Seattle’s Old Romantic Movie Theaters

“In December 1894 Seattleites gathered in Pioneer Square to watch a demonstration of Thomas Edison’s latest invention, the kinetoscope. It wasn’t long before the projection technology advanced and Seattle began a love affair with the movies. Single screen movie theaters popped up all over the city and drew huge crowds. Independent films reached a new audience in the 1960s and 1970s when several old Seattle buildings were repurposed into movie theaters. Here’s a look back on the origins of Seattle’s famous movie theaters.”

Read the full article here

Seattle movie theatersA scene from “Hush” 1921. Photo: J. Willis Sayre via University of Washington

Waiting for the World to End in Seattle

“On November 16th, 1961 President John F. Kennedy came to Seattle and gave an address at the University of Washington’s 100th Anniversary Program in Edmundson Pavilion. He emphasized the danger of a nuclear holocaust if American diplomacy failed with Russia. Frightened by terrifying images of mushroom clouds and radiation, Washingtonians began preparing for the worst.”

Seattle is home to the only fallout shelter under a freeway. It’s frightening relic of the Cold War. To read more and see pictures, read the full article here.

Family fallout shelter billboard, December 1959. Photo: Werner Lenggenhager via Seattle Public Library

Family fallout shelter billboard, December 1959. Photo: Werner Lenggenhager via Seattle Public Library

Old Houses in Seattle Where You Can Eat, Drink and Be Merry

“While tech moguls build up shiny, new office buildings in Seattle’s South Lake Union, many local businesses have taken a different route and set up shop in old, historic homes. From coffee shops to recording studios, here are seven Seattle businesses that operate out of cozy old homes.”

Read the rest here:

Old Houses in Seattle Where You Can Eat, Drink and Be Merry

Totem House

Photo: Werner Lenggenhager via Seattle Public Library

How to Sell a Haunted House

“It’s just another dreary day in your haunted mansion. The wind howls. A murder of crows scurries across the roof. You pour a cup of coffee. It tastes like blood. So what? You add a little cream. The ghosts are creaking around on your secret stairway again. Eerie children’s laughter echoes in the halls. After the fourth banshee scream from the basement, you think to yourself, “you know what, maybe it’s finally time to put this house on the market…” Read the rest here

I passed by these terrifying Halloween decorations in a neighbor’s yard. Some of them are hyper-realistic. Like this human foot…

Scary Decoration

And these weird baby hands….

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This strange human head…

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And his beautiful lover…

Scary Decoration

For more creepy tricks and treats, check out my article: 

How to Sell a Haunted House

First Look at Discovery Park’s Restored Fort Lawton Homes

Homes at Fort Lawton

On a gorgeous early fall day, I walked from my new digs in Fremont to Discovery Park by way of the Ballard Bridge to cover the recently refurbished homes at Fort Lawton for Curbed Seattle.

The idyllic homes are surrounded by Discovery Park, Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Fantasies of frolicking through grassy fields singing, the Sound of Music before retiring to my wraparound porch for a cool glass of ice tea came to mind. To learn more about the fascinating history of the area (POWs! Jane Fonda!) and the homes, read the full story here.

Just Like Jack and Rose: A Romantic Date on the Titanic

Taylor Gianotas

“Near, far, wherever you are, there’s no better way to break the ice on a first date than on the deck of Café Jack, a Titanic-themed restaurant in the heart of LA’s Koreatown. Café Jack is the perfect spot to take a new paramour who is nostalgic for late-Victorian era romance and/or has an excellent sense of humor.”

I interviewed Jack Shin, owner of Cafe Jack for The Culture Trip LA! I was touched by his genuine passion for the film Titanic and his commitment to the Koreatown community.

Read the full story here and check out the slideshow below courtesy of Sarah Eisenberg and Taylor Gianotas, my forever partners in crime.

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Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island

Bainbridge Island is everyone’s favorite part of Kitsap County, Washington. In the written epilogue of the 1996 hit movie, That Thing You Do! Guy Patterson and Fay move to Bainbridge Island, have four children and found a music conservatory where Patterson teaches jazz composition. Tom Hanks wrote and directed the movie, so I can only assume that his harrowing performance in Cast Away was inspired by his time on Bainbridge Island.

You must travel to Bainbridge Island by Ferry. The ferry is very safe, but if you would like to stand on the bow and pretend its the Titanic, the nice citizens of Seattle will just smile politely and walk around you. The ferry is so safe, it’s laughable.

View from the Ferry

View from the Ferry

Once you arrive on the island, artisan handicrafts and farm-to-table restaurants will overwhelm your senses. Portland has nothing on Bainbridge Island. It just doesn’t get any more homegrown local than Bainbridge.

In the mood for a pastry? Inhale a fluffy orange sweet roll with a buttery orange filling and sweet orange glaze from Blackbird Bakery.

blackbird bakery

Not hungry, but in the mood to learn about Japanese Interment camps in Washington State? Stop by The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum.bainbridge-island-historical

If you want to fit in with the locals, you’ll really need to ramp up your outerwear style. Head on over to The Wildernest and pick up some Mountain Khakis.

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Locals in Bainbridge care about their look and will go to great lengths to maintain it. One local lost an item of clothing and posted a flier all over town to reclaim her beloved accessory:

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The Eagle Harbor Book Company has an incredible selection and atmosphere. They also have a large section featuring local authors including Jack Olson, Susan Wiggs and David Guterson who wrote Snow Falling on Cedars.

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Other famous Bainbridge Islanders include actor Chris Kattan, adult film star Tori Black and Jon Brower Minnoch, the heaviest man recorded in history.

If you want to spice things up, head over to one of the many kitchen stores and pick up some of Chef Marla’s Yiddish “Shit-arein” spices, which translated means, “to throw a little of this and a little of that.” They come in Dipshit, Horseshit, Shootin the Shit, Chicken Shit and Super Shit.

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Bainbridge Island is a wonderful adventure for all ages. With beaches, parks, hiking, shopping and artisan goods galore, it is a special place in our world not to be missed. Although it is surrounded by water, boasts a median household income of $91,280 and 92.88% of it’s residents are white, Bainbridge likes to think of itself as a lady on the streets but a freak in the sheets.

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Behold the wonder for yourself. On Bainbridge Isle.

Brooklyn’s Biggest Hooker

Originally reported in 2009 by Sydney Parker

“I’m forty years old and I hooked a forty pound fish!” declared John Ruffino, hoisting the giant first prize Brooklyn Fishing Derby trophy over his head. The first annual derby held it’s closing celebration Sunday night at the Brooklyn Alehouse.

JohnRuffino

An enormous striped bass hung by it’s lip from a tree branch at the entrance, marking the spot. The ceremony signified the end of the month long competition to catch the biggest fish anywhere along the East River from Red Hook to Long Island City, Queens.

Catching the big fish was a proud moment for Ruffino. A class room of Orthodox Jews had taken a field trip to the Gantry State Park pier that day and cheered as he reeled in the line for the massive fish. It took him over twenty minutes to pull the bass out of the water.

“When I stuck my hand in to pull out the hook, the fish bit me,” said Ruffino, unwrapping his hand from his beer to show the scar.

Back lit by a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline and flattered by the sparkling East River, Gantry State Park provides the ideal conditions for the fisherman’s reverie. The park was recently transformed from an industrial space into an award winning design. Two gantries, old Long Island Railroad shipping lifts, remind the public of the area’s industrial history.

“I come out here and fish every day after work,” boasted Ruffino, attempting to pull off his sweatshirt over a lit cigarette. “It doesn’t leave a lot of time to meet women.”

Ruffino began fishing when he was a little boy and quickly developed an obsession, leading him to spend extravagant amounts of money on new fishing equipment. He wishes that there was a local tackle shop in Long Island City but doesn’t mind making the trip to the Dream Tackle Shop in Brooklyn, a hangout for fisherman in the know.

Ben Sargent and James Potter, members of the Urban Anglers Association founded the competition almost as a joke to see if any New Yorkers would actually participate. To their surprise, 40 competitors signed up ranging from old-timer fisherman to skinny-jeaned Hipsters all striving to become New York’s “biggest hooker.”

“The fishing community is a tight, discrete network,” said Sargent, adjusting his Katz’s Delicatessen baseball hat. “We wanted to open it up to everyone.”

Sargent is notorious in the culinary community for his seafood chowder recipe featured on Food Network, his surfing club in Rockaway Parkway and his honorable work with I Fish NY, a program that introduces city kids to the world of fishing.

Sargent’s derby awards extended way beyond 1st and last. The awards for Most Jealous Fisherman, Most Time Spent in the Water, and Best Dressed Fisherman were also greeted with applause and laughter from friends and family. The award for Most Absent Fishermen went to Jason Lamb, a young man with a shaggy mop of hair who notoriously left his pole unattended. His prize: A $50 gift certificate to get a haircut.

Russell Dugan, a young shop regular sporting dirty vintage glasses and an unwashed mullet warmed beneath a red trucker hat enjoys Ruffino’s vast fishing knowledge and outlandish personality. Dugan rarely catches anything but appreciates the sport.

“It’s not about the catching, it’s about the fishing.” The Brooklyn Fishing Derby officially advocates a policy of catch and release. In spite of this, Ruffino plans to share his bounty of fish with good friends and neighbors.

Eating fish from the polluted East River is not advised by environmental experts, but fishermen swear by the safe and pleasurable experience of ingesting the fish you caught by way of your own patience and diligence.

Potter is proud of the derby’s popularity with people of all ages and backgrounds. “Fishing is a common language,” says Potter. He can’t wait to see who joins up next year.

His sister Clarissa Potter is happy for her brother’s success but is relieved that he will now be more available to spend time with loved ones. Mr. Potter won the Most Jealous Fisherman Award for his attitude of complete despair when he lost a fish and very vocally condemned his competitor’s big catch.

New York might seem like the last place a fisherman would go to relish in the tranquil art of casting and reeling, but for Micheal Louie, the Long Island City shore is pure paradise.

“When I’m waiting for the fish to come, I clear my head,” says Louie. “Water runs in, problems run out.”