WATERWAYSOur sunny summer days are precious—and so are the moments we spend cooling off from the heat. Sure, you can hit a lake or a pool, but why not mix it up? Consider these five “spraygrounds” for an afternoon of free fun.
NAME: George Mount OCCUPATION: Actor and founding artistic director of Wooden O Theatre FAVORITE ROLE: “Hamlet. It really is the single character that taught me the most about my craft.” FAVORITE PLAY TO PERFORM: A Comedy of Errors. “Because it’s just so damn silly.” PARK MUST-BRINGS: A picnic and a blanket or a low-backed chair.SCHEDULE: seattleshakespeare.org/woodeno
Originally planted by the University of Washington School of Pharmacy in 1911, the Medicinal Herb Garden has survived budget cuts and campus expansion, as well as a post–World War II shift in national preference from herbal to synthetic medicines. Now maintained by the UW Department of Biology, under the care of curator and gardener Keith Possee, the century-old garden spans 2.5 acres and boasts more than 1,000 species of medicinal herbs and plants (none of which are ever harvested; the garden is for educational and display purposes only).
ARTIST: Adam Stern, seattle symphony guest conductor
SPECIALTY: Conducting for the “symphonic cinema” program, in which the music is removed from a famous film (the dialogue remains) and the live orchestra plays the score as the movie screens overhead.
PERFORMANCES: Stern is conducting live scores for Casablanca (7/6 & 7/8) and The Wizard of Oz (7/7 & 7/9). Times and prices vary. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St.; 206.215.4747; seattlesymphony.org
Believe it or not, we have the weather to thank for luring acclaimed playwright Yussef El Guindi to Seattle. In the early 1990s, El Guindi was a playwright-in-residence and lecturer at Duke University. As his term was coming to an end, he wanted to move to a city with a strong theater scene—beyond the obvious one. (“At the time,” he says, “my nerves were too raw” to deal with New York City.) His new home also had to be a “livable city” with good public transportation, since El Guindi doesn’t drive. That left Chicago, Minneapolis and Seattle.
Judging by the 400 archival photographs on display at the Wing Luke Museum, bridal portraits were a steady source of income for Japantown’s Takano Studio. Founded in 1910, the Japanese-American photography studio was a thriving business until 1942, when Japanese citizens were sent to internment camps. But before that, Takano captured Seattle’s vibrant Japanese community on film—and the Wing Luke Museum now holds the collection of negatives.
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 America since World War II. Construction was under way on a second floating bridge across Lake Washington, and the I-5 freeway was marching toward the Canadian border.
Seattle was being spruced up to host the world, but the focus was also on the future. The fair’s theme was “Century 21”—what would the world be like in the year 2000?
All Julie Paschkis wants to do is paint. A steep, narrow staircase leads to her “place of painting”: a treetop-nestled studio with small-paned windows that, on a clear day, offer a peek at the Olympics. Bottles of dye labeled “strongest red,” “grasse green” (long story) and “lemon yellow” sit in cardboard boxes. Gorgeous folk-art-style paintings on silk dupioni hang about, waiting to make their appearance at Seattle’s Grover/Thurston Gallery.
Early in June, I sat down with Seattle author Richard Farr to talk about how to get a children’s book published. He was highly amused by the idea that he would be considered any kind of expert, but I thought there was no better person to ask than someone who, after years of trying, recently landed his very first book with Farrar, Straus & Giroux, one of the most respected children’s book publishers in the United States. His book, for “ages 12 to 112,” is called Emperors of the Ice: A True Story of Disaster and Survival in the Antarctic, 1910-13 and is available this month.
I feel like we have been looking forward to it forever, and as the excitement mounts, it’s somewhat a relief to say: There is less than a week to go until the big Seamless in Seattle show at the Seattle Art Museum on Wednesday, June 8. Designers are finishing off their top-secret challenge looks, models have been selected and now we just need you there to join in on the fun.
Must Experience New StyleSeattle Fashion CompetitionWednesday (6/8) - Our annual Seamless in Seattle competition is jumping off the pages and onto the runway. This year, the top 12 finalists will debut their work in front of a live audience and judging panel at Seattle Art Museum. Each designer will present four looks, the last of which will be crafted two weeks prior, as part of a design challenge (à la Project Runway). Winners will be revealed at the end of the night! (Vote for the “reader’s choice” winner on our Facebook page.) 7:30 p.m.
We get kind of funny this time of year.
The temp hits 70 degrees (fingers crossed!) and suddenly our car windows are down, our sunglasses are permanently affixed to our faces, and we’re always thirsty for something cold and fizzy. Must be summertime! Barbecue, ice cream, an awesome fish taco—the change in weather changes the way we eat, too, so we’ve rounded up our favorite rituals and victuals for when the weather turns warm and the sun never seems to set.
Seattle magazine arts editor Brangien Davis scoured the local soundscape for a baker's dozen of the best warm-weather songs recently released by Seattle bands of note. Stream the videos here (via YouTube), then support local music by buying the songs from iTunes. Happy Summer!
In this entrepreneurial town, we like to do things on our own time and that includes being active. Whether there’s one last work project that can't wait or The Bachelorette conflicts with your Monday night tennis league, having a weekly team sport commitment just doesn’t always jive with our free-spirit attitude. Perhaps that’s why Seattle has such a lively pick-up sports scene. From badminton to basketball, here’s your guide to getting sporty on the fly.
Sometimes, it’s easy to fall into “other city” envy. What’s not to like about Portland’s utopian indie scene, Vancouver’s dim sum and Japanese food, Chicago’s thrilling modern cooking, New York’s delis, bagels—everything?