Museum of History and Industry

860 Terry Avenue N
Seattle, WA 98109

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Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) is a tribute to the creative energy and enterprise of the Pacific Northwest.  As are most museums these days, it is also an information-gathering site, inviting viewers to share their thoughts, ideas, and experiences as they move through the space, listening to others who have left their marks on our region.


My favorite spaces in the museum are touch screens where you can animate a person’s image and hear what she has to say about innovation.  Although some of the people on these screens are predictable—well-known regional entrepreneurs and MacArthur Award winners, for example—there are others who are unexpected, such as people talking about the role of creativity in skateboarding, early education, and DNA discoveries.   Museum goers are invited to contribute their own talking screen, as if to say creativity can come from anywhere where knowledge, passion, and vision reside together.

There is much to see at MOHAI about the history of our place, and much to do, too, including lifting the hill off Denny Hill.  A reason to get there before July 6th is so you can see the exhibit entitled Revealing Queer, which tracks growth and change in Puget Sound’s  LGBTQ community between 1969 and 2012, the year when marriage equality came to Washington State.  The exhibit is fascinating but perhaps more interesting and moving are the notes that people visiting the exhibit have posted about their lives today.  I hope the museum has a staff researcher who is doing something with those notes!


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2043 Eastlake Avenue East Seattle, WA 98102

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Multiply-windowed and magically lit, Serafina is a sweet little Italian restaurant with an elegant but not fussy neighborhood feel.  White tablecloths, dark walls, twinkly lights, candles, and delicious food —every meal I’ve had there has been a joyful chorus of flavors, colors, aromas, and great company.  Even a lunch stop at Serafina, sandwiched into a busy workday, feels like a gift you are giving yourself, not because you deserve it but because you need a little time in the lush land of the senses.  In this particular trip to Serafina, I was joined by a delightful young woman who agreed to make the trip in a wheelchair herself in order to better understand the wheeled dining experience.  As usual, the dinner we had was delicious, and the service was attentive, generous, and warm.  (Really—is every server in Seattle wonderful?  I’m starting to think so.)

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Meany Hall for the Performing Arts

4140 George Washington Lane NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 543-4880

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Over the years, I have seen beautiful, hilarious, moving, and thought-provoking performances at Meany Hall’s UW World Dance Series. These performances have opened my understanding of what it means to be a human being moving through time and space.  They also reveal the inspiring range of creative expression that the human mind is capable of producing, and, therefore, even the dances that are bewildering have a way of making me glad to be alive.

In some ways, sitting in my wheelchair and watching these gorgeous performances each year is agonizing, underscoring how unlike those graceful human bodies on stage my own body is.  In other ways, though, taking those performances into my heart and mind extends what I can do and celebrates the movement I share with all humans.  Lucky for me, then, and for other wheelchair travelers, that Meany Hall is completely accessible.


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Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft

15236 Aurora Ave N
Shoreline, WA 98133
206.362.8072 (website for all branches and online shopping)

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My sewing days came to an end in a disastrous eighth grade sewing class.  At the end of that class, I had to throw myself on the mercy of my best friend’s mom., who finished my project the night before it was due.  I never broke the news to Mary Lynne’s mom that she had gotten a C- on that project.  I couldn’t really tell and didn’t want to ask the sewing teacher if Mary Lynne’s mom had gotten such a low grade because I had given her  a botched start to work with or because the  teacher had looked at my completed project and recognized that–given my progress to that date–I surely was not the one who finished it.  I was grateful for that C- and grateful to Mary Lynne’s mom for getting it for me, so being in a fabric store doesn’t fill me  with 14-year-old trauma.
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Party@ Display & Costume

11201 Roosevelt Way NE
Seattle, WA 98125
Date of visit:  February 10, 2014 and many others

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All of us have a place in the city that is more than just a place, a place that may express something important about our deepest selves, a place that can pull us out of the darkest despair and back into the light.  Display & Costume is that place for me.  It was the first place I visited after getting my wheelchair.  Rolling in the doors after almost a year away, I was starving for the sight of fuchsia feather boas, hungry for a glimpse of gold glitter in a dizzying array of glitter-piece sizes, yearning for the 64-crayon box of matching paper plate and napkin colors, desperate to try on mullet wigs in blonde AND brunette, and, of course, needing to pay the appropriate homage to all things tiara.


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