Issue

September 2011

From this Issue

Filmmaker Megan Griffiths calls herself a “people person.” She’s referring to the energy she gets from interacting with others, but the shorthand label is also an apt description of her moviemaking style. “For me,” Griffiths says, “it’s about the people in the movie.”

Like most who live here, we’re fiercely in love with Seattle—but our love isn’t blind. Along with our singular natural vistas, thriving neighborhoods, leading-edge innovations and savvy, well-read locals, we have hideous transportation issues, under-performing schools and the all too common big-city heartbreakers: homelessness and hunger.

Fall. It lands with a sudden, resounding clunk, causing a city-wide knee-jerk reaction: We lament the fact that summer was (way!) too short, and we begin the hunkering-down process, bracing ourselves for winter.

Sitting on the living room floor of his modest Capitol Hill home, a cup of tea in hand and a large cat lounging nearby, Garrett Fisher hardly seems poised to upend opera as we know it. But he might just do so.

At Kyle Loven’s studio space in Belltown, the worktable is littered with ears—latex ears, which he’s been perfecting for his recent work, When You Point at the Moon.

Visual artist Troy Gua wants to be famous. His deadpan stare and signature slicked black topknot are unmistakable at local art gatherings—and often the subject of his own artwork.

“This is my eight-year-old dream come true,” says Mandy Greer, surveying her home studio, which her husband (artist Paul Margolis) recently built with a friend in a space adjoining the laundry room. Countless clear plastic tubs are packed to bursting with colorful fabrics.

Bri Seeley (pictured right)
Line: Bri Seeley Designs
Available at: Spun Sustainable Collective (Capitol Hill); briseeley.com

Angela Allen (pictured left)

Line: Angela Allen Design
Available at: angelaallendesigns.com
Studying at: New York Fashion Academy, Class of 2011

Kathy Sabin-mensah

Line: Kréati-Ka
Available at: kreati-ka.com
Studying at: New York Fashion Academy, Class of 2011

Banchong Douangphrachanh

Line: Banchong Douangphrachanh
Available at: banchongdesign.com

Riordan Roache

Line: Riordan Roache
Available at: emilyriordanroache.com

Kate Burt

Line: Operation + Stitch
Available at: Velouria (Ballard) & Momo (International District)
operationstitch.com

Each year, Seattle magazine combs the city for emerging designers hungry to change the local fashion landscape. In this year’s fourth annual smackdown, we saw a wild array of fresh designs that go well beyond day-to-day attire, from fanciful lingerie and sweet maternity clothes to collections made for the active Seattleite—hip dance wear, sportswear and bike wear.

Oxford University (pictured above)
Embrace fall’s thesis statement: The latest Oxfords mix prim and proper schoolgirl charm with bold laces and masculine-meets-feminine details for grown-up sass.

Jean Bhang-Glover (pictured above)
8telier

Say you knew her when: Seattle native Jean Bhang-Glover returns home to call the shots for a women’s wear line set to rival the design giants.

GIFT SHOP OF THE YEAR
Curtis Steiner’s new wonder emporium on Ballard Avenue beckons
paper lovers, jewelry fiends and one-of-a-kind-gift hunters

Spun Sustainable Collective (photo above)
(Capitol Hill)

BEST BET FOR: Casual, affordable and chic clothing proudly made in Washington

The thrill of the hunt is exhilarating: spotting the perfect necklace to match an outfit, finally tracking down a gift for a hard-to-buy-for friend or finding just the right jacket to wear (and adore) all season long. The sport is made all the sweeter when the finds are handcrafted in Seattle by local talent, or scored at an out-of-the-way boutique.

Last May, inspired by a similar feature in St. Louis Magazine, we posed a question to dozens of our city’s leaders (and to our friends on Facebook and Twitter), asking them this: If you had a blank check with which to do anything to improve our city, what would you do?

Why do we make things that aren’t considered necessary? It’s a mystery of the human condition and one that a new nonprofit arts space on Capitol Hill is actively exploring.

The Project Room, which independent curator Jess Van Nostrand opened in July, is an experimental, blank-slate space that local artists can temporarily make use of for works in progress.

Turns out Google Maps can’t, in fact, do everything. Case in point: It can’t bring the past alive via wonderful illustrated maps—some more than a century old—like the Historical Atlas of Washington and Oregon (University of California Press; $39.95), published this month.

If your budget doesn’t allow for a jaunt to France to sample the national cuisine (quelle horreur!), never fear—Paris is right here. Thanks to several new eateries (and a few beloved standards) with a distinctly French accent, Madison Valley is swiftly becoming Seattle’s own petit Paris. Bon voyage and bon appetit! 

WHERE: Vancouver, British Columbia, for the 22nd annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (through 9/24; 1695 Whyte Ave., in Vanier Park; bardonthebeach.org).

Ballard residents, rejoice: A new boutique hotel gives visitors an alternative to sleeping on your couch.

Built in 1902 for the American Scandinavian Bank (the words “Bank Building” still appear on the façade), the two-story building at the heart of Ballard Avenue became a hotel in 1920. In more recent decades, it served as a rundown refuge offering weekly residence rates.

If you’ve always contended that you’d love skydiving were it not for that part about leaping out of a plane midflight, the time has come to put your money where your mouth is. Austin–based SkyVenture has constructed an iFLY vertical wind tunnel in Tukwila for anyone (ages 3 and older) who wants to experience the thrill of free-fall without the fear of going splat.

ART CLASS

Sometimes exposing kids to culture is akin to getting them to take yucky-tasting medicine: You have to hide it in something sweet to get it down. The folks at Frye Art Museum have figured this out.

Following the renovation of Capitol Hill’s historic Oddfellows building, myriad new shops, restaurants and hangouts have opened their doors along three hot blocks of Pine Street, between 11th Avenue and Broadway. This hip microhood is fit for both day jaunts and late-night outings; here, you’ll find the street that never sleeps.

 

Paging Jamie Oliver! There are chicken nuggets and sausage-on-a-stick on the Seattle Public Schools’ lunch menu. The ravioli comes from a Chef Boyardee can. But like the popular British chef whose U.S.

Seems like just yesterday video games were making the clumsy transition from bulky joysticks to sleek, wireless controllers. But youth fades, and the time comes to get a haircut, a real job and contribute something to society.

Words guaranteed to freeze the blood of any local middle-class parent of a teenager: “The University of Washington is now officially a stretch school.” That’s what a high school counselor recently told the Eastside mother of a rising high school senior—and what more and more students are hearing.

You drive into some tiny village, walk into the local brasserie and order the set menu for lunch. A carafe of wine, pumped from a barrel and probably made in the barn of some fellow down the road, is plunked down on your table. Your bill? Around $25 for two.

Mike Easton is an inspiration: The former Lecosho chef is cooking what he loves, making his own hours (Il Corvo’s only open weekdays at lunchtime) and running his own show.

Dr. Dre, Warren G, Jay-Z: The soundtrack keeps it bumpin’ at Marination Station, the tiny Capitol Hill Korean-Hawaiian takeout spot from the Marination Mobile women.

It surprises me to say it, but I do believe we may have the old Tom Douglas back.

At Hue Ky Mi Gia, the relatively new, family-owned Chinese noodle shop in the yellow strip mall on Jackson Street, noodles are the star attraction (I like the roasted duck with dry-style noodles). But take a gander at the tables all around the room and you’ll notice there’s one other dish everyone seems to have ordered: the garlic chicken wings.

It’s time for a trip to the local confectionary, but be warned: This isn’t a jaunt down to the corner candy store. It’s nature’s candy store! Let’s go over the checklist. Hiking boots? Check. Map and compass? Check? Bucket? Check. Bear spray...

Christine Tressel, owner of Leapfrog Farm, developed her keen sense of color and texture from sewing and painting. Both proved assets to her true passion—farming—as Tressel’s artistic eye now lends itself to the colorful salad mixes and richly textured floral bouquets plucked from her Poulsbo garden.

Today, we complain about “Seattle process,” of the dithering, second guessing, making and remaking of every major decision, from the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement and downtown tunnel to the 520 bridge expansion, to the Green Line monorail system. Was there ever a time when we got it right the first time?