Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Then and Now

Today, we look at the corner of 1st & Bell. It's nice spot, not nearly as dodgy as 3rd & Bell and not even close to the WAR ZONE that is 2nd & Bell. Even back in 1946, it was a fine location for a quality business. In this case, it was a record store:

Who do you want to listen to, Stan Kenton, Ella Mae Morse, a young Nat King Cole? They were all on Capitol Records. You could get them at this store. But if you were looking for Bob Wills or Count Basie or Frank Sinatra, you were definitely out of luck. I'm not sure how long this store lasted. All I know is that the business model is a little parochial: you can only buy artists on the Capitol label. I'm guessing that it probably closed down in the fifties. When I arrived in Belltown, this space was being used for offices. Then, about ten years ago, a restaurant opened up. Observe:

It's called Flying Fish and by reputation, it's one of Belltown's finest restaurants. I say "by reputation" because I've actually never eaten there. But those who have, rave about it. I'll get there one day, but for now, I'll just believe that everybody loves it. And just ignore the ghosts of dead audiophiles left over from its phase as a record store.

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