This year, we put our Best of Seattle issue to bed just before early returns came in for the mayoral and City Council primary races. So we’ve been thinking both about what we love about the city today, and where the city is headed in the future. With that in mind, we present a few guesses for what will be great about Seattle 10 years from now.
Best Politician: NIKKITA OLIVER
The idea of a “mayor” became anachronistic during Oliver’s fourth year as the city’s top executive, when she helped push through a ballot initiative delegating most city government powers to direct democracy. Still, this year may have been her best yet in City Hall. I mean, did you hear that State of the City address? She brought up half a dozen award-winning slam poets this time. One downside to Oliver’s success: Half the schoolchildren in this city are named Nikkita, which gets confusing.
Best Art Exhibition: KURT AT 60
When 60 Seattle artists teamed up to present a show of works imagining what Kurt Cobain would’ve been like at 60 had he lived, we were skeptical. But the gorgeous paintings, sculptures, and VR experiences of wrinkled Kurts putting on their slippers, feeding pigeons, and playing chess at the park moved us to tears. As fate would have it, the beautiful accompanying coffee-table book, Kurt at 60 ($60), just so happened to be the 60th book published about him since 1994. Serendipity, or destiny?
Best Poké Bowl: DICK’S
We too were surprised when Seattle’s famous hamburger joint also started selling raw fish cubes, but their genius innovation on the local favorite (American cheese melted on top—who would have thought?) and suspiciously/amazingly cheap prices won us over.
Best Marijuana Shop: AMAZON DIME
Dime bags delivered right to your door by drone, guaranteed in under four minutes and 20 seconds. We’ll miss all the brick-and-mortar pot shops (seeing all 30 Uncle Ike’s locations close was a little sad), but innovation is innovation.
Best Biodome: XWHEEL STADIUM
Biodomes have become a Seattle architectural staple over the past decade, but it wasn’t until the city’s XWheel Stadium, now the bona fide national epicenter for the popular Extreme Solowheel League, that Seattle saw its first true biodome masterpiece. Jayden Z. Spinsworth landing the world’s first solowheel 900 in the dome’s epic vert ramp three months ago also certainly helped XWheel attain legendary status.
Best Boating Dock: MADISON & SECOND AVENUE MARINA
With the waters of Puget Sound rising every year, it’s a good bet that M2M won’t be around much longer, so get in your watercrafting while you can at this gorgeous floating dock/marina/workshare space. Flag a drone and visit today—or swim, if your immune system is up to it (lol, j/k, don’t swim, you’ll die).
Best E-Residence Service: TELEDORM
One of the weirdest trends in the past couple of years has been the emergence of “e-residing,” ostensibly a solution to rising rents in crowded cities. Users plug in through their phones or home VR devices to experience a fully realized audiovisual hallucination of them living in Seattle. For an additional fee, Teledorm users can upgrade to Tele-Duplex or Tele-Cattle Ranch (available only in Magnolia and Queen Anne). For the quality and price, Teledorm is the best in an oddball field—or at least looks and sounds like it’s the best, which is apparently what matters, we guess?
Best Expedia SuperSonic: MICHAEL PORTER JR.
Watching Porter Jr. terrorize the Booz-Allen-Hamilton Warriors in this year’s finals gave everyone who played against him as a high-school senior back in ’16/’17 post-dunk-stress-disorder. The year he led Nathan Hale to a state title, he was called a ringer, and when he backed out of his commitment to the UW, a traitor. Now he’s simply a hero.
Best Homeless Shelter: BEZOS PLACE
It seemed like a safe bet that good things were going to happen when Jeff Bezos announced in 2021 that, based on feedback he got on Twitter, solving homelessness in his home county would be a key mission of his philanthropic efforts—backed by his $120 billion net worth. Seven years on, though, the results are beating expectations. Bezos Place’s emphasis on individualized services (robot-helpers are the best, aren’t they?) and housing-first has made it the gold standard across the world. The safe-consumption site on campus has saved an estimated 500 lives. And even the shelter’s Magnolia neighbors say they love it. Quite a feat indeed.