• Todd Hamm
In the northwest quadrant of Ye Olde Ballard, nestled all cozy-like in the sleepy Sunset Hill neighborhood, stands Rain City Video. Originally one of a small family of locations (there was one in Fremont where the Backdoor at Roxy's is now, and the original one was attached to the Shell gas station on Market St. & 8th Ave NW until it closed last month) the Sunset Hill Rain City has been a kickass video-rental spot for around 20 years.

Anyway, they sell vinyl now. And nicknacks. Said the friendly clerk behind the counter: "The owner had a bunch of antique merchandise...[we'll carry] anything that has to do with entertainment." I spotted a xylophone, a bunch of guitars, a music box, and a whole load of other cool stuff arranged fashionably in their northern room. Record titles ranged from Led Zeppelin and Leon Russell, to the Top Gun Soundtrack, and beyond. Prices varied a bit, so check those stickers.

It will be interesting to see if they'll be able to pull people up the hill from the somewhat nearby Bop Street/Sonic Boom corridor. What with their knowledgeable staff, and corner location, I think they've got a good shot at it. Best of luck guys!