Avenue does big, big shows that travel. There are a lot of little fringe theaters, too, sort of off-Broadway. There's
a thriving arts community in the Northwest. And they are very supportive of one another."

Do you have a favorite LOCAL spot?
"I used to live close to Lake Union, which isn't far from the Seattle Center. It's where they shot Sleepless in Seattle. Remember those floating houses that sort of cluster around the shore? Lake Union has a special little island that juts out. It's called Gas Works Park. It used to be the old natural gasworks, but it's defunct. The hulking remains are there, and there's a park there now. In particular, nautical activities are very popular in Seattle because people are really in touch with the water and taking advantage of being outdoors. Like kite flying. Going to Gas Works Park is something I remember I liked doing as a kid. I liked it because it was always really windy there."

What do you love THE most about Seattle?
"What makes it special is that it's very progressive, but at the same time it hangs onto the special qualities that make people unique, and it celebrates that. If you look for it, you get a feel for the heritage. It's always been a port. Goods came to the Northwest from all sorts of places and landed in Seattle. It's also a diverse city. That's why you have so many choices of cultures and styles [in food], the type of people you will meet, and the new architecture that's boomed in the last 10 to 12 years. Downtown is an exciting place. It's a good walking town and it's the kind of place where you feel safe. People are friendly. You always feel good there. You feel like, 'I'll come back here.' It's a cool town. You feel refreshed. It's like a breath of fresh air."