I was looking for a new shot of the Seattle skyline for the header on this blog, and after some Googling, I stumbled upon this beauty. It is a whopping 7573×1947 pixels. I did some Photoshopping on it to give it a slightly painted look. The full file is attached below.
Startups and Starting Up Again
The forces of the universe have finally conspired for me to start my blog again. A lot of interesting things have occurred since launching Unique Blog Designs in 2007 and Highlighter.com in 2010. In the coming weeks, I’m going to start my blog up again to share my thoughts on web design, technology and business.
The Best Golf in the Southwest
I’ve probably never mentioned this on my blog, but golfing is one of my favorite passions outside Internet marketing and business. I was fortunate to live in the southwestern United States for the past few years, so I’ve spent a lot of time on some of the best golf course in the southwest.
One of my favorite courses in San Diego is Torrey Pines. Torrey Pines is a beautiful golf course on the shores of La Jolla that has been host to many PGA tournaments over the years, including where Tiger Woods won the 2008 U.S. Open with his broken knee. I’m lucky to have played Torrey Pines in 1999, where I had my first-ever birdie on the 8th hole.
Las Vegas Golf
Las Vegas is another one of the top golf destinations in the southwest. There are many amazing Las Vegas golf courses thanks to its dry climate, excellent weather and the incredible amount of tourists. Some of the most well-known Las Vegas golf courses include Bali Hai Golf Club, Royal Links Golf Club and Desert Pines Golf Club.
The Bali Hai Golf Club is a South Pacific-themed course that sits directly on the Las Vegas Strip. It features spectacular scenery and a challenging layout for golfers of all skill levels.
Another popular southwest golf destination is Arizona. I played Troon Golf Club with my dad about two years ago, when Matt, Josh and I lived in North Scottsdale. It was one of the most fun and challenging courses I’ve ever played.
Tucson is also famous for some of the best golf courses in the southwest. While there are many Tucson golf courses, the one of the nicest is the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain. It was designed by Jack Nicklaus and built in January of 2009. Dove Mountain features three distinct 9-hole courses that all golfers will appreciate.
If you are a golfer and ever get the chance to visit the southwest, I highly recommend checking out the courses in Las Vegas and Tucson. Not only will you experience immaculate scenery, you will get the chance to play some of the most challenging (and rewarding) golf in the entire U.S!
My Top 5 Favorite Seattle Restaurants
In my four years of blogging, I have never once written about food, which happens to be a popular blogging topic for many people. However, since my move to Belltown in February, I have had the privilege of sampling some of Seattle’s best restaurants. I wouldn’t describe myself as a food connoisseur, but I definitely like trying new foods and I like to think I know good food when I try it! 😀 That said, let me share with you my top five favorite Seattle restaurants/eateries.
5. Sushi Wave
Sushi Wave is a little sushi restaurant on 2nd and Broadway. Despite it being significantly less expensive than trendier spots such as Umi or Shiro’s, it is much better tasting. I always go for their spicy tuna rolls and spicy chicken teriyaki. Not to mention, the miso soup is by far, the best I’ve had in Seattle. The decor may not be as nice as Umi, but Sushi Wave makes up for it in price, taste and friendly staff.
4. Red Mill Burgers
Next to Dick’s Burgers, Red Mill is probably the most popular burger spot in Seattle. GQ voted Red Mill as one of the top 20 burgers you must eat before you die. So, enough said. There always seems to be a long line outside of Red Mill during lunchtime. Everything about Red Mill is awesome – the burgers, fries, and shakes. Red Mill, located right off Phinney Ridge in Greek Lake, has been voted the best burger in Seattle for 10 years in a row.
3. Petra Mediterranean Bistro
Every time I frequent Petra Mediterranean Bistro, it is completely packed – a good sign when choosing a restaurant. Combining the flavors of Jordan, Lebanon, Greece, Turkey and Northern Africa, Petra has some of the best tasting Mediterranean food I’ve ever eaten, especially the Baba ghanoush, hummus, garlic cheese fries, and garlic lemon chicken. Petra has 106 reviews on Yelp with a 4.5 star average. You can’t go wrong with anything on their menu!
2. Primo Pizzeria
Everyone loves pizza and there are a ton of great pizza spits in Seattle. However, one stands out more than the others – Primo Pizzeria. The Brutus pizza – sausage, onions, and pepperoncini, is ridiculously tasty and spicy. Combine that with a chicken caesar salad and booyah – awesome dinner, lunch or breakfast! 😛 Their prices are a little high, but the service is excellent and they have never disappointed. Free delivery to First Hill, Capitol Hill, Belltown, Downtown and Madison Valley when you order online.
1. Zeitoon Cafe
What do I love most about Zeitoon Cafe? Taste, price, and convenience. Not only is Zeitoon a two-minute walk from my place in Belltown, the grilled chicken panino, caesar salad salad and rosemary potatoes is the perfect lunch or dinner. For $10, it will completely satisfy your hunger with some of the tastiest flavors in all of Seattle. Zeitoon, located on 4th and Wall, also has awesome happy hour specials – from 3-7pm, $3 specials for hummus, dolmades, falafel, baba ganoush and $6 pizzas.
Bonus – Bang Bang Cafe
For the best breakfast food, check out Bang Bang Cafe. I first heard about them from my business partner, Josh. Bang Bang is famous for their out-of-this-world breakfast burritos. I prefer the original “Bang Bang” breakfast burrito – eggs, potatoes, beans, verde sauce, wrapped in a tortilla. Damn, I’m hungry now! Not to mention, they have 133 reviews on their Google Places Page with a 4.5 star average.
That’s it for my favorite Seattle restaurants. To all my fellow Seattle-ites, what are your favorite restaurants in the Emerald City?
What’s New So Far In 2011
It’s been quite a while since my last blog post; in fact, this is my first post of 2011, and it is already April! As many of you knew, my last blog post was about our new company, Highlighter. This past five months have been a wild ride of startup madness! Obviously, a lot has happened since my last update, including:
- We successfully completed the TechStars seed incubator program with Highlighter
- Matt, Josh and I moved to Belltown in February to be closer to booming tech scene that is Seattle
- We raised $300,000 as part of our seed round for Highlighter (more on that here)
All of this would not have been possible without TechStars, a program that provides funding and mentorship for startups. Though we had nearly four years of previous business experience and a handful of connections from Unique Blog Designs, it was through our work with TechStars that allowed us to build enough momentum to raise the seed round required to get this new (and much more exciting!) business off the ground.
That said, a lot of hard work, dedication and persistence were also required. Even though the Seattle TechStars program started out with ten (10) companies, only eight (8) of those companies are still in operation – proving that even with great mentorship, hard work, and guidance, there are many difficulties that need to be overcome when starting a new business in the technology space.
Finally, I would like to give a shoutout to the Seattle TechStars companies still in operation, including:
- Deal Co-Op, the best white label software for group buying
- GoMiles, the best way to manage your frequent flyer miles
- ThinkFuse, a startup that is simplifying weekly status reports
- Kinizi, an apartment deal finder
- Giant ThinkWell, a social gaming company focusing on celebrities
- RewardsForce, a startup disrupting the customer loyalty arena
- The Shared Web, a site that allows you to discover the best content based on your friends and interests
- And of course, us – Highlighter
Even though I haven’t had too much time for blogging over the past few months, it is something I definitely want to get back into as it is a good way to keep track of all of the changes and happenings. I’ve found myself reading over old posts just to see what I was up to a few years ago…If anything, a blog is simply a great personal journal for keeping track of one’s life!