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The Urbanist’s Seattle: Talking Points

The Headliners

In the sibling rivalry between PDX and SEA-TAC, Seattle just eked out a big culinary win. Chef Matt Dillon of Sitka & Spruce won Best Chef Northwest in this year’s James Beard Awards, while longtime heavy-hitter Tom Douglas won Outstanding Restaurateur. Portland winners: 0.

Earlier this year, latex-suit-wearing, crime-fighting real-life superhero Phoenix Jones reportedly pepper-sprayed some May Day protesters. Now Jones, who is equal parts local celebrity and potentially dangerous vigilante, has found his nemesis: anti-vigilantist and self-described “super-villain” Rex Velvet. The war is on. As of July 17, Jones’s supporters had donated $3,300 toward the bulletproofing and redesign of his superhero suit.

For Seattle sports fans, who have been without an NBA team since the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City in 2008, there’s a swelling sense of hope. In February, Seattle native and hedge-fund manager Chris Hansen announced his intention to bring basketball back to his hometown. Most recently, his company proposed to guarantee up to $200 million in municipal bonds for a new sports arena.

Buzz surrounding the newly built Escala Building has less to do with its sweeping views or floor-to-ceiling windows than it does with the condo tower’s most famous resident: Christian Grey, the fictional business magnate who beds (and bruises) Anastasia Steele in the omnipresent erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey. The building’s penthouse recently sold for $6 million.


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