The Wine Is Fine

Wine is happening in Washington in a big way! And this coming weekend is a primo opportunity to check out brand new wineries and varietals or old favorites. The Washington Wine Commission is sponsoring Taste Washington, including a Grand Wine Tasting at Qwest Field Event Center on Sunday, April 6 from 4-8 p.m.image of taste washington logo

Who knew there were nearly 500 wineries and nine distinct recognized wine growing regions in Washington? Over 200 wineries will be there at the tasting, along with 50 of the region’s top restaurants, to tempt your palate. You’re going to need to come up with a strategy and pace yourself to avoid overload.

There are guides available at the library and on the Web to help you plan your own wine tour to any of the wineries you discover at the tasting.

The Washington Wine Commission has produced a handy free booklet (complete with maps) called Touring Washington’s Wine Regions, that you can pick up either from the Commission itself or Continue reading “The Wine Is Fine”

Frances Moore Lappé and Local Food Policy

My local eating adventures have led me to think about issues such as who has access to local food, how housing developments are eclipsing nearby farmland and if another flood like the one in Lewis County is apt to destroy more farms and dairy herds anytime soon.  I’m certainly not the only one.

lappe.bmpFor decades Francis Moore Lappé has been an advocate for the hungry and has questioned food production politics with scarcity, inequity and sustainability in mind.  Building upon her first best-selling book Diet For a Small Planet (1971) she has written many more including Hope’s Edge: the next diet for a small planet with daughter Anna Lappé and most recently Getting a grip: clarity, creativity, and courage in a world gone mad.  

Francis Moore Lappé will be in Seattle on Friday, April 11 to talk about the importance of local food policy in conjunction with a City of Seattle Local Food Action Initiative that is represented by Resolution 31019.  She will speak at Seattle City Hall at noon and 5:00pm.  She will also be speaking, along with other local and national sustainability advocates, at the Seattle Green Festival on April 13th. 

Poetry Rules!

National Poetry Month poster, courtesy of Academy of American PoetsApril is National Poetry Month, and it’s rhyme time in Seattle. The sponsoring Academy of American Poets suggests 30 Ways to Celebrate the month. And whether you’re in to writing or reading or listening to poetry, there’s lots going on locally to help you do just that.

The Seattle Public Library sponsors many poetry events in April. The North East Branch has a month-long poetry contest, with submissions of an original poem by children, teens, and adults taken from April 1-30, and a gala poetry awards ceremony and open mike on May 20. At the ceremony, someone will walk away with the coveted Wedgie Award trophy, and everyone can grab fortune cookies with custom poetry fortunes. The Green Lake Branch is hosting three events by Poets West: a public forum on April 5, a prose sharing open mike on April 12, and a poetry sharing open mike on April 19. They intend to continue this series at Green Lake on the first three Saturdays of the month from May to September after that. The Southwest Branch is hosting a Continue reading “Poetry Rules!”

Gentrification and the Arts

Beautiful Things That Heaven BearsIf you have picked up this year’s Seattle Reads novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu you’ve had a chance to get one novelist’s take on some of the issues and pressures that can fracture a community changing in the face of gentrification and immigration.

Facing similar issues, particularly those of gentrification pressures, local Capitol Hill artists, arts activists, neighbors and interested citizens are gathering at Seattle City Hall in April to discuss community concerns about rapidly diminishing affordable space for arts uses in the City’s core neighborhoods. Get details at:

Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle
April 2, 5pm-6:30pm, Seattle City Hall

City Councilmembers will hear from Seattle residents, arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and officials on how the Council might go about establishing an overlay district to offer incentives and controls in a specific area to encourage or preserve particular kinds of activities, spaces, and/or design. How can the city grow in a healthy balanced way that benefits all? This could be an exciting opportunity to add your voice as “A City Makes Herself.”

Flower Frenzy

It’s flower season here in the great northwest!  If you want to get up close to fields and fields of colorful tulips, don’t miss the 25th Annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

If you’d like to explore some of the fascinating history of these blooms, here is a bouquet of books exploring the appeal of flowers past and present:

Tulipomania: The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused by Mike Dashtulipomania.jpg

In the Netherlands in the 1630s, during the height of what would become known as “Tulip Mania,” single tulips were being sold for more than the price of a house. This slim fascinating page-turner Continue reading “Flower Frenzy”