Seattle-based artist and glass sculptor Dale Chihuly shares his five favorite places to eat, shop, and escape in Seattle.
It’s difficult to imagine glasswork as a large-scale installation; in everyday life, the material seems so fragile that it might break if exposed to the elements. But that’s what makes a trip to the Seattle Center’s Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition so special: The glass sculptures here, created by artist and sculptor Dale Chihuly, twist and blossom from the ground in a way that makes the material seem invincible and almost alive.
“I love to immerse myself in a great story.”
Chihuly has been fashioning this work for over five decades, and at this point, it seems that nothing could be too large or complex for him to master. The same could be said about his relationship with Seattle: Even in this historic and sprawling tech hub laden with art, shopping, and boundless outdoor activities, Chihuly can narrow the city down to a select few places that still manage to romance him after all these years.
Below, the renowned artist shares his five favorite places in Seattle, including his favorite garden to get lost in and a restaurant that feels more like Italy than Washington State.
“The cinema is one of my first loves and had I not started working with glass, I’ve often thought that I would have become a film director. The power of a great film—one that draws an emotional response from its audience—is undeniable, and I love to immerse myself in a great story. I enjoy the ambiance at the Big Picture movie theater in Belltown.”
“My boathouse hot shop is located on Lake Union, which is a working lake busy with a variety of marine vessels including pleasure craft, commercial fishing, and other large boats. I earned money for college by working on a fishing boat in Alaska, so I like to watch the commercial fishing crews working as they pass by, as well as the many rowing teams practicing in their shells.”
“My wife Leslie and I enjoy dinners at Il Terrazzo, an Italian restaurant that has been around since the early 80s. I’ve spent a lot of time in Italy, and Il Terrazzo offers authentic flavors that remind me of my visits to the country. My favorite dish there is the gamberoni provinciale, a shrimp dish with wild mushrooms, and Leslie often orders the “Maria’s salad,” named after the proprietor and widow of the restaurant’s founder, Carmine.”
“I love books about artists, design, and architecture–the subjects that have been so important in my life. In Seattle, a few independent book stores remain, including one of my favorites, Peter Miller Books in Pioneer Square. The store has a great selection of books around great art, design, architecture, and history.”
“Beautiful gardens are among my favorite environments, and I’ve done a lot of work in botanical gardens around the world. Washington Park Arboretum sits right in the middle of the city and has more than 200 acres of gardens and wetlands with so many varieties that you may never see everything. I love to watch the arboretum’s colors change with the seasons. It’s spectacular.”