It’s my last day (for the time being) in Bellingham, and what better way to celebrate than with commerce! Here are some business establishments in the town that come with the Rated Zed seal of approval:
- Vital (Bouldering Gym) — The problems are interestingly set, which is really the only
thing that matters. But also, the gym is rarely crowded, there is exercise equipment and a tread-wall, and membership is cheap and comes with 24 hour access. If you’ve never gone bouldering at 2 in the morning, well, here’s your chance!
- Pelmeni (Restaurant) — Pelmeni’s got everything you need, and nothing you don’t. There are two items on the menu — pelmeni (a type of russian dumpling) with potatoes, and pelmeni with meat. They are both delicious, and they both come with caraway rye bread and lots of sour cream. Also, there’s a record player for the music, it’s open late for your after-drinking food needs, and the owner looks like Danny DeVito, only possibly even older, even shorter, and even rounder.
- Wander Brewing (Brewery) — Bellingham is an exceptional place in terms of the quantity of breweries. Unfortunately not that many of them have beer I like. Happily, the one with the best beer also is the one closest to my house. Coincidence? Yes, actually, but it’s a happy coincidence indeed.
- The co-op bakery (Bakery) — The co-op is way too expensive to get produce at (Youngstock is the place to get produce). But the co-op bakeshop makes (I think) three kinds of green smoothies, the green shade of each is slightly different (one is a very pleasant almost-ultramarine) and the deliciousness of each is high.
- Pizza Time (Restaurant) — I’ve never had their pizza, so I don’t know if it’s any good. The reason they’re on here is their slogan, which I think is absolutely genius. Here it is: “When it’s time for pizza, it’s Pizza Time”. I mean, how can you argue with that?
- Henderson’s (Bookstore) — Lots of used books, with an excellent selection, and an arrangement system (by topic) that I really like. I found so many good books that I wasn’t expecting here.
- The Black Drop (Coffeeshop) — Bellingham’s best coffeeshop may not be the most “authentic” or “artisanal” or whatever. But it’s got a robot sculpture, teas you can smell, specialty drinks, and by far the best people. So it’s the best.
- Village Books (Bookstore) — an institution. Employee-owned, with three floors of new books and old, and a nice reading space with beautiful views of the bay, and a cafe with good soup.
- Rolling Donuts (Bakery) — The second establishment on this list that I’ve never actually visited. But shortly after I first moved to North America, I remember reading my friends’ dictionary of English-language slang for Russian speakers, and one thing stuck with me: the suggested idiom for not caring at all was “not giving a fuck”, which makes sense. The suggested intensifier of this phrase was “not giving a flying fuck”. And the suggested intensifier of that phrase was “not giving a flying fuck on a rolling doughnut”. When I learned that people didn’t actually use this phrase, I was appalled (rightly, I think). Don’t think that’s enough of a reason to put Rolling Donuts into the top 10 business establishments in Bellingham? Well, I don’t give a flying fuck on a rolling doughnut what you think.
- Hardware Sales (Hardware Store) — Hardware Sales was there for me when I needed a new shower fitting. It was there for me when I needed welding gloves. It was there for me when I needed solder. Point is, it’s always there for you. Considering the store is like a block and a half in size, it would be kind of a disgrace if that wasn’t true, but still.