Nicole Hardy

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Writer Nicole Hardy is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through her artistic lens.

Q&A with Nicole Hardy

What do you love about living in West Seattle?

West Seattle feels like a small town. I know all the people who work in the places I frequent. I wrote my first book Confessions of a Latter Day Virgin at Freshy’s coffee shop. Now I’m writing a lot at Admiral Bird (ed note: now BeBop Waffle Shop). I love Pegasus used bookstore on the main street, plus Easy Street Records, and Virago, my favorite place to look at beautiful jewelry. Circa restaurant, where I waitressed for years, feels like home—it’s more a part of my writing career than anywhere else in Seattle because of all the relationships that stemmed from working there. It’s a lovely, close, friendly feeling.

How does the Seattle landscape play into your writing?

I live near the Fauntleroy ferry dock, so I have a great view. I can write for a few hours, then walk along Alki Beach to Jack Block Park and work out creative problems along the way. The sea air must have some healing properties—or maybe the salt in my body is connected to the salt in that water. The view never stops being stunning. I’ve been in this neighborhood for 12 years, and every time I see it, it’s breathtaking. I also love Hamilton Overlook Park—it’s a beautiful grassy knoll that looks across Elliott Bay toward downtown Seattle.

What’s the best way to get from downtown to West Seattle?

The West Seattle Water Taxi. It’s foot passengers only, but there’s a free shuttle to the main shopping area. The boat lands near Marination Ma Kai, which has an amazing view and such good food.

And where do you go when you head into Seattle?

I never tire of going to Oddfellows Cafe for happy hour, then wandering through Elliott Bay Books next door—browsing while buzzed. I go to readings at Hugo House literary center. And on first Wednesdays, the Silent Reading Party in the Fireside Room at Hotel Sorrento makes you feel fancy while reading a book.

Why do you think there are so many writers in Seattle?

It’s really cozy to sit inside and look out at the grim yet gorgeous landscape. It’s conducive to creativity. You can think deeply. And winter feels like a Victorian novel here—it’s moody. Artists appreciate moodiness!


Interview by Brangien Davis.

Photo taken at the West Seattle Water Taxi Dock.


Nicole Hardy reads at Seattle’s Hugo House. Filmed by Samudre Media.



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