The Weekly Wire: The Week's Recommended Events (in West Seattle)

WEDNESDAY 1/19 Photography: Lost in Space Mercer Island photographer Roger Ressmeyer has done quite a bit of globe-trotting on assignments for Time, National Geographic, and other publications that—back in the day—ran lots of large, lovely, color-saturated shots. In more recent years, he's helped run stock photo agencies like Getty Images and the Bill Gates–owned Corbis. But his career-long interest has been science and the natural world—the way our volatile planet treats us like small, insignificant inhabitants, and how, in turn, Earth itself is a small, insignificant object in the universe. The two dozen vivid images collected in The Beginning of Totality depict the violence of lightning strikes and the heat of lava flows. Earthquakes buckle buildings in San Francisco and acid ponds gurgle in Yellowstone. But above, the stars whirl impassively over our telescopes and observatories. And the setting sun at Stonehenge makes those rocks seem comparatively new. What we deem ancient will soon be recycled back into stardust. (Through Jan. 30.) ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., 938-0339, artswest.org. Free. Noon–7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER THURSDAY 1/20 Boozing: A Pint of Petals There is a beer on tap in West Seattle that tastes like flowers. A gulp of the Laurelwood Workhorse IPA is like lying in a breezy meadowful of wild poppies and clover—a picturesque nature fantasy that fits with The Celtic Swell's panoramic view of Alki Beach. Laurelwood's brewed in Portland, but if you want to support local, there's also Odin's Ruby Red Ale and Hale's Cream Ale. The Swell being an Irish pub, Guinness also flows in abundance. A refreshing craft beer really is priceless—but at The Celtic Swell Happy Hour (Mon.–Fri.), all these delicious draughts are a dollar off. (So are wells, and Bud and Corona are $2.50.) Food's also available on the cheap—luscious cheese fries, creamy potato-leek soup, a crunchy blue-cheese wedge salad and more will all run you only $5 each. (There's also traditional Irish fare like shepherd's pie and soda bread on the reasonably priced regular menu). And it's fresh food, too—not the suspicious sort that's been shoved into the microwave in back and reheated a few times. Locals love haunting the Swell at all hours, but with its exciting drinking options, quality eats, cheery bargirls, and lovely locale, this place offers all the makings of a perfect happy hour. The Celtic Swell, 2722 Alki Ave. S.W., 932-7935. Free. 4–6 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON FRIDAY 1/21 Bowling: Twee and Twilight The cutest art exhibit there ever was, Dwelling on the Past, opened at Twilight Artist Collective last Thursday night. Featured artists, who more often than not appear on Etsy.com selling their embroidery and arts, include Pamela Davis, who also curated the show and is part of the artist collective at Twilight. With more embroidery per square inch than a Christmas present from Grandma, "Dwelling" is a mixed-media celebration of the simple things. All with at least a few stitches. Curious how stitches are incorporated into today's technology? Play a guitar through an embroidered distortion pedal or watch a stitched animation of Space Invaders. A gentle sadness permeates. Nostalgia reigns. The show makes you happily return to simpler times, yet you remember that even then you longed for something else. The show, which includes media as diverse as vintage books and a pinhole camera, vibed well with both the Belle and Sebastian twee and the White Stripes' vintage rebellion that streamed through the speakers. (Through Feb. 6.) Twilight Artist Collective, 4306 S.W. Alaska St., 933-2444, twilightart.net. Free. 11 a.m.–7 p.m. LAURA EASLEY SATURDAY 1/22 Bowling: Balls Deep The old-school family bowling alley with 40 lanes, pro shop, restaurant, and lounge is going the way of the moderate Republican—except in West Seattle. On the neighborhood's unincorporated edge, in White Center, bowling alleys are allowed to double as casinos, which keeps business booming at two centers (Magic Lanes and Roxbury Lanes) within walking distance of each another, even when the pins are silent. A short drive down Ambaum, Burien's Hi-Line Lanes features a first-rate diner, the 11th Frame. But it's West Seattle Bowl, situated near the Alaska Junction, that boasts the most complete entertainment package. The 63-year-old alley just underwent a facelift that includes a solid new restaurant, the Highstrike Grill. Late on Saturdays, the lanes get clubby for GlowZone, where black lighting and dance music are apt to make a Highland Park dental assistant feel like Ke$ha for a night. West Seattle Bowl, 4505 39th Ave. S.W., 982-3731, westseattlebowl.com. $26 per lane per hour ($5 cover for non-bowlers). 11 p.m.–1 a.m. MIKE SEELY SUNDAY 1/23 Food: Fry Like a Bird Mike Gordon's mother, Geraldine, was such a good cook that Ray Charles used to swing by the family's Central District home for supper whenever he played a gig in town. With the summer opening of Uncle Mike's Barbecue in White Center, Gordon proved that the meat didn't fall too far from the bone. While all his kitchen's soulful staples—brisket, ribs, pork, links, beans, et al.—are tasty and reasonably priced, it's his fried-chicken dinner that's the top performer by both standards. With service restricted to Sundays, $9 will fetch a meal of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, cornbread, slaw, and black-eyed peas. The catch is it's enough for two, enabling even the most budget-conscious customers to treat themselves to a slice of Uncle Mike's amazing sweet-potato pie to end the weekend on a sugary high. Uncle Mike's Barbecue, 9640-A 16th Ave. S.W., 588-2713, unclemikesbbq.com. MIKE SEELY MONDAY 1/24 Gaming: Word Up "I'm kind of addicted to playing Facebook Scrabble," confesses Beth Yockey Jones as she helps put the Scrabble boards away on a recent cold evening. "I'm very competitive." Jones isn't just a regular at the Skylark's regular Monday Scrabble Night; she's a bit of a shark. With the event in only its second month, it still isn't drawing a lot of hard-core players. The first time Jones sat down with her seven tiles, she finished in first "by a huge margin." She won a coffee gift card. But high stakes and big prizes aren't the primary purpose of the tourneys. The $5 entry fee goes to local charities. On a recent Monday, Community Harvest, a nonprofit that collects your extra homegrown produce and distributes it to food banks, was the beneficiary. Jones, who sits on the Community Harvest board, says it was a smaller night for the organization thanks to a very big football game and the threat of snow. But as the tourneys grow, so will the cash hauls for worthy causes. And as a side benefit, Jones might get herself some real competition. Skylark Cafe & Pub, 3803 Delridge Way S.W., 935-2111, skylarkcafe.com. $5. 7 p.m. LAURA ONSTOT TUESDAY 1/25 Visual Arts: Layers Within Layers It's not only sticks and stones and dirt and rock in North Seattle artist Betty Hageman's Soil Horizons/Personal Horizons, though this mixed-media installation might seem so at first. Hageman combines earth-stained canvas and Plexiglass vitrines filled with natural, gathered materials to suggest how her internal processes reflect and parallel the Earth's own processes of accrual. She compares "soil horizons"—i.e., layers of rock and dirt—to strata from her own life. Hageman created her own "personal horizons" with family photos integrated with boulders and parent rock. Other materials include compost, soil, charcoal, and acrylic paint. Hageman's work is a reminder that life, like the planet's geology, is formed under the pressure of time. And time, along with memory, is layered into her art. (Through Feb. 26.) ArtsWest, 4711 California Ave. S.W., 938-0339, artswest.org. Free. Noon–7 p.m. KAT CHOW

 
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