a long-term thing together, if the weather held. And then! Today!

Oh, man. Today was just fantastic. Today I think Spring and I made a commitment to stay together until Summer gets to town. I slept in this morning until the unheard-of hour of 9:30 (see above: slumber party with awesome girls, as well as the fact that Kick My Ass class was canceled ) and did my face mask and ate my oatmeal and FAGE 0% yogurt with honey and put on a cute shirt and sandals and practically skipped down to Market Street. “It should be against the law not to be outside on a day like today,” I thought. Months of rain and woe and wind and uncertainty just fell off me and I made it a point not to listen to the iPod on the way down so I could hear the birds, and in my head was SPRINGTIME FLOWERS CUPCAKE SMOOCHY PARTY WOO! on a continuous loop.

I ran into my old housemate C on the corner of Market and 22nd and we talked about how great the sunshine is and how pretty we look. “It should be against the law not to be outside on a day like today,” I told her.

It was the first day of the season of the market being really back on track. I haven’t really even been going for the past couple months because it was too much crafts and not enough vegetables, and because the walk down was always so miserable and rainy. I went last weekend when my mom was here and that was pretty good, but today was awesome. Everyone was laughing and chatting and wearing tank tops and flip-flops and talking about how they love the world and they love their vegetables and most of all how they love Ballard. I was so happy that I immediately bought some organic salad greens and started taking pictures of everyone smiling. Afterwards I stopped in at the library and in at the cupcake store and met a beautiful woman for iced mochas (“It should be against the law not to be outside on a day like today,” I told her) at the skate park. My walk home was full of cherry blossoms and pretty houses and a bright sun. I made a really good dinner and now my housemates and I are going to watch Star Wars and eat cookies. What a perfect, perfect day.

Cherry blossoms in April

Tulips in April

An actual car
An actual car on an actual street in my actual neighborhood.

Ballard Sunday Market

Folks at the market

Hippie musicians

More flower vendors

Tulip season has arrived.

If you can't get it in Ballard...

The salad guys
Dudes who sold me my salad.


The guy from Tall Grass Bakery
Farhad from Tall Grass Bakery shows off a loaf of his favorite bread, to which he refers as “the brick.” I think it has a lot of fiber.

Fiddlehead ferns
Fiddlehead ferns.

Handmade artisan pasta vendor
This guy makes this amazing pasta, which is too expensive for me to eat but which looks really cool, on a manually-cranked pasta machine (uh, not pictured) and also just with his bare hands.

The pluot girl
This is the girl that sells me my pluots when it’s pluot season. Right now she’s just the apple girl and since they didn’t have any Pink Ladies I didn’t buy any from her. I told her “Look organic!” when I asked her to pose.

Ben from Ballard Organics
Ben from Ballard Organics shows off his wares.

I stopped in at one of the little shops on my way back for some hair ribbons.

Ballard Pocket Park
Some kids playing hide and seek in a little pocket park. In the background is either the 17, 18, or 75 bus.

The Sip And Ship
Ballard Camera was closed but I went next door and took a picture of the Sip And Ship anyway.

Ballard Library
I had two books on hold here at the library. Notice the grass growing on the roof.

Fly, little piggies!
My feet, untrammeled by closed-toed shoes for the first time all year. Fly, little piggies, fly!

Ballard. Oh, Ballard. BALLARD!


  1. Fabulous! Your words and photos make me feel like I was there.

  2. Hey those are great pictures. I love Spring, too!

  3. OH MY GOD do I miss Seattle right now. Seriously.

    Also, I feel the exact same way about spring – Chicago has been FABULOUS the past few weekends, and I’ve been practically giddy about it.

  4. Hell yeah! I love the Ballard! photo essay.

  5. I’m so excited about summertime coming and markets and fresh veggies and fruit. This did not help my anticipation :)

  6. GodDAMN those guys can sell me a salad anyday. And I love that Me So Corny T-shirt.

  7. Looks so beautiful and bloomy there! I’ve never been to Seattle at this time of year…clearly I’ve been missing out. Oh, and odd question. Are those Old Navy jeans in the piggie pic? I think I recognize the hem stitching. I just had to ask!

  8. Yup, Old Navy jeans. You are clearly some sort of clothing ninja if you can tell stitching at thirty paces!

    I also just noticed that my feet are really weird. Especially the second and third toes on my right foot…they look like they were barely separated by birth.

  9. What great pictures–you’re really a good photographer! Glad you had such a good day. I love spring and am enjoying it here in Maine. But your photos really make me want to see Ballard!

  10. I wore the same ones this weekend with similar flops, so maybe it is just an image that’s at top of mind. I think I was staring at my own feet a lot at this gathering of people I’d never met before (in between doing introduction chit-chat…not all the time). All the trees are blossoming here in Colorado, too, but it looks so pretty there!

  11. Oh, the fiddleheads! They are beautiful. Around here they are very hard to find… what I would give to have a couple handfuls of those, some olive oil and a hot pan!

  12. Lovely pictures of the flowers, of the market, of the people in the market, and now I *totally* understand your ongoing relationship with the Pluot girl.. She is rather cute! (Typical Brit understatement)

  13. Great cap off with the toes picture. My training is in journalism, and I would say it was an effective lay-out strategy, what with your toes pointing upwards at all the other interesting content! Just like you pointed us to the grass on the roof (effective captioning indeed) which for some reason kind of disgusted me as if it were fungi up there, which it obviously is not, but so perplexed an East Coaster like this gurl.

    Oh, and the fiddlehead ferns? Make great earrings?

  14. Wow. Spring has sprung for me too, because I want to make out with everyone in those pictures.