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As a chocolate lover, you might understand these terms: Dark, milk, white, infused, nutty. 70%, 80%, 90% cacao. Drinking chocolate versus cocoa. “Country of Origin”. And, a skinny mocha…hold the whip, please. The Northwest Chocolate Festival 2017 is the perfect opportunity to practice this lingo and discover even more about this sweet global obsession. This year, it takes place November 11th and 12th, at Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Pier 91, near the southeast corner of Magnolia (close to both Belltown and Queen Anne). 

When attending the Northwest Chocolate Festival for the first time, one is struck by how immense the chocolate industry is, based sheerly on the number of exhibitors that are represented here. Over 100 chocolate industry vendors will be at this year’s event.  Artisan chocolate makers from around the world and USA, including a number of local crafters, offer samples of their products at each table you stop by. It truly is a chocolate lover’s dream: truffles, single-origin [world region] chocolate bars, liquid chocolate for drinking, syrups, and other incarnations.

But buying and tasting chocolate aren’t the only available activities at this event: 
What if you want to craft your own artisan chocolates or incorporate more into your own cooking?  There are cooking demonstrations and classes for that, led by professionals in the industry. And suppliers who sell chocolate-making equipment and supplies, to get you started.

What if you want to become a professional “taster” or turn your chocolate obsession into a career? Professionals in that field will lead you through what to savor to determine the quality in a piece of chocolate and other educational demos.

Chocolate begins life as pods hanging from a cacao tree.  Photo: CT Cooper

Are you’re interested in the process involved in a fruit pod hanging on a tree in the southern hemisphere ultimately becoming refined piece of chocolate? Or how carefully cultivated crops are yielding a better life for small farmers? Or how chocolate consumption can lead to better brain health?  Yes, yes, and yes.

The saying goes, Life is short; Eat chocolate. And, if you feel so inclined, celebrate this at The Northwest Chocolate Festival.

Their Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/events/1257237424388358/?active_tab=about

Steamposium, like a sleek Jules Verne futuristic submarine, is gliding into harbor on October 27th – 29th. The Bell Harbor International Conference Center on the waterfront near Belltown is hosting this gathering for those who love Steampunk.

For those not familiar with it, a simplified explanation of “Steampunk” is wearing period costume, often from the Old American West or English Victorian era, accompanied with advanced, futuristic weapons and other gadgetry built from materials readily available in the 1800s. Pocket watches, gears, and goggles abound. There are also variations on this, such as post-apocalyptic themes. The word is derived from “steam-powered”, such as devices like the steam locomotive (train) from that era, and is based on early science fiction literature.  Jules Vernes’ “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, and HG Wells’ future-predicting work as well, are two examples. One of the earlier examples adapted for the screen was “The Wild Wild West”, a series which ran on television from 1965-1969. It was based in the American West and featured two government agents, outfitted with advanced gadgets, who travelled by an adapted steam locomotive with special features (like an escape tunnel built in a fireplace) to track down masterminds in crime.

 

Another example of British Victorian Steampunk is the movie “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, based upon a graphic novel, among many other examples.

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Steamposium takes place a few days before Halloween, and is a good excuse to showcase your garb and gadgets, or just admire other people’s handcrafted cosplay while walking around the convention. You can take classes/workshops on various aspects of Steampunk, drink tea and watch a fashion show, attend a mad science fair, or shake your metallic gears at a live music concert. Actor Billie Piper, who was Doctor Who’s companion for a number of seasons, who also appeared in Penny Dreadful, will be there, as well as her Penny co-star, Reeve Carney. Billie also played the key role in a PBS adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park years ago. (Check out an upcoming celebration of Austen’s life & writing, called JaneFest at the University of Washington on November 4th, to admire clothing from the Regency era.)

So feel free to flash forward on the time-space continuum (using your 1800s ray gun to get there, of course), and enjoy yourself at Steamposium.  Your future self will thank you.


Love Belltown?

Now’s your chance to get involved in your community and help make a difference!

This Wednesday, October 25th, there will be a very special Belltownhall meeting where you can meet Seattle’s Mayoral candidates, Seattle’s City Council members, and the City Attorney.

They will be here, in Belltown to listen to US, so let’s get involved and make the most of this opportunity for the neighborhood and for the city as a whole!

Really want to get involved in this awesome event? There’s still time to help by volunteering!

The folks at Project Belltown can use some extra help before the event and on the day, itself too!

If you want to help on Wednesday the 25th, email Evan Clifthorne with Project Belltown at evan@projectbelltown.com

Some ways you can help ahead of time:

  • Do you live here? Is there a poster in your building?  Can you put one in another building that your friend(s) live in?
  • Do you know 5 – 10 people who love Belltown?  Will you call and/or text them and specifically request that they come on Wednesday?
  • Have you reserved your tickets yet?  Did you say “going” on Facebook yet?
  • Do you use Facebook?  Will you share the event on your page?  Will you go to the event page and “invite” more of your friends?
  • Do you know of lists of people that can spread the word?  Will you ask them to help us?
  • Do you manage a Belltown community email list of any kind?  Have you told them about this opportunity?
  • Do you know someone that loves Belltown as much as you do?  Email, text, call however you can contact them, let them know you’re going and ask them to go too!

 


Here’s a little bit more info on the event from Project Belltown –

Durkan, Moon, & 2017 candidates to join #belltownhall on October 25th

Who:       Mayor, City Council, City Attorney, and YOU!
What:     Candidate One-on-One Interviews, Civic Tradeshow, Live Music, Artists, and BEER.
Where:   Block 41 event space, 115 Bell Street
When:    Wednesday October 25th at 6:00PM

Why:      Join us at #belltownhall to meet the candidates for Seattle’s Mayor, City Council at-large, and City Attorney. We will be talking about all things Belltown and Seattle, including affordable housing, arts and culture, public safety, transportation, open space, and so much more.

Hosts:    Project Belltown, with support from the Belltown Community Council, Belltown Business Association, The Stranger, Tune, Block 41, Makers, Pyramid Brewing, NW Polite Society, Live Nation, Growing Vine Street, and Friends of Historic Belltown.

Bonus:    We are launching the 2nd & Belltown Pale Ale (available at the event and in bars and restaurants throughout Belltown afterward) and will be showcasing food from several iconic Belltown restaurants.

Track on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using #belltownhall.

Tickets are FREE but space is limited.

Get your spot and find us online @ProjectBelltown

Contact: Evan Clifthorne
Telephone206-486-6558
E-mail: evan@projectbelltown.com
Websitegoo.gl/aJ8UDd

Let’s all show up for Belltown and for Seattle by getting out, getting educated and getting heard!

There’s lots to do with food and fun in Belltown throughout the month of July! Check out some of the highlights…

July 1: Pizza Class
9:50am – 11:30am | Serious Pie Virginia
Serious Pie on Virginia Street is offering a pizza class on Saturday, July 1st. Learn about the pizza and ingredients used at Serious Pie, plus get hands-on instruction and experience stretching and shaping the pizza dough, topping it with your choice of ingredients, baking and turning it to cook it perfectly, and finally, eating your ‘za with a glass of wine! Classes are limited to 12 people, and the cost is $50/person.

July 1: Free Tour of The Paramount Theatre
10am – 11:30am | The Paramount Theatre
On the first Saturday of each month, The Paramount Theatre offers free tours of its historic facilities. This month, the tour is from 10 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m. on July 1st. Meet in the main entrance of the theatre by 10 a.m. to participate.

July 8: The Seattle Fire Festival
11am – 3pm | Bell Street Park
Check out vintage fire engines, try on real firefighters’ gear, and other fun activities at The Seattle Fire Festival on July 8th. It’s fun for the whole family in Bell Street Park, with a bouncy house and hands-on learning that’s engaging for all ages.

July 10: Pintxo + Lustau 5-Course Sherry Dinner
7pm – 10pm | Pintxo Seattle
Pintxo has completed its move to a larger space, and the tapas restaurant is celebrating with a special sherry dinner with Lustau on July 10th. There will be a 5-course chef’s tasting menu to compliment some wonderful Lustau Sherry pairings. The price is $110 per person, which includes gratuity. Click here to buy tickets.

July 14: Belltown Art Walk
6 – 9pm | Belltown Community Center
Belltown’s July Art Walk begins at the Belltown Community Center then sends walkers off to local businesses, galleries, dive bars and venues to enjoy works by local artists. Start at the neighborhood community center to pick up a gallery map and snacks between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, July 14th, and then wander throughout Belltown to check out the work of various artists and establishments participating in this monthly event.

July 21-23: Food Lovers Weekend
5-9pm Friday, 9am-5pm Saturday, 9am-3pm Sunday | Hot Stove Society
As one of the most exciting food destinations in the world, Seattle is a hot spot for seafood, coffee, wine, beer, spirits and more. Hot Stove Society presents a new Food Lovers Weekend Series for you to discover the vibrant food culture that Seattle has to offer. There will be cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, hand-on cooking classes and more. The three-day weekend starts with a reception on Friday night, and all of the events Saturday and Sunday. Tickets ($995/person) include all food, wine and fees for the scheduled events. Accommodations and travel are not included. Buy tickets here.

There is plenty to do in Belltown throughout June, but here are just a few featured food and wine events that you may want to check out…

June 2: First Friday Wine Share
6 – 8:30pm | 2nd Ave and Battery St #109
Each month, a different business or individual in the neighborhood will host the monthly First Friday Wine Share. In June, the theme is Gin and Juice. Check out the details of the event here. Bring a bottle of vino to share and friends welcome!

June 3: Pizza Class
9:50am – 11:30am | Serious Pie Virginia
Serious Pie on Virginia Street is offering a pizza class on Saturday, June 3rd. Learn about the pizza and ingredients used at Serious Pie, plus get hands-on instruction and experience stretching and shaping the pizza dough, topping it with your choice of ingredients, baking and turning it to cook it perfectly, and finally, eating your ‘za with a glass of wine! Classes are limited to 12 people, and the cost is $50/person.

June 3: Free Tour of The Paramount Theatre
10am – 11:30am | The Paramount Theatre
On the first Saturday of each month, The Paramount Theatre offers free tours of its historic facilities. This month, the tour is from 10 a.m. until about 11:30 a.m. on June 3rd. Meet in the main entrance of the theatre by 10 a.m. to participate.

June 4: Vegetable Bounty Sunday Feast at Tavolàta
6pm – 9pm | Tavolàta in Belltown
Tavolàta’s Sunday Dinner for June features 10 dishes, plus sides with a bounty of summer veggies! This family-style dinner includes seven courses. Dinner is at 6 p.m., and the meal is $70 per person. Reservations are required, so call 206-838-8008 to reserve your spot.

June 9: Belltown Art Walk
6 – 9pm | Belltown Community Center
Belltown’s June Art Walk begins at the Belltown Community Center then sends walkers off to local businesses, galleries, dive bars and venues to enjoy works by local artists. Start at the neighborhood community center to pick up a gallery map and snacks between 6 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, June 9th, and then wander throughout Belltown to check out the work of various artists and establishments participating in this monthly event.

June 22: Woodinville Whiskey Dinner
6:30pm – 9pm | Dahlia Lounge
Dahlia Lounge welcomes Woodinville Whiskey Co. in June for a specialty pairing dinner on the 22nd. Chef Kyle Johnson has prepared an epic feast to compliment the stunning local whiskies from Woodinville Whiskey Co. Tickets are $100 per person – purchase tickets here.

Featured photo source: TomDouglas.com