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44 Real Estate To get a sense of one of the hottest industries in the North Sound, we look at real estate from a variety of angles. We get tips on creating curb appeal if you’re selling, and advice from a home inspector if you’re buying. We also get perspective on people coming and going — one family moving to the North Sound, another moving away. Some advice: Keep an eye on your movers, and don’t ever say goodbye — just say “See you later.”
Tiny Homes, Big Voice
By the Numbers
Game Changer Ian Bivins, BAAY
In the Know Death Café of Whatcom County
Community RE Store Community Jobs Program
In the Know Antler Baking Co.
Who Knew? Ski to Sea
In the Spotlight Tore Ofteness
In the Know Red Rum
28 Five Faves Outdoor Sculpture Gardens
Tides of Anacortes
Necessities Unconventional Mother’s Day Gifts
35 Around the Sound Deep Cove Outdoors 36
Savvy Shopper Statement Apparel
Beauty Making Makeup Last
Nutrition Why We Eat Local
© Lyle Jansma
A Day in the Life of a Realtor
If Mother America Could Speak
Featured Home Beach Home on Boulevard
Remodel Home Office for Her and Him
Bellingham Cider Co.
Mixing Tin Hundred North
Review Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar
Sip The Aslan Depot
8 Great Tastes
AGENDA 87 Featured Event Historic Fairhaven Festival 88
Out of Town
The Scene Pickford’s Red Carpet Affair
NOTES Editor’s Letter
Letters to the Editor
Meet the Team
52 A Day in the Life of a Realtor
© Pat McDonnell
We know they sell houses. But in the competitive real estate market in western Washington, what’s the key to success for a high-volume, high-profile realtor? We spent a day with one to find out. Hint: A day off is almost unheard of, early morning workouts help, and multiple cell phones are a good idea.
NOTES On the Web
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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE We continue a series of brief stories on the topic of wellness centers — therapies you can use to feel better outside of conventional medicine. Some of these therapies were considered unconventional — or even a little wacky — by the medical establishment not that long ago. But they have become more accepted as people search for ways to ease their pain or anxiety. Last time, we discussed retreats. Our second installment: Acupuncture. Go to BellinghamAlive.com.
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NOTES Editor’s Letter
he North Sound has become hot property. Unlike many places, we’ve got a remarkable combination of seashore and farmland, picturesque islands, and three snowcapped mountain ranges. We have lots of water — salt, fresh and heaven-sent; harbors, old trees, whales, events like this month’s Ski to Sea relay, and even free parking in bustling Fairhaven (at least for now). Retirees, along with refugees from perpetually trafficchoked places like Seattle and California, are snapping up homes. Before I moved here in 2006 from Colorado, I knew of Bellingham only as the home of Baker’s Breakfast Cookies, which I’d mail-order on occasion. Now, Bellingham is a regular on “best-of” lists: best downtown; best place to retire, to live, to play outdoors; even, famously, the best at being haughty — we were recently named the nation’s snobbiest beer town. Real estate, our focus this month, is hopping. In the year between July 2016 and July 2017, 5,130 new people moved to Whatcom County for a total population of 221,404, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s a 2.4 percent increase, the largest one-year increase for the county since 2010. Since 2010, Whatcom County’s population has grown about 10.1 percent (20,259 people). Skagit (7.5 percent) and San Juan (6 percent) counties have seen growth in that span too. With that growth comes some sobering numbers. Median home value in Bellingham is well over $300,000; the national average is $181,200, according to Northwest Multiple Listing Service (nwmls.com). The gap between how much a house is worth (median value) and how much we make (median income) is disturbing — median home values are 7.3 times greater than income. Here, 21.4 percent of residents live in poverty, compared to a national rate of 15.5 percent.
(As a bellwether for how the real estate industry has grown locally in the past 10 years, consider that the NWMLS has 1,058 participating Whatcom County real estate sales associates today, compared to 751 in 2008.) With this in mind, we wanted to look at real estate in the North Sound from a people perspective. We follow a realtor for a day in Bellingham, one of the state — and nation’s — hottest housing markets. We talk to a former homeless man on a crusade to end homelessness in Whatcom County by building tiny homes. We hear from an inspector on red flags for when you’re buying, and another realtor on how to spruce up your home when you’re selling. Then, there’s Cathy and Don. Cathy’s moving from the North Sound with her young family. Retiree Don and his wife, Deena, are moving to the North Sound to be closer to their son’s family. Coming and going, they’ve got different perspectives to share with us. Full disclosure — sometimes we live our stories here at Bellingham Alive. Cathy is Bellingham Alive staff writer Catherine Torres, leaving us this summer after 19 months covering Skagit County, where she made North Sound restaurants, shops, and people come alive with thoughtful, descriptive stories and photos. Don is Don Davidson, father of Bellingham Alive art director Dean Davidson. Don and Deena, Dean’s parents, are uprooting their lives after 35 years in the same California house to move to Bellingham, where they plan to hike, snowshoe, and play with their grandson. After living for decades in a place where air-quality warnings are a fact of life, now they’ll get to take in big gulps of fresh Pacific Northwest air. Unlike real estate, that’s free of charge.
MERI-JO BORZILLERI Editor In Chief
HONEST. RELIABLE. DEPENDABLE. JUDD & BLACK.
NOTES Contributors Shannon Neufeld A Bellingham realtor for 12 years, Shannon Neufeld is among just 3 percent of realtors nationally with Certified Resident Specialist status. She has enjoyed the privilege of partnering with her husband Gordon Neufeld at the locally owned and operated Muljat Group. They have lived in Bellingham for 25 years, sailing through the islands, hiking the many trails, and maximizing on the incredible quality of life this area has to offer. p. 46
Don Davidson Don retired in 2017 to spend more time on his bike, in the garden and traveling with his wife and their yellow Lab and two cats. Back in the dark ages, he earned degrees in English, sociology and photographic illustration, which served him well in his career, mostly in higher education communications and marketing. He’s won state cycling and duathlon championships but prefers now to ride and run purely for pleasure. He and his wife have two sons (one artist, one scientist) and the two coolest grandkids on the planet. p. 49
Ali Raetz Ali is a sophomore at Western Washington University pursuing a degree in Human Services. When she’s not studying near Western’s Fisher Fountain, she’s most likely found with a chai tea latte in hand at Boulevard Park and looking for a corgi to pet. She believes deeply that everyone has an amazing story to share, and seeks out opportunities to listen, learn and continue to share these stories. p. 21
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Neal Tognazzini Neal splits his life between thinking and drinking: He has a Ph.D in philosophy and is a professor at Western Washington University, but he is also a beer sommelier and a nationally-ranked beer judge. Neal grew up in the Pacific Northwest, but spent a decade away after college. By the time he moved back to Bellingham in 2014, he had finally learned to appreciate the beauty of grey skies and the taste of craft beer. When he proposes a toast, it’s usually to his amazing wife of 14 years and his courageous and curious 6-year-old. p. 84
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Letters to the Editor
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I enjoy getting my Bellingham Alive Magazine every month! I love reading the interesting articles, finding out what is happening around town, and about new places to go and see. I even made the split pea soup recipe from the March issue and went out and bought the Instant Pot from Fred Meyer too! Delicious!
This magazine’s attention to detail and beautiful layout make reading it enjoyable and entertaining. Seeing how the Bellingham area has so much to offer, and the sense of community this magazine displays, makes me a reader for life!
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Bellingham Alive welcomes comments and feedback for our Letters to the Editor section. We’d love to hear what you have to say and are open to story ideas about the people, places, and happenings in the North Sound (Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan counties). Let us know what you like, and what you’d like to see in the magazine! Contact editor Meri-Jo Borzilleri at email@example.com.
I love that I find your magazine at my chiropractor’s office! Usually I’m disappointed I get called in so quickly!
I recently moved to Bellingham. My family and I were just talking about taking a trip down the coast this summer. Great timing, thank you! Carolyn S., Fairhaven
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NOTES Meet the Team For this issue, which highlights real estate in the North Sound, we ask the staff about their homes.
What’s the first thing you put in a new place to make it feel like home? BABETTE Toilet paper and a cat. CATHERINE One of the first things I unpack is my tea kettle. In fact, for all my moves in the contiguous U.S., our kettle was one of the last things to get stowed in the car. Our house functions around water boiled in our kettle: morning coffee made precisely with a scale and burr grinder, cups of tea all day long, a splash of warm water in whatever I’m cooking, and Sleepy Time tea with something sweet before bed. It’s not the kettle that feels like home — we replace it every few years. It’s the cozy beverages and the rituals that make a new place feel familiar.
DEAN The cat litter box goes in first, so the cats can go in next. Once the cats run around and claim their spots, we’ll finally feel like it’s truly our home. JENN The first thing I put in my house that really makes it home is my family, and then I’d have to say our beds. Sleeping in your own bed with your favorite pillow is about as home as it gets besides the people and pets with you. KELLY When I move into a new place the very first thing that I like to make sure is fully set up and complete is my bed! Knowing that after all of the stress and physical
activity of the actual move that there is a soft, comfortable, and familiar place to lay my head makes me feel at home. KENJI I go to the grocery store and fill my fridge. There is nothing worse than having an empty fridge to come home to. It takes a while for a place to start to feel like home, so why not make do with a home-cooked meal? MARIAH I love being surrounded by books, so a place that has room for all of my bookcases is always essential. When moving into a new place, once I get all my books in, it feels like home.
What’s the favorite home you’ve had and what made or makes it special? KATE My favorite home was the charming old Craftsman house I lived in my last year of college. While the house itself was lovely, it was the women I shared it with that made it special, my four best friends. Our final year of college together filled that house with some of my best memories. KRISTY The house I live in now is my favorite! It’s a little bit of a drive but definitely worth it when you get there. It’s special because it’s our first new home that my
husband and I picked out together. We also get to see the ocean every day. It is something that I do not take for granted. LISA My current home is by far my favorite. The home offers our sense of style and the community is one that we longed for. We always say, “We moved to Semiahmoo for the beauty of the surroundings and stayed because of the people.”
MERI-JO The house I grew up in was a former boarding house with tiny numbers still on the doors. It was old and drafty, but warm in all the important ways. My room was on the third floor, with a rope swing on the tree outside the window. I was almost hoping there’d be some kind of disaster because then I could escape through the window and down the rope, Hollywood-style.
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LIFESTYLE In The Know · Spotlight Artist · Community · 5 Faves
Tiny Homes, Big Voice Jim Peterson’s Crusade: End Homelessness WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY MELISSA MCCARTHY
efore he became a homeless advocate, Jim Peterson himself lived on the streets. “I have a unique perspective,” he says. “I know what they’re going through.” Peterson, 59, spent 17 years of his life without a home. When he finally was able to find a stable living situation, he used his experience and his newfound privilege to speak on behalf of the community that had gotten him through those many years. Since getting off the streets, his career has been advocating for the homeless community with organizations like the National Coalition for the Homeless and AmeriCorps across the nation. Now, he’s semi-retired in Bellingham and has started his own homeless advocacy group. … continued on page 20
LIFESTYLE By the Numbers
Years end-homelessness advocate Jim Peterson was homeless, p. 17
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150 Square feet of space remodeled for a his-andhers home office, p. 69
Old West outlaws named Joaquin that inspired a sweet, smoky drink at Hundred North, p. 82
Locally produced food and beverage products found year-round here, p. 41
Times that Bellingham Alive writer Catherine Torres has moved in the past decade, p. 48
Top to Bottom: Melissa McCarthy, Catherine Torres, Nic Aston, Kirstyn Nyswonger
© Pat McDonnell
“It was one of the first nice sunny days we’d had in a long time. These guys had set up a slackline across the gorge at Bellingham’s Whatcom Falls Park. One hopped up and skillfully made his way across. It was an amazing thing to watch.” PAT MCDONNELL
… Peterson is the president and founder of HomesNow! Not Later, best known for its campout in front of Bellingham City Hall in December 2017. This organization has set the goal to eradicate homelessness in Whatcom County by 2020. An estimated 742 people were homeless in 2017, according to the Whatcom County Annual Homeless Census. This number has been steadily increasing since 2012. In response, Peterson has taken it upon himself to start housing people himself — in tiny homes. “Tiny homes aren’t the solution to homelessness, but it’s a start,” he says. “It’s a place to give people some stability.” The tiny homes movement began a couple of decades ago and grew in the U.S. during the financial crisis of 2007–2008. In general, it refers to homes of fewer than 400 square feet. The movement has been popularized by TV shows like “Tiny House Nation” and “Tiny House Hunters.” So far, HomesNow! has constructed or acquired three tiny homes located in Lummi Nation. One of the first occupants, Peterson said, is a prime example of the difference a permanent space can make on an individual’s life. A mother who had her home and children taken away moved into one of the tiny homes. After having the space and consistency needed to begin rebuilding her life, she was able to find work, save money, and soon moved into a larger house of her own. She was able to get her kids back into her custody, and HomesNow! was able to transition another person in need of shelter into the tiny home. Since June of 2017, the organization has housed 26 individuals, built three tiny homes, hosted a monthly
homeless summit and has only spent $18,000. They rely on the assistance of independent donors and volunteer man hours to operate. “No one is getting paid,” Peterson says. “All of the money is going to helping people.” In fact, the organization has recently started working with a local construction company, Heritage General Building Contractors, which has offered to build six more homes and a central community center at the cost of materials. HomesNow! is still facing some governmental roadblocks in terms of zoning and construction permits, but Peterson hopes to make progress on this promising community of tiny homes in the near future. Although there have been some barriers with Bellingham’s City Council, Whatcom County Councilmember Tyler Byrd fully supports Peterson and HomesNow! “I think Jim’s a critical advocate for homelessness. He brings not only an incredible passion for the issue but more importantly an unwavering persistence,” Byrd said. “If we’re ever going to make an impact here, I think we need people like Jim to continue pushing us forward.” The urgency of the situation and the wide scope of people it affects keeps Peterson pushing, regardless of the struggles the organization faces. “The solution is housing,” Peterson says. “This isn’t about religion, politics, race, gender, sexuality, any of that. This is about helping people today.” homesnow.org
Youth Arts Academy Leader Has Theater in His Blood
Ian Bivins WRITTEN BY ALI RAETZ | PHOTOGRAPHED BY KIRSTYN NYSWONGER
s executive director Ian Bivins enters the small children’s theater in downtown Bellingham, he takes a moment and looks at the old fold-up chairs, scuffed wooden floors and creaky stage with a twinkle in his eye, as if he’s standing in a Broadway theater. Theater is his home, and always has been. Bivins, 38, is now in his second year as executive director at the local nonprofit Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth. It includes pre-school, after-school enrichment programs, and youth theater productions for all ages, serving about 1,000 students in all. He oversees a staff of 10 full-time employees plus 20 dedicated parent volunteers with an annual operating budget of $384,678. “The biggest challenge is seeing all the moving parts and helping them come into harmony with each other,” he said. Started as a children’s choir in 2006, the operation has evolved and grown into the non-profit that Bivins runs today. He has been busy expanding after-school programs and engaging more with the community. In addition to his starring role in managing the complicated business side of running a nonprofit, Bivins plays a supporting role in every other aspect of BAAY. Growing up in a theatrical family with a professional circus clown and part-time mime as his dad, Bivins jokes that he was “raised by a pack of mimes.” No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t deny his theatrical blood. It was no simple journey for Bivins to end up as BAAY’s executive director. Teaching, performing and directing lead him across the country, internationally to Barcelona, and then back to Bellingham in 2010 when he returned to his college town and got involved with volunteering at BAAY. In the spring of 2013, BAAY changed from a sole proprietorship to a nonprofit, and the former executive director retired shortly after this switch. After going through an extensive interview process, Bivins was selected for the executive director position in June 2016. He got right to work. Bivins takes influence from his father’s profession as a clown to juggle all the constantly moving and changing parts of the organization. He is currently overseeing the upcoming mainstage production of “Oliver!” premiering Friday, June 1 at 7 p.m. at BAAY. Bivins’ work hasn’t gone unnoticed in the community. Recently, BAAY was selected as one of the 12 organizations to be highlighted by the Community Food Co-Op’s 2018 Seed Program. Organizations highlighted in the program have been
awarded approximately $1800 to $2300 in previous years, according to Community Food Co-op Board administrator Jean Rogers. BAAY will be honored during the month of June and will receive 2 percent of the Co-op’s combined sales from all three locations on June 16, as well as donations accepted all month long at the registers. “Nonprofits are born and die every day. To actually take something that is a really great idea and fulfills a niche in the community — and make sure it has longevity — requires some future thinking and fiscal strategy,” Bivins said. Bivins has big dreams for BAAY. Arts education shouldn’t be viewed as a luxury, but just as important as other school work, said Bivins. Between balancing the management of the organization, arts-based preschool, EduArts, and taking care of the tenants a floor up from the office space who rent from BAAY, Bivins manages to even direct his own shows at BAAY. “I wouldn’t have told you four years ago that I would be in arts administration,” said Bivins, “but I think it’s a good fit for me.” 1059 N. State St., Bellingham 360.306.8531 | baay.org May 201821
LIFESTYLE In the Know
Mortality Meets Coffee Klatsch Death Café of Whatcom County WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY MELISSA MCCARTHY
hen you hear about a group called Death Café meeting in a funeral home, you may not think it would be a lively group. But, according to the founder of the Death Café of Whatcom County, Sandy Stork, these meetings are anything but morbid. “You should hear the laughter,” says Stork, 74. “We have so much fun.” Death Café was founded in London in 2011. It has since spread across Europe, Australia, and North America. The Death Café of Whatcom County began five years ago, meeting every third Thursday in Moles Funeral Home in Bellingham. “Our goal is to open our hearts and minds, and share our thoughts, feelings, and fears about death and dying,” Stork says. Stork said we live in “a death-denying culture” not conducive to these types of discussions. The purpose of Death Café is to create a safe, compassionate space where people can delve into this topic without judgement or religious proselytization. Dale McKechnie has been attending Whatcom County Death Café meetings since they began. “There is much misunderstanding about the whole process and purpose of death,” McKechnie says. “It is often seen as the end of life and therefore a thing to be feared.” During the meetings, attendees split into small groups and are given discussion topics. Usually, there are two major areas of discussion, Stork says. They will either end up discussing metaphysical aspects of death, pondering profound questions of what happens after death. Or they will look practically at how to prepare for death, like how to fill out an advance directive form, which outlines medical wishes in a case where an individual is unable to communicate. Stork has been around death for most of her life, as she worked with elderly populations as a geriatric mental health specialist for many years. She said the book “Being Mortal” is like her bible. “There’s so much ritual and beauty to it if you open up to it,” Stork says, “and that’s what we do at Death Café.” deathcafe.com
Empowering with Employment The RE Store Community Jobs Program WRITTEN BY KATE GALAMBOS | PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE RE STORE
hile many may know The RE Store on Meridian Street for its salvaged building materials and curious odds and ends, the store makes up only one facet of the nonprofits’ impressive agenda. The RE Store is a program of RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, which runs various programs aimed to develop a healthy, sustainable community. One of the RE Store’s newer programs is the Community Jobs Training Program, which provides internship opportunities to teach marketable job skills to the most vulnerable. The program was started in 2013, with just one trainee, and has since grown to train about 45 individuals in several different fields. Although the organization had a volunteer program for a number of years prior, the Community Jobs Training Programs was formalized in 2013 to give participants a structured internship, free of cost. With the support of other local nonprofits like Opportunity Council, Northwest Youth Services, WorkSource, and more, nearly half of the interns are also able to be paid by affiliated partners. The goal of the program is to build not only skills, but confidence for participants to succeed after their three- to sixmonth training program concludes. “Getting people back into the workforce gets them away from homelessness. Seventy percent of my applicants say their number-one goal is to get off of government assistance and become independent,” said Andy Eddy, volunteer and jobs training manager. Many people who take advantage of the program have been out of work for years, are returned from active military duty, recovering from an injury, or are young and entering the workforce for the first time.
Geoffrey Jones, 45, had broken his back and was hesitant to re-enter the work force. He spent about four months in the program, which “eased me back into it and gave me the confidence I needed,” he said. Better still, it gave him a job — immediately after completing the program, he was hired by the RE Store and has worked on the sales floor ever since. While in the program, interns pick from a handful of focus areas that are designed to meet the needs of the community and create marketable resumes. Interns can decide among five different curriculums, which then dictate their everyday activities and training. The focus areas include administrative, retail, warehouse, garden, and salvage/light construction. “We had to ask ourselves, ‘What is realistic for us?’” Eddy said, about the menu of programs. In addition to considering the ability of RE Store staff to train interns, Eddy said the organization developed these tracks based on community feedback. Before deciding on the focus areas the program would offer, Eddy researched the available jobs and the skills each requires. Beyond job skills and confidence, Eddy said the program aims to instill the mission of sustainability and create a culture of reuse by giving the interns the ability to live and breathe the mission of the RE Store. The RE Store will host its second annual Rockin’ for The RE Store fundraising event on Friday, May 18th at Boundary Bay Brewery, which will benefit the Community Jobs Training Program, among their other programs. 2309 Meridian St., Bellingham 360.647.5921 | re-store.org
LIFESTYLE In the Know
Grabbing Life by the Horns Antler Baking Co. WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY MELISSA MCCARTHY
he first bite transports you to a warm, Mississippi morning. The array of spices paired with a hint of pineapple give a burst of flavor, but the carrots and walnuts provide a smooth finish. Top that all off with cream cheese frosting and a buttermilk glaze, and you’ll find yourself licking the plate clean. This southern carrot cake is a staple of the new Antler Baking Company, located downtown within Woods Coffee in the Bellingham Flatiron Building. Owner Veronica Stendahl loves the cake so much, she served it at her own wedding. She recalled baking and decorating her two-tiered cake beforehand. You would think that, for a bride, preparing her own cake would be more stress, but Stendahl said she couldn’t have imagined having it any other way. “Everyone kept telling me I was crazy,” she said with a laugh. “But it was the best decision ever. It’s my favorite dessert.” Now Stendahl is sharing her signature cake, among other cakes, pies, cookies, and treats with the Bellingham community. She started selling her goodies at the local farmers market in July 2017, where she met Wes Herman, CEO of Woods Coffee. He and his wife took a liking to both her desserts and her entrepreneurial spirit. 24
“When I find an entrepreneur with drive and determination, I am all in,” Herman said. “We are proud to stand with Veronica as she has grabbed the horns of Antler to serve up her passion.” Herman set aside a space for Stendahl in the downtown Woods Coffee in December 2017, so patrons could enjoy a cup of Woods coffee and a piece of Antler pie under one roof. Antler’s spring menu uses seasonal ingredients from farmers market vendors and a dash of liquor in almost every dish. “My bartender side comes out in all of my recipes — I put booze into everything,” Stendahl said. A delicious example of this is the blackberry tequila puree tucked between layers of fresh lemon cake coated with vanilla bean buttercream. She makes everything from scratch and in small batches, uses local ingredients, and always has at least one glutenfree dessert available. You can pick up Antler’s desserts at Bellingham’s Saturday market, through custom orders, and at the storefront. Stendahl said she is still in awe of how her small business has come together. “It’s literally like a dream,” she said. 10 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.584.6839
WRITTEN BY LAURIE MULLARKY LAURIESLITPICKS.BLOGSPOT.COM
In the Know
May 4, 7 p.m. Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney 258 pages Flatiron Books
Hold onto your (twisted, psychological thriller) hat — this book is a doozy! The main character, Amber, is in a coma, believes her husband has fallen out of love with her, and yes, sometimes she lies. Told in three time periods, debut author Feeney does a masterful job of stringing the audience along: Amber’s story of “Now,” as she experiences her present coma and all the visitors to her hospital room; Amber’s story of the previous week prior to her car accident that precipitates the coma; and diaries from a long-ago childhood that tell of a poverty-stricken, abusive childhood. This crisp, well-told thriller will make a reader question the narrator (is she reliable or is she stringing us along?), question the ending (did this really just happen, or did I miss something earlier?), and wonder how soon the author’s next book is coming out.
WHO KNEW? Origins Before Austrian Olympic ski medalist Franz Gabl created the Ski to Sea race in 1973 with its one-way route from Mount Baker Ski Area to Bellingham Bay, the Mount Baker Marathon was its predecessor in punishment. Held from 1911– 1913, it was a brutal, hazardous 116-mile long round-trip from Bellingham to Baker’s summit, discontinued when a runner fell into a crevasse (he survived).
The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton, Bryan Stevenson, Lara Love Hardin 272 pages St. Martin’s Press
Powerful. Heart-wrenching. Hopeful. This is a “do not miss” book. Told by an innocent man who spent 30 years on death row in an Alabama state prison, this book will shake you to the core. It will make you question the idea of “justice” in America, and give you hope that regardless of what society does to a person, it is still possible to be human. Ray Hinton was 29 when he was arrested for murder and subsequently convicted by an all-white jury, with a white prosecutor and judge. Hinton shows us life on death row, the choices he made to turn from bitterness to compassion, and the selfless aid he receives to fight for his release. It is a rare book that can make one rage one moment, cry the next, and then squeeze one’s heart. This book is for those who think they know how justice works and are willing to let the blinders be ripped off.
An Evening with David Sedaris Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080 mountbakertheatre.com His books have appeared on The New York Times bestseller list, his essays in The New Yorker, and his commentary on NPR. Author of “Naked,” “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” and more, Sedaris uses satirical humor to critique the human experience. In this installment of the “Booked at Baker” series, Sedaris will perform a reading and book signing.
May 17–20 10th Biennial Skagit River Poetry Festival Maple Hall 104 Commercial St., La Conner 360.399.1550 | skagitriverpoetry.org The Skagit River Poetry Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary, featuring 30 poets and numerous attendees for a weekend of celebrating the art. There will be readings and panels from notable poets like Robert Pinsky and Ellen Bass, an opening night soiree, and a variety of workshops for aspiring writers.
WRITTEN BY KIRSTYN NYSWONGER
Ski to Sea Legs For the first time, this year entrants will be allowed to compete in multiple legs of the race, with no fewer than three people per team for the estimated 93-mile event. Typically, eight people form a relay team in the following legs: cross country skiing, downhill skiing or snowboarding, running, road biking, twoperson canoeing, cyclocross biking, and sea kayaking.
Olympic Competitors Ski to Sea draws from all around the country, from recreational to elite athletes. Olympians who have participated include: kayakers Greg Barton, the multiple Olympic medalist, and Philippe Boccara; and Nordic skiers Torin Koos and 2017 competitor Kikkan Randall, who in February helped the U.S. win its first Nordic gold medal in Olympic history.
Car-free Teams A car-free division, where teams bike and hike to and from their respective relay legs, was officially added in 2013. Eleven teams signed up the first year, 14 the next, with one car-free team placing an impressive 29th overall. An exercise in physical exertion and logistics — even before they get to the start line — this division of racers spend the whole weekend traveling around and camping getting to their destinations.
Community the Spotlight LIFESTYLE In
An Aerial Photographer’s Perspective Tore Ofteness WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY JADE THURSTON
ore Ofteness has been a local photographer for more than 30 years. Born in Norway, Ofteness, 72, lives in Bellingham. Now all but retired, Ofteness recently published the book, “A Higher Perspective: Aerial Photography of the Pacific Northwest,” through Village Books’ Chuckanut Editions. It documents a collection of more than 100 images — almost all from film photography — he captured through open windows in small airplanes or helicopters. To craft his book, Ofteness sorted through his file cabinets, stuffed full of negatives and slides, as well as a collection of digitally stored photos. Ofteness says he took up photography as an 18-year-old in the army, hoping to fill free time with
something other than drinking beer, a common activity among soldiers who had left home for the first time. As an airplane and helicopter mechanic, Ofteness writes that he became “intrigued by the view from a couple thousand feet above the Earth.” It was then that photography, and his interest in perspective, molded into a passion: aerial photos. After returning from the military, Ofteness pursued commercial photography at Seattle Community College and Western Washington University, where his first paid photography job was photo editor for Klipsun magazine and then The Western Front. After university, Ofteness’ career in photography involved work for companies such
as Georgia-Pacific, Alcoa Intalco Works, and BP West Coast Products. “As the old saying goes, you ‘knock on doors,’ Ofteness says. “That’s a cliché, but it works.” Ofteness says he enjoys photographing facilities and construction sites because he likes mechanical things, and there are intriguing angles that give the photo dimension. Beyond these workplaces, Ofteness also appreciates landscape and nature photography. He has documented historical events in the area, like the Bellingham pipeline explosion in 1999. Once, in an attempt to photograph Mount Baker, Ofteness told how the sun was setting and that the moon had yet to rise, creating a dim, evening glow.
From the base, Mount Baker wasn’t visible — all you saw were clouds. Ofteness and the airplane pilot soared up there anyway, clearing the clouds at 8,000 feet, and were rewarded with a dramatic view of Bellingham’s signature mountain in all its glory. Ofteness’ final photo — Mount Baker’s sunlit face in the forefront and Mount Shuksan’s peeping in the distance, emerging above a sea of purple-blue clouds — may seem like a lucky shot. But Ofteness’ precise camera settings and timeliness made all the difference. After all, there’s no display screen on a film camera, and you only have so many shots at your disposal. Despite his precise performances, Ofteness says he’s “a human being, not a machine.” He taught a photography class for 25 years at Bellingham Technical College until four years ago. Around his retirement, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, which he describes as a “nuisance.” The disease impacts Ofteness’ steadiness while walking or holding a camera, but he says medication helps. He may no longer be in the classroom, but he’s still teaching. After our interview, we moved outside to take his portrait. As I fumbled with my settings, Ofteness, from his position against the mustard wall, politely threw out some numbers for the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. I took a photo or two with my settings and got a dark image. Then I took his suggestions, snapped a photo, and the image was perfect. He emailed me the next day. During our interview, he had shared a tip about a flash issue, but we couldn’t figure it out on my camera. Like the thoughtful, technical photographer he is, his email included research on the subject and an answer to the problem. When we had talked, Ofteness had said he’s “just a photographer…habitually.” I hope I get there. 360.733.6743 | toreofteness.com
In the Know
Heeeere’s Johnny! (With Your Cocktail)
NYT Cooking The New York Times Company The N.Y. Times has more than 17,000 recipes published on its app. So, chances are, if you can think of it, it’s probably on there. You know the saying: “Variety is the spice of life”? Well, if it’s not a spice, at least it is something different than meatloaf again. (Yes, they have a recipe for that, too.)
Red Rum Tiki Bar WRITTEN BY MELISSA MCCARTHY
APPS WE L VE
re you ready to be transported to an island oasis? Take one step into Red Rum, the new tiki bar in downtown Bellingham, and you’re greeted with bamboo huts, tiki torches, and no visible windows hinting at what the outside world holds. You can’t tell day from night, only that this may be paradise. Red Rum opened in mid-March under the ownership of Aaron Roeder, owner of Cap Hansen’s, and Andy Kawamoto. Currently, the bar is open from 5 p.m. until 1 a.m. (the kitchen is open until 11 p.m.), but plans are to expand its hours to include lunch as well. You may be wondering how this extravagant escape came to have such a macabre name, alluding to Stephen King’s “The Shining.” Roeder said as he and Kawamoto were developing the bar, more and more references to “The Shining” kept popping up, and they finally gave in. “It works, because Red Rum isn’t a tiki bar purist. We kind of blur the lines of being unorthodox and out of the box,” Roeder said. Drinks are expectedly outlandish, with classics like the Mai Tai, Zombie and Painkiller on the cocktail menu. So take a departure from reality, and try out this unusual addition to downtown Bellingham.
Winnie Winnie Inc. What better way to find the perfect activity for the day then to crowd surf? This app connects young parents — and grandparents, even — to an extensive network for exchanging information, reviews, and tips and tricks to navigating the unpredictable waters of parenthood.
Daily Water Maxwell Software The average body is made up of about 60 percent water. It is a commonly known fact that it is easy to forget to drink water, especially when you at work for hours on end or are running around trying to get things done. Sometimes all you need is a friendly little pop-up notification to remind you to stay hydrated.
Calendars Readdle Inc. Want an easy way to keep track of all your responsibilities? This app’s interface is intuitive and well-suited for mobile devices. Featuring two different sync options, either Apple or Google calendars, it seamlessly transfers all your scheduled events to all your devices. — KENJI GUTTORP
113 E. Magnolia St., Bellingham May 201827
WESTERN WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
If you’ve ever strolled the campus situated well above downtown Bellingham, you can’t miss the intriguing, and sometimes befuddling, artwork placed between buildings. (At least one piece even has its own Twitter handle.) The university’s first sculpture was installed in 1960, and the collection has grown to include 36 “interactive” pieces, including the one pictured here — “Skyviewing Sculpture,” by Isamu Noguchi (1969), that allow people to climb on, over, through and around. Grab a sculpture map and explore on your own — or consider scheduling a tour. 516 High St., Bellingham 360. 650.3000 | wwu.edu
OUTDOOR FIVE SCULPTURE FAVES GARDENS WRITTEN BY KIRSTYN NYSWONGER | PHOTOGRAPHED BY ASHLEY HIRUKO
BIG ROCK GARDEN PARK
This 2.5-acre city garden park is located in Bellingham’s Silver Beach neighborhood adjoining Lake Whatcom. It includes 37 permanent sculptures by local and international artists. The park is open year-round, dawn to dusk; pets are not permitted. It was originally named Gardens of Art when founded in 1981 and bought by the city in 1993.
2900 Sylvan St., Bellingham | cob.org
BLAINE PEACE ARCH SCULPTURE GARDEN
In Blaine, at the border crossing between the U.S. and Canada, you will find 40-acre Peace Arch Park, and much of the year it features an international outdoor sculpture exhibition. From May through Oct. 1, the exhibition draws thousands of visitors checking out several dozen pieces by sculptors worldwide. They are displayed amid the gardens flanking the historic arch commemorating peace between Canada and the U.S.
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SAN JUAN ISLANDS SCULPTURE PARK
This 20-acre sculpture park was founded in 1998. The exhibit changes with rotating artists displaying their works and often offering them for sale. The park has more than 150 sculptures, five trails, a picnic area, and a pond. Visitors and their dogs are welcomed daily to enjoy the park.
9083 Roche Harbor Rd., Friday Harbor 360.370.0035 | sjisculpturepark.com
BY FORREST HOUGEN
While better known for its springtime tulips and daffodils, check out the sculptures downtown and throughout the city of Mount Vernon. These sculptures will lead you from the Skagit Station transportation hub to First Street to the Tulip Dance piece at Riverwalk Park. Mount Vernon’s outdoor sculptures will take you on a fun art-filled scavenger hunt throughout the city.
360.336.6215 | mountvernonwa.gov May 201829
A FUNDRAISER FOR
Fashion & Fun
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Calling all fashionistas! You're invited to Bellingham's premiere fashion FUN-raiser, Handbags for Housing! Event highlights include an EPIC handbag bazaar featuring over 500 gently used handbags, complimentary beauty bar, cocktails and appetizers, live entertainment and a fabulous Alice in Wonderland themed runway show featuring local boutiques, and designer handbags for auction. Find a handbag, buy your ticket and we'll see you at the show!
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Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Around the Sound
The Ebb & Flow of a Town Tides of Anacortes WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY CATHERINE TORRES
ennifer Mann sold glue for 35 years. The Californian-born Mann worked for a Connecticut-based company that made adhesives and coatings that cured in a certain spectrum of light, ideal for everything from windshield-crack bonding to dental coatings. Mann moved to Anacortes 14 years ago, but still spent 70 percent of her time traveling for work. During her last five years at the glue company, Mann’s late mother begged her daughter to make a change, “’[The job] is going to kill you,’ she would tell me,” Mann said. When her mother passed away suddenly, Mann finally made a career change. She opened Tides of Anacortes in August 2015. … continued on next page
Jessica Peterson, Jennifer Mann, and Katie Jensen
… The store appeals to a wide demographic and a variety of styles. Touches like the nautical-mermaid decor that came directly from her mother’s house and hospitable customer service sets the tone. “My whole idea was to make it feel like you were walking into my living room,” Mann said. On a recent visit, Katie Jensen and Jessica Peterson, two of Mann’s six employees, were busy stocking inventory and greeted customers by name. They also understood the meaning of “just browsing,” giving customers ample space to wander. Mann’s intention with Tides was always to be “in tune with the community.” Mann chose the store’s name to reflect her personal career change but also to represent the ebb and flow of the community. She explained her bottom line: “As we grow and expand, whatever the community needs, I’ll do.” Putting her words into action, she recently began stocking items like Votivo candles, cute notepads, Anacortes coasters, and other gift items when the town’s go-to gift store shut its doors. Most of Tide’s inventory is clothes and shoes, and, wanting to appeal to a large demographic, this makes Mann’s inventory choices a “labor of love.” She explained that although it can be difficult when some clothing lines are geared towards a specific demographic, there’s a nice surprise when someone outside that demographic tries on the piece, adds a belt or sweater and looks fabulous. In addition to choosing a variety of styles and prices, Mann looks for quality garments that will last, are functional and stylish. Take, for example, their selection of Liverpool Jeans. The stretchy, buttery fabric doesn’t bag and sits comfortably at the waist. The Danish line, Masai, drapes beautifully, layers, and travels well. Mann also tries to bring in new items each season and works on the same principle she enforces in her own closet: 32
bring something in, take something out. The practice helps keep the store fresh. They recently began carrying the Uno de 50 jewelry line, perfect for fans of statement necklaces. Shoes at Tides are chosen with comfort in mind, like Ilse Jacobsen’s Tulip shoes: cute slip-on sneakers that are meant to be worn all day, can be worn in water, are machine washable, and antimicrobial. Last year Tides sold more than 200 pairs of the style. Tides also strikes a balance with its diverse customer base. Anacortes has a high tourist population, with visitors often looking for a special memento versus locals who don’t need to be reminded of where they live. Mann won over both with the Anacortes long sleeve tee featuring the geographic coordinates of the store. A year ago, she spotted the tee at an airport and came up with a #WearintheWorld Instagram campaign that encourages customers to post pictures of themselves wearing the shirt on their travels. Customers posted photos from all over the world. You’ll find something beautiful at Tides, regardless of your style, but that’s not what makes it worth the visit. Mann and her staff are inviting, friendly, and carry on easy conversations. “I love what I do, I have fun every day,” Mann explained, “We joke that it’s like a bar in here sometimes because we’re talking so much.” She’s gotten to know her customers: their styles, their upcoming events, both good and bad, and their stories. Tides is what it is because of those connections. “The people that I have had the honor to meet and hear their stories…that’s what makes it so special. It’s not just a place to shop.” 804 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.873.8785 | tidesofanacortes.com
Providing Bellingham with Flowers, Perennials and Spray Free non-GMO Vegetable Starts Since 1933
Public Hours Mon–Fri 8–6 Sat 8–5:30 Sun 9–4
32nd & Taylor just south of REI | 360.671.7639 joesgardens.com
Instant Pot Smart Bluetooth 7-in-1 – 6 Quart Target.com, $99.99
Olympia Coffee Roaster’s Choice Six-Month Gift Subscription OlympiaCoffee.com, $109.95
Go Beyond the Usual for Mother’s Day Breakfast in bed and fresh flowers are the go-to Mother’s Day gifts and for good reason. Mom deserves pampering, and what woman doesn’t love a pretty bouquet of flowers? This year, consider stepping up your gift-giving with something matching her personality. Is she a coffee connoisseur or an avid hiker? Is she always the best-dressed person in the room? Remember, she’s much more than a mom. Celebrate her many other sides. — Catherine Torres
Lavender Elegant Spa Collection Pelindabalavender.com, $115
La Sportiva Women’s FC 4.1 GTX Hiking Boots REI.com, $175
Quiet About Candles Jaysonhome.com, $38
Around the Sound
Paddlers’ Paradise in North Vancouver Deep Cove Outdoors WRITTEN BY MERI-JO BORZILLERI | PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROB NEWELL
kayak and ski store located in a retail/industrial area in North Vancouver, B.C., Deep Cove Outdoors is something of a misnomer. Its namesake bay is five miles away, where the store has a waterfront center and rental operation. But within the city confines, Deep Cove has built a reputation for not only outdoor gear, but as a hub for community events and get-togethers. First, the store. Step inside the neon-green door, and you enter an industrial space, high-ceilinged and roomy, once used as a warehouse for pet food. The store is a carnival for freshair aficionados — kayaks, and their sleeker surf-ski cousins, hang from above or nestle in neat rows on racks. Standup paddleboards are propped along a wall, and Nordic skis and boots take up a good portion of another. The store has more than 100 kayaks in stock. There’s clothing and accessories like PFDs, paddles, spray skirts, roof racks, footwear, ski waxing gear. Top brands include Madshus Nordic skis and Epic surf skis, along with Darn Tough socks. “A lot of people come in and say, ‘Wow, this is like a candy store,” says co-owner Bob Putnam. What’s good about Deep Cove is that it doesn’t serve only the high-performance types — novice to competitive paddlers and skiers can find what they need, along with helpful advice from staffers, many accomplished in their sports, who love the outdoors and act like they want to help you enjoy it too. Putnam has also helped build a pipeline with the surf ski community in Bellingham, about 90 minutes across the
border. Bellingham, Putnam believes, possesses “the largest per-capita surf ski population in America.” Bellingham paddlers participate in his events, including the Canadian Surf-Ski Championships, which he founded, and Putnam makes regular trips over the border to paddle with his Bellingham counterparts at Marine Park, Bloedel Donovan Park and other launch spots, keeping tabs on wind and water conditions. “Like most products we carry, we like the activity,” says Putnam, proudly noting his weekly kayak race series, which invites ocean kayaker, surf skiers, and standup paddleboarders of all abilities, is celebrating its 20th year. The business also holds Nordic races and a “Penguin Plunge” that draws 2,000 people for the traditional New Year’s Day bracing dip. Business partner Erian Baxter started a Women on Water (WOW) group paddle for all abilities that is popular. “We’ve built a community around the store. We do lot of events, and a lot of them are race-based,” he says. Some are not. One advantage of Deep Cove’s location (reference point: the Canadian Tire next door) is a decent-sized parking lot that’s perfect for outdoor sales, fundraisers, and post-race parties with live bands. Says Putnam: “We can make as much noise as we want, and no one will get mad at us.” 352 Lynn Ave., North Vancouver 604.987.2202 | deepcoveoutdoors.com May 201835
SHOP Savvy Shopper
Making a Statement Statement Apparel WRITTEN BY AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY JADE THURSTON
2945 Newmarket St., Bellingham 360.734.9595 36
THE SHOP Statement Apparel opened May 1, 2015, with two goals: create a women’s clothing store complementing all ages and donate to charity. The Barkley Village shop has done just that. Owner Deirdre (DeeDee) Bell took over the shop when Susan Sandell retired, creating a new name and widening the target market. “From 20 years old to 90, we really have something for everyone,” Bell said. “And that makes me feel good.” And you can feel good about where your money goes — one percent of Statement’s sales are donated to the Whatcom Hospice Foundation. In fewer than three years, they’ve donated more than $10,000.
THE ATMOSPHERE When you stroll into Statement Apparel, you’re always greeted by Bell or an employee. The space is open and organized, with soft music in the background by artists like Adele or Jack Johnson. Pops of color scatter the room without feeling cluttered. “If someone’s not having a good day, our goal is to make it one,” Bell said.
modeling career in her 30s, then bought and ran a shop in Denver, Colorado, before moving to Bellingham, where she raised a family. When the opportunity came to return to retail, Bell credits her employees. Employee turnover in retail is rampant, but at Statement, the coworkers are solid. One employees is 82 years old and acts like “the Energizer Bunny,” Bell said.
WHAT YOU’LL FIND With pieces from 50 handpicked clothing lines, options at Statement are numerous. Bell looks to establish relationships with vendors, but if an item doesn’t work, she may drop that line for a season or two. “You can’t force something to fit the store,” Bell said. “I have to love it.” On some of the hangers you’ll see entire outfits with jewelry. From Spanish silver necklaces to leather earrings, it’s inspirational to see an outfit come to life without piecing the items together yourself. But if you can’t find the right item, don’t fret! Each employee has a clientele book for custom ordering. Plus, on your birthday, you receive a postcard delivered by mail, offering $10 to spend that month.
KEY PEOPLE Bell runs the shop with four women, three of which have been there nine years, before Statement Apparel. Bell herself worked in retail since high school, graduated from the Art Institute of Colorado in fashion merchandise, had training at JCPenney, and became a JCPenney buyer. She took up a
FAVORITE ITEMS Bell said the best part about this experience is the people: coworkers, returning customers, brand representatives, vendors, and their landlord. “These people are remarkable,” Bell said. “We’re going to keep this up as long as we can.”
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WELLBEING Nutrition · Take a Hike · Spa Review · Beauty
Getting Through Tears, Sweat, Heat Tricks and Tips for Making Makeup Last WRITTEN BY ASHLEY THOMASSON PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROBIN CO. PHOTOGRAPHY
s a makeup artist, one of the questions I’m most commonly asked by my clients is: “Will my makeup last all day long?” My answer? “This ain’t my first rodeo.” The bulk of my business happens in the heat of summer, so I’ve had a lot of practice getting this art down to a science. Whether it’s for a graduation, wedding, photo shoot, or other event, there are a few tricks you can use to keep your makeup locked in place. If you have a special event this summer or are jetting away to somewhere warm and want to beat the heat, I’m excited to share a few of my tricks-of-the-trade with you! … continued on next page
… SETTING POWDER Most of us brush a light veil of powder over our face after we put on our foundation, but did you know there are two different types of powder you can use? They are often referred to interchangeably, but they both have very different roles to play. One is a setting powder, designed to set your foundation and keep it in place throughout the day. The other is a finish powder, which will not help your foundation stay much longer but will help blur fine lines and imperfections, giving your skin a glowing look. You can use them both together, or use them based on your needs/preferences. If you use them together, do both sparingly so you don’t risk over-powdering, which can cause a cakey look. When completing a look that needs to stand up to summer weather, I opt for a translucent setting powder and apply it with a damp beauty blender or with a powder brush. Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder is the stuff dreams are made of, and perfect for this type of occasion.
CREAM SHADOW Cream shadow was a big hit when I was in high school (I won’t tell you how long ago that was) and then it kind of fell off the radar for a while. But it’s currently making a big come back with new and improved formulas and I’m falling in love all over again! Cream shadow can have great color payoff, be easy to apply, and offer a staying power longer than powdered shadow can do on its own. I start by applying the cream shadow in the center of my lid and blending out to the outer and inner corners, and then also blending just up to the crease. For real staying power and to add a little dimension, I will also sometimes brush a light stroke of a matching powder eye shadow over top to really set it in place. There are many cream shadows out there to love, but a personal favorite for me are the ones by Revlon. Affordable and good quality — what more could you want?
WATERPROOF MASCARA Waterproof mascara shouldn’t be an everyday application, but when you really need to ensure a flawless look, 40
why risk it? Spring for a waterproof mascara to carry in your makeup bag for those times the tears or the heat might sneak up on you. The good news is there are plenty of good waterproof mascaras out there that won’t break the bank. My go-to is L’Oréal’s Voluminous Waterproof Mascara and at less than $10 a pop, it’s worth having it around for the times I need it most.
BROW POWDER/WAX There are lots of great long-lasting brow products on the market right now. My current favorites are sets that include a cake powder along with a wax. The wax helps pick up richer pigment from the powder, helps it glide on smoothly, and helps the powder set into the skin and stay, creating a brow that won’t fold under pressure. A little goes a long way — this type of product will last you a while! My favorite brow
powder/wax combination is sold by NYX. It lasts all day, has great color variety, and won’t break the bank at $6 each.
SETTING SPRAY The best insurance for any look, regardless of the event or weather, is a good quality setting spray. Setting sprays are like a hairspray for your face (but actually safe to use) and they will keep every bit of makeup in place all day long. Two or three quick sprays six inches from your face, and you’re ready to go! My all-time setting spray love is the All Nighter spray by Urban Decay. It’s quick-drying and outperforms any others on the market that I’ve tried. Bonus: They sell this product in travel-size so you can buy a small one for the fraction of the price if you only plan to use it for special events throughout the year.
WHAT’S IN SEASON? The Local 10: With our temperate maritime climate, there are a number of local products that we can find year-round. 1 Veggies Mushrooms, carrots, kale, sprouts, beets, potatoes, garlic, and squash can be found most of the year and are fresher and more nutritious. 2 Frozen berries Find fresh and frozen raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Did you know Whatcom County is the largest producer of red raspberries in the nation? 3 Seafood The beautiful Salish Sea is rich with salmon and shellfish, and many local fishermen travel up to Alaska, returning with wild-caught bounty. 4 Dairy With more than 100 dairy farmers producing everything from milk and cheese to yogurt and butter, NW Washington has it all.
Why We Eat Local in Bellingham WRITTEN BY SARA SOUTHERLAND | PHOTOGRAPHED BY DIANE PADYS
he art of feeding ourselves, isn’t it a funny thing? From granola bars on the go, to treating ourselves to a gourmet meal, the way in which we nourish ourselves varies wildly by the day. For many of us, it can feel like a challenge to get a meal on the table that resembles something healthy. But lucky for us, there is a bounty of fresh, local food that abounds in our region — and so many opportunities to eat well. Nourishing ourselves and the ones we love from our place in the world can reach farther than our plates. And that’s where the magic happens — because local food comes with a story. It’s a story that helps us truly know the people, place, process, and practices behind our food. How it was grown and how it may have helped preserve farmland. How it was made and how it may have helped reduce waste and energy. How it was caught and how it may have helped keep our seas stocked with fish for seasons to come. Local food is food from people who are invested here in our community, creating jobs, and keeping dollars here to support the place we call home.
WHAT DOES LOCAL MEAN? It varies for every region, but for us in northwest Washington, Sustainable Connections’ “Eat Local First” campaign defines local as food grown, raised, harvested and made in Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, and Island counties.
5 Eggs Farm-fresh eggs are a treasure to behold. Eggs from pastured hens also contain up to 20 times more Omega-3s than those from factory hens. Egg-cellent! 6 Honey Touting flavors like wild flower and raspberry, experts say local honey may help with allergies too. 7 Grains Locally milled flours from Skagit County turn into products like breads, pastas and pastries — or make your own! 8 Meat and poultry Sustainable and humanely raised pork, beef, chicken, turkey and lamb are all here. Stock up your freezer and load up the grill. 9 Hazelnuts This heart-healthy nut grows right in our backyard; perfect for snacking, baking, salads and more. 10 Beer, wine, spirits and more We love our beverages, and lucky for us we have dozens of breweries and wineries to choose from, local kombucha, cider, spirits and more.
WHERE TO FIND LOCAL FOOD? Farmers markets Shop local farmers markets for your groceries and find new favorites Local grocers Consider shopping at locally owned grocers and look for local items Local restaurants Eat at locally-owned restaurants and ask for what’s local Local farm box Sign up for a box of local produce, or CSA, fresh from the farm U-pick and farm stands Head out to the farm for a fun-filled day This season is a great time to seek out new ways to eat with the seasons and eat from our place. Here’s to enjoying good food, creating good health, and a healthy community — each and every time we sit down to eat. May 201841
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Six Tips to Start your Journey as a New Mom-to-Be
regnancy can bring with it a variety of emotions: joy, fear, anxiety and more. It’s an amazing sensation to know that your body is growing a baby and that you are responsible for its healthy growth. Here are the top six tips, compiled from providers who have helped hundreds of other new expectant moms: 1 Start Your Prenatal Vitamins Right Away “Prenatal vitamins are most important in the first three months. This is when the body absorbs extra folic acid which helps to prevent birth defects,” says Chad Thomas, MD, PhD, an OB/GYN with PeaceHealth Medical Group. “Babies are good at stealing vital nutrients from you and that’s another reason why you need prenatal vitamins.” Carefully look at other medications that you are taking, including over-the-counter medications. Safe medications to take include acetaminophen (like Tylenol), Benadryl and Tums. Avoid ibuprofen (found in Advil® and Motrin®) and aspirin. 2 Establish Healthy Eating Habits Nausea is very common in the first six to eight weeks. “While it seems counter-intuitive, eating throughout the day is ideal as you avoid an empty stomach. In fact, the reason why most women experience nausea in the morning — and why it’s called morning sickness — is because they have an empty stomach,” says Dr. Thomas. “Crackers are your friend, so keep them by your bedside and in your purse,” he adds. Stay hydrated; water is ideal, but orange juice, milk and non-caffeinated teas are also good choices. Try to limit your intake of caffeine (whether it’s coffee, tea or a soda) to one 12-ounce cup per day. Most women know this, but it’s worth repeating: there is no safe amount of alcohol use once you are pregnant and you should not smoke. 3 Stay Active Establishing or maintaining a healthy exercise routine is encouraged for most women. This will help you control your weight, boost your mood and help you sleep. “We encourage at least five days a week of some type of aerobic activity. This could be walking, yoga, swimming, strength training, stationary cycling or jogging. Highimpact exercise, like CrossFit training, should be avoided.” says Dr. Thomas. Of particular concern is your balance while exercising. This won’t be evident in your first trimester, but by month six, your center of gravity will be affected. Talk to your provider about your exercise plan. 42
4 Begin Your Prenatal Care An ideal time to establish your prenatal care is around weeks eight to 10 from your last period. You can choose from an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN), a family physician or a certified nurse-midwife (CNM). “We start by introducing ourselves to you and explaining how prenatal care at our office will work. We want you to feel like you and your partner understand and know how to utilize the wealth of resources that we have to offer pregnant women and their family,” says Dr. Thomas. 5 When to Share the News While knowing you are pregnant is an exciting time, consider keeping the news ‘close to the vest’ until the second or third month. “It’s a very personal decision; take some time to think about it,” advises Dr. Thomas. Many women are unaware of how common miscarriage occurs; one in four pregnancies ends in a miscarriage, usually during the first three months. Chances of a miscarriage go way down once there is a heartbeat detected. 6 Symptoms to Act On As mentioned earlier, nausea is common in the first trimester, as is vomiting. Signs of concern would be if you have an extremely dry mouth, aren’t producing urine or if you can’t keep any food or beverages down for more than a day or so. Spotting or bleeding can be normal. Possible causes can include hormonal changes in your body, sexual intercourse or an internal exam from your provider. “If you’re going through more than a pad an hour, call your doctor,” advises Dr. Thomas. During the early weeks of pregnancy, you should also be mindful of significant abdominal pain, which could mean an ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilized egg attaches itself in a place other than inside the uterus). The first several weeks of your pregnancy can be physically and emotionally challenging. You can be your own best advocate by being mindful of changes to your body and contacting your provider with any concerns. Take it All In No matter what emotions arise, make sure you allow yourself to sit back and enjoy the journey. It may have ups and downs, but pregnancy is a miraculous time. Chad Thomas, MD, PhD PeaceHealth Obstetrics & Gynecology Cordata South, 4465 Cordata Parkway, Bellingham, WA 98226 360.752.5280
Now What? Wherever you are in your nine-month miracle PeaceHealth can help you answer the question, now what. From pregnancy planning to obstetrics to childbirth, PeaceHealth wants to share in your excitement and keep you healthy for whatever comes next. PeaceHealth Medical Group-Whatcom 4465 Cordata Parkway, Suite C, Bellingham 8:00 a.m. â€“ 5:00 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, Friday n 7:00 a.m. â€“ 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, Thursday
REAL ESTATE I
© Lyle Jansma
n Whatcom, Skagit and San Juan counties of the North Sound, the real estate industry has grown from a decade ago. No wonder, because people are moving here at a rate not seen since 2010, the last official census. The secret’s out: The North Sound is a great place to live. We’ve got nature in abundance, the coastline, fresh water, snow-capped peaks, islands, arts, recreation, and locally grown food. In this feature, we give you a look at a day in the life of a realtor. Also, in this, a seller’s market, we offer ways to present your home in the best light. For buyers, beware red flags — a home inspector answers some common questions. Finally, you’ll hear from one family that’s moving out and another that’s moving in, a bittersweet time for both. It might not quite qualify as a boom time, but for those involved in real estate here, North Sound stock is on the rise. — Meri-Jo Borzilleri
Selling to The Max: Curb Appeal Helps It’s a seller’s market these days, but it’s still competitive out there. How do you sell your home for the price you want? We turned to certified realtor Shannon Neufeld, a 25-year resident of Bellingham who has been selling Whatcom County homes for more than 12 years, for advice on staging and maximizing your home’s curb appeal. — Meri-Jo Borzilleri
t is not an unusual story for us to step into a home for our first appointment and discover the house, while beautiful, is just not ready for the world to see. Although the owners are capable, they just don’t know where to start and where to focus their energies. Recently, I was preparing to list a family home where the three active young boys kept the family busy with everything but household organization. With a solid to-do list, some excellent direction, and a few days’ time, the home was in tip-top shape and ready to get top dollar.
Grab them at the curb
Make potential buyers fall in love with your home from the street. A small investment of time and money can really make a difference. Adding a few spots of color in the garden, powerwashing walkways and the driveway, cleaning gutters, weeding the garden, and mowing and edging the lawn enhance the look and feel of any home. It’s your first chance to make a good impression, so make it count.
Invite the buyers to a little “porch time”
The front entry, patio, or porch is not only a first impression to the home, it is also a beautiful way to make a statement about the community. If you have room, place a chair or two with clean cushions to invite sitting. This makes a nice statement about safety and your neighborhood. Consider placing easy-to-read house numbers and help the potential buyers feel welcome by adding potted plants and flowers, replacing your old worn-out welcome mats, and sweeping any leaves and other debris from the front steps.
A home that shines is a home that sells
Make everything shine in a way that makes the buyer ask, “Does anyone live here?” Clean windows let the sunshine pour in. Spotless floors, steam-cleaned carpets, and freshly wiped baseboards send a welcome message to all guests. Dusting walls, ceilings, and all flat surfaces suggests this home is loved. And yes, a home that is free of odors, or overly-fragrant deodorizers, is a must. If you feel overwhelmed by this task, hire a pro! The money or time invested will pay you back. “Shiny” is necessary!
Keep it neutral
Unless your home has current, well-received designer colors, neutralizing a flamboyant accent wall, for example, can eliminate strong reactions and allow buyers to envision their style superimposed on a “blank” slate. Though repainting is not always an advised expense, sometimes eliminating an objectionable area can widen the appeal of a home and help a sale.
De-clutter, Phase I
This is the first step of the movingout process. Embrace the challenge as you simplify. You will thank yourself when you not only get top dollar but simplify your move. A home without the stuff looks larger, allows the buyer to envision themselves living there, and draws focus to more-important house elements. Clear toys and smaller appliances and furniture pieces.
De-clutter, Phase II
Clearing out open spaces is critical, but lots of hidden spaces need to be jettisoned of small stuff. Don’t be surprised if the buyer wants to examine cupboards, storage rooms, and the garage. Make a plan to systematically clear out each space and organize it! Keep the essentials and again, remember you’ll be making the move easier for yourself too.
Freshen the kitchen and the rest of the home
Don’t forget the outdoors
Anything that speaks to the enjoyment of life on the property is a win. Hang your clean hammock, set up the BBQ pit, or arrange a bistro table and chairs with a fresh tablecloth and some charming seat cushions. Showing off the property’s outdoors, no matter how big or small, adds to the lifestyle most seek.
Set the dining/kitchen table
Use neutral colors and keep it simple. A few place-settings provide a lovely touch. A small vase of flowers, or carefully potted succulents in a clean pot, will positively enhance the look for a small cost.
The kitchen is the hub of most home activity and entertaining. If your kitchen says “Come on in and stay a while,” you will enhance your ability to sell. Making your kitchen fresh, clean, and inviting sets the stage. Counter tops and sinks should gleam, the refrigerator should be clear of extraneous decor, and countertop appliances should be sparse. A bowl of fresh fruit, or a couple of wine glasses and a bottle of wine can give that well-lived-in feel without crowding out the guests. Finally, a nice addition might be some fancy hand soap and a new tea towel by the sink.
A few family photos suggest a homey setting, while a wall of archival memories can crowd out a buyer’s notion of how to live in “your” home. We recommend that our sellers put their personal collections, awards, jewelry, and prescription medications out of sight; this enhances personal privacy and allows the would-be buyer to imagine themselves in the home.
Make the beds
Beds are an important spatial element to assist buyers with understanding the room’s functionality. If your bedroom is small, lean a full-length mirror against one wall to make the room feel larger. Most important: Make sure the beds are neatly made before each showing. If you don’t have crisp clean bed covers, it may be worth it to buy some, or borrow a set from a friend.
Written by Shannon Neufeld | Photographed by Damian Vines at C9 Photography May 201847
Know How To Say
n the past decade, I’ve moved eight times. Since graduating college in 2009, my homes have included Hawaii, North Carolina, Washington, and on multiple occasions, I’ve lived out of my suitcase with no permanent address. I’m not a runaway or an incompetent tenant, I’m an Air Force veteran and current spouse to an active duty Air Force officer. I’ve gotten really good at leaving: packing, making moving checklists, and saying good-bye. It’s not completely stress-free, but I’ve learned a few things to make every move smooth. Here are some tips that should help, even if you’re not in the military.
Good-Bye Check in with someone who lives where you’re moving.
Once we receive official orders to our next duty location, we always check in with friends to get advice. The military is a small world with paths continuously crossing, but on the off-chance we don’t know anyone who has ever been stationed at a particular base, we rely on our sponsors. These are individuals in our new units who have been tagged with helping us out. They’re in touch during the actual move, give us a tour of the base when we arrive, pass along information like the best neighborhoods to live, and basically take care of us until we’re settled.
Get ready with checklists.
I have an official moving notebook where I write out checklists like tasks to do before moving, things to pack in our luggage versus bigger shipment, and notes for the new location like homes to look at and internet service cost comparisons. My most helpful lists include items to buy upon arrival (cleaning supplies, food staples, and toiletries), a room-by-room cleaning list, and a monthlong to-do list with deadline dates. I’ll start adding items to the lists about four months prior to a move, which may seem excessive, but it helps ease the burden.
On moving day, hover around the movers and packers.
My husband and I have different styles — he sits out of the way and reads, I hover. I also sometimes direct. Thinking this might be annoying to some people, I made the mistake of backing off for a time during our last move. When we arrived in Washington, tired but still wanting to unpack, I opted to unbox my 500plus book collection. I anticipated an easy couple of hours, organizing and perusing some of my favorites. But no. The packer had wrapped every book, individually, in tissue paper. After a long afternoon, I had a small tree’s worth of tissue paper in my office and vowed to never stop hovering.
Make a bucket list.
You’ll be surprised at how many things you’ll miss. We try to explore each place we live and visit, but time flies by quickly, leaving many things undone and some of our favorite activities not done enough. As soon as we know we’re leaving we make a list and begin scheduling the things we want to do (still need to visit Mount Rainier!) and things we want to do one last time (ferry ride to the San Juan Islands). The weekends on our kitchen calendar are numbered in red marker. We won’t waste any days off!
Purge before a move.
It’s an optimal time to get rid of those toosmall jeans and the eyesore vase your aunt gifted a few birthdays ago. I like to apply the “Would I be sad if it broke?” test. If the movers break or lose an item, we can get compensated for its value. If I’d rather have the money, then it’s time to donate or sell it. This move is special since we’ll be living abroad for four years. The Air Force will store items until we return to the states simply because other countries have smaller homes. My thought is, “If we can live without it for four years, do we really need it?” Take it from someone who has lived with the bare essentials: You don’t need a lot of the stuff you own, except maybe your book collection. Finally, learn to say “See you later” because it’s less painful than saying “Goodbye.” Maybe you’ll cross paths with old friends and walk the same streets once more, maybe you won’t. The best we can do is enjoy the places we find ourselves in the present and cherish the memories of the ones we left behind. Washington will always hold a special place in my heart, but it’s time for me to leave. Adventure awaits.
Written by Catherine Torres
Moving to Bellingham for a Breath of Fresh Air
ep, we’re one of those: a retired couple moving from Southern California to Bellingham. After 35 years in the same home in the city of Redlands, we’re in the throes of packing it all up and hauling it to the Pacific Northwest. My wife and I were born a few years apart in the same hospital in nearby San Bernardino, where we grew up. My great-grandfather helped found the city in the 1800s and has a street and an elementary school named for him, so our roots here are pretty deep. That said, the Inland Empire (a.k.a. the “I.E.”) where we live east of Los Angeles is ranked near the top for worst air quality in the nation. I recall days in high school when we weren’t allowed to participate in P.E. because the smog was so bad. We’re surrounded by 10,000-foot mountains we can’t see much of the summer, so it’s easy to understand why we’re willing to pull up stakes and move to Bellingham, which is ranked among the best for air quality (major forest fires notwithstanding). Since our son moved there 10 years ago, we have visited often and fallen in love with the area. We have snowshoed at the base of Mount Baker, hiked the trails, ridden bikes on the roads throughout the county and camped in Larrabee State Park, where our son was married. His wife gave me local author Ken Wilcox’s book, “Hiking Whatcom County,” which features 125 hikes and walks. We’re ready to tackle them all. Living in one house for 35 years and raising two sons there means you accumulate a lot of “stuff.” I’m a bit of a minimalist and my wife tends to accumulate things, so it’s been a challenge to decide what to keep and what to toss, sell, or give away. We rented the largest unit at a local storage facility and it’s getting full. Really full. We plan to list our house for sale, leave everything but the essentials in storage and live in our travel trailer in Bellingham with our yellow Lab and two cats until we can purchase a home.
I spent May of last year living in the trailer in an RV park in Ferndale, where it was a joy being a few minutes, instead of 1,300 miles, from our son and his family. I got to take my grandson to outdoor adventures with Wild Whatcom and go on the hunt for construction equipment (his obsession at the time). Thanks to the Mount Baker Bicycle Club’s newsletter I picked up at Kulshan Cycles (now Trek Bicycles Bellingham), I was able to join several group rides and connect with local cyclists. I look forward to the club’s Chuckanut Classic ride in August. On one of my bike rides last year I got to meet “Sunny Jim,” a retired former Californian who has a large garden in Ferndale that helps supply the local food bank. As a dedicated organic gardener, I’m really hopeful my wife and I can find a property with a couple of acres for growing food like Sunny Jim. My best friend Phil, who was killed by a drunk driver while riding his bike in 2014, was a master organic gardener who referred to his compost-rich soil as “black gold.” After he died, his wife decided not to maintain his garden and I hauled about 20 pickup loads of his soil home for my garden beds. I’ll be taking to Bellingham one of his strawberry plants in a pot of his soil, along with a large collection of seeds from his hot peppers I’ve perpetuated. Phil would be happy knowing his Written by Don Davidson garden will live on in Bellingham. May 201849
f there’s one part of the real estate process that most buyers and sellers dread, it’s the home inspection. Sellers worry a surprise issue will cost them thousands of dollars while excited buyers hope no major issues stain their perfect home. We sat down with seasoned, board-certified master home inspector Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections. Hance assured us the home inspection process isn’t as scary as we think.
How much should buyers expect to pay for a home inspection?
It depends on the size and age of the house, but generally you can expect quotes between $450–$595. Older and substantially larger homes require reports that are about twice as long — and twice as much work — making them more expensive.
What property is included in a home inspection?
The main house and the attached garage. Anything outside the house is outside the scope of the inspection and requires their own reports. This means free-standing buildings, like a guest house, need to be contracted separately.
How should I go about choosing a home inspector?
When you choose an inspector, it’s all about experience. Some multi-inspector firms have a very experienced head inspector, but a less knowledgeable staff. Additionally, most inspectors aren’t in business for more than two years, so if you find one that’s been operating longer, they have plenty of experience under their belts. Bottom line: Find the most experienced inspector you can.
Are home inspections beneficial for both the buyer and seller?
Yes and no. Home inspections are mostly for the buyers and they pay for them. They are indispensable in removing the rose-colored glasses and pointing out all the defects. Issues with the house also open the opportunity to negotiate the sales price. For the seller, one option is to do a pre-sale inspection to reduce surprises during the traditional inspection. However, inspections are the ultimate disclosure for sellers: Once the inspection occurs and they know of the defects, sellers must disclose the information.
Can homebuyers do anything if an inspector overlooks a major issue that doesn’t present itself until after a sale?
Inspectors are human, they can miss things. Keep in mind the contract all buyers sign before entering into an inspection agreement is a huge liability release. Inspectors do a “snapshot in time” inspection. It’s very possible something can present itself after the inspection. Also have realistic expectations: inspectors can only inspect what they see. If a good inspector thinks there might be a more serious issue, he’ll suggest the buyer follows up with a contractor. It’s up to the buyer to follow that advice. A specialty contractor can get into issues that inspectors just can’t see.
Do home inspections include pest inspections?
It depends if the inspector is licensed by the Washington State Department of Agriculture to be a structural pest inspector, then they can offer that service. I do, which means I generate a separate report if I see pest activity or damage.
Is that a qualification we should look for in an inspector?
The home inspection report reflects the pest inspection report in different language. For example, in a home inspection report I’d write “Apparent pest activity and damage,” but in a pest report I’d say, “Carpenter ant activity.” However, it’s helpful to have an inspector who has the certification because they have knowledge of conditions for pests. They can look at a piece of wood and know how extensive the damage is, while a regular home inspector may not.
Is it always better to leave home inspections to professionals? What about using a handy checklist from the internet when buying a newly built home?
One hundred percent, you need a home inspector. It’s an unbiased assessment of the home. An inspector’s job is to tell the truth. I’d never recommend a family member do the inspections either for that same reason. In fact, I’m buying a house right now. I’ll go through it, but I’m still hiring someone for the inspection. Aside from an unbiased assessment, the seller won’t take your assessment seriously when it comes to negotiations. An unbiased perspective is more convincing.
As a professional, what’s the number one inspection issue you find that surprises home buyers and sellers? Attics and crawl spaces. They are the areas that no one goes into — ever. Look in your attics and crawl spaces once a year. In the Pacific Northwest it’s all about moisture. Standing water in the crawl space leads to mold which leads to insect activity which leads to structural damage. In attics, the number one issue is mold and it’s expensive to remedy.
What can a buyer expect from a home inspector’s report?
My report is divided into sections (roofing, exterior, plumbing) within which are lists of repairs prioritized by safety issues, necessary repairs, things to monitor, and things that are subjective to improve. Typically, major issues and safety issues are negotiated in real estate sales. In a seller’s market, sellers are less apt to make repairs, but if you have a major issue like a foundation issue, you have to fix it. I also include pictures and video, to help everyone understand what I find. (Check out Hance’s website at allislandsinpections.com for sample reports).
With your background in contracting, do you give repair estimates? Verbally I will, but I advise the buyer to do the research, check reviews and get a minimum of three competing bids.
Is there anything a seller can do to prepare for an inspection?
Service the fireplace and furnace. Make sure there’s access to the crawl space, attic, and electrical panels, and peek into the attic and crawl space to see if there’s anything of concern.
What is the one thing you wish buyers and sellers would do during the inspections process?
I recommend the sellers are never present. It’s the buyer’s time with the home and an inspector’s chance to critique it, which can stir a seller’s emotions. For buyers, come along but don’t crowd the inspector. It can be a distraction and we can miss things. I recommend the buyer do his own due diligence and scrutinize the house himself while I do my inspection. In fact, I bring a toolbox just for him with flashlights, levels, notebooks, and other supplies. When we’re done I’ll answer questions and walk him around the house pointing out findings. I think that’s the best format for a thorough and focused inspection. Finally, buyers should be present to understand the severity of findings. The inspection report’s language is stronger for liability reasons. For example, for a crack in the foundation the report will say “Recommend further evaluation” but in person I’ll say, “I don’t think it’ll cause an issue, but you should get the crack Written by Catherine Torres looked at.” May 201851
Editor’s Note: Bellingham’s real estate market isn’t as crazy as Seattle’s, but it’s not far behind. To get a better picture, we shadowed a Bellingham realtor for a day, and found that success means you’re never really off-duty, not even when you walk to the bathroom. We also found that being a people-person is vital — no surprise there — and that it helps when your car is also your closet.
o wonder HGTV picked Brandon Nelson Partners’ Paulina Antczak as the real estate agent for an episode of their hit show, “Beach Hunters” last year. She’s got a big personality, a welcoming and telegenic smile, and an emerging talent in the field. With just three years in real estate, Antczak, 30, has earned a spot at the top in Whatcom County. In 2017, the Whatcom County Association of Realtors named her its Rookie of the Year, an award recognizing a realtor who shows great potential. Before real estate, Antczak started her own flooring business, Fairhaven Floors, with her little brother, Mike, and the guidance of their parents. Before Fairhaven Floors, Antczak spent about 10 years in Connecticut with her family after emigrating from Poland when she was seven. The family lived above a pizza shop and ran a successful flooring company built on strong relationships, community engagement, and more handshakes than signatures, she said. “The smell of pizza still makes me nostalgic,” she said. Her story sounds like the classic American dream, authentic and inspiring, and it appears the dream has some staying power for Antczak. Life as a realtor is chaotic and ever-changing, requiring long hours and hard work. It’s a life with which Antczak is familiar.
A REAL ESTATE LIFER
WRITTEN BY KATE GALAMBOS PHOTOS BY PAT MCDONNELL
Before heading to the office, Antczak and her husband, Jacson Bevens, spend their morning routine together. Her day starts at 5:20 a.m., when she grabs a quick cup of coffee before working out. While Antczak goes to her 6 a.m. workout class at Barre3, Jacson begins cooking them both breakfast: fried eggs, bacon, and goat cheese on top of toast. Their well-coordinated plan means each of them get a shower after cooking the bacon to avoid bringing the scent to their clients. Antczak’s desk at Brandon Nelson Partners is next to Jacson’s in the spacious, loft-like office. Music plays throughout the space thanks to coworker Grace. Antczak makes her way around the office in slippers to avoid wearing her white, four-inch heels as much as she can. When she is at her desk, she juggles her two cell phones — one for real estate, one for Fairhaven Floors — which buzz constantly. If she is holding the phone with one hand, most likely she is answering a text with the other. She even brings both phones into the bathroom with her for fear she’ll miss a client trying to reach her. “I’m afraid he’ll call right as I walk in there,” she says, not entirely joking. 54
Antczak’s first visit outside the office is to the Home2 Suites by Hilton Bellingham Airport. She’s there to connect with good friend and business associate, Sara Holliday. Working in the extended-stay hotel, Holliday hosts many guests who are looking to transplant to the greater Bellingham area and are in the market for a realtor. Thanks to their strong relationship, Holliday is a great source for client referrals.
12:00–01:00 When Antczak gets into her white Range Rover, she apologizes for the stack of high heels, boots, and extra clothes that live in her back seat. More than a mode of transportation, her car represents her mobile lifestyle. With the press of a button, she starts the car as music by The Weeknd, the Canadian singer whose music is on the soundtrack for the blockbuster movie “Black Panther,” fills the vehicle. She adjusts the volume and pulls out of the parking lot. “I love your dress!” Antczak says. “It’s probably one of yours,” Holliday responds, laughing. The two women are giddy, catching up on everything from business to family to fashion. Both agree that they could use a day off, then laugh as if such a concept didn’t exist in their superwoman world.
Both agree that they could use a day off, but laugh it off as if such a concept didn’t exist in their superwoman world.
Next on Antczak’s to-do list: Take GoPro footage of one of her listings to show interested out-of-town clients. Antczak says she likes to take these short videos for clients who live far from Bellingham to avoid unnecessary travel time. Today’s listing is located on Lake Samish and on the market for $1,495,000. But before Antczak can even make it to her listing, she is pulling over to answer the phone. Safely parked in at a nearby gas station, she chats with a client who is in the market for a home in one of Bellingham’s most-desired neighborhoods: Sunnyland, Columbia, and Cornwall Park. She talks to her client with the confidence of an expert, but the warmth of a close friend. “Don’t worry, we just have to stay vigilant, Rose,” she says before hanging up. Bellingham is one of the hottest housing markets in the state and even nation, according to a recent story in the Seattle Times, exceeding the national average for median home price growth. While the national average sits at about 6 percent, Bellingham home prices increased by 12.2 percent in 2017, nearly the same rate as the white-hot greater Seattle metro area, at 12.7 percent. The combination of the market and the fact that Antczak is a fast learner has proven lucrative. In 12 months, her “total volume” is $10.4 million from a total 27 homes sold. Nationally, the median total volume per realtor in 2016 was $1.9 million, according to the National Association of Realtors. You don’t become Whatcom County rookie realtor of the year for nothing. Back on the road, Antczak is struck by the beauty of the drive, and again of the home as she pulls into the driveway. Barefoot, Antczak slowly makes her way around the modern house, with her GoPro steady, and rattles off details of the impressive home: award-winning architecture, 130 feet of lakefront property, detached guest house, etc. She’s been here before, but seeing a house like this never gets old.
HOME & GARDEN SHOW
Back at the office, Antczak juggles her cell phones, returns email, and chats with her boss, Brandon, the agency owner. He offers her guidance and checks in regarding the progress of clients and properties. They converse as good friends who respect one another.
On this day in early March, her office time is cut short in order to take over for her husband at the Home & Garden Show at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden.
Most of her time at the office is dominated by making email and phone call connections to past, current, and potential clients. “Eighty percent of our business at Brandon Nelson is captured by referrals, so relationships are essential,” she said. Beyond keeping up with clients, Antczak writes contracts, and follows-up with zoning and regulatory agencies to answer questions about the details about homes or properties of interest.
“Eighty percent of our business at Brandon Nelson is captured by referrals, so relationships are essential.”
BACK AT THE OFFICE
She changes from a stylish skirt with heels to professional-looking jeans and leather boots, all from the back of her car. “I’m going to Lynden, I can’t wear this skirt,” she says. Her career is more like a lifestyle, with different facets that require different versions of Paulina. However, her strength, femininity, and smart, sarcastic sense of humor never seem to leave her personality. After one more wardrobe addition (a stop at Target for a pair of socks forgotten in the morning rush), Antczak is on her way to Lynden to relieve her husband at their Fairhaven Floors booth. Before she even gets there, she’s run into half a dozen people she knows. For an observer, Paulina’s effortless interaction and welcoming personality makes it difficult to tell who is client, family, or friend. Her night won’t end until nearly 8 p.m., yet she has no complaints. Her work and her world — real estate, sales, and connecting with people — has no time clock. “I’m a lifer,” she says.
DAILY STATS ~200 ~80 Cell Phone Minutes
“Dinner later with my family. We had a pretty big evening as my cousins from Connecticut visited us for the first time in 15 years.”
Cups of Coffee
Hours of Sleep
WEEKLY STATS 100
10–15 Average Showings
“Client of mine and I at a closing the following day! It was her first time buying a home.”
Her strength, femininity, and smart, sarcastic sense of humor never seem to leave her personality.
AFTER WORK “That’s my husband Jacson and my niece. I actually kidnapped her that evening and we had a slumber party.”
“That’s me and my niece Olivia. She’s 3 1/2 and I try to stop by and visit her after work. She’s got smoothie all over her face; quite the character. Also, the best way to wind down for me is to be with family.”
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the prop and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a fi ¶ But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which th from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. ¶ We hold these truths to be self-evident, that a the pursuit of Happiness. ¶ That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the cons to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to th
not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight. O’er the ram our flag was still there. O say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave? ¶ On the shore towering steep, as it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses? Now it catches the gleam of the morning’s first beam in full glory reflect And where is that band who so vauntingly swore that the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion. A home and a country should leave us or the gloom of the grave, and the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
If Mother America Could Speak
our forefathers gave me life more than
240 years ago. When most of them first came to this land, many were in search of a new life, free from religious persecution, free from economic oppression, and free from a system of governance based largely upon one’s circumstances of birth and social status, not upon one’s merit or character. These were the seeds of discontent that fertilized a revolutionary dream and spurred a war against all odds for the right to self-determination. Without these hardships, without these sacrifices, I would not exist. Even in my infancy, I was proud to be America, your America. I was full of hope, and yet I understood many of your forefathers were flawed men burdened by life’s clay on their feet. I winced at the cruel irony when Patrick Henry, a slave owner, uttered the famous expression, “Give me liberty or give me death,” in the lead-up to the
position that all men are created equal. ¶ Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived final resting place for those who here gave their lives that [the] nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. d, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what hey who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and sent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or hem shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should
e evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. ¶ O say can you see by the dawn’s early light. mparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming? And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that e, dimly seen through the mists of the deep where the foe’s haughty host in dread silence reposes. What is that which the breeze, o’er the ted now shines in the stream: ‘Tis the star-spangled banner — O long may it wave o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! ¶ s no more! Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps’ pollution no refuge could save the hireling and slave from the terror of flight,
Written by Ken Karlberg Revolutionary War. I whispered to him, “The slaves feel no differently,” but he did not listen. He did not care. I winced again when I looked over Thomas Jefferson’s shoulder as he drafted the words, “all men are created equal,” and over James Madison’s shoulder while he drafted the Bill of Rights. I knew, as slave owners, that both meant for their words to apply to white males only. Tears welled up in my eyes. Few of your forefathers considered the plight of blacks, women, or Native Americans, not even the most enlightened for their time. Nonetheless, I smiled broadly to myself at the aspirational spirit of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Amid the extreme political division and rancor of the day, compromise and agreement seemed unlikely, but country ultimately prevailed
over politics and self-interest. I had faith that all their words would matter, eventually.
No two humans are truly created equal. Each is unique. But my manifest destiny, from the very beginning, was that all my children would, someday, be equal under the law to exercise their inalienable rights and to succeed, or not, based on merit. These are the words that matter to me. They are my words, my moral DNA, my sacred promises to all of you. They matter, and because they do, I matter.
A House Divided
My journey has been painfully divisive. Even today, many of my promises remain only partially fulfilled, especially for my historically disenfranchised children. I grew impatient at times, and continue
to be impatient, because I know who I am supposed to be, who I can be. I take pride in being a beacon of hope for the world, but I am to be measured against my ideals, not against the failings or challenges faced by other countries. My promises are absolutes, a minimum standard of human dignity. I refuse to grade myself on the curve. When your forefathers fought to save my life from British colonial rule yet again in 1812, the battle was not over aspirational ideals or the basic rights of all human beings. They fought for my survival and to protect the rights of the privileged, not the powerless. All my words did not yet matter. Even Frances Scott Key’s patriotism blinded him to his hypocrisy. When he wrote my national anthem in 1814 during the bombardment of Fort McHenry, I, too, was inspired by his passion for my survival. I urged him to pen but one verse, the first verse only. But his indifference to the suffering of the slaves caused him, in the seldom sung third verse, to denigrate those slaves who took up arms alongside the British in exchange for the promise of freedom. “How dare they!” he exclaimed, to justify his tonedeaf words:
I had faith that all their words would matter, eventually.
And where is that band who so vauntingly swore, That the havoc of war and the battle’s confusion A home and a Country shall leave us no more? Their blood has wash’d out their foul footstep’s pollution. No refuge could save the hireling and slave From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave, And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. — Star-Spangled Banner (third verse), Francis Scott Key, September 1814
I bit my tongue. “How dare he,” I thought, for I understood what he did not. The slaves were not disloyal to me or my core values. I was not offended. They were simply fighting for the right to share in my promises of freedom. My future was perhaps at its greatest risk during the war to preserve the potential of my soul, the Civil War. The torch of my promise that lay neglected and fallow on the ground was taken firmly in hand by Abraham Lincoln, and brave like-minded supporters. When
he looked in the mirror, he didn’t see white men. Instead, he saw human suffering and injustice. More importantly, he appreciated what Henry, Jefferson, Madison and others of their time did not, namely, that without freedom and equality under the law for all my children, for all his children, my words would never matter. With the outcome of the war uncertain, I found comfort in re-reading his Gettysburg address in moments of selfdoubt. He understood me.
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that [the] nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never
“MY WORDS MATTER”
forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. — The Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln, November 1863
In the decades that passed, my hope for my future was severely tested by the deep wounds caused by the Reconstruction era, the separate but equal doctrine, Jim Crow laws, misogyny, and all forms of discrimination based on status, not merit. I was not proud of myself. All my words had yet to matter.
indignity of unequal treatment and second-class status. When Lady Liberty’s outstretched arm grew tired and the light of her lamp waned, I encouraged her — ”have faith,” I said, “because I believe in your words: ‘Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free...’ All your words matter, too.”
The 13th Amendment may have freed all slaves, but its passage proved that mankind cannot legislate hearts and minds. Decade after decade, I cried for blacks. I cried for women. I cried for Native Americans. I cried for the many immigrants from around the world who came to my bosom believing in Statue of Liberty’s promise of a better future but who suffered the
Throughout my existence, I have inspired many, and sadly, I have failed, too, particularly the powerless and voiceless. Standing in public, with hand over heart, the refrain “with liberty and justice for all” must be difficult words to pledge for those whose ancestors were not treated justly or who continue to be treated unjustly. Why should they, and their children, suffer
Standing in public, with hand over heart, the refrain “with liberty and justice for all” must be difficult words to pledge for those whose ancestors were not treated justly or who continue to be treated unjustly.
The 13th Amendment may have freed all slaves, but its passage proved that mankind cannot legislate hearts and minds.
for generations while others already receive the benefit of my aspirational ideals? Don’t all my children have but one life? The pace of social progress frustrates me. If only the clay of the worst of human nature was not so heavy, my light would shine even brighter.
Please, Let Me Be Me
Today, I am proud that the width of the cracks in my moral foundation are not what they were — but some remain nonetheless, and I worry. The extreme polarization caused by the “us versus them, win at any cost” mentality of politics, and the public debate over the limits of free speech, freedom of religion, the right to bear arms, and racial injustice, has become unhealthy. The divisiveness pits liberal against conservative, whites against people of color, privileged against poor — they are triballike wedges being pounded into my moral fault line, which, until recently, were gradually narrowing with time. I fear for myself. Decades of
You have a right, however, to expect me, your country — the federal, state and local governments, law enforcement, and the legal system — to be blind to race, gender, faith, sexual orientation, and financial status. »
social progress and my moral authority are potentially at risk. The unthinkable is now thinkable. Could my children take me backwards? My confidence unshaken, my answer is “no, I refuse. We have come too far, together.” The price of social progress has been high, the sacrifices in blood and treasure, many. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream is the very dream that I dreamt more than two hundred years ago upon reading my sacred promises to all of you. I will not go backwards. I am not perfect. I know that I have work to do, that we have work to do, together, for me to truly become who I promised you that I would be. One of my favorite inspirational sons, President Kennedy, famously challenged more than fifty-five years ago: “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” His words rang true then, and perhaps even more so now. You have a right, however, to expect me, your country — the federal, state and local governments, law enforcement, and the legal system — to be blind to race, gender, faith, sexual
orientation, and financial status. If you can’t expect this of me, how can I ask it of you? Hold me accountable. This fight must continue until the cracks in my moral foundation are no longer. My original promises are worthy of the fight. In return, when asking what you can do for me, I simply ask for your respect and empathy — not for me, but for each other. Your forefathers created me, perhaps the ultimate experiment in selfdetermination and democracy, despite deep disagreements and even disdain for each other. Jefferson and Adams were sworn enemies until their later years. When the time to vote came, however, they put country first over power or party. Ultimately, they checked their divisiveness at the door of
Independence Hall and came together for the sake of a higher ideal: me. The time has come to be more like your forefathers in dealing with disparate viewpoints. Punching down or belittling others is unbecoming of Americans. Labels — like liberal or conservative, or pro-choice or pro-life — are an unhealthy trap, mere convenient boxes into which everyone is indiscriminately sorted and then discarded or marginalized when politically expedient. Divisive words matter. They destroy trust; they discourage cooperation. I would not have been born if your forefathers acted then as your political leaders do today. No one fits neatly in one box. Reasonable minds will differ on important issues of the day. They always have, they always will. When they do, disrespectful slurs are counterproductive. Leaders who speak in absolutes, such as “Everyone agrees with me, you know it and I know it,” are essentially saying that anyone who disagrees is ignorant or “low IQ.” The arrogance is not only demeaning, but it is the language of exclusion rather than inclusion. Taken
Taken literally, depending on the issue and the person speaking, half of America’s population is clearly and irrefutably wrong at any given time.
“MY WORDS MATTER”
literally, depending on the issue and the person speaking, half of America’s population is clearly and irrefutably wrong at any given time. Ask yourself, “How can that possibly be?” The answer is that each side’s argument likely has varying degrees of merit. And yet, too often the opposing view is dismissed today with a sound bite that appeals to emotion, not analysis. Instead of denigrating or labelling, I ask that your political leaders compete for the right to lead the country — honorably, humbly, fairly, and without the corruptive influence of the need to retain or gain power. Gerrymandering is not competing fairly. Restricting access to voting, in any form, is not competing fairly. Changing long-established Senate rules to delay or push through judicial nominations is not competing fairly. Using misleading facts or fear-mongering is not competing fairly. To the contrary, all of these “thumbs on the scale” reflect a deepseated fear of competing, head-to-head, based on the legitimate pros and cons of policy and ideas.
As a country, I have gone from melting pot to the pot calling the kettle black.
Winning, especially at the expense of honor and fairness, should not be confused with leadership or legitimacy. Nor should a simple majority be mistaken for a mandate to disrespect the sincerely held beliefs and values of half of my children. Let the best ideas and solutions be the winners regardless of party affiliation. I am not one political party or the other. I am an ideal, and a set of sacred promises that cannot be achieved through divisiveness. Nothing in life is stronger divided. As a country, I have gone from melting pot to the pot calling the kettle black. The blatant and not-soblatant insults must stop if the social divisiveness and political gridlock is to cease. The present-day answer to President Kennedy’s challenge does not require great sacrifice. You don’t need to volunteer for the Peace Corps or to enter the armed forces. The
Winning, especially at the expense of honor and fairness, should not be confused with leadership or legitimacy.
answer is simpler — inform yourself, engage with others, avoid offensive dogmatic rhetoric, listen, acknowledge the merits in opposing views, seek common ground through civil discourse, and respect well supported opinions when you can’t. Few issues in life are simple. Few answers in life are absolute. No one person, no one party, has the right answer on every issue. More often than not, there is no perfectly “right” answer. And finally, I ask that you think about others and what is best for the country, not just what is best for yourselves, individually, when making decisions that affect my future. As your nation, I struggle to fulfill my original promises in the face of racism, bigotry, and misogyny. Help me be me. Your forefathers and family elders sacrificed parts of themselves for a better life for you, and for America. Pay it backward by paying it forward. Show gratitude; be willing to sacrifice for the greater good of all. Each of my children must step into the shoes of the other. If you don’t, if you stand only in your own shoes, my sacred promises may never be fulfilled. Selfishness does not bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice.
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aith Ulate grew up in Whatcom County, and long dreamed of having a beach home. So, she and her family lived in Costa Rica for 11 years. But when it came time to move back, she was determined to bring beach life with her. Ulate, a realtor with a passion for turnaround projects, gutted this three-bedroom, twobath condo overlooking Bellingham’s Boulevard Park. Then she led its transformation to an airy living space with a premium on light and white, accented by the occasional pop of turquoise. Every room has a view of Bellingham Bay, and a southfacing side deck is sheltered and sunny enough for winter sunbathing. A long, dull hallway got a style upgrade with multiple arches, and an interior bathroom wards off the winter blahs with white textures that dazzle. “I wanted to feel like you’re on a cloud,” said Ulate. Mission accomplished. … continued on next page
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Step from the master bedroom to twin lounge chairs on the patio for some sun, even in winter. 66
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BEST PROPERTIES ON THE MARKET This month: All Kinds of Views! A true delight of our area is the grand collection of scenery available to us. In love with the water? There’s a view for that. How about mountains? There’s a view for that too. Maybe you prefer the calmness of an open field? Well sure enough, in Whatcom County, there’s a view for that. The properties below offer all types of views, from the glimpse of water to wide-open acreage. You can be sure to find a view you will fall in love with.
1. SEMIAHMOO Exquisite Semiahmoo home in waterfront neighborhood. This home boasts 9’ ceilings on the main level, radiant floor heat, Heart Pine wide plank flooring, & furniture grade cabinets. 3 master suites with 2 more bedroom/bonus rooms. Cozy up to one of 3 indoor fireplaces or enjoy the covered patio & outdoor fire place. Upstairs is spacious for entertaining with inviting deck that captures the view. $889,000, 9056 Shearwater Rd., Semiahmoo 4 Beds, 4 Baths, 5,338 SqFt, MLS: 1253493 Vancouver Blaine | Semiahmoo
2. SEMIAHMOO Semiahmoo’s most sought after fairway neighborhood, Royal Troon, is the setting for this stunning craftsman home. Built by Lindbloom this home showcases his traditional features & custom design. Light flows through floor to ceiling windows with exposed cedar touches. Beautiful open design with spacious gourmet kitchen, lush and bright living room, and fabulous dining area. The master bedroom overlooking the 4th hole fairway and spa-like ensuite is a fantastic retreat! This home has it all! $829,000, 8616 Great Horned Owl Ln., Semiahmoo 3 Beds, 2.5 Baths, 2,807 SqFt, MLS: 1268465
3. FERNDALE IMMACULATE 9.85 equestrian acres is turn key & a hobby farmers dream! Fully manicured acreage is fully fenced & cross fenced. Well maintained 3 bedroom 2.25 bath farm home with covered walk around porch. Four stall barn with insulated tack room, timed lighting, hot water heater & more. Complete with outdoor arena, covered storage shed and additional utility/small animal building with hay loft. A true gem! $689,000, 7438 Ham Rd., Ferndale 3 Beds, 2.25 Baths, 1,960 SqFt, MLS: 1259043
Whatcom County...Even when it rains, I shine! Managing Broker 360-815-4718 kathystauffer.com 68
1 1. A PLACE FOR HIM He wanted to have a small voice in the design concept that reflected something specific to him. We used an Army poster given to him by his dad for color inspiration, utilizing the deep blue hue in the picture to paint the new custom-built shelving and custom-designed desk.
2. A PLACE FOR HER She longed for a room of shiplap but didn’t want it to dominate the small space. Covering the back wall with a custom-built and painted wood treatment added a point of interest and texture in a subtle yet stunning way.
They both required desk storage for paper files and personal collectibles. We designed the desk to provide organization for their home business as well as private, hidden areas for personal items.
4. DISPLAY SHELF The family consists of six members and my clients wanted an area to display their children’s art projects and awards. We created modern ranch-style shelves that have multiple possibilities for visual display.
A Home Office Remodel WRITTEN BY TANNA EDLER | PHOTOGRAPHED BY NIC ASTON
hat may have been best described as a collective mess before our design update is now an “organized oasis.” The enhancements in this project have increased the functionality by doubling paper-related storage, adding private storage and providing an appealing place to display family favorites. Along with the added advantages of the enlarged custom desk, the lighting is now also the appropriate scale for the room and provides proper illumination to work all day if needed. Prior to the design update, the room was dark and dull. The 10-by-15-foot space didn’t invite creativity and was not inspiring. The clients wanted to feel energized when they entered the room and wanted the space to reflect their personalities. After completion, the office appeared bigger, lighter and
5. COMFORT engaging. The added decor elements can be used in a variety of ways, making the room that much more versatile. What was extra square footage is now their favorite personal space. The evidence of superior craftsmanship is displayed in the highly functional and unique custom office cabinet. This one-of-a-kind piece was specifically designed as a solution to a request for “hidden storage inside a typical styled desk drawer.” It was built to fit and includes a custom-fabricated quartz top. Then, the custom-built shelves and custom-fabricated iron brackets completed the entire concept. And, finally, the new hardwood floors replaced the worn-out linoleum and gave the room a brand-new life. Below is a recap of our design priorities and how they were achieved:
For daily use, they wanted a comfortable space with welcoming furnishings. The leather swiveling roller chair is both functional and fashionable. Whether sitting at the computer or reclining while reading a document, this office chair is extremely comfortable. The wool pillows add a little back support and the wool area rug underfoot is comfy on both slippers and socks.
6. LIGHTING The small flush mount light was neither attractive nor appropriate for the space. In keeping with the design, we added a gorgeous chandelier that illuminates the room while adding the rustic charm desired. Taken together, these changes give new life to what we know as “business as usual.”
4331 Saddlestone Dr. Bellingham $1,595,999 MLS #1239334
423 S. Clarkwood Dr. Bellingham $895,000 MLS #1239344
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MLS 1259043 | 7438 Ham Rd,Ferndale | $689,000
We’re THE Buyers’ Brokers On YOUR Side! • Ask About Our FEE FREE Confidential Services • Exclusive Full Representation for Your Best Interests • 30+ Years Combined Professional Experience • Long-Time Accredited Buyers Representatives • Nationally Certified Negotiation Experts • Why Settle For Less Guidance, Counsel & SAVINGS?
Robert & Marlene Campbell RE/MAX Whatcom County 360.927.0835 | Two4HomeBuyers.com
This IMMACULATE 9.85 equestrian acres is turn key and a hobby farmers dream! Fully manicured acreage is fully fenced and cross fenced. Very nicely maintained 3 bedroom 2.25 bath farm home with covered walk around porch. Four stall barn with insulated tack room, timed lighting, hot water heater & more. The outdoor arena is 100’x120’ surrounded by split rail fence. As a Whatcom County Native & Nationally Recognized Equestrian, take it from me, this is the nicest Small Equine Farm on the market in Whatcom County! Brandi Coplen Windermere Real Estate Real Estate Professional 360.201.3951 | firstname.lastname@example.org
SEMIAHMOO Sea Smoke, Semiahmoo’s newest, freshest neighborhood, in a light-filled environment surrounded by nature and resort amenities. Ground-breaking single-family homes, 1,500 to 2,500 ft.²±, include detached homes, paired homes, and townhouses. Designed for a coastal Northwest active lifestyle, these feature open living areas, 2–3 bedrooms, den/ office, low-maintenance natural landscaping, and covered patios bringing outdoors into everyday life. Semiahmoo waterfront amenities include walking trails, golfing, birding, parks, beach access, spa, health club, restaurants, and even a marina. Pre-sales are available with standard features or can be customized to create your own paradise. Our design team is here to help you with customization of your new home. Various floor plans are available.
Lisa Viereck | Team Viereck Real Estate Broker Windermere Whatcom, Inc. 206.852.2289 | 360.348.8842 email@example.com lisav4homes.com
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Premier Homes SEMIAHMOO Unobstructed West facing Waterfront in Whatcom County! Sid Nesbitt design and Dykstra built waterfront home available for a limited time! Unobstructed westfacing waterfront on the Sound. See to the San Juan Islands and beyond. Boat traffic is entertaining. Eagles soar overhead. Timeless design in this well crafted estate property with custom detail that can be seen and appreciated. Open floor plan, with 23 foot ceilings has elegant features from the Italian tile fireplace to walls of windows that open to a multitiered deck! Exceptional quality — call Kathy to arrange a showing today! MLS 1265298 | $889,900 | 8563 Semiahmoo Dr. 3 Beds, 2.5 Baths | 3,211 SqFt.
Kathy Stauffer 360.815.4718 kathystauffer.com
SAN JUAN Exquisite Custom-Built Luxury Estate on Your Very Own Private Island - Trump Island. Enjoy your own forests, farm and ocean fronts. Located in the San Juan Islands this 29 acre, 7,029 SF retreat captures the iconic beauty of the beautiful Pacific Northwest. Enjoy 360 degrees of water and forest views, 4,230 feet of saltwater frontage with tidelands, architectural excellence with contemporary design, superior quality and topof-the-line finishes throughout and a chef’s kitchen makes this a truly spectacular home. Completely selfsustained environment, power and water. Gorgeous 1,200 SF caretaker’s cottage and expansive dock.
NWMLS #648615 | Offered at $8,750,000
Leigh Zwicker Windermere Real Estate Anacortes 360.333.9975 LeighZwicker.com Leigh@windermere.com
Each Papa John’s pizza is carefully crafted with flavorful, superior-quality ingredients and toppings. Order pizza online for delivery or carryout. Sun–Thurs: 11am–9pm Fri & Sat: 11am–11pm
360.671.7272 · papajohns.com 1306 Lakeway Dr, Bellingham, WA 98229
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In addition to our daily menu, 9 Restaurant is proud to bring you a vast selection of specialty sandwiches, which never stick around long due to high demand. Our Slow Smoked Brisket Sandwich, Hot Italian, and Smoked Chicken Apple Gouda (pictured here) are just the tip of this delicious iceberg. Follow us on Instagram @9restaurant to stay updated on specials! Starting this summer, 9 Restaurant at North Bellingham Golf Course will be kicking off a summer concert series under our event tent! Make sure to stop by, call in, or check out our website for more information.
205 W Smith Rd., Bellingham | 360.398.8300 | NorthBellinghamGolf.com/-menu
8 Great Tastes · Dining Guide · Mixing Tin · Sip
Hidden Gem Bellingham Cider Company WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY KENJI GUTTORP
ellingham Cider Company’s head chef Dirul Shamsid-Deen has been a chef for more than 17 years, cooking in culinary meccas like New York, L.A., and Chicago. Far from the bustle of those big cities, ShamsidDeen is making some noise at the new Bellingham Cider Company, tucked away in a downtown location that has quietly become the talk of the culinary community. A couple doors down from the Whatcom Museum’s old city hall building, the restaurant’s rough-hewn overhanging wooden sign leads to a soon-to-be-completed outdoor patio seating area and entrance. … continued on next page
… The interior is clean, elegant, and modern. High ceilings, along with natural and warm lighting, make the venue inviting and intimate. Housed in a reclaimed space in the new Sylvia Center for the Arts building, thoughtful features include original wood accents, along with tables and a bar from reclaimed wood. An hour and a half into service, not only were all the tables full, a line had formed. The restaurant came alive, and you could hear lively conversations. Starting a cider restaurant in a city known for its craft beer might raise some eyebrows, but the place delivers. First-timers will do well ordering the cider flight ($9) — five inviting pours in striking colors, each with a distinctive taste and feel. The ciders, made from Washington apples (of course) include Dry, Semi-Sweet, Perry, Blood Orange, and Northwest Blackberry Ginger. The restaurant will have additional flavors and seasonal releases, along with a reserve series, to come. Beer, wine, and cocktails are also served. The food reminds me of the type of home cooking that, as a youngster, you would look forward to when your parents decided to make a special meal. Comfort food is reflected in Shamsid-Deen’s simple, yet thoughtful and wellexecuted dishes. Dishes feature locally or regionally sourced components and ingredients. The short ribs ($24), slowly braised in beer for hours, are fall-apart tender, so the large steak knife is overkill. With the burnt carrots ($8), lightly grilled or charred — and fantastic on their own — the meal reminds me of my mother’s pot roast, in the best of ways. The kitchen is open, and you can sit at the bar and chat with Shamsid-Deen. The chef has a warm, light personality, and enjoys conversing with his patrons. Customers patiently sip ciders as they wait for a table to open. Yet the restaurant doesn’t feel overcrowded and hectic when busy. The reason is the place’s layout — a large loop, Shamsid-Deen explained, where servers move around the center bar in one continuous circuit as they clear tables and serve. The most popular item on the menu? The chicken and waffles ($17). “In all honesty, it started as a joke. It just kind of stuck,” says Shamsid-Deen, who got his start on Orcas Island before the cider restaurant’s February opening. His advice: If you order the burnt carrots, ask for them extra dark. They are called burnt carrots for a reason, he jokes. Shamsid-Deen’s inspiration for the menu comes from his multitude of experiences, both personally and as a chef, but ultimately it comes down to what he wants to cook, he says. The challenge is weighing his vision for what he wants to put on the menu and what his customers ultimately want to eat. “There is always a balance that you have to strike,” he says. 205 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.510.8494 | bellinghamcider.com
DINING KEY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . up to $9 . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10–19 . . . . . . . . . . . . $20–29 . . . . . . . . $30 or greater . . . . . . . . . . . . Breakfast . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lunch . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinner . . . . . . . . . Family-Friendly . . . . . . . . . . . . . Takeout . . . . . . . . Outdoor Seating . . . . . . . . . . Reservations . . . . . . . . . . Happy Hour . . . . . . . . . New Review Menu items and prices are subject to change, so check before you go. See all our restaurant reviews on our Eat and Drink tab at BellinghamAlive.com
WHATCOM AVENUE BREAD Deli Downtown Cafe: 1313 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 1135 11th St., Bellingham 2301 James St., Bellingham 444 Front St., Lynden 360.715.3354, avenuebread.com With several convenient locations in Bellingham and a location in Lynden, Avenue is one of Bellingham’s favorite lunch spots. Fresh ingredients make these sandwiches unusually good — the bread is made inhouse, and the vegetables and meat are all of the highest quality. Avenue also offers one of the freshest, best breakfast sandwiches around — the Eggenue. BELLINGHAM CIDER CO. American 205 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.510.8494, bellinghamcider.com The food reminds me of the type of homecooked meal that, as a youngster, you would look forward to when your parents decided to make a special meal. Comfort food is reflected in the simple, yet thoughtful and well-executed dishes. Each dish has a handful of components and ingredients all locally or regionally sourced. The kitchen is open, and you can sit at the bar and chat. Dinner is Wednesday through Sunday, with lunch added on weekends. The short ribs, slowly braised in beer for hours, are fall-apart tender. With the appetizer of burnt carrots, lightly grilled/charred and fantastic on their own, the meal reminds me of my mother’s pot roast, in the best way. The most popular item on the menu? The chicken
and waffles. Some advice: If you order the burnt carrots, ask for them extra dark.
JAKE’S WESTERN GRILL Southern 8114 Guide Meridian Rd., Lynden 360.354.5588, jakeswesterngrill.com
BLACK PEARL ASIAN FUSION Vietnamese 1317 W. Bakerview Rd. 360.746.2030 Bellingham has an abundance of Vietnamese restaurants; the trick is to find one that stands out — like the Black Pearl. With all the available extras, it is almost impossible to get the same flavor twice. The pho is clean and refreshing with a variety of sauces to add as extra seasoning. It comes with a variety of types of meat, including round-eye, brisket and chicken, but vegetarians don’t despair, there’s an option for you, too. One nice feature of the Black Pearl’s menu is that it doesn’t only serve pho. Try the chicken or beef teriyaki, or a noodle bowl. The Black Pearl’s selection of crepes is second to none — everything from classic butter and cinnamon to New York style cheesecake with strawberry or raspberry jam. DIRTY DAN HARRIS Steakhouse 1211 11th St., Bellingham 360.676.1087, dirtydanharris.com The “dirt” on Dirty Dan Harris? In a word: excellent. The steakhouse provides warm, friendly waitstaff, quaint historic surroundings, and superb food. Perhaps the best reflection on the restaurant is owner Kathy Papadakis’ waitstaff. Most have worked here for years — and it shows in their enthusiasm for your dining experience. The filet mignon is Dirty Dan’s signature entree. You won’t be disappointed. Leave room for dessert, however, because the selections are dangerously good.
In addition to outstanding barbecue, Jake’s also features a full line of fresh-cut salads, burgers, Southern sandwiches, and a full-service bar. At Jake’s the cornbread and sweet potato fries are a must! If you’re a true lover of Southern barbecue, you owe it to yourself to head north and give Jake’s Western Grill in Lynden a try. LOVITT American 1114 Harris Ave. Bellingham 360.671.7143, lovittrestaurant.com The folks at Lovitt restaurant in Fairhaven are giving fair warning: Be prepared to wait a little longer for your food. These things — Lovitt’s “relaxed” farm-to-table eating — take time. Owners Norman and Kristen Six say they believe in cooking from scratch: bread, ice cream, and even ketchup and salad dressings are made in-house. An ever-changing menu reflects their adherence to what’s local and what’s in season. Appealing dinner entrees may include Four Mushroom Stroganoff, with morel, oyster, pioppino and shitake mushrooms with a red wine sour cream sauce spilling over handmade egg noodles and topped with crispy kale, and red wine maple-glazed salmon with roasted vegetables. Lunch offers the local, grass-fed beef burger, served on a homemade bun. They’ve got local brews and wine, and a 3–6 p.m. happy hour, with drink and appetizer specials each day they’re open (Tuesday–Saturday). Bring the kids — there’s even a play area. THE MILL BISTRO AND LOUNGE French
FAT SHACK American
655 Front St., Lynden 360.778.2760, themilllynden.com
414 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.366.8752, fatshack.com Popular items are burgers, wings, and their specialty: densely packed sandwiches. The typical “fat” sandwich is some combination of grilled steak and fried chicken, along with cheese and a host of sides, all pressed inside a fresh hoagie roll. It is not for the meek, or for someone looking for a salad bar. But along with its unapologetic embrace of deep-fried food, the Fat Shack serves up some surprises. Its hamburger is hand-pressed, hand-seasoned Angus beef that’s never frozen, said co-owner Taylor Martin, and is served on a soft, rich Brioche bun. The Philly cheesesteak meat is ribeye from Spokane, flashfrozen. Taylor, his brother, Marcus, and dad and mom Mike and Lori own the place. Don’t call what they serve here fast food, says Lori. “We don’t have a bunch of prepped food,” she said. The Martins take time to cook things right, like allowing chicken fingers to fry for eight minutes to produce just the right crisp. Sunday’s 50-percent-off wings special has become wildly popular, says Mike.
The Mill is the type of place where one could spend a full afternoon grazing on cheeses, sipping cocktails, and enjoying a good book. The bistro-like atmosphere gives the restaurant a European vibe without losing the welcoming small-town service of quaint Lynden. The menu is full of bistro plates like fresh salads, panini, soups, and, of course, meats and cheeses. MYKONOS Greek 1650 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.715.3071 mykonosrestaurantbellingham.com Pita bread is pita bread, right? Not at Mykonos. If you order a starter of hummus, prepare your tastebuds for slices of pita bread heaven. If you consider yourself to be a connoisseur of Greek cuisine, try the traditional Greek salad as a litmus test. You won’t be disappointed. It is delightfully fresh and light and a meal by itself, with perhaps the best feta dressing west of Athens. Should you still
DINE Dining Guide be hungry, your main course options include the traditional Greek spin on veggie, lamb, chicken, steak, and seafood prepared with rice or pasta. Mykonos offers excellent value for the price. Pheidippides would be proud.
Kids in the Kitchen: Ravioli Making May 1, 5 p.m. Moms, make this a Mother’s Day gift to your future self. Get your kids started early, and you will reap the rewards. Kids ages 9–14 will learn how to cook ravioli with ricotta filling and spring pesto, Caesar salad with roasted lemon-parmigiana vinaigrette, and zucchini olive oil cake. Then students get to sit down and enjoy their meal together. Ciao Thyme 207 Unity St., Bellingham | ciaothyme.com
PEL’ MENI Russian 1211 N. State St., Bellingham 360.715.8324 Step off busy State Street after your late night festivities for an inexpensive and satisfying fill of plump dumplings. Stuffed with either meat or potatoes, these dumplings are piping hot and sprinkled with cumin, paprika, and cilantro. Because they pair so well with tasty libations, Pel’ Meni manages to consistently have a line out the door as soon as the sun goes down. For $7, you’ll get a plastic, clam-shell container full of savory dumplings. Smother them with vinegar, sour cream, and hot sauce for the full effect.
Soups of the World
PEPPER SISTERS Southwest
May 3, 6:30 p.m.
1055 N. State St., Bellingham 360.671.3414, peppersisters.com
You can’t get this from a can. Cooking instructor Karina Davidson will be providing instruction for delicious soups culled from different countries: Senegalese chicken and peanut soup, Cuban pork and pinto bean stew, French potage crécy and, from Greece, fish and vegetable soup with a touch of ouzo. Downtown Community Co-op Connections Building 405 E. Holly St., Bellingham | communityfood.coop
Customers have been diving into their plentiful plates of comforting burritos, quesadillas, and other specialties since 1988. The spunky atmosphere only elevates the already upbeat mood of the place. With bright booths, samplings of art, and lively music, it’s nearly impossible to feel sour. Regular patrons groove to Stevie Wonder as they plunge their forks into massive burritos filled with red chili pesto, sautéed mushrooms, grilled onions, potatoes, green chilies, and cheese. To mellow the burn, they would, naturally, wash it down with bites of crisp cabbage salad dolloped with a cool, creamy dressing. The finale of every meal at Pepper Sisters is the basket of sopaipilla, served with a dish of honey butter. Some might not want to bring a date on this culinary excursion — no one wants to have to share that delicious honey butter.
DeLille Cellars Wine Maker Dinner May 18, 5:30 p.m. To start the night off, guests will be greeted with a glass of wine and appetizers. Semiahmoo Resort chefs Bruno Feldeisen and Devin Kellogg will then pair wines from DeLille Cellars with a five-course meal, which includes; geoduck sashimi, crab strudel, pistachio-crusted pork shoulder and grape leaf wrapped lamb loin. Semiahmoo Resort 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy., Blaine | semiahmoo.com
THE RUSTY WAGON American 6937 Hannegan Rd., Lynden 360.354.5236, rustywagongoodeats.com The menu of The Rusty Wagon overflows with options. Breakfast is served until 2 p.m. every day and has diner favorites like biscuits and gravy or French toast. Burgers are clearly their specialty. Both the dinner and lunch menus have burgers, gourmet burgers, and chicken burgers, all served with soup, salad, fries, or waffle fries. Don’t miss the full bar with sports screens, top shelf liquors, beer, and more.Beyond the catch phrases and cowboy hats, the Rusty Wagon is a family-friendly place to grab a burger.
Best Chinese Home Cooking
SUPER MARIO’S Salvadorian
May 22, 6:30 p.m.
3008 Northwest Ave., Bellingham 360.393.4637
Chef Robert Fong will be teaching you how to make his favorite home-style dishes: steamed chicken soup (including Chinese herbs, sigua or Chinese okra, almond seeds, red dates, and mushrooms), beef tendon stir-fried and braised (turnips, cinnamon, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns) and ginger onion chicken. Downtown Community Co-op Connections Building 405 E. Holly St, Bellingham | communityfood.coop
Serving fresh, healthy meals with the customer in mind is what Super Mario’s is all about, and it’s the consistent flavor and quality of the food that keeps bringing people back. The veggies are chopped fresh daily, nothing is frozen, and nothing is cooked until it’s ordered. In addition, nothing is deep fried.
THE STEAK HOUSE AT SILVER REEF HOTEL C ASINO SPA Steak/Seafood
4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360.383.0777, silverreefcasino.com This award-winning restaurant offers elegant dining and an intimate atmosphere. Primegrade steaks are broiled at 1,800 degrees to lock in the natural juices and finished with a special steak butter. The wine list is ample and recognized for its quality by Wine Spectator. This dining experiences rivals any of the big-town steak houses in quality and service without the big-city price tag.
Extravagant Mother’s Day Buffet
3 P M - 6 P M DA I LY
SUNDAY, MAY 13
TEMPLE BAR Bistro 306 W. Champion St.,Bellingham, 360.676.8660, templebarbellingham.com Continually recognized for their craft cocktails and small plates, Temple Bar aims to please. Begin with the classic Temple Bar cheese plate, a collection of three rotating cheeses varying in texture and flavor. They are often paired with fruit, honey, toasted nuts, and bread. Next, dive into a piping hot gratin, which varies based on what is in season. In between bites of a salad made with locally sourced ingredients, sip on a unique cocktail with house made infusions and bitters. Finally nibble on the chocolate chili muffins: the perfect end to a charming experience.
Adults $39, Seniors $34, Ages 6–15 $16, Under 5 Free
Dinner 5 PM–8 PM Giuseppe’s Full Menu with Evening Specials Reservations suggested
$4 beer, $5 wine, $8 craft cocktails $8 Martinis and Manhattans $20 bottle of wine and brie plate …and more!
Bellingham Marina, 21 Bellwether Way 360.714.8412 | GiuseppesItalian.com
1200 10th Street Suite #102 Bellingham, WA gallowayscocktail.bar
SKAGIT A’TOWN BISTRO Regional NW 418 Commercial Ave., Anacortes, 360.899.4001, atownbistro.com A’Town Bistro’s careful sourcing of ingredients, creative approach to food and drinks, and comfortable atmosphere is why it’s about to become your new go-to restaurant. Try the made-to-order clam chowder which features fresh clams served in a house made fume (fish stock), house-smoked bacon, and crusty bread. Pair your meal with something off the seasonally changing cocktail menu. Bitters, shrubs, and syrup are made in house and the creative cocktails are composed by staff or sourced from a collection of vintage bartending books. –
THE OYSTER BAR Seafood 2578 Chuckanut Dr., Bow 360.766.6185, theoysterbar.net The Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive is perched among towering conifers above the oyster beds. The cozy restaurant is housed in a structure dating from the 1920s that has survived many incarnations. The restaurant owes its reputation to its remote, quintessentially Pacific Northwest setting. But people don’t dine at The Oyster Bar for its location alone. While oysters are the signature offering, The Oyster Bar offers a variety of other
fine-dining choices and is known in the Pacific Northwest for its extensive wine cellar.
RISTRETTO COFFEE LOUNGE & WINE BAR American
The Five Joaquins
416 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.0951, ristrettocoffeelounge.com
Ingredients: Mezcal, cold brew coffee, amaretto, vanilla, smoked almond, $11
Ristretto doesn’t have a kitchen, but the baristas know their way around a panini press. Ristretto’s filling, made-to-order Turkey Pesto Panini is served on focaccia bread. The warm turkey plays well with sweet slices of tomato and a creamy pesto mayo. You can also order breakfast all day, fresh salad, hearty bagels, or one of the baked goods brought in three times a week from Skagit River Bakery. SKAGIT VALLEY’S FARMHOUSE American
© Kirstyn Nyswonger
13724 Laconner Whitney Rd., Mount Vernon 360.466.4411, thefarmhouserestaurant.net
his drink was named after the tale of the Five Joaquins. The Five Joaquins were, well, five guys named Joaquin. Between 1850 and 1853 it was reported that the Five Joaquins and a man they called “Three-Fingered Jack” were responsible for a majority of the robberies, murders, and cattle thefts in the Sierra Nevada. Joaquin Murrieta, the leader, was supposedly killed by the newly formed California Rangers, but who knows? What we do know is this: The outlaw gang inspired this rich, smooth drink. The Five Joaquins consists of mezcal, which provides a smoky flavor. Cold brew coffee, amaretto, and vanilla sweeten it up. This drink will definitely give you the feeling of being in the Sierra
Nevada desert on a hot summer day and will conjure the idea of being an old-school cowboy, leaving you with a hankering for a vacation in the Southwest. Although the drink sounds fit for a desert saloon, Hundred North provides an intimate environment with exposed brick, a wall of windows and dim lighting. Pair your Five Joaquins with a gourmet meal amid a clean and comfortable backdrop. Situated conveniently downtown next to Mount Baker Theatre, it would be easy to savor a Five Joaquins and take in a show, or head out for a night on the town (minus the cattle-rustling). — Kirstyn Nyswonger 100 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.594.6000 | hundrednorth.com
Craving home-cooked food but don’t want to make it yourself? Skagit Valley’s Farmhouse may be what you’re looking for. When first entering the building, you walk past a pie showcase with mouthwatering lemon meringue pies (that are pretty big!) and go through a gift shop that has the perfect items for Ma and Pa. The decor is reminiscent of country living. With raved-about dishes such as the Corned Beef Hash and the seafood omelet with bay shrimp and Dungeness crab, the farmhouse is a must. Even though their breakfasts are famous, try their lunch and dinner menus as well — their old-fashioned turkey dinner tastes like Thanksgiving. When you eat here, you’re home. WILLOWS ARTISAN CAFE American 18923 Johnson Rd., Mount Vernon 360.848.9189, willowsartisancafe.com Inside the Skagit Valley’s greenhouse is a quaint cafe with wooden chairs, faux windows, outdoor fences, fairy lights, hanging greenery, and natural light streaming in. Order the BLTO (bacon, lettuce, tomato, and onion) — a slightly different classic with a twist that will change all BLT sandwiches for you. Or maybe your taste buds crave a little spiciness — then try the Reuben. If it’s a cold, cloudy day, go for a warm, soothing soup that is always served with a side of soft-baked bread. To end the meal, try the key lime pie that perfectly matches its creamy sweet filling with the smooth graham cracker crust. The Willows Artisan Cafe counts on its fresh ingredients and proves its worth with taste.
More Than Just Coffee Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY CATHERINE TORRES
t any given time, Mount Vernon’s Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar is abuzz with activity. An entrepreneur works intently on her laptop, two students discuss a project, old friends catch up on the cafe’s plush leather couch. A patron spends a few minutes chatting with owner Jenny Daley before rushing out the door, steaming cup of coffee and fresh veggie wrap in hand. Daley worked for two Washington coffee roasters and spent a couple of years in a wine shop before purchasing Ristretto Coffee Lounge & Wine Bar in December 2015. “When this place became available, I jumped on it,” Daley said. She bought the name and revamped the business a bit by switching to Seattle’s Victrola Coffee Roasters coffee and adding a few menu items. Daley also bought a new espresso machine from Synesso, a Seattle-based company, hung art from local artists on the walls, and made sure her door is open for free wine tastings during Mount Vernon’s monthly art walks. Daley and her baristas crank out classic espresso drinks: Doppios, Cubanos (made with muscavado sugar and cinnamon), cappuccinos, and Americanos (Daley’s go-to drink). If you prefer a gussied-up drink try their Northwest Mocha, a latte made with raspberry sauce and white chocolate mocha or their house-made not-too-sweet chocolate mocha sauce for a creamy, lightly sweetened treat. The cafe doesn’t have a kitchen, but the baristas know their way around a panini press. Ristretto’s filling, made-toorder Turkey Pesto Panini is served on focaccia bread. The warm turkey plays well with sweet slices of tomato and a creamy pesto mayo. You can also order breakfast all day, fresh salad, hearty bagels, or one of the baked goods brought in three times a week from Skagit River Bakery. But great food and drink isn’t what keeps Ristretto’s buzzing. It’s the people. The welcoming space has been the backdrop to countless business meetings, casual coffees, and first dates. Daley recounted a story of one couple who met at the cafe on their first date, then got married, returned for their first anniversary, and recently returned with a baby in tow. “That’s the coolest thing about owning the shop, getting to know the customers,” Daley said as she smiled towards another customer walking through the door. 416 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.0951 | ristrettocoffeelounge.com May 201883
Bellingham’s Drinking Scene Grows Up The Aslan Depot WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY NEAL TOGNAZZINI
ost of the watering holes in Bellingham glow with youthful exuberance and do-it-yourself charm. This is one of the things I love about the breweries in town: their unpretentiousness and aura of simple fun. But every now and then a grownup needs a grownup place to drink: a place to be reminded that fermented beverages can be sophisticated, too. For that reason, I’m delighted by the recent opening of the Aslan Depot. Its parent company, Aslan Brewing Co., opened its doors downtown in 2014. It has since undergone several expansions, as beer drinkers from all over the Pacific Northwest have fallen in love with its flagship brew, Batch 15 IPA, not to mention the delectable eats at its brewpub on North Forest Street. Its latest expansion, though, is of a different order. Early last year, Aslan took over the lease of the nearby old Union Depot building on State Street, ostensibly to give its barrel program some breathing room away from its increasingly cramped brewpub space. But the description “barrelhouse and taproom” completely undersells exactly what Aslan has achieved with the Depot location. Start with ambience. At Aslan’s bustling (and loud) brewpub one street up, where all the servers wear company T-shirts and patrons of all ages dig into bowls and burgers, the beer itself takes something of a back seat. And that’s not a bad thing: after all, I appreciate a place where I can enjoy a pint with my wife while my 7-year-old gobbles up waffle fries. But it’s at the Aslan Depot where I can really focus on the beer I’m drinking. Its vibe is more that of a cocktail lounge: classed up (you won’t find any T-shirts behind the bar) and spacious, with enough spare decibels to have a private conversation with your drinking partner. Instead of outfitting the place with tired standard-issue restaurant and bar furniture, the taproom is dotted with vintage couches and armchairs that add interest for the eye and comfort for the backside. Long-time residents of Bellingham might
remember a cocktail lounge called the Calumet that used to be downtown on Magnolia. If you’re like me and have been waiting for someone to recreate that low-key elegant vibe, the Aslan Depot is your place. But now let’s move to the main event: the beer. The Depot isn’t just a satellite taproom for the main brewpub; instead, the menu is almost wholly different. When you walk up to the bar to place your order, you’ll be presented with a thoughtfully curated bottle list (that’s bottles of beer, thank you very much). It features a wide variety of beer styles from across the world (with an emphasis on the PNW). And these bottles aren’t your standard IPAs and stouts: they contain the exotic and intense flavors of saisons, barleywines, and spontaneously-fermented Belgian styles. Don’t feel like a bottle, though? No problem: an equally appetizing array of draft beer is available, including special Depot-only Aslan releases like their Space Eagle IPA, a tart and funky twist on a classic style. And you can expect future special releases from their various barrel projects, as well. In fact, the barrels themselves are stacked up on one side of the taproom, there to remind you that the proprietors are hard at work trying to wrangle various species of fungi and bacteria to create something lively and new. So grab a pint from the bar and then sink into one of the armchairs. Sit, sip, and take a deep breath. Relax and enjoy some time off from adulting without forgetting that you’re a grownup. 1322 N. State Street 360.393.4106 | aslandepot.com
FRIDAY HARBOR HOUSE Regional NW
130 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.8455, fridayharborhouse.com It’s hard to beat the view of the ferry landing, marina and San Juan Channel from Friday Harbor House, the hotel and restaurant elevated over the water to provide a sweeping panorama of water and sky. The restaurant’s new “Brunch on the Bluff” allows you to linger over the view while experiencing island dining at a high level. If you like, you can also have a drink — San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor House is one of the few island restaurants to offer a full bar at brunch every day of the week. New menu offerings include eggs benedict and Belgian waffles, along with pork belly egg fried rice. Tried-and-true favorites include Smashed Avocado Toast and Benton’s Benedict. PRIMA BISTRO French
201 1/2 First St., Langley 360.221.4060, primabistro.com A quintessential South Whidbey dining experience in the heart of Langley, Prima Bistro marries gourmet French cuisine and classic Northwest ingredients. Fried Spanish Marcona Almonds arrive steaming hot, glisteningly crisp and in a glory of flavor — and just in time a glass of Pinot Grigio. The selection of reds and whites offer options for connoisseurs of every stripe, along with a full bar. The Burgundy Snails in Herb Butter taste delightfully creamy, with an uncharacteristically soft, yet enjoyable texture. The Bistro Burger is a juicily grilled patty of Oregon beef, topped with a deliciously thick slice of melted white Cheddar; a burger made in heaven! For fabulous food, elegant ambience, and world-class views, be sure to visit the Prima on your next visit to Whidbey Island.
TOBY’S TAVERN Seafood 8 Front St., Coupeville 360.678.4222, tobysuds.com Overlooking the scenic Penn Cove in the center of old Coupeville, Toby’s Tavern offers diners a dive bar ambience with a delicious menu of seafood favorites. Their famous bowls of Penn Cove mussels — served by the pound! — come fresh from the adjacent cove, and keep shellfish connoisseurs clamoring for a regular fix. Steamed and soaked in a scrumptious mix of simple seasonings, wine, and juices, Toby’s robust offering of mussels makes for a memorable visit. Fish and chips arrive hot, deliciously flaky, and generous in size, with sides of sweet coleslaw and fries deserving mention for their merit. For those waiting among the weekend crowd of regulars, a giant chocolaty brownie will drive your mind insane, and keep your appetite satisfied before the main course earns its way into the dining room.
The following selections have made it past our taste bud test and into our top eight this issue. Step out and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed. Craving Southern food? Look no further than Mount Vernon’s Third Street Cafe’s Chicken & Biscuits. Crispy fried chicken is served atop fluffy biscuits and drenched in a rich, spicy-sweet poblano gravy and bourbon-maple syrup. Busara Thai Cuisine at Bellingham’s Sehome Village, serves garlic chicken that is appealing to just about every palate, regardless of affinity for Thai food. Served over a bed of lettuce, the dish is just enough to satisfy, but not enough for a box. The seafood crispy noodle entree at Soy House, serving Vietnamese cuisine in downtown Bellingham, is fresh and flavorful. With shrimp, calamari, and scallops, the dish does not skimp on seafood and it includes a bed of crispy noodles and vegetables Calico Cupboard is known for its cozy cafes and fresh baked goods in LaConner, Anacortes and Mount Vernon. Their allday breakfast menus include an inventive pesto focaccia scramble. The satisfying dish features feta cheese, spinach, basil pesto, and chunks of focaccia bread.
6 7 8
Out at Lake Whatcom in Bellingham, the fall-inspired butternut squash ravioli at The Fork at Agate Bay is satisfying any time of the year. Gorgonzola, parsnip puree, and browned butter fill these delightful, handmade raviolis. Finish off your meal at La Conner’s Nell Thorn with the Skagit Mud. This decadent dessert features a rich hazelnut brownie topped with caramel and vanilla ice cream. A healthy dollop of hand-whipped cream completes the dish. You can’t go wrong with a generous helping of moules frites. Try Anacortes’s A’Town Bistro’s version. They steam the mussels in a beer broth with Spanish chorizo and serve alongside truffle fries with a yellow curry ketchup. The classic Reuben at Bellingham’s Old World Deli is a mouthful. The hefty sandwich of house-made corned beef or pastrami, Swiss, sauerkraut, and Russian dressing on rye is served hot, and the salty sweetness of meat and dressing is a savory combination hard to beat. Bring the second half home and enjoy it all over again.
— Catherine Torres and Kate Galambos
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Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word
Historic Fairhaven Festival MAY 27, 10 A.M.
T © Whatcom Events
his all-day celebration honors Ski to Sea, the team relay race that put Bellingham on the national map for adventure racing. The race, from the Mt. Baker Ski Area to Bellingham Bay, is put on by Whatcom Events, a volunteer-operated community nonprofit. The festival turns Fairhaven into one big, vibrant street party for the day, featuring exhibits by local businesses and non-profits, live music from two stages, a beer and wine garden, arts and crafts vendors, and a variety of food stands. Festival-goers can check out the Ski to Sea finish at Marine Park, where teams ring the traditional finish-line bell upon completing the day-long (for some) race. Surely a fantastic way to spend a Sunday. Historic Fairhaven, Bellingham 360.220.6733 | fairhaven.com
AGENDA Top Picks
MAY M AY
Genealogy and Local History: Research Soulmates San Juan Island Library, Friday Harbor sjlib.org
Twelfth Night Mount Baker Theatre, Bellingham mountbakertheatre.com
15th Annual Procession of the Species Parade City Hall, Bellingham bpots.org
BC Morgan Show Northwest Washington Fair Grounds, Lynden bcmorgan.com
© Jeffrey Baker
© Manuel Rod del Pozo
Mother’s Day on the Farm Bellewood Acres, Bellingham bellewoodfarms.com
Komplex Kai Tulalip Resort Casino, Tulalip tulalipresortcasino.com
The Weepies McIntyre Hall Performing Arts & Conference Center, Mount Vernon mcintyrehall.org
Memorial Day Family Escape Schooner Zodiac, Bellingham schoonerzodiac.com
© Robert Sebree
© Taylor Hodges
C A SINO• RESORT
OVER 400 SHOWS IN 17 YEARS, & MANY MORE TO COME!
Entertainment IS OUR GAME!
Emmylou Harris Aaron Neville The Marshall Tucker Band Killer Queen John Michael Montgomery Tower of Power Morgane Latouche Vanessa Williams Lonestar Don McLean Grand Funk Railroad Andy Gross The Commodores Pam Tillis Margaret Cho Leann Womack Pablo Fancisco
Heart By Heart
Owen Benjamin Elton John Tribute Bret Michaels Crystal Gayle Sebastian Maniscalco The Supremes Glenn Miller Revolvers Beach Boys & Friends Johnny Rivers Herman’s Hermits Wilson Phillips Lee Greenwood New Years Eve Party Tony Orlando Doc Severinsen The Coasters Leon Russell 5th Dimension America Toni Tenille Spirit Of Ireland Neil Diamond Trace Adkins Three Dog Night Nitty Gritty Dirt Band Oak Ridge Boys Bill Engval Blood, Sweat & Tears Natalie Cole Michael Bolton Dwight Yokam Keith Urban Leann Rimes Disco Mania Gladys Knight Righteous Brothers Patty Loveless Seattle International Comedy Competition Ronnie Milsap Dave Mason Joe Diffie Gino Vannelli Joe Nichols Collin Raye The Smothers Brothers Tanya Tucker Australia’s Thunder From Down Under Josh Gracin Rita Coolidge Aaron Tippin Caroline Rhea Rita Rudner Restless Heart Black Hawk
THE MIDTOWN MEN Little Texas Vikki Carr Men Of Las Vegas
Debbie Reynolds The Letterman Christmas Show Vegas Pin-Ups
The Marshall Tucker Band Heartland Charo The Fab Four Judy Collin Vince Mira Abbacadabra Brenda Lee Larry Gatlin And The Gatlin Brothers Frankie Avalon Petula Clark Hotel California Bruce In The USA Phil Vasser Starship John Reep Dk Morgan
MAY 18 & 19
America’s Diamond Eddie Money Lorrie Morgan Chicago Tribute Fab Four Tribute Pam Tillis Sawyer Brown Vince Mira Brenda Lee Bruce Hornsby The Turtles Neal Mckoy Ricky Neslon Tribute Little Anthony Richard Marx Lonestar Repp And Ferrara Terri Clark Rockoberfest Survivor Josh Gracin Garrett Wilkins & The Parrotheads Marlin James Henry Cho & Dat Phan Phil Vasser KBRC Rocks The Skagit Manhattans Debby Boone KAFE Breakfast Club Blue Oyster Cult Tribute Buckaroo Blues Band Rat Pack Tribute Craig Morgan Nathan Anderson Darryl Worley Journey Tribute Mo Trouble Rich Little Blues Traveler Roy Clark Rock And Roll Heaven $5 Fine Jo Dee Mesina Southern Fried Chicks Foghat Broken Trail Delbert Mclinton Fabulous Thunderbirds Timothy Schmitt Super Diamond Smithereens KMPS Country Nights Diamond Rio Barb & Frank Leon Russell Paul Revere Jim Breur John Anderson Joan Osbourne Hells Belles Presidents Of The USA Rockabilly Romp Erick Burdon Gary Puckett Restless Heart Kiss Live
Gin Blossoms Tom Papa
Blue Sky Riders
Peter Noone Rick Springfield The Nylons S. Earle & The Dukes John Conlee Mac King Air Supply Cash’d Out Micky Dolenz Jay White As Neil Diamond Christopher Titus
The English Beat
Bee Gee’s Gold
C AS I N O • RES OR T
C A• OnS I-5 IN O •236 R •E877-275-2448 SO RT theskagit.com at Exit Must be 21 or older with valid ID. Details at Rewards Club. Management reserves all rights. ©2018 Upper Skagit Indian Tribe dba Skagit Valley Casino Resort.
theskagit.com • On I-5 at Exit 236 • 877-275-2448 Must be 21 or older with valid ID. Details at Rewards Club. Management reserves all rights. ©2018 Upper Skagit Indian Tribe dba Skagit Valley Casino Resort.
AGENDA Events Crow’s Shadow Institute Of The Arts At 25
MUSEUM ROOTED, REVIVED, REINVENTED: BASKETRY IN AMERICA THROUGH MAY 6, 12 P.M.
With origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities, to its presence in the modern, fine-art world, this exhibition illustrates a history of American basketry. Whether the artists aim for traditional work or mix ancient techniques with nontraditional materials, learn to analyze and discuss a total of 95 objects divided into five sections: Cultural Origins, New Basketry, Living Traditions, Basket as Vessel, and Beyond the Basket. Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org THE INTIMATE DIEBENKORN: WORKS ON PAPER 1949–1992 MAY 19, 12 P.M.
Richard Diebenkorn (1922–1993) is one of America’s most respected artists of the 20th century. Appreciate his imaginative, alluring work through this national touring exhibition of 37 paintings and drawings, which he did on paper. Diebenkorn earned a reputation for large-scale abstractions, which you’re going to want to see in person. Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org CROW’S SHADOW INSTITUTE OF THE ARTS AT 25 MAY 19, NOON
Crow’s Shadow, founded by Oregon painter and printmaker James Lavadour, is the only professional printmaking studio found on a reservation community within the U.S. See and understand Lavadour’s vision of a traditional printmaking arts studio through this exhibition as it showcases the past 25 years of Crow’s Shadow in Pendleton, Oregon. Whatcom Museum Lightcatcher Building 250 Flora St., Bellingham 360.778.8930, whatcommuseum.org
© Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts
will be a variety of auctions including silent, live, and paddle. Treat yourself to a country dinner and dessert paired with wine or beer while listening to music by JP and the OK Rhythm Boys. Proceeds go to the Orcas Island Historical Museums.
on how gender and sexuality are fluid, along with how transgender issues are a part of day-to-day interactions. This free event, by the Whatcom Chapters of PFLAG Skagit, will be followed by a panel discussion.
Orcas Center Madrona Room 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281, orcascenter.org
Lincoln Theatre 712 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.336.8955, lincolntheatre.org
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
SAN JUAN ISLAND HALF MARATHON MAY 19, 8:30 A.M.
HAGGEN TO HAGGEN 5K FUN RUN & WALK MAY 5, 8 A.M.
In its 25th year, Haggen Northwest Fresh and the Greater Bellingham Running Club (GBRC) present and organize this fun run and walk. Participants start at Sehome Village, maneuver through neighborhoods and downtown Bellingham, and end up at the Meridian Haggen. Proceeds from the event help GBRC provide scholarships and shoe vouchers to low-income high school and middle school athletes. Sehome Haggen 210 36th St., Bellingham 360.676.1996, gbrc.net GENDER REVOLUTION: A JOURNEY WITH KATIE COURIC MAY 10, 7 P.M.
SHINDIG AUCTION MAY 19, 3 P.M.
If dressing with a cowboy hat and boots is your style, this event is for you. There 90
Katie Couric, American TV journalist and author, explores the evolving complexities of gender identity in this two-hour documentary. The film focuses
Get ready for one of the most scenic races yet. Orca Running, an organization involved with races all over the Pacific Northwest, believes this race to have the best views: San Juan Island National Historic Park, the San Juan Islands, the Olympics Mountains, and the Salish Sea. Every 2–3 miles there will be aid stations with water, electrolytes, and gels. San Juan Island Half South Beach, Friday Harbor sanjuanislandhalf.com SKI TO SEA RACE MAY 27, 7:30 A.M.
Since 1973, a team relay from Mount Baker to Bellingham Bay has taken place the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. Typically, eight-person teams participate in seven events: cross-country ski, downhill ski/snowboard, running, road bike, canoe with two paddlers, cyclocross bike, and sea kayak. This year, however, racers can participate in up to three legs
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DOWNTOWN ART WALK MAY 4, 6 P.M.
Bellingham’s flourishing art scene is featured in galleries, studios, museums, shops, and restaurants in downtown. Take some time to relax and roam the streets, while relishing art and food of the local community. The Art Walk takes place on the first Friday of every month, so be sure to check it out.
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Downtown Bellingham 360.527.8710 downtownbellingham.com
FAIRHAVEN FOURTH FRIDAY ART WALK MAY 25, 5 P.M.
Putting Putting Putting you you you Putting you Putting you Putting you Putting you first first made first made made first made first made first made first made us #1. us#1. #1. us #1. us us #1. usus #1.#1.
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Talk And When To Listen, touches on all parts of human life, especially stories of heartbreak and loss. You don’t want to miss out on this special guest. Wild Buffalo House Of Music 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.746.8733, wildbuffalo.net IRISH & FOLK MONDAYS MAY 7, 6 P.M.
Either as an open session or featuring a musical guest, enjoy a night filled with mead and music. Spend time with friends listing to fast-paced, jolly tunes
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Marine Park (finish line) 100 Harris Ave., Bellingham 360.746.8861, skitosea.com
on race day, for one or multiple teams. Let the games begin.
Polecat & Sisters
or traditional, whimsical beats. All ages are welcome.
POLECAT & SISTERS
Honey Moon Mead & Cider 1053 N. State St., Alley 360.734.0728, honeymoonmeads.com
In a total of seven years, Polecat has traveled across the northwest U.S., creating 700 appearances and four albums. With unusual instrumentation and song arrangement, their songs merge styles like Americana, Celtic, rock, reggae, and world music. Seattle pop duo SISTERS, Emily Westman and Andrew Vait, will also perform on stage.
THE FRETLESS MAY 10, 7:30 P.M.
This Canadian fiddle foursome, with their debut album in 2012, are essential in making traditional music mainstream. The group has won Instrumental Album of the Year at the Western Canadian Music Awards and Instrumental Group of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards — they’re worth the listen live. Orcas Center 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281, orcascenter.org OH MY GOTH! MAY 12, 8 P.M.
Time for the rock-and-roll venue to go 80s goth, and what better way to do it than with a dance party? Between free entrance and drink specials throughout the night, the evening is sure to bring more to your life than some sad eyeliner. For those of you that love the look, however, dressing up is encouraged! The Shakedown 1212 N. State St., Bellingham 360.778.1067 shakedownbellingham.com
MAY 18, 9 P.M.
Wild Buffalo House Of Music 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.746.8733, wildbuffalo.net LIFE DURING WAR TIME MAY 25, 9:30 P.M.
LDWT started out in 2013 as a couple of Portland, Oregon musicians raving about Talking Heads music, especially their 1984 concert film, “Stop Making Sense.” Since then, the band has been known to capture a funkiness and freshness similar to that of Talking Heads, while still crafting outstanding original music. Wild Buffalo House Of Music 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.746.8733, wildbuffalo.net
CASINOS MIDTOWN MEN MAY 18–MAY 19, 8 P.M.
They’re The Jersey Boys, revisited. Four members of the original cast of
Broadway’s Jersey Boys jukebox musical will bring their Sixties sounds to the Pacific Showroom. The men will include, of course, some favorite Four Seasons songs. The Skagit Resort Casino 5984 North Darrk Ln., Bow 877.275.2448, theskagit.com FEMMES OF ROCK MAY 19, 8:00 P.M.
With rock violinist and arranger, Nina DiGregorio, in the lead, this high-energy “hard rock” violin act brings the strings like never before. Worldwide audiences have rocked out to them. Now they’re coming to the event center at Silver Reef Casino off Slater Road in Ferndale. Yes, violins on steroids. Silver Reef Casino Haxton Way and Slater Rd., Ferndale 866.383.0777, silverreefcasino.com
THEATER CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS’ CARNIVAL OF THE ANIMALS MAY 7, 10 A.M.
Watch and listen as Whatcom Symphony Orchestra performs 14 short movements that come alive when combined with Bellingham student talent. Performances include poetry, dance, art, and the high school concerto competition winner. The show is broken up with
humorous, poetic verses written by Ogden Nash, an American poet known for unconventional rhyming schemes resulting in funny poetry.
Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080, mountbakertheatre.com
THROUGH MAY 7, ALL DAY
THE G.B.U. MAY 31, 8 P.M.
As Bellingham’s longest running improv show, The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly kicks off with an improv set by The Upfront’s School of Improv students, followed by the Mainstage cast putting on a full other set of improv. Throughout the entire show, the actors take suggestions for games and scenes, so be prepared! The Upfront Theatre 1208 Bay St., Bellingham 360.733.8855, theupfront.com
CLASSICAL ORCAS CHORAL SOCIETY MAY 5 & 6, 7:30 P.M. & 2 P.M.
This spring concert is presented in honor of Orcas Choral Society’s 40th year. The concert features three works by internationally renowned composer and Waldron Island resident, Morten Lauridsen. During the concert, Lauridsen will be joining the choir in premiering his songs, “Ya eres mia” (You Are Mine) and “Sure on this Shining Night” to the Northwest. Orcas Center 917 Mt. Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281, orcascenter.org CARMINA BURANA MAY 20, 3 P.M.
Watch the Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, two pianos and celeste, a large percussion section, three incredible soloists, and more than 150 singers from Western Washington University perform this scenic cantata composed by Carl Orff in 1935 and 1936. As the largest number of musicians the symphony has ever had on stage, witness a great finish to their 42nd season. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080, mountbakertheatre.com
CHILDRENS BOOK WEEK & SCREEN FREE WEEK Starting in 1919, Children’s Book Week (CBW) is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. This is the second time the National Screen Free Week coincides with CBW. Throughout the week, check out events held at both the Fairhaven and Lynden Village Books locations. Plus, Village Books will donate 10 percent of all children’s book purchases to Children’s departments of the city and county libraries during this time.
28TH ANNUAL CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL MAY 5, 10 A.M.
Island Rec strives to offer the widest variety of leisure and recreational activities to all island residents. Their mission also is to acquire, develop, maintain, preserve and protect recreational resources, and ensure that recreational activities and facilities are accessible and affordable to all residents. Take your family to relish in this day of free activities by Island Rec and other community organizations. San Juan County Fairgrounds 849 Argyle Ave., Friday Harbor 360.378.8420, sjcfair.org
MAY 11–13, 9:30 A.M.
A luthier — one who makes stringed musical instruments — will feel right at home with this festival. Near the Swinomish Channel and at the curb of Skagit Valley farm lands, La Conner has played host to world famous artists, poets, and authors — why not add musicians and guitar-lovers to the list?
MAY 12, 11 A.M.
Posters, marine plants and animals, microscopes, plankton sampling and observations, activities,
Friday Harbor Laboratories 620 University Rd., Friday Harbor 360.378.2165, fhl.uw.edu WWU ALUMNI WEEKEND Formerly known as Back2Bham and now called WWU Alumni Weekend, this year’s theme is about disconnecting from technology and reconnecting with friends, professors, and the campus in person. Crowd favorites that will still happen include lunch on Old Main lawn, campus tours, and the performance of Whose Live Anyway, featuring local Ryan Stiles, Greg Proops, Joel Murray, and Jeff B. Davis. New events are also on the agenda. Western Washington University campus 516 High St., Bellingham 360.650.3353, alumni.wwu.edu ORCAS PET PARADE MAY 26, 11 A.M.
LA CONNER GUITAR FESTIVAL
FRIDAY HARBOR LABORATORIES OPEN HOUSE
demonstrations — it’s all here. Take advantage of this free public event to learn more about some of the showcased marine science research. Self-guided tours and the opportunity to meet scientists and students are also included in the day’s events.
MAY 18–20, ALL DAY
Village Books 1200 11th St., Bellingham 360.671.2626, villagebooks.com
Maple Hall 104 Commercial, La Conner laconnerguitarfestival.com
Kaleidoscope Pre-School & Child Care Center organizes the 28th annual Pet Parade, where furry friends can participate in different categories and children can take part in costume contests, sponsored by local island businesses. There will also be a raffle for adults. Note that if you’d like to participate in the categories, go early to get registered and judged between 10 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., allowing the parade to start right at 11 a.m. Kaleidoscope Preschool and Child Care Center 1292 N. Beach Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2484, ourkaleidoscopekids.com
SPECIAL EVENTS FOURTH-ANNUAL SPRING WINE WALK MAY 11, 5:30 P.M.
Increasing attendance and community interest means the Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s Spring Wine Walk, now in its fourth year, is
commercial boat. An award ceremony takes place at the yacht club after the parade.
Out of Town
expanding. This year, more than 20 venues are expected to participate. Your $30 ticket will get you an event guide, 12 tasting tickets, a commemorative tasting cup, a Community Food Co-Op tote bag, and a $5 gift certificate to Camber. Don’t miss out on this downtown magic.
San Juan Island Yacht Club 273 Front St., Friday Harbor 360.378.3434, sjiyc.com
STORIES OF THE GREAT OUTDOORS BENEFIT
MAY 17 THROUGH JUNE, VARIOUS TIMES
Downtown Bellingham Partnership 1310 Commercial St., Bellingham 360.527.8710 downtownbellingham.com
Taking place in Settlemyer Family Hall, you are welcomed and invited for dinner to hear stories supporting the Whatcom Land Trust. The event both celebrates and supports all the work necessary to conserve local lands — all you have to do is indulge in wonderful food and time visiting with friends.
WEEKLY ORGANIZED BOARD GAME NIGHT MAY 1, 5:30 P.M.
Rook & Rogue, a board game pub dedicated to creating a safe space for people of all ages, genders, races, and creeds to come together for games and community, has extra hosts on hand on Tuesdays for facilitating and teaching games. You can even find new people to play games of all kinds on a more regular basis. Special guests are featured too. Rook & Rogue Board Game Pub 206 W. Magnolia St., Bellingham 360.207.4038, rookandrogue.com CINCO DE MAYO CELEBRATION MAY 5, 5:30 P.M.
By partaking in dinner, a margarita bar, a dessert dash, dancing, and auctions, you can celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Bellingham Technical College’s Settlemyer Hall by helping out one of Bellingham’s nonprofits, The Sean Humphrey House. Their mission is to optimize the quality of life for low-income individuals living with HIV/AIDS and other challenges that prevent them from living independently. Do some good with that margarita. Sean Humphrey House 1630 H St., Bellingham 360.733.0176, seanhumphreyhouse.org OPENING DAY BOAT PARADE MAY 6, 2 P.M.
Sponsored by San Juan Island Yacht Club, watch from Friday Harbor’s Spring Street Landing as the entire island boating community goes on display in the traditional opener of boating season. With a variety of watercraft all in one place, boats compete in categories like best classic wooden boat, best display of event theme and signal flags, and best
MAY 12, 5 P.M.
Bellingham Technical College 3028 Lindbergh Ave., Bellingham 360.990.0225, whatcomlandtrust.org
44TH ANNUAL SEATTLE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL SIFF, now in its 44th year, is the largest and most highly-attended film festival in the United States. It includes 25 days and features more than 400 films from 80 countries, where a total of 155,000 people watch movies in venues such as SIFF Film Center, SIFF Cinema Uptown, and SIFF Cinema Egyptian. You even have the chance to submit your own film. Festival pass and ticket packages are also available. SIFF Film Center 305 Harrison St., Seattle 206.464.5830, siff.net
BELLINGHAM BAY BREWERS CRUISE MAY 30, 6:30 P.M.
49TH ANNUAL UNIVERSITY STREETFAIR
Don’t miss out on the kickoff of this popular Wednesday summer tasting series. Boundary Bay Brewery will serve a mixture of their award-winning beers each week, combined with two other Northwest breweries. The cruise moves through Bellingham Bay and Chuckanut Bay, departing from the Alaska Ferry Terminal in Fairhaven.
MAY 19–20, 10 A.M.
Bellingham Cruise Terminal 355 Harris Ave., #104, Bellingham 360.738.8099, whales.com NORTHWEST WINE ENCOUNTER JUNE 1–3
A weekend of tastings, education, and a gala dinner, featuring dishes by Whatcom County chefs and paired with some of the Northwest’s finest wines, highlight the third annual event. Three famed Walla Walla Valley producers will lead the weekend, organized by Suresh Rao of DS Vintners, and hosted by Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center. Reservations are available through May 10 by calling the center (see below for number). Four Points by Sheraton Bellingham Hotel & Conference Center 714 Lakeway Dr., Bellingham 360.671.1011, fourpointsbellingham.com
The street fair, a neighborhood tradition honoring peace, culture, and community, is full of food and beer, music, entertainment, and shopping. The event hosts hundreds of artisan vendors and small businesses — no doubt a great place to support local while having a good time with family and friends of the community. University District Seattle 206.547.4417, udistrictstreetfair.org
VANCOUVER OFFSITE: SHIGERU BAN MAY 10 THROUGH OCTOBER, ALL DAY
In 1995, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of Japan and most strikingly, the major port city of Kobe. The earthquake killed more than 6,000 people and left 200,000 homeless. Shigeru Ban, a young Tokyo-based architect who uses paper and cardboard tubing as a building material, responded to the need of temporary relief shelters. His creation is now used as a disaster relief structure prototype. Vancouver Art Gallery 750 Hornby St., Vancouver 604.662.4700, vanartgallery.bc.ca
PICKFORD’S RED CARPET AFFAIR
Top two photos © Clinton James and Phil Rose | Bottom four photos © Alex Powell
With the red carpet rolled out, and tuxedos and floor-length gowns everywhere, Bellingham was ready for this year’s Oscars. Pickford Film Center’s ninth annual bash to watch the Academy Award ceremony, the 2018 Red Carpet Affair, was a sellout, with more than 200 people attending the festivities on March 4, dressed to the nines. Through ticket sales, donations, sponsorships, and themed cocktails, the event raised more than $11,000 for Pickford’s Education Fund. The fund sponsors media literacy classes, field trips for middle schoolers to view educational documentaries, and other activities. — Melissa McCarthy
NOTES Final Word
Reflections in the Mirror WRITTEN BY KEN KARLBERG
s I sit down to write this issue’s Final Word, I find myself deep in thought. It is Easter Sunday, a sacred day for those of faith. In the background is a church service on TV. I stopped, mid-thought, to listen to the oft-told, simple but profound story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. I cherish the story; I always have. Jesus set the quintessential example by practicing what he preached, and for that reason, and more, the story challenges me. I frequently ask myself, “Do I?” I am not a person of faith. I want to be. But after years of praying as a young child to God for his help, when He did not answer, I was forced to turn to self-help while I waited. I decided, at an early age, that if I couldn’t discover the meaning of life, or if life didn’t have inherent meaning, I would make my life have meaning. I defined life, or more accurately a life philosophy, and then lived it, faithfully, on my terms. All the while, I held myself accountable to a set of secular values and standards that are the moral fabric for just about every world religion. The path of my journey in the shadow of faith has been lonely, and not well-worn. Without faith and the daily or weekly fellowship with others that faith often offers, I had to feed my own spirituality from within. Sometimes, the gaps between spiritual meals were unhealthy and I lost my way. I needed to discipline myself to eat. Without faith, I didn’t have heaven as a safety net, or the promise of an after-life, or the ability to be forgiven for my sins. I was naked — the burden of every sin weighed upon me, putting me at risk for collapsing under the weight of my own transgressions. Without faith, I felt anxious that my life is my only life, that I won’t be saved no matter my good deeds. These thoughts were unsettling, and still are. Without faith, however, there was an upside that may not be obvious. I was not morally untethered. My inability to be forgiven for my sins forced me to hold myself accountable, and hopefully, into becoming a better, more thoughtful person. If I didn’t, I knew that I would be crushed by the accumulation of the clay of the worst of my human nature. I would never be able to be hold my head up with pride. I have fallen, of course; I am human. I am flawed. But nonetheless, knowing that the residue from guilt could not be washed away, I fought the good fight within myself each day. It is all that I knew to do while I wait for Him to answer. Without faith, I learned, as well, to squeeze life for all that it is. I don’t wait, thinking that whatever I don’t accomplish in this life, I can accomplish in the next. I do, and I do now. I have a sense of urgency, to make each day have meaning, and the urgency has accelerated as the circle of life closes on me with age. Today, being Easter, is my annual reminder. In 96
whatever time I have remaining, I hope to repay my family and my community here in Whatcom County for a rich, rewarding life that I could not have imagined as a young child attending Sunnyland Elementary. I have many feet to wash. Faith is a litmus test for many, and a moral yardstick by which some judge each other. I understand why. Most of us in the shadow of faith, who live parallel moral lives, judge by the same yardstick. All of us seek no more or less in life — to live life based on a framework of ethics and values that gives our lives meaning. Our paths are the same, regardless of faith. And yet, we often divide ourselves as we do on this basis for unknown reasons. Why? We are on parallel journeys, each protecting, preserving, and worshipping the fundamentals of humanity — love, compassion, and simply doing what is right by each other. Even atheists, upon rejecting the existence of God, have to define what life means for themselves. No one is immune from their reflections in the mirror. Eventually, we all have to answer for our lives, even if it is just to ourselves. The universality of morality and love binds us all together. I am simply looking for meaning in my life, and for only my life — to help save others who cannot protect themselves, or who need help like I needed help when I first prayed to God. These are the things that I think about on Easter.
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