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HE’S ON IT. Before he headed up our Mexican consulate, Roberto was Mexico’s director-general of global issues and its chief negotiator for the groundbreaking Paris Agreement. (📸: Mónica Guzmán)

‘WE CAN’T LET ANYONE ELSE DEFINE US’

Roberto Dondisch heads up the Mexican Consulate in Seattle. When people think consulates, they think passports and forms and long waits in sterile offices. But this consulate — especially lately — is something else.

It’s the biggest foreign consulate in Seattle, for starters. Two more people work there than at our Canadian one. And it’s beautiful. It just relocated from an oppressive looking building in Belltown this summer to the former site of the historic Harvard Exit movie theater in Capitol Hill.

“It was very important for us that it be a dignified place,” Roberto told us in Spanish. “Our people have to have dignity.”

Walk into the building this Thursday, and you’ll see not only the reception desk that serves any of the about 800,000 people of Mexican heritage living in Washington, but also, to your right, a brand new gallery space featuring Mexican art and exhibits that’s part of the consulate’s brand new Instituto Cultural de México en Seattle.

That institute is a spin-off of the consulate’s department of cultural affairs, which became its own thing within the consulate just two years ago. Through it, the consulate’s set up partnerships with the likes of Nordstrom, Farestart, and the Seattle Theater Group; brought huge Mexican acts like Natalia Lafourcade and Café Tacvba; and is this month hosting the consulate’s second annual MEX AM Northwest Festival, which has everything from mezcal tastings to a big bash in Ballard celebrating Mexico’s independence this weekend. (Psst — The Evergrey is partnering with MEX AM Northwest this year, and you’ll see some events in our roundup, below. 👇)

The consulate stays real busy helping Mexicans whose future here is in question. They connect them with lawyers, make twice weekly trips to the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, run free medical clinics, and just expanded their support for Mexicans who were brought to the country illegally when they were kids (a.k.a. DACA recipients).

But we had to ask: Why are cultural programs a priority at all when President Donald Trump is cracking down on illegal immigration with harsh rhetoric and a lot more deportations?

“We have to feel proud of ourselves,” Roberto said. Mexico’s culture is among the most vibrant in the world, he added, and Americans don’t really know it. Plus, the Mexican community here is a diverse bunch. One way the consulate wants to drive that home? A monthly profile series it launched this spring to spotlight notable Mexicans in the city — like artist Fulgencio Lazo, penguin zookeper Celine Pardo, and Pedro Gómez Magdaleno, who’s with the city’s office of economic development.

“We have to show the larger community who we are more broadly,” Roberto said. “We can’t let anyone else define us.”

Know someone awesome of Mexican descent that the consulate should profile in its series? Send a note to [email protected].


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NOW HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON IN YOUR CITY

Housing hope? Buying a house in Seattle has been real tough the last few years, with record price hikes making people worry they can’t make a life here. But hold up, ‘cause new stats are in, and they’re promising. For starters, the number of homes for sale in Seattle went up 86 percent in the past year. And the median price for a home sold here dropped $70,000 in the last three months. It was still a super pricey $760,000. So. You know. Baby steps. (The Seattle Times)

We’ll tell you over drinks. Loud bars are great if you need a burst of social buzz. But if you feel like talking things out with a buddy or stumbling into one of those late-night convos on the meaning of life, you need some peace and quiet. Among Infatuation’s recs? France-inspired Le Caviste in downtown and the Sexton in Ballard — “a folk album personified as a bar.” (Infatuation Seattle)

‘It’s so cheeky, in every sense of the word.’ There are loads of images of late actor Burt Reynolds out there, and this one will surprise you. He’s painted on a paddle. On a bearskin rug. In the Native Northwest Coast style. Aaaand he’s bare-skinned. Artist Alison Marks, of the Tlingit tribe, said it was her answer to Northwest Coast art that depicts naked women. Plus, it’s just funny. (KUOW)

‘So I Broke My F*cking Nose.’ When she wasn’t preparing to take on the Washington Mystics in the WNBA finals (Game 3 is tomorrow night!), Sue Bird was writing an insightful player’s preview of the matchups with that for its title. “I don’t even like sports,” wrote one commenter on a local Reddit page, “and I really enjoyed this.” 🏀 (The Players’ Tribune)

Now for some nostalgia… If you’ve been in Seattle long enough (and are old enough) to remember shopping at the Frederick & Nelson or rallying to “Save the Market,” these “now and then” pairings from columnist Knute Berger should be particularly sweet, bitter, and/or revealing. “Then: Left town in August to avoid Blue Angels noise,” Knute writes. “Now: Leave town in August in order to breathe.” (Crosscut)

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HERE'S WHAT'S COMING UP

PARTNER EVENTS

📣 TODAY: Turn your stories into epic anecdotes with help from a storytelling and podcasting pro (Pioneer Square)

🏡  TOMORROW: Learn how to buy a home with a little help from your friends at this Impact Hub Lunch + Learn (Pioneer Square)

🍸  Thursday: Be a mezcal master and sample the goods at this mixology event from the MEX AM Northwest Festival (Capitol Hill)

🚚  Saturday: Make buddies while painting your very own trucker hat at this Foundation mixer (Fremont)

🤔  Wednesday, Sept. 19: Push or pull? Get tips on when to lead and when to manage at this Impact Lunch + Learn. (Pioneer Square)

🗣️  Thursday, Sept. 20: Sit in on this MEX AM Northwest conversation about Mexico’s past, present, and future (Capitol Hill)

💃  Friday, Sept. 21: Eat, drink, and dance at this party with fellow do-gooders. Evergrey readers get 50% off a ticket with code VPSeattle. (SoDo)

🍿  Friday, Sept. 21 – Sept. 29: Be a local film boss at the Local Sightings Film Festival, which features films and filmmakers making moves around the Northwest. (Capitol Hill) 🆕

AROUND TOWN

TODAY

🎟  Mambo after 5 at happy hour (Downtown)
💪  Boost your storytelling skills at this Evergrey partner event (Pioneer Square)
💡  Learn how to empower women in the tech industry (Pioneer Square)

 

TOMORROW

💡  Dig into Earth-sized planets and stressed out brains at a science slam (Capitol Hill)
🍴  Eat banh mis, learn about sustainability, and sip “green drinks” (Downtown)
💡  Get the lowdown on how to buy a home with your buds at this Evergrey partner event (Pioneer Square)
🍸  Sip mezcal and celebrate Mexican mixology at this Evergrey partner event (Capitol Hill)

 

THURSDAY

🗣  Dish on the week in news with local writers Ijeoma Oluo, Monica Nickelsburg, and C.R. Douglas (University District)
🎈  Catch the last Magnuson Park Night Market of the season (Sand Point)
💡  See a bike-powered cell phone charger and more designs for global good (Queen Anne)

 

FRIDAY

🗣  Say hey to R.L. Stein, a.k.a. the author of Goosebumps (Burien)
🎟  Do yoga and join a morning dance party on a boat (Downtown)
🎈  Make a playdate for the kids to eat moon cakes and welcome fall (International District)
💃  Sway and get dipped at a tango festival — through Sept. 17 (South Lake Union)

 

SATURDAY

🍴  Make like a mouse and nibble on lots of cheese (Georgetown)
🍴  Nibble on spanakopita, roast lamb, and baklava at a Greek festival — through Sept. 16 (Montlake)
🎈  Check out a boat show and go for a ride — through Sept. 16 (South Lake Union)
🤓  Get wowed by cosplayers and embrace your comics nerdiness — through Sept. 16 (Renton)
🍴  Nom on food truck grub and sip local brews outside (South Lake Union)
🎨  Paint a hat and make friends at this Evergrey partner event (Fremont)

 

SUNDAY

🏞  Learn about the Native connection to plants and medicine-making (Beacon Hill)
💡  Hear from a seriously badass group of local artists/writers: Ahamefule Oluo and writers Ijeoma Oluo, Lindy West, and Charles Mudede (Central District)
🎈  Take the fam to a celebration of our local feathered friends (Edmonds)

 

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with an Evergrey membership. Is an event sold out? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll update the listing in tomorrow’s newsletter.

SHOULD OUR HOCKEY TEAM BE THE ‘SEATTLE FREEZE’?

That’s the question that kicks off this wonderful unofficial tournament to name Seattle’s likely future NHL franchise. Kudos to The Seattle Times for putting it together, and for sourcing their series of name vs. name showdowns from 2,000 name suggestions they got from all us locals. Like the sound of the “Freeze,” or would you rather we go way, way back to when we won the first U.S. Stanley Cup with the name “Metropolitans”?

Go vote, and we’ll see ya tomorrow. — The Evergrey