Cookie Counter Grand Re-opening
It was a summer night, shortly after my birthday last year. I had an affogato (ice cream + espresso) that came with my choice of cookie. All of it was gluten-free, vegan and so good that my Wisconsin dairy farm-raised grandmother, who once told me that people from Chicago thought milk came from a can, wouldn’t be any the wiser. Shortly afterward, The Cookie Counter closed, despite its high-quality homemade coconut milk ice cream and baked goods, community support and oft-full café. They cited financial straits and one of the owners car crash injury. But at last, in a true vegan It’s a Wonderful Life scenario, the community persisted, and raised the money to get them back on their feet. After months of anticipation, this Sunday marks the Cookie Counter’s Grand Re-opening (though they’ve had very successful limited hours for a soft opening this week). It takes place right in Phinney Ridge, and whether you have dietary restrictions or not — go! I recommend a sundae or a peanut butter s'mores ice cream pie, enjoyed on a warm summer night. The weather should be good too!
If you go: Cookie Counter Grand Re-opening, 7415 Greenwood Ave N (Seattle), May 21—N.C.
SIFF kicks off this Thursday night with The Big Sick and continues with three weeks of shorts, foreign films, premieres, Angelic Huston tributes, parties and documentaries.
One of the documentaries I’m most excited about is Crazywise, directed by locals Phil Borges and Kevin Tomlinson. For decades, Borges has been known for his stunning portraits of indigenous people around the world. In recent years, Borges turned his compassionate, curious eye on a subject closer to home: mental healthcare in the United States. Through the story of Adam, a now 31-year-old living with mental illness, Borges’ eyes were opened to the complexities and shortcomings of mental healthcare in the United States, where despite research and ample medication, odds of recovery from a mental crisis hovers around 1 in 3. In the developing world, however, this figure is around 2 in 3. And Borges wondered, “Why?” Follow him on this journey, in which he interviewed everyone from counselors to professors to spiritual leaders to mental health survivors in the United States and start conversations on how we can improve mental healthcare. This is the world premier of Crazywise.
If you go: Crazywise, Majestic Bay at 1 p.m. May 21 and Pacific Place at 7 p.m. May 22 ($14)—N.C.
In 2012, with his debut record Home Again, British singer and musician Michael Kiwanuka showed how much the world was lacking good, updated soul. To me, he’s like a hybrid of Otis Redding and Van Morrison (with a dash of Bill Withers), and his records pulse with feeling. Kiwanuka comes to Seattle this Monday (one of the only not sold-out shows of the American dates) during a giant, months-long international tour, in support of his second album Love & Hate. If you’ve never heard of Kiwanuka (a KEXP favorite) start with his recent track and video “Black Man in a White World.”
If you go: Michael Kiwanuka, Showbox, May 22 ($17.50)—N.C.
The Seattle bassist, composer and singer has been performing since he was a kid at Garfield High. Most people now know him as a member of local genre-defying band Industrial Revelation. But much like his friend and fellow musician Ahamefule J. Oluo who unveiled an orchestral and highly-personal musical project, Now I'm Fine, several years ago, Flory-Barnes has been itching to create something grand and eclectic. Tonight he takes the stage in an evening billed as "The Music of Acknowledgement of a Celebration: Inheritance, Authenticity and Healing."
If you go: Evan Flory-Barnes, The Neptune, May 18 ($18.50)--F.D.
A pair of former Merce Cunningham dancers (Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener) have teamed up with filmmaker Charles Atlas (who just nabbed a special mention at the Venice Biennale) in an "otherworldly" performance piece that combines live dance with animation, 3D footage and live video. People moving radically through space? If that's what you crave, then you know where you should go this weekend.
If you go: Tesseract, On the Boards, May 18-21 ($25)--F.D.