October 2012

From this Issue

When we were coming up with a list of adjectives to describe the beauty and grandeur of Northwest lodges, a word used in excess these days by my 10-year-old son (and further creatively mangled by him, as in the headline, above) kept coming to mind.

Waterfall Stunner

Rain Forest Beauty

Imagine you are dead. If you’re the type who thinks ahead, you’ve probably already told someone whether you’d rather be cremated or buried. Maybe you even suggested where your ashes should be scattered, or to whom you’d most like to lie next to for all eternity.

Seattle Center is a 74-acre Rorschach test in which everyone sees what they want to see. It is Lincoln Center to some; Central Park, Tivoli Gardens or Disneyland to others. It is about Bumbershoot, skateboards, the opera, New Year’s fireworks, the Space Needle, the EMP blob, IMAX shows, the fountain and Folklife. It is public, it is private; it is some kind of crazy hybrid.

Coming soon to a house near yours—well, actually it’s coming to your house, if you live within the purview of Seattle City Light—an advanced electricity metering system that will make you very happy (according to City Light) and very sad (according to privacy and health activists in other areas where this technology has been deployed).

Decades ago, our parents and grandparents slept on mattresses stuffed with natural materials, such as feathers, natural latex from rubber trees, straw and wool. While modern polyurethane foam may add a certain bounce to our beds, it comes with trade-offs. Specifically, the chemicals used to improve foam performance or to make it flame retardant.

Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy loses girl after evil shape-shifter assumes form of golden deer to distract girl, leading to girl’s abduction by demon king and boy’s subsequent battle against said demon king. If this sounds familiar, you either have a spectacular love life or you’ve heard of the ancient epic poem Ramayana.

Ethan Stowell is trying to go downscale with The Ballard Pizza Company, but a star chef can only go so low. He’s got the slice-and-a-soda thing going at the rustically chic shop, but the soda ($4, gourmet) costs more than the slice ($3–$3.50, huge).

At press time, we got word from Dan Bugge, owner of this brilliant Pike Place Market eatery, of his plans to open a brand-new whiskey bar, Radiator, in an adjacent space. Construction was set to begin early last month.

The concept behind Cha:n is approachable and modern Korean food, and whether it works for you depends on whether you think the funky, fiery cuisine needs more approachability or modernization. Owner Heong Soon Park, who remodeled what used to be part of Bacco (he still owns both) to create this downstairs hideaway, has gentled authentic flavors here without ruining them.

Autumn is a season of unmistakable change, as the days grow shorter and the sun moves south. It’s time to set aside the refreshing, playful beers of summer and explore more contemplative beers with greater character and substance.

The Washington wine story is just beginning to be told. After 30 years of experimentation and steady growth, the last decade has brought growth that has been nothing short of exponential. Wineries now number more than 740, up from 101 in 1997. But where do all those wineries get their grapes?

O happy day (sing it with me, Seattle cocktail lovers), O happy day, when Vessel came back.…It’s rare that the opening of a bar inspires spontaneous singing, but the reopened Vessel, now on the corner of Seventh and Olive, is causing the cocktail choir to come out.

We love Seattle, but the East Coast has its advantages, such as hearty grinder sandwiches, long as a baseball mitt and wider than the average mouth. What’s that? You can get them here?

What it is: Also commonly known as Japanese pumpkin, kabocha squash average about 2–3 pounds in weight. Kabocha have an edible, dark green rind and sweet, pale orange flesh that tastes sweet and has a dense, almost sweet-potato-like texture.

Ballard-based business partners Julie O’Brien and Richard Climenhage have come up with a healthy new way to spice up meals: fermented produce. They started Firefly Kitchens ( two and half years ago to introduce the nourishing benefits of fermented produce to the masses.


Challenge the chill with your own built-in heater, courtesy of West Seattle–based Toast’s heated long underwear tops and pants. Created by outdoor sports enthusiast Julia Aiken and her hubby, Andy, the moisture-wicking Polartec garments warm up frosty types with hidden air-activated heat packets in core areas, including the lower back, neck and waistband.

We’ve grown accustomed to meals on wheels, but now Amanda Linton and Allison Norris are transporting the concept to fashion for their new mobile vintage boutique, The Kippy Ding Ding.

Tina Witherspoon didn’t intend to become a clothing designer; she just wanted to organize her closet. Looking for a creative outlet back in 2006 (she had dabbled in acting, costume design and rocking out in bands), Witherspoon pulled her sewing machine out of mothballs and started fixing garments that didn’t fit right.

Many of us experienced a thrill when the first Mars photos from the Curiosity rover began rolling in last summer. Something about finally seeing that arid ground up close and panoramic brought all our previous pondering about the red planet into extreme focus.

All the city’s a stage for local choreographer Wade Madsen, who sees dance in commonplace movement everywhere—from the near collision of pedestrians in a crosswalk to the careful waltz of coffee-bearing baristas. His conversational style evokes choreography, too, as his hands swoop, glide and occasionally smack into objects in their quest to express.

As the political fur flies this month, insert a little levity into the conversation with Mount Baker author Ben Clanton’s book, Vote for Me!, in which a donkey and an elephant duke it out in a familiar blue and red rivalry.

Too big for a highchair, too little to reach the table? In the old days, sitting on a phone book would do the trick, but now, we reach for a Luv Chicken booster cushion. Created by Renton mom and graphic designer Ann Hurley, these lightweight, 4-inch-tall square wonders are covered in vinyl-coated cotton and come in five darling patterns with contrasting sides.

Ever step on a Lego barefoot? Then you understand why View Ridge graphic designer and mom Sarah Kirk felt the need to create the ultimate brick wrangler, the Swoop bag. Inspired by a storage bag that her grandmother made 30 years ago for her brother’s Lego collection, Kirk makes her bags from durable cotton canvas and high-quality nylon cording.

BD: How did you come up with the idea/storyline for Pullman Porter Blues?

WHERE: Lake Quinault Lodge in Olympic National Park.

If recent changes to our state’s liquor landscape have left you feeling a little…dispirited, we’re here to help. We’ve scouted out a few neighborhood options that stock a good selection of local craft distillery fare.

Combine the zany comedy and mad juggling talent of the Flying Karamazov Brothers with the slo-mo martial arts moves of The Matrix, and the result is local acrobatics group Nanda.

When Roger Nyhus called Rod Hearne to ask him out on their first date, he was rebuffed. “I told him I was making a pie,” Hearne explains somewhat apologetically. Nyhus, not one to have his amorous instincts thwarted by pastry, persisted. Couldn’t the pie wait? “I was new to the dating game,” Hearne says. The pie waited.

David Robison and Donald Kane met in 2002 on a dating website. Kane is a programmer at, and Robison is a partner in a software company that creates computer-based training materials for surgeons. He also sits on the board of Rainbow Families of Puget Sound, a social organization comprising about 400 families with LGBT parents.

Columbia City’s Valerie Curtis-Newton and Kim Powell had a good laugh when they showed up for their first date in 1997 dressed identically in what they call “Yankee comfort clothing”—loafers with no socks, khakis, an oversized white oxford shirt over a black tank top.

“We’re not suited to each other at all,” Mark Mitchell announces by way of introducing himself and his partner of 10 years, Kurt Reighley. “I am loud and vulgar, and Kurt is nice and sweet.” But this brashness has played out very well for him over the course of their relationship. The two met in 2002 at a Pioneer Square club; Reighley was the DJ, and Mitchell was a guest.

The last thing Joseph Skillings remembers before his head hit the pavement was that he had stepped in to protect a woman who was being attacked by a man at a bus stop. It was January 2008, and Skillings was on his way home from planning a production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for his second-graders at Adams Elementary School in Ballard.

If the trajectory of a romance can be charted through the books a couple reads, perhaps it is a good sign that Ruth Frobe and Nicki McCraw met while reading David Sheff’s harrowing memoir about his meth-addicted son, Beautiful Boy, and have since moved on to Tina Fey’s lighthearted Bossypants.

Jody Hall and Kelly Ring met in the usual way: riding around in a car topped with an enormous cupcake at the 2005 Pride Parade. Hall, owner and cupcake doyenne of Cupcake Royale, had pulled out all the stops to make sure her float was one of the sweetest in the parade. Hall and Ring were introduced by mutual friends, who thought they might like each other.