What a Long, Strange Year It's Been

In our December issue, we look back at the wild year that was 2017.
Remembering the giant rubber duck that turned up in Tacoma.

If your Facebook feed was anything like mine last year, between the celebrity deaths (Bowie, Prince, Carrie Fisher, etc.) and post-election gloom, post after post was all about wanting the year to be over.

This year, which I wouldn’t call exactly stable, at least felt laced with a little more optimism like that shiny corona around the black hole I was so lucky to witness during the total solar eclipse this summer. Buoyed by community-building moments like the Womxn’s March, we remain optimistic, despite having endured local and national political whiplash, as well as a freakish run of events that included blood-red suns, falling ash, a giant continent-crossing cloud called The Big Dark and a salmon “spill” that I am pretty sure will not result in some sort of hybrid name-droppy menu item. I can totally understand why people of ancient cultures thought the world was coming to an end when something like an eclipse occurred.

Yet if there is one thing we Pacific Northwesterners are, it’s resilient. And creative, resourceful and generally willing to find the humor in any situation—something that came in handy, particularly this year. So in the spirit of survival, we present our annual Year in Review story, along with our picks (and our readers’ picks!) of the very Best of 2017 in and around Seattle (well, at least what we were able to capture as of press time. No doubt there’s more to come).

Putting this issue together requires the skills of an archivist, the eye of a pop culture junkie and the stamina of a marathon runner. It’s always a huge undertaking and our team this year—which included Gwendolyn Elliott, Shannon O’Leary, Virginia Smyth, along with Chelsea Lin, Nia Martin, Niki Stojnic, John Levesque, Caroline Craighead, Danny Sullivan, Alexandra Haupt, Megan Lamb and design director Matt Cole, who makes it all as fun to look at as it is to read—did a Herculean job.

It’s been an epic year personally too: My husband and I marked 20 years of living in Seattle, which makes us officially locals now, right? My older son is learning how to drive (and I am learning—well, still trying—how to keep my cool while nails are firmly dug into the car door handle). I also hit the big 5-0, and my younger son turns 13. I am still not sure how that happened so quickly—nor how I feel about being only one year younger than the magazine you hold in your hands.

I do know that recording the happenings of this ever-morphing city every month is one of our greatest privileges. So, thank you for being part of it. Congrats, you made it! The end is almost near! Until January, of course, when we start all over again.


BETWEEN THE LINES: December Issue Edition
Or, what went down during the making of this issue.

The Complete Picture
Seattle magazine photographer Hayley Young was happy to reconnect with photojournalist and documentary photographer Aaron Huey during a photo shoot for this month’s Spotlight feature. “He was a guest speaker at my school when I was a first-year photo student. His advice really helped shape my experience,” says Young.

What was that advice? Get a credit card, and rack up charges as needed, to build the portfolio you want. “He suggested self-funding just to get your hands on the type of work you want to do. I got multiple cards to fund my final project,” she recalls. That led to work with local bands and her current position with Seattle magazine. “These are exactly the two things I wanted to be when I grew up: editorial photographer and music video director.”

And, she notes, she’s since paid off the credit cards.

Portion Control
For Family Recipe, a new column debuting this month that takes us inside a family-run restaurant and features a recipe for one of its treasured dishes, writer Naomi Tomky went shopping for ingredients so she could test the recipe. “I blindly bought the quantities specified, without putting too much thought into it. But when I got home, I realized the recipe was scaled to restaurant size. I halved it, but my family of three still ate it for a week—and I still had leftovers to freeze.”

That turned out to be a good thing for Tomky, who was nine months pregnant at the time. “It was right around when we became a family of four, and it made for easy meals.” More of a good thing: She scaled down the recipe’s portions for Seattle magazine readers.

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