When we were brainstorming ideas for our January issue, thinking about what we crave this time of year and pontificating on what constitutes Seattle’s ultimate comfort food, it didn’t take long to come to the conclusion. When winter (OK, fall) comes to Seattle, we chase away the damp chill with giant, steaming bowls of noodles, especially pho (or, P-H-O—each letter sounded out—as my kids have called it since they were toddlers, and how it will forever be known in our household. Our standing order: a veggie P-H-O with extra noodles and chicken added).
“You know how James Brown says he gets ants in the pants and he needs to dance?” Morgan Perkins asks the customer sitting in the shoeshine chair. “Well, I’m the same with shoes.” The smartly dressed 72-year-old has been putting his famous military shine on Seattle’s shoes for 41 years—ever since he first walked into the Nordstrom flagship store and promised to run the classiest stand in town.
If it seems like you can’t take a walk in Seattle without encountering an enormous set of stairs along the way, there’s good reason: Our hilly city features approximately 600 publicly accessible outdoor stairways, many of which have been around for more than 100 years. A new guidebook, Seattle Stairway Walks (Mountaineers Books, $15.95), celebrates this fact, mapping out 25 scenic and urban walks across the city, including mileage, approximate walking time and the number of steps up and down.
Say you have a brilliant concept for a new lampshade or laptop bag or xylophone. All of your friends agree it’s a terrific idea, but you have no clue as to how to turn your napkin sketch into a prototype. Enter MakerHaus, a membership-based design studio and idea incubator scheduled to open early this month in Fremont, dedicated to “empowering creative minds.”
Imagine having a frank conversation with your elderly father about familial guilt, parental love and impending death. For some, that prospect is terrifying enough. Now imagine having that discussion in front of a couple of hundred people. Further imagine that at some point during this conversation, your septuagenarian father is stripped to his underwear.
To be clear: This is not the Disney-fied version of Cinderella. There are no glass slippers, no mouse-drawn coaches, no fairy godmother or evil stepmother—Cinderella isn’t even our heroine’s name; she’s called Angelina. But the differences in Gioachino Rossini’s operatic take, La Cenerentola, are all the more reason to see it. First performed in Rome in 1817, the opera arrived on the heels of Rossini’s rollicking and well-received The Barber of Seville.
I recently talked over coffee with Jim Vesely, the retired editor of The Seattle Times’ editorial page and a longtime Eastside observer. We met at the Tully’s on Mercer Island in “The Rock’s” dense new business district. Even affluent, single-family Mercer Island has done its share of taking on growth, building up, and becoming transit- and pedestrian-friendly. Sitting in the café, we could have been, for all intents and purposes, ensconced in Fremont.
Kathi Goertzen, 54, one of Seattle’s most trusted television anchors for nearly three decades, died on August 13, after a 14-year battle with recurring brain tumors. Goertzen, a Seattle native and outspoken Cougar fan, first joined KOMO-TV as an intern in 1979, but soon became part of a long-term on-air partnership with co-anchor Dan Lewis. As her health declined, Goertzen’s openness about her cancer served as an inspiration to many; a public memorial at Fisher Pavilion drew an overflow crowd of thousands.
From no-hitters to new highways, pocket libraries to boutiques on wheels, 2012 brought a slate of changes to Seattle. The city is bristling with construction cranes and bustling with new shops, breweries, barbecue joints and pontoon-dragging barges. It’s thrilling to watch the recession recede, inch by inch, in the rearview mirror, as ever-innovative Seattleites launch exciting new ventures for the rest of us to taste, touch and tweet about.
A sneak peek at our latest issue, available on newsstands and in the Kindle store now:
Restaurants: Dining editor Allison Austin Scheff maps out the best noodle dishes at local Asian and Italian restaurants; and food writer Jess Thomson offers a beginner’s guide to shopping the Asian noodle aisle at Uwajimaya, complete with recipes for your first home-cooked fresh ramen or udon dish.