When my husband and I first moved here in August 1997, we knew of the seductive powers of the golden month’s glorious glow and warm temperatures. We had been to Seattle before—in the throes of a rainy February, natch—but in relation to the Midwest and East Coast arctic winters from which we came, Seattle winter felt downright tropical.
Washington state Senator Sharon Nelson loved the comfy brown loveseat she bought for her office in Olympia. The couch gave her Statehouse digs a cozy feel. And curling up on it with her laptop for a precious half-hour now and then provided respite from the long hours at her desk and in her chair on the Senate floor.
Or it did until Laurie Valeriano came to town.
Sitting in a Ravenna coffee shop, novelist Julia Sidorova is making sweeping gestures across a table, like a seamstress extending a measuring tape across a long swath of fabric. She’s explaining what she does during her day job as a biomedical scientist at the UW School of Medicine’s Department of Pathology, where her particular niche involves stretching out strands of human DNA and observing replicated patterns. “It’s a rat’s nest when it comes out,” she says. “I unravel it—pick it apart, find a string, stretch it out and pin it to a surface.
The act of parenting doesn’t allow parents an abundance of time for artistic endeavors. How could it, when you’ve got the life of (at least) one other human to organize in addition to your own? Yet Mount Vernon mom and artist Kristin Loffer Theiss has uncovered a trick to the work/life balance we may all be able to learn from: Draw your children into your creative pursuits so you can actually spend time doing them. Loffer Theiss has a line of plush mobiles, pillows, letterpress prints and clothing based on illustrations she creates freehand on a sewing machine.
Among the nearly 89,000 sites selected for the National Register of Historic Places, fewer than 2,500 are classified as landscape architecture—evidence that America preserves her old buildings much more often than her parks or other built environments. But, this year, to Seattle’s pride, Gas Works Park made the cut for the prestigious list.
MUST SEESAM Gallery “Artists’ Choice” OpeningIn celebration of its 40th year playing art matchmaker to its host of art lovers who, for whatever reason, just can’t seem to commit, Seattle Art Museum’s rental and sales outpost SAM Gallery is unveiling Artists Choice. The show will feature a vibrant mix of work by several up-and-coming artists. 5/9, 5-7 p.m. SAM Gallery: Art Sales and Rentals, 1220 Third Ave.; 206.343.1101; seattleartmuseum.org.
Seattle dancer Ezra Dickinson has been working on his Mother’s Day gift for the last seven years—a public performance of several short solos called Mother For You I Made This—but it’s unlikely that his mother will see it. A diagnosed schizophrenic, she lives at Western State Hospital. Formerly a ballet teacher, Dickinson’s mother enrolled him in dance classes at age 4 and encouraged his schooling at Pacific Northwest Ballet, where he studied from ages 8 through 20. Meanwhile, her mental health deteriorated to the point that she was homeless and living on the streets.
Despite the U.S. Women’s National Team’s impressive rep, a professional women’s soccer league has yet to find solid footing on American soil. But the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), launched by the U.S. Soccer Federation this spring, hopes to change that, and raise the profile of American women players in the way MLS launched men’s teams such as Sounders FC. One of only eight clubs created for the inaugural season, the Seattle Reign FC (named after Seattle’s first professional women’s basketball team) take the field this month.
COFFEE DATE: Musician Morgan Henderson, who recently joined Seattle neo-folk rockers The Cave Singers and plays on their new album, Naomi. The band hits the Showbox at the Market this month (5/4; thecavesingers.com).SCENE: The café at Elliott Bay Book Company, a Wednesday morning in FebruaryMORGAN’S ORDER: A bacon, cheese and spinach omelet