Can you spot the landmarks? Pick up a copy of Susanna Ryans Secret Seattle—out this week—and let it guide your Seattle walks.
Can you spot the local landmarks? Pick up a copy of Susanna Ryan's Secret Seattle—out this week—and let it guide your Seattle walks. Courtesy Secret Seattle

THURSDAY, AUGUST 5: ANNA QU READS MADE IN CHINA

Ever wonder what its like to do child labor in a garment factory in Queens? Turns out it sucks.
Ever wonder what it's like to do child labor in a garment factory in Queens? Turns out it sucks.

Anna Qu’s debut memoir, Made in China, tracks the complicated (to put it mildly) relationship she developed with work and with her family, beginning with her early struggles in China and running up until her successful but stressful adulthood as a tech worker. On the one hand, she rubbed her hands raw as a teenager from snipping threads for hours at her parents’ sweatshop in Queens, enduring harsh working conditions after school at the behest of her mother. On the other hand, she descended from two generations of poverty in China, and her mom was doing what she felt like she had to in order to prosper. The “seething resentment” driving Qu’s prose, and her refusal to settle unsettled relationships while still striving to understand them has drawn positive early reviews from critics. Melissa Febos, who knows a thing or two about complicated traumatic stories, will join Qu in conversation. RICH SMITH

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This virtual event hosted by Elliott Bay Book Company will begin at 6 PM. Get tickets here.


THURSDAY, AUGUST 5, + SATURDAY, AUGUST 7: CARPOOL CINEMA PRESENTS SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE



Unlike resident Stranger comic book expert Matt Baume, who has probably taught community college courses about the Marvel and DC universes that I don't know about, my comic book knowledge is limited to the weeby manga variety. Spiderman and Batman have never been in my bag—I can get down with Halle Berry's Catwoman—BUT!!!!!! The exception for me is Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, a film so delightfully colorful and inventive that it requires no previous allegiance to American comics.

Scarecrow Video presents its Carpool Cinema series again this year—along with co-presenters the Phinney Neighborhood Association, UHeights, and Companis—and invites you and your family and friends to drive over to watch this very good Spidykid this Thursday and Saturday. Make it a whole summer thing and attend Scarecrow's outdoor screenings all August. CHASE BURNS

Scarecrow Video's Carpool Cinema series happens all August, kicking off with Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse (8/5 + 8/7), and then The Sixth Sense (8/12 + 8/14), Moonlight (8/19 + 8/21), and Moana (8/26 + 8/28). Tickets are $20 per car and there is limited space. It happens at the Phinney Neighborhood Center's lower lot (6532 Phinney Ave N). Find more information and ticket info here.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 6: Y2GAY - AN AMATEUR DRAG COMPETITION + 2000’S DANCE PARTY


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Don’t be put off by the term “amateur drag” — the best drag show I’ve ever attended in my life was put on by a bunch of drag amateurs, none of whom had ever even seen a drag show in person and thus had some extremely creative ideas about what such an event could be. There’s something special about seeing drag-newcomers emerge from their glittering chrysalis, experimental and bold and perhaps a bit wobbly, but always endlessly surprising. The cynicism hasn’t had time to calcify and everything is new, which means you’re unlikely to see the tired “walk back and forth and flap your mouth like a hamburger bun” routine that so many jaded old performers toss out.

Also: When someone’s new to the stage, a little applause goes a long way, so it’s a fine opportunity to make someone’s night.

Catch the next generation of local drag talent at an amateur showcase hosted by Jane Don’t, nicely paired with a Y2K-themed dance party. Also, try not to feel completely ancient that now songs from the early 2000s are considered classic. MATT BAUME

Y2Gay happens this Friday at Neumos with doors opening at 9 PM. The venue requires proof of vaccination or a recent (within the last 48 hours) negative test for entry.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 6: BOOZY BODEGA WITH CHEF SHOTA AT A MYSTERY LOCATION

We love a good mystery!
We love a good mystery! Courtesy of Seattle Cocktail Week

If you want to add a little mysterious spice to your Friday, Boozy Bodega is serving it. To build hype for next year's Seattle Cocktail Week, organizers are hosting a speakeasy-type pop-up featuring take-out food made by Chef Shota Nakajima of Top Chef fame along with bottled cocktails. You can also snag chocolate bars, hot sauce, and other bodega-inspired snacks at the pop-up.

There's a slight catch: The location of this boozy bodega is a mystery, revealed 24 hours before the event. We know it's somewhere in Seattle city limits, but that's about it. Adding to all this mystery are 25 "golden tickets" hidden within the bodega's chocolate bars, which grant entry to next year's Seattle Cocktail Week in March. Even if you don't win a ticket, you'll probably end the night nomming on Chef Shota's spicy sesame chicken sandwich while guzzling Buffalo Iced Tea made of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, which is still a win. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Boozy Bodega with Chef Shota opens on Friday, August 6. Sign up here ASAP to receive an email containing the bodega's mystery location.


FRIDAY, AUGUST 6, AND SATURDAY, AUGUST 7: SEATTLE BOYLESQUE FESTIVAL AT THE TRIPLE DOOR

For the sixth edition of the Seattle Boylesque Festival, more than a dozen boylesque performers from across the continent are convening on the Triple Door's stage to give our fair city a much-needed boost of sexxx. For the uninitiated, boylesque is burlesque but with mostly male and genderqueer-presenting entertainers, and it also pulls from comedy and drag. It's horny. It's campy. And if you're curious, here's a sizzle reel from the 2018 edition of the festival.

On Friday, Seattle's Ernie Von Schmaltz will host two teaser parties, while on Saturday, Mexican Elvis impersonator El Vez will guide viewers through two main event performances. The shows feature Los Angeles's Tito Bonito (who's sure to bring the ass tassels), the glittery and glamorous Portland duo IZOHNNY, the over-the-top stylings of Seattle's Waxie Moon, and other hot sets. Check out the full line-up here. Tickets are burning up, so act fast. JASMYNE KEIMIG

Catch the Seattle Boylesque Festival from August 7-8 at the Triple Door. There are four performances over two days and tickets will run you $30-$50. You can grab 'em here.


SATURDAY, AUGUST 7: CELEBRATE AFRICAN UNITY AT THE UMOJA FESTIVAL



"Umoja" means "unity" in a black African language that shares many roots with a large number of black African languages, Swahili. It is therefore appropriate for there to be an event in Seattle called Umoja Festival. It celebrates the pan-Africanism that took form in the 1960s. I, as a 21st century black African, still feel the power of this vision of black togetherness. Blacks in Britain, in Africa, in the West Indies, in South America, in North America—all of them become richer if they connect and exchange concepts and cultural innovations.

The Umoja Festival happens in a park devoted to a great black American, Jimi Hendrix. And will feature a performance by one of the greatest rappers the city has produced, the former-206 poet Rajnii Eddins. (For those with a long memory, you will recall that Rajnii, with his mother, made a big splash at the Stranger Gong Show back in the day.) Black America made America an African country. Let's celebrate that fact. CHARLES MUDEDE

Umoja Festival begins with a 23 and Union at 12:30 PM with a Parade & Black Unity March. You can see Rajnii Eddins at 7 PM at Jimi Hendrix Park.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 8: FOREST FOR THE TREES 4 - A FREE ALL AGES MUSIC DANCE EVENT AT THE PARK


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Most scientists agree that trees do not have feet, and so they cannot dance. That means it’s up to humans to dance for them, which they shall do this weekend at a tree-themed dance party/fundraiser. Music from 2 PM to 10 PM is provided by local DJs, including Ramiro (Uniting Souls), Jon Lemmon (Viva!), Erin O'Connor-Drew (Train Car House Party), and more; afterward, the party moves over to a late-night popup at Lo-Fi on Eastlake Ave. Something about a dance party amongst the trees evokes a sort of Midsummer Night’s Dream vision of an enchanted musical glade, so if you want to dress accordingly with fairy wings or the head of a donkey I’m sure that would be welcome.

Bring the kids, dogs, and picnic blankets; and consider making a donation via GoFundMe to help cover event costs. MATT BAUME

Forest 4 the Trees 4 starts at 2 PM on Sunday at Myrtle Edwards Park, just a short walk to the waterfront from The Space Needle.


SUNDAY, AUGUST 8: NAKED GIANTS AT WOODLAND PARK ZOO


What's better than sprawling out on the rolling green meadows of Woodland Park Zoo on a warm (and probably even smoke-free) summer afternoon with the knowledge that you're sharing a block with some of the world's most exotic creatures? Uhhh, adding the punk and grunge-fueled sounds of Naked Giants to the mix, of course!

The local rock trio will perform at ZooTunes, the annual summer concert series put on by the Woodland Park Zoo in partnership with KEXP to raise money for the zoo and conservation and education programs, both locally and globally. In step with CDC guidelines, Sunday's concert will adhere to pod seating, offering two-, four-, six-, and ten-person pods. You'll have to stay in your pod throughout the concert—and don't bring food or bevs. Pop a weed gummy in the parking lot, bring your favorite low-backed chair of choice (but not one of these), and splay out on the grass as Naked Giants play their energetic sophomore record The Shadow. JASMYNE KEIMIG

The Naked Giants will play at Woodland Park Zoo on Sunday, August 8. Doors are at 5 PM and the show is at 6 PM. Tickets range from $55-$85 and you can grab 'em them here.

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ANY DAY: PRAISE THE LORD THAT THE NEW COLLEGE INN PUB'S HOT ITALIAN GRINDER IS THE SAME AS THE OLD ONE


Its that one.
It's that one.

You know the story. The University District bar College Inn Pub closed during the middle of the lockdown. It seemed it was time to moan the loss and go on. The much-loved place had, by all appearances, entered the growing ghostly city called Vanishing Seattle. But suddenly the diaphanous wings of an angel flapped dazzling dust across the city and, in a moment, the College Inn Pub was exhumed and revived by new owners, one of whom, Seth Howard, also owns "Collin's Pub, Last Drop Bottle Shop and Draft Punk."

During a recent visit to the wood-rich basement bar, I ordered from the pub's menu of grub a Hot Italian Grinder. This was my favorite item of the former College Inn Pub, and my question was just this: Did the HIG change under new ownership? By the taste of it, it was much the same as before: perfectly simple, moderately meaty, and the right size (not too big and too small). My love for the grinder was renewed. There is hope for the post-pandemic world. CHARLES MUDEDE

The Hot Italian Grinder is found at the College Inn Pub during the hours it is open.


ANY DAY: PICK UP A COPY OF SECRET SEATTLE FROM A LOCAL BOOKSTORE


Susanna Ryan's Seattle Walk Report is one of Seattle's best comics, and her 2019 book of walk reports served as an antidote to the constant Seattle Is Dying chatter. Seattle's mean streets might be too scary for KIRO's Dori Monson to walk down, but they aren't for Ryan, whose illustrated walks show the Seattle that actual residents encounter every day. Ryan's new book, Secret Seattle, draws on Ryan's background as a librarian to highlight Seattle's "offbeat and overlooked history." It's not quite the same format as Ryan's walk reports, which I think are ingenious, but it's still a fun, curious look at a city that's rarely talked about with such open-heartedness. I continue to think Seattle Walk Report and Secret Seattle should be in the introductory gift basket for every new Seattle resident and guest. CHASE BURNS

Secret Seattle dropped this past Tuesday. Pick it up at a local bookstore.

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Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.