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Alethea Myers

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Ever notice the colorful lights in Etta’s Seafood restaurant? And did you know there’s a lunch card deal for us regulars?

Named after the daughter (Loretta) of local restaurateur force-of-nature Tom Douglas and wife/partner Jackie Cross, Etta’s is located a ½ block north of Pike Place Market on Western Avenue. Set against a backdrop of mostly black and brown tones, colorful lights from Kasala (located a few blocks away) illuminate and highlight the interior space of the restaurant. A definite bright spot on an overcast Fall or winter day.

Dining there is also a highlight: all food and most drinks are locally sourced from the Northwest. They even cure and smoke their own meat and seafood, often purchased from Pike Place Market. Fresh vegetables from their farm in Prosser, WA, are prepared and served on their menu during the growing season, which is May through November. Certain menu items shift in a subtle way to match that month’s bounty. Vegetables currently being featured and where they originated from (along with some fun drawings) are sketched on their chalkboard near the front entrance. Below that, Tom’s autographed cookbooks are displayed for sale, and multi-colored, fish-shaped chewy candies invite you to take a spoonful. The True Cod Fish and hand cut Chips accompanied by a unique, good coleslaw, are definitely worth repeating, and the Dungeness crab cakes are excellent.

Chalkboard inside Etta’s front door, as well as autographed cookbooks, food rubs, and candies.   All photos: Alethea Myers
The lunch card.

For those of us who frequently eat lunch here, you can request an Etta’s lunch card, which your wait person or manager will initial at the end of each visit. After purchasing 10 lunches, your 11th one is free. That’s a significant savings, and a good incentive to keep returning.

Seattle Restaurant Week is coming soon, October 15th through November 2nd, in which 165+ local restaurants offer 2-3 course lunches for $18, and 3-course dinners for $33. Etta’s is participating in this event, and you can view their special menu here.

 

 

There are only a few days left of this year’s Fleet Week on the downtown waterfront. Five, large ships are in port from the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and the Royal Canadian Navy. And you may have noticed the over 5,000 sailors, many in spotless white uniforms, who are also in port. Fleet Week has been a longstanding Seafair tradition, dating back 67 years, in honor of the civilians who serve our country.

One of these naval ships is docked near Belltown (see above photo). To see it from this vantage point, walk west two blocks on Lenora Street from Western Avenue. This will take you beneath the 99 overpass, past a parking lot on your right, and out onto a bridge walkway. And just for kicks, when you’re done looking out over the waterfront, look down over the railing at this fun mosaic at your feet.

The mosaic at your feet.  Photo: Alethea Myers

Free, informative ship tours are still available at Pier 66, 69, and 90 on Elliott Bay from Friday, August 4th through Sunday, August 6th. Here are two sources to read more specifics about the Fleet Week schedule:

http://www.seafair.com/p.aspx?pID=schedule/294&
http://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2017/08/02/ships-arrive-seafair-fleet-week/534074001/\

 

Above photo: Infinity Mirrored Room–Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity, Yayoi Kusama, 2016.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” travelling exhibition opened today at the Seattle Art Museum. Although it will remain open until Sept. 10th of this year, and although all timed-entry tickets are completely sold out, limited ones are set aside/reserved and available on a daily, walk-in basis. Ours is the 2nd U.S. city that her popular artwork is on display in, featuring lighting installations, sculpture, paper works, and her paintings. For the first showing at the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington, DC, the first 9,000 people received free tickets and it sold out in 6 minutes, which crashed the site. SAM also reported tickets selling out extremely fast here as well.

Ms. Kusama’s infinity rooms have both a sense of whimsy and yet an eternal quality to them. Two or three people are immersed in a small, intimate setting, viewing each room for 20-30 seconds, in some cases, walking amid her work. But there are also mirrors which repeat and repeat within that space, and the guest’s own reflection becomes part the room. These exhibits, with often a repetition of motifs (such as polka dots or reflections) feature a wide spectrum of this 87-year old artist’s work from the 1950s to present day.

Dots Obsession-Love Transformed into Dots, Yayoi Kusama. Photo: Seattle Art Museum

After unusual and possibly traumatic early life experiences, Yayoi Kusama, received an encouraging letter from American artist Georgia O’Keefe then moved from Japan to New York City in the 1950s to pursue her art. One of her contemporaries was Andy Warhol, and her varied work sometimes explored anti-war and sexual themes filtered through her own lens. For over 40 years now, after a mental breakdown, she has lived voluntarily in a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo, Japan. She checks herself out of the hospital daily, walks to her studio nearby to work, then returns at night: a combination of structure and freedom which allows for her continual, infinite creativity.

“This effect of continual repetition calls out to the human senses, and in return, deep inside our heart we yearn for true amazement.”
Yayoi Kusama, Hirschhorn Museum interview, Dec. 2016.

Yayoi Kusama with recent works in Tokyo, 2016.  Photo: Tomoaki Makino. Courtesy of the artist © Yayoi Kusama

Want to peruse local artwork and also give your input on what you’d like our community to look like in the future? Stop by Thursday evening, April 27th  from 6-9 pm at Makers’ space (92 Lenora St.) in Belltown. The meeting is held by Project Belltown, a community-driven group, who would show maps, plans, and would like your ideas for how this neighborhood can thrive in days to come. Local art and imagery will be on display, and there will be food and drink as well.

Project Belltown has six areas of focus for improvements:
Creative Placemaking: Preserve and promote an art and entertainment district as a neighborhood center for Belltown; as a heart of Belltown. Invest in our public realm: our historic buildings, parks, alleyways, sidewalks, and open spaces.

Economic Development: Develop strategies to market and promote Belltown businesses, both as a destination for tourists and as a walkable community. Look at strategies to preserve affordable commercial rents, and align development with desired uses.

Environment: Implement the Growing Vine Street public art and water-reclamation project, build more green street projects. Promote sustainable development and explore the implementation of an EcoDistrict throughout Belltown.

Health & Safety: Advocate for increased community policing, while pursuing additional neighborhood strategies to address homelessness. Expand on community workforce development programs and increase access to services for those in need.

Mobility & Connectivity: Improve connections to the Waterfront, Pike Place, and the Seattle Center. Promote mobility through a Belltown Connector, pedestrian, and bike connections. Build out east/west connections to Denny Triangle.

Workforce Housing: Develop a Belltown-based strategy for affordable and workforce housing. Consider a district to preserve existing housing, in alignment with HALA recommendations, and using an expanded TDR program to fund new workforce housing. Consider incentive programs tied to up-zoning.

Interior of Makers, where meet & art will be held. Photo: Makers site

Makers, where the meeting will be held, is a co-working space for entrepreneurial spirits who see the benefit of a shared working environment, camaraderie, and resources.

Come join us!

Belltown Skyline   Photo: Ken Lund /flickr

Join Project Belltown for the second in our series of community visioning events, where we will hear from a host of Belltown Champions who will share our efforts on Community Campaigns to make Belltown a better place to be. This will be followed by a Community Art Intervention where YOU get to tell us what matters to YOU in this neighborhood. And get there early, as the first 50 people will receive a free drink ticket!

WHO’S INVITED: Everyone Who Loves Belltown!!

WHAT: A Community Event to Help Us Help Belltown
WHEN: 6:00 pm Thursday, March 30th (that’s next week!)

(Doors at 6:00 pm; Program begins at 6:20 pm)

WHERE: In the Grotto at The Rendezvous,  2322 2nd Ave, Belltown
WHY: Because we need your help to make Belltown the coolest place on EARTH.

FEATURED COMMUNITY CAMPAIGNS INCLUDE:

Building a Brand New Park for Belltown
(Goodbye Viaduct, Hello new park and community center!)

Saving the Heart of Our Neighborhood
(It starts on 2nd and is so much more!)

Demanding Housing for the Working Class
(Help our employees live near where they work!)

Building Up and Building Green
(Re-using water! Green Infrastructure! Combating Climate Change!)

Local Business, Local Belltown
(We love our interesting and independent businesses!)

RSVP on Facebook and help make our community great!

The space may fill up fast, so get there early if you can.

 

Thank you, and hope to see you there!

All the best,

EHC

Evan Clifthorne
Executive Director

Project Belltown
206-486-6558