58. Zombies Rule
Head to Fremont on July 3 and you’ll see the making of a Guinness World Record: With luck, an estimated 10,000 people will shuffle down Phinney Avenue North dressed as zombies—5,974 more than we need to regain the “biggest zombie throng” title we lost to the small rural town of Ledbury, England, last August. And did we mention that Seattle’s hosting the first-ever zombie convention, ZomBCon, this Halloween? Long live the dead.
91–94. Our Street Food Is in a League of Its Own (Stop Smirking, Portland)
Thanks to lax street food laws in Portland, a “city” we tend to treat like a little sister, there are more than 500 food trucks there, compared to a couple dozen here. But here are four Seattle street foods you’ll never see in our sibling city to the south—or anywhere else, for that matter.
• A Beecher’s cheese-topped, molasses-infused vegan barbecue sandwich from Maximus/Minimus (maximus-minimus.com).
• Sweet-smelling, organic Meyer lemon bar ice cream from Parfait (parfaiticecream.com)
• The grill on wheels called Here and There (hereandtheregrill.com) serves gourmet lunch to Edmonds with pastas, salads, and delish hot sandwiches.
• The everything hot dog from Dante’s Inferno Dogs (dantesinfernodogs.com), dressed with pickled peppers and cream cheese squirted from a special gun. Only in Seattle, people.
73. Classical Musicians Rock
How do you breathe life into a rockcentric orchestra? You play a funeral. (Okay, Arcade Fire’s debut album, Funeral. But still.) Scott Teske’s all-volunteer Seattle Rock Orchestra has had an impressive run since launching in late 2008. First, there were gigs backing local acts such as Jeremy Enigk, Damien Jurado, and Jesse Sykes. Then came the Arcade Fire cover concert and a David Bowie tribute show last March (where Teske single-handedly adapted and arranged 15 songs) that may lead to a season of performances at the Moore Theatre. And for an encore, the outfit snagged a slot at Sasquatch! in May. To which we say, Rock on.
78. We’re Home to One of the Coolest (and Cutest) Indie Book Stores in the Country
Seattle’s no slouch when it comes to supporting artists, but Pilot Books (pilotbooksseattle.com) is a struggling writer’s savior: It only carries small and independent-press tomes. Sounds like risky business, but owner Summer Robinson has made it work, thanks to an able staff of three, a community of chatty bibliophiles—and her own bank account. When Pilot held its month-long Small Press Book Fest in March, Robinson used personal funds to fly in New York–based writer Tao Lin for the event’s finale. Her old cellphone is now Pilot’s main phone line, and her personal book collection doubles as the store’s lending library. If that’s not devotion, we’re at a loss for words.
32. We Nailed Fashion Week
When Bellevue’s online makeup retailer beauty.com sponsored “It” boy Alexander Wang’s fall/winter collection at New York Fashion week in February, it brought Seattle nail color specialist Nonie Creme along for the ride. And what a ride. Word of her ultrahip nontoxic Butter London lacquers (butterlondon.com) spread like a spring trend among seventh graders. Soon enough, Creme was painting rainy-day shades of taupe-gray on the hands of the hottest models for Calvin Klein, Vena Cava, and Jenny Kao. The expat Creme named her line for her adopted city, but there’s no denying the Northwest overtones in the smoky, vintage-dyed blue of Victoriana, out in September.
89. Our Backyards Double as Barnyards
If chickens could count, they’d count themselves among the farmyard animals that Seattle city residents can raise in their backyards. Goats are kosher, too: three of them, provided they’re dehorned, neutered, and weigh less than 100 pounds. But before you go picking out your pygmies, count how many dogs you’ve got lying around the ol’ homestead. You’re only allotted three dogs and goats, total—so if you have one dog, you get two goats. Two dogs, one goat. And if you have more than three dogs already, consider moving to one of Washington’s 243 unincorporated communities before introducing goats to your situation.
95. Our Kids Play at the Pub
Breeders can get their beer on at Montlake Ale House ( montlakealehouse.net ), thanks to a toy-strewn play arena for kids near the back of the bar. From a 360-degree dining table that encircles the sunken play space, parents swig micros and talk preschool plans while their wee gladiators toss toys at one another in the mini coliseum below. Plenty of tables populate the front of the bar, so most tantrums will escape the earshot (and eyerolls) of Gen-Z drinkers just in it for the brew. We know, we know: You’re never having kids. Call us in five years, Stretch Pants.
35. Our Bloggers Go On to Positions of Power
Carla Saulter has dished about her King County Metro odysseys since 2006 on the seattlepi.com-hosted blog Bus Chick, where the 38-year-old mother of two plays stenographer of passenger chatter and master of mass-transit neologisms—like “bus mack” (one rider hitting on another) and “pack jam” (bag snags in the aisle). Among Saulter’s some 15,000-per-month page viewers? King County Council Member Larry Gossett, who recommended she join Dow Constantine’s Regional Transit Task Force earlier this year. So Bus Chick will now advise county brass on how best to serve riders. That’s a more than valid transfer.
99. We Vote Early and Often to Support the Arts
For nearly a month, Tacoma’s Schooner Adventuress had been the clear front-runner in an online vote for a $125,000 preservation grant , but on the contest’s final day in May, supporters of Seattle’s historic—and leaky—Town Hall started voting. And voting. And voting. They helped stage an unprecedented surge, and the lead changed several times, until—the old schooner won by a furlong. But the Partners in Preservation were so impressed, they gave both organizations $125k. So much for arts apathy.