Capitol Hill’s condos are a lump of coal in old-timers’ stockings and the drunken weekend crowds deserve a “Bah humbug!” But the neighborhood’s bohemian and LGBT-friendly reputation still merits a holiday shopping trip, especially with the new light rail station offering easy access to the Hill’s rainbow-painted sidewalks, offbeat stores, and cutting-edge arts venues.
On Sunday, the light rail delivers you to the Capitol Hill Farmers Market (Broadway Ave. E and E Pine St.). Nosh on tamales, poffertjes, or a Washington apple, washed down with fresh-brewed kombucha and ginger beer. Then tick off someone on your list with locally-made jam or kimchi.
Depending on which direction you roam, snag a latte and a bulk coffee gift at Caffé Vita (1005 E Pike St., 709-4440), Analog Coffee (235 Summit Ave. E), or Espresso Vivace (532 Broadway E, 860-5869).
Opt for Kaladi Brothers (517 E Pike, 2571688) and you’ll also be at Gay City (517 E Pike, 8606969), an LGBTQ resource center with an intimate auditorium. Scope out upcoming shows and cop a ticket for theatre lovers. Shopping for someone who prefers the silver screen? SIFF Egyptian Cinema (805 E Pine, 324-9996) and Northwest FilmForum (1515 12th Ave, 329-2629) offer gift certificates.
Whether you’re committing to more exercise or a rekindled sex life, the Hill has all manner of New Year’s resolutions covered, from running store Fleet Feet (911 E Pine St, 329-1466) to women-owned sex toy shop Babeland (707 E Pike, 489-2252). Or maybe your giftee wants a good book, in which case The Elliott Bay Book Company (1521 10th Ave, 624-6600) offers hand-written recommendations to top any Amazon algorithm.
Capitol Hill is ground zero for music fans. Score a record for vinyl lovers at Spin Cycle (321 Broadway E, 971-0267), Everyday Music (1520 10th Ave, 568-3321), or Wall of Sound (1205 E Pike, 441-9880). Grab your rocker friend a ticket at Neumos (925 E Pike, 709-9442) and please your favorite devotee of 4/4 beats with a night out at Q Nightclub (1426 Broadway, 432-9306).
Lastly, a potpourri of one-of-a-kind shops dots the Hill. DIY bitters kits and San Juan Islands salts beckon at modern apothecary Sugarpill (900 E Pine, 322-7455), the Naked Donald Trump statue simultaneously revels and reviles at vintage hole-in-the-wall No Parking on Pike (1102 E Pike, 322-7453), and everything from kicks to jewelry at Edie’s Shoes (500 E Pike, 839-1111).