Nothing says summer like a spontaneous jaunt to a park, whether for a quick picnic, an inspiring view or a strenuous hike. But if you find yourself always landing at the same old locations, you might need to call in the Pocket Ranger. Launched in March to coincide with Washington State Parks’ centennial celebration (and created in collaboration with the national ParksByNature Network), this free smartphone app introduces users to the diverse wonders of Washington’s state parks.
“The irony is the whole point,” says University of Washington astronomy professor Woody Sullivan. He’s talking about his quest to make Seattle the sundial capital of North America. The 69-year-old Phinney Ridge resident is creator of the Seattle Sundial Trail, a self-directed tour of 12 of the city’s best dials, including the elaborate, interactive one at Gas Works Park and the large vertical one mounted high on the southwest wall of the UW’s Physics and Astronomy Building.
Bertha the underground tunnel-boring machine began her slow march under Seattle this summer. She’s been a long time coming. The Nisqually earthquake hit in 2001 and did enough damage to the Alaskan Way Viaduct that it needed to be replaced, but it’s taken more than a decade to just get this far. The urgency of this work was reemphasized by the failure of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River at the start of the summer travel season. If a truck can bring a “safe” bridge down, what havoc could be wreaked in the next big quake?
Ballard Kayaks, the company that offers kayak rentals and tours, has hoisted its big blue tent on the south end of the beach at Golden Gardens just in time to help you quench your recreation and Vitamin D needs. Outdoorsy types: Stop by BK’s beach outpost to rent a kayak ($25 per hour) and head out for an independent exploration of the Puget Sound waters. Less experienced kayakers can sign up for guided tours (starting at $35 per hour) that troll throughout various destinations around the Sound. On our to-do list?
Given her role as Seattle Art Museum’s Deputy Director for Art and curator of European painting and sculpture, Chiyo Ishikawa has trouble considering herself an art collector. In the course of seeking acquisitions for the museum, she regularly visits the homes of veteran art collectors. “Their collections are really curated—a conscious exercise,” she says. “Mine doesn’t reflect my professional perspective. It’s organic and sentimental.” But of course that’s exactly why wandering the art-filled rooms of her Fremont bungalow is such a rich experience.
Must RockThe Dandy WarholsFriday (6/21, 9 p.m.) — Portland’s 1990s alt-rock sensation The Dandy Warhols return to celebrate the recently remastered re-release of best-beloved album Thirteen Tales of Urban Bohemia (which this year, rather alarmingly, is 13 years old).
Must VisitBainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) Grand OpeningBainbridge Island welcomes BIMA, its very own art and culture haven, focusing on contemporary work by artists from the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas. Go for the museum’s striking architecture—a curve of tall windows sweeps visitors toward the entrance—and for its many opening exhibits, including work by Bainbridge Island artist and children’s book illustrator Barbara Helen Berger.
Whether we stream, rent, TiVo or watch on the air, Seattle is crazy about cleverly crafted television series. (We're among the country's top markets for Downton Abbey and Game of Thrones.) So we imagined the mayor's race as pitch sessions for several series we'll be watching (or trying to tune out) for the next four years. Come August 6, primary day, we are all producers.
In the early 1990s, architect Jerry Garcia walked along Denny from his Capitol Hill home to his office on the waterfront, passing a little park between Ninth Avenue N and Dexter. He was intrigued that this dark, unwelcoming patch was Seattle’s first park. “It was truly baffling to me; I didn’t understand why it would be like this,” he remembers. “It’s such an introverted experience.”