Cover

This Week's Cover

 

Adoration of Dora

Although Pablo Picasso is never seen onstage in Lojo Simon’s Adoration of Dora, the legacy of the world-famous painter looms large in the play—and not always in a good way.

While it’s long been known that Picasso was a serial philanderer, Simon brings his amorous pursuits to light in a way that drives home the sometimes devastating consequences of his actions. Specifically, how they affected his longtime lover and muse Dora Marr, an artist in her own right both before and after meeting

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This Week

The Gristle

The Permanence of Variance

THE PERMANENCE OF VARIANCE: A remarkable schism opened between the afternoon and evening sessions of Bellingham City Council this week, although perhaps too few noticed.

The central puzzle facing the city—and indeed communities throughout the West and across the country—is the affordability of housing and its attendant concerns, as middle incomes have remained relatively flat while home prices continue to rise precipitously. The balance between what one earns and what one pays for a roof

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News

Realignment

Living in the volcano’s shadow

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Lava and pyroclastic flows (avalanches of hot rocks and gasses), mudslides and lahars (flowing, concrete-like soups of rock fragments and water), highway realignments and lane closures! The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

On Thurs., Feb. 19, representatives from Whatcom County Sheriff’s Division of Emergency Management and others gathered at the East Whatcom Resource Center in Maple Falls for short talks on disaster preparedness in light of the State Highway 542 Realignment Project and

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Film

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Feel good all over again

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Roughly midway through The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a lovesick Bill Nighy notes that Judi Dench’s character has “checked out,” referring of course to her status at the hotel. Still, the pun hangs in the air, suggesting a possible euphemism for a more permanent condition. The imminence of death serves as a source of both comedy and poignant self-reflection in this spirited sequel to the unexpected 2012 success.

If the first Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was all about seeking rest

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Words

Vacation Bookshelf

Dispatches from paradise

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For me, one of life’s greatest luxuries is finding time to read. On a recent Hawaiian getaway—in between whale- and sea-gazing, plentiful swimming expeditions and sunset cocktail hour—I spent two weeks doing just that.

My trusty Kindle provided me with some of my reading material—such as Alice Munro’s award-winning 1986 short story collection, The Progress of Love; Caitlin Moran’s intriguing and salacious How to Build a Girl; and a spooky tale dubbed The Regulators by Richard Bachman

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Film

What We Do in the Shadows

A bloody good time

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In Twilight, in True Blood, in Hammer horror titles and Draculas down through the decades, vampires have functioned as a metaphor for sexual hunger, passion above reason, seduction, temptation, addiction, infection and the lure of immortality, not to mention the pluses of pointy dentition.

The vampires in What We Do in the Shadows are symbolic of something else altogether: epic unkemptness.

A you-are-there mockumentary about a trio of bloodsuckers who inhabit a creaky abode in Wellington, New

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Film

Red Army

The real miracle on ice

Three things the Russians take very seriously: ballet, chess, and hockey. Red Army, Gabe Polsky’s lively documentary about the famous Soviet hockey team of the 1970s and ’80s, is, in a sense, about all three. The team known as the Red Army combined balletic grace with chesslike strategy on the ice. Most hockey aficionados consider them to be the greatest squadron of all time.

Polsky, whose parents were Soviet Ukrainian immigrants and who himself played hockey for Yale, centers his film on

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Outdoors

The Calm Before the Storm

A winter’s weekend beside the sea

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We were headed to the beach for some midwinter R&R. A couple of days beside the hissing surf—that kind of thing.

Sure, there was a storm in the forecast. Heavy rain. High winds. But maybe it would hold off for a few days. We were feeling lucky.

Although it was only 3pm when we reached road’s end at Rialto Beach, the light was already fading. We quickly donned our backpacks and headed north up the beach on an outgoing tide. After a mile and a half our progress was halted by Ellen Creek,

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On Stage

Adoration of Dora

Madness and the muse

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Although Pablo Picasso is never seen onstage in Lojo Simon’s Adoration of Dora, the legacy of the world-famous painter looms large in the play—and not always in a good way.

While it’s long been known that Picasso was a serial philanderer, Simon brings his amorous pursuits to light in a way that drives home the sometimes devastating consequences of his actions. Specifically, how they affected his longtime lover and muse Dora Marr, an artist in her own right both before and after meeting

Continue Reading »

Visual

Love and Other Demons

Animal attractions at Honey Salon

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In a large painting titled “Nightmares,” a horde of black horses seems to be materializing out of thin air; there doesn’t appear to be any solid ground beneath their feet, and the sky above them is a nebulous, hazy white.

Longtime Bellingham artist Michelle Schutte says the painting—part of her “Love and Other Demons” exhibit currently on display at Honey Salon—has nothing to do with a fear or distrust of those of the equine persuasion, but rather is part of a bigger picture.

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Food

Lentil Underground

A movement with staying power

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Lentils are a humble ingredient that appear in many earthy foods; simple, nourishing foods like Indian dal or hippie mush—the kind of food that feeds villages.

It turns out that lentils come from a plant that has a similarly beneficial impact on the land where it grows, and on the communities that cultivate it.

During the height of the 1980s farm crisis, four Montana farmers joined forces in a hunt for alternatives to the commodity agriculture system that was destroying their land and

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Film

Leviathan

Mother Russia or Mommy Dearest?

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Vladimir Putin’s Russia—brutal, carnivorous, delusional, but monstrously well-evolved for crushing both spirits and lives large and small—is taken to task in this excoriating portrait of the state’s omnivorous hunger for control in a far-flung northern fishing community on the Barents Sea. The Russian Federation’s 2015 Academy Award entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category (it lost to Poland’s Ida) lives up to its title and then some.

Director Zvyagintsev (2003’s The Return)

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Music

The Sidekicks

You can go home again

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Bellingham is rife with people who possess great skills and talents, are generous with their time and expertise, unselfishly work for the good of the whole of the music community, and are just plain delightful to be around.

I’d like to say that we could not do without them, but all too often we know these treasures are really only on loan to us, their stay here is finite and at some point they will leave to seek other opportunities, different landscapes, new lives.

When this happens, we

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Best of Bellingham

What's the best neighborhood? The one you live in, judging from this fiercely competitive category. With more than 2,400 entries in the Cascadia Weekly readers choice awards, every neighborhood was named again and again. But with so many terrific places--Trader Joe's, Hardware Sales, Kulshan Brewing Company, Jeckyl & Hyde, Homeskillet, on and on--Sunnyland comes out on top.

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Today

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Mar 03

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High School Bands: After performing in festivals throughout Washington, the Mount Vernon High School bands and orchestras present a performance of music from their core repertoire at 7pm at McIntyre Hall, 2501 E. College Way. Tickets are $4 for students, $6 for seniors, and $8 for adults. more »

Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest: The Sue C. Boynton Poetry Contest is accepting single-poem submissions from Whatcom County residents until March 31. Winners are invited to read their poems at a free public awards ceremony on Thurs., May 14, and winning poems are displayed for a year in front of the library and on WTA buses. Walk Award poems are displayed on plaques in front of the Bellingham Public Library for a year; placards of both Walk and Merit Award poems circulate in WTA buses throughout the county. See the guidelines more »

Sign Language Classes: The Hearing, Speech, and Deafness Center offers American Sign Language classes as a free service to the community from 12-1pm on the first three Tuesdays of each month in Bellingham. Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. more »

All-Paces Run: Staffers and volunteers are always on hand to guide the way at the weekly All-Paces Run starting at 6pm every Tuesday at Fairhaven Runners, 1209 11th St. The runs are 20 minutes out and back on two key routes—by the water or through the woods. During these cold, dark months a headlamp or flashlight is required. Entry is free. more »

Avalanche Awareness: Find out where and why avalanches occur at an "Avalanche Awareness" clinic happening from 6-7:30pm at REI, 400 36th St. Attendees will learn to access local avalanche bulletins and weather reports, recognize basic signs of avalanche danger and avoid it, and find out more about local case histories. Register in advance for the free event. more »

The Elusive Mr. Pond: Author and historian Barry Gough shares stories from his historical tome The Elusive Mr. Pond at 7pm at Village Books, 1200 11th St. The book focuses on Peter Pond, a precursor to Lewis and Clark whose legendary exploits in the fur trade included a life shrouded in mystery. more »

University Choir Concert: Head to Western Washington University for a free performance by WWU's University Choir at 8pm at the school's Performing Arts Center Concert Hall. The show is open to the public. more »

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