THIS WEEK: IT'S FREMONT SUMMER SOLSTICE ART WEEK
I would give anything to strip down, lather myself in paint, and bike ride through Fremont this weekend to celebrate the coming of summer and the end of a hellacious pandemic but it's NOT TIME FOR THAT. I am sad that the Fremont Solstice Parade is canceled yet again, but the good news is that Fremont is putting on a huge art fair this whole week. And it's not virtual!!!
The Fremont Summer Solstice Art Week lasts from Tuesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 20. Each day in the Center of the Universe this week will feature self-guided art tours and a Jack Daniels-sponsored cocktail tour of Fremont's best haunts. Each day also has different programming (Statues & Stories on Wednesday, Famous Bridge & Frosty Beer on Friday, Dino Hedge & Cutting Edge on Friday, and so on). Plus, different days feature different special activities. You can see a live-mural painting on Thursday and Friday, the Seattle art cars on Saturday, and, on Sunday, you can peer at the stationary floats that would have run through the parade if it was happening.
These are the last few longest days of the year and they're going to be drenched in sun and balmy 70+ degree weather. I can't think of a better way to ring in summer than with the organized chaos of Fremont's wild and wacky art. NATHALIE GRAHAM
We've got a list of participating venues for Fremont's cocktail passport here.
THURSDAY: SEATTLE MEN IN LEATHER
Never have I had a more “nature is healing” moment than when I saw that the Seattle Men in Leather are about to resume their regular leather socials at Diesel. These pleasant casual hangouts are just the place for gear enthusiasts to get together and catch up — the dress code is loose and informal, though you’ll likely get a crosswise glance if you don’t show up in at least some form of gear. Diesel is currently operating with limited capacity and masks are required, so it won’t be like the pandemic never happened; but just knowing that it’s an option for folks to once again gather to strut in shiny stiff couture is a tremendous relief. Going forward, leather socials are scheduled for every third Thursday, and restrictions will likely be lifted in July so this is a nice way to ease back into the routine. MATT BAUME
Third Thursday Leather Social (in person!) happens Thursday, June 17, from 7 to 10 PM at Diesel.
THURSDAY: A BOOK ABOUT THE LANGUAGE OF CULTS, AND A SATIRICAL THRILLER ABOUT BLACK WOMEN IN THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY
Wanna know why you can't order a cup of coffee in town without overhearing someone talk about "aligning values with intention," or why you can't sit on an exercise bike for 45-minutes without enduring a meteor shower of nonsensical cult-speak??? Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism, the latest book from writer and linguist Amanda Montell. Drawing on her own experience (her dad was in a cult!!!) and on an analysis of language used by cults such as Heaven’s Gate (did you watch that HBO doc?? so sad!!), she describes the linguistic strategies cults use to lure and maintain followers. She goes on to argue that corporations and "wellness" operations use many of the same tools to similar effect. Part 2 of this event features Zakiya Dalila Harris reading from her debut novel, The Other Black Girl. It's a funny office thriller about a young Black woman breaking into a New York publishing world that's as desperate to diversify as it is to maintain its ruthlessly rigid power structures. The novelist Regina Porter reviewed the book for the Guardian and encouraged readers to "relish this glimpse into the publishing world and its original take on black professional women striving to hold on to their authentic selves and their tresses." RICH SMITH
This remote reading at Elliott Bay Book Company begins at 6 pm on Thursday, June 17.
FRIDAY: MORE SOLSTICE HAPPENINGS WITH MIDSOMMARFEST
Try not to think about how quickly summer is slipping through your fingers — instead, distract yourself with a traditional smörgåsbord feast of herring, gravlax, and pork. For over a century, Seattle’s Swedish Club has been a hotbed of Scandinavian wholesomeness, and they’re once again inviting you to partake of a mid-summer feast. If you’d rather maintain some distance, take advantage of their slightly cheaper takeout option; or you can spend the entire evening in the company of fellow revelers. You can even bring flowers from your garden to contribute to the decoration of a maypole! There was a movie about midsommar celebrations recently, and I haven’t seen it, but I’m just going to assume that it presents the entire thing as a completely wholesome, lovely event with great food and wonderful friends. MATT BAUME
Midsommarfest happens this Friday, June 18, at 6 PM at Seattle's Swedish Club. It's $20 takeout and $35 tickets, with more info here.
SATURDAY: JUNETEENTH IN THE CENTRAL DISTRICT
Juneteenth is about to be bumpin' in the Central District. Several Black-owned businesses, Black-centric spaces, and marches are gathering on June 19 to celebrate the day in 1865 when enslaved Africans in Texas were told they were finally free. On the corner of 23rd and Jackson, Marshall Law Band will play at the grand opening of Terrell Jackson's Catfish Corner restaurant. Attend a ribbon cutting at 10 am, chow down on some catfish and hushpuppies, and listen to the funky tunes of the MLB. Then catch the Juneteenth Freedom March & People's Assembly at 1 pm, marching from 23rd and Madison ending at Jimi Hendrix Park. The march and assembly will honor the Black history of the Central District with soul food, live performances, and Black drill teams. Mosey on over to Northwest African American Museum's Juneteenth Jamboree at Judkins Park, which will also be full of food, music, and horseback rides from Seattle Buffalo Soldiers. And end your day at Wa Na Wari, the Black arts space on 23rd and Marion. Settle into a sunny spot in their backyard around 6 pm, and listen to the music of the Blue Meadows Trio while sipping on drinks from Erudite & Stone. If you go, be respectful!!!! JASMYNE KEIMIG
Find more info on Juneteenth events around Seattle here.
SATURDAY: RUPAUL'S DRAG RACE: DOWN UNDER FINALE AT QUEER/BAR
This Saturday at Queer/Bar, come gather to toast farewell to the worst addition to RuPaul's global empire. RuPaul's Drag Race: Down Under, the Australasian addition to the international Drag Race franchise (which encompasses the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain, Chile, Thailand, and probably 15 other countries I'm forgetting), has been a confusing mess, with one particularly racist frontrunner and unexplainable favoritism from Ru. Sure, I think some of the show's troubles can get chalked up to the pandemic—like, for instance, how unusually short this season has been—but Ru's crash landing down under sure has underwhelmed the franchise's devoted fans in Australia and New Zealand. Whining aside, it's still Drag Race, and it's still way more fun than nearly any other reality TV show franchise. So let's say G'Bye Mate while this iteration sorts out its Marmite from its Weet-Bix, then clear our plates so we can make room for the delightful Drag Race España, currently three episodes deep, and Drag Race All Stars, which premieres next Thursday, June 24. CHASE BURNS
Queer/Bar screens RuPaul's Drag Race Down Under at 8 PM on Saturday at their location in Capitol Hill. The bar says limited seating is available and recommends grabbing a table early, plus staying late for Queeraoke hosted by Kristie Champagne.
SATURDAY: "SERIES 001" IN DENNY TRIANGLE
It's a typical Seattle story: A warehouse in the Denny Triangle will get demolished later this year. Rather than letting the building sit empty until it is no more, a group of collaborators—Julianne Johnson, Arne Pihl, Austin Hicks, Charlie Landefeld, and Colton Dixon Winger—have decided to take over the space one day a month in a giant pop-up project called SERIES 001. For the past few months, the crew has taken apart and put back together the first floor of the building, transforming it into "an experimental concept shop and gallery space." Hosted by personal styling agency Cuniform, everything is for sale inside SERIES 001. Tendrils Green will have a greenhouse for all your plant needs; you can snag pieces from Brian Sanchez, Emily Counts, Akin Olugbade, and Hernan Paganini; perhaps take home some furniture; and peruse the work of over a dozen other artists and designers in the show. Objects range from $25 to $25,000 in price, if you're feeling spendy. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Snag your free tickets to SERIES 001 here.
SUNDAY: IT'S LAKE CITY MARKET STREET
The North Seattle neighborhood of Lake City will have a little street fair on Sunday from 1 pm to 5:30 pm on 31st Avenue, one block east of Lake City Way near 125th Street. There will be local vendors, music, and outdoor seating. The details are pretty slim on what all will be going on for the four-hour market street, but this is an opportunity to spend some time in a new neighborhood and support a local community. Maybe swing by my favorite sandwich shop in the city on your way there. NATHALIE GRAHAM
ANY DAY: TAKE BOB'S QUALITY MEATS SMOKEHOUSE CHICKEN TO A PARK PICNIC
Bob's Quality Meats in Columbia City sells a smoked chicken that is perfect for picnics in a park. It's perfect because it's best served cold. What those with a certain level of cultivation all know is that hot foods and picnics are not the best match. And this business of barbecuing in a park is just ugly because it's so ungainly. The great effort that the right burning of meat requires must be, if humanly possible (and, sadly, for many, the humanly is made impossible by our greedy city), confined to the home or restaurant. A proper (meaning cultured) park experience calls for chilled foods and drinks. Bob's smokehouse chicken ($10.99 for a whole; $5.99 for half) fits this bill. Prepared with a basic brine of salt, pepper, dry thyme, and smoked by the butcher on location, the chicken has a meat whose softness and flavor is immediately ruined by heat but greatly improved by low temperatures. Lastly, the best white wine to drink with this chicken is, in my opinion, a dry Chenin Blanc that has absorbed the musky soils of South Africa. CHARLES MUDEDE
Chilled smokehouse chicken is available at Bob's Quality Meats.