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Originally published Thursday, January 8, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Gritty Greenwood lives between 84th and 85th

This block features cowboys, coffee and crepes.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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So Greenwood-Phinney neighborhood has a new Art Walk. You probably thought it was a just a hood with an inexplicably high number of Greek restaurants.

But the Greenwood area has gotten hip. Just check out the block featuring Stumbling Goat Bistro, Oliver's Twist cocktail bar and Picnic. Greenwood is also home to Valentine's, Seattle's most extravagant men's salon, with pedicures and facial massages.

But we're looking for old Greenwood, gritty Greenwood, more laid-back Greenwood, which brings us to Greenwood Avenue North between 84th and 85th streets.

1. Insurrection Apparel & Boots, 8403 ½ Greenwood Ave. N.: Seattleites relate more to "Twin Peaks" and "Who killed Laura Palmer?" but this cowboy boutique is more down with "Dallas" and "Who shot J.R.?" J.R. Ewing pins and other memorabilia are on display or for sale. Rows of vintage cowboy boots, Western shirts and butt-cinching Levi's 501s. Considers itself a mixture of rock 'n' roll cool and country cute.

2. Mr. Gyros, 8411 Greenwood Ave. N.: Even with two customers ahead of me, my order of lamb gyro came to my table before I even took off my coat. The guys claim they're always this fast, but I still think some other guy forgot to pick up his order.

3. Neptune Coffee, 8415 Greenwood Ave. N. One of about a dozen coffee shops along the strip. (Yes, there's a Starbucks.) But this hip haunt offers "Big Lebowski" and "30 Rock" theme trivia night.

4. Sweet on You, 8416 Greenwood Ave. N.: The cafe sells ice cream, smoothies, lattes and baked goods. But how can you not be lured by the Eiffel Tower poster, channeling a romantic Paris night, promising delicious crepes for only $4.99? Naturally, we ordered one and it tasted ... actually the Nutella crepe never came. The woman behind the counter wrinkled and burned the crepe and wasn't enthusiastic about attempting another.

5. The Greenwood Space Travel Supply Co., 8414 Greenwood Ave. N.: For all your space-travel needs. Passers-by wonder if this is a real store. On paper, it's a legitimate, state-licensed business, selling T-shirts and fake astronaut gadgets. But it's more of a clever way to promote the nonprofit tutoring and writing center for kids, which takes place in the back of the store, or, as the staff called it, "through the atomic teleporter." Store proceeds go to the writing center.

6. Pig 'N Whistle Bar and Grill, 8412 Greenwood Ave. N. Under new ownership, by the folks who run Portage restaurant in Queen Anne. The Midwest-influenced pub grub includes "crunchy pig ears" and deep-fried Great Lakes smelt. And what looks like a hamburger is actually a "Bratburger," with a bratwurst patty, sauerkraut and homemade mustard.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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