Seattle Weekender: NW Bastille Day, outdoor movies, and bike through the blackness

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.
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West portal of the Milwaukee Road tunnel under Snoqualmie Pass.

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.

Henry Art Gallery

The Henry Art Gallery is throwing caution to the wind and putting on one extravaganza of an event this Friday (July 13). (Break a mirror, walk under a ladder, step on a crack — no amount of bad luck can screw this one up for people whose interests are piqued by art, music, and books.)

The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, the new exhibition at The Henry Art Gallery, centers around “vinyl record production and explore[s] some of the work being produced by labels here in the Pacific Northwest.” Vinyl records, unlike VHS tapes, are a cyclical form of mass art. Also featured at the Henry will be performances from Slashed Tires, the experimental band of Seattle producer Kenneth M. Piekarski, and The Hive Dwellers, the project of Olympia-born music producer Calvin Johnson. Johnson is the focus of writer and City Arts editor at large Mark Baumgarten’s new book, Love Rock Revolution: K Records and the Rise of Independent Music, which Baumgarten will read from. Love Rock Revolution explores the origins of K Records, the underground record label Johnson started a mere 19 year old in 1982. This one should be awesome.

If You GoThe Record, 15th Ave. NE & 41st St., 6-9 p.m., July 13, $10.Bastille Day

Regrettably, former Crosscut intern Alison Sargent is no longer with us, which means she cannot promote the Bastille Day festival at Seattle Center. She spoke French and taught English in France. Basically, she knows a lot more about France than I do. C’est la vie.

Some American’s understand Bastille Day to be that French holiday 10 days after the anniversary our nation’s declaration of independence — our hangovers have subsided and the fireworks supply has finally run dry. Ironically, involvement in support of the American Revolution placed a heavy burden on the French economically, and, compounded with taxes, breaking points were reached and revolutionaries stormed the Bastille fortress and freed all of seven prisoners within. The date was the flashpoint of the French Revolution  — if my understanding of European history serves.

So, as it is, French Education Northwest is celebrating Bastille Day this Saturday at the Seattle Center. French food, wine tasting, live music (French of course), kid’s activities, and more will go on all free of charge. “This event is an ideal opportunity to meet with French and Francophile people while tasting gourmet cuisine and French wines,” says FEN’s website. If you want to sound smart, mention how the Eiffel Tower wasn’t built until a century after the revolution.

If You Go: Bastille Day, Seattle Center, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, July 14, free admission.

Fremont Outdoor Movies

The tired quote of “who you gonna call?” is enough to make some people avoid 1984’s Ghostbsuters like Slimmer trying to escape an unlicensed nuclear accelerator (although you'd have to really hate that line to avoid the brilliance of Ghostbusters). Despite the overworked phrase, the movie was the smash hit of '84, has stood the test of time, and probably filled millions of dreams with giant, smirking Stay Puft Marshmallow Men.

As a kid, Ghostbusters scared the hell out of me. My sister used to pause the moment when the ghost in the library cavern morphs into a hideous monster, then call me back into the room promising the scary part was over. Now this scene is hilarious to me: Ray’s (Dan Aykroyd) ingenious plot to capture the ghost is to simply “get her!”

Fremont Outdoor Movies kicks off the 2012 season with what surely is a long-lasting fan favorite. Local food trucks Molly Moon Ice Cream and Happy Grillmore will replace buttered-up theater food normally served at Regal Cinemas. Plus, $100 is on the line for best costume (Gozer would be a good choice). Are you a god? The answer is always yes.

If You Watch: Ghostbusters, 3501 Phinney Ave. N, 7 p.m., July 14, $5. 

Snoqualmie Tunnel

A vestige of the Cascade’s railroad history, the Snoqualmie Tunnel is a 2.3 mile long trip into the abyss. A part of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, your ride through the void can feel like a trip to the bottom of the ocean, and to emerge out the other side might feel like narrowly escaping death.

On Saturday, the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust will give less intrepid cyclists a guided ride through the tunnel — usually plumbed by only the most fearless cyclists — and then further along the 20-mile stretch of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail, with occasional stops to take in the vistas. Arrive at the Cedar River Wastershed Education Center at Rattlesnake Lake at 8:30 a.m., and the Trust will bus you up to Hyak (normally that's an 18 mile trek) where your pitch-dark ride begins. From there, a more scenic and sunlit ride takes place before ending back at Rattlesnake, where a BBQ awaits.

If You Ride: Snoqualmie Tunnel, Rattlesnake Lake (exit 32 North Bend), 9 a.m., July 14, $25, RSVP at

Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival

I’ve always been one to cut Macbeth a little slack. He’s just a bit impressionable, and his wife obviously wears the pants in the relationship. The Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival will put on its annual outdoor theater romp July 14-15. Seven different theater companies will perform scenes from some of Shakespeare’s most famous works. (Interestingly, Hamlet is not on the list.) But others such as Othello, Julius Caesar, A Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Taming of the Shrew will be performed. At Volunteer Park, all the drama and regicide will go down. Hark back to Ye Olde 10th grade English class and try to remember why Iago is Shakespeare's most infamous villain.

If Ye AttendOutdoor Shakespeare, Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave. E., noon-7 p.m. July 14; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. July 15, free.


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