Taste Global, Eat Local: Annual Plate of Nations Food Festival Ends This Weekend

by Nina Dubinsky

Take your taste buds on a world tour without leaving the South End! The 11th annual Plate of Nations, the signature event of South Seattle’s MLK Business Association, is here to expand your palate with dishes from around the world when you visit the 15 participating local restaurants.

The 16-day culinary event, ending Sunday, Sept. 26, gives visitors a chance to taste each eatery’s menu with shareable plates and samplers, priced at $20 and $35 respectively. These special menus are curated so customers can try fan-favorite dishes. Samples include mixed plates with a side of mac salad from Buddha Bruddah, mouth-watering doro wat with house-made injera from Amy’s Merkato, street-style tacos from El Quetzal, freshly fried catfish po’boys from Emerald City Fish & Chips, and authentic Philly cheesesteak from The Original Philly’s

“Plate of Nations is a great opportunity to showcase the neighborhood, and hopefully we’ll have a lot of diners from surrounding neighborhoods come,” said Drea Miller, co-owner of Buddha Bruddah. “The event is about representing different cultures — and that’s what our neighborhood is all about.”

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Local Sightings Filmmakers Crack the Alabaster Jesus Façade

by Beverly Aarons

“This film is dedicated to the future memory of white supremacy, the new world’s original gangster,” a deep voice declares. That’s how Manifest Destiny Jesus begins. Orchestral music blares, white text fades onto a black background, the words of English writer William Gilpin come into view: “The untransacted destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent — to rush over this vast field to the Pacific Ocean.”

Seattle’s crane-filled skyline comes into view. Logos of the richest and most powerful corporations in the nation glide down towering skyscrapers. Weathered tent cities cling to a dusty underpass. Seattle: a paragon of westward expansion and capitalist conquest. Fast forward: Displaced Seattleites lament the relentless hammer of gentrification. “I can’t even afford to live here,” a man says. 

A woman sits in Columbia City Church of Hope, a stained glass Jesus hovers above, his ivory hand points westward. 

Manifest Destiny Jesus, which screens at this month’s “Local Sightings” film festival, is a documentary that explores how the widespread portrayal of Jesus as white influences everything from gentrification to police brutality. And how one small church in a gentrifying South Seattle found the courage to ask, “What does it mean to worship a white Jesus?” 

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Weekend Long Reads: Puget Sound’s Tech Workers

by Kevin Schofield

This week’s long read is a survey — but mercifully one that doesn’t ask a single question about candidates on the November ballot. The local organization sea.citi, which bills itself as “a tech industry nonprofit strengthening our region by promoting civic engagement and building relationships between community, government, and innovation workers,” recently polled Puget Sound-area tech workers to test their views on a range of civic issues, their employers’ actions, and where they want to live and work post-pandemic.

The report buries the demographic data in the back, but it’s worth addressing it first to provide some context because tech workers are not representative of the general population in the Seattle area. Not surprisingly, the survey group skewed male, white, and middle-aged. They also are predominantly transplants to the area: 72% of them moved here as an adult.

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COVID-19 Plays Halloween Trick — Again

by Sally James

The past few days have seen a confusing swirl of decisions by health experts at the federal level, but here’s how the COVID-19 vaccine dust is settling. Anyone over 65 who received the Pfizer vaccine can now get a third “booster” shot. Medical experts say the booster can improve protection against COVID-19, which gradually wanes about six months after people get the first two shots.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky announced on Thursday, Sept. 24, that the booster is available to everyone over 65 and also to health care workers, teachers, and others in high-risk jobs. She overruled the recommendation of her own advisory committee, which had excluded high-risk occupations.

Within days, vaccine providers at drive-in, pharmacy, and other outlets will likely begin taking appointments for those who qualify for the Pfizer booster. Those who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccines will need to wait until those boosters are approved later in the year.

For children ages 5–11, there was also good news this week. Pfizer officials announced they will seek approval from the CDC to offer those shots later this fall, maybe by Halloween. But other experts warned that approval for the child-safe doses will require further review, and approval is not guaranteed.

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FICTION: All the Bodies

by Phebe Jewell

What does a 70-year-old wear to a drag show? 

Nancy runs her fingers over silk blouses, linen tunics, then shuts the closet door. Really? It’s the Milagro Bar on Beacon, not Vegas. No need to change out of jeans and a tee shirt. She and Barb are catching Margo Largo’s first set over a few drinks.  

Still, it’s her birthday tomorrow. 71. Not a milestone like 70 or 75. She would be okay skipping it altogether, but Barb insists. “Let’s celebrate your birthday for a whole week.”

Nancy’s never been afraid of getting old, but the latest changes in her body feel more like subtractions than additions.  

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‘This Is Spinal Injury’ by Seattle Comedians With Disabilities Premieres at Festival

by Laszlo Jajczay

Dan Hurwitz wants more people to be talking about issues affecting people with disabilities — he’s also a stand-up comedian, filmmaker, and writer.

His latest production, This is Spinal Injury, is a mockumentary that features Hurwitz and fellow comedian Kayla Brown attempting to put on “the greatest, most accessible, yet simultaneously least commercially viable comedy show featuring comedians with disabilities in the history of the Pacific Northwest,” according to the film’s website. Hurwitz recently spoke with the Emerald about how the film got started.

“A couple years ago, we started a comedy show called the ‘Disabled List’ and we gathered several other disabled comedians to perform. At the time, we were performing at the Pocket Theater in Greenwood and it was very well received,” Hurwitz said.

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The Morning Update Show — 9/24/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Friday, Sept. 24

#FeelGoodFriday | Build The Beach #ForUsByUs
Patrick McGlaughlin | Rick Best | #SupportBlackBusiness | Black Contractor Opportunities

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The ‘Lavender Rights Project’ Clarifies Their Community Calling

by Jasmine M. Pulido

Black trans women and nonbinary femmes are the most underserved population within the LGBTQIA+ community.

This is the reality that the Lavender Rights Project (LRP) knew but did not yet know how to effectively address after serving as a grassroots nonprofit law firm for the last five years. This September, on their five-year anniversary, after bringing Black trans women and femmes into new leadership to inform LRP’s strategy, they’re changing their mission to better hone in on this problem.  While they still intend to be inclusive and serve the larger LGBTQIA+ community, they will center their work around Black trans women and nonbinary femmes moving forward. 

“We are hoping to be inclusive of all LGBTQ in our services, but we see focusing in on Black trans women as a method to address all needs of the entire community. When we get it right for Black trans women, we get it right for everyone who reaches out to us for help,” Jaelynn Scott (she/her) said. As LRP’s executive director, Scott exuded a mix of fierce compassion that also somehow felt like a calming balm as she spoke about LRP’s future.

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PHOTO ESSAY: Intiman Theatre Celebrates Their New Space With ‘Homecoming’ Festival

by Maile Anderson

A high chance of rain didn’t stop Intiman’s “Homecoming: Performing Arts Festival’’ celebration on Capitol Hill last weekend. In fact, development and communications director Wesley Frugé called the weather “a wonderful way” to welcome the Intiman Theatre into its new space at the Erickson Theatre on Harvard Avenue.

“Intiman did not have a home theater for the past 5 years,” said Frugé, explaining the move. “Our offices were at Seattle Center but we produced all around town in different locations for every show.”

As part of the celebration, the block of Harvard Avenue that will now be a permanent home to Intiman hosted multiple vendors including Vermillion Art Gallery, Badder Body, and Mediums Collective

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King County Proposal Would Ban Natural Gas in New Multifamily and Commercial Buildings

by Ben Adlin

In an effort to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions, King County Executive Dow Constantine is proposing rules that would sharply limit the use of natural gas in new multifamily homes and commercial developments as well as encourage wider adoption of solar power.

“These updates will save money, they’ll create jobs, and they’ll have an impact on climate change,” Constantine said at a media event Wednesday, Sept. 22, at Yesler Terrace Park. 

Constantine declined to provide a timeline for the proposal other than to call it “wildly urgent.” The changes would need approval from the King County Council to take effect.

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Amplifying the Authentic Narratives of South Seattle