It’s a late spring morning at West Seattle Elementary and as usual, morale is running high. Counselor Laura Bermes high-fives students as they walk through the door. Principal Vicki Sacco greets teachers while cradling Bingo, her watchful Chihuahua. The children walk single file to their classrooms, and a bespectacled special guest bounds upstairs to talk to fifth-graders about their brains.
“Hi, everyone, I’m Ms. Natalie,” says the guest, waving at the students like the school celebrity that she is.
Until recently, a pet emergency in Seattle meant a stressful drive in the black of night to a veterinary ER in Wallingford or Lake City—or to Shoreline, Lynnwood, Renton and beyond. But with the opening last month of Seattle Veterinary Specialists (SVS) (First Hill, 805 Madison St.; svs.com), South Seattle residents can breathe a little easier.
Once a year, everyone is invited (for free!) to enjoy tranquil vistas and participate in a little fall cleaning at our parks, canyons, rivers and streams during National Public Lands Day (9/26; publiclandsday.org). Volunteers throughout the country have planted more than 100,000 trees and maintained or built more than 1,500 miles of trails since the program started 21 years ago.
Nothing in life worth having comes cheaply, right? Well, except for a whole page worth of gratis things to do in Seattle for the rest of this month and many, many more. Explore a new museum, watch a drive-in movie or enjoy a taste of soothing Japanese tea—all while leaving your wallet on your nightstand.
Free Museum Days:
Look up: You might be able to sneak a peek at The Perseids meteor shower Tuesday and Wednesday night until dawn thanks to potentially positive weather conditions. Earth will be passing through Comet Swift-Tuttle’s trail, which means skywatchers have a chance of seeing quite a few fireballs should the sky be clear.
Patrick Knowles with Sheila Cain and Rachel Hart; additional reporting by Ryan Kindel, Madeline Lootens and Evan Webeck
Just as a potential partner needs to be vetted, a good bit of thought should go into where and how you decide to spend an evening with someone you just met. These spots offer the benefits of immediate discussion topics, a “shared experience” kick-start and, if you are not necessarily feeling it, the opportunity to sit back and let a few other complete strangers entertain.
Seattle photographer Ernie Sapiro has a remarkable ability to capture the essence of local dancers, athletes and musicians—the last of which have been his special focus over the past two years. In his new solo show, Musician: A Portrait Project (coproduced by Nancy Guppy), Sapiro exhibits revealing portraits of a diverse range of local musicians, including Mike McCready, Overton Berry, Rachel Flotard, Trimpin and Star Anna. See it at the newly remodeled Union Stables building (8/27–9/11; 2200 Western Ave., just north of Pike Place Market).
Seattle activists often serve up unwelcome surprises for Democrats who arrive expecting to feel some liberal love on the Left Coast. Hubert Humphrey was shouted down at the Coliseum (now KeyArena) by anti-war protesters in 1968. Bill Clinton’s international free trade photo-op was sacked by the WTO demonstrators in 1999.
Standing in a pretty park on the west bank of the Duwamish River on an unseasonably warm day in June, it’s impossible to ignore a tremendous crashing sound coming from the abutting industrial area. It’s as if iron chains are being tossed into an empty shipping container, or maybe tons of rocks are being poured onto sheet metal. The river glistens patiently, and in the distance, Mount Rainier observes its massive silence.
Co-op Beer: What the Seattle P.I. is calling Washington’s first cooperatively-owned brewery is set to open its tasting room on August 15 at 12 p.m. Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery is owned by over 1,500 members.
Photographer Matt Satell launched a new website last month devoted to aerial pictures of Seattle. The site, Seattle by Air, features a map of the city with a pin where each photograph was taken. Satell shoots them all himself via drone. Have a look at these gorgeous, mostly blue-sky vistas throughout the city.
Must PartyHit the Streets at the SLU Block PartyFriday (8/7, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.) — The 11th installment of the SLU Block Party features food trucks, a Brave Horse Tavern beer garden, life-sized board games and live music from stellar local bands Kithkin, THEESatisfaction and Polyrhythmics. Proceeds benefit the Low Income Housing Institute and the South Lake Union Chamber of Commerce.
Beer: The cause of — and solution to — all of life’s problems. It might be the truest thing Homer Simpson ever said.
It’s only fitting that we celebrate this enticing elixir with grand festivals that showcase our affections for it (at least until the next morning). We’re talking beer festivals here, and there are some great ones just around the corner to put a hop in your step as we head toward fall.
Reducing gun violence is no easy task, but Seattle may be one vote away from a new gun tax to raise money for gun violence research and prevention, says KOMO News. With the new tax, dealers would pay $25 for every firearm sold, $.02 for every .22 caliber round and $.05 for other ammunition. Although the city estimates the tax will raise between $300,000 and $500,000 a year, gun dealers worry it will put them out of business.