It occurred to me the other night, as I sat in Benaroya Hall soaking in the heavenly music of pianist Yefim Bronfman, that we live in an incredibly rich area of the world. Not only do we enjoy magnificent natural beauty, we also have access to seemingly unlimited artistry in music, theater, food and the visual arts. I could fill the entire January edition of the Journal with “must-dos” for the coming year, but I have chosen to limit my list to 13.
I challenge you to choose at least one of the following things I have listed and do it this year. Or, come up with your own list and share it on the Journal Magazine Facebook page. Go ahead — expand your horizons!
January: Warm up in a local spa (okay, this is not the “arts,” but no one can deny that it’s what we all want to do in January). Olympus Spa in Lynnwood, Spaahh at Hotel 1000 in downtown Seattle, Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie and Massage Envy at various locations are all great choices.
March: Support local up-and-coming high school jazz musicians — known to make professionals around the nation scratch their heads in wonder — by attending Hot Java, Cool Jazz at The Paramount Theatre on March 22. Sponsored by Starbucks, all proceeds from the evening go directly to the music programs of participating schools.
April: Tiptoe through the tulips at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and go antiquing in La Conner.
July: Ride the ferry and follow your nose to the Lavendar Festival in Sequim.
August: Go to your local farmer’s market and buy some fruit or vegetables that you don’t usually eat, ask the vendor how to prepare it, and enjoy.
September: Take in your neighborhood art walk — it will open your eyes to the galleries right at your doorstep and introduce you to a neighbor or two while you support local artists.
October: Drive over the North Cascades Highway to see the foliage and stop at the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center for a hike or paddle.
November: Feast on a 3-course meal at one of Seattle’s top restaurants for only $30 during Dine Around Seattle month.
December: Wander through Seattle’s iconic hotels to see all the holiday glitter and cheer before taking in Nutcracker at PNB, A Christmas Carol at ACT, Black Nativity at The Moore Theatre, or the annual holiday musical at The 5th Avenue Theatre.
Bonus: Support the arts in your community by attending a concert or play right where you live — small, independent theater and musical groups abound in the region and many will surprise you with their professionalism.