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The Harvest Vine’s April wine dinner is just a day away, and there are only a handful of spots left! Enjoy the delicious offerings from Bodegas Nexus and Frontaura with Loreto Herrero – all paired with some spectacular dishes from Chef Joey Serquinia. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 19th, and the price is $125 per person (includes dinner, wine, tax and gratuity).  CLICK HERE to RSVP. Wine dinner attendees receive a 5% discount 6 bottle purchases or a 10% discount on case purchases (mixed case OK).

Here are the pairings:

First Course: Boquerones Fritos:  fried anchovies with alioli & frisee with Frontaura Verdejo 2015 (Rueda D.O)

Second Course: Calamares en su Tinta:  squid braised in squid ink sauce with bomba rice with Frontaura Cosecha 2015 (Toro  D.O.)

Third Course: Rabo de Toro:  braised oxtail with panadera potatoes with Nexus One 2014 (Ribera del Duero  D.O.)

Fourth Course: Plato de Quesos:  a selection of basque sheep cheeses with accompaniments with Nexus Crianza 2011 (Ribera del Duero D.O.)

Dessert Course: Crema de Chocolate:  chocolate custard with espelette with Frontaura Aponte  2006 (Toro  D.O.)

By Neal McNamara

SEATTLE, WA – In April 1994, the U.S. government bought a nearly 100-year-old brick mansion in Seattle’s ultra-rich Madison Park neighborhood for just over $1 million. Shortly after that, the Russians moved in.

The Samuel Hyde mansion, located at the corner of 38th and Madison, has been the Russian consulate’s residence in Seattle ever since. But after the surprise announcement Monday that the U.S. State Department would close Russia’s Seattle mission by April 2, Russian diplomats will also have to leave that swank Madison Park home.

“Once the deadline has passed the properties will no longer enjoy diplomatic status or protections. On the deadline day, diplomatic security will conduct a walk through to confirm that the Russians have indeed vacated the premises. As we did in San Francisco, we will invite the Russians to accompany us on that walk through,” a U.S. State Department official told Patch Monday.

The house, finished in 1910, was built for Samuel Hyde, the owner of a local liquor company. Before 1994, the home was occupied by Edward and Pamela Blecksmith. They only lived there for four years, however.

In 1994, the home had a taxable value of about $1.1 million. The government doesn’t pay property taxes on the home, but it’s worth close to $4 million today, according to the King County Assessor.

It’s unclear who will occupy the mansion next.

Syndicated from Patch.com, featured photo credit: National Parks Service.

By Sarah Anne Lloyd

Wednesday morning, Seattle Art Museum (SAM) broke ground on a long-awaited expansion to Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM), located in the middle of Volunteer Park in Capitol Hill.

The art deco building was the original home of SAM (one A) but became SAAM (two As) after SAM moved to its downtown location in the early 1990s. It’s now home to a large collection of Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Indian, Himalayan, and southeast Asian art.

“For the last 20 years, we’ve known the day would arrive when we needed to restore this building, a museum that houses one of the most important Asian art collections in the country,” said SAM director Kimerly Rorschach. “That day has come.”

That day arguably came a while ago. The building was first gifted to the city in 1933, and and still has the original heating system—and is in need of seismic upgrades, a new HVAC system with cooling and humidity controls, a loading dock, and a freight elevator, not just for visitor safety, but for preserving the museum’s art collection.

The museum’s 13,650-square-foot, more modern-looking expansion, which includes 3,600 square feet stretching eastward into park land, will include new space for galleries, offices, meetings, and studios.

Courtesy of Seattle Art Museum

In exchange for a new 55-year lease on the property and some zoning exemptions—technically, Volunteer Park is zoned single family—the museum will provide an estimated $338,725 in public benefits. That includes donation-based admission and signs clearly instructing that donations of any amount grant entry, plus a four free days each month. The museum is also subject to some benchmarks, like hours of operation and outreach programs.

The whole renovation will cost $54 million, with $21 million coming from the city. The museum’s $33 million will be helped along by federal historic building tax credits—the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2016—and fundraising.

LMN Architects leads the expansion design team, with landscape design by Walker Macy, in close collaboration with SAM and Seattle Parks and Recreation.

Courtesy of Seattle Art Museum

After years of neighborhood controversy, the expansion gained unanimous approval from the Seattle City Council back in January. Leading up to that, a group called Protect Volunteer Park had taken issue with the plan to expand the museum’s footprint, claiming it will disrupt the views and original vision of the Olmsted park. By the end of the process, though, the group seemed resigned, with one spokesperson telling the Seattle Times it was a “done deal.”

Syndicated from Seattle.Curbed.com

After First Viewing Shinto blessing ceremony on March 4th, the Seattle Japanese Garden is now open for the 2018 season. Visitors can now enjoy the Garden in the Washington Park Arboretum from noon until 5 p.m. on Mondays in March, and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Hours extend until 6 p.m. in April, and 7 p.m. May through August. Admission is $4-8.

The opening ceremony started with representatives from Seattle Parks and Recreation offering a brief welcome to guests, followed by remarks from representatives of the Arboretum Foundation; the partner organizations that operate the Garden. Then, Reverend Koichi Barrish from the Tsubaki Grand Shrine proceeded with the First Viewing blessing ceremony.

As the first religion practiced in Japan (according to the Reverend), Shintoism is a very old practice based on the belief that spirit animates all living things. Therefore, this First Viewing blessing is meant to honor the spirit living in the garden’s water, trees and stones, which is known as kami.

By chanting and using an altar of offerings, the Reverend purified the surrounding energy. He asked visitors to unite with him in the ceremony by bowing during special parts of the ritual. There were three guests of honor who offered a camellia branch called tamagushi, to bless the new year. After all guests were given the opportunity to make a wish, Rev. Barrish splashed aromatic sake in four directions to conclude the ceremony.

“May the ceremony bring good fortune to the garden and everyone who visits it this year,” said Skip Vonckx, Japanese Garden Committee Chair, in his opening remarks.