Gray Matters

May 23, 2012 1:29 AM
When I was an editor at Washington magazine back in the ’80s, I kept a Mason jar of moonshine on my desk, something to share with special...
April 20, 2012 12:25 AM
Action figures seem to be everywhere. On a shelf at home, Sigmund Freud, cigar in hand, is often in a death struggle with his counterpart,...
April 8, 2012 6:36 PM
The Seattle “Century 21” World’s Fair of ’62 was about science, but what folks remembered was the food. The populist hit? Belgian waffles,...
February 18, 2012 12:38 AM
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...
January 10, 2012 12:31 AM
The Seattle world’s fair of 1962 is fixed in civic memory: the Space Needle, the Science Center, the Monorail. But just as interesting as...
December 12, 2011 8:11 PM
Seattle generally doesn’t give locals the tabloid treatment, but that wasn’t always so. In the 1950s and ’60s, the press was obsessed with...
November 18, 2011 10:16 PM
This last year, I’ve spent a lot of time in 1962, as I research and write a history of the Space Needle. Every week, I appear on KUOW-FM’s...
October 17, 2011 3:24 PM
When civic disputes get down to arguments over numbers, the point has usually been lost. Debates this year over building heights near the...
September 7, 2011 7:55 PM
Drinking locally is a long-held tradition, though it has gone in and out of vogue. Washington was a major supplier of hops for beer and...
August 8, 2011 10:38 PM
Today, we complain about “Seattle process,” of the dithering, second guessing, making and remaking of every major decision, from the...
July 8, 2011 4:50 PM
My column “Statues of Limitations” (March 2011), on the topic of local icons that I’d like to Photoshop out of the picture if I were...
June 10, 2011 5:16 PM
Fifty years ago this summer, Seattle was in the middle of a major transformation. Planners were rushing to build the first World’s Fair in...
May 11, 2011 8:50 PM
If you listen to people like Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly, “Left Coast” cities like Seattle are so far out of the mainstream that we’re on the...
April 14, 2011 4:28 PM
Years ago, my photograph appeared in Seattle Weekly as part of a spoof on mountain climbing. I posed in a parking lot in SoDo with an ice...
January 13, 2011 4:56 PM
I attended the Seattle World’s Fair in 1962, and it shaped my expectations for the 21st century. I expected to live in a world of atomic...