Oh, what a night we had at our favorite restaurant, icon Grill in Seattle Monday night.
This exciting celebration was held exactly two years ago to the day of the collapse of the facade of the building, causing bricks and cement to come tumbling and crashing down onto the sidewalk below.
Now icon Grill is back in ALL of its glory–and then some, if that’s even possible. (It is!)
The gala included an auction of paintings by local artists, original framed posters from the “Seattle grunge scene”, as well as two very special large blown glass pieces created a very famous and respected Seattle artist’s studio, which have adorned the beloved restaurant since its opening some 14 years ago.
Walking into icon is a feast for the senses, artwork, the sounds of laughter and the smell of the deliciousness being created in the kitchen, with Executive Chef Nick Musser at the helm.
Hanging in voluminous sea-nets from the ceiling and placed in enormous concrete urns throughout the space were dozens of these amazingly colorful blown-glass pieces that truly set the eclectic vision and ambiance of icon Grill so lovely and inviting. I’m happy to see that some of the familiar glass-filled nets are still intact and on glorious display.
Proceeds from the auction and event will be donated to Art with Heart, a Seattle nonprofit that offers therapeutic art programs to children. Please check out their website.
Now, speaking of Executive Chef Nick Musser, please watch this piece from New Day Northwest, With Margaret Larson.
Ever wanted to learn how to make fancy and delicious homemade Tater-Tots?
Here’s where I get all mushy. I’ve known Nick and his gorgeous and hilarious wife, Erin for almost 15 years now. Erin and I met in a restaurant’s restroom just before the Fiona Apple concert at The Moore Theater in Seattle. (A bit of trivia: Pearl Jam’s “Alive” video was filmed at The Moore. You know, the one where he stage-dives/surfs then climbs up onto the a balcony and falls backwards into a crowd of “saviors”? Yeah. There.)
ANYway. Erin and I were being loud (not drunk, seriously!) and comparing shoes under our stalls and chatting like we had known each other since first grade. Next thing you know, we find out we have the SAME BIRTHDAY, April 6th. TODAY. We even showed our driver’s licenses to prove it to each other. She introduced me to her (then) fiance`, Nick, whom I’ve always called “Eddie Vedder, but PRETTIER!”. Phone numbers were exchanged and a friendship was solidified. They met my BFF Patrick, and my sons, Alex and Hunter, who were only 12 and 6 at the time. Erin did the best monkey imitation which made the boys–especially Hunter absolutely belly-laugh.
We’d meet at The Showbox to see local bands and generally just have huge amounts of fun. Ahhh….Seattle in the 90’s.
At the time I was a professional photographer; I had my own niche-business, which was mostly modeling portfolios, and photo-journalistic-style images for folks who wanted something entirely different than the generic “say cheesy” shots provided by traditional photographers.
Nick and Erin were looking for a wedding photographer. My reaction? “No. And HELL, no.” They asked me to meet them at a diner in the city one Sunday morning for brunch; I brought my own portfolio to show them that I DON’T DO WEDDINGS. My reasoning behind that statement is I’m too tightly wound, and the bride usually is, too. There’s no reason on earth why that combo could ever work out, so thanks, but no thanks.
Of course, I did agree to be Nick and Erin’s wedding photographer–but it had to be my way, and they said for me to go for it. (Erin, by the way, was as serene and gracious as no other bride in history has ever been on her wedding day.)
If I had to choose one…and ONLY one image that is my all-time favorite it would be THIS shot–of Nick and Erin Musser. I let them do all the usual stuff newlyweds have to do after the ceremony and into the reception. Then I grabbed them out into the alley just downstairs from their wedding venue. I moved Nick’s arms where I wanted them, a nice strong stance, being mindful of Erin’s exquisite wedding dress and hair…and said, “NOW. KISS. HARD.” I will never forget what Erin said to me after I told them I got the shot I wanted. “Nick and I have been together for 9 years and you made us REALLY ready for the honeymoon by taking these pictures.” What a compliment for a lifetime.
This is a bit of a love story for our dear friends, who deserve every bit of happiness and joy in their lives, along with their handsome son, Xander.
By the way, my darling, handsome husband SilverFox Stephen and I had our very first date at where else but, icon Grill. Romance.
Cheers, icon Grill. I have a feeling another very special event in our lives will be taking place there in August of 2013.