The middle of September and we can still pick some juicy fruit along streets and alleys of the Emerald City. Hardly a neighborhood in green Seattle goes without blackberry bushes. This city nestled along the shores of Puget Sound, at latitude: 47°36′35″N and longitude: 122°19′59″W is an urban berrydise.
Whereas the best berry picking spots of my youth were treasure troves pickers coveted and kept to themselves, I'm not afraid to share the location of any of my favorite patches in Seattle with you, for there are plenty more down the road or around the block.
Take Kerry Park on Queen Anne Hill north of downtown for instance. Along the stairs that lead from Highland to the next street down... berries. Have a problem with stairs, but don't mind a walk? Head west on Highland turn north at Parson's Gardens, pass some of Queen Anne's architectural beauties that boast rooms with the best view of the Olympic Mountains, and you'll find what looks like a berry mother lode. Meander down the hill and you'll find yet more blackberries, and don't worry about depriving anybody, there's plenty.
Did you know that berries don't ripen at the same time all over town? I keep my eye on bramble bushes to see where the juiciest ones can be had. While living on Queen Anne Hill, I've taken the car to the West Seattle peninsula, after I'd discovered a particularly well loaded row of unripe brambles on Genesee, near the Junction. Took just a bit of patience to wait and get there when the berries would be at their prime.
With about 200 public parks and gardens and amazingly green neighborhoods, it would be hard not to find a place to nosh during a stroll. Now that I live closer to the south end of Lake Washington, Kubota Garden has become my berry source. The Japanese garden may be manicured, the maintenance roads on the periphery near the ravines surrounding the pristine park are lined with bushes, the succulent free fruit dangling from branches. Branches with thorns, and I've got to admit, I've got a few scratches on my arms and legs. But I've got six jars of jam on the kitchen counter, and I'm sure there will be more.
Previously published in slightly different form (with Kerry Park misspelled as Kelly) at HotelsByCity