March 2012

From this Issue

It’s the least sexy, most flammable cocktail-party topic around: transportation. The horror story about a one-hour crosstown crawl. The strategy swap about how best to cross the lake during a Mariners home stand. And the sharply divisive rhetoric about which multibillion-dollar projects our region really needs—and how to pay for them.

Spring has sprung! Maybe not in terms of weather, but certainly arts-wise, with beautiful events bursting forth in galleries, theaters and concert halls.

I knew when our youngest son got the birthday party invitation in January that it was time to bite the bullet. The party was in Bellevue, which meant crossing the bridge, and that meant finally getting one of those bridge-toll passes (or start paying through the nose for Container Store runs and trips to Woodinville for wine).

The latest issue of Northwest Home (found inside the March issue of Seattle magazine) showcases Cool Kitchens, including a dramatic 1950s remodel, and tips on how to bring some canine chic style to your dwelling.

It’s a shame what you'd miss if you never left your own neighborhood, never took a turn down an unexplored street or planted yourself in one of Seattle’s sensational neighborhood restaurants.

There ought to be a word for sushi that has little to do with Japanese food (maybe newshi?).

Campagne closed a year ago to reopen as Marché last fall, with only middling success. On the bright side: The expanded bar is quite a good place to meet a friend for wine, outstanding pomme frites ($5) and a slab of chunky pork hock terrine ($8) dotted with pistachios and served on a wood plank.

I have an old friend who insists that a pizza with anything fancy, anything beyond pepperoni and cheese, is “lasagna.” His head would surely explode if confronted with the awesome pulled-pork pizza at The Flying Squirrel: piled high with tender braised pork hunks, sprinkled with fresh cilantro and Cotija cheese, a few ribbons of red onion and then, right before it comes to the

If you’re a menu customizer—always asking for this or that on the side, extra veggies and such—get thee to King Noodle, stat! You’ll be presented with a two-sided menu to fill in: a choice of noodles (I like the chewy egg noodles and the wontons) and of broth (the chicken is delicious, but you can opt for spicy broth—another great option—fish broth or other selections).

Hestia, the Greek goddess of hearth and home, is a fitting symbol for Hestia Cellars. Winemaker and owner Shannon Jones came up with the name to honor the strong ties to Greece on his mother’s side of the family and the celebrations of his youth, complete with roasted lamb, wine and dancing.

Looking out the bus window on her commute into work at King County Parks’ downtown Seattle headquarters, Sujata Goel kept noticing more and more shipping containers piling up on the outskirts of the city’s sprawling port complex.

I came across an ad in The Seattle Times from 1962 touting the advantages of going to Portland by train instead of car. “More fun and a lot safer,” reads the ad.

When Tim Gaydos takes visitors on a walking tour of Belltown, where he lives with his wife and two small children, he’s always a half-step ahead at a pace that can leave an out-of-shape companion gasping.

Imagine our early hominid ancestors exploring outside the cave after a long, cold winter and enough jerked mammoth to convert the first vegetarians. The snow has melted, yet the ground is still brown—except for those fetching emerald shoots down by the river. Craving fresh greens, the hominids rush to pick these first signs of spring. But wait!

With backgrounds in marketing and sales, Mhairi Voelsgen and Erin Brophy may not be your typical team of craft distillers, but then, their self-described “lady-made liquor” is not your usual Jack-and-Coke happy-hour drink.

Seattle’s German-pub-loving Chris Navarra—owner of popular bier destinations Feierabend and Prost!—is in good company these days. German hot spots are cropping up all over town, saving you a trek to Leavenworth (or Berlin) for German grub.

Sewing shouldn’t be just for pros—or just for those who own fancy equipment. So say the creators of Made, a fully equipped sewing studio and retail space in Greenwood (8408 Greenwood Ave. N; 206.552.9632;

In a design studio on Vashon Island, Peter Scott is cooking up solutions to big problems. His company, Burn Design Lab, is on a mission to reduce global warming and respiratory illness by creating highly efficient and affordable stoves that can replace the open-fire cooking pits used in developing countries.

Forget Photoshop: If you can’t be there for family photos at the reunion this summer, send a head-size pillow with your face on it instead. Open since August and headquartered on Capitol Hill, PillowMob puts a high-res image of your lovely mug on a circular- or oval-shaped pillow ($25, includes shipping), sewn on-site.

Proving once again that science fiction can generate science fact (given enough time and money), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation recently partnered with Grand Challenges Canada (a nonprofit health organization) to pony up $38.5 million to fund the invention of a health diagnostic tool not unlike Dr.

If you’ve ever considered taking a pottery class, heed this gentle warning from local clay maven Jean Griffith: “All you have to do is touch it and you’re hooked.”

Craftsman homes first started appearing in Seattle around 1900 as an offshoot of the British Arts and Crafts movement, which emphasized the handmade over the mass-produced, and design simplicity over the ornate Victorian homes of the era.

Go giddy piling on Ballard-based crafter (and former Seattle mag publisher) Melissa Vail Coffman’s “badminton bracelets,” a cheeky take on the classic gilded tennis design.

When Elizabeth Roberts, a former Microsoft recruiter, philanthropist and busy mom of three, added yet another accolade to her résumé with a fashion line late in 2011, she blamed it on her iPhone.

“Our phones work harder than ever and do so many different things,” she explains. “I started to wonder why none of my coats seemed to multitask as well.”

Rosanna tableware fans, take a deep, cleansing breath: For years, Rosanna Bowles’ flash sales on her popular dishware sets have been the stuff of shopping legend. Legions of fans line up early to snag deals on glassware, mug gift sets and dinnerware—all while trying to avoid flying elbows.

If you spent any time in Pioneer Square’s Occidental Park last summer, you noticed the trees were a bit warmer and cozier than usual, their trunks wrapped in brightly striped sweaters. The trend—known as “yarn bombing”—is happening nationally, with avant-garde crafters knitting thousands of rows with which to wrap utility poles, parking meters, park benches and outdoor sculpture.


Seattle Jewish Film Festival (3/15–3/25),

Irish Reels (3/17–3/18),

Seattle Deaf Film Festival (3/30–4/1),

National Film Festival for Talented Youth (4/26–4/29),
Langston Hughes African American Film Festival (4/14–4/22),

First Date: A New Musical

Louise Glück: Acclaimed New York poet. Known for: Winning a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, serving as U.S. poet laureate (2003–2004) and penning unflinching, gorgeous poems. Reading: As part of Seattle Arts & Lectures. 3/15. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St.; 206.621.2230;

Funny ladies are in full force this spring, offering comedic readings, performances, dance and discussions on subjects ranging from smarty-pants to the deliciously strange.

Superstar soprano Renée Fleming joins the Seattle Symphony to stun the audience with her spectacular vocals (conducted by music director Ludovic Morlot) on a diverse mix of compositions by Maurice Ravel, Ben Gibbard, Leonard Cohen and others.
3/16. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St.; 206.215.4747;

Marvel at splendid Egyptian artifacts excavated from the tomb of TUTANKHAMUN: THE GOLDEN KING AND THE GREAT PHARAOHS (5/24–1/6. Times and prices vary. Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave. N; 206.443.2001;

On the Stage at On the Boards
Contemporary dance fans may as well camp out at On the Boards this season—it’ll be easier than driving home and coming back and finding parking for each of these stellar performances.

For the first time, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is convening in Seattle (3/28–3/31), which means approximately 5,000 ceramics fanatics are descending on our city.

Charging stations are popping up all over the city, making it easier for Seattleites to turn to green, clean electric-powered cars.

With peak-hour downtown parking meter fees now as much as $4 an hour, Seattle is the sixth-most-expensive city in the nation in which to park a car, according to a 2011 Colliers International survey (an average of more than $24/day, behind Manhattan, Boston and Chicago).

Every month, 97 Seattle Police Department parking enforcement officers print around 45,000 citations (about 7 percent of the city’s total population). While most tickets are for commonsense infractions—the most common: not paying or letting your time expire—there are a few lesser-known ways to end up with the dreaded envelope tucked under your wiper.

It usually feels like the worst traffic spot in Seattle is the one you’re stuck in, but during peak traffic hours (6–9 a.m. and 3–6 p.m.), SDOT says these locations officially rack up some of the most stop-and-go traffic—sometimes minus the go.

Is there any form of transportation in the Northwest more bizarrely storied than the monorail?

If money were no object, what single thing would you do to improve transportation in the region? We put that question to dozens of local transportation thinkers and limited their responses to 150 words—short answers to a long-debated question. Here are a few; add your own idea in the comments section below, or write to

Just when you thought cross-lake commuting couldn’t get any more fun, tolling on the S.R. 520 bridge went into effect. Now, crossing the floating bridge can set you back as much as $5 one way, depending on the time of day and whether you have a prepaid “Good to Go!” pass affixed to your windshield.

“Seattle process” aside, most of the decisions we make around here are really driven by economic imperatives that are nearly impossible to ignore.

It’s almost too good to imagine: The year is 2016, and burly guys in hardhats and blaze-orange vests have swept up the last of the dust from all of Seattle’s transportation construction megaprojects. The State Route 99 tunnel under downtown, the new State Route 520 floating bridge and the University Link light rail extension to the University of Washington are open.