July 2011

Top Doctors 2011

Top Doctors

From this Issue

You might’ve noticed: Our islands have been getting quite a bit of national attention. In January, The New York Times called the San Juan Islands one of the top travel destinations of the year, and it’s not just because of the slower pace and the sparkling waters: There’s destination-worthy dining on nearly every one of our nearby islands.

Maria Hines’ Northwest cuisine–focused Tilth was only the second Oregon Tilth–certified organic restaurant in the country when it opened in 2006.  Within a year, the New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni called it one of the 10 best new restaurants in the country, and Hines has since been named the James Beard Best Chef Northwest.

In this town, we spend a lot of time fretting (and arguing and voting) about what the Seattle of the future will look like. Meanwhile, physical evidence of our city’s forgotten past looms all around us.

Clockwise from top Left: Funk Royal Optics mustard yellow round retro-style frames with teal inlay, $399, from the Pulp Lab  pop-up shop at Deli (Downtown, 1307 1st Ave.; 206.682.2446;; also available at;

Like migratory birds making a stop on their way to warmer climes, flocks of visitors crowd the sidewalks of Pioneer Square this time of year, waiting their turn to step into the belly of Seattle on the Underground Tour and explore the cavernous, below-sea-level depths where relics of our city’s past lie.

Our 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.”

The recent boom in Seattle booze distillers comes thanks to the Washington State Craft Distillery Law (passed in 2008), which allows local liquor producers to offer on-site tasting and bottle sales, à la wineries—provided that at least 51 percent of the liquor ingredients are grown in state.

Etsy experts unite at Urban Craft Uprising, the Northwest’s bodacious indie-craft-aganza. The event features more than 100 artists—many from Seattle—selling unique wares, such as Crystalyn Kae’s vegan handbags, Matthew Porter’s mischievous monkey prints and plush treats by Devout Dolls and Schmancy. 7/9–7/10. 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Free.

If you’ve spent any time in bed-and-breakfasts, you know that the predominant décor philosophy relies heavily on creepy antique dolls, and mandates that no surface is complete without a doily. But at the new 9 Cranes Inn, the proprietor feels your pain. In response, innkeeper Shelley Goulding has curated her space with a simple, eclectic aesthetic. Her motto?

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.

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.

WHY WE LOVE HIS LOOK: Pacific Northwest Ballet principal dancer Postlewaite spends much of his life on stage in dramatic costumes; off stage, he channels that same energy into his off-beat personal style in statement kilts, fur vests and skinny jeans as tight as his stage wear. “There is still an element of costuming in my everyday life,” he explains.

It has finally arrived: that golden summer moment when local fruits—from cherries to blueberries—are ripe and ready to eat, and we spend weekends perusing our neighborhood farmers’ market for salad greens. Celebrate the bounty of the season with a farm-to-table dinner that lets the produce take center stage.

Historic Snohomish (located a 45-minute drive northeast of Seattle) has long been a destination for classic antiques, but a popular new antique mall—plus a slew of vintage-style boutiques and a cozy new coffeehouse—has helped breathe new life into a four-block stretch of First Street downtown, transforming it into a paradise for every lover of old things, from hard-core antiquers to hip DIY thr

To paraphrase a scene from Mad Max... Listen up! This is the truth of it: Shopping leads to buying, and buying leads to bills. And it was darned near the economic downfall of us all. But we’ve learned–Seattle learned. Now when we get to shopping, it happens in the community and it finishes in the community. Two services or goods enter; two satisfied traders leave.

Last summer, Seattle put Nickerson Street on a “diet.” The four-lane road was chopped down to two, with the sacrificed lanes becoming a center turn lane and a pair of bicycle lanes, one on either side.

Some people know how to think big. A new destination winery near Roslyn and Cle Elum is one of those big thoughts, made real. Opened last September on the grounds of the high-end Suncadia Resort—with its luxury accommodations, restaurants, spa and hiking trails—Swiftwater Cellars elevates more than just the wine experience; it brings with it a full-service restaurant, as well.

Who can resist the call of the Pike Place Market in the summer’s early-morning hours?

Part of the fun of the Conservatory is the bait-and-switch of eating modern, gutsy food—in Madison Park.

Bite into a Lyall Farms cherry and you taste a piece of history. Charles Lyall, manager and co-owner of his family’s fruit orchard in Mattawa, first started farming at the age of 5, lending a hand picking fruit and moving sprinklers for his father (who grew up farming with his own father). Now 52 years old, Lyall has been in the fruit business for nearly 50 years.

Tropical scenes in our corner of the continent are infrequent, but last summer, on one of those bluebird July days, I watched a guy in board shorts, tank top and sandals casually employ a foot pump to inflate a small rubber raft a stone’s throw from the Mukilteo ferry. Satisfied with its seaworthiness, he hopped in and paddled his passenger—a baited crab pot—a few hundred yards offshore.

Sweet and tangy, raspberries are the perfect companion to a summer day.

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.

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.