Best Place to Outfit Yourself Like a Local

Despite what you might think, Pioneer Square's Occidental Square isn't just for crackheads. The place, though still a haven for the homeless, has been spiffed up and is now lined with lovely outdoor tables, a charming visitors-info kiosk, and two—yes, two—regulation bocce-ball courts. With its zenlike, rolling rhythm and low-impact, low-stress appeal, bocce is truly one of the more pleasurable backyard pursuits. And you don't even need a backyard! Just head down to Occidental Square and over to the visitors center for your free—yes, free—set of bocce balls and a scoreboard and snag the concrete-lined lane. If you work downtown, head over for lunch. The courts are usually open, though you may have to chase the pigeons away. The balls are courtesy of the Pioneer Square Community Association and are available until the end of September. But don't let that stop you from getting your own set and playing through the fall. Bocce is simply too good for the soul to put away when the rain comes.—Aimee Curl Occidental Avenue South and South Main Street.

 
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