Gray Matters

Chase away the postholiday winter blahs in the Center of the Universe

By Melissa O'Hearn January 1, 2008 Published in the January 2008 issue of Seattle Met

Place in the Sun

Winter gloom doesn’t stand a chance inside the Indoor Sun Shoppe, Fremont’s light therapy resource for tropical plants and depressed Seattleites. Pick up a flat-paneled light box, outfitted with Seasonal Affective Disorder–combating bulbs for your desk, or take home a couple cacti and a full-spectrum bulb to shine on them. If your sun-loving plants don’t droop during the dreary months, neither (hopefully) will you. Indoor Sun Shoppe, 160 N Canal St, Fremont, 206-634-3727;

Surf’s Up

At Cheka Looka Surf Shop, no one will think you’re crazy if you mention a desire to hang ten in Washington’s icy winter waters. On the contrary: “Winter is when it starts to get good,” says owner Jeff Abandonato. Beginners will have to wait for lessons, offered in spring and summer only, but seasoned surfers can get the scoop on the swells in Grays Harbor while trying on wet suits and checking out the boards. Cheka Looka Surf Shop, 3507 Evanston Ave N, Fremont, 206-726-7878;

Face the Music

For a little “Shelter from the Storm,” Bob Dylan style, feel the warmth of old-school vinyl records at Sonic Boom General Store. (Sure beats staring at the iTunes store on your laptop screen.) Pick up a reissue of Brazilian composer and singer Caetano Veloso and an international magazine to thumb through, or embrace your environment with a Sub Pop T-shirt and a seven-inch single by a local band. Sonic Boom General Store, 3416 Fremont Ave N, Fremont, 206-633-2666;

Extreme Sorts

The former warehouse on the way to Ballard barely contains the multifaceted brainchild of Bryce Phillips, founder of Evo. The ski-, snowboard-, skateboard-, and street-wear shop is a gallery, a live music venue, and a screening theater, and the anything-but-bland inventory (purple-striped thermal pants, wildlife-themed snowboards) seems almost incidental under the looming DJ booth. The wide world of winter sports just got a whole lot wider. Evo, 122 NW 36th St, Fremont, 206-973-4470;


Would the day seem less gray if you tied on an itsy-bitsy string bikini before pulling on your wool sweater? Only one way to find out. Cristina Silva, the sun-worshipping- native Brazilian who owns Tininha’s, Fremont’s appropriately tiny, beach-themed bikini shop, endeavors to bring color to Seattle’s collective wardrobe all year round so you’ll also find graphic Orla Kiely handbags, mod-patterned minidresses, and yoga gear in equatorial hues. Tininha’s, 617 N 35th St, Fremont, 206-985-6772;

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