Editor at Large

James Ross Gardner is the former editor in chief of Seattle Met. During his time as top editor the magazine won numerous awards, including the national City and Regional Magazine Association's award for general excellence, twice (in 2015 and 2018). While at Seattle Met, James's writing has garnered 14 first place awards from the regional chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been a finalist for seven national CRMA awards. His work has also appeared in Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times, among others. He lives in Seattle’s Central District neighborhood.

More Than Just a View

West Seattle Neighborhood Guide

Top restaurants. Handmade goods. A bustling beach and an ill-fated bridge. This peninsular patch of Seattle isn’t easy to get to, but it’s well worth the trip.

07/27/2020 By Benjamin Cassidy, James Ross Gardner, Nicole Martinson, and Allecia Vermillion

Feature

A Brief History of Seattle, in Three Disasters

After the Great Seattle Fire and the Boeing Bust, the city showed a knack for reinvention. Can that same spirit pull us out of our current crisis?

07/13/2020 By James Ross Gardner

FEATURE

Seattle’s Other Modern Public Health Crises

Before Covid-19 there was AIDS, E. coli, SARS, and more. The city learned lessons from each.

05/13/2020 By James Ross Gardner

Feature

The Last Time the West Seattle Bridge Closed Was Even Stranger

Forty-two years ago the man piloting the freighter Chavez smashed the vessel into the span connecting the city to its western half. Then he disappeared.

04/10/2020 By James Ross Gardner

Feature

What Pitted Seattle’s Glass?

In the spring of 1954 car owners noticed small divots on their windshields. Then things got weird.

04/08/2020 By James Ross Gardner Illustrations by Miko Maciaszek

Dais Details

A Guide to Recognizing Your Coronavirus Briefing Saints

Who are all those people at the podium?

03/25/2020 By James Ross Gardner

FAKING BAD

Can a New Think Tank Rescue Us from the Misinformation Age?

The struggle against deepfakes, conspiracy theories, and all your relatives’ bad memes is real.

02/25/2020 By James Ross Gardner

Quote Unquote

Paleobiologist and Burke Curator Greg Wilson Digs the Past

“I wasn’t one of those kids who at three or four knew all the dinosaurs.” 

12/23/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Global WA

Ukrainians in Washington Feel Stuck in the Middle

How hearings in DC impact the more than 50,000 Ukrainians living in the state.

12/12/2019 By James Ross Gardner

FEATURE

The Octopus from Outer Space

Seattle’s most beguiling sea creatures were once feared and hunted—and even wrestled—for sport. But new research and a few surprising encounters are changing...

12/02/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Lady in Blue

Meet Sylvia Hunsicker, Seattle's First Policewoman

In 1911, the trailblazing cop donned an altered man's uniform and didn't take any guff.

11/26/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Officers Down

The Shooting of Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton, 10 Years Later

After a spate of assassinations a decade ago, the public rallied around the police. Where’d the love go?

10/22/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Feature

Who Will Mourn the Tech Bro?

The subculture you love to hate is tough to define. It will be even tougher when it’s gone.

09/24/2019 By James Ross Gardner Illustrations by Ryan Snook

Feature

In the Straits: An Inmate Turned Millionaire Turned Lone Survivor

He was a convicted felon who found a niche in Seattle’s construction boom. Then a fatal boating accident came for Michael Powers’s fairy-tale ending.

08/19/2019 By James Ross Gardner

O Say Can You Rock

Jimi Hendrix's “Star-Spangled Banner” Turns 50

At Woodstock, Seattle’s iconic guitarist changed the national anthem—and maybe music—forever.

07/23/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Feature

A Song of Shadow and Light

The Tacoma Refugee Choir formed to reach out to the most vulnerable. Its founder didn't anticipate its impact on her—or her city.

05/28/2019 By James Ross Gardner Photography by Lindsey Wasson

Climate Guy

Can Jay Inslee Make Voters Care Enough About Climate Change?

The Washington governor’s running for POTUS on that single campaign issue.

04/15/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Editor's Note

Before We Began

Seattle Met’s editor in chief says goodbye.

03/26/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Editor's Note

The District

Seattle's storied C–ID, and its reinvention.

02/26/2019 By James Ross Gardner

Editor's Note

Seattle’s Sense of Snow

The city’s reaction to snowfall is comical, until it isn’t.

12/18/2018 By James Ross Gardner