As some of you may know, I am the first queen from Seattle or from the Pacific Northwest period. So for the first time, the national drag scene is getting a taste of the happy, hippie, hipster, style of drag that can be found out here. I feel honored and privileged to get to share this special brand of crazy with you all and I’m taking a few moments out of my already busy schedule as a part time starlet, part time single mother, to tell you a little bit about MY Seattle.
First and foremost
Bring an umbrella. Us Northwest ducks are used to the rain that looms over head, but some of you sun-junkies may not want to get caught in a downpour, so be prepared with the appropriate accoutrement. In other words, bring your rubbers… Of course I’m referring to footwear! (But also bring lots of condoms if you’re into that scruffy, grungey aesthetic. *wink*)
Seattle is kinda divided up into many little districts, each one with their own flavor and flair. Let me tell you about a few of my favorites.
Downtown has everything! Food, shopping, theater! The 5th Avenue Theater is a Seattle gem, producing SPECTACULAR Musicals year round. Many of the new works happening on Broadway these days previewed right here in Seattle at the 5th Ave Theater and even yours truly recently appeared as “Angel” in the 5th’s touchingly poignant production of RENT. Right now, Grey Gardens the musical is playing in collaboration with the 5th and ACT Theater which is reason enough to come visit.
Capitol Hill is the “gayborhood” of Seattle and has everything you could want! Weather you’re a pop loving twink who wants to shake his little booty to Ke$hup or a burly leather wearing bear who just wants a stiff drink, (woof,) we’ve got the bar for you! My favorite place for a night cap? Pony. Located on “The dark side of the Hill” around 13th and Madison. It’s a punk rock dive bar where the walls are papered with vintage gay porn. I’d live there if I could. And OF COURSE we have some amazing places to see a show or two. Including my home bar Julia’s on Broadway, where you can see “An Evening at Le Faux.” The number one celebrity impersonation show in the Northwest. When I’m in town, I host the whole show which means you can see me sing songs as well as tell a slew of crass dick jokes. S’fun!
The international district is another fun one with many beautiful little shops and delicious food, and if you like finding little vintage shopping gems and quaint urban experiences, check out the districts of Fremont (freakmont) and Ballard. Seattle is full of fun spots… it’s like a treasure hunt.
And no visit to Seattle is complete without a walk through Pike Place market, where you can shop for HOURS and see all kinds of stuff like, flying fish, street musicians, and take in a lot of the Seattle joie de vivre all at once. Just pack light and bring cash. That place get’s BUSY!
But Seattle’s not JUST booze and shopping!
There’s amazing food on almost every corner! Seattle has some of the most amazing Thai Restaurants and Pho joints you will ever eat at. Like In The Bowl on Capitol Hill. It’s a 100% vegetarian thai restaurant with AMAZING dishes like the Pad See Ew and the Spicy Coconut Milk Noodle, and even if you’re a meat eater you should check it out! Their “beef” tastes better than beef. I promise.
If you want Pho, which is a perfect lunch option on a rainy day, check out one of the Than Brothers locations! Traditional, delicious Pho at unbeatable prices served to you almost SECONDS after you order, no joke, it’s amazing.
In the mood for something a little more Amurican? Skillet, on Cap/First hill is delicious and almost everything gets grilled to order with that special kind of taste that can only be achieved with big flames and REALLY hot cast iron.
And Finally, Machiavelli’s which is a sweet little Italian restaurant. It’s small, and you may have to wait a spell for a table, but the skilled bartenders will help you work up an appetite while you wait and trust me, it’ll be worth it. I literally have never tasted ANYTHING there that i don’t like.
What about dinner, booze AND a show?!?
Well every Saturday at The Pink Door, found in the Pike’s Place Market, you can catch amazing acts by some of Seattle’s stunning Burlesque performers, of which there are MANY! Sydni Devereux, the Golden Glamazon coordinates this late night burlesque review and her high standards ensure no matter who the guest stars are that night, you’ll be enticed and entertained.Seattle is home to some VERY influential and legendary burlesque performers including, but not limited to, The Shanghai Pearl (a personal favorite,) Paula The Swedish Housewife (a brilliant performer, curator, and producer,) Miss Indigo Blue (award winning and accredited performer and head of the Burlesque academy here in Seattle) and Waxie Moon (the prodigal son of Boylesque and star of the cult film “Waxie Moon: in Fallen Jewel” and you owe it to yourself to see a screening of that film!)
And while I’m name dropping, here are more performers of note. If you are traveling to seattle and are trying to decide what kind of entertainment you want to see while you’re here, THESE are the names to google people!
- The Cherdonna and Lou Show, an AMAZING modern dance duo who defy the constructs of gender AND the laws of physics.
- Robbie Turner, the golden girl of the golden age of drag. She does Liza with a Z, a Y, and an X. She’s sensational!
- ANYTHING produced by the Atomic Bombshells, the cream of the crop in Burlesque.
- And any party Mama Tits is at, you know you’ll have a good time.
- If you think Sharon Needles is a spook, wait until you see Jackie Hell!!!
- AND Seattle is home to living drag legend Dina Martina. If you can catch one of her shows, you’ll never forget it. Ever!
- And a true career girl, Ben DelaCreme. This lady does it all! She’s my substitute host at Le Faux, whenever I’m out of town, and she is just a hoot! But she is not just a drag queen, she is one of Seattle’s most brilliant performer/artist/producers, period. Whether she’s a spotlight feature in a large show, the host of an event, or producing one of the enigmatic cabaret shows only found here in Seattle, she is Flaw-Less. She teams up with famed performer/producers Kitten La Rue and Lou Henry Hoover in the production team: DeLouRue presents, who write, produce, and star in two of my favorite shows of the year: Homo for the Holidays and Freedom Fantasia. I happen to be a featured performer in both of these annual shows, which take a satirical, tongue in cheek look at some of our favorite holidays, through a queer theory lens. These shows are smart, funny and one of a kind, and feature some of the most sensational talent in the city. Plan ahead to be here for Christmas of the 4th of July, just to check them out!
There are also some amazing parties, which only happen once a month
- Tuck!: Produced by Ben DelaCreme at Chop Suey. It’s a kiki for queens on the scene, all queens young and old, new and seasoned come out to party-arty-arty all together in one place.
- DickSlap: Produced by DJ Nark at The Eagle. A dirty, raunchy good time with Jell-o shots, go-go boys, and some of the sexiest, naughtiest, bad boys and girls in the industry. Colby Keller for instance? and this March we’ll be blessed by the presence of my favorite bad girl. Willam!
- And Butch Queen: at The Cock Pit. The most fabulous and original gender queer dance party Seattle has to offer. With a different dress up theme every month, amazing music, and a truly authentic northwest hipster-art-fag atmosphere- this party is the real deal for aspiring art stars and gender benders alike.
God, I’m beginning to sound like Stefan from SNL’s Weekend update. Oh well.
Need something to wear to these shin digs?
Try the Pretty Parlor. Vintage AND new clothes, including pieces done by one of my favorite local designers: J. Von Stratton. Von Stratton actually designed many pieces that I have worn thus far on Drag Race and continues to design for me. Sh’s a beautiful lady, skilled seamstress and a hell of a performer.
Or, for you mens’s, look up the amazing Michael Cepress, who not only does custom tailoring, to make your favorite clothes fit you like never before, but also is launching a new line of menswear that is oh so iconically Seattle.
And finally! If you wanna beat your mug with Makeup you can only find here in the Northwest, check out Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty! The line, Atomic Cosmetics, not only created the Jinkx Monsoon makeup, available in her shop and on my website, but it is ALL 100% all natural, non-toxic, and cruelty free AND stage worthy! So whether you’re a socialite out on the town, or a show girl who forgot her makeup kit, Dr. Jen has you covered.
For me, These people and places are what makes Seattle, SEATTLE for me. I wouldn’t have spent my time, slowly typing with these damn 2 inch acrylics if they didn’t. So head my words kids and check this ‘ish out!
There’s so much to do in Seattle, even if you’re to benefit from the fact that both Gay Marriage AND Marijuana are legal here!!! (Can you imagine that combination at a wedding!? The chapel will look like a disco ball, the bride will be a queen dressed like Marie Antionette and she’ll sashay down the aisle to Bob Marley. Oh Seattle.)
Come visit! And follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to keep up to date with all the best events and happenings.
Thank you for reading.
This is Jinkx Monsoon telling you to get your ass to Seattle, and remember to bring your umbrella, cuz it’s Monsoon Season.