Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle U Campus Gems and Hot Spots Off Campus

On Campus

Union Green

One of the larger open spaces on campus, Union Green can be found occupied by most of the student body on a pleasant spring afternoon when the long-awaited sun shines upon the city. On days like this, it is not uncommon to find students lazily basking in the sunlight, reading a book, or playing Frisbee. Throughout the year, on days when it’s not so sunny in Seattle, Union Green acts as a park for the neighboring community members, and serves as a playground for dogs and their owners who can usually be seen walking through and around campus. Head on over to Union Green and soak up the last days of sunshine — it won’t happen again until spring .


If you aren’t in the law program at Seattle U, you might feel like you have no reason to be in the law school. But there is a hidden gem there that you have to check out. The Sidebar is one of several Bon Appétit coffee bars on campus. Because it’s in the law school, a lot of undergrads forget it’s there. But you should definitely not discount this café. Their coffee is superb and they often have scrumptious lunch and dinner specials. So check it out for the next time you need a shot of caffeine or something tasty before class – it’s not like it is against the law or anything.

Fine Arts Recording Studio

Although Seattle U looks pretty tiny from an outside glance, that does not mean that we are lacking the technology to keep our facilities modern and helpful. In fact, we have a wonderful and newly renovated recording studio in the Fine Arts building, which is available for anyone interested in using it. Aspiring artists can come and prepare their next performance for Seattle U’s talent show Scratch, record music, or just have a jam session. Who knows, maybe the next Macklemore will rise from the depths of the building.

Buddhist Garden

With so many outstanding indoor study spots on campus – cafés, Lemieux Library, the student center – Seattle U’s many gorgeous outdoor spaces too often go ignored. This oasis behind Campion is one such hidden gem, secluded enough that distractions will be few, yet conveniently located next to the school’s largest residence hall.

Writing Center

Even though you’re in college and you probably had to write an essay of some kind to be here, we know that words can be difficult. Brainstorming can be intimidating. Prompts can be confusing. Writing in general can often appear to be the worst thing ever. But the Seattle U Writing Center is here to help you with any and all of those concerns. Schedule an appointment to work on your paper at any stage of the writing process. Though the Writing Center is not an editing service, the students there will do their best to collaborate with you on developing important writing skills and habits.

The Media Production Center

Perhaps Seattle U’s best kept secret, the Media Production Center on the first floor of the library is a go-to spot for many of the school’s film, photography and communications majors.
For anyone interested in production, the MPC is a treasure trove. The center has a sizeable private screening room that students can rent out for movie nights—a quiet alternative to the always-booked fishbowls in Bellarmine and Campion—numerous computers equipped with up-to-date editing software like Final Cut, Adobe Premiere and Photoshop, a studio with a green screen, and equipment available for check-out.

Shakespeare Garden

If you ever find yourself thinking, “Hey, I could really use some chamomile right now,” don’t just make a beeline for The Byte — stop by Fine Arts and pick it yourself.
Any self-respecting granola eater on campus should know that the Shakespeare Garden plays host to a number of edible herbs including thyme, rosemary and tarragon. All the greenery planted in the garden was selected according to Shakespearean verse: each plant is mentioned in the Bard’s plays.

Off Campus

Cal Anderson Park/10th and Pine

What ever happened to the formal promenade? Victorian families donning their finest duds on a Sunday afternoon and walking circles in a local park, cordially nodding at one another as they passed. It was a tidy, painless tax to pay in order to be considered a part of polite society.
Look how far we’ve fallen: one is practically required to make extensive small talk with passing acquaintances, and the beautifully poignant “walk-and-nod” has become supplanted by the incredibly involved “cup of coffee.”
We are egotistical creatures, all we want is to be celebrated – though we’ll settle for being noticed and acknowledged – yet we’ve made socialization way more difficult than it needs to be. Fortunately, the architects of Cal Anderson Park were of like mind and installed a promenade around a prominent water feature for Hill residents to recreate that proud tradition.

The menagerie of Hill society flocks to the promenade on a pleasant day. Hipster culture advocates for a slight rewind of taste and thought, but what if we carried it back even further? Let’s promenade like it’s 1852.

Red Light/Broadway and Olive

Red Light on Broadway may in fact be the best place to increase both your costume and hipster wardrobe simultaneously. Recently voted the best vintage store in Western Washington, you can mosey along upstairs to update your daytime collection or pop downstairs to find the quirky, unconventional costumes you won’t see at Spirit Costume Store. “You can’t buy hipster street cred, but these guys sell all the ingredients for it. It’s like raiding your parents’ closet, if your parents were Twiggy and MC Hammer,” Seattle Weekly said of the store. Red Light has it all.

Annapurna/Broadway and Denny

Annapurna is the perfect place to retreat to for some great grub if Dick’s is getting old. With $1 chai and funky yogurt lassi drinks, it’s almost impossible to pass it by, especially with the wafts of curry smell circulating near the doorway. Head down a short staircase to an intricately decorated interior, filled with waiters who offer incredible service – seriously, your water glass will never be empty. For incredible food, go here; you won’t
regret it.

Twice Sold Tales/Harvard and Denny

At first blush, Twice Sold Tales seems like your typical used bookstore: teetering stacks of novels, narrow corridors of floor to ceiling bookshelves. That is, until you almost step on a pile of fluff and whiskers.

Yep, a bookstore with cats. It would behoove those with allergies to steer clear, but how could you resist?

Melrose Market/Melrose and Pine

One of the most unapologetically yuppie spots on the hill, Melrose Market is saturated with aggressively bourgeois artisan food shops. Yet it’s with good reason that places like this garner such praise: Homegrown Sandwich Shop offers a bang-up avocado, egg, and cheese, though if you opt for a whole sandwich it’ll set you back $12. Ouch. Save this one for treat yourself days.

Century Ballroom/10th and Pine

The misconception about ballrooms is that you have to be able to dance to go in. That isn’t true. You don’t have to cha-cha in or shake your groove thing before they will let you enter. You don’t really have to prove anything, you just have to be okay with finding happiness. Century Ballroom, located just blocks north of campus near Cal Anderson Park, is a hoppin’ and twirlin’ place to be. Offering classes and dances in everything from swing dancing to hip-hop to tango, the Ballroom will cure your boredom. There is a side effect, however: it’s quite addictive.

Oasis Tea Zone/6th and Weller

The Oasis Tea Zone is a spunky spot to try one of the Taiwanese people’s greatest gifts to the culinary world. Available in every flavor imaginable, the café’s milk tea is delicious and the tapioca at the bottom is even better. And when it comes to the food, I have just two words for you: Nutella wontons. I mean, come on.

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