Category Archives: Capitol Hill

His Immortal Army

 

This warrior, at the Pacific Science Center exhibit, previously stood in a chariot holding reins, buried at the emperor’s tomb complex. The photo behind him shows terracotta soldiers standing in formation, in dug pits.   All photos:  Alethea Myers

Over 2,200 years ago, a 13-year old boy became the very first emperor of China. For all these years, his immense tomb site and complex remained hidden from the world, only to be discovered in 1973 by farmers near Xi’an, China when they unearthed shards of pottery while digging a well. Emperor Qin Shihuangdi (Qin Shi Huang) had created an unparalleled underground realm to continue his imperial rule and achieve immortality after death. A massive army of 8,000 life-sized soldiers and many other figures was created from terracotta clay to stand guard in the pits dug around his tomb. Only two museums in the United States have been approved by the Republic of China to host an exhibition featuring 10 of these ancient warriors and many other artifacts. The Pacific Science Center in Seattle is fortunate to be one of these, and the popular exhibit runs until September 4th.

A calvaryman stands by his horse. The depiction of the horse was so accurate, that the breed could be determined and traced to a certain region of China.

Why should I see this exhibit? A few reasons:

Sheer size and age: Nothing on this scale or size has been done for a royal burial in China before or after the Qin Dynasty. At 22 square miles, it’s the largest burial site in the world. Only 2,000 warriors have been uncovered so far and painstakingly reassembled out of an estimated 8,000 total. Each statue weighs an average of 300 pounds. It’s estimated that 700,000 workers labored over the span of the emperor’s reign to complete this massive project. Many of them were criminals or called up by draft. Although there were also skilled craftsmen and volunteers, some were there to serve out a punishment or to pay off taxes. Some workers were entombed.

There were also carved clay acrobats, musicians, armor, animals, and chariots. And real weapons, real musical instruments, and coffins with animal skeletons. The emperor wanted to be entertained in the afterlife.

Short reign, much accomplished: Although Qin Shihuangdi’s empire only lasted 36 years, he managed to leave a mark in various aspects. His burial site is unprecedented in size and scope. The republic had previously consisted of Warring States, which he unified in less than a decade.  As China’s First Emperor, he standardized the money (coins) of his realm; previously they had been every shape and size. He is sometimes credited with building the Great Wall of China, formerly a series of sporadic little walls.

A musical instrument, a bell, found at the burial site.

The best is yet to come: The most amazing section of the burial site has yet to be unearthed: the emperor’s burial chamber and tomb mound. According to historical records dating 200 years after his reign, an elaborate sub-chamber with two manmade, underground rivers filled with toxic, liquid mercury exist near his tomb. High mercury levels have been detected around the site, so it’s necessary to proceed with caution. Also, sadly, the bright paint on the warrior figures, after being buried for over 2,200 years, flaked off within 10 minutes of exposure to the open air. So technology might need to catch up to avoid this when Qin Shihuangdi’s tomb is finally opened. His manmade tomb mound, at 250 feet high, is larger than the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

Qin Shihuangdi longed for immortality. And in the uniqueness of his burial, he has done just that.

Click here for Pacific Science Center ticket information.

FREE Summer Fitness

Photo: Seattle Art Museum

Want to catch some rays while getting budget-wise exercise? There are many group classes, led by professional instructors, offered for FREE this summer. Below are many nearby locations to strengthen your muscles and expand your skills. Enjoy!

SEATTLE CENTER, 301 Mercer St., Seattle 98109
June 20th-August 23rd
Zumba Class:
Tuesdays, 6-7 pm (except July 4th), Next50 Plaza
Meditation and Relaxation Class:
Tuesdays, 7-8 pm (except July 4th), Armory Rm. 301
Gentle Yoga:
Wednesdays, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, Exhibition Hall Lawn
http://www.seattlecenter.com/fitness

OLYMPIC SCULPTURE PARK, 2901 Western Ave., Seattle  98121
On Saturdays from
July 15th through August 26th, enjoy public tours of the park, art making, musical performances, and family activities.  In addition, partake of these free fitness classes on the green:
Vinyasa Flow Yoga (all levels): 9-10 am
Hatha Yoga (all levels): 10:30-11:30 am (July 29th is “Family Field Day” from 11 am-3 pm, which includes family yoga)
Zumba: 2-3 pm
http://summer.site.seattleartmuseum.org/category/saturdays

ST. MARK’S CATHEDRAL, 10th Ave. E., Seattle 98102
Cathedral Yoga
Ongoing on Sundays, 6-7 pm (this one possibly indoors–ask)
http://www.saintmarks.org/grow/adult-groups/yoga

PARKS
CASCADE PLAYGROUND, 333 Pontius Ave. N., Seattle 98109
Yoga on the Lawn: June 10th- Sept. 30th, Saturdays at 12 noon
http://www.cascadeplayground.org

FREEWAY PARK, 700 Seneca St., Seattle 98101
Dancing ‘til Dusk: Variety of musical styles (see this pdf). 6 pm lesson, 7-9:30 dancing. Thursdays July 20th, 27, August 3rd, 10th, and 17th.
https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/downtown-parks
Zumba: Mondays July 17, 24, 31, and August 7, 5:30-6:30 pm, West Plaza
Yoga: Wednesdays 12-1 pm July 19th and 26th, 5:30-6:30 pm August 2nd and 9th, Upper Plaza
http://freewayparkassociation.org/blog/our-events

WESTLAKE PARK, 401 Pine St., Seattle 98101
Dancing ‘til Dusk: Variety of musical styles (see this pdf). 6 pm lesson, 7-9:30 dancing. Tuesdays July 25th, August 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.
https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/downtown-parks
Tai Chi: June 24 – August 19, 8-9 am
Spin Cycle: last Wednesdays June 28, July 26,and August 30th, 3 sessions daily: 7 am, 12 noon, and 5:30 pm, with open cycling in-between
https://www.facebook.com/WestlakePark

OCCIDENTAL SQUARE, 117 S. Washington St., Seattle, 98104
CrossFit: every Friday morning in July at 6:30-7:30 am, and every Wednesday evening in August at 5:30-6:30 pm
Dancing ‘til Dusk: Variety of musical styles (see this pdf). 6 pm lesson, 7-9:30 dancing. Tuesdays July 11th and July 18th.
https://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/downtown-parks

Film Comes To Life In “Film Is Dead” Exhibit

In the midst of the digital age, many are astounded that film still even exists. Everyone has digital film and video capabilities, and film Is very expensive, so, why bother right?

While that may have been what you thought once upon a time, your mind will be forever changed once you see the brilliant art made on and with film by artist Jennifer West at her Seattle Art Museum installation “Film Is Dead”.

In this revolutionarily inventive show, West uses 70mm, 35mm and 16mm analog film strips to create beautiful and visually compelling works of art. She treats the film with common household items including food coloring, nail polish, coffee, vinegar, bleach and more to create patterns and unplanned but stunning effects by eroding the films emulsion, staining it and letting the film take one whatever characters it might.

West’s SAM exhibit features film strips and remnants that have been treated and manipulated by the artist in this way, hung from the ceiling, and spanning almost the entire length of the gallery.

In addition to the physical installation at SAM, West has taken many of these works and digitized them to create a film that explores the differences and relationship between the analog and digital qualities of the film medium, creating another layer to this thought provoking artistic experiment.

Jennifer West is a Los Angeles based artist with some history in the Seattle. West received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College in Olympia before returning to her home state of California to earn her Masters in Fine Arts from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

West’s works have been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions across the country and the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NY, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR and many more.

Her love affair with film dates back more than ten years and she boasts a very interesting and varied portfolio of works including photographic and video works using different and rare types of film and film techniques, light play, performance and her unique film quilts and magic lantern works. West’s style and aesthetic are likely different from any you’ve seen before, exploring and challenging the differences between modern digital photographic art and classic analog film techniques. Her style simultaneously evokes nostalgic feelings and encapsulates a modern and almost futuristic aesthetic, and over all seems to challenge films obsoleteness and the digital waves supremacy.

If you share a love of visual arts, interesting techniques, the fusion of arts and science or simply subscribe to the thought that everything old is new again, “Film Is Dead” is a show worth seeing, if for no other reason than to see something beautiful before it’s gone.

JENNIFER WEST: FILM IS DEAD . . .

Exhibit on display through SUN MAY 7 2017

SEATTLE ART MUSEUM

THIRD FLOOR GALLERIES

Seattle Icon: Daniel’s Broiler And Its Deep Local Roots

Daniels Broiler, situated on the shores of Lake Union, has been a Seattle landmark of fine dining for what seems like forever. With its sweeping views of Lake Union, Queen Anne and Gasworks Park in addition to its incredible menu of USDA prime steaks and chops, all prepared impeccably, Daniel’s has always been the go-to venue for holiday and celebratory meals, fine craft cocktails and some of the best steaks you’ll ever enjoy.

Recently, people have been up in arms as rumors swirled regarding the possible closing of Daniel’s Lake Union location, due to Vulcan Real Estate’s plans to redevelop the pier on which it sits. Those fears were somewhat put to rest this week when the Seattle Times reported that Daniel’s on Lake Union will not close, but will merely move to a nearby location, still along the shores of South Lake Union. It seems fabulous steaks and sweeping Lake Union vistas will remain on Daniel’s menu for years to come, and we’ll drink to that!

Over the years, Daniel’s Broiler has become a local fine dining legend in the Seattle area, synonymous with delicious, high-end meals, superb craft cocktails, incredible views and live music, outstanding service and a seemingly never ending parade of Seattle’s most interesting and beautiful people to be found on any given night, enjoying a bite or a sip. However, many of us who have grown up in the Seattle area, (particularly those of us under a certain age) know very little of the famed steakhouse’s origins.

Daniel’s has been owned and operated by The Schwartz Brothers Restaurant group since 1981, and has changed very little since its beginnings at the Leschi Marina in 1980, but it’s true roots go much deeper than that. Daniel’s Broiler was started by a man named, well, Daniel, believe it or not. Daniel Jack Sandal, to be specific.

Daniel Sandal, a born and bred Seattleite, grew up in The Emerald City’s Wallingford neighborhood, graduated from the now closed Lincoln High School, and got his start in the food industry at the World-Famous Pike Place Market. Daniel’s Grandfather, Dan Zido, founded “Dan’s Better Meats” in Pike Place Market in 1910, and it was there, (in a space at the market that is now known as the home of Italian favorite, Il Bistro) that Daniel began his love affair with meat, as a third-generation butcher.

Eventually the butcher shop moved upstairs in the market, to where you will now find “Don and Joe’s Meats” (unsurprisingly, Don and Joe are related to Dan, and have kept the family tradition of quality cuts alive in Pike Place). Dan took over the family business when his father retired and decided to expand their wholesale business drastically, with their meats soon being featured at Seattle’s finest restaurant, including Canlis, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, The Space Needle and plenty more. He also started a daily-delivered, fresh-ground meat patty service for local favorite burger joint, Dick’s Drive-In, helping to make those burgers we all know and love so darn scrumptious.

In the Early 1970’s, Dan began his foray into the restaurant world as a restaurateur himself, co-founding Benjamin’s with partner Arnold Shain. The success of Benjamin’s fueled Dan and Arnold to continue on in the restaurant game, with the opening of The Gasworks Restaurant, but eventually, they parted ways as partners.

In 1980, at the ripe, young age of 40, Daniel decided it was time to start his own place, a place for steaks and chops so terrific, people would fall in love, and that they did. The vision for the original Daniels Broiler was to be Dan’s own take on the fine dining he had grown up with in Seattle, drawing heavy inspiration from places like Canlis, but staying true to the steakhouse theme with top quality steaks and chops consistently available and prepared perfectly.

Daniel’s was a sort of experiment for Dan, as he had only ever opened and operated restaurants with partners prior to Daniel’s Broiler. He was once quoted as saying “I wanted to see if I could do it, I did it on my own so I didn’t have to deal with other’s dreams and problems and wouldn’t be at anyone else’s mercy.” And do it, he did. Daniel’s Broiler became a success from the very beginning, in its original home, located on the glistening shores of Lake Washington in the Leschi Marina.  At the time, this was a convenient location for Mercer Island and Bellevue residents, until they closed the I-90 entrance and exit on the east side of the tunnels when the second bridge was built.  Today, the original Daniel’s location serves the Mount Baker, Leschi, Madrona, Washington Park, Madison Park and Denny Blaine neighborhoods and a slew of long-time customers. 

Since being purchased by the Schwartz Brothers in late 1981, they have made very few changes to Dan Sandal’s original concept for the restaurant. The Schwartz Brothers did expand the Daniel’s brand to include locations in Bellevue (opening in 1989) and the location we all know and love, on the shores of Lake Union (since 1999), where Dan and Arnold’s first venture, Benjamin’s, once lived.

Dan Sandal passed away in 2012, but left behind a much loved and delicious legacy in Daniel’s Broiler. While many people find success in the Seattle restaurant scene, few reach the iconic status of Daniel’s Broiler, nor do they stand the test of time, untarnished and as beloved as ever the way Daniel’s has.

Daniel’s Broiler has been a Seattle staple for over 35 years, in 3 different locations, and it doesn’t appear that that will be changing anytime soon. While the Lake Union location may be moved slightly to make way for the inevitable growth and changes of a bustling city, it’s good to know it won’t be going far.