P. and I spent the afternoon at Artopia in Georgetown -- great event: food, music, art -- very offbeat and very Georgetown. I walked into Two Tartes for the first time in five (gasp!) years and it was all good. But why -- why -- do Seattlites wear so little color? Maybe this is the post-grunge look, all very grey, khaki & black. (And there I was, a visual siren in my multiple purples.)
When Two Tartes opened its doors nearly a decade ago, Airport Way was gritty and shuttered. It's still gritty, but numerous galleries, antique stores, studios, restaurants and bars now line the west side of the street across from what's left of the Rainier Cold Storage building. Back then we talked about a summer arts event but no one had the time & energy to organize it. Seeing it in full-blossom today was like seeing a child having newly entered adulthood. We pushed our way through crowds -- yes, crowds! -- of people. All the eating establishments had lines out the doors, and bands performed at numerous locations around the Airport Way strip. Booths sold everything from make-your-own-spin-art to jewelry incorporating vintage typewriter keys (P. bought me a 'T' on a chain) to apples and recycled/resewn cashmere clothing. The side streets are still dangerously pot-holed, yet there's an explosion of fennel which seems to have started in an empty lot and has now claimed bare earth nearly everywhere. Life flowed, overflowed, spilled from every doorway. Cops directed traffic as Artopia-goers roamed from side to side of the street. Planes taking off from Boeing Field periodically made the ground shake and the ears ring. A bit crazy, loud, festive, exhilarating and ultimately heady afternoon.
(Nonetheless, it was a relief to cross the lake to Redmond and our quiet forested retreat where the air always smells like camping instead of vehicle exhaust.)