Art mirrors life―especially in Seattle's Capitol Hill, a neighborhood built around going to the movies. It's the home of the city's best historic cinema, the Harvard Exit Theatre, as well as the Northwest Film Forum, one of the nation's premier boosters of local independent film.
"I guess the same impulse that drives us to drink good coffee and eat good food makes us want to see good movies," says resident Nick Collecchi. 'Tis the season to act on those impulses: Catch a flick, go shopping, and cap the day with dinner for two―just like they do in the movies.
SEE: Harvard Exit Theatre. WHAT: Back in the 1920s, the historic cinema was home to a suffragettes' club. Queue up early. HOW MUCH: Tickets $9. WHERE: 807 E. Roy St.; www.landmarktheatres.com or 206/781-5755.
GO: Northwest Film Forum. WHAT: Catch filmmaker lectures and early black-and-white movies you can't find anywhere else. HOW MUCH: Film tickets $9; workshop and lecture fees vary. WHERE: 1515 12th Ave.; www.nwfilmforum.org or 206/267-5380.
Volunteer Park Conservatory. WHAT: A wonderland of poinsettias and decorated trees, plus a gorgeous succulent collection; wreath-making classes Dec 3. WHEN: 10-4 daily HOW MUCH: $2 donation recommended; wreath making $25. WHERE: Volunteer Park, 1402 E. Galer St.; www.volunteerparkconservatory.org or 206/322-4112.
SHOP: Square Room. WHAT: A whimsical home accessories store with the feel of a biology classroom―seashells, bird sculptures, and pinecones. WHEN: Open daily. WHERE: 1316 E. Pike St.; www.squareroom.us or 206/267-7120.
OkOk. WHAT: Like Japanese pop art come to life: kooky, off-kilter stuffed animals, rock-and-roll T-shirts, and, for cooler-than-thou teens, trinkets to hang off a cell phone. WHEN: Open Tue-Sun. WHERE: 709 Broadway E.; 206/322-7523.
EAT: Lark. WHAT: Our favorite special-night-out restaurant. From chef-owner Johnathan Sundstrom's seasonal Northwest small-plates menu, don't miss the wild-boar cheeks with chestnuts and apples. WHEN: Dinner Tue-Sun. HOW MUCH: $$$$. WHERE: 926 12th Ave.; 206/323-5275.
INFO: Capitol Hill is a few blocks northeast of downtown. Its main streets running north and south are Broadway and 15th Ave. E.