Finally! A fabulous yoga studio has opened in Madison Valley in the traditional courtyard space along Madison Street. Earth + Wind + Fire brings the mega-watt star power of the owners which will surely restore this venerated site to the former glory of the original studio, Santosha.
The dazzling light-filled space has been lovingly refreshed to uphold its reputation as the most beautiful studio in Seattle. It is simply a joy to practice here.
Owners Alice, Madzy and Jamie have been together since 2008 when Jamie opened Mountain Flow Yoga. Alice and Jamie were childhood friends from Epiphany School, reconnected at an Epiphany Alumni reunion and were surprised to learn that they were both teaching yoga. Alice immediately jumped on board as Mountain Flow’s first teacher. Madzy was a student in the very first class Jamie ever taught at Mountain Flow. She quickly transitioned to teaching and through the years, the three teachers developed a sisterhood that fosters their current collaboration. All three women live with their families in our community.
Owners Alice, Madzy and Jamie.
The Earth + Wind + Fire name is from the yoga-based medicine practice of Ayurveda. Ayurveda organizes a person’s personality and constitution into one of three doshas: earth (grounded and calm), wind (fluid and creative) and fire (passionate and energetic). The three teachers have recognized themselves as one of these doshas and bring their unique practice style in line with them. Alice (earth) offers classes that she customizes on the spot to the students present at the time. Madzy, (wind) guides her students to find their potential with playful, core-based challenges. Jamie, (fire) leads athletic classes that open doors to new and perhaps unrealized possibilities.
The studio offers classes from 6 AM into the evenings with a thoughtful range of styles. Challenging, vigorous experiences are balanced with calming and restorative practices. For the encouragement of new yogis, there is the Stiff + Scared class. Pricing options are generous and varied. An enticing intro for new students is $50 for 5 classes. Wow! What a deal!
As an additional enhancement, the studio hosts a variety of workshops and retreat opportunities. Upcoming retreats in 2019 include Costa Rica in January and Sonoma in August. Check out the website: earthwindfireyoga.com for details.
Earth + Wind + Fire will surely kindle the interest of locals who may have had to journey to far flung sites for their practice. It is absolutely wonderful to have such a quality studio in our neighborhood. Thank you, Alice, Madzy and Jamie!
By last minute invitation, a couple of weeks ago, I attended a musical fundraiser and was surprised to find that the program is based right here in our neighborhood! JazzED (pronounced jazz ed) is taught out of the FAME at MLK Community Center.
My host and table captain at the event was JazzED’s new board member Harold Brandford. Harold was recruited by his neighbors to become involved and make a contribution to the community. Harold was born and raised in Barbados. He moved to the USA in his late teens for his advanced education. With a bit of hard work and encouraged by the kindness and generosity of wonderful mentors along the way, he has achieved a good measure of success, working as a physician in the Seattle area for the past 38 years. He sees his involvement in JazzED as an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of kids who might otherwise be denied a chance for music education.
JazzED is a fantastic and successful extracurricular music program. It was founded in 2010 by an enthusiastic group of volunteers that wanted to provide music education to anyone in any school regardless of finances. The beloved Clarence Acox of Garfield Jazz fame was the founding music director and continues to be involved.
The music instruction bridges the gap between school-based classes and private lessons. Local experienced professional musicians lead the bi weekly group lessons and many instruments are donated from a variety of sources including most recently, Amazon.
The students range from grades 4–12 and are drawn from 70 different schools in the Puget Sound area. JazzED is currently serving 600 students a year. Commitment to diversity is a primary goal. 50% of the students are girls, 42% students of color, and 40% are receiving scholarship assistance.
Students may choose from Choir, Strings, Brass, and Woodwinds. Additionally, audition-based ensembles for Big Band, Orchestra, and Vocals are on offer. A jazzy field trip to New York City is planned for this coming June. WOW!
Thinking that live music may catapult your next party into a fabulous experience? Look no further! All Star Combos are available for bookings.
Truthfully, there are just too many JazzED opportunities and events to describe here. Your best bet is to peruse the beautiful JazzED website: seattlejazzed.org
Emerald City CrossFit (ECCF) is the premier wellness experience where both health and fitness are held as top values because of the transferability it has to all aspects of life! Started in 2012 by owners Melinda and Seth Schmitt, ECCF takes its mission of creating a supportive community where you can be awesome in your physical ability and have fun doing it, seriously!
ECCF owners Melinda & Seth fell in love with CrossFit after moving to Seattle in 2010. They didn’t know anyone, but ended up making lifelong friendships from joining CrossFit and got in the best shape of their lives at the same time! The owners of the gym they joined truly changed Melinda and Seth lives first with genuine friendships, second with fitness, and third by encouraging and helping Melinda & Seth open their own CrossFit gym. “Changing lives for the better in fitness and friendship is what we are after.”
—Seth Schmitt, ECCF Owner
As the needs of their community have evolved, so has Emerald City CrossFit. Now offering a Strength Class for female identified athletes, ECCF teaches everything members need to know for weight training. The 6-week program is geared toward beginners (or those who are returning to exercise after illness, injury, or maybe are just timid to try something new) to introduce basic strength building techniques safely. The classes have some of the functional movements you see in our CrossFit classes, but this class is not focused on high intensity — although you are able to raise your heart rate. Like a traditional CrossFit class the movements are constantly varied, but there is a lot of repetition in order to learn safe techniques and master the movements.
One thing that stands out at Emerald City CrossFit is the community. It’s hard to describe. The bond between the coaches and the members and friendships formed between all are life changing.
“Being from Vermont, Emerald City has become my second home since moving to Seattle in 2014. The community at ECCF is something special. As someone who prides himself on making fitness a priority, whenever I drop into other gyms while on vacation or during work travel, I am always reminded that the community in my gym is like no other.”
–Travis Mears, ECCF Member since 2014
Travis Mears (wearing the 6 pack) pictured with his team after the ECCF Endless Summer Throwdown
"I started at ECCF in July 2014 and walked in unable to do a single push-up or pull-up. I had no clue how to properly deadlift, clean, or squat. I felt completely intimidated by the weight room at my gym and started out just wanting to learn the basics and get back to running. While after 3 years I know how to safely lift and finally have some upper body strength for the first time in my life, I'm not done here yet and can't imagine going back to working out alone. The coaches, balanced programming, and fun energetic atmosphere keep me coming in five days a week. The community that has been built at ECCF is incredible — happy hours, family picnics, and in-house competitions. You get the chance to work out with people who truly want to see you succeed and are just as excited about our achievements!"
As the changing landscape of Seattle evolves, Emerald City CrossFit prides itself on meeting the needs of current members while at the same time keeping its finger on the pulse of the fastest growing city in the country to help the community make fitness a priority. “We know our community is special and we want to share that with everyone.”
—Melinda Schmitt, ECCF Owner
Seth & Melinda Schmitt
ECCF offers a wide variety of membership options, including personal training and small business groups. View rates here.
Spring is here, which means it’s a great time for MUSIC LESSONS! From kids feeling optimistic about extra-curricular activities to adults getting ready for some Summer camp fire sessions, there are lots of great reasons to get your musical skills sharpened. We offer lessons in guitar, piano, bass, voice and most wind and string instruments. Call us at 206-420-3896 or fill out the Sign Up Form on our website, we will make sure to get you the best times we can. Spring is the time to make beautiful music!
The Music Factory
Seattle Kokikai Aikido is now offering classes in Madison Valley at the MLK FAME Center. The group offers classes for adults, and classes for parents and kids to do together. Both types of classes teach the basic movements and principles of Aikido (“The art of peace”) in a collaborative, constructive and engaging environment.
Kokikai is an international organization of Aikido practitioners who study the art of Aikido through the teachings of Sensei Shuji Maruyama, Kokikai’s founder and president.
If you are interested in learning Aikido, we invite you to study with us. Whether you are experienced in the art or have no idea what you’re getting into, you can get in touch, visit a practice and discover what we do. The only way to find out if Kokikai Aikido will be as fun and beneficial for you as it is for us is to try it yourself. Because we have a fascination and appreciation for our practice, we’re always interested in sharing it with new participants.
Seattle Kokikai Aikido
Rob Sevcik, former Chef de Cuisine at Rover’s and Loulay, is offering in-home private catering and cooking classes. Recently he and his wife, Megan, owner of Honey Skin Spa, joined me and my husband in our home to demonstrate. I interviewed him for this article while he prepared an extraordinary nine-course meal.
Lindy: Rob, now that you’ve settled into the kitchen, tell me a little about your background.
Rob: I’m originally from Wisconsin. I moved to San Francisco at 18, and worked in a high-volume restaurant. I later moved to Portland and went on to become Sous and Executive Sous Chef to Pascal Chureau at Fenouil restaurant. After a stay in Paris with the World Organization of Farmers, I landed in Seattle in 2009.
I asked Chef Thierry Rautureau of Rover’s for a job. “I’ll do anything if you’ll let me be part of the kitchen.” After six months I was promoted to sous chef under Chef de Cuisine Adam Hoffman. When Adam left in 2010 I became the Chef de Cuisine. I worked there for several years until it closed.
In 2013, Chef Thierry opened Loulay in the Sheraton Hotel downtown, and I followed him there. I did a little of everything: helping create menus, hiring, buying, and more. Seattle Met voted Loulay the Top Restaurant of 2014. I worked at Loulay until last year.
Fun Fact: Rob met his wife Megan while working at Rover’s. Her business, Honey Skin Spa, is located in the same courtyard. I remember Megan asking me, “What do you think of that guy Rob who work for Thierry? I think I’m going to ask him out!”
What do you want readers to know about you?
Everything I cook is a personal experience for me, and I try to make it a personal experience for each diner. I don’t have a book of recipes — I just adapt everything to the individual. I take the artistry of cuisine very seriously. I’m trying to create an experience for people, not just feed them. Food is not just about what tastes good — it’s also about what feels good, and in order to capture that, you have to talk with your diners.
Fun Fact: Rob was featured on the TV show, Chopped, Season 24, Ep. 6.
Rob, what is your favorite kind of food?
Choosing a favorite is like choosing between your kids. I’m trained in classic French. That’s my base, but I love everything. I really love learning all types of cuisine.
I always ask chefs where they like to eat. What are some of your Seattle favorites?
Rob’s menu for our evening’s meal included:
Blue Pool oysters with fennel and apple cider vinaigrette.
Langoustines with avocado, snickerdoodle with foamed cinnamon anglaise and brandy.
Shiso peppers in olive oil and sea salt.
Garlic bread cheese with pickled cayenne pepper.
Seared Alaskan spot prawn with a lemon cilantro brown butter.
Langoustine salad with preserved tomato with micro pea shoots, olive oil, and pickling liquid.
Seared sea scallop and nuage with caramelized turnips and mushrooms.
Pear and brie chicken roulette rolled in almond flour and roasted in brown butter with cauliflower purée and parsnips, charred purple Brussels sprouts, and a shallot and pancetta butter sauce.
Let’s talk about the next chapter in your life. I know you’ve been catering and offering cooking classes here in the neighborhood, but you mentioned that you’d like to start your own restaurant.
Yes, I’m offering private in-home dining and cooking classes, bringing the fine dining experience into your home. I’m doing it to build my reputation while trying to find the right location and resources to open a restaurant. The restaurant will be called Galerie 23.
Megan: Rob is happiest when he’s cooking and creating. To be a chef you have to wear so many hats — by no means is cooking the only part. You have to be a businessman and a teacher, and take on so many roles. Many people say, “Rob is the greatest chef I have ever worked for.” Everyone has such nice things to say about him.
Rob: Chef Charlie Trotter says that any chef who can’t control himself has no business trying to control a kitchen. As the teacher and mentor you have to be able to steer the ship. I say, “Don’t freak out until I freak out, and you’re never going to see me freak out.”
What’s sort of restaurant do you want to open?
The concept for Galerie 23 is simple: The entire dining experience will be inviting and creative. A beautiful environment, comfortable seating, enticing aromas, and delicious food all add up to the perfect night out. With daily changing seasonal menus and a dinning room modeled after an elegant art gallery, we will be focusing on the artistry and craft of cuisine.
I love the name Galerie 23. Your food has a beautiful appearance, much like a painting.
Do you need investors for your new restaurant?
Yes, absolutely, we’re currently looking for investors for this project. Prospective investors should contact me directly to discuss the details. Reader’s can also learn more at my website.
Megan, what do you see in the future for you and Rob?
I’m hoping to see Rob with a little empire of restaurants! I love seeing him happy and excited about his culinary career. And Honey Spa is doing really well. It’s very satisfying to have successful businesses. Rob: “When you like what you do, you don’t work a day in your life.”
Private In-Home Dining
Typically 2–20 people
Dinner pricing based on menu, budget, and event
Starting at $95 per person
If you have a special event, please contact Rob to discuss the specifics.
If you haven’t visited Megan’s business, Honey Skin Spa, I highly recommend it. She offers amazing facial services. It’s a wonderful treat — and would make a great Valentine’s Day Gift.
There are some fun classes being offered in the neighborhood. If you know of other local classes, please send them to email@example.com and we’ll get them posted to the website.
Bread Baking Class
Have you always wanted to know how to bake your own naturally leavened sourdough bread using nothing but flour, water and salt? Now you can! Join Michasia for a class at Marine Area 7.
Sunday, February 12th, 2–4 pm
Cost is $45 plus tax; this includes a loaf for you to take home.
Class is limited to 12 students.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.
Design Nites w/ Floral Soil
Design Nites w/ Floral Soil is a flower arranging class in using a special soils medium. The class includes a free drink, design materials, and instruction on how to use the dried Floral Soil. They also send you home with an additional free kit of Floral Soil, moss, and seeds.
Every Wednesday 7–8:30 pm
Starbucks Madison Park
4000 E Madison St., Seattle, WA
Character Builders is a community karate class held every Saturday from 10–12 at the Montlake Community Center.
Sean Gorman, the instructor of the class, is a Madison Valley resident and the COO of a tech start-up. He started the program to teach values to his son and provide a supportive environment for other kids to hone their characters through a disciplined practice.
Character Builders will be offering a free demonstration class on February 21 at 10 AM. Here is a short video that shows what the class offers.
Montlake Community Center
Feb 21, 10 AM
Local French teacher Virginie Blackmoor will be hosting an event at Pioneer Hall in Madison Park called "My Perfect Trip to France." Learn the secrets of traveling in France directly from a French native.
Full details are at her website: http://www.frenchtruly.com/oct-perfect-trip-workshop/
LaFond Piano Studio has just recently moved from Monroe into our neighborhood. The Studio is located near E. John St. and 26th Ave E.
The program is a rigorous, multi-faceted course tailored for each student. Rachel's teaching style aims to develop independent thinking and creative self-development. She places a strong focus on healthy technical and physical development, as well as emotional connection and interpretation of the music. Each student has a practice requirement agreement and will perform in at least four recitals a year, as well as audition through the National Guild of Piano Teachers, and adjudications through the Music Teacher's National Association. Other performance and competition opportunities are available to qualified students.
Rachel LaFond began teaching in 1995. She has studied with Professor Manfred Wagner-Artzt at the University of Vienna, Dr. Peter Mack of Cornish College of the Arts, Dr. Regina Yeh of the University of Washington and Madame Sandra Zegzula, M. M. Piano Pedagogy. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in piano performance, voice, and applied music from the University of Washington. Rachel is an active performing musician in the local community as well as a participating member in the National Guild of Piano Teachers and the Music Teacher’s National Association at the local, state and national levels. She actively pursues professional enrichment and continuing education, passing on her excitement and knowledge to her students and student teachers.
For more information, visit www.lafondpianostudio.com and contact the studio via phone or email.
Lila Yoga is under new management and is holding an open house. Indira and Jason would like to introduce themselves to the Madison Valley community and talk about their classes. Stop by to have a snack and say hello.
Dates: Saturday & Sunday
June 7th & 8th, 14th & 15th
Time: 12pm to 4pm
Starting on July 2, Jen Kovarovic will be offering an eight-week course in Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) to Madison Valley residents. Jen has been a certified P.E.T. instructor since 2008.
The benefits from the course:
• Children will feel free to discuss their problems and concerns with you instead of withdrawing.
• Children will learn self-discipline, self-control and an inner sense of personal responsibility.
• Fewer power struggles, less tension, less resentment, more fun, more peace, more love.
There will be a total of 8 sessions, each lasting 3 hours. The cost is $300, which includes books and miscellaneous class materials. Classes will be held at 818 33rd Ave. on Wednesday evenings, 6:00–9:00pm.
If you are interested in more information, please email Jen.
Lisa Vian Hunter (of NBC’s Fashion Star) is now offering classes for the fashion loving junior-designer who wants to learn about fashion illustration. Teens will also be learning about the business of fashion.
The classes will be taught by Lisa Vian Hunter who has been sketching her own fashion line since 2004. Classes will be held in April, May and June. Contact Lisa@vianhunter.com for schedule information.
• One-hour class for kids age 6-12, $50
• One-and-a-half hour class for teens ages 13-19, $60
• Fashion Illustration birthday parties for ages 6-12, $300
WHERE: Vian Hunter, 2841 E. Madison St.
HOURS: Mon-Sat 10:30am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm
Well-known instructor and trainer Chris Daigre is offering his signature dance class to Madison Valley residents. danceDaigre is an energetic discovery of modern hip-hop, jazz and Latin-inspired choreography. Students learn dance combinations piece by piece, building up to a full routine by the end of class. Chris says the workout strengthens your body, engages your mind, and ignites your soul.
Denali Fitness–Madison Park
3130 E Madison St. #104, Seattle WA 98112
Thursdays, 6:30–8:00 p.m., drop-ins welcome.
Every morning I wake up and look out over the Arboretum tree tops. Sometimes there is a river of crows flowing south at dawn. They are going to work. Picking garbage. Eating grubs. Finding tasty bites where they can. A big group will gather to take a bath on the edge of the lake, splashing and talking. Another cadre will take off after the local Red-tailed Hawk in the Arboretum or the mama or papa Barred Owl. They “mob” them — screaming and yelling — to show the other younger crows who the dangerous predators are. Also, it might keep the raptors from going after the crow babies when they hatch in the summer. Some of us are “crow people” and some of us are “robin people.” The Robins worry about the mean old crows harassing all the little birds. The Crows say “that’s a crow’s jobÂ€Â.” I’m a Crow. I love their intelligence and noise. They are always figuring things out. It is not their fault that they might eat a small bird now and then. They eat a lot of our garbage and leftovers, too. Our neighborhood is home to so many kinds of birds, people, cats and dogs. There is room for us to live here together. We all live in our own worlds but we are entwined. For good or ill. There is a lot of drama along our neighborhood streets and in our yards and parks. If you stop and listen and look you will see. Birds and other animals looking for food, hunting, mating and nesting. In the winter at dusk, the crows fly back north to their roost where they snuggle up together with thousands of other crows and sleep safely in a group.
Penny Bolton lives in the Arboretum neighborhood and leads bird walks in the Arboretum with Seattle Audubon. The next one is 9-11am, January 25, 2014, starting at the Graham Visitor’Â€Â™s Center. http://www.seattleaudubon.org/sas/
Join Penny Bolton, a fledgling graduate of the Seattle Audubon Master Birder program, for a walk through the north section of the Arboretum and Foster Island to find water birds and become familiar with the local winter birds. Penny will point out the common birds and hopes to be present for the returning migrant waterfowl on the lake. Bring binoculars if you have them, shoes for muddy walking, and be prepared to walk a mile and a half. Penny notes that this walk is good for kids since they’ll be looking at birds sitting on the water. The group will be strolling slowly and stopping frequently to listen and watch.
Meet at the Graham Visitors Center at 10 AM and return at noon. Dress for the weather. No charge.
Great Blue Heron
Sleeping Hybrid Duckling
Mallards on Lake Washington
Swimming on the Lake
It has almost been a year since the Madison Park Times article, “From Conflict to Community,” was published. The article highlighted the history, challenges, success, and aspirations of the MLK FAME Community Center. As a long time arts educator, artistic director of Ewajo Dance Workshop located in Madison Valley for 15 years and youth arts coordinator at MLK, I am excited and inspired by the progress over the past year.
Since January 2012, there has been a successful and well-attended after school and summer program. It is designed so each student is introduced to dance, music, theatre, and visual arts within a 12-week session. The age range is 5 – 15 years. It is fun, energetic and open to all levels.
Having taught for many years and seeing programs come and go, you get used to the status quo and what it brings. Closing the achievement gap and students having equal access to resources has been a prime topic of discussion and debate for a while. Having taught youth from public and private schools and different socioeconomic backgrounds, I see how vital it is to create an environment that excites, challenges, and emphasizes equal contribution from all participants.
This summer we had a group of students from CAYA (Central Area Youth Association) and the Valley School learn, practice, and perform traditional Caribbean rhythms and songs on the steel pans (the main percussion instrument in the Trinidadian Carnival festivities). They had to work together supporting and encouraging each other while focusing on playing as an ensemble. The end result was extremely inspiring and boosted self esteem for all the students. I feel that before an achievement gap is closed, there must be a common interest and consistent interaction over a period of time. This created camaraderie and a sense that their capabilities are the same. The creativity and excitement of the performing arts makes it the perfect medium to achieve this.
French native and local resident Virginie Blackmoor is offering beginning French lessons on Wednesday nights at Harbour Pointe Coffeehouse.
Virginie has been teaching the French language for ten years in Europe and the US. She uses a natural learning method of role-playing and immersion in French culture and cuisine. The class is limited to six people to keep the experience intimate and active.
French Hands-On Experience
In this 1.5-hour class, we spend the first half learning theory and then we spend the second half putting it into practice through role-play. This is not only an incredibly fun and bonding French event, it is also the best way to remember the theory. French food and drinks are included to provide more inspiration.
French Hands-on Example
Let’s pretend we are learning what to do and say in a French restaurant, from the moment you enter to the moment you leave. Person A is the customer and person B plays the waiter. A and B play their roles covering all sorts of topics, from inquiring whether a table is booked, to asking about the food and ordering, to dealing with problems and paying the check. We always have a lot of fun playing with this French event and it is amazing how much you retain when you are truly involved in a scenario, rather than just listening to a teacher and taking notes.
Who? Beginners but intermediates looking for a brush up are also welcome.
When? Every Wednesday starting on June 19th 2013, from 6:30 pm to 8 pm
Where? Harbor Pointe Coffeehouse in Madison Valley, Seattle
You can sign up for the class at Virginie's website or phone her at 206 617-2716.
City People’s is offering a wide variety of free gardening workshops in 2013.
Expert speakers will cover such topics as landscaping, pest and disease control, composting, and fertilizing. Also, there will be instruction in apartment gardening, the best techniques for year-round vegetable and flower growing, making hoop-houses and cloches, fruit canning, and even chicken farming.
Get thee to a nursery!
Sewing workshops are being held in January and February at Vian Hunter. Designer Lisa Vian Hunter has teamed with Pennie Laird-Sangerman, a fashion industry veteran, to teach custom clothing design, pattern-making, as well as the basics of sewing and design.
Registration is open for the Pencil Skirt Workshop, Sewing 101, Design and Patternmaking, and the Young Designer Workshop, a six-week workshop for aspiring fashion designers, ages 13-19.