In 2006, when we produced an anniversary issue celebrating this magazine’s 40-year evolution from Pacific Search, to Pacific Northwest, to Seattle Home and Garden to the Seattle mag you’re reading today, we invited local notables to write about the key events and people responsible for shaping our city over the last 40 years. A common theme quickly emerged as the turning point in our city’s growth: the 1962 World’s Fair.
Just as this issue hits the stands, a young concert violinist who went to high school in Renton and now lives in Seattle’s International District is making his solo debut at Carnegie Hall.
On January 21, Dr. Quinton Morris—director of chamber and instrumental music and assistant professor of music at Seattle University (SU)—plays a program of the Chevalier de Saint-George, Gluck, Mendelssohn and Brahms (with Erin Chung accompanying him on piano) in the esteemed concert venue’s Weill Recital Hall. How did Morris get to Carnegie Hall? As the old joke goes: practice.
If the cold, wet weather and shorter days are putting a damper on your outdoor workout, head inside and try something new. Here are a few cool ways to feel the burn—without catching a chill.
Climb the walls
“The choreography is tricky,” says Michael McCafferty, and his position at Seattle Art Museum is indeed a dance of sorts. As director of exhibition design, he works with SAM curators to figure out which artworks and artifacts go where for every show.
The new Gauguin exhibit (which opens 2/9) is particularly complicated, since the pieces (50 paintings and two sculptures by Gauguin, plus 66 Polynesian artifacts) are coming in from collections all over the world.
The title song from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s 1943 musical Oklahoma! conjures up images of cowboy hats, chaps and ruffled prairie skirts sweeping down the plain. That’s because, over time and countless community theater productions, the classic musical comedy has warped into a caricature of itself, with broad characters and hokey sets.
But for its new production, The 5th Avenue Theatre started with a clean slate. “We looked closely at the script and asked, ‘What did the authors intend?’” says producing director Bill Berry.
Christopher Boffoli won’t stop playing with his food, and we couldn’t be happier about it. The West Seattle-based photographer and writer has gained acclaim for his “Disparity” photo series, which comically pairs teeny human figurines with real-life foods in extreme close-up.
Now he’s bringing the photo series to greeting cards, pairing his macro food photography with absurdist one-liners reminiscent of Gary Larson’s “Far Side” cartoons.
Our city’s growing hip-hop scene gained more national attention last summer, when Sub Pop Records picked up local duo THEESatisfaction (Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons). The playful twosome has been wowing Seattle crowds with self-released EPs and infectious live shows since 2008, and at press time were about to release their first full-length album.
Best known as associate editor of The Stranger, David Schmader debuts a funny new solo play, A Short-Term Solution to a Long-Term Problem, about the pros and cons of living every day as if it were your last, and “narcotic distractions” such as cat videos and child beauty pageants.
Brangien Davis: What does the title mean?
They pour into Seattle by the hundreds of thousands: cruise ship passengers from all over the world, clamoring to board floating cities for slo-mo luxury tours of Puget Sound and points beyond. Seattle has become a major launching spot for cruise ships setting sail to southeast Alaska, with its cavorting whales, calving glaciers and staggeringly beautiful snowy-mountain vistas.
1. Champagne glasses (with Space Needle stems) used on opening night of the fair
2. A ticket book, with individual tickets for fair exhibits
3. An official Space Needle beanie, whose top shakes like a maraca
4. A commemorative egg timer on a piece of wood (of course!)
5. Porcelain salt and pepper shakers
1,000,000: number of dollars the City of Fife offered Seattle to move the Space Needle to its downtown
600,000: number of dollars the City of Seattle paid for the monorail in 1965
500,000: total number of Belgian waffles sold during the six months of the fair. Stacked, they would have been higher than 70 Space Needles.
In the winter of 1962, my Cub Scout den had taken a field trip to the top of the Smith Tower, then one of the tallest buildings west of the Mississippi. We went to the observation deck, where we had an unobstructed view across downtown to a strange spire that was rising near Queen Anne Hill. It was the Space Needle, and the now-familiar tripod tower was up, but the top house was still under construction. I can still see the partial disk in my mind’s eye.
June 1–October 16, 1909: Seattle’s first world’s fair, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, takes place (see photo above).
1954: City Council member Al Rochester proposes the idea that Seattle host a world’s fair to mark the 50th anniversary of the A-Y-P.
February 19, 1957: The World’s Fair Commission receives authorization from Washington Governor Albert Rosellini to hold a fair in Seattle in 1960.