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Thursday, June 19, 2008

This Week in The Stranger

posted by on June 19 at 15:35 PM


Paul Constant Goes to a Los Angeles Convention to Survey the State of the Book-Publishing Industry and Eat Bison at Larry King’s House
“Larry King’s backyard in Beverly Hills, with its high hedges, glittering pool, and verdant lawn, is full of Industry People. Besides Larry King, there aren’t any movie or television stars here, but you get the sense that these are the people who hire the stars. There is a giant portrait of Larry King made entirely out of Jelly Bellies in the room overlooking the lawn. On the buffet table in the dining room is a mountainous spread of medium-rare bison, a layer-cake-like dip composed of seven varieties of goat cheese, dishes of duck pâté, and platters of other things so bizarre they almost seem like they were ordered off a menu from a myth…”

Erica C. Barnett on Ron Sims and the Budget
“Two weeks ago, Ron Sims announced the county would have to cut $68 million from its budget in 2009, a crisis Larry Phillips and other critics called both predictable and utterly avoidable. The cuts are more than superficial. They slash away at the heart and soul of county government—policing (Sheriff Sue Rahr predicts she will have to eliminate more than 100 deputies), public health (the county’s cash-strapped health clinics may have to close), and human services (whose funding from the county will be slashed over three years to nothing).”

Kurt B. Reighley on the Place Where Hiphop’s James Pants Lives
“Cheap rent and a penchant for making his own fun keep Pants in Spokane. But the city’s biggest selling point is how uncool it remains compared to most cities, including other towns he’s called home, like Austin, Texas, and Richmond, Virginia. ‘Spokane is a weird place. It’s a magnet for strange people. One of those cities that looks pretty downtrodden—and it is—but within that you’ll find strange pockets that wouldn’t exist in other metropolitan areas…’”

Christopher Frizzelle on Musicals, Avenue Q, and Barack Obama
“Like Sesame Street, Avenue Q is a mix of puppets and actors, but unlike Sesame Street, the puppeteers are visible, too, giving some characters three surface dimensions: the puppet, the person controlling the puppet, and the shadow they both cast. Unlike Sesame Street, the subject matter includes the fuckedness of being a closeted gay Republican (poor guy has to say things like ‘I can’t wait to eat her pussy again!’), the fuckedness of childhood celebrity (Gary Coleman is a character), how fucked you are if you get an English degree, the politics of hetero fucking on a first date, the deliciousness of beer, the wonderfulness of porn, and racism…”

Angela Garbes on the Restaurant Options on a Single Block in Greenwood
“Recently a friend boldly declared her belief that the block of Greenwood Avenue North between North 85th and North 87th streets is home to ‘the best food in Seattle.’ This friend being the sort of woman possessed of inherent charisma and credibility, I listened. (It also doesn’t hurt that she used to manage a cafe, owns her own stand mixer, and makes her own pork rillettes.) I tried to picture the area she was talking about, but the only things that came to mind were a Washington Mutual, the PAWS Cat City Adoption Center, and a McDonald’s…”

Dan Savage on God’s Mysterious Ways
“Homos are marrying in California as of this week (congrats to all), and should a tornado—or an earthquake or a meteor or the Incredible Hulk—flatten, say, San Francisco’s City Hall during a big gay wedding, respected leaders of the religious right will rush to cable broadcast studios to insist that the tornado/earthquake/meteor/Hulk was God’s divine judgment, His righteous wrath, the Baby Jesus’s latest temper tantrum, wocka wocka wocka…”

ALSO DISCUSSED IN THIS ISSUE: Clay Bennett’s case; R. Kelly’s acquittal; Sherman Alexie’s testosterone; the writing of one filthy German; Lindy West’s name (“My name was foisted upon me by CBS radio!”); black art; half-hearted Jello-O wrestling; the deadliness of undercooked turkey; and so much more.

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Angela Garbes FTW. La Botana is a favorite. There's some great stuff just a block or two away from that block, too -- Seattle's best gyros and barbecue, frinstance.

Posted by Fnarf | June 19, 2008 3:37 PM

Bison is *incredible*

Not sure about the medium-well part, but it's like very high-quality, lean beef only tastier.

Posted by Buffalo Bill | June 19, 2008 3:40 PM

I agree with Fnarf. So much awesome food in that 5-block radius around Greenwood & 85th.

Posted by laterite | June 19, 2008 3:43 PM

I told you there'd be floods.

The problem was you assumed I was mad at California ...

Posted by God | June 19, 2008 3:43 PM

I'll tell you what lives on Avenue enormous whozeewhatsit!!!

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle's Enormous Whozeewhatsit | June 19, 2008 3:49 PM

Who did that HOLLYWOOD illustration? That's super bad ass!

Posted by DOUG. | June 19, 2008 3:50 PM

According to the article, James Yamasaki did.

Posted by Fnarf | June 19, 2008 4:17 PM

LOL at your books guy gaining access to more action than your celebrity hack Adrian Ryan ever did in his years writing "Celebrity I Saw U"

Posted by Non | June 19, 2008 4:31 PM

Yay, thanks for posting this. I often miss the articles in the printed edition. This weekly summary will encourage me to pick it up more often.

Posted by SeattleBrad | June 19, 2008 4:36 PM

Bison is yummy.

I love driving to Eastern Washington, because I end up getting to have it at least once each way, no matter which route I choose.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 19, 2008 5:11 PM

laterite @3: I agree with Fnarf. So much awesome food in that 5-block radius around Greenwood & 85th.

Gotta say, Greenwood is a culinary mecca. But for me, the must-go places are just south of 85th. There's not a restaurant I eat out at more than Mr. Gyros. I consider their veggie plate a staple. I mean:

  1. Best falafel I have ever tasted.
  2. Best hummus I have ever tasted.
  3. Best baba ghanouj I have ever tasted.
  4. Best basmati rice I have ever tasted.

And then there's this charming, tiny Greek restaurant called Kouzina's. When I say tiny, I am talking three tables. And they're only open Wed.-Sat. evenings. And sometimes you might even show up at the right time and find that they're closed for catering. But the food is so good and the place is so lovely, it's worth the time and space constraints.

Between Mr. Gyros, Kouzina's, Olive You, Georgia's Greek Restaurant, and Northside Grill (Moroccan), Greenwood has really taken on a Mediterranean dining identity.

Posted by cressona | June 19, 2008 7:46 PM

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