Bellingham Alive | May | 2019

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Urban Living Pros and Cons Apartment and condominium buildings are sprouting like Pacific Northwest mushrooms in downtown Bellingham and Whatcom County. Skagit County is debating whether farmland will be used for a future planned community. Meanwhile, residents are snapping up residential space in urban villages like Barkley Village and the Fairhaven district, where you can live, work, shop, and play all within walking distance. We examine the pros and cons of urban living and what it means for our future.

Fairhaven Village Green


Š Zoe Deal

Greg Jipson and Cody, Barkley Village residents


SHOP 74 Mixing Tin  El Beso de Virginia at Northwater

You’re the Boss


By The Numbers


Lasting Image


Heard Around the Sound


31 Bellewood Farms 34

Necessities  Memorial Day

76 Restaurant Review Hilltop Restaurant

35 Local Find  Waggoner Guide Bookstore 36


Book Reviews


Who Knew?  Luxury Homes


Community  Whatcom County Library System


Apps We Love

Savvy Shopper  Katz! Coffee and Used Books

Smoothie, To Go


Beauty  Acne and Self Esteem


Urban Living Pros and Cons


Featured Home  Chuckanut Crest View Home


Remodel  Kitchen Lifts Spirits

84 Top Picks


Out of Town


The Scene  Whatcom Museum Art Auction Gala



© Kelly Pearce

Featured Event  Death Cab for Cutie, Odesza Return


28 Five Faves Margaritas

8 Great Tastes




© Diamond Edge Photography

© Zoe Deal

24  In the Spotlight  Leif Whittaker

Sip  IPAs

© Zoe Deal



Cinco de Mayo Hotspots


Dining Guide


Culinary Events


Editor’s Letter




Letters to the Editor


Meet the Staffer  Emily Stout


Final Word

May 2019 5

NOTES On the Web

Be sure to check us out at: Submit your events on our calendar! Do you have an event that you would like our readers to know about? offers an events calendar where viewers can search by day, venue, event type, or city. Go to and submit your event today. Once your event has been approved by our editorial staff, it is live.

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE One of our favorite San Juan Islands, which boasts one of Washington’s best state parks, an award-winning restaurant, and a new house owned by Oprah, has earned a spot on a New York Times exclusive travel list. It also has a culinary scene that’s getting national attention. Do you know which island this is? Find out more at

Join us on


Previous digital editions now available online.


Weekend AGENDA NSLife Dine


NSLife DIY & Crafts


International Recipes

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NOTES Editor’s Letter

talented law student with an impressive resume and funny name who was late for the first day of his internship. “I thought, who is this trifling black guy?” said Obama. “Then he shows up and he’s… Barack Obama.” She later quit her job for more fulfilling communityoriented work (and a huge pay cut), got married, had kids. Both she and Barack struggled to pay off college loans, and, like many couples, sought marriage counseling at one point.

Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ a Story for Us All


n a mild March evening at Vancouver’s Rogers Arena, it was inspiring to see former First Lady Michelle Obama impart some wisdom and humor with star moderator Robin Roberts, the ABC Good Morning America anchor, on stage. Obama’s “Becoming” book tour continues to be a hit, with more shows this month. Her takeaways from Vancouver: We are united by our stories. Her own story, Obama said, is really the one of a pre-Obama Michelle Robinson, who grew up in a cramped apartment with a poor but loving family on Chicago’s South Side, and got accepted to Princeton and Harvard Law School through determined hard work. She became a lawyer in a big firm, bought a Saab (“because that’s what you did”), met and mentored a

People will say you can’t. Obama’s Chicago high school guidance counselor told her she didn’t think she was Ivy League material despite her straight-As and work ethic. Obama applied to Princeton anyway. “I’ll show you,” she thought, a refrain that she has used throughout her life. She spoke of how women have to work twice as hard as men, and “failure is not the thing to fear,” but that not trying is. You need your girlfriends. “Don’t get me wrong, I love my husband, but when I need to be filled up in a special way, it’s the women in my life,” she said. Longtime friends listened, gave advice, steered her away from some insincere parents at her kids’ new schools in Washington (“We didn’t have this conversation at the D.C. show,” cracked Obama). Men, she said, you need to find some friends and “really talk.” Life as the First Lady. Round-the-clock security for eight years made spontaneous outings impossible. The presidential motorcade included an ambulance carrying her husband’s blood type. She and Barack believed the White House to be “the people’s house” and set out to fill it with music and life and energy and folks that don’t usually

get invited there. “We see now how it feels when there is no joy,” she said of today’s White House. “There should be people. There should be joy in the people’s house.” Early ‘Hamilton.’ One of those unlikely White House visitors early on was a little-known composer-playwright named LinManuel Miranda, invited as part of a group of up-and-coming artists. He told the Obamas he was going to perform a rap song he wrote about Alexander Hamilton, and was working on an entire musical about him. Obama politely wished him good luck, but thought to herself, “Oh, that’s going to suck.” We are all “Becoming,” Obama said, and told people to be proud to tell their own stories.

We’re Up for Some Awards! We might pull a muscle, but we’re going to pat ourselves on the back anyway. In March, Bellingham Alive was named a national finalist in three categories in the 67th annual Maggie Awards for media excellence. We are finalists for Best Editorial Layout (September’s “Spirits” issue), and two stories by Ken Karlberg are writing category finalists (“If Mother America Could Speak,” and “Truth First, Country Second, Party Third”). Winners are scheduled to be announced May 5 in Los Angeles. “The entire staff of Bellingham Alive works to provide our communities with the highest quality of editorial standards and graphic design,” says Lisa Karlberg, Bellingham Alive president and publisher. “Being a finalist for three Maggie Awards is validation for the hard work and dedication they all put in. It takes a village, and my village rocks!” 



NOTES Contributors Arlené Mantha Third-generation baker, and professionally trained pastry chef from Los Angeles, Arlené has taught classes for Bellingham Alive’s “Meet The Chef” series as well as the Bellingham Gluten Information Group. Her passion for comfort food and modern aesthetic has manifested itself in her catering company, Twofiftyflora.  p. 39

Lisa Crosier Lisa Crosier is a master esthetician and owner of Crosier Skincare, located in downtown Bellingham. Since launching her business in 1994, Lisa’s greatest joy has been helping her clients feel beautiful from the inside out. She and her team of estheticians are specialists in treating skin problems from acne to aging. Lisa is an energetic educator who instructs women and teens on proper care of their skin, so they can achieve maximum results. Lisa enjoys running, Crossfit, and looks for any excuse to head to Mount Baker to ski.  p. 41

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Tanna Edler, principal of Tanna By Design, is the only interior designer in Yakima and the state of Washington to have won an Interior Design Society’s Designer of the Year award for five consecutive years. She is also the first in the Pacific Northwest to have received the coveted Impact Award for charitable interior design contributions in her community. Her notable skill in conceptual design development has earned her a wellrespected reputation across the nation and her work has been recognized during numerous Tour of Home venues.  p. 62 Neal Tognazzini Neal splits his life between thinking and drinking: He has a doctorate 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 and his courageous and curious daughter.  p. 75

to where you live.



2018 OCTOBER 2018


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Lisa Crosier | Tanna Edler Ken Karlberg | Arlené Mantha | Laurie Mullarky Neal Tognazzini

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Homelessness Issue, Kitchens Prompt Reality Check

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Loves the Layout, Variety

Thank you for the thoughtful articles on homelessness in the North Sound (March) and the heroes working towards positive change. The contrast with the pieces highlighting beautiful kitchen spaces was the perfect reminder that those of us fortunate enough to consider these comforts should also do what we can to ensure everyone in our community has a safe place to call home.  — Lisa K., Bellingham

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

Letters to the Editor

I love the new layout of the magazine and that there are a variety of topics. Your magazine is classy and I love each and every issue that you do!  — Karen G., Birch Bay

New Resident Gets Acquainted I’m new to Bellingham and never know what’s going on. Your magazine provides me with so much to help acquaint me here and it’s just beautiful.  — Betsy G., Bellingham

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NOTES Meet the Staffer Every issue we introduce you to a staff member at Bellingham Alive.

What is your role at the magazine and how long have you been with K & L Media? I started with K & L Media in mid-March as an editorial intern. My role is to write and produce articles for the magazine, come up with story ideas, and fact-check the work of other writers. I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far and appreciate learning from the other staff members.

What is your background? I am a journalism student at Western Washington University and will be graduating in June. Working on student publications has allowed me to get to know the world of reporting and writing. This year I was editor in chief of The Planet, a quarterly environmental magazine on campus. I love the creative space of magazines and look forward to continuing this work.

Emily Stout

What is your favorite part of working for a regional lifestyle magazine? I’ve moved around a lot in my life. I’ve lived in places as different as Des Moines, Iowa, and Sacramento, California. The best part of moving somewhere new is finding unique spots to hang out, along with getting to know the culture of the area. Some of my favorite places in Bellingham are Bloedel Donovan Park, Caffé Adagio, and the Pickford Film Center. Even during my short time in this position, I’ve picked up a lot of knowledge about Bellingham and the surrounding counties. I’ve also been enjoying the scope of topics that Bellingham Alive covers. One day I might write about beer, and the next, something more serious.

What are some of your hobbies? I am a huge literature nerd, so I spend a lot of my free time reading and perusing bookstores. I also enjoy film photography and have spent the last couple years adding to my collection of old cameras that I find online or in thrift stores. (I currently own a Pentax K1000, circa 1976, and a Yashica Mat 124G, circa 1970.) You can usually catch me relaxing with a cup of coffee or spending time with family and friends. 



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LIFESTYLE In The Know · Spotlight Artist · Community · 5 Faves

Mother’s Day, When You’re the Boss Forgotten Cupcakes, Diaper Blowouts, and Cuddles —  All in a Day’s Work WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY LARA DUNNING AND ZOE DEAL


Hana Lamay, Bare Boutique

hether or not you can have it all is up for debate. But this Mother’s Day month, we’re saluting those North Sound moms who are trying. They’re business owners or bosses who manage to keep their families — and sanity — intact (for the most part) while juggling full-time jobs on the outside. The North Sound is home to many small and large businesses, profit and nonprofit, that have women at the helm, like those in this story. … continued on page 20

LIFESTYLE By the Numbers


Animals displaced by Hohl Feed and Seed Store fire, p. 22

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Ingredients in beer: hops, yeast, water, malted grain (usually wheat or barley), p. 75


© Kelly Pearce

Lasting Image

“Cherry blossoms blooming is one of the best and quickest events of a Pacific Northwest spring. When I found a row of them near Elizabeth Park, I walked under them for nearly 20 minutes, gazing up at them glowing in the springtime sun.” KELLY PEARCE, BELLINGHAM

North Sound photographers, we want to see what you’ve got. We’re looking for locally generated photographs for our Lasting Image feature. We’re seeking local nature photographs — ones that freeze a moment, tell a story, evoke an emotion. We’ll run your photo, along with your name, where you’re from, where the photo was shot, and a short 40-word writeup about the photo (inspiration for it, how you got it, meaning behind it, etc.). The photo must be high resolution (300 dpi) with no watermarks. Send to Then sit back and enjoy the view.

May 2019 19

… For many of these moms, days are a circus act with all those spinning plates — some with day-old food on them. Hopefully, you have a helpful spouse at home. Running a restaurant with school-age kids is a challenge because your hours might not align. Sometimes, you might have to attend business meetings with a toddler on your hip, or bring your son along to a real-estate showing. And the guilt? Don’t get us started. Many moms have talked about feeling like you’re always short-changing something, either your family or the work you are so good at. So this month, we celebrate the boss moms. In fact, let’s raise a toast (buttered, with crusts removed, please) to every mother out there. Because let’s face it — you’re all working moms. Here’s to you.

HANA LAMAY, MOUNT VERNON Esthetician Hana LaMay opened Bare Boutique in Mount Vernon four months after she had her third child. As a mother of three, now ages 7, 9, and 18, starting her own business grew from a passion for her work as an esthetician and the desire to maintain a strong family connection. “When they were younger it was very intentional for me to schedule my time for a rich family life,” says LaMay. “Even now that they are in elementary school, I still see them off to school in the mornings and am there to greet them when they get off the bus.” She strives for a work-life balance, but with managing a business, staff, and clients, unexpected things pop up. “One


Kelli Lang

Courtesy of Kelli Lang

Emily O’Connor

year, my son’s class was putting together a class cookbook and each family had to contribute a recipe,” says LaMay. “I showed up to class without the recipe. Everyone was very forgiving, but I had such a heavy heart about it.”

KELLI LANG, ANACORTES In 2016, real estate agent Kelli Lang, opened her own RE/ MAX agency in Anacortes. As a mother of three children, ages 12, 15, and 16, and a real estate agent for nine years, she is on the go from sunrise to sunset. “Being a real estate agent is a very on-call profession, and our days are long,” says Lang. “It’s gotten easier because the kids are older, but I still struggle to maintain a personal and business life.” She schedules most of her house showings during the day, which gives her flexibility to attend school events, but there are days where she falls short, like the time she forgot to bring cupcakes to her son’s “birthday-day” celebration at school. “Being a business owner and having kids is a slice of insanity. The days it works out is because it takes a spouse that is willing to pick up the slack to get the kids off to sports and activities. It definitely takes a village.”

EMILY O’CONNOR, BELLINGHAM Emily O’Connor’s life is a mix of chaos and success. At 36, she spends her days as executive director at Lydia Place, the Bellingham nonprofit that advocates for the homeless, and

Kari Vandenbosch

Stephanie Oppelaar

as a mother to Attison, 8, Rowan, 5, and Finnley, 1. “When you’re trying to juggle it all, nothing ever feels like it’s in balance. I walk through life feeling like a failure everywhere,” she says. O’Connor has a stack of stories of times she’s missed the mark, including an important meeting spent trying to conceal her baby’s diaper blowout. “[Women] wanted to be able to do it all, but we haven’t had any conversations about what that looks like,” she says. At Lydia Place, O’Connor seeks to create an environment that puts employees’ well-being first. She has breast-fed her children during presentations and managed to kept all her kids with her at work until they were at least 1 year old. Though it has been difficult to do all these things, O’Connor’s success can be seen in the rapid growth of Lydia Place since she took the helm seven years ago and in the children cuddling in her lap. As she sits in her home, Finnley at her breast, it’s clear she’s where she should be. “I feel privileged to have my life full of things that I love,” she says.

KARI VANDENBOSCH, LA CONNER Restauranteur Kari VandenBosch, purchased La Conner Seafood & Prime Rib House in 2008. Before that, she owned Flounder Bay Cafe in Anacortes and spent years working in the restaurant industry. As a mother of four children, ages 6, 8, 10, and 13, they have all grown up in the business. Peak times for the restaurant are nights and weekends. Even on her scheduled time off, whether it’s a day or a few

hours to attend a school or sporting event, she is always on call. Mornings provide time with the kids, and her husband Jason, the stay-at-home parent, is the primary caretaker for the rest of the day. “It’s tough, but now that the kids are getting older, I feel like it will be easier and the demands won’t be so great,” says VandenBosch. “The positive I take away is that a lot of people don’t have their bond with their dad.”

STEPHANIE OPPELAAR, BELLINGHAM Three days a week, Stephanie Oppelaar, 40, is up at 4 a.m. baking at the Black Drop Coffeehouse, a downtown Bellingham coffee shop she co-owns and operates. She returns home for an hour of alone time before her kids Edith, 5, and Beatrice, 7, are up and getting ready for school. Stephanie gets Beatrice on the bus before her husband John, 34, drives her and Edith to Western Washington University, where Stephanie is a full-time biology student and Edith spends the day at the Child Development Center. Oppelaar is the first to admit it’s hard. “It’s a crapshoot every day,” she says, “I know that I’m building for our future and the things that I’m doing are important, but I feel like I’m missing out with [my kids], Oppelaar says. She gets through it day-by-day and remains positive. Often, Oppelaar says it’s going to bed thinking, “‘I guess that was today. We’ll see how tomorrow goes.’” 

May 2019 21

© Zoe Deal



After Store Fire, A New Home Smokey the Rabbit, Others Adopted by Locals


ages full of active critters once filled the front windows of Hohl Feed and Seed, where mice, gerbils, and hamsters scampered on squeaky wheels. When a devastating fire destroyed the building in February, more than 70 animals, ranging from birds to bunnies, were rescued by the Bellingham Fire Department. But what to do with them? Bellingham area residents had an answer, and it took hardly any time for the community, and the local humane society, to take action. Within weeks, many of the Hohl’s animals had found their forever homes. The morning of the fire, a former 15-year Hohl employee, David Parker, sped to the scene and recognized a familiar face in the back of a Whatcom Humane Society vehicle. It was a small,

Question on the street:

What is your favorite spot to enjoy the sun? 22

greyish brown rabbit he’d thought about adopting in previous visits. “When the store burned down, I was like, ‘I have to get that rabbit,’” Parker said. The rabbit, who’s been christened “Smokey,” has found her place among Parker’s self-described “zoo” of animals at home. She has also become a familiar whiskered face at Bellingham Ace Hardware, where Parker works as assistant manager. Smokey has earned a fair bit of fame among customers, which Parker plans to use as a learning opportunity at special events. “I figured this was a good opportunity to teach people about environmentally responsible pesticides and herbicides, and gardening in general, because nobody wants to hurt a rabbit,” Parker says. “[Smokey] will be the ambassador for Ace Hardware to incorporate those ideas into our store.” As for the other animals, the majority were adopted from the Whatcom Humane Society in a special event held at the beginning of March. Kathryn Miller, a soon-to-be Western Washington University student, adopted two friendly rats and gave them dessert-themed names, Cannoli and Donut. Miller and her boyfriend had been considering pets for a while. When they heard about the Hohl’s fire, they knew it was time. The two were near the front of the line at the humane society’s adoption event in March, which attracted around 200 people, said Laura Clark, the humane society’s executive director. Thanks to an outpouring of community support, Clark suspects the remaining animals will find their forever homes quickly. If you want to adopt an animal, contact Whatcom Humane Society at Brooke Carlson

Miranda Vergillo, 22, Bellingham says she likes Waypoint Park on the Bellingham waterfront for the number of benches and the fact it’s clean and quiet.

Local Scholarship Foundation Sets Students Up for Success Mount Baker Senior High School


t a time when university costs loom larger than ever, Mount Baker Senior High School is ahead of the game. Boosted by a January donation of $1 million from alum David Morgan, the Mount Baker Scholarship Foundation now has an endowment of $2.8 million — a remarkable amount for a school that usually graduates fewer than 200 students a year. Last year, the foundation awarded 75 scholarships totaling $110,000 to 34 graduating seniors. Any student accepted to an institution of higher education can expect to receive at least one scholarship, says board member Cathy Harris. She says the number of scholarship applicants has ranged from 34 to 57 in recent years. Operated by a volunteer group of community members since 1994, the foundation accepts donations from individuals, families, and organizations and has included generations of Mount Baker graduates, teachers, and district staff. Zoe Deal

Warren Cornwall, 48, Bellingham says if he only has a few hours, he grabs his bike and either does a road ride around the Chuckanuts or a gravel ride in the country.

Heard Around The Sound

Sips and Suds in Sedro

Do April showers really bring May flowers?

Local 20 Taproom


n September, the Local 20 Taproom in Sedro-Woolley will be celebrating its two-year anniversary. The first taproom in the area, Local 20 boasts only local beers — if you’re looking for a Budweiser or a Coors, you won’t find any on tap. Instead, the staff will recommend one of the beers based on your preferences. You’re sure to find something you like with more than 10 craft options in a wide range of lagers, IPAs, porters, and more. The Local 20 also features three taps for cider and wine options. However, don’t get too attached to one favorite. In order to showcase as many local brews as possible, the kegs get rotated often. It might be a full year before you see a specific favorite again. Owner Jake Clary, 29, isn’t stopping with Local 20 —  he just opened Primal Coffee right next door. Currently featuring Fidalgo coffee, the in-house roastery just went into full operation in March, meaning Primal’s own beans are coming soon. The coffee shop and the taproom share a patio, and those not yet of drinking age can enjoy Primal’s coffee — and space — for as long as its doors are open. Primal serves pastries from 5b’s Bakery, as well as Black Magic Kitchen and Sweet and Savory Catering. The coffee house is built within a Quonset hut on the property, which dates back to World War II. Just wait, there’s more: In an effort to get the all-ages patio hours extended, Jake has a food truck in the works. He says the food truck is opening soon, and will join the Tap Truck — Local 20’s pull trailer that’s equipped with four taps able to travel anywhere. Local 20 is proud to offer a variety of events that happen frequently. Local 20 is credited for bringing comedy back to the area — they offer comedy nights every six weeks. Paint nights, hosted by Kreate with Kara, teach you how to unleash your inner Bob Ross. Another unusual event: beer yoga. With the purchase of a beer, you get a free hour of instructor-led yoga right in the brewery. Catch some of the live music featuring local bands that occurs weekly. The Local 20 Taproom Facebook page is a great place to check for all their upcoming events. Lindsey Major 102 Woodworth St., Sedro-Woolley 360.399.7662 |

Jen Milsten, 40, Bellingham says her back deck offers warm sun and it’s the first place she sees rays in the morning.



ot any more. Here in Washington, April is the month for flowers, from tulips and daffodils to cherry and apple blossoms. So where did the saying go wrong? A 2013 paper proposes that the answer is in climate change. It’s important to note that the original 1886 saying was “March winds

and April showers bring forth May flowers.” But the modern-day study, featured in the Plos One journal, looked at how temperature correlated with flowering times in the Eastern U.S. They found that, as average temperatures have increased, flowering times have historically become earlier, from the 1850s-era’s first-flowering days in mid-May to 2010’s late April. So could it be that in the Pacific Northwest, February winds and March showers now bring April flowers? It seems that way. Zoe Deal


Update: Homeless Community on the Move


fter a rough winter in the parking lot of Bellingham City Hall, spring is looking better for homeless residents of the Winter Haven tent community. Bellingham nonprofit HomesNow! filed for a new permit allowing residents to move to a section of the What-Comm 911 dispatch center’s parking lot at 620 Alabama St. until July 1. The new community, renamed Safe Haven, is expected to consist of 32

Alyssa Russell, 26, Bellingham says the water at Little Squalicum Beach is a bit iffy, but this spot offers good people-watching and plenty of driftwood for building.

homeless men and women who would live in 25 tents. Our March story said city and Whatcom County officials were researching options after the city permit was due to expire in April. During February’s deep freeze and snow, HomesNow! hustled to fund a week’s worth of emergency motel rooms for 40 people. A post on Winter Haven’s Facebook page said four residents found housing and were able to leave the community. Tyler Urke

Christy Wilson, 40, Bellingham says the tables outside Elizabeth Station in downtown Bellingham are a great place to grab a drink and relax the day away.

May 2019 23




t’s a question Leif Whittaker has been badgered with since birth: “Do you want to climb Mount Everest?” While most 8-year-olds successfully avoid presumptuous inquiries like this, when your father is Jim Whittaker — the first American to summit the world’s highest mountain peak — you’re not afforded the same luxury. Leif is, among many things, a Western Washington University graduate, Mount Baker enthusiast, published author, documentarian, and climbing ranger. And yeah, he did end up climbing Everest (twice!), but that wasn’t always part of his life plan. At age 15, he took his first steps as a mountain man when he and older brother Joss conquered 7,980-foot Mount Olympus — but if you ask Leif, “conquer” isn’t an accurate word choice, because, in retrospect, they’re lucky they survived the tricky, tough trek. “We knew nothing. We didn’t have a clue what we were doing, we were lost the whole time,” he says in an interview at downtown Bellingham’s Caffe Adagio. Despite the struggle of that first climb, the feeling of summiting the tallest peak in the Olympic mountain range was one Leif would come to highlight as a catalyst in his passion for mountaineering. This story is one of many readers can enjoy in Leif’s 2016 book, “My Old Man and the Mountain: A Memoir” which has been selected as Whatcom County Libraries’ 2019 Community Read. The book follows his life as the youngest Whittaker boy, an emotionally honest and vulnerable recount of finding a place within the Whittaker name, and climbing the tallest 24

mountain in the world. Last year, Leif was part of an acclaimed documentary, “Return to Mount Kennedy,” the Canadian peak named for President John F. Kennedy that his dad guided U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy on during a first ascent in 1965. For the film, Leif recreated the climb with his brother and Robert Kennedy’s son. At Western, Leif pursued an English degree with an emphasis in creative writing, but he discovered his writer’s spirit long before college. He spent what most would consider the most angst-ridden years of life, ages 11–15, on a prolonged family adventure in the middle of the South Pacific. “My passion for writing began when I was really bored out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with nothing better to do,” he laughs. “I started writing, keeping a log of the journey, and ever since then I’ve dreamed of writing a book.” Aside from an in-the-works writing project he’d rather not name right now, these days Leif spends several months of the year working as a climbing

ranger for the U.S. Forest Service. A more appropriate job title would be “mountain janitor,” he says. The job isn’t always glamorous (it involves cleaning up a lot of human waste), but apart from maintenance and community education, he also has the opportunity to work with children, a major highlight of his season. “I look forward to it every year. It reminds me of how excited I used to be to go outside when I was that age. You’re reminded of how special and powerful [the outdoors] is,” Leif says. It’s May, climbing season on Mount Everest. If you’re wondering, Leif says writing a book is much tougher than making the climb. For the more modest among us, start with Skyline Divide, he says. It’s one of Leif’s favorite hikes in the Mount Baker area. 

Book Reviews


A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum Harper 336 pages

Set in both Brooklyn and Palestine, it is the story of two generations of Palestinian women: Isra, a daughter of refugees, who knows only the confines of her home in Palestine yet follows a stranger in an arranged marriage to America; and her daughter Deya, who questions the plans for her future, who lives in America but is not of America, who wants to find her voice in a voiceless society. This book will take your heart and squeeze it until you cannot breathe. It will make you weep, it will make you stronger, it will give you hope in a hopeless world, it will move you like no other. It will leave your jaw on the floor as you slowly read the final paragraph. Do not miss this book; it is going to win some big awards in 2019.

Fall Back Down When I Die by Joe Wilkins Little, Brown and Company 256 pages

This debut novel is a powerful and raw look at the dry region in eastern Montana, a place seeped in hopelessness and history. The story and its characters seethe with quiet rage: the widow who drinks too much, who stuffs her memories deep, who wants to change the trajectory of her student’s lives. Then, there is the orphaned farm hand, caught in bitterness, trying to do right by his young nephew, always one step behind success; the little boy, abandoned by his drug-addicted mother, terrified, speechless, seeking safety. The story threaded through all their lives is that of Verl, who creates his own rules and regulations to live by, who battles the government, who seeks freedom through hate and violence. This beautiful and lonely land is a character itself, telling of a region with powerful emotions, fighting to be relevant in the America of today.

In the Know


May 4, 10:30 A.M. Story Time with Special Guest Annette Balcom Village Books 1200 11th St., Bellingham 360.671.2626, Author Annette Balcom hosts a meet-and-greet featuring her new book “The Creep,” which is flying off shelves at Village Books. Balcom, a former educator and reading coach, engages readers with her playfulness of the English language and emphasizes the message: “Nice matters.”

May 6, 7 P.M. ‘Know Your Islanders’ Talk San Juan Island Library 1010 Guard St., Friday Harbor 360.378.2798, Marjorie Walker first visited San Juan Island in 1949. Born to a wealthy New York family, she had attended the prestigious Art Students League in New York, and traveled the world. This talk will cover her fascinating life before she was known as the island’s first professionally trained artist.

Who Knew? Luxury Homes Oprah’s home The queen of talk show T.V., Oprah Winfrey, has a knack for buying beautiful properties from coast to coast. Of her six homes, an $8.28 million estate on Orcas Island is the most recent purchase. The property includes a guesthouse, gazebo, and sauna, all on 3,000 feet of prime island shoreline.

Eldridge Chateau The hauntingly beautiful Eldridge Chateau is one of Bellingham’s most recognizable landmarks. Built by the son of city developers Edward and Teresa Eldridge in 1926, it went on sale for $2.2 million in 2016 with looming threats of destruction for business development. Luckily, the new owners have opted for restoration instead.

Local luxury Bellingham’s most expensive home on the market, a fourbedroom on the north shore of Lake Whatcom, is priced at $2.68 million, according to Zillow. A mere $6 million will buy you a four-bedroom luxury house in Anacortes with an outstanding overlook view of Puget Sound. In the San Juan Islands, $12.5 million is the asking price for a seven-bedroom with a private beach and golf course.

Bachman Estate Who knew selling a mansion that doubled as a recording studio for the Beach Boys and Frank Sinatra, among others, could be so tough? The Bachman Estate, once owned by Randy Bachman of BachmanTurner Overdrive, spent two years on the market before being sold to Gracewood Manor LLC in 2018. Brooke Carlson

May 2019 25


WHATCOM COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM Blaine Library Blaine, 360.305.3637

Deming Library Deming, 360.592.2422

Everson Library Everson, 360.966.5100

Ferndale Library Ferndale, 360.384.3647

Island Library Lummi Island, 360.758.7145

Lynden Library Lynden, 360.354.4883

North Fork Library

Celebrating 75 Years of Storytelling Whatcom County Library System

Maple Falls, 360.599.2020

Point Roberts Library Point Roberts, 360.945.6545

South Whatcom Library Bellingham, 360.305.3632

Sumas Library Sumas, 360.988.2501



he first major library in Whatcom County was built in Fairhaven, one of 2,509 libraries funded by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie from 1883 to 1929. But with just one library to serve all of the county’s 2,503 square miles, Whatcom County needed more. On Nov. 7, 1944, in the midst of the second World War, Whatcom County voted to approve a library system. Helped by a local tax, the new library system formalized a loose network of libraries in Lynden, Ferndale, Blaine, and Sumas started by women’s clubs and organizations. Sumas became the first city to join the Whatcom County Library System in 1947, the same year the Bookmobile started to serve the county. Today, WCLS celebrates its 75th anniversary with 10 branches stretching from Sumas to Lummi Island to 26

Deming and now even northernmost Point Roberts. It operates with a 2019 budget of $9.6 million and includes a new Bookmobile for the first time in 22 years. The WCLS won’t technically mark its anniversary until November, but it’s saluting the occasion with events throughout the year.

‘HARVESTING’ HISTORY The WCLS needs your help preserving library history. It has embarked on a nine-month project involving three “History Harvest” days. During each of the three-hour “harvests” that started March 31, community members have been asked if they have photos, articles, or other memorabilia they are willing to have scanned and added to the website’s digital collection. Bring a USB drive if you would like your own digital copy.

Erin Suda, public services assistant for the WCLS, is spearheading the project. As library staff members collect memories, Suda plans to be uploading content to the Washington Rural Heritage website. It’s the first project on the website dedicated to libraries, Suda says. “We’re looking to show how Whatcom County libraries have affected people’s lives,” Suda says. “A lot of thoughtfulness has gone into this project and we’re hoping to find those treasures hidden in people’s storage.” Attendees are also encouraged to share, while being interviewed on camera, any memories or stories from their lives that include the WCLS. The harvests will be casual with pioneerthemed refreshments, Suda says, like round loaves of Great Harvest bread, smoked salmon, and apple cider.

After harvests were scheduled for the Lynden and Everson libraries earlier this year, one more remains: The Ferndale Library’s harvest is set for May 18 from 2–5 p.m.

NEW BOOKMOBILE For the first time since 1997, the WCLS is getting a new Bookmobile — a 34-foot-long, $265,000 custom-made vehicle built by Ferndale’s TriVan Truck Body, in the same recognizable bright blue as the old Bookmobile. This library on wheels serves four communities and circulates 39,800 items annually. Two staff members are always on board during service hours, distributing a variety of books, audiobooks, DVDs, and CDs for all ages. Sarah Koehler, Ferndale and Mobile Service branch manager, says people in the library system are excited — a new Bookmobile doesn’t come along every day. “It was time for an upgrade,” Koehler says. The library system is expected to get the new vehicle June 1 and it will be showcased at parades and other events throughout the summer and fall.

POINT ROBERTS Another location to celebrate the 75th anniversary is the new Point Roberts Library that opened last August. The 2,500-square-foot library, located at 1431 Gulf Rd., is next door to the library’s original home in a room of the Point Roberts Community Center. About one-third of the building is the original structure, with the rest new construction. Patrons can use their library card to access the Point Roberts Library Express, located in the entrance of the building, to pick up and check out library materials. The Express is available daily and the schedule is on the library’s website (below). The WCLS continues to expand its reach, just like it did almost eight decades ago. In December, designs were unveiled for a new library in Birch Bay.  5205 Northwest Dr., Bellingham 360.305.3600 |


Cutting Waste In Style Anmly Cafe

Zillow Real Estate & Rentals



n a world where the average restaurant creates thousands of pounds of garbage and food waste a year, one stylish Bellingham cafe is attempting to make a difference, one glass jar at a time. Since opening in January of 2019, Anmly (pronounced “anomaly”) Cafe has been serving up aesthetic lattes, smoothies, and inviting-looking food with sustainability in mind. The bright and airy shop is located in the first floor of Bellingham Towers. Owner Emile Diffley was inspired to make his space zero waste after years of working in the restaurant industry, where he saw tons of unused food and material go in the trash on a regular basis. If you’re planning on leaving Anmly with a paper or Styrofoam to-go cup in hand, you’ll be disappointed. But don’t worry. If you’re not prepared with a personal mug, the cafe offers lidded glass jars for a $1 deposit. Customers can either return their jar for their dollar back or keep it for next time. In addition to eliminating tossable to-go cups, they’ve cut down by using handmade cloth napkins, upcycled drink sleeves — even employee’s shirts are thrifted and reprinted with the Anmly logo. Diffley says the menu is always changing, so take a seat on one of the shop’s pieces of repurposed furniture and see what they have to offer.  119 N. Commercial St., Ste. 130, Bellingham 360.922.3660 |

Looking to buy your dream home? The Zillow app allows you to filter your search by price, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, home type, size, proximity to schools, and more. Check the local listings to get the “zestimate,” tax history, mortgage, and other details. Even find an agent to help you with the process.

DocuSign DocuSign The days of snail mail are (almost) a thing of the past. Buying or renting a home comes with a lot of paperwork. Now, sign and send important documents via your smartphone with DocuSign. Send your contracts and invoices while you’re on the go or without even getting off the couch.

Mortgage Calculator Quicken Loans Inc. Use this Mortgage Calculator to keep you on top of your finances while you are buying a home or refinancing. See what you can afford and view your payoff schedule. Contact information is available to call or text a Quicken Loans expert for advice.

Real Estate Dictionary Farlex, Inc. The world of real estate comes with its own language. Feeling in over your head with the lingo? Try the Real Estate Dictionary app. It works just like any dictionary, but fine-tuned to your specific real estate needs. Find the information you need on mortgages, closing costs, property types, and so much more. Lydia McClaran

May 2019 27


Five Faves


Jalapeños Big Mama With enough tequila to provide an all-night buzz, the original “Big Mama” margarita has earned notoriety around Bellingham. It’s best to try this huge, classic cocktail on the rocks during happy hour (daily 3–5:30 p.m., 9 p.m.–close, all day Sunday and Tuesday) for $7.95. Opt for the classic lime margarita, or add a flavoring like mango or strawberry for a little extra sweetness. Multiple locations, Bellingham 360.671.3099 |




Hermosa’s Traditional Margarita Head to Friday Harbor to try a classic blend of Tequila Blanco, a house-made margarita mix, and fresh muddled orange and lime at Hermosa on San Juan Island. Fresh and simple, this cocktail pairs perfectly with their homemade tamales. 140A, First St. N., Friday Harbor 360.622.8714


Taco Lobo’s Mango Margarita A sweet treat with an alcoholic kick, the mango margarita ($8) at this downtown Bellingham spot is the perfect upgrade to the traditional drink. Try it on the rocks or blended with salt for a tongue-tingling experience. 117 W. Magnolia St., Bellingham 360.756.0711 |


Treat your Mama right! Get a $25 coupon for every $150 gift card purchased. Gift Cards and coupons can be used for hotel stays, spa treatments, even restaurant dining! Purchased between May 1- May 12, 2019.


El Gitano’s Margarita This classic Mexican restaurant with locations in Bellingham, Mount Vernon, La Conner, and Burlington serves up one of the best classic concoctions around town. Stop by for a $4.99 lime margarita on the rocks during happy hour. Multiple locations 360.714.1065 |


Tadeo’s Cadillac Margarita Tequila, triple sec, Grand Marnier, and sweet and sour mix served on the rocks comes together to create the Cadillac margarita ($8.95) at Tadeo’s in downtown Bellingham. Slightly sweet and deliciously rich, this is a cocktail you won’t want to miss. 207 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.647.1862 |

Historic A UniqueHospitality Boutique May 2019 29



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Savvy Shopper · Necessities · Local Find

How ‘Bout Them Apples? Bellewood Farms Has New Owners, Name WRITTEN BY ZOE DEAL PHOTOS COURTESY OF BELLEWOOD FARMS


ellewood Farms, formerly Bellewood Acres, may have a new name and new owners, but it’s the same orchard locals have grown to cherish. Since 2002, the Whatcom County farm has been an autumn landmark, attracting families from around the state as one of western Washington’s largest apple orchards. Featuring a café, farm market, and art gallery, alongside seasonal attractions, tours, and events, Bellewood draws nearly 50,000 people each year, say owners. After 22 years, John and Dorie Belisle put down their pruners for the last time in September 2018, handing the operation over to the multigeneration … continued on next page

… Abel family, who made their way up the coast from Seattle to begin their new adventure. Bellewood’s day-to-day operations will be shared by Eric and Julie Abel, their son Blake and his wife Janelle, and kids Rowe and Raylee. They now live, work, and play on the property. Eric is acting president, Julie is the store and cafe manager, Blake oversees farm operations and acts as vice president, and Janelle is the community relations and marketing director. With a craft distillery on site, the family has plans to create Bellewood’s own hard cider to join with a collection of vodka, brandy, and gin already available. Agriculture is another top priority. The Abels believe strongly in community food systems. “Everything we’re doing is giving back to our neighbors,” says Eric. “It’s less about creating apples and more about the joy that comes from eating apples and giving nourishment.” The Bellewood Country Café is open every day from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., drawing locals throughout the cold months for delicious pastries and light breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Most of the café’s fresh ingredients come from Bellewood and its neighboring farms, something important to the Abels. “To us, it’s a natural thing that you know where your food is from,” Eric says. One of Eric’s favorite parts about the farm is knowing that Bellewood is part of a tradition that spans multiple generations of Pacific Northwesterners — that each fall, families will gather around their kitchen island to bake a pie using Bellewood apples. “There’s a warmth about eating together that’s unexplainable,” Eric says. As the sun returns to Whatcom County, Bellewood will welcome pale pink and white blossoms across its 62 acres of pear and apple trees. These blooms will be on full display at the farm’s Mother’s Day Brunch on May 12 and Father’s Day Car Show on June 16.  Bellewood Farms 6140 Guide Meridian Rd., Lynden 360.318.7720 | 32

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SHOP Necessities


Firecracker Popsicles $3.29 (12 pack), Fred Meyer

1 American Flag Float $14.99,


Celebrate Getting Out On Memorial Day

Here in Washington, Memorial Day is the hoped-for start of the summer season. If we’re lucky, the sun is finally out, the air is warm, and the outdoors is welcoming. We’ve been cooped up for months, so it’s time for optimism — invite the family to the lake, fire up the barbeque, and stock the cooler, because this Memorial Day won’t be spent indoors. We’ve pieced together everything you’ll need to have for an outdoor celebration that shows off your patriotic spirit. Lindsey Major


Americana Beach Towel $10, Target

Yeti cooler $200, Dick’s Sporting Goods

4 34

Patriotic Swimsuit $39.99,

Local Find


A Resource for Boaters in the Pacific Northwest Waggoner Guide Bookstore WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY LARA DUNNING


or two years, the Waggoner Guide Bookstore has been a fixture in historic downtown Anacortes. Located in a quaint Craftsman-style home only two blocks from Cap Sante Marina, it is both an office for a nautical book publishing and distribution company and a boating bookstore. Its top seller, the annual publication the “Waggoner Cruising Guide,” has been helping boaters navigate the Pacific Northwest for more than 25 years. This comprehensive guide covers marinas, services, navigation tips, and much more, from Olympia through Canada up to Ketchikan, Alaska.

A PLEASANT SURPRISE Having a bookstore wasn’t planned, but that changed upon the realization that boaters were interested in a bookstore. “With Anacortes being one of the top destinations for boaters, and boaters stopping by to purchase books, it made sense to set up a bookstore,” says Mark Bunzel, owner of the Waggoner Guide. “It happened very fast. I went out for our annual summer research to update the “Waggoner Cruising Guide,” and my staff put everything in place.” The bookstore is on the smaller side, but that has no bearing on what

is available. Along with the cruising guide ($29.95), which can be purchased online or as an e-book, you’ll find “Ports and Passes, Tides & Currents” ($21.95), the “Exploring Series” ($29.95 to $79.99), and the “Dreamspeaker Series” ($49.95) as well as charts, maps, fishing guides, field guides, Pacific Northwest-themed cookbooks, and a line of nautical themed children’s books. For those looking for guided expertise, the Waggoner Guide also offers annual seminars.


in May. One of the advantages of going to the bookstore is the ability to ask questions and get expert advice for trip planning. “The managing editors, Leonard and Lorena Landon, and I have been boating in this area for over 20 years and we spend a lot of time on the water for research every season,” says Bunzel. “When someone walks into the store, the staff asks where they are going [and] we can recommend the best books and maps for cruising in the Pacific Northwest, British Columbia, and Southeast Alaska.” 

All of the books can be purchased online, at the store, or at their booth at the Anacortes Boat & Yacht Show

902 8th St., Anacortes 360.299.8500 | May 2019 35

SHOP Savvy Shopper

Good Read, Good Roast Katz! Coffee and Used Books WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY ZOE DEAL

515 Front St., Lynden 360.354.2471 36

THE SHOP Family-owned and operated since 1947, Katz! Coffee and Used Books holds an offering of local flavor. Nestled in the heart of Lynden, the storefront appeals to locals and tourists alike with its warm ambiance and friendly faces. The shop offers a vast collection of books at low prices, drawing Lynden visitors in with the smell of fresh coffee roasted in-house.

THE ATMOSPHERE As you amble along downtown Lynden’s quaint Front Street, you’ll come across a narrow shop wedged amongst other small businesses. Inside, time seems to slow. The cozy furniture and soft lighting soothe the senses, eliciting a deep breath — or many. Shelves of books pull visitors deep into the shop, where you’ll find hidden reading nooks. As you read, light music and hushed conversations fill the ready silence. It’s a perfect getaway not too far from home — with no expectations and a feeling of wholeness and peace.

KEY PEOPLE Owners Ken and Sherri Stap took over the shop upon the retirement of Ken’s grandfather, John Stap, in 1987, leaving their teaching jobs in Florida soon after getting married. With kind eyes and a ready smile, Michigan-native Sherri, 56, admits she’s not much of a reader, but visitors can credit her for Katz!’s out-of-this-world coffee. It was Sherri’s idea to bring coffee into the shop, and, when a gift shop in town began to offer the same Fidalgo

Specialty Coffee beans, begin a successful roasting adventure. You’ll find Sherri or one of two employees holding down the fort at any given time, while Ken, 62, works as the information technology specialist for Western Washington University’s psychology department.

WHAT YOU’LL FIND Once a Christian bookstore, Katz! still has a large section for the religious reader, from marriage to finance and education to family. Fiction titles appear in tall shelves that stretch in layers to the back of the space. Though the collection is largely modern paperbacks, you can find classics and beautifully aged hardcovers displayed in between. After you’ve found a book, order from a selection of coffee and cold drinks. Don’t be surprised if you’re blown away by the fantastic espresso — it’s fresher than you’ll get at any chain coffee shop.

OWNER’S FAVORITE Sherri has a soft spot for espresso. Behind the counter, she experiments with ingredients and flavors. The espresso is blended from a tried-and-tested combination of African, Indian, and Central American beans, creating a rich, robust flavor that’s neither bitter nor overpowering. Lately, she’s gone away from traditional milk, instead combining almond and coconut with a splash of half-and-half. Sherri’s current favorite flavor is a pump of lavender with a bit of vanilla, just enough to come through the espresso flavor. 

May 2019 37


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WELLBEING Nutrition · Take a Hike · Beauty

Smoothie, To Go Blended Greens, Fruit Put Spring In Your Step WRITTEN BY ARLENÉ MANTHA


s the days get longer, so do our to-do lists. Spring is nature’s alarm clock after our long, sleepy Northwest winters. It’s easy to find ourselves overlooking the most important meal of the day, especially when we begin to get busy. Unfortunately, that is when we need that breakfast fuel the most. … continued on next page

… Thankfully, nature comes to our rescue and provides us the raw ingredients to create a simple, healthy, and sustainable morning meal. The convenience about morning smoothies is that you can prepare the ingredients in advance, freeze them for the week, then each morning, toss your prepped ingredients into a blender and voila! You have reached your day’s quota of fruits, veggies and protein packed into your first meal. Smoothies are easy to take on the run, or enjoy at home before headed out for the rest of the day. Thinking of spring, as a season I associate the words “greens,” “growth,” “life,” and “lush.” The gardens thrive, flowers bleed color and the grass becomes greener. Directly from the earth is where our key ingredients will come from, whether you grow them yourself or shop from your local grocery store. The great thing about smoothies is that the ingredients are interchangeable. Berries and greens work just as well as bananas and greens. Add peanut butter, sun butter or almond butter to add a boost of protein. To get a thicker texture and colder smoothie, it helps to freeze the fruits and veggies in advance.



INSTRUCTIONS • Place all ingredients into blender. • Blend away! 


© Arlené Mantha

1 frozen banana, cut into eighths 3 cups unsweetened almond milk 1 handful of kale, spinach, sprouts 1/2 cup frozen blueberries 1/4 cup flax meal Your favorite protein powder 1/4 cup frozen avocado, almond butter OR a tablespoon of coconut oil for healthy fats



pimples? It’s biology!” I want you to know these images are not real or normal — even newborns get acne. The reality is that when it comes to putting yourself on display, some people are better than others with makeup application and concealing skin imperfections.




n my 25 years of experience as a skin therapist, it’s abundantly clear to me that skin conditions, like acne, are directly related to our self-esteem and overall self-image. The truth is, negative feelings about your skin often turn into negative emotions. I’m extremely passionate about women and youth maintaining realistic views on acne. The issue of self-worth is tied into beauty; it affects how we move through our day and the decisions we make. Acne, even mild breakouts, has a huge impact on your life and selfconfidence. But when you have acne combined with aging, or are a teenager, it is a double-whammy of negative emotional feedback loops.

THE AGES OF ACNE Acne occurs at many ages, and varies in severity. Tweens and teens are the most common age groups to experience breakouts, but the impact is the same no matter how old you are. Mid20s to 30s is often when adult onset

acne occurs, usually on the heels of hormonal changes due to pregnancy or nursing. When we hit menopause, it’s like having a second “hormonal teenager” with acne rearing again! And for post-menopausal women, it’s not uncommon to experience clogged pores and bumpy skin. It is important to realize that acne is caused by genetics and linked to hormonal changes. As much as we dislike dealing with pimples, it’s normal for our skin to break out — it’s just that some people are more prone than others. Learning how to properly treat and manage breakouts is key.

THE PRESSURE TO BE FLAWLESS There is increasing pressure to look flawless due to social media, app filters and airbrushed magazine ads. The younger generation are masters with filters. It has created a false impression of reality. As a seasoned skin therapist who has seen skin up close for decades, I look at media and I think, “What the heck? Where are the blackheads and

When someone struggles with any degree of acne, they often feel it is the only thing others notice about them. And it’s this hyper-focus on their breakouts that changes how they see themselves and how they show up in the world. To me, this is a very serious issue. Not only has their skin condition been carving out a deep-seated belief that they’re not good enough to shine “their light” — their self-worth is completely wrapped up in worrying about their skin. Another observation I’ve made is the discrepancy in how some clients describe their skin. Their mental picture and descriptions of their acne simply do not portray the truth about their skin. My favorite morning tip to support a new, healthier habit of selfperspective is to move to a different mirror, away from the bright bathroom lights, and view yourself from arms’ length before you decide how good your skin looks today. I believe real beauty comes from the inside and can shine brightly when it has an opportunity to feel safe. And even though when dealing with acne there is no such thing as an instant cure, if you are able to manage your own expectations and work with a professional who understands the science behind this condition, your stress and anxiety about your skin shifts to relief, followed by lovely boost of self-worth as it begins to heal. While you may not have the skin you want today, with a collaborative and supportive approach to healing acne, there is hope for clearer skin in your future. 

May 2019 41

WELLBEING Special Advertising

Don’t Let Your Knees Slow You Down Preventing Knee Injuries is Possible with Proper Diet and Exercise


ur knees are vital to our everyday activity. Knees help to propel us across the finish line of our first half marathon, to tend to the fruits and vegetables growing in our garden and to teach our children how to jump rope. Caring for your knees should be a central part of your overall healthcare routine, through exercise, diet and awareness. Daily care now, and every day moving forward, can save you from pain or injury in the future.

THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF KNEE INJURIES INCLUDE: Patellofemoral dysfunction: kneecap tracking issues, which respond well to exercises to improve strength and alignment. ■■ Meniscal tears: these issues tend to happen when the knee is bent and/or making a twisting motion such as when planting the foot and then moving (either to the left or right) in sports like football, soccer, basketball and tennis; they can respond well with exercises but if they are larger or impede motion causing locking they may require intervention by an orthopedic surgeon. ■■ Ligament sprains or muscle strains: these also happen with loaded sudden forces, such as in sports, and benefit from physical therapy rehabilitation during the healing process; if a complete tear occurs, it would require intervention by an orthopedic surgeon. ■■ Arthritis: this is often seen in a knee that has had previous injury; arthritis responds well to exercises to maintain motion and improve strength but as the process continues patients often begin getting pain at rest and pain that limits activities at which time they need to see and orthopedic surgeon. “It’s important to remember that we can’t always control what happens to our body. You may develop arthritis in your knees no matter how healthy of a lifestyle you live,” said Kenny Burke, manager of rehabilitation services for PeaceHealth in Northwest Washington. “That being said, you can give yourself the best chance by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.” ■■

STAY ACTIVE Most healthcare providers agree that getting 30–45 minutes of low to moderate activity each day is key to both our cardiovascular health and the health of our knees and joints. The key here is lowimpact exercise to build healthy muscle tone and create good joint mobility, allowing your body to stay loose and limber. “Running, cycling and swimming are all great forms of exercise, if your joints are healthy,” says Burke. “Walking is vastly underrated and it’s a great way to stay healthy.” The key here is low-impact exercise to build healthy muscle tone and create good joint mobility, allowing your body to stay loose and limber. 42

In addition to cardio-focused exercise, strength training is also important. Scientific studies have shown that keeping the muscles around the knee joint strong will reduce the force and wear on the knee joint. The key is to exercise safely and choose sports, activities and movements that reduce your risk of injury.

MOVE SAFELY While it’s important to stay strong and active, it’s also vital to use good body mechanics to maintain best joint function and avoid overuse injuries. “To help prevent knee problems, practice good alignment of the lower extremity by keeping the knee lined up over the toes and not allowing the knee to deviate inwards or outwards,” says Sylvie DeRham Tortorelli, a physical therapist for PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center in Bellingham. Don’t forget to stretch and be sure to warm up first. Stretching can help with flexibility.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET & WEIGHT Although no diet cure for joint pain or arthritis exists, some foods have been shown to fight inflammation and strengthen bones. An ‘anti-inflammatory’ diet (similar to the so-called Mediterranean diet) can be ideal, with an emphasis on fish, fruits, vegetables and olive oil, among other food staples. “The scientific data supports the benefits of an antiinflammatory diet,” said Christine Michaelis, nutrition services manager at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center. “In particular, eating fish like salmon, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and can help reduce inflammation and joint pain.” Weight is also a contributing factor to both common and series knee issues. When you walk on level ground, your knees bear the force of your body-weight. For every pound we carry on our body, three pounds moves through our knees.

SIGNS OF INJURY If you have started a new workout routine and experience marginal pain, don’t worry. “Minor joint pain in the knees with new or unusual activity is not uncommon and typically resolves on its own,” says DeRham Tortorelli. Be mindful of changes to your body during or after exercise, with attention on added intensity or frequency. Your body needs proper time to rest and recover. Compression, such as an ace bandage, and elevation can be good for the knee. Ice for knee injuries and heat application for arthritis are also recommended. Continued knee pain can indicate something more serious than temporary pain from overuse. “Signs to watch for would include pain progression, the knee is not getting better,” says Burke. “If you can’t put weight on your knee or you can’t full extend your leg, if you are unable to bend or straighten your leg. These are signs that you should contact your healthcare provider.”

BE KIND TO YOUR KNEES We often take our knees for granted because they are such a natural part of our everyday lives. Is knee pain inevitable? Common, yes. Inevitable, no. There are steps you can take — both literally and figuratively — to keep them safe…knobby or otherwise. 

Don’t let pain keep you off the path Whether you’re hiking through wilderness or biking on the back roads, don’t let joint pain slow you down. PeaceHealth Medical Group Orthopedics & Sports Medicine can help keep you moving with surgical and non-surgical care including fracture management, joint replacement and repair.

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Urban Living Pros and Cons Written by Meri-Jo Borzilleri Photographed by Zoe Deal and Kelly Pearce


e are living in boom times. Residential living units, whether apartments or condos, seem to be sprouting just about everywhere you look, especially in and around Bellingham. But with overdeveloped Seattle as a cautionary tale just a couple hours south, we need to get it right in our lovely neck of the woods. Urban living in planned communities where you can walk to amenities like grocery stores, shops, and other services, is a logical step, some say, for cities that want to control growth by building within city limits or developments. Planning experts advocate urban villages as the future for city dwelling, where you can work, relax, and play close to where you live. We took a look at Bellingham’s urban villages, from Barkley Village to Old Town and downtown, from the Fountain District to Fairhaven, to find out the pros and cons of living there, and what our future might hold.


May 2019 45

Bellingham is Growing. Will Urban Villages Keep Us from Ruining Our City? Written by Meri-Jo Borzilleri / Photographed by Zoe Deal and Kelly Pearce


reg Jipson is sipping a warm beverage at the Barkley Village Starbucks at 9 a.m. on a chilly late-winter Monday, where he begins most his mornings. Outside, Jipson’s dog, a curly-haired, jacketed Shih Tzu named Cody, waits for him in the car parked on Barkley Village’s main drag, Newmarket Street. Jipson’s routine, since retiring and moving to this planned community four years ago, is to use Starbucks as a “launching pad” for his day, one that might include volunteer work at the local Habitat for Humanity Store or going to a yoga class at the fitness center nearby.

Here, everything’s more central,” he says. It’s fewer steps to the bedroom, kitchen, den. Outside, the same applies. He can walk to Starbucks (though he prefers to drive) or Haggen Food and Pharmacy for groceries, then meet friends for a margarita at Jalapeños. The dentist is down the street, and so is the library, the gallery and gift store, brew pub, more restaurants. The 16-screen megaplex movie theater is across the way. He peppers his conversation with various versions of “I love it here.”

“It was the perfect move for me. Here, everything’s more central.” Greg Jipson, Barkley Village

Walkability a Big Factor

The 67-year-old Jipson, a Bellingham native, worked 40 years (31 as an electrician) at the Alcoa Intalco Works aluminum plant in Ferndale. These days, he talks about his life at Barkley Village with gratitude and a bit of disbelief. “Prior to retirement I raced the clock for every hour I could get,” he says. Now he lives in a one-bedroom, two-bath condo in Barkley Village’s Drake condominiums, where he moved from a bigger, two-level townhouse in south Bellingham the same month he retired, finalized his divorce, and got Cody. “It was the perfect move for me. 46

Greg Jipson and Cody, Barkley Village residents

During February’s snow days, “I woke up to other people shoveling... I walked down to Haggen, got my fresh salad and walked home. How can you beat that?” From the Fairhaven district to Cordata Parkway, Bellingham is in the midst of a residential building boom. Downtown, several residential and commercial projects are underway, including the historic Leopold’s conversion to a hotel and apartments. In Fairhaven, condos and apartments are barely keeping up with demand. And it’s not just retiring baby boomers preferring the urban life. Millennials (those born between the early 1980s and 1990s) want to work, play, and socialize close to where they live.

Key To The Future?

Bellingham city planners are betting urban living is key to our future. Bellingham has adopted the concept of urban villages — pockets of city-type districts within the city — as a hedge against runaway growth. As of July 2018, Bellingham’s population had grown to an estimated 89,045, up from 80,885 in the 2010 U.S. census. The city defines urban villages as “activity centers that provide pleasant living, shopping and working environments; strong pedestrian accessibility; adequate, well-located public spaces; a connected street system; and a balance of retail, office, and residential uses.” The idea is to attract development and growth to areas that have existing infrastructure and public amenities, rather than building outward and risking urban sprawl. Urban village designation allows areas like Fairhaven or Barkley Village to get financial incentives and tax exemptions from the city. The urban village concept (see p. 50) has drawn debate. Critics say emphasis on infill siphons attention and funding from affordable single-family homes and neighborhoods in favor of stacked development and apartments. They argue incentives would be better

used to tackle Whatcom County’s stagnant wages, spur job growth, and fix crumbling infrastructure. Bellingham has given the following areas urban village designations, according to the city’s website: Downtown, Fairhaven, the Fountain District, the downtown Waterfront District, Old Town, and Samish Way. (The city has not formally designated Barkley Village as an urban village, but it is included in plans as one.) Other areas, like the fastgrowing Cordata neighborhood, are likely to get urban village designation in the future.

Skagit County Growth Controversial

In places like Skagit County, the debate is similar — developers have been trying for more than a decade to move forward on a 1,244-acre, mixed-use development that includes 3,500 homes in rural Skagit County. While the debate goes on, places like downtown Bellingham, Barkley Village and Fairhaven are seeing a surge in construction of residential spaces. Just listen to Fairhaven’s Joan Pickens, 52. After years living in Whatcom County, she first moved to a downtown Bellingham apartment, then to a one-bedroom, one-bathroom condo on 12th Street. “I love the urban concept in a town like this,” says Pickens, a 25-year employee of Western Washington University’s Huxley College. “It’s really convenient. I can walk to the grocery store, the library, restaurants, a great bookstore. There are places to go jogging — I’m right near the [Interurban] trail here. I’ve got the bay, I can walk down to Boulevard Park. It’s just really idyllic for me.” Howard Siegel fully retired little more than a year ago after a career as a manufacturer’s representative in Chicago. “I drove 25,000 miles a year at least,” he says. “Now I don’t even drive 5,000.”…

“I’ve got the bay, I can walk down to Boulevard Park. It’s just really idyllic for me.” Taylor Dock, Fairhaven, leading to Boulevard Park

Joan Pickens, Fairhaven resident

May 2019 47

“The mayor (and city officials) are really encouraging us to do more residential.” Stowe Talbot, Co-owner of The Barkley Company

Cornerstone Building, Barkley

“It was a little bit of a test of faith to move out here.” Julie Coull, Owner Hamann’s Gallery and Gift


Barkley Village Has Room to Grow … Urban living wasn’t always so popular. At Barkley Village, a 250-acre development started in 1997, Hamann’s Gallery and Gift was one of a handful of early businesses moving in during the winter of 1997–98. “It was a little bit of a test of faith to move out here,” say longtime owner Julie Coull, standing inside her store on a bright spring afternoon. The move paid off. Now, Newmarket Street, anchored by early tenant Haggen, is brimming with businesses mostly either local (Haggen, Bob’s Burgers & Brew) or upscale (MOD Pizza, Urban Collective). Barkley Village has a lot of room to grow, and the plan is to accelerate that in the near future, says Stowe Talbot, the second-generation co-owner of The Barkley Company and development. “We need more residences out there,” says Talbot in a phone interview. “That’ll be probably the bulk of what we do over the next 20 or 30 years.” Construction on a 91-unit apartment complex, the Weatherby, starts this summer, adding to the 36-unit condo complex where Jipson lives, and the 116-unit Cornerstone Building apartments. Talbot wants to have a hotel built in the next decade. “Housing in particular, there’s an insatiable demand for that.” They have what the city doesn’t — lots of land. “The mayor (and city officials) are really encouraging us to do more residential.” Barkley Village is working on the community charm that’s natural for historic Fairhaven. Activities like wine and whiskey walks, running races, music and festivals on the Barkley Village Green are helping. Fairhaven’s Wednesday Farmers Market is moving to Barkley, where popular fundraiser Handbags for Housing is set for June 6 this year.

Focus Moves to Residential Drawing an age-diverse population is a goal, says Talbot, who is exploring bringing subsidized senior housing to Barkley. Along with a popular trail network, Talbot wants to see tennis courts and children’s play areas, an indoor swimming pool, and a health club — maybe even a partnership with the YMCA. Barkley’s build has been slow and deliberate, striving for the right retail mix. Talbot hopes to do the same with residential. He wants to avoid noise, crowding and overdevelopment, planning to add a building each year for the near future. But for some, the genie’s already out of the bottle. The amenities and historic charm that make Fairhaven popular might be doing too good a job. Fairhaven parking has become a huge problem, and residential towers are changing more than just the skyline. One of the reasons Siegel, the retiree from Chicago, moved to Fairhaven is he loved the bay view from his balcony, where he could watch the ferry come and go. But recently, a new building wiped out his view. “It’s growing. That’s the negative,” he says. “But who am I to complain, coming from Chicago?” 

Howard Siegel, Fairhaven resident

New construction, Fairhaven


Bellingham Urban Living 89,045

Bellingham estimated population (as of July 2018)


Total jobs in the city of Bellingham (Washington State Employment Securities Department data, mid-2017)


Housing units within the city of Bellingham (as of May 2018)


Percent of housing units contained in urban villages


New housing units built in city’s urban villages

May 2019 49

Status Report


City of Bellingham Weighs In On Its Urban Villages

o help control anticipated growth, the city of Bellingham devised a 2016 Comprehensive Plan. The city has put an emphasis on developing urban villages, defined as “activity centers that provide pleasant living, shopping and working environments; strong pedestrian accessibility; adequate, well-located public spaces; a connected street system; and a balance of retail, office, and residential uses.” Some of Bellingham’s urban village districts are thriving, others are slow to move or stalled. Here are some pros and cons of each, as of the city’s most recent urban village status report in December 2018.

*Information below is from the city’s December 2018 Urban Village Status Report

Samish Way Urban village plan adopted in November 2009 Land area  69 acres Estimated population 315 Housing units  169; 815 estimated projected by 2036

Pros  Proximity to I-5, downtown and Western Washington University; popular bus route.

Cons  Lack of public gathering spaces or amenities, current rents and land values; groundfloor commercial requirement; decreased walkability.


Waterfront District

Urban village plan adopted in August 2012

Urban village plan adopted in December 2013

Land area  190 acres Estimated population 1,194 Housing units  633; 971 estimated projected by 2036

Land area  240 acres Estimated population 0 Housing units  None. A 2013 estimate projects 810 new housing units by 2036

Pros  Highly desirable location for residential and businesses; evolved village with a number of amenities; transportation hub (Amtrak, Greyhound, ferries); walkable community.

Cons  Increasingly unaffordable due to market demand; lack of parking; restrictive development regulations like height limits.


Pros  Waterfront location; nearby dense, historic neighborhoods and high-quality large public park and Whatcom Creek; proximity to downtown; beach access; open space for redevelopment.

Cons  Environmental constraints (shoreline setbacks, view setbacks, height limits); current design standards borrowed from other urban villages (not specific to this waterfront); extended time spent planning as lots remain vacant.

Fountain District Urban village plan adopted in 2010 Land area 90 acres Estimated population 874 Housing units 398 in 2013; 657 estimated projected by 2036

Pros Historic commercial center, walkable, close to downtown, on-street parking. Cons Limited land supply, small lots difficult to consolidate.



Old Town

No formal city designation as urban village, but was developed as such and fulfills the same functions

Most recent development plan adopted in Sept. 2014

Urban village plan adopted in March 2008

Land area  275 acres Estimated population 3,434 Housing units  1,983; 4,950 estimated by 2036

Land area  51 acres Estimated population 142 Housing units  82 in 2013; 546 estimated by 2036

Pros  Pedestrian-friendly environment;

place management for residents and businesses; mix of commercial, service, entertainment, and office space; property owner’s investment in public space has further enhanced desirability.

many new businesses opening, healthy entrepreneurship; more diversity, college town; local business experience. Downtown community embraces change; open to new designs, businesses, experimentation, evolution.

Pros  Waterfront access and proximity to the downtown Arts District; great location near dense, historic neighborhoods; high-quality large public park and Whatcom Creek; historic properties like train station courthouse and others create character.

Cons  Wetlands and critical areas

Cons  Some design standards need

Cons  High-impact industrial

may limit buildable area; lack of formal urban village plan promotes coordination between the Barkley Co. and the city on a piecemeal basis; current zoning (industrial designation) may not be suitable for current and future growth needs; city design review regulations and process may be substandard to one already in place.

to be reevaluated against current goals for the district; streetscape design requirements are unclear and difficult to standardize due to the variation in different areas of Downtown; emerging Waterfront District is both an opportunity and a risk for downtown businesses.

use not compatible with residential development; historic landfill requires pilings, increasing construction costs; homeless services center creates perception of lack of safety, cleanliness.

Land area  259 acres Estimated population 417 Housing units  271; 1,189 estimated by 2036

Pros  High-quality design and

May 2019 51

Fairhaven, On the Move Who’s Living in All Those New Buildings? Written by Meri-Jo Borzilleri / Photographed by Zoe Deal


.J. Donovan, the engineer, businessman, and visionary who laid out plans for Fairhaven at the turn of the 19th century, would barely recognize Fairhaven today. But you only have to go back to the last decade or so to be astonished — and maybe a little alarmed — at how quickly Fairhaven has been transformed into a bustling urban district. New construction — mostly residences or mixed-use buildings — abound. Vacant lots are sprouting multi-story towers, prompting an influx of residents and a question: Who are these people

snapping up apartments and Fairhaven condominiums at upwards of $350 a square foot and turning Fairhaven from a sleepy, even grungy Bellingham outpost to the chic residential and tourist destination it is today?

Most Buyers: Locals and Seattle Refugees Coldwell Banker Bain realtor Gennie Clawson and colleague Eric Larson say people are looking to Fairhaven as a place to downsize, retire, or buy a first home as a young couple. In general, Larson says they

come from a variety of places. About a third are locals from Bellingham’s southside looking to trade their house for a low-fuss condo. Another big group — second-home owners or those seeking refuge from Seattle’s traffic and high-priced real estate. Then there’s the couple from San Francisco buying a getaway property, residents from Canada’s British Columbia looking for an affordable space, a Seattle couple buying a studio for their Western Washington University student daughter, and an East Coast retired couple who made the big move to live here fulltime.

“We’re in a rising market. You’re buying a neighborhood, really.” J.J. Donovan statue, Fairhaven


Eric Larson, Coldwell Banker Bain realtor

Condos, Apartments Booming

Clawson’s research shows more than 200 new condo units alone have been added to Fairhaven’s housing inventory since 2005, when Harris Square added 58 units in three commercial/residential buildings. More buildings are coming, like the distinctive Fairhaven Tower, expected to feature 35 apartments, a penthouse level, and 5,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Due for completion in late summer of 2020, it is designed to include a clock tower 93 feet above the ground and be reminiscent of the historic Fairhaven Hotel, a landmark from the late 1800s. “We’re in a rising market,” says Larson, who says most properties sell in fewer than 30 days. “You’re buying a neighborhood, really.” Joan Pickens, 52, is a 25-year employee of Western’s Huxley College. She lives in a condo in the Fairhaven Gardens building, above The Filling Station restaurant. After living outside the city in Whatcom County, following her divorce she moved to a small apartment downtown and had been shopping for months for a Fairhaven condo. Now, in her 800-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bath on the fourth floor of her terraced building, she sounds like she’s living her dream. “This is where I was looking,” she says. “For me, it’s close to work. I like the little urban-village thing where you can just walk out your door. I like Fairhaven and I think the house values are good here. I felt like this was a good place to buy.” …


Fairhaven District Owner vs. Renter 59 percent owner occupied (396 v. 268 units)*

Average Cost (2018) 1 bedroom

$269,000 2 bedroom

$490,000 3 bedroom

$486,000 (no view, a distance from Fairhaven center)

Population End of 2019 (projected)

1,350 2010

900 (U.S. Census Bureau)

Price Per Square Foot $350 and up

3 Total number of units for sale on a day in early March, ranging in price from $380,000 (a 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom) to $680,000 (2 bed, 3 bath) *Info courtesy of Gennie Clawson, realtor, Coldwell Banker Bain

May 2019 53

Chrysalis Hotel & Spa, Fairhaven

Noise, Even Train, Not Bad … When asked if there are any downsides, she thinks hard. “Sometimes you have noise,” she finally comes up with. “Not really often. People coming out of bars or restaurants, they forget themselves. That’s usually the only noise, in summer when the windows are open.” Train noise, a source of controversy for years — Fairhaven’s Chrysalis Hotel & Spa has a card at the front desk warning guests of noise — isn’t bad, Pickens says. “They definitely don’t blow the horn as much as they used to.” She likes to get out, but also is content to stay in and play her guitar. The building has underground parking, a plus as Fairhaven grapples with on-street parking. “I feel very safe here,” she says, with “somewhat private, pretty friendly” neighbors. “In a condo, you’re so close to each other…I haven’t even heard the neighbors at all, so this condo happens to be built really well.” She doesn’t mind that it’s uphill to Western, because it’s “really not that bad of a walk.” Pickens usually drives, but can also take the bus. 54

“I like the little urban-village thing where you can just walk out your door.” Joan Pickens, Fairhaven

Fairhaven’s walkable streets

Trains run through Fairhaven

Ditching Lawn Mower, Snow Shovels Howard Siegel, 72, moved here from Chicago to be closer to his daughter after his wife passed away. Now a retired electronic manufacturer’s representative, Siegel used to do business here. He lived most of his adult life in a house. Since 2013 he has rented a Fairhaven apartment in the McKenzie Square building on 10th Street and McKenzie. Owning a house with a yard? He’s over it. “When I

moved here, I dropped my lawn mower and snow shovels at my daughter’s house and that was it,” he says. Siegel, who enjoys volunteering at the Pickford Film Center, has a balcony and loves the proximity to mountains and water. Since it’s an apartment building, neighbors are “fairly transient” with six- to ninemonth leases offered, but he’s fine with that. He and another long-term

resident, Steve, have a standing deal that if they’re both in town, they’ll do Sunday brunch. When Siegel wants to get out of town, he can sling a duffle bag over his shoulder and walk to the train station for a trip to see family in Portland. In the warmer months, he walks to his other volunteer job at Fairhaven’s Community Boating Center. “I love it here,” he says. “It’s perfect for me.” 

“When I moved here, I dropped my lawn mower and snow shovels at my daughter’s house and that was it.” Howard Siegel, Fairhaven

May 2019 55

Historic view of Harris Ave., looking west from Fairhaven Hotel

Tale of Two Fairhavens

Fairhaven Hotel, built in 1890

Fairhaven Hotel a Grand Icon of the Past


Written by Meri-Jo Borzilleri Photos Courtesy of Whatcom Museum


uilt in 1890, during the boom years of 1890– 1892, the grand Fairhaven Hotel was a symbol of Fairhaven’s optimism and excitement. Most of that mood was due to the anticipation that Fairhaven, one of four settlements that later combined to become Bellingham, would be selected the terminus for the Great Northern Railroad. The hotel was completed in 1890, costing a reported $150,000 to build and another $150,000 to furnish, according to The railroad terminus did not come to pass (Seattle was chosen instead), but the plush hotel remained, with its intricate exterior and well-known tower and spire. The business weathered the financial panic of 1893, and for several years was the place to be, hosting social gatherings, 14-course dinners, and conventions. Literary giant Mark Twain was a brief guest (his short stay nonetheless earned him a statue dedicated last year in front of Village Books). The hotel closed in 1899, according to The family of prominent Fairhaven businessman C.X. Larrabee then took up lone residence in the hotel, but moved to the current Lairmont Manor building in 1916 after Larrabee’s death. The hotel later was home to other businesses along with private residences, but deteriorated over the years. The hotel officially closed in 1931, later opening as a county recreation center. A massive fire gutted the structure in 1953, and a few years later, a Richfield Oil Co. gas station moved onto the cleared lot.  56



Lovable local legend Daniel J. Harris, known more commonly by his nickname, “Dirty Dan,” files for the original 85-block plot of land that would soon become Fairhaven.

Iconic buildings, including the Fairhaven Carnegie Library and the Fairhaven Pharmacy, are built. Rich with history, Fairhaven has 17 buildings built between 1889 and 1929 that remain standing today.

1888–1892 The boomtown era, as the population jumps from 150 to 8,000 in just one year (1889–1890) — largely due to anticipation from developers like C.X. Larrabee that the city would be chosen as the final stop on The Great Northern Railway.

1903 Fairhaven is consolidated with the cities of Whatcom and Sehome to form the greater Bellingham area we know today.

1942–1943 The original Kulshan Club building, Fairhaven’s primary men’s social club built in 1909, is converted to apartment use.

1953 The Fairhaven Hotel building, which once (briefly) hosted Mark Twain before its financial collapse in 1922, is destroyed by a devastating fire. The property is sold for $2,500.

Fairhaven Tower a Symbol of Fairhaven’s Development Today 1960–1972


Many of the historic buildings and developments begin to deteriorate without necessary renovations. Around this time, Bellingham becomes known as a “hippie haven,” with Fairhaven as the mecca. The counter-culturists find a home in the somewhat dilapidated neighborhood.

Fairhaven becomes a transportation hub when the ferry to Alaska began operations, followed by a new Amtrak train station that moved into a renovated historic brick warehouse in 1995. This is the final northbound U.S. stop before entering Canada.



With the threat of historic buildings being torn down from then-mayor Reginald Williams, Bellingham native Ken Imus steps in to buy the rundown structures with renovation in mind. Over the following years, Imus would replace a hippie hotspot with a quaint, tourism-centered district.

The neighborhood experiences a leap in urban development, particularly in condominiums and multi-use buildings. Fairhaven Gardens, Harris Square, and 12th Street Village are built.

1980 Residents of Fairhaven come together to create the first neighborhood report. This will be used to guide the development of the area, until the Fairhaven Neighborhood and Urban Village Plan is approved in 2012.

2015–2019 More multi-use buildings are planned and built within the area, including the Orca Building next to the Fairhaven Library, and the Fairhaven Harbor Luxury Apartments, which feature 60 apartments with high-end amenities, including a dog spa. Brooke Carlson

Written by Meri-Jo Borzilleri / Photo Courtesy of Zervas Group


ith a nod to the past, Fairhaven Tower is designed to be a conspicuous symbol of Fairhaven district’s future with its combination of residential and retail. Construction on the five-story building at 12th Street and Harris Avenue, across from the Fairhaven Pharmacy building, began early this year and is expected to be finished by summer 2020. It will fill an empty lot once occupied by a gas station and familiar to some because of a hot-dog stand that once set up shop there. With a distinctive clock tower rising 93 feet above street level, the project will dwarf most structures in Fairhaven, similar to how the old Fairhaven Hotel did two centuries ago. The building, with its 35-unit rental apartments and 5,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space built mostly in familiar red brick, will have a big impact on Fairhaven’s main commercial district both in the space it will occupy and in its retail presence. The project is designed by Bellingham’s Zervas Group to be reminiscent of the past-era Fairhaven Hotel, an iconic presence in Fairhaven when it opened in 1890 before a fire decimated it 66 years later. Bellingham’s Alliance Properties, the developer, originally planned to recreate the grand hotel when it purchased part of the property in 2008, but changed to apartments to meet demand. Fairhaven Tower will feature upscale apartments and fifth-floor penthouses, along with a parking area and plans for a second building in the project’s next phase.  May 2019 57

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Chuckanut Crest View Home Modern Rebuild Offers Technology and Versatility WRITTEN BY LINDSEY MAJOR


ocated on beautiful Chuckanut Crest with sweeping views of the bay, this modern home was designed with intent. The kitchen has multi-purpose features, such as the island built on a metal frame with rollers that allows it to serve either as one long island, or, if pulled apart, a separate formal dining area. The homeowners frequently host dinner parties with high-profile guests in the culinary industry, so ensuring the proper entertaining space was key. The table can also roll out onto the patio through the floor-to-ceiling lift and sliding glass doors. The homeowners ordered this glass specifically from Poland; it’s difficult to get cuts of glass this large in the U.S. At the top of the stairs, a quaint library nest makes for a cozy nook where, below the bookshelves, low, large windows allow for the perfect natural reading light.  Architect  Ryan Stephenson, Stephenson Design Collective Builder  Jerry Richardson, Indigo Designs Northwest Photographer  Radley Muller … continued on next page

HABITAT Featured Home

This reading nook (above) provides cozy contrast to the home’s sharp, edgy design. The room’s low window helps provide the perfect natural reading light. Fluffy pillows, bookshelves, and a wooden side table add an extra level of warmth and comfort, just right for curling up with a good book.


It was imperative that the homeowner, a big player in the cooking industry, had a kitchen that was functional, accommodating, and state-of-the-art. The table, on rollers, can be joined with the island or separated for more formal dining. The patio overlooks the water, where the table can be set for gorgeous views.

Sleek edges and a chiseled look highlight the home’s exterior, with wood and metal features combining to produce a modernindustrial aesthetic. The home, a new build, is surrounded by landscaping carefully selected and placed, with room to grow.

May 2019 61




y client’s husband had recently passed away, and her daughter contacted me as a means to brighten her mother’s mood. The client and her husband had been dreaming of remodeling their home and just never thought the time was right. So when her family contacted me and asked if I could take on this special project and handle every detail of the kitchen redo

so their mother wouldn’t have any worries, I cheerfully said yes. When we arrived on-site, we saw a tired little house, with uneven floors, a sagging ceiling, and outdated features. It had been 40 years since this small home had seen any updates and it was past due for a refresh. We gutted the kitchen while salvaging the newer appliances, and did an overhaul on the floor plan.

Adding a layer of drywall to the ceiling and redoing the subfloor was a start. Despite a tight budget, we were able to install gorgeous maple hardwoods, customized cabinetry, quartz countertops and a beautiful herringbone backsplash. Interestingly, my client had a miniature hot water tank positioned in the corner base cabinet of her kitchen. We replaced her tank, moved it to the … continued on page 64



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… garage, and now in its place is a functional Lazy Susan with added storage. What was a small-looking, dark, uninviting space is now a light and bright kitchen. One of her favorite things is the stunning glass lighting package that offers both task and function with the ideal visual integrity. Listed here are a few challenges during this project and how our team resolved each:

Uneven floors. We did a complete demolition — removed old ceramic tile, added Hardiebacker cement board, then a particle board sub-floor. Then, we reinstalled the plywood sub-floor. ■■

■■ Uneven ceiling/unsightly texture. We covered the ceiling with new drywall and skim coating for a smooth texture.

Miniature hot water tank in base cabinet. We removed the tank, replaced it with standard size, relocated it to the garage, and built a Lazy Susan cabinet in its place. ■■

■■ Non-working fireplace in kitchen. We removed the fireplace and extended the kitchen to add glass-front upper cabinets for a charming display feature. 


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Cinco de Mayo Hot Spots Places to Celebrate the Most American of Mexican Days WRITTEN BY LINDSEY MAJOR

© Lindsey Major


inco de Mayo, or the 5th of May, is a day worth celebrating, but not for what you think. Many folks confuse the holiday with Mexican Independence Day, which occurs on September 16. Cinco de Mayo commemorates the win of the Battle of Pueblo, an unlikely victory by the Mexican army over France during the Franco-Mexican War in 1862. Mexico gained independence more than 40 years before this battle took place. Most places in Mexico don’t even celebrate Cinco de Mayo — banks, schools, and offices remain open. The tradition mostly exists in the U.S., and we’ve gathered a list of some of the best food and fiestas here in the North Sound to celebrate the Mexican culture that influences us. … continued on next page

… JALAPEŇOS Originally from Monterrey, Mexico, founder Jesse Cantu brings authentic Mexican flavors and inspiration to everything in all three Northwest locations. Not only is food part of the experience, but so is celebrating family and life. Join in on the fun on Cinco de Mayo and order a “Big Mama” margarita.

Other Great Cinco Spots Lilia’s Mexican Cuisine 190 E. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.527.3181 California Tacos & Fresh Juices 4252 Cordata Pkwy., Bellingham 360.312.4340

Locations vary, Bellingham

Chihuahua Family Mexican Restaurant 5694 3rd Ave., Ferndale 360.384.5820

CASA QUE PASA Try the burritos famed food critic Alton Brown referred to as “the size of a small cat.” Go for their famous potato burrito, which is stuffed with, beans, cheese, and charred potato pieces. As Brown himself says, “It doesn’t sound good, but it is.”

Taqueria La Bamba 2222 Riverside Dr., Mount Vernon 360.424.0824 Mariposa 14003 Gilmore Ave., Bow 360.820.9912 Mi Casita Mexican Restaurant 680 Spring St., Friday Harbor 360.378.6103

1415 Railroad Ave., Bellingham 360.756.8226 |


Chimayo En El Dia 112 Haven Rd., Eastsound 360.376.6337

For a celebratory special, check out the Cinco de Mayo menu. Try the featured exclusive drinks like South of the Border, Sayulita, and El Beso de Virginia, which all pair perfectly with the also-exclusive fish tacos. 4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 360.398.6191 |

EL GITANO El Gitano prides itself on being authentic to old Mexico, boasting attributes both in décor and food. Every year for Cinco de Mayo, it hosts a big party including everything from trivia and games with prizes to a mariachi band. Each year is different, but one thing that remains consistent is that this is my favorite Mexican food around — high accolades from this former Texan. Locations vary in Bellingham, Mount Vernon, La Conner, Burlington 70

© Kelly Pearce

COA MEXICAN EATERY Offering vegetarian, vegan, and glutenfree options, this authentic Mexican restaurant is sure to please the entire family. The name “coa” comes from the tool used to harvest the agave plant for tequila production. This name inspired the 100 percent agave tequila selections the restaurant serves. 102 S. 10th St., Mount Vernon 360.840.1938 |

MIJITAS MEXICAN KITCHEN Rarely open on Sundays, an exception had to be made for this Cinco de Mayo. Chef Raul uses fresh ingredients in all his dishes, which are inspired by his

childhood in Mexico. Stop by between 4 p.m.–8 p.m. to try the “best mole outside Oaxaca.” 310 A St., Eastsound 360.376.6722 |

TINA’S TACOS Grab a seat on the patio and celebrate Cinco with tacos inspired by “mom’s” Spanish home cooking flavor. If you’re more the party-at-home type, Tina’s offers take-out orders. If you’re throwing a big Cinco de Mayo fiesta, they’re proud to offer catering for gatherings of any size. 485 Elsworth Ave., Friday Harbor 360.842.3228 | 

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  * Review provided by restaurant.

WHATCOM AVENUE BREAD Deli 1313 Railroad Ave., Bellingham, 1135 11th St., Bellingham 2301 James St., Bellingham 444 Front St., Lynden 360.715.3354, 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 in-house, 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, 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.

Dining Guide


MYKONOS Greek 1650 W. Bakerview Rd., Bellingham 360.715.3071

GIUSEPPE’S AL PORTO Italian 21 Bellwether Way, Bellingham 360.714.8412, Giuseppe’s Al Porto Ristorante provides an enhanced dining experience to its customers, including outside seating that provides diners with the joy of eating by the water and taking in the sights of beautiful Bellingham Bay. The classic Italian dining that earned Giuseppe’s the reputation as the finest Italian restaurant in Bellingham is still going strong. Whether you try the chicken marsala, happy hour specials or three-course, early-dinner specials, your mouth will water. Daily specials and the full menu include meat specialties, fresh seafood, and authentic Italian pastas.

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 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.


5645 Guide Meridian, Bellingham 360.398.2462, Three years after Hilltop Restaurant opened, the small café turned into a classic diner open 14 hours a day, seven days a week. For breakfast, start with the wild salmon eggs benedict. Poached eggs rest on an English muffin with charbroiled wild salmon lathered in Hollandaise sauce and a side of hash browns. Listed under the “Classics” section of their dinner menu, Hilltop’s Jaeger Schnitzel is a lightly breaded and pan-fried pork cutlet with mushrooms, shallots, white wine, and cream. It’s the type of place you hear Ariana Grande’s music softly play in the background while a waitress donning a traditional white apron asks if she can top off your still half-full coffee.

4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 360.398.6191, From breakfast to late night dinner, Northwater’s 185-seat restaurant features Pacific Northwest dishes made from locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. We found the restaurant’s waitstaff to be personable and enthusiastic, and eager to answer our queries about ingredient sources and what desserts they’d recommend. There’s a diverse menu of classic dishes with a twist, like the Seafood Sausage Corn Dogs with blueberry mustard — sweet-from-the-citrus cornbread and spicy from the mustard. Try the Fried Chicken and Waffle, featuring savory flavors of garlic and herbs drizzled with a pepper syrup.


306 W. Holly St., Bellingham, 360.671.6111 1021 Harris Ave., Bellingham, 360.366.8135

133 E. Holly St., Bellingham 360.738.8824 Little Cheerful is a bustling breakfast spot. This popular restaurant is a place where customers can enjoy a mouthwatering meal over conversation or the newspaper. Located on a corner in the middle of downtown Bellingham, the cafe has maintained its popularity through the growth of breakfast cafes in the area. Little Cheerful has something on the menu for everyone, even the picky eater: gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and omnivore. A specialty for which Little Cheerful is well-known is its eggs benedicts — specifically, its Crab Cake Benedict. The dish contains two perfectly browned crab cakes atop toasted whole wheat English muffins served with poached eggs and homemade hollandaise sauce, and avocado slices and the cafe’s famous potato hash on the side. If you are craving eggs benedict, Little Cheerful is for you. Side note: cash only, no cards allowed.

With two locations, Rocket Donuts is an icon in Bellingham for its delectable donuts and sci-fi themed storefronts. The donuts are made fresh daily, giving them their fluffy, soft texture. Try the classic glazed or spice up your morning with a maple-bacon bar. Rocket Donuts is unique by offering vegan or gluten-free options. Lift off your morning, rocket-style.   SAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE Food truck See for schedule and location If you haven’t yet heard of Sage Against the Machine, you will soon enough. Believed to be Bellingham’s first from-scratch, dairy-free, meat-free, and mostly gluten- and soy-free food truck, Sage Against the Machine has the power to convince the meatiest of meat-eaters that eating plant-based food can actually be enjoyable. From BBQ jackfruit nachos ($12) to potato- and carrot-based mac n’ cheese

May 2019 71

($6/ $10), co-owners Tara and Nate Johnson are making it easy to eat vegan. Despite being raised in Montana on meat and potatoes, Nate isn’t finding it difficult to eat vegan. With meals that resemble what he knows and loves like Sage’s tangy Cilantro Lime Burrito ($12) and flavorful Southwest nachos ($12), he says it doesn’t feel like he’s missing out on anything. Many of Sage’s customers agree. Nate and Tara are full of stories of customers whose outlook has been changed by the truck’s food.   SWIM CLUB WET BAR American 1147 11th St., Bellingham 360.393.3826, The menus depend on the season, changing to take advantage of local ingredients as much as possible, Grayling says. For example, the spring menu, named De Le Mar, or “Of the Sea,” features numerous seafood dishes like ceviche, mussels, halibut, and oysters. The ceviche ($14.5) is colorful, crunchy and tart. The rockfish is complemented with mango, lime, and blood orange for a zesty, fresh experience. To balance all that citrus, try the chicken liver mousse ($8) as a creamy and indulgent partner to the ceviche. There are “poolside” beverages like the daiquiri, paloma, and Cosmopolitan, all classics with twists. The rum-forward pina colada with caramelized coconut, pineapple, and rum, is delicious.


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12885 Casino Dr., Anacortes 360.588.3525, Located within the casino, 13moons is sure to catch your attention. Situated on the waterfront, 13moons has a warm and inviting lodge atmosphere. The menu offers a wide variety including first plates, entree salads, seafood, and steaks. We started our meal with generous pours of wine, then moved on to the filet mignon, which was cooked to perfection and mouth-watering. The same could be said for their Marsala Mushroom Pork Chop. The Kobe Burger, made with Wagyu beef, brioche, Cambozola cheese and double-smoked bacon, is impressive. This is a great choice for an evening out. You will walk away satisfied, and you’ll understand why it is the go-to place for locals and visitors alike.   A’TOWN BISTRO Regional NW




418 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.899.4001, 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.

Dining Guide


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.  –


ENCORE* Epicurean Dining 5984 North Darrk Ln., Bow 360.724.0124, Located within The Skagit Casino Resort, the newly remodeled and re-energized Encore restaurant strives to create everything in house from scratch by utilizing fresh and natural ingredients from locally sourced products. Inside the room, featured photographs of personalities from the music industry, recognizing The Skagit Casino Resort’s long history with entertainment; a platform that differentiates them from local competition. Take an epicurean dining adventure and discover one of the best restaurants in the region.

Italian Cooking Class May 4 and 5, 11 a.m. Embark on a journey through Italian cuisine with Il Granaio Restaurant chef and Milan native Alberto Candivi. In the 14 years Alberto has taught these classes, the menu has never been the same. From delicious entrees to various tasty appetizers, students will learn how to make an authentic Italian meal. Best to purchase your tickets in advance. Il Granaio Restaurant 100 W. Montgomery St., Mount Vernon |

GREEK ISLANDS RESTAURANT Greek 2001 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.293.6911

Bellewood Farms Mother’s Day Brunch

Some of the very best Greek food in our area. Enjoy favorites like moussaka and souvlaki from the versatile and excellent menu. The food is authentic, the service is warm, and the restaurant is inviting.

May 12, 8 a.m.

NELL THORN Seafood 116 1st St., La Conner 360.466.4261, Nell Thorn is seafood-heavy, so trying one of their seafood dishes is a must. Usually their daily specials take into account the freshest catches, but on the menu you’ll usually find some kind of seafood pasta, filet topped salad, and oysters. If you can’t settle on a starter, choose the crispy polenta cakes. The quiche is executed well with fluffy eggs and a flaky, light crust, while the no-fuss Nell Burger has simple toppings that don’t overburden the perfectly cooked, juicy meat patty.   SEEDS BISTRO AND BAR American 623 Morris St., La Conner 360.466.3280, From soups to sandwiches, salads or “weeds” as they call them, and bigger entree options, Seeds Bistro and Bar has something for everyone. There’s a carefully curated meat and cheese plate ($21) highlighting cheeses from places like Mt. Townsend Creamery and Acme Farms Cheese. The regularly rotated selections are garnished with candied nuts, crackers, and pickled blueberries from Bow Hill Blueberries. Try one of the seasonal pasta dishes made with fresh pasta, or an order of shucked oysters ($18) topped with a clean, cold horseradish “ice cream.”   SKAGIT VALLEY’S FARMHOUSE American 13724 Laconner Whitney Rd., Mount Vernon 360.466.4411, 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

Moms around the county are invited to a special event at local gem, Bellewood Farms. Enjoy a delicious buffet brunch while enjoying the company of your loved ones. The event also includes a rose and free mimosa for each mom. Reservations recommended. Bellewood Farms 6140 Guide Meridian, Lynden |

Montinore Estate Winemaker Dinner May 17, 5:30 p.m. Following a reception of appetizers and bubbly, dig into five fantastic courses, including butter-poached halibut with rhubarb compote, turnips, fiddlehead ferns, and a grape-leaf-wrapped lamb loin with creamy polenta, sunburst squash, and pea shoots. Montinore Estate is the largest producer of wines created from biodynamic (holistically grown) grapes in the country. Semiahmoo Resort 9565 Semiahmoo Pkwy., Blaine |

Pizza Perfected May 24, 5 p.m. Is it your dream to fling a giant round of dough into the air? Look no further than King Arthur Flour’s Baking School at The Bread Lab, a company descended from the first American flour company. Open to adults 14 and older, the class will teach you advanced pizza-making techniques, including how to simulate a brick oven at home and how to hand-stretch dough. King Arthur Flour’s Baking School at The Bread Lab 11768 Westar Ln., Burlington |

May 2019 73

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.

Northwater El Beso de Virginia Ingredients: Chile-infused tequila, lime, agave, amaretto, $10


4260 Mitchell Way, Bellingham 360.398.6191 |

902 Commercial Ave., Anacortes 360.873.8245 Patrons can get the perfect-size dish in a flavor profile to satisfy any craving. Nibble on warm pretzel bites dipped in IPA beer cheese dip. Split a warm Caprese flatbread made with sliced Roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and drizzled with sweet balsamic reduction. The Union’s hot dog and sandwich menus fill bigger appetites like the fan-favorite smoked albacore melt sandwich. Don’t forget to try a couple of Union Oyster Shooters! With 18 beers on rotation, there’s the basics — four IPAs, light and dark options, a cider, two nitros — plus a surprise or two, perhaps a sour, cranberry-style Gose. Cocktails are another highlight. You won’t find Red Bull vodkas here or overly sweetened Mai Tais. The staff uses fresh juice, quality spirits, and house-made sours and grenadine. Staffers are encouraged to create their own cocktails, and the tastiest concoctions get a place on the menu.

SAN JUAN CAPTAIN WHIDBEY INN American 2072 Captain Whidbey Inn Rd., Coupeville 360.678.4097,

© Kelly Pearce

f you plan on spending Cinco de Mayo at Northwater, try the El Beso de Virginia. A tequila-based drink that’s not a margarita, this concoction is exclusive to May 5th. On the first sip, you might notice that this drink disguises itself as a margarita with a limey and tangy flavor. However, the chile-infused tequila kicks it up a notch as you continue sipping. The tartness of the lime and the heat of the chile are balanced with a splash of amaretto, which introduces some sweetness and smooths the drink out. All these ingredients work together to create a cocktail that’s a fiesta of flavors. The bar at Northwater has a great classy ambiance. The bartop, large enough to accommodate several people, is made of beautiful blue glass with texture to resemble ocean waves. Kick back with an El Beso de Virginia, some fish tacos, and imagine taking a siesta by the sea. Lindsey Major


The entire menu is reasonably priced, locally sourced, and well-balanced. The inn is a special-occasion spot for a lot of people, but it also wants folks who come wearing a T-shirt feel welcome. As such, the menu features down-to-earth items like Half Roasted Rainier Beer Can BBQ Chicken ($23), The Captain’s Burger ($16) and Cedar Plank P.N.W. King Salmon ($26). Because Penn Cove (famous for its mussels) is literally a stone’s throw away, ordering the Steamer Clams and Penn Cove Mussels ($16) is a must. Cooked in white wine, with shallots, garlic and fresh herbs, they did not disappoint. They are fresh, clean, a bit briny and as good as you’d imagine clams from just outside the restaurant would be. A generous portion is served with grilled bread. The house-made Clam Chowder (cup $6, bowl $9) was my favorite dish! I’m still dreaming about the buttery, creaminess mixed with the brininess of the clams and saltiness of the lardon.   FRIDAY HARBOR HOUSE Regional NW 130 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.8455, It’s hard to beat the view of the ferry landing, marina and San Juan Channel from Friday Harbor House, the hotel and restaurant






o matter what brewery or bar you visit these days, you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one IPA on tap. Over the last decade or so, the IPA has become such a crowd favorite that more than one brewery has named their version “Obligatory IPA” (with perhaps more than a hint of annoyance). But there are dozens of beer styles out there, so what’s so special about the IPA? Part of the answer is simple: IPAs are delicious. But that’s not the whole story. The real secret, I suspect, is the versatility of those three humble letters — the sheer range of flavor profiles to which they can apply. To see what I mean, let’s go back to the basics for a second. Beer, at its heart, is a beverage with only four ingredients: malted grain (usually barley or wheat), hops, yeast, and water. Different varieties of grain and different malting and drying techniques will give you a huge range of malt flavors, from bread to nut to chocolate. Hop varietals also contribute a wide range of flavors, from pungent tropical fruit and citrus to delicate honey and lavender. As for yeast, Belgian strains showcase clove and pepper, German strains can head toward banana, and English strains tend to produce apple and pear. It’s truly impressive how many different flavors can be produced by such a short list of ingredients, and one way to get a grip on different beer styles is to learn where they fall along these basic flavor dimensions. A pilsner, for example, combines a huge cracker-like malt flavor with a heavy dose of bitterness from hops, but keeps the yeast flavors as neutral as possible. A hefeweizen, on the other hand, will showcase banana and clove flavors from its yeast while keeping the hops in the background. So where do IPAs fall on this flavor spectrum? Well, their signature move is to showcase hops, but that’s really all you

can say for sure about them. There are black IPAs and red IPAs that bring deeper malt flavors into the picture, and there are Belgian IPAs that play up the yeast character. Even if you let the other ingredients recede into the background, there are still different ways that hops can be used in the brewing process, leading to vastly different flavors. Put a lot of them at the beginning of the process and you end up with a high-IBU (i.e., very bitter) IPA. Put them all at the end of the process and you’ll end up with a somewhat sweet and juicy IPA (otherwise known as the “hazy” IPA). In other words, the acronym “IPA” is not so much a beer style as much as a general category of styles, collecting just about all the ales that are “hop-focused.” The term doesn’t contrast with “hefeweizen” or “pilsner” but rather with the more general categories of “malt-focused” or “yeastfocused.”(Even its original designation — the beer originally called India Pale Ale, which was shipped to India from Britain starting in the 18th century — was distinguished primarily by its large quantity of hops, which helped to preserve the beer on its journey east.) What that means is that there’s basically an IPA out there for everyone, no matter whether your taste buds prefer bitter, sweet, or sour. So, the solution to the mystery of the IPA’s popularity turns out to be a bit anticlimactic. IPAs are all over the place because they aren’t just one style of beer; rather, they are dozens of styles that all fly the same hop-emblazoned flag. Here at home, you can get a good sense of the IPA umbrella by comparing Boundary Bay’s IPA with Wander’s Right Here Right Now Hazy IPA with Kulshan’s Black Peak IPA. Each different, all delicious. 

May 2019 75

DINE Restaurant Review

Historic Icon, Classic Diner Hilltop Restaurant WRITTEN BY TYLER URKE | PHOTOGRAPHED BY ZOE DEAL


or 56 years, Hilltop Restaurant has been located on Guide Meridian between Lynden and Bellingham. So, when owner Tom Kilpatrick made the permanent move from Kirkland to Bellingham in 2001, he knew he had acquired a piece of Whatcom County history. “Hilltop really is an icon in Whatcom County,” Kilpatrick says. “It has sustained itself through five generations of customers.” Tom and Barb were introduced to Whatcom County when they would take their boat to Semiahmoo and explore the area. When Barb mentioned maybe they’d move here someday, Tom says she was probably thinking when they retired. But Tom says he took it a little more literally. Three years after acquiring Hilltop, Tom moved it to a new building in the same lot. The small café turned into a classic diner open 14 hours a day, seven days a week. The 70-year-old owner says Hilltop’s central location allows him, a hands-on owner, to have interactions with all sorts of characters. He has a certain affinity for people and their background, asking me about my Norwegian roots before diving into his Irish heritage. In 2004, Hilltop added a full-fledged catering service that now services weddings, corporate events and social occasions of all types. Hilltop is proud of its ability to wear multiple hats. It’s the type of place you hear Ariana Grande’s music softly play in the background while a waitress donning a traditional white apron asks if she can top off your still half-full coffee. Equally important as the atmosphere is the food, and chef Steven Herzog has been whipping up culinary specialties at Hilltop since 2004. For breakfast, start with the wild salmon eggs Benedict. Poached eggs rest on an English muffin with charbroiled wild salmon slathered with Hollandaise sauce and a side of hash browns ($12.49). While Hilltop is known for being a classic restaurant where everything is made from scratch with the freshest ingredients, it does have a few surprises up its sleeve. Listed under the “Classics” section of their dinner menu, Hilltop’s Jaeger Schnitzel might be something you would find in a German or Austrian restaurant. It’s a lightly breaded and pan-fried pork cutlet with mushrooms, shallots, white wine, and cream and is a unique and tasty dish ($12.99). You may not expect to find a restaurant like Hilltop while cruising down Guide Meridian, where no strip malls, apartments, or business parks are nearby. But judging by a mileage marker in front of the restaurant pointing to everywhere from Timbuktu to Shanghai, Hilltop has been and will continue to be the center of it all.  5645 Guide Meridian, Bellingham 360.398.2462 |



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.



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.

410 A St., Friday Harbor 360.378.2017, All the brews are named after San Juan-inspired concepts like the Lane 4 Vienna Lager, after the old ferry lane designated for Friday Harbor passengers, and the Bull Kelp ESB, named after the well-known Pacific Northwest seaweed floating in our waters. If you can’t decide what brew to try, order a sampler of five 5-oz. beers ($13). When asked which beer was his favorite, a customer had a tough time choosing, “All the beers are very good.” He even enjoyed the IPA, which most breweries make too hoppy for his taste. For food, start with a sharable pretzel with Quarry No. 9 beer cheese dipping sauce ($9), or fresh ahi poke with fried wontons and cucumber sesame salad ($14). If they weren’t in the business of brewing, San Juan Island Brewery would be in the business of pizza. Order one of their wood stone pizzas and you won’t be disappointed. There’s a thin crust that’s crispy on the bottom, but still soft and chewy. It holds the toppings well. A fan favorite is The Pig War ($16) topped with Italian sausage, prosciutto and pepperoni — in honor of the San Juan Island’s historic war that was sparked by the death of a pig, but settled, in amiable island fashion, without a shot being fired.   VINNY’S Seafood 165 West St., Friday Harbor 360.378.1934, Ciao! Vinny’s welcomes diners to their Friday Harbor Ristorante, mirroring the feel of this warm Italian restaurant. Dishes change monthly and reflect the desire to serve simple, gourmet Pacific Northwest seafood, and modern comfort Italian. Appetizers of Fior de Latte — a caprese salad — and mushroom medley (mushrooms with a Marsala demi-glace and cambozola cheese) are perfect for sharing and leave space for a summery Capellini Mediterranea (prawns and clams in a light white wine and olive oil sauce). As well as a good selection of pastas, Vinny’s has seafood and meat entrées, many of them traditional favorites like Veal Marsala and Chicken Picatta. The cocktail list includes old favorites and some fun offerings like the Crantini and a rhubarb margarita. Top off a meal with crème brûlée — a light, room-temperature custard topped with a layer of burnt sugar.

1 2 3 4

The French dip from downtown Bellingham’s Boundary Bay Brewery & Bistro is simply heavenly. You can’t go wrong with this classic roast beef with Swiss cheese on a Breadfarm baguette with house-made au jus.


Jalapeños in downtown Bellingham, Fairhaven, and Barkley Village boasts some of the area’s best Mexican cuisine. You’ll need a group to tackle their BBB (Biggest Burrito in Bellingham) which is offered in either veggie, chicken, or ground beef.


The seafood chimichanga from The Loft near Squalicum Harbor tastes as intriguing as it sounds. Dungeness crab, prawns, and scallops are teamed with red bell pepper, corn, and red onion and wrapped in a crispy fried flour tortilla.


Calico Cupboard Cafe & Bakery in La Conner has the means to satisfy any breakfast craving. Their pesto focaccia scramble is served with three farm-fresh scrambled eggs, tomato, feta cheese, baby spinach, basil pesto, all on their homemade focaccia bread before being topped with parmesan cheese and green onions.


For those who like a burger that packs a punch, The Heat from Secret Cove in Anacortes was made for you. The patty is topped with caramelized onions, sautéed green peppers with jalapeños, Sriracha aioli, and pepper jack cheese. Over Easy is located on James Street in Bellingham and features hearty breakfast dishes. The Easy Does It threeegg omelet exemplifies their exceptional ingredients: spinach, sautéed mushrooms, goat cheese, and homemade basil pesto. The lemongrass chicken from On Rice in Fairhaven, Barkley Village, and on Samish Way comes out sizzling. The pan-fried chicken is marinated with lemongrass-garlic sauce and served with steamed vegetables. Catkin Café on Orcas Island is home to a sensational chicken salad sandwich. It’s made with walnuts, cranberries, green apples, and tarragon aioli made daily on toasted sourdough served with French potato salad. Tyler Urke

May 2019 77


Featured Events · Listings · The Scene · Final Word

Double Major Death Cab for Cutie and Odesza return to where it all started MAY 18, 5 P.M.


or music fans, it was the biggest news to hit Bellingham in, well, we can’t remember when. Alternative rock band Death Cab for Cutie and electronic group Odesza, who got their starts at Western Washington University and put Bellingham on the current-day music map, are coming home. The bands, with 10 Grammy nominations between them, are teaming up for a mega concert called “Double Major” at Civic Stadium to benefit Western Washington University’s Alumni Association Scholarship Endowment. These bands’ origins stretch back to 1997 and 2012, respectively, in the ramshackle houses surrounding Western’s campus. Special guests include Chong the Nomad, Robotaki, and LipStitch. The event’s a sellout — within three hours, more than 3,500 people expressed interest in the event on Facebook — but with your local ties, you’re sure to find some tickets.  Civic Stadium 1445 Puget St., Bellingham

Odesza’s Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight




Be entertained with Bach’s joyful “Mass” in F Major and Vivaldi’s “Gloria” as soloists and a full orchestra of island and Seattle talents take the stage. Soprano Sharon Abreu and the members of the Skyros Quartet also perform. Orcas Center 917 Mount Baker Rd., Eastsound 360.376.2281, MADE IN AMERICA MAY 19, 3 P.M.

Celebrate the American dream with pianist Benjamin Hochman, who will be playing a selection of music that was written in the U.S. by visiting composers. Audience members will be delighted with a set including Benjamin Britten, Antonín Dvorák, and more. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080,

CONCERTS NEIL BERG’S 50 YEARS OF ROCK AND ROLL Schooner Zodiac Spring Lighthouse Tour

MAY 4, 7:30 P.M.



MAY 3, 8 P.M.

MAY 10–11, 8 P.M.

Famous for hits like “Take Me Home Tonight”’ and “Two Tickets to Paradise,” Money had a string of Top 40 hits and platinum albums in the 1970s and 1980s. At 70 years old, he still brings his signature style and passion.

Renowned comedian Kathleen Madigan has been touring for 29 years and is still having a blast selling out venues nationwide. She’s been a guest on “The Tonight Show” 25 times and most recently appeared in Jerry Seinfeld’s “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.”

Silver Reef Casino Resort 4876 Haxton Way, Ferndale 360.383.0777, THE GUESS WHO

The Skagit Casino Resort 5984 N. Darrk Ln., Bow 877.275.2448,

MAY 10, 8 P.M.

Canadian superstar rock band The Guess Who will stop in Tulalip on their North America tour. The band gained international acclaim in 1970 with the release of “American Woman,” which became the first song by a Canadian band to hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. Tulalip Resort Casino 10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip 888.272.1111, 80


Travel from the 1930s to the 1980s on a journey through a music phenomenon that changed the world. Five singers and a five-piece band will play their way through classic artists such as Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, the Beatles, Aretha Franklin, Aerosmith, Fleetwood Mac, and Journey. Mount Baker Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080, THE CAVE SINGERS MAY 11, 9 P.M.

Making a name for themselves on the indie-folk scene in the 2000s, The Cave Singers grew to popularity thanks to their unique, twangy sound. The Seattle-based band has released five albums, including their most recent release, “Banshee.”

Since moving to Nashville, the popcountry artist from Seattle has made waves in the music scene including releasing her debut first five-song EP, “Starts With a Song,” on April 28, 2018.

The Shakedown 1212 N. State St., Bellingham 360.778.1067

Quil Ceda Creek Casino 6410 33rd Ave. NE, Tulalip 360.716.1700,


Best known for being a member of the now-defunct group The White Girl Mob

with rappers Kreayshawn and V-Nasty, Lil Debbie first appeared in the music video for Kreayshawn’s “Gucci Gucci” in 2011. Singer Dev also broke on to the music scene around that time, releasing her debut album, “The Night the Sun Came Up,” in 2011.


Wild Buffalo House of Music 208 W. Holly St., Bellingham 360.746.8733, LOCALS NIGHT MAY 17, 7:30 P.M.

McIntyre Hall will celebrate Mount Vernon’s local talent in an evening of music including Americana and Folk Rock. Hometown musician Nathaniel Talbot and bands The Scarlet Locomotive and The Sky Colony will perform.



McIntyre Hall 2501 E. College Way, Mount Vernon 360.416.7727,


The Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition and Whatcom Land Trust are joining together to host this family-friendly trail day. The land trust and the City of Bellingham worked together to preserve 65 miles of trails on Galbraith for recreational use in summer 2018. Don’t forget to bring your work gloves and show your love for the community. Galbraith Lane Parking Lot 5 Samish Way, Bellingham





This annual non-competitive walk raises money for the victims of brain cancer and their families. Organized by a Bellingham committee, the mission of the event is to raise awareness and promote healing. Walkers will also enjoy live music, a beer garden, guest speakers, a raffle, and a kids’ zone. Civic Field 1445 Puget St., Bellingham WELLNESS SEMINAR: DETOXING MAY 15, 6 P.M.

Pharmacist Michelle Moser leads a presentation on the health benefits of detoxing. Learn why people do it, how

WWW.HANDBAGSFORHOUSING.COM WANT YOUR EVENT POSTED? Events are posted on a first-come first-serve basis. Submissions must be received four weeks prior to the event with all the necessary information. Please submit event name, dates, times, short 40-word description, cover charge or ticket price, event venue including street address, a phone number, and a website. Any event from Seattle to Vancouver will be considered with priority placed on listings from Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties. Bellingham Alive is not responsible for errors in submissions. Please email all submissions to

May 2019 81


Frisky Fandoms’ One-Year Anniversary

they do it, and get tips from medical professionals with years of experience. Makers Compounding Pharmacy 221 S. 1st St., Mount Vernon 360.757.6677,


about society’s fascination with celebrity and youth. The plot is centered on theatre star Margo Channing, who fears being overshadowed by Eve, her young, beautiful biggest fan. Enjoy watching this intense drama come to life on Pickford’s big screen. Pickford Film Center 1318 Bay St., Bellingham 360.738.0735,

MAY 11, 1 P.M.

The Pickford brings a touching animated film about family ties to Bellingham audiences for only $1. When four-yearold Kun’s little sister Mirai is born, he feels forgotten by his family. Increasingly jealous, his world is turned upside down after he storms out of the house and comes across strange guests from the past and future, including a teenage Mirai. Together they travel across time and space discovering the incredible story of their family. Pickford Film Center 1318 Bay St., Bellingham 360.738.0735, NATIONAL THEATRE: ALL ABOUT EVE MAY 12, 11 A.M.

Gillian Anderson and Lily James star in this highly-anticipated stage production 82


Friday Harbor historic preservationist Sandy Strehlou will guide visitors through the neighborhoods of San Juan to find examples of residential architecture from the post-WWII era. The walkabout will also include discussion on how this age of architecture reflects the socioeconomic changes of troops returning home. See website for meeting spot Memorial Park Front Street, Friday Harbor 360.378.5240,


This film guides readers through the history of the genius of French painting, from the fields of war-torn France to the majestic gardens that inspired Claude Monet’s impressionist works of art. Pickford Film Center’s Limelight Cinema 1416 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham 360.738.0735,


At this late-morning story time event, listen to a reading from popular children’s book “Giraffe Problems,” a story that follows Cyrus, a lovably selfconscious giraffe who doesn’t understand why his neck is so long and bendy. Village Books 430 Front St., Lynden 360.526.2133,

Music from the Byrds, the Doors, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and more!


Sun MAY 12 3:00 PM “She took my breath away.” – The New York Times

Spring Birding East and West of the Cascades


Join Bellingham’s only nerdy burlesque show as they celebrate their first anniversary at The Firefly. The show is planned to be the biggest ever and will feature reprisals of the group’s best routines of the year, a raffle, and cosplay. The Firefly Lounge 1015 N. State St., Bellingham HAGGEN TO HAGGEN 5K RACE AND WALK MAY 4, 8 A.M.

The smell of food will guide you to the finish line as you run/walk from Sehome Haggen to Meridian Haggen in support of the Greater Bellingham Running Club. Wind through several beautiful neighborhoods and sample Haggen products. Proceeds will support the running club’s efforts to provide scholarships and shoe vouchers to lowincome high school athletes. Sehome Village Haggen 210 36th St., Bellingham MICAH MOSES BOOK SIGNING MAY 4, 2 P.M.

Author of “Tyler, Dylan and the Dream Machine,” Micah Moses will visit Village Books in Lynden for a special storytime and book signing event. Created to inspire positive thinking, his book

encourages children to delve into a world of imagination. Village Books 430 Front St., Lynden 360.526.2133,

Anat Cohen Tentet

Musical Director, Oded Lev-Ari


SAT MAY 18 7:30 PM


Local fishers Riley Starks and Mark Shintaffer will present on the advanced fishing techniques of the Salish People at this free event. Local tribes distinguished themselves by their environmentally sensitive method of catching sockeye salmon via reef nets. Visitors will learn the history of this technique and how it has been developed in the modern era.

Shaken & Stirred ”

with PNW darling

Old City Hall 121 Prospect St., Bellingham 360.778.8930,

and superstar

SAT June 1

SEASKILLS 2019 MAY 11, 10 A.M.

Learn all about the art of boating at this all-day event at Blaine Marine Park and Blaine Boating Center. Topics covered throughout the day will include fire safety, presenting color guard, knot tying, and more. Mini-seminars will be held aboard boats in the marina, hosted by Bellingham Sail and Power Squadron.

Storm Large

Michael Feinstein

8 : 00 PM


Randy & Linda Longerich

Season Sponsor

Blaine Marine Park, Boating Center 272 and 235 Marine Dr., Blaine

May 2019 83

AGENDA Top Picks


The Ring of Nibelung Opera McIntyre Hall, Mount Vernon

The Bibbidi Bobbidi Ball The Majestic Ballroom, Bellingham


© Diamond Edge Photography

3 – 12





Skagit Symphony Classics Concert McIntyre Hall, Mount Vernon

Procession of the Species 210 Lottie St., Bellingham

18 M AY


© Manuel Rod del Pozo

Whatcom Memorial Day Parade Bellingham (see website for parade route)


10 – 11

Bio Blitz Work Party Stimpson Nature Reserve, Bellingham


10 – 12 84


La Conner Guitar Festival Maple Hall, La Conner

Ski to Sea Race and Fairhaven Festival Fairhaven district, Bellingham,



Earth and Smoke,” a collection of poems that are vulnerable, emotional, and honest.

Enjoy wine, food, and live music at this second annual fundraiser for Khloe’s Hope, a charitable foundation that aims to bring awareness to Cystic Fibrosis: a rare, debilitating disease that affects the lungs. This event will include a silent auction and raffle.

Harold and Irene Walton Theatre 104 N. Commercial St., Bellingham 360.734.6080,

Bertelsen Winery 20598 Starbird Rd., Mount Vernon

Alongside longtime institute instructor Libby Mills, participants will embark on a weekend adventure through a




birder’s paradise. It all begins with an exploration of Skagit Valley hot spots on Friday. Saturday brings early birding adventures in arid Methow Valley; Sunday concludes with surveying westside locations of the upper valley. North Cascades Environmental Learning Center 1940 Diablo Dam Rd., Diablo 360.854.2599,


Come aboard the Schooner Zodiac for a four-day sailing adventure through the scenic wonders of the San Juan Islands. This tour will focus on the remote lighthouses located around the area, and guests will learn how sailors once depended on the structures to determine their position in inclement weather.

The Bellingham Beer & Music Festival:


The Schooner Zodiac 355 Harris Ave., Ste. 104, Bellingham 206.719.7622, INTERNATIONAL PLOWING MATCH MAY 18, 10 A.M.

Step back into history as you observe incredible draft horses and plows in action. The match was founded in 1949 and since then has been a staple of Lynden agricultural tradition. Berthusen Park 8837 Berthusen Rd., Lynden 360.354.4111, THRILLERS, FILLERS & SPILLERS MAY 25, 10 A.M.

At this free class, Sunnyside Nursery expert Trevor Cameron will guide you through the dos and don’ts of container gardening. You’ll learn how to choose thrillers, fillers, and spillers that work together in both texture and color along with proper care and picking the right containers. Sunnyside Nursery 3915 Sunnyside Blvd., Marysville 425.334.2002, POETRY NIGHT WITH SARA SUTTON MAY 25, 7 P.M.

This accomplished poet will be sharing her writings in an intimate live reading night. Sara Sutton will be performing work from her most recent release, “Of

Saturday, June 29, 6-10 pm Enjoy beer from up to 35 breweries, pouring nearly 100 different beers!

North Bellingham Golf Course, 205 W. Smith Road, Bellingham, WA Spirits, Hard Cider, and Wine also available! Food available for purchase from Friday Harbor House of Jerky, McKay’s Taphouse & Pizzeria, Acme Ice Cream, and Twin Sisters Brewery & Restaurant.

Live Music by Candace, The Hott Waxx DeeJays, Motus, and Withering Blooms! Prepaid General Admission tickets through Eventbrite $30, GA tickets purchased at door $35. Student Discount Tickets $20 purchased through Eventbrite, Student tickets at door $25. Net-proceeds from this event benefit Make.Shift Art Space and Alzheimer’s Association - Team Joy. May 2019 85



In celebration of the 10th anniversary of their debut LP, “Manners,” Passion Pit is touring North America. The indie pop band was launched into the spotlight when this album received widespread acclaim. Their stop in Seattle will likely include favorites “Sleepyhead” and “Take A Walk.” Showbox SoDo 1700 1st Ave S., Seattle 888.929.7849, THE COLOR RUN 5K MAY 12, 8 A.M.

The Color Run returns for their Love Tour, where the good times roll. At each kilometer mark of this untimed event, participants are doused in an array of colorful paint. The Finish Festival at the end of the run includes music, dancing, activity booths, vendors and additional color throws. Seattle Center 305 Harrison St., Seattle


Passion Pit


Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton engage in conversation on topics from the Bill Clinton’s American presidency to the controversial 2016 presidential election on this national tour. Don’t miss hearing remarkable insight from two individuals who have shaped the United States. Rogers Arena 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver 604.899.7400, CHER: ‘HERE WE GO AGAIN’ TOUR MAY 30, 7:30 P.M.

To promote her 26th studio album, “Dancing Queen,” Cher is embarking on her first international tour since 2005. She’ll play her new music along classics like “If I Could Turn Back Time” and “Gypsies, Tramps & Thieves.” This Vancouver event is the finale of Cher’s lineup in Canada. Rogers Arena 800 Griffiths Way, Vancouver 604.899.7400,


The Color Run

The Scene


WHATCOM MUSEUM ART AUCTION GALA The Whatcom Museum hosted its annual Art Auction Gala on Jan. 18 at the Whatcom Lightcatcher Museum, starring local artists and their work. The gala is the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year and includes a cocktail hour, silent auction, dinner, and live auction. Proceeds help fund exhibitions, programs and popular features like the museum’s Family Interactive Gallery. Artists’ work at the gala included Susan Bennerstrom’s oil painting “Penelope,” Michael Felber’s colored pencil drawing “Arctic Father,” Lisa McShane’s oil painting “Leaving Denver,” and Trish Harding’s oil painting “Story House.” Tyler Urke © Greenwoods Photographic Arts

May 2019 87

NOTES Final Word



is name was Paul. A more beautiful, loving soul there was not. Paul died recently, ironically on the Ides of March, the day tax debts were settled during Roman times. He was 97 years old, and he had no debts to pay. Others owed him for the many acts of kindness that defined his life. I am one of them. I don’t recall exactly when in our relationship that Paul adopted me. But he did. Elders are treasures. We would sit for hours and discuss every topic imaginable. There seemed to be no end to his knowledge or curiosity. He was living history, a window to the past and present through a unique prism. More than anyone, Paul pushed me to write for a living. He used to tease, “Forget humor. Write about what you know best — life. If you do, the practice of law won’t miss you.” And then he would chuckle, “but don’t expect me to pay your mortgage.” Born in 1921, his birth certificate listed his race as “[n]egro.” The designation was white society’s way of branding him like a head of cattle. But Paul wore his blackness with equal parts pride and indifferent acceptance. As a youth, he understood the injustice of life’s prejudices of the times. “It was what it was,” as Paul would say. He assumed that he may ultimately become a train porter or postal worker. However, one of Paul’s most endearing qualities was his ability to be stubbornly oblivious, defiant, or at least resistant, to the status quo. In his mind, the unwritten rules and expectations of white society didn’t apply to him. He was special, and he knew it. He dared to believe that by the sheer force of his intelligence, his charisma, and his work ethic, the color of his skin may not matter. Paul was right — he went on to become a pioneer. As a decorated World War II veteran, Paul returned from the war to New York, where he drove a taxi to supplement his GI Bill benefits while he earned a degree in physics from the City College of New York. The circumstances of his first postgraduate job proved to be a microcosm of his effect on others in life. By happenstance, one of his taxi fares was so impressed with him that she said, “You should go to college.” When Paul replied that he had just received a degree in physics, she asked for his contact information, and shortly thereafter, Paul received an unsolicited call from the head of the New York office of Union Carbide to interview for a job. He never looked back. On his first day of work, his supervisor announced to Paul’s co-workers: “We just hired our first black man. If you have a problem with that, you can leave now.” That serendipitous experience was quintessential Paul. He had a way about him that parted, and simultaneously calmed, racial waters. Paul didn’t just break color barriers, he made those around him question them. With his unique balance of


wisdom, humor, and self-confidence, he had an aura of regalness about him. He was a real-life embodiment of characters played by Sidney Poitier in “Lilies of the Field,” “To Sir with Love,” and “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” three groundbreaking movies from the 1960s that had the courage to portray a black man in a positive light. Wherever Paul went, whoever he met, he changed his environment and those around him for the better. He was the ninth planet in the solar system, with his own gravitational pull — an undeniable invisible force that drew friends, colleagues, and acquaintances to him from all parts of the world and all walks of life. Paul’s distinguished career included an extended stint at pioneering TRW, the aerospace and automotive industry giant, where Paul became one of the first black physicists to help design, test, and put satellites into space. When he retired from the Rand Corporation years later, he held the nation’s highest security clearance. Imagine the waste of talent if Paul has resigned himself to being a train porter or postal worker. There’s a lesson for all of us in the accomplishments of Paul’s life. Paul would often smile and say, “I’ve lived a charmed life,” as if his success were by chance. Hardly. He refused to compromise his dignity, even while staring at the first rung of a “colored” person’s likely ladder of life. Paul rejected the first position offered by Union Carbide and forced the company to offer instead a position befitting his training and education. He never again had to demand respect. Paul earned respect wherever he went. Professional success aside, Paul’s greatest gift in life was his gratefulness, especially for the women in his life, starting with his mother, who affectionately called him “Buddy,” and his aunts, who, collectively, raised him in the streets of Harlem in the 1930s. Paul often recounted that he was surrounded by love as a child. He knew that he mattered. Their love launched him into life with an irrepressible sense of self-worth. But he adored no one more than Patti, his devoted wife of nearly 50 years. As a career librarian at TRW, Patti allowed Paul — ever the curious critical thinker and mentor — to be Paul. She was his loving curator. She shared him with the world. Without Patti, Paul often said that he was incapable of being. Together, however, they inspired everyone. A romantic renaissance man and an equally gifted woman for the ages, they were an interracial couple when too few had the audacity to be color blind. She lived for him, and he lived for her. I can only imagine her loss. I will forever miss Buddy. Patti, be strong. Let me help carry your burden. I promised Paul — you are my buddy now. 

S I P. T A S T E . S A V O R . R E P E A T.


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