Books and Adventures: Astor Place Vintage

My Book Adventure led me to Red Light Vintage and Costume in the U District of Seattle.

I was on the hunt for a fun read at my local public library and discovered Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann, which follows my preferred style of past and present stories weaved together with bits of history here and there.

The book:

The story includes Olivia Westcott, who recently moved to New York in 1907, and Amanda Rosenbloom, a vintage clothing store owner closer to present day, also in New York. When Amanda discovers an old trunk of clothing and Olivia’s journal, Amanda learns more about the history of the city she calls home, and learns the two are connected despite being a century apart.

Lehmann’s historical fiction story is perfect for lovers of PBS’ Mr. Selfridge. It explores the world of women trying to make an independent living for themselves while being frowned upon by society.

The adventure:

My husband and I travel often to the University District in Seattle for University of Washington football games. For the last few years we have walked past Red Light Vintage and Costume, but never had an interest to peek inside.

Recently, the window display (again, reminding me of Mr. Selfridge) caught our eyes because of the vintage UW attire. Red Light’s clothing spans decades and includes everything from vintage and retro attire to costume pieces. Red Light has been around since 1996 and is a locally-owned small business. Fun fact: it’s a location included in Macklemore’s Thrift Shop video.

My flapper-style hat found at Red Light.

We had limited time during our visit but luckily during the rush I spotted a 1920s-era flapper-style hat (think Louise Brooks). At just $12 and a Nordstrom tag, I couldn’t say no. The purchase was also inspired by the book I’m currently reading, but more on that later.

Now, what to wear this to?


Books and Adventures: The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street

The tastiest book adventure to date: ice cream party!

My sweet friend Tami and I have similar literary tastes. She recently recommended The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman, because of its historical-fiction genre and also because it would make for a tasty adventure.

But first, about the book:

Spanning 70+ years, The Ice Cream Queen is the life story of a young Russian immigrant girl, Malka Treynovsky, who arrives in New York with her family in 1913. A Goodreads review stated this novel suffers from “Chick Lit Cover Syndrome.” And I have to agree. This 501-pager is most certainly not chick lit.

Malka’s life and rise to ice cream tycoon is linked to historical events: Ellis Island, child labor laws, prohibition, World War II, the polio epidemic, to name a few…

Malka eventually becomes Lillian Dunkle, and as she discovers her successful business model, eventually the ice cream queen. At times, it is difficult to love her because of her brash personality, but as you learn more of her story you start to sympathize.

Now, for the adventure:

Ice Cream Social in Tacoma serves handcrafted ice cream made from natural and local ingredients.

Tami discovered Ice Cream Social, located on Tacoma’s eclectic 6th Ave. Sharing a block with a tattoo parlor and a hot dog joint/bar, Ice Cream Social had a steady stream of people in and out during our visit for their handcrafted ice cream made from natural and locally-sourced ingredients.

On the menu were unique flavors like peanut butter + jelly, lavender, ginger and pancake porter. With Tami’s family and me and my husband, we were able to sample a wide-range of the menu.

On our way to Ice Cream Social we drove through Tacoma’s Orchard Street, which was the ice cream on the cake for this adventure (see what I did there?).

Thank you Tami for sharing this adventure with me!