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Seattle Weekender: Bike to work, Seattle's circus children and banned ballets

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.
A bike rider checks messages while at a street corner.

A bike rider checks messages while at a street corner. Flickr.com user Mo Riza/Wikimedia Commons

F5 Bike to Work day

“Things look different from the seat of a bike carrying a sleeping bag with a cold beer tucked inside,” says bicycle rider and writer Jim Malusa. This Friday find out how things look from the seat of a bike carrying a briefcase with a laptop and a sack lunch tucked inside —it’s bike to work day!

If you get on a bike one day this Bike Month, today should be it. Last year drew an estimated 20,000 participants, so there’s no way you’ll be riding alone, and Cascade Bicycle Club is organizing commute stations across the city and the region offering free snacks, sweet bike swag, maps, and bike maintenance checks. Good news for those separated from their workplace by a massive distance, a massive hill, or both: Metro is offering free bus fare to all passengers loading a bike onto the bus. Perhaps most thrilling of all, the event is your chance to ride alongside Mayor “McSchwinn,” in one of the shortest morning commutes ever, from KEXP radio station to the Bike to Work Day Rally at City Hall, where Cascade Bicycle Club is expecting to make "a special announcement."

An after-work bike block party will kick (pedal?) off in Ballard at 4 with live music, bike art, refreshments, a bike fashion show (turns out it doesn't have to be an oxymoron) and an appearance from Kidical Mass, which is like Critical Mass for the tricycling community. In the words of H.G. Wells, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” (Provided that the adult is wearing a helmet.) Seize the future, seize your handlebars, and take to the road!

If you go: F5 Bike to Work Day, your morning commute, Friday May 18, free with bike.

SANCA Annual Spring Showcase

Circus school is an option that probably didn’t exist for you as a kid unless you grew up somewhere near Paris or Moscow. But in a Georgetown warehouse in 2004, Seattle’s first circus school opened its doors “with a tightrope, a rolling globe, a mini tramp, a trapeze dangling over a trampoline, a few mats and five students.” Eight years later, the School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA) sees over 1,000 students, has awarded more than $200,000 in scholarship money, and is home to three student performance companies.

This weekend, their talents will be on display at SANCA’s Annual Spring Showcase, and trust me, you’ll want to catch these performers now so that in several years when you’re standing in line paying upwards of $50 to see them at Cirque du Soleil you can sigh and say with hometown pride, “I saw them when...” The lineup includes juggling, slackline, tightwire, aerial hoop, tissu, solo, duo, and triple trapeze acts, Chinese pole, rolling globe, unicycling, acrobatics and clowning. Many of the artists have already performed around the region and at the Moisture Festival, including 10-year-old aerialist and contortionist Saffi Watson, who currently stars in In Tents at Teatro Zinzanni. A special message for parents: sometimes the only way to keep your kids from running off to join the circus is to bring them there yourselves.

If you go: SANCA Annual Spring Showcase, School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts, 674 S. Orcas St., Saturday May 19-Sunday May 20, $14-$19

Eden at the Seattle International Film Festival

Sure it's a bit tired, but Megan Griffiths is living proof that the phrase, "Third time's the charm" still has some punch. Griffiths, who is one of Seattle's most promising young film talents, premiered her last film, The Off Hours, at Sundance and won an award for best director at the  2011 Ourense Film Festival. This time around the locally-filmed Eden premiered at SXSW, winning the audience award AND  the Chicken & Egg Emergent Director Award. (OK, so her second time around she didn't do so poorly either.) 

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Posted Fri, May 18, 9:55 a.m. Inappropriate

It was a nice day to ride to work! Those commute stations with food, and a mechanic to adjust things really made my day. Plus riding a bicycle is just plain fun.

Why are you still using that horrible stock photograph of the female bicyclist texting??? Of all users of the road, I have yet to see a bicyclist texting. Car drivers, pedestrians, yes, bicyclists and motorcyclists no.


Posted Fri, May 18, 3:18 p.m. Inappropriate

Crosscut has an attitude about cyclists. That stock photo was taken in New York City, as has been pointed out by commenters before. The term "bike rider" in the caption, and referring to the mayor as "McSchwinn", are both derogatory and inappropriate.


Posted Fri, May 18, 3:50 p.m. Inappropriate

"Bike rider" is derogatory?

Posted Fri, May 18, 6:04 p.m. Inappropriate

Well, "bike rider" is not the end of the world, but it does suggest a passive recreational activity rather than someone operating a vehicle in traffic. You would not call a motorist a "car rider" even though it would be just as accurate.


Posted Fri, May 18, 4:04 p.m. Inappropriate

"a special announcement."

Yet more over use of quotes. And the special announcement was the automatic counter of riders crossing the Fremont bridge. Hardly any more controversial than the counter loops in the freeway.


Posted Fri, May 18, 4:59 p.m. Inappropriate

Miraculous Mandarin... banned again...


"Storefronts Seattle Program Director Matthew Richter withdrew its sponsorship of Spectrum Dance Theater’s performances of The Miraculous Mandarin in the Bush Hotel. Richter cited dramatic sexual depictions and implied nudity as the reason for the withdrawal.

"Without support from Storefronts Seattle, Spectrum Dance Theater must vacate the Bush Hotel. Performances for the remainder of the run are cancelled until further notice. Spectrum is seeking alternate venues."

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