Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The corporation

It's important to watch these kinds of documentaries with skepticism, and moderation. However, I saw this when I was in school and it helped me understand the evolution of our current relationship with corporations, and how they have grafted themselves immovably into our culture and society. When I saw it was on Hulu, I thought the least I could do is share it with a few people.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Seattle 100

I saw this in the Seattle Met and thought it was one of the most genius ideas to create a photographic log of the people behind Seattle's culture.

Chase Jarvis'
Seattle 100 is a book that creatively photographs the 100 people creating Seattle's culture.

Madoff in Seattle

Meridian's Frederick Berg charged with wire fraud, money laundering

Seattle’s Mini-Madoff Darren Berg Charged In $350 Million Ponzi

Friday, October 8, 2010

Support your local booze!

2008 ended Washington's ban on craft distillers' thanks to Dry Fly in Spokane.
The result has been a series of craft distilleries starting throughout the state. The same way micro brews exploded in the 80s craft spirits are beginning to make an impact on the business and culture of the Northwest, however the State Liquor Bord's old regulations and restrictions on distribution are smothering one of Washington next potentially greatest new industries and cultural contributions. I've been looking for a reason to vote in favor of i-1100 other than my laziness, not wanting to go all the way to the bottom of Queen Anne Hill for booze.

Here is a great intro to the ground breaking Craft Distiller, Dry Fly, and how they helped (re)pioneer the industry here in Washington:

This later opened the door for a hand full of new private distilleries in Washington State (I'm told there are 14 active as of last month, and many more coming. Here are a handful of the newbies):
Pacific Distillery
Sound Spirits
Soft Tail Spirits
Bainbridge Organic Distilleries
Dry Fly

Some articles on them:

I believe these are reflective of a different attitude toward hard alcohol in the state existed when the current regulations were made (Back when my grandpa was 17 and picked up chicks in his model-T coming down for the weekend from logging in Bellingham). Over the past few years we have been starting to see micro, or craft, creations, and small private distillers as important. Washingtonians are beginning to allow their love of local, organic, and artisan creations, that you can see at any farmers market, PPC, Whole Foods, Metropolitan Market, to combine with a more sophisticated palate brought on by the growth and success on our wines, and the increasing complexity of Seattle's food culture. You can see how our interest in consuming refined and rare liquor has grown through the opening of specialty bars such as:
Sun Liquor (who also applied in May for a license to start making their own booze)
Still Liquor
Oliver's Twist
Whiskey Bar
... just to name a few of my favorite spots.

I can't wait until we see a lot of Washingtonians be as carefully attentive and knowledgeable of our craft spirits as my favorite Scottish expert on Scotch (Charles MacLean):

However, local craft spirits are still not house hold names in Washington, and are not something that you break out as a favorite at your friend's condo warming cocktail at the over priced Escala. That is because the only way to get these are at the State' stores (and only sometimes). The following is a short video about the mandate for Washington Liquor Board's stores.

Their mandate is good on paper. Though with all the regulations bars and grocery stores have, it makes their use seem redundant. Every time I buy wine the checker at Safeway has to enter my birth date into the computer before it lets him move on to the chips and salsa. Watch the video about the impact that state regulation has had on the the growth of our new favorite Craft Distillery, Dry Fly. (side note: I didn't even know Spokane had a TV station... and I used to work in TV)

It no longer makes sense that distribution should be held as tight, especially for the craft distilleries, an industry that has grown by 1400% since the beginning of the Great Recession. (seem natural, I'm pretty sure that the last boom in "craft distilleries" in this state was in the Great Depression... if you get my meaning;-)

Bottom line for me is if other laws and regulations for grocery stores make the mandate of the State Liquor stores redundant, while it is also holding back a new, exciting, and quickly blossoming cultural industry. Leaving the profit, insane 51% markup and tax to the potential private distributors out of this argument (because they are in every single other i-1100 argument), it would help us develop and cultivate a strong new industry here at home. How many jobs do Washington's micro brews and local wines bring to the state? And what is their contribution to our culture and identity? Would they be such a success if the only place to get them was the liquor store, with a limited selection and a sleepy rent-a-cop? I think not. The best way to support your favorite local craft spirit, is to be able to buy it next to the specialty meat or artisan cheese you will be eating with it.

Viva la Booze


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bellevue Style

I love randomly finding fantastic new resources. I was on VueSocioty and saw this great pic from David Barton’s Fashion’s Night and saw the photo-credit for BellevueStyle there at the bottom.

I'm a clicker, so if I'm at all curious you guys are getting yourselves a page view! You all have to check out this site, it is a great resource for great things to do in Bellevue, and very well built. Being originally an Eastsider myself I really appreciate watching Bellevue become the fashionable place it was born to be.

Judge, rank, gripe and brag about your Neighborhoods

Because I'm around town so much, and I speak to people from out of town, I find myself trying to describe, summarize, and evaluate Seattle's neighborhoods in a really quick way to capture the feel of the people, businesses and general attitude.

Here is a little start up that is trying to have the community describe itself.

It seems like it is fueled by real estate professionals, and though I would rather have it be residents and business owners, I still like the concept.

You can log in with your facebook, and start reviewing, ranking and evaluating neighborhood the same way you might to for businesses on yelp. I know at least in Seattle there is quite a bit of neighborhood pride. So brag and gripe away people. Here is another outlet for your unending opinions:

Where Ideas Come From

Steven Johnson was the guest on KUOW Weekday today. Ironically I found his TED video last week. I absolutely love his ideas, and believe that new ideas emerge only in interaction and relationship with other concepts and ideas. When I taught my FIG at the UW for CHID 110. I used to open all the windows and encourage the students to wander off in thought and look out the window during class. The idea being that the more outside stimulus, the more new ideas will form.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Men's Fashion in Seattle

I saw Seattle Boutique Blogspot's Post "Men's Fashion Directory" from last year... I felt like a few places were sorely missing in the "directory of men's fashion in Seattle" So this one is for you, Sydney.

Oslo's - A Mens Store.
First I have to begin with Oslo's. John is drenched in press from every publication in Seattle, in addition to mentions in Forbes, and Details Magazine. The best part about this store is keeping up with Oslo (see great pic bellow) and the crew on Facebook. John is great about interaction, and every now and then he throws a killer party. (like scotch tastings). He is probably annoyed with me though because I hardly ever buy anything, I just like to stop in, say hi, see what is new and pet Oslo.

Asher Anson Ballard
Technically, Matt at Asher Anson has both Men's and Women's Clothes. However, he really has captured a unique niche that I think describes the "Ballard Condo Yuppie" quite well. (Don't worry guys, I'm not a hater). Also, congrats on getting Dino Rossi to walk the runway for you at Fashion Week.

I'm a little embarrassed to say that I didn't hear about Road Apparel until I had a job interview with them in 2008 for a marketing manager position. I didn't get the job, but I got to meet the crew, and I think their lines are a northwest staple. They can be found in several malls around the country, though they are headquartered next to a barber shop at the bottom of Queen Anne Hill.

Even though he doesn't have a storefront here in Seattle, I cannot not mention Rian Men's. My Buddy and ex-next door neighbor has lines of accessories and bags for men and women that are carried at Mario's and Nordstrom (oh yeah, they are NW/ Seattle Natives too) apart from his NYC store front. Also, Brad and Angelina asked for some bags to sport a while back... I'm pretty sure he sent them priority mail. Also, his studio where the magic happens is right across the street from the P.I. Building, here in Seattle.

Blackbird Blog
I totally agree on BlackBird. Their style is sleek, modern and utilitarian, very Seattle.


I've yet to go into the deli, but per the post on Sydney's blog I have to. Also, anyone who makes a sick promo video like this one, is worth the time of day.

Zig Zag Cafe

Yes, I'm going back to Zig Zag again today. I'm looking forward to meeting with these guys again. A few weeks ago I opened September's issue of GQ and saw that they were named the best bar in America! (not to mention previous rave reviews from Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, Seattle Mag, Cheers, Play Boy, San Francisco Chronicle, DrinkBoy.com, and dozens other that aren't as worth mentioning)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

To my Entrepreneur Amigos

I could have used this a time or two on a start up idea. It is especially useful for the poor broke college student entrepreneur. MatchFounders.com helps you find a business partner to develop your start up idea.

We all know it takes a team to build a business. And those of us who have tried, know what it is like to look for a business partner on craigslist.

TED: the future of economics and philanthropy

Tim Jackson, economist, focuses in on our economic values and the decline of investment. He then challenges us to see investment beyond just the financial terms but as a group giving to the future in any way. The argument is that that form of investment is the key to true prosperity.

Katherine Fulton, President of Monitor Institute gives this talk at TED about the current, diversified form of philanthropy that allows the average person to be a philanthropist.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Boxer Rebellion

I had a great late night on Satuday. Rian Berry (from Rian Hand Bags), invited Norelle and I to go to the Boxer Rebellion show at the Crocodile.

I got some video, but the audio didn't turn out so hot. It turns out the iphone isn't build to be right next to big speakers. The bellow clip is from the second opening band Amusement Parks On Fire

Here is a better quality video of the Boxer Rebellion than the one I shot: