We have been busy the last two months starting a new business - the Pistil Penthouse Airbnb vacation rental. We live in a 1903 built house, turned triplex, on Capitol Hill, one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Seattle. We live in one of the apartments, Pistil Books is in the renovated basement, and the other two apartments have been traditional rentals until our top floor tenants recently moved to Amsterdam. We spent about three weeks getting the place ready - some maintenance, painting, and furnishing needed to be done first. We are located pretty much on top of Capitol Hill, and this apartment has two balconies with some amazing views looking west (towards downtown Seattle and the Olympic Mountains) and south.
|View from western balcony: Space Needle, Olympic Mountains, and one of many cranes that now dot our skyline.|
Although of course I was tempted to cover all available wall spaces with bookshelves and books, I restrained myself and partially filled just one small book case with a selection of titles I thought would be fun for guests to pick up at random and leaf through: a collection of vintage books on trees and nature, some graphic novels and comics, a book of surrealist games, some art books, and a selection of guidebooks to the city and the northwest.
Our first guests were two women in town for a comparative literature conference - what serendipity! Comparative literature was my college major. We received some messages from them during their stay, commenting on their enjoyment of the apartment and the conduciveness of the dining table to working on a presentation for the conference. In their after-stay review, they said "We were in for several days, and constantly discovering creative touches around the apartment (when you find a Lynda Barry book on the shelf, you know you are in a good place)."
About a week after our first guests left, Pistil Books received an order from one of them for several graphic novels and two of my recycled blank journals.
We have the idea of using the space mid-week when there are not guests to have readings and other art events. So far, though, the summer is getting booked quickly.