Councilmember Godden left office on January 1, 2016.
This website is for archival purposes only, and is no longer updated.


eau d’ Buick

They were dancing in the streets on Capitol Hill last Thursday. Dancing and noshing on pizza, cupcakes and  Molly Moon’s ice cream. The happy occasion was the grand opening block party for Elliott Bay Book Company in its new digs on 10th Avenue between Pike and Pine, a couple of blocks north of Seattle University.

Elliott Bay Books had pulled off an incredible feat:  moving – cedar shelves  and all ­– from its long-time Pioneer Square location to a spot in the trendy heart of Pike/Pine. The store’s 36 employees completed the marathon move:  150,000 books in just 13 days.

The ancient creaky floors of the newly-opened store were filled, wall to wall, with eager patrons. They were excitedly exploring  favorite book sections. And they were commenting on the exposed ceiling beams and delighting in the familiar odors. Familiar odors? Yes, indeed. The old location had a distinctive aroma  that, believe it or not, moved right up the hill with those thousands of tomes.

Don’t know why the aroma’s the same, unless it’s because the Pioneer Square location, as well as the new site, are both former auto repair shops.  The smell can be described as a little like eau d’ Buick.

When I arrived for the formal ribbon-cutting Thursday afternoon, I saw nothing but happy people, up to and including bookstore owner Peter Aaron, who, along with Ron Sher, bought the store 11 years ago from founder Walter Carr. Sher, founder of Third Place Books, is no longer an owner. But Aaron was front and center Thursday, standing on a dias, reciting poetry and then leading the ribbon cutters, besides me, Councilmembers Burgess and Rasmussen and the new landlord Michael Malone.

The new location will have free or reduced parking in a nearby garage. And, even better, the Elliott Bay Café, along with chef Tamara Murphy, will be opening in the new location. Murphy is still operating the café on the Pioneer Square site.

Small wonder there was such an outpouring of enthusiasm from the crowd over the location. Said one woman, obviously not a native, “It’s nice to have a reason to come to this NEW neighborhood.”