Every summer has a soundtrack, and if you live in Seattle the track listing is especially vibrant. Our thriving local music scene is more diverse than ever, with an ear-opening variety of sounds including neo-folk, indie rock, psychedelic, dream-pop, hip-hop and retro soul. To give you an earful, arts and culture editor Brangien Davis handpicked 17 songs for this year's mixtape—all recent releases by local bands—that will make your summer swell. *Starred bands are playing the Capitol Hill Block Party (7/26-7/28).
According to the Seattle Doomsday Map, not even the apocalypse will change local priorities. But in this dystopian future, you have to brave the Belltown black market to get a decent espresso, and the only organic garden grows on a heavily guarded SLU rooftop.
For Toni Keene, every Thursday is pressure cooker day. But that doesn’t stress out the Macy’s executive chef, who says her job is more play than work. The spritely 68-year-old has been recommending cookware and demonstrating new kitchen products on the sixth floor of the downtown store (and its predecessor, The Bon Marché) for 24 years, and doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
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.