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Obasan, Salon Image, Mercer Street Books – 11-9-7 Mercer Street – Lower Queen Anne – Seattle, WA

These three are my favorite buildings in Lower Queen Anne. I like to think of them as three broken toys in a dark corner of a closet under some old socks that have grass stains on the toes. Or maybe thinking of them as mutt dogs is a better choice. The type that have extra wiry hair and features that came straight out of that part of the gene pool managed by a committee where everyone hates each other.

I am not a big Sushi fan so I have never been in Obasan (I think this means aunt) nor have I ever met the owners. These two things are not interconnected.

I can share that the restaurant is clean, often busy, and to the best of my knowledge there has never been a dispute over their sushi that erupted into a gun battle that spilled out onto the street.

The owner of Salon Image shared with me that she did some research and found out that this particular color of orange is considered to be warm and inviting. Because of those characteristics it is supposed to be tops at attracting costumers. I am glad she shared that with me because I had sort of assumed she picked it because it was really loud.

I should also point that there is a cluster dots to the left of the “Salon Image”. For months I couldn’t figure them out and was about to consider them a secret code. About the time I was going to attempt to decode them I found that they are glue spots from where a head, made of out black styrofoam, was stuck up on the wall. I have no information if that head landed on anybody when it came loose. And if look carefully you will notice that the letter ‘e’ in Image is about to pop off. F’n awesome stuff in my world.

And lastly is Mercer Books. This building is as crooked as a Governor of Illinois and is loved just like a mutt dog. The bookseller took a headed down the drain business and turned it around. Over the course of her ownership it has become a warm and thriving place with a well curated selection of books.

The last time I talked with her she was having glue issues of her own. A while ago she had made hand painted shelf labels (i.e. History, Science, Fiction, etc.). The idea was to use a low tack adhesive that wouldn’t mar the shelf face and be easy to move around as the inventory layout changed. Of course low tack and sticky are mutually exclusive ideas and the labels promptly fell off after few days.

If I had to pick ambassadors to represent the neighborhood I am pretty sure these three, collectively, would be one my picks as they capture the essential range of personalities that are my neighbors.

Copyright 2012 By Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved.