I'm a fan of the Decibel Festival, and this year it is happening September 28-Oct 2. Over the past nine years, the Seattle-based Decibel has booked over 700 artists ranging from experimental, to leading-edge electronic dance music and visual art. With a focus on live performance, interactive multimedia art, state-of-the-art sound and technology-based education, Decibel has solidified itself as one of the premier electronic music festivals and promotional organizations in the world.
In 2010 the Decibel Festival celebrated it's 7th anniversary, pulling in over 18,000 people to Seattle. The 2010 edition featured over 150 artists and educators performing at over a dozen venues over the four-day festival.
The 8th edition of the Decibel International Festival of Electronic Music Performance, Visual Art and New Media will be taking place September 28th through October 2nd. This year there will be several new venue partners, including The Paramount Theatre, The Showbox Market, The Crocodile and Fred Wildlife Refuge. Additional venues for the 2011 program include Neumos, The Triple Door, The Baltic Room, Sole Repair and The Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya (more venues TBA). With increased venue capacities and new downtown locations, this year is going to be amazing. For more informational, check out dBFestival.com, Decibel Festival on Facebook, or Decibel Festival on Twitter.
If you want to buy a holiday gift for a friend or family member who rides a bike, or if you want to treat yourself, I have an idea for you. Enrollment is now open at Bike Works for the next sessions of ABC, the Adult Basics Class (Jan. 16th – Feb. 20th) and the intermediate level class, DEF, aka Developing Excellent Fixing-Skills (Jan. 5th – Feb. 9th).
Bike Works is known for its community youth programs, but they also offer a few amazing classes for adults. I took the Adult Basics Class a couple of years ago and I cannot even begin to describe how much I learned. I'll tell you this much, it's a beginner class but I finished that class feeling like I knew a whole lot about bike repair. Now I can make minor adjustments and fixes to my bike and I don't have to take my bike into a shop to get a tune-up every year. The class began with super basic stuff like learning how to change a tube and eventually covered more advanced stuff like overhauling a headset. I haven't been able to find a more thorough beginner class for this price anywhere else.
The intermediate class covers more details about bike repair like truing a wheel, how to set up derailleurs for reliable shifting, the secrets of overhauling complex three piece bottom brackets and advanced braking systems and much, much more.
These classes fill up up fast, so act quickly if you want to secure your spot by getting in the form and fee. The forms are available here. The fee for the class is $100 if you commit to 9 -18 hours of volunteer work, which is usually working on bikes so it's basically homework AND you are doing something for the community. If you can't commit to volunteering, you can pay $150 for the class.
ABC class schedule: Sundays, 1:30-3:30pm January 16th – February 20th
DEF class schedule: Wednesdays, 6:30-9:30pm January 5th – February 9th
It's the 50th anniversary of Sanrio and, if you happen to be near Seattle Center today (perhaps for zombcon), I strongly suggest you look for the Sanrio mobile pop-up tour. Trust me, it's hard to miss and, if you are a Sanrio fan or know someone who is, you will not want to miss the free giveaways and the option to purchase limited edition Sanrio items. I got a cute tote bag when I saw the tour in San Francisco last weekend. I mean it's really cute. Many collectible items are only available on the tour. Sanrio Monopoly! Sanrio 50 character skateboard deck!
The pop-up tour will be in Seattle Center all day today.
- Character appearances Goody bags to the first 50 people to visit the shop and make a purchase!
- Coupons for free Hello Kitty band-aids with any purchase!
- Free snacks, stickers and goodies handed out sporadically to crowds!
- Chance to play the Sanrio spin wheel – grand prize winners receive a $10 Target gift card!
- Video and pictures will be taken randomly by Sanrio – fans have a chance to appear on Hello Kitty’s blog and facebook!
Halloween is my favorite holiday, mostly because I love zombies. I also love a good haunted house, and it took me a couple of years to find a good one in Seattle.
My favorite haunted house in Seattle is KUBE 93 FM's Haunted House at the old Georgetown Morgue in SODO. I went last year and I was properly frightened from the experience. I don't want to give away too many details, but there were rooms that grossed me out, rooms that gave me vertigo, and rooms that startled me so much that I screamed out loud. Also, it's at an old morgue. An old morgue! So creepy.
Now, I am kind of a wimp when it comes to being scared so I scare pretty easily, but this was not a kiddie haunted house by any means. Casper the Friendly Ghost does not live in this haunted house. Although, it's not going to scar children for life, either, like, if you took your kids to the movies to see The Godfather or The Black Hole.
My advice is get there about 20 or 30 minutes before they open so you don't have to wait in line forever. Or, there is the option to pay $10 more per person to get in the VIP speed line, which means you get to cut in front of the line. You can buy tickets online, and view the haunted house schedule online.
Summer is almost over <sob> but a great way to cool off during the last warm days of the year is to get out on Lake Union or Lake Washington. I rented an SUP (Stand Up Paddle board) from Northwest Outdoor Center on Lake Union for an hour and I had a great time. Paddle boarding is a new sport where you stand on a surf board and paddle with an oar to move yourself around. I didn't take a lesson because it's not too difficult to learn. If you know how to use an oar, you can paddle board. The first time I tried it I struggled for about 20 minutes with balancing on my feet on a more advanced board, but NWOC has 3 different kinds of paddle boards which range from easy to expert, and the easy boards are very stable. I watched the following video by John Denny and East Coast Paddle Surfing before I went out on the water and that was all I needed to know.
It only costs $13/hour plus tax to rent a paddle board and oar, and NWOC provides you with a life vest. I recommend calling ahead to reserve your paddle board to make sure they will have one available to use.
The view from Lake Union is spectacular, of course, because you have a great view of Gasworks Park, the Space Needle, St. Marks Cathedral, downtown Seattle, and more. My only complaint was the noisy sea planes, but it is kind of cool to watch them take off and land in the lake.
Tomorrow City of Hope presents the second annual Yoga for Hope benefit in Seattle! It’s a two-hour, outdoor yoga class at the Memorial Stadium at the Seattle Center on July 10 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Nine of Seattle’s top yoga teachers will teach participants of all levels about the sacred number 108, including practicing 108 sun salutations underneath the Space Needle at Memorial Stadium.
FEATURED YOGA EXPERTS AND PRESENTERS
- Brian Charlton
- Cosetta Romani
- Dora Gyarmati
- Jennifer Hill
- Jennifer Isaacson
- Jenniferlyn Chiemingo
- Laura DeFreites
- Tami Hafzalla
Register for $30 online or at local Lululemon Athletica stores located at Pacific Place, University Village and Bellevue stores. Yoga for Hope is sponsored by Yoga Blaze and will feature swag bags, a raffle and prizes for top fundraisers.
ABOUT CITY OF HOPE
City of Hope is a leading research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest honor bestowed by the National Cancer Institute, and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, City of Hope's research and treatment protocols advance care throughout the nation. City of Hope is located in Duarte, Calif., just northeast of Los Angeles, and is ranked as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” in cancer and urology by U.S.News & World Report. Founded in 1913, City of Hope is a pioneer in the fields of bone marrow transplantation and genetics. For more information, visit www.cityofhope.org.
I have always wanted to see Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas but every time I have been to Las Vegas and tried to get tickets for the show it has been sold out at least 2 months in advance. Last Saturday, however, I was able to skip the trek to Vegas and I hopped in my car and cruised across the bridge to see Koozå, which is playing at Marymoor Park until July 11.
The show was breathtaking, just as I expected. Cirque du Soleil has been around since 1984 and originated in Montreal, Canada and has a justified reputation for being a jaw-dropping spectacle that will amaze even the most jaded audience. I am definitely jaded, as I've seen a lot of performing arts and circus acts over the years, but nothing compares to Cirque du Soleil and I found myself gasping and clapping and cheering during the show. Cirque du Soleil has the best performers, best set, best live band, and best costumes, in my opinion.
Koozå is a touring production that premiered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in April 2007. It was tough to pick a favorite performance, but I think I'm going with the Wheel of Death. The Wheel of Death act is composed of two bad-ass dudes, one crazy giant contraption, and guts... lots of guts.
You really have to see it live. It is very impressive. Tickets are still available.
I love working out, but I am fickle. I get bored of the same old workout routine and I'm always looking for something new. Last night my friend Stacy invited me to join her at 5focus in South Lake Union for a Kinesis Class. The Kinesis Class includes the use of a kinesis machine, which is a special type of cable machine designed to give you a constant resistance weight training workout that provides less of a risk of injury than the typical weights you usually find at the gym. The kinesis machine also allows you to workout several different muscle groups at once which reduces the time needed for your workout. There are only a handful of kinesis machines in gyms in the Seattle area, and they really do give you a great workout. Mode of Fitness in Capitol Hill also has a kinesis machine.
So, the class is structured like a circuit training class and has stations, and it looks like this:
The class felt like working with a personal trainer rather than an aerobics instructor. I was sweaty and out of breath at the end of class and it was awesome and I'm going back. If you are bored of just going to the gym and running on the treadmill and lifting weights, I suggest you try this class. Your first appointment is free, but make sure you schedule an appointment because class sizes are small and they fill up.
What is it with Seattle and the song Don't Stop Believin' by Journey? On election night 2008, the people who flooded the streets of Capitol Hill broke out into song when the results were in that Obama won the election.
My aunt and uncle own a rental house in Bandon, OR, so this week a couple of my friends and I decided to make the trek to the Oregon Coast and enjoy a few days on the beach. I hadn't been to the house before because I thought the trip was too far away for a quick getaway from Seattle. It takes about 7 hours to drive to Bandon from Seattle. It turned out that a 7 hour drive is not as bad as it seems, and it is well worth the effort to get to Bandon.
For one, the beach house is RIGHT on the beach. At night during high tide, we felt like the waves were crashing right next to the front deck. If you are interested in renting, you can do so on Bandon Beach Sand Castle. The beach itself is spectacular with miles and miles of sandy beaches. The weather was surprisingly warm for this time of year (65 degrees), but Bandon is pretty close to the California border so I'm guessing the weather is warmer in sourthern Oregon than the Puget Sound. I wouldn't recommend swimming in the ocean in Bandon, but maybe it's a little easier to get into the cold ocean water in the summertime.
Bandon is a tiny town, but it is home to the biggest golf course I have ever been to, Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Bandon also offers horseback riding on the beach, ATV rentals, and it is near the Sea Lion Caves. We went to the Sea Lion Caves on our drive back to Seattle, which is what I recommend doing if you decide to visit the caves, because they are about 1.5 hours north of Bandon on Highway 101 and you don't need to spend a lot of time there, because it's pretty smelly, but definitely worth checking out.