The waterfront has become the new blank slate upon which planners and urbanists can sketch out their fantasy futures. It’s the new Seattle Commons, the new monorail, the new Westlake, the new SoDo, the new South Lake Union, the new World’s Fair, all rolled into one. It’s a transportation project, a safety project (the sea wall), a park, a tourist center, a commuter corridor for ferries and foot passengers. The new tagline is a “waterfront for all,” signaling an egalitarian goal.
Brent Gunning has something in common with Henry David Thoreau: Both have lived in dwellings so small they could open their front doors while sitting at their desks. Thoreau built his own 150-square-foot cabin, while Gunning, a 24-year-old Microsoft software engineer with close-cropped hair and a chill demeanor, has been living for several months in a Redmond micro-apartment, a 140-square-foot space the size of some walk-in closets.
When you’re in the Skagit Valley, it feels like you’ve gone to the very source of what it means to “eat local.” Many of the goods we buy at Seattle farmers markets comes from this valley—from producers such as Skagit River Ranch and Samish Bay Cheese—and its towns are dotted with quirky bakeries selling freshly baked loaves, and brewpubs pulling tap handles bearing cheekily named beers from a dozen breweries within county lines.
November’s dark, gray days are no excuse for staying indoors—especially now that Seattle’s second-largest park has undergone a major, $13 million overhaul. Long known mostly as a boat launch site and a swimming beach, Warren G. Magnuson Park, (named for “Maggie,” the U.S. senator who served from 1944 to 1981), is now a year-round recreational destination. Concrete has been converted into wetlands, and soggy marshes into playfields, while new indoor facilities attract a wide range of visitors, low cloud deck or no.
At Susie McGee’s Madrona home, the walls are alive with piercing eyes, outstretched limbs and bodies in motion. “I like figurative work,” McGee says, and it makes perfect sense. Before moving to Seattle in 1994, McGee and husband Mark Lowdermilk spent 17 years as professional dancers in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. Their careers have since changed—she teaches private Pilates classes in her home, he is an OB/GYN at Swedish—but the couple’s interest in the human form remains, writ large in the art that adorns the walls.
“They like to nuzzle.” “They are more dog-like than cat-like.” “They eat anything made of plant material.” “They are superspeedy compost machines.” Jennie Grant, 47, is talking about dairy goats, a species she has welcomed into her Madrona backyard since 2006.
You may not know much about Brad Nixon, but neither did his son, local musician (in bands “Awesome” and The Half Brothers) David Nixon. On the brink of becoming a father himself, the younger Nixon began to search for details about his deceased father—a charismatic presence who went from being the president of the college republicans at Eastern Washington University to dropping LSD in 1960s San Francisco, to a stay in a mental institution to being the adored leader (much adored, by his female followers) of a controversial 1970s offshoot of Buddhism.
Seattle magazine: Your new album, Bear Creek, is named after the Woodinville studio where you recorded it—which has also recorded such bands as Foo Fighters, Built to Spill and Fleet Foxes. How did the setting affect the composition of the record?
WHERE: The Olympic Peninsula.
WHY: For the Harvest Winery Tour (11/10–11/11. $30. Multiple locations; 800.785.5495; olympicpeninsulawineries.org), during which eight wineries between Port Angeles and Port Townsend open for tastings and harvest-inspired edibles. Try Eaglemount’s hard ciders, made from the fruit of its 1883 heirloom apple orchard in Port Townsend or Black Diamond’s red and white wines from grapes grown in its Port Angeles vineyard.
If you live in the Northwest, you’ve likely seen Nikki McClure’s bold black-and-white scenes on calendars, cards and journals. Born in Kirkland, the Olympia-based artist uses an X-acto knife to cut each intricate, evocative image out of a single sheet of paper. The resulting artwork is deceptively simple, depicting the mundane moments that make up a life: riding a bike through dandelion fields, hanging laundry on a line, darning clothing, lounging in a hammock.
This weekend brings us the 34th annual Pilchuck Auction, something of a "fashion week" for Seattle glass art collectors.
In addition to hosting a swank gala and tours of the school's Stanwood campus, Pilchuck organizes an enormous auction of glass art made by Pilchuck students, teachers and alumni. Proceeds benefit scholarship programs at the school, which is now recognized as the premier glassblowing program in the nation.