If you spent any time in Pioneer Square’s Occidental Park last summer, you noticed the trees were a bit warmer and cozier than usual, their trunks wrapped in brightly striped sweaters. The trend—known as “yarn bombing”—is happening nationally, with avant-garde crafters knitting thousands of rows with which to wrap utility poles, parking meters, park benches and outdoor sculpture. (The Fremont Troll has been yarn bombed with a knit hat and scarf on separate occasions.) Sometimes these bombings are guerrilla; sometimes they’re sanctioned.
Seattle Jewish Film Festival (3/15–3/25), seattlejewishfilmfestival.org
Irish Reels (3/17–3/18), irishreels.org
Seattle Deaf Film Festival (3/30–4/1), deafspotlight.com/SDFF
National Film Festival for Talented Youth (4/26–4/29), nffty.orgLangston Hughes African American Film Festival (4/14–4/22), lhaaff.tumblr.com
Seattle International Film Festival (5/17–6/10), siff.net
IF IT’S MONDAY, IT’S THE ’80s
First Date: A New MusicalCoproduced by ACT and the 5th Avenue Theatre (their powers combined, the theaters hope to reach wider audiences), this new musical comedy explores the inner monologues of two nervous youngsters trying to survive their first date. 3/10–5/20. Times and prices vary. ACT (A Contemporary Theatre), 700 Union St.; 206.292.7676; acttheatre.orgHoly Days
Gary HillThis Seattle-based video, sound and installation artist has been blowing people’s minds for decades, as evidenced by Glossodelic Attractors, an expansive survey of his work (or rather, his “psychotropic languaging vehicles”), which reveals his preoccupation with communication and the intersection of the corporeal and the verbal. 3/31–9/16. Times and prices vary. Henry Art Gallery, 15th Avenue NE and NE 41st Street; 206.543.2280; henryart.org Sandra Cinto
Louise Glück: Acclaimed New York poet. Known for: Winning a Pulitzer Prize for poetry, serving as U.S. poet laureate (2003–2004) and penning unflinching, gorgeous poems. Reading: As part of Seattle Arts & Lectures. 3/15. 7:30 p.m. Prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St.; 206.621.2230; lectures.org
Superstar soprano Renée Fleming joins the Seattle Symphony to stun the audience with her spectacular vocals (conducted by music director Ludovic Morlot) on a diverse mix of compositions by Maurice Ravel, Ben Gibbard, Leonard Cohen and others.3/16. Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St.; 206.215.4747; seattlesymphony.org
Marvel at splendid Egyptian artifacts excavated from the tomb of TUTANKHAMUN: THE GOLDEN KING AND THE GREAT PHARAOHS (5/24–1/6. Times and prices vary. Pacific Science Center, 200 Second Ave. N; 206.443.2001; pacificsciencecenter.org).
Discover the films of 20th-century Indian filmmaker RAJ KAPOOR (3/30–4/12. Times and prices vary. SIFF Film Center, 305 Harrison St.; 206.324.9996; siff.net), an artist of huge acclaim in his home country, but barely known in ours.
On the Stage at On the BoardsContemporary dance fans may as well camp out at On the Boards this season—it’ll be easier than driving home and coming back and finding parking for each of these stellar performances.
For the first time, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) is convening in Seattle (3/28–3/31), which means approximately 5,000 ceramics fanatics are descending on our city. In celebration, 183 venues—stretching from Bellingham to Tacoma, and ranging from art galleries to Harborview Medical Center to the windows at Nordstrom—are showcasing works of clay.
A Wrecking Brawl
For nearly 60 years, Seattle’s polarizing north-south thoroughfare, the Alaskan Way Viaduct, crouched in concrete splendor along Elliott Bay, carrying 100,000 cars a day the length of the city, from SoDo to Belltown and beyond. Irreparably damaged in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake, the thing has since been at the heart of a heated citywide debate: rebuild, repair or remove? Tunnel or “surface option”?
With peak-hour downtown parking meter fees now as much as $4 an hour, Seattle is the sixth-most-expensive city in the nation in which to park a car, according to a 2011 Colliers International survey (an average of more than $24/day, behind Manhattan, Boston and Chicago).
Every month, 97 Seattle Police Department parking enforcement officers print around 45,000 citations (about 7 percent of the city’s total population). While most tickets are for commonsense infractions—the most common: not paying or letting your time expire—there are a few lesser-known ways to end up with the dreaded envelope tucked under your wiper.
Seattle Municipal Code: 11.72.240
It usually feels like the worst traffic spot in Seattle is the one you’re stuck in, but during peak traffic hours (6–9 a.m. and 3–6 p.m.), SDOT says these locations officially rack up some of the most stop-and-go traffic—sometimes minus the go. Check out King-5’s Jam Factor app (king5.m.mlnwap.com) and WSDOT traffic cameras (wsdot.wa.gov/traffic/seattle) for up-to-the-minute views.
1. Denny Way, between First and Fairview avenues
2. I-5 through downtown