THU
JAN 3, 2013


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Jared Diamond

Why: So many background elements in our lives (iPhones! Hot Pockets! Poly-blend slacks!) are brand-new developments in human history. While we can mentally understand the benefits of technology, our dumb ape bodies are still adjusting. In his new book, The World Until Yesterday, Jared Diamond explains how we can learn from our distant past as a species and apply those lessons to our modern, indoor-plumbing-drunk times. Diamond’s Guns, Germs, and Steel was an anthropological blockbuster, and Yesterday looks like it’ll be a hot topic for months to come. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, townhallseattle.org, 7:30 pm, $5)

FRI
JAN 4, 2013


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Drink Beer in Green Lake

Why: It’s Friday. Have a beer! Have a beer in Green Lake! (Not literally: too cold.) As Stranger online commenter Nic in Greenlake noted recently, “Oh hell yes, the Green Lake/Ravenna/Tangletown hood is rocking with Mutiny Hall, Latona Pub, Burgundian, Elysian [Tangletown], and Uber.” So many taps dispensing so much goodness! There’s also the Duck Island Ale House, Cooper’s, the Ravenna Alehouse… the streets of the area are running with beer. (Not literally.) Drink up! (See bar listings at thestranger.com/chow for details)

SAT
JAN 5, 2013


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Don’t Talk to the Cops

Why: Happy 2013! Here are two resolutions that I recommend: (1) Become more acquainted with the local music scene. (2) Be nice to other people. And wouldn’t you know, this show is a great way to do both! This stellar lineup of Northwest talent—Don’t Talk to the Cops, Stephanie, Dude York, and Wimps—will definitely make you shake it from your head to your hips, and the proceeds benefit Food Lifeline, which is “dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington.” What a nice way to start the New Year. (Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave NW, sunsettavern.com, 9 pm, $7 adv/$8 DOS, 21+)

SUN
JAN 6, 2013


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Lauri Chambers

Why: Abstract painter Lauri Chambers has been working within what sound like strict limitations for years—black and white only, except for dashes of blue that appear like something out of the corner of one’s eye—and this means that what her art teaches you is to dive in further to search for the smallest variations, which quickly begin to seem not small at all. She has so many versions of black and white, and so many ideas about what they can do to each other. (Francine Seders Gallery, 6701 Greenwood Ave N, sedersgallery.com, 1–5 pm/reception 2–4 pm, free)

MON
JAN 7, 2013


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King Noodle

Why: Feeling chilled? Head down to King Noodle for a bowl of Chinese noodle soup or congee. You begin with a checklist menu, choosing a soup base (chicken or fish broth, Szechuan, sour and hot, etc.) and your favorite type of noodle (udon, vermicelli, etc.). For both soup and congee, there’s a myriad of toppings: fish balls, enoki mushrooms, barbecue duck, tofu skin, pumpkin, and much more. A condiment bar offers pickled peppers, vinegar, and chili sauce. Customizing your own meal means you can pick just what you want. Wonderful! (King Noodle, 615 King St, 748-9168, 10 am–10 pm)

TUE
JAN 8, 2013


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Steven Arntson

Why: If you’re sick of Twilight rip-offs, maybe you should give Steven Arntson a try. The local author has published two books that read more like classics in young adult literature (like A Wrinkle in Time) than cynical cash-grabs. His newest novel, The Wrap-Up List, is about a teenager who receives a letter from the grim reaper warning that she’ll die in a week’s time. Arntson’s book-debut parties involve lots of live music and great conversation about a female character who doesn’t fall hopelessly in love with a wan vampire creep. (Elliott Bay Book Company, 1521 10th Ave, elliottbaybook.com, 7 pm, free)

WED
JAN 9, 2013


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Jenny Holzer

Why: Jenny Holzer is famous for her words, which are all over the world. Her piece Inflammatory Essays, in Elles: SAM, is a wallpapering of brightly colored posters featuring texts by intellectuals, politicians, and ideologues. She began writing her own Truisms in 1977 (“Abuse of power comes as no surprise,” for one). It will be fascinating to hear what comes out of her actual live-and-in-person mouth in tonight’s conversation with SAM modern and contemporary curator Catharina Manchanda. (Seattle Art Museum, 1300 First Ave, seattleartmuseum.org, 7 pm, $10)

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