Top Ten Toys

120 N 85th Street
Seattle, WA 98103

Spoken WheelSpoken WheelSpoken WheelSpoken WheelSpoken Wheel

My beloved pusher and I grieved when our daughters grew too old to want toys for Christmas because that shut us out from our favorite shopping trips.  No more  Duplos and Legos, doll houses, erector sets, ponies with a head of hair Jennifer Aniston would have envied, puzzles, Playmobile, stuffed animals, fire engines,  weaving sets, or nerf anythings.


Our taste in toys ranged from expensive wooden toys to cheap plastic rings.  In short, we had no taste in toys, uniformly loving almost all of them.  Even today our family measures a good Christmas by how it stacks up to the best one of all—the She-Ra (Princess of Power) Castle Christmas.  It’s a ridiculously high bar!


Therefore, my pusher and I were excited to go to Top Ten Toys to buy a few things to leave around the house  for small guests to discover during what—for them—might be a boring brunch.  Always making local “best of” lists, Top Ten Toys is a place of joy and wonder for everyone who enters.  Budding musicians can find instruments from around the world there, and 10-year olds with engineering ideas could begin their studies in the store’s Lego and building section. This is a store where you can find a miniature bulldozer with working parts, a glittery pink cape, a menagerie of stuffed animals and their babies,  a working small stethoscope, puzzles for people of every age, and every make of toy car.  Wheelchair shoppers can take their time browsing.  The store is open to all of us.


Continue reading Top Ten Toys

Din Tai Fung

University Village
2621 NE 46th Street
Seattle, WA 98105

Spoken WheelSpoken WheelSpoken WheelSpoken WheelSpoken Wheel

I grew up in a time and place where “ethnic food” meant Chicken Chow Mein at the only Chinese restaurant in town, a place which also served burgers.  That’s why—when I find myself at a place like Din Tai Fung picking up the sweetest vegetarian Taiwanese dumpling on earth in my chopsticks, dipping it in a tasty ginger/soy/vinegar sauce, and popping it in my mouth—I feel lucky.


And make no mistake here:  these aren’t just any old dumplings.  So light they might float from their steamer basket, these dumplings are plump with their spinach and tofu-stuffing and so delicious that you think about them days later.  Dumplings aren’t the only wonderful things to eat at Din Tai Fung.  There are spareribs, katsu, fried noodles, broccoli (or green beans or spinach) with garlic, and delicious mango smoothie/slushes, along with a wide range of other choices—all of them yummy.

DinThai11 DinThai12

I recommend that you order more than you can eat so you can take the leftovers home.  When you do, the waitstaff—all of them kind and attentive—will pack the leftovers in a beautiful little bag.


When you open that bag, you’ll find your leftover dumplings inside along with little containers of soy, ginger, and vinegar, so you can re-make the dipping sauce.


This kind of attention to detail at Din Tai Fung is completely accessible to all.  Easy parking, spacious passageways between ample tables, and a perfect bathroom make this restaurant a delicious choice for wheelchair travelers.

Continue reading Din Tai Fung