We are celebrating the first full day of spring with a new addition to WSB — a new section (note the “tab” link on our header) with selections from the popular book “West Seattle 101” by Lori Hinton (right). We’re committed to continually expanding the amount of West Seattle-related news, information, and discussion we can offer you, so when Lori contacted us to see if WSB might be an additional place for people to find her stories, it sounded like a no-brainer to us. “West Seattle 101” began as a series of columns Lori wrote for the West Seattle Herald and grew into a book. As we start this partnership by publishing three features from the book (they’re linked from the WS 101 on WSB “home page” here), we also have Q and A with Lori so you can get to know her better:
WSB: What are your West Seattle credentials — in other words, what made you “the” person to write the definitive West Seattle guide?
LORI HINTON: I think most West Seattleites (whether they are natives or newcomers) have a pretty strong sense of Westside pride. Growing up near the ferry dock and choosing to settle in the same ‘hood for my “adult” life, I am just one of this neighborhood’s many fans out there who decided to share their enthusiasm–in print.
WSB: What was the most surprising thing you learned about West Seattle while researching/writing “WS 101”?
LORI HINTON: Once I started opening the doors to find “101 Things to Do” I found there were actually more like 501 things (maybe more), but I had to limit my number to 101 just so I could get it done (or else I never would have finished). So I would not call the book a definitive or exhaustive guide by any means, but rather just a taste of what’s here to discover.
WSB: What’s in “West Seattle 101” that oldtimers would appreciate as well as newcomers?
LORI HINTON: Many of the 101 stories have tidbits of history as well as interviews with locals. It’s fascinating to read about the history of the Alki Homestead and Colman Pool while discovering activities that are relatively new like geocaching and kite surfing. And seeing the Coho return to Fauntleroy Creek is a miracle to witness at any age.
WSB: What are some of your West Seattle faves — places and people?
LORI HINTON: Now that’s a tough one. I could give you a 240-page answer :). But I will tell you a little story instead, a day-in-the-life kind of thing that just happens here in West Seattle, and something that inspired me to write the book in the first place: One sunny summer Sunday, when I came back to West Seattle after four years away at college and two years traveling & working overseas, I popped into Husky Deli for a scoop of Swiss Chocolate Orange and smiling Jack Miller remembered my name! It made me feel I like I was raised in a small town and welcomed back … how cool is that? Then, I wandered around the corner to Easy Street to sample some new tunes when I noticed the Farmers’ Market (which was relatively new at the time). It was teeming with vibrant orange poppies,
fresh pasta and all kinds of tasty produce. I thought, “Right on, what a great addition to the neighborhood.” Afterward, I rode down to Seacrest Marina and saw Alki Kayak Tours launching one of their first sunset kayak treks. I thought, “Hmm…experiencing West Seattle from the water side? That’s a whole new perspective that many of us have never seen.” In short, within just a few hours of being back home, I was overwhelmed with all the cool things to do here in West Seattle and I thought, “Man, someone should write a book about this!”
WSB: What do you think about all the changes and development in West Seattle – can some of the small-town charm survive?
LORI HINTON: Being a sentimental Westside gal, it’s hard to see a bunch of little beach houses and California bungalows being torn down at such an alarming rate, while traffic increases (oy vey), but I know that growth and change are inevitable. So I think it’s our duty as a community to work hard to preserve West Seattle history, green space and culture in any way we can.
WSB: What have you been up to since publishing the book?
LORI HINTON: When time allows, I continue to contribute to the Herald and other Westside-centric publications such as the WSBlog :) But as a freelance writer & producer, my job has taken me all over the planet — from filming documentaries high in the Andes Mts to tailing bounty hunters in Cali and working with Bill Nye the Science Guy. Check out my site: www.hintoncreative.com — it’s been an adventure.
WSB: Anything else you want readers to know?
LORI HINTON: One thing I would like to say, is that “West Seattle 101” is not a “best of” or any kind of rated guide, so if there’s something you looove that’s not in the book, hey, let’s get it out there and let people know about it. The other thing is that, these days, so many of us are stuck in a routine … going to the same restaurant or doing the same run, and not taking the time to explore the possibilities. So West Seattle 101 is a way to inspire you to discover and re-discover all the amazing things to do in your own backyard — a tool to help you mix it up a bit and learn new things. And while it is certainly meant to be used in West Seattle, the themes and ideas in the book can be applied to anywhere. Try it.
And with that, we invite you to click over to the new “West Seattle 101” section, where you’ll find links to the first three features we are presenting here – many more to come — plus information on the West Seattle stores where you can buy the “West Seattle 101” book.