Photo courtesy Matika WilburThe young photographer Matika Wilbur drove out of Seattle

 Photo courtesy Matika WilburThe young photographer Matika Wilbur drove out of Seattle

Photo courtesy Matika Wilbur

The young photographer Matika Wilbur drove out of Seattle two years ago, leaving her Capitol Hill apartment behind. Her goal for Project 562 is to document members from all of the country’s federally recognized tribes. Since launching the venture, she’s received national recognition from The New York Times and NPR. She may be our region’s most famous photographer since Edward S. Curtis, whose Indian portraits presage her own. She returns to Seattle this month to buy a small RV, then she’s out on the road again. So what will she savor during her hometown visit?


Best Coffee Shop“I always go and get a cup at Espresso Vivace.” She considers it the best in the nation—and she should know, given how many places she’s visited during her project. “I have a really educated sense of what’s good coffee,” says Wilbur.

Best Squash Soup“I love going to Cafe Presse at two in the morning and eating the squash soup.”

Best ParkCal Anderson Park is a favorite walk of hers, coffee in hand. She also cites the street-end park at East Aloha Street (aka the Melrose Trail): “It’s one of my favorite places to nap.”

Best View“When I fly back into town and see the city again” from I-5 into Seattle. “It’s very inspiring.”

Best Running LoopThe downtown waterfront. Wilbur once lived on the Pike Place Hillclimb near ZigZag, she tells me. Instead of running north through the sculpture park, she prefers the industrial views to the south, along the Duwamish.

Best Bike RideFrom Cap Hill, Wilbur likes to pedal up and over Madrona to Lake Washington Boulevard, sometimes also connecting north to the Burke Gilman Trail.

Best Way to RelaxSalmon fishing with her family. Given that her family fish commercially, it shouldn’t be surprising that “I feel really connected to fishing and the water” on Puget Sound.

Best Place for Buying Film or Lenses“There’s really only once place”—Glazer’s, says Wilbur.See Wilbur’s work at Tacoma Art Museum through Oct. 5 and at

Read all of our picks for Arts & Culture, and explore the rest of this year’s edition of Best of Seattle.

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