Seen in Daylight, the new art installation at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation might easily be mistaken for an oddly placed safety net. But when night falls, it becomes an immense, iridescent jellyfish hovering above the campus and shifting in the breeze. Unveiled in February, “Impatient Optimist” is an aerial net sculpture (120 feet long, 80 feet wide, 40 feet deep) created by Massachusetts-based artist Janet Echelman, who knows her way around a giant net—she’s installed similarly stunning works across the globe, including at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver, B.C.
The rent is really, really (like seriously) too damn high. Seattle is listed at number 10 on Zumper's National Rent Report, joining the likes of San Francisco, Boston and New York for U.S. cities with the highest rent.
Imagine owning a yacht, Instagramming your fave "I'm on a boat" pics to your bffs and soaking up the Seattle sun as you drift along the Puget Sound this summer. Sounds like a luxury reserved only for the minted and glamorous set. Not to mention a potentially bad investment—especially considering our area's few days of boating-friendly weather.
Everyone knows how perfect Seattle summers are: the days are long, the nights are warm and the city crackles with a happy, sun-drenched energy. As soon as June rolls around, locals hit the streets ready to make the most of each postcard-perfect summer. From outdoor movies to fairs, there are a whole lot of ways to fill your days and nights. So here, in handy listicle form, is your go-to guide to the best events Seattle has to offer. You're welcome.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? The UnitedHealthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF), collecting kids’ favorite jokes and riddles for two joke books that will be published by the foundation and released on World Smile Day—October 2. Children 17 and under can submit their jokes online on the UHCCF website until May 31, 2015.
With summer fast approaching you're probably starting to ask yourself an important question: what kind of festival goer am I? Luckily for you, the folks at MorphCostumes (creators of that monochromatic spandex wonder the morphsuit) have a way to answer that question. Take their quiz to find out if you're a Legend, a Poser, or even worse....a Tragic.
Must SIFFThe Seattle International Film Festival Returns(5/14 to 6/7, times vary) Pick up a pass and pack snacks for the long lines—SIFF is back, with miles of films you can’t see elsewhere, including two by local filmmaker Mel Eslyn. Read more about Eslyn and her films.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it: Pronto Cycle Share announced Monday that self-serve helmet bins will become a permanent part of its bike-sharing system. Previously, the helmet bins operated on the honor system; riders will now have to enter a code to receive a helmet. Annual Pronto users will be able to access helmets for free while 24-hour and three-day users will have to pay $2 per pass period. Pronto is the first bike-share company in North America to provide helmets at every station.
Charlotte Austin, Jenny Cunningham, Kristen Russell & Roddy Scheer
It's the perfect time to make camp. From tepees in a vineyard and charming cabins on a lake to pup tents in meadows under star-crammed skies, here you'll find camping spots for all levels of motivation, experience and outdoor passion. Read on.Lake LifePlunge into the serene outdoors at Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park Story & photos by Roddy ScheerThere isn’t a better way to disconnect from the grid and reconnect with your soul than by visiting Ross Lake in the summertime. The 20-plus-mile course of this dammed section of the Skagit River is protected as a National Recreation Area within North Cascades National Park, and is truly a tonic for the spirit. While you won’t be able to “check in” on Facebook—there’s no cell phone reception and nowhere to charge your phone—you will be able to check in on overwhelming alpine vistas, huge old-growth conifer trees, fearless wildlife uncorrupted by civilization and some of the most pristine water you’ll ever swim in or drink.The hard-won view of Ross Lake in Washington’s North CascadesOf course, no one said getting away from it all at Ross Lake was gonna be easy. First, you’ll have to obtain a (free) wilderness camping permit from the National Park Service’s Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount, which gets you exclusive rights to a specific campsite alongside Ross Lake (first come, first served; all the sites are great, but discuss with the assigning rangers how far up the lake you want to travel and whether or not you want to camp near others or on your own). Then pile back into the car and drive east on Highway 20 another 30 miles to the parking area for the Ross Dam Trail on the north side of the road. Follow the sign at the trailhead at the back of the parking lot toward Ross Dam and hike yourself and your gear down a vertiginous mile. At the bottom, look for a single telephone in a kiosk and use it to call for the water taxi to pick you up and zip you across to the dock at Ross Lake Resort, your last taste of civilization or some facsimile thereof. (An alternative route would be to catch Seattle City Light’s ferry across nearby Diablo Lake—$20 for the round trip—and then ride in a flatbed truck with your camping gear and dozens of other vacationers to Ross Lake.) When you finally reach the resort, you can rent a putt-putt motorboat, kayak or canoe to take you “uplake” to your destination. (Reserve your boat in advance with Ross Lake Resort. Motorboat, which fits four people plus camping gear, $115/day; canoe $38/day, doublekayak, $68/day. 206.386.4437; rosslakeresort.com)While getting there is an adventure, once settled in lakeside, there are many ways to pursue your bliss. Read a book in the sun to the soundtrack of lapping lake water. Hike along the lakeshore and scout for chipmunks, deer and bears. Cast a line and try to hook a rainbow trout for dinner. Skim across the lake to Skymo Creek Falls and get drenched by a 50-foot torrent of liquefied snowmelt as it sluices its way into the lake. If the weather cooperates—85-degree sunny days are the norm in July and August—keep your cool by jumping in and out of the always-refreshing water all day long. You won’t mind leaving your lattes behind when you have glacier-fed lake water to keep you alert.And if you’re really feeling inspired (and in shape), plan on making the arduous yet awesome hike up Desolation Peak to the still-inhabited fire lookout cabin once occupied by Jack Kerouac himself. Following the lead of fellow Beat writer (and Washington native) Gary Snyder, Kerouac signed on with the Forest Service to scout fires during the summer of 1956, spending 63 days drying out and wallowing in loneliness at this aerie in the clouds. Even if you’re not on a Kerouac pilgrimage, you’ll enjoy the view from the top and feel proud of yourself for completing the grueling five-mile ascent up 4,400 vertical feet. If you’re lucky, the current fire lookout will be there to greet you and regale you with tales of life on high. Be sure to pack a few fresh snacks to hand off to this lucky public servant who has probably been living off freeze-dried “MRI” meals for weeks and might consider that beat-up banana in your pack to be the nectar of the gods. While mere civilians can’t spend the night in the lookout cabin, there is a free alpine campsite nearby for those wanting the full Desolation Peak experience. (If you’re so inclined, ask for it when getting your other Ross Lake wilderness camping permits at Marblemount.)While it might not have been easy getting yourself to the shores of Ross Lake (let alone hoofing it up Desolation Peak), going home will certainly feel like the hardest part of the experience. But your fond memories of your days off the grid will only have to sustain you for a year, as you’ll surely be back next summer. Important Details:
Hike or boat in
No showers, but you have the freezing lake
Campsites with fire rings, picnic tables, vault toilets and food storage lockers; some include a boat dock
No reservations, but permits required
Family friendly, if your kids are intrepid
Chill Out If your camping fantasy features big sky views, a glass (or two) of Cabernet Sauvignon, the promise of a for-real bed come nightfall and more than a dash of hipster style, Chillville Walla Walla is your place. This one-year-old “campground,” counterintuitively located on the edge of the Walla Walla Airport, is home to three vintage Airstream campers tricked out with linens, dishware and big shade-giving trees, and a shared barbecue/party area and petanque courts. This is a good jumping off spot for hiking, biking and horseback riding, golf and winery tours, or maybe just lazy walks (it’s a half-hour walk to downtown and an even shorter saunter to the Walla Walla Winery Incubators and Burwood Brewing). Open March to November 2015, weather permitting. Kick back outside your fully loaded Chillville trailer in Walla Walla; photo by zibby wilderTrailers $135–$165/night. “Sweets” trailer is pet-friendly. Also two campsites are available for BYO Airstreamers. Loaner bikes available with reservations. 202.810.3460; chillvillewallawalla.comCrush CampingThe perfectly descriptive (if a bit shopworn) term “glamping” evokes images of dripping chandeliers suspended from safari-tent ceilings, luxurious throws draped over brass beds, and starlit nights dining alfresco. Add delicious wines to the mix, and perhaps you have “wamping”—winery camping, the luxe-loving oenophile’s alternative. Stretch the definition of camping in a deluxe tepee (with alfresco tubs) at Bed and Breakfast in Zillah, Washington; photo eric sinesIf you like a few creatures with your comforts, you’ll love glamping at Cherry Wood Bed Breakfast and Barn, a real working farm in the heart of Washington’s wine country. Here, a luxe 22-foot tepee will be your home base for exploring the dozens of nearby Rattlesnake Hills wineries. Each tepee offers a soft queen-size bed, barbecue grill and mini fridge, water closet and open-air shower. Go wine tasting by horseback ($245/person; visits two wineries) or hop on a high-end hayride ($150/person; visits four wineries). April–October; starting at $225. Zillah, 3271 Roza Drive; 509.829.3500; cherrywoodbbandb.com Indoorsy types will adore the canvas-sided “desert yurts” at Cave B Estate Winery & Resort in the Columbia River Gorge. These tents are anything but rustic, replete with comforts such as air conditioning, leather couches, private bath, mini fridge and a skylight for stargazing. In the vineyard—and just a short walk from the winery, spa and pool—is the ultimate camping amenity: a restaurant that serves three meals a day (no cooking required!). April–October; starting at $179/night. Quincy, 344 Silica Road NW; 509.787.8000; cavebinn.com K.R. Stay among the vines in luxury yurts at Cave B Winery in Quincy, Washington; Courtesy of Cave B
Instagram Inspiration is a new column on Seattlemag.com that explores our favorite Instagram themes each week.
While the Seattle weather taunts us with bouts of sun followed by venegful rainstorms, it has us dreaming of tropical escapes and far-off adventures. Delicate wisteria-covered walls in London, dusky Brazilian streets cast in a golden glow and crystal blue waters of French harbors make us want to hop on the next plane and not look back. We hope these shots inspire you to keep saving for that dream vacation or even just that weekend getaway.
“I’m sitting here with a busted ankle thanks to a karaoke injury last night,” says Mel Eslyn. The Seattle-based filmmaker is in LA, keeping her foot elevated and speaking via a spotty Skype connection. She’s mid-shoot for a film she’s producing called MF, the directorial debut of Robert Schwartzman, brother of Jason (Rushmore) and cousin to various Coppolas. Eslyn explains that it’s a comedy grounded by some heavy drama, then summarizes it Hollywood style: “It’s like The Graduate meets Loverboy—both the 1980s Patrick Dempsey movie and the ’80s band.”
Three cheers for Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez, who nabbed his 2,000th strikeout during Sunday's game against the Oakland A's. King Felix is the fourth-youngest player to reach the exciting milestone, according to the Associated Press.