Get the Best Cupcake, Envision a New Waterfront and Other Weekend Musts

Cupcakes from Cupcake Royale were just a few of the contenders in our ultimate cupcake challenge.

Seattle’s Best Cupcake
Before we reveal the best cupcake of 2012, you should know that this was no arbitrary declaration. We purchased just about as many cupcakes as would fit in the office kitchen and asked local dessert experts to taste and evaluate each one—while blindfolded. Rebekah Denn reports on the judges’ findings, some of which may surprise you...

Holiday Gift Ideas
We’re not sure how the holidays snuck up on us so quickly, but we are prepared: The editors share some crackerjack ideas for unique, locally-sourced gifts, in all the right categories. There are bicycle-lover earrings, a food-foraging starter kit and a wonderful new edition of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker, featuring illustrations by the late, great Maurice Sendak. Did you know he designed the sets for Seattle’s local annual Nutcracker performance by Pacific Northwest Ballet? The book even includes a letter of introduction penned by Sendak himself.

PechaKucha: I Cover the Waterfront
Thursday (11/29) — We’re intrigued by this event, featuring interesting locals giving individual presentations on the “history, happenings and future” of Seattle’s soon-to-be transformed waterfront, each limited to the fast-moving PechaKucha format. Join presenters Eric Fredericksen of Western Bridge gallery, James Garth Todd of Ivar's and Maggie Walker, SAM board member and founder, and many others, in an entertaining and varied discussion Seattle’s next and perhaps most important evolution.
Doors at 5:30 p.m., presentations begin at 6:15 p.m. Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park, PACCAR Pavillion;  

Jherek Bischoff
Starting Thursday (11/29–12/1) — Lauded by The New Yorker and The New York Times, this local musician’s latest album, Composed, sounds like a happy marriage of indie and orchestra. Lucky for you, there are two opportunities to see him in town this weekend, and one is free. First: see Bischoff in open rehearsals at Frye Art Museum (part of an ongoing exhibit at the museum, which arts and culture editor Brangien Davis covered recently); then see a more traditional concert at The Moore, where he’ll be accompanied by a full orchestra and special guest singers: Zola Jesus, Mirah, Zac Pennington, Soko, Jason Webley and Tomo Nakayama.
Open Rehearsals:  11/29, 3–7 p.m.; 11/30, 1–5 p.m. Free. Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., 206.622.9250; Concert: 12/1, 8 p.m. $17.50. The Moore Theatre, 1932 Second Ave.; 206.812.3284;

Ellen Forney’s Marbles
Thursday (11/29) — The new graphic memoir from this local artist is an absolute must-read! Funny, intense and even educational, Ellen Forney’s personal and wonderfully illustrated account of being diagnosed with a bipolar mood disorder is hard to put down. Hear her talk about the book at Elliott Bay tonight. Her funny and honest exploration of the relationship between mental illness and creativity is something almost everyone should be able to relate to, as Bond Huberman explains in a recent review.
11/29, 7 p.m. Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 Tenth Ave.;

Bonus: Download our handy holiday flowchart