Before the hearts and flowers become too omnipresent (some might say oppressive) and the romantic requirements inescapable next week, take some time and have some low pressure fun for yourself this weekend.
If, however, you got to get your goo-goo eyes on like right away, consider lacing up for love at Bloedel Reserve’s fifth Annual Cupid’s Walk, running from Friday, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 18.
This romantic tradition for the Valentine season invites guests to explore the love story of Prentice and Virginia Bloedel, as expressed in the spectacular gardens and landscapes of the reserve.
Couples and families — and friends and singles, too — can take in sweeping views, romantic overlooks and intimate gardens as they discover the real love story at the heart of Bloedel Reserve.
Special spots along the trails, shown on a seasonal Cupid’s Walk map, reveal the underlying affection between Prentice and Virginia.
To sweeten this Valentine season tradition, guests will receive a special treat when they arrive at the Gatehouse.
Bloedel Reserve is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the last admission at 3 p.m. Adult admission is $17 with discounts for seniors, students and military.
Visit www.bloedelreserve.org for more information.
For those looking for something less lovely – but just as passionate …
There’s a wall going up at Bainbridge Performing Arts.
In “Building the Wall,” coming to BPA, Feb. 9 through Sunday, Feb. 11, Pulitzer Prize-, Tony- and WGA-Award winner, and three-time Emmy-nominated playwright Robert Schenkkan imagines a not-so-distant future in which President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric has found full expression.
This dystopian drama from the playwright of “The Kentucky Cycle” is directed by Kate Carruthers, and stars Elena Flory-Barnes as “Gloria” and Chip Wood as “Rick.”
Written by Schenkkan in what he described as a “white-hot fury” on the eve of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, the play dramatizes in harrowing detail the possible consequences of Trump’s campaign rhetoric turned into federal policy.
Two years into the Trump presidency, that policy has resulted in the mass round-up of millions of illegal aliens, with their incarceration overflowing into private prisons and camps. The former warden of one facility is awaiting sentencing for what happened under his watch. In a riveting interview with a historian who has come seeking the truth, he gradually reveals how the unthinkable became the inevitable.
“Building the Wall” appears at BPA from Feb. 9 through Feb. 11, with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 3 p.m. Sunday.
Free Range Films will host a screening of “Occupation of the American Mind,” a documentary that “exposes Israel’s public relations war against the Palestinians in the United States,” at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 at the Suquamish Church of Christ (18732 Division Avenue, in Suquamish).
From the film: “Israel’s ongoing military occupation of Palestinian territory and repeated invasions of the Gaza Strip has triggered a fierce backlash against Israel’s policies virtually everywhere in the world — except in the United States. This film provides a sweeping analysis of Israel’s decades-long battle for the hearts, minds and tax dollars of the American people in the face of widening international condemnation of it’s increasingly right wing policies.”
The screening is free, and all are welcome to attend.
A discussion, led by Sallie Shawl, a co-founder of Jewish Voices for Peace, Tacoma, will follow.
Goodies galore abound at all seven Bainbridge Island wineries Saturday, Feb. 10 and Sunday, Feb. 11 during the annual Wine of the Rock wine-and-chocolate pairing tasting event, hosted by the Winery Alliance of Bainbridge Island.
The fun will take place at each winery from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Ticket purchase, good for either day, gets you one visit at each winery and also includes a special event wine glass, tastings at each of the wineries — 28 different wines total — chocolate to complement the wines and a six-bottle wine tote.
Participants must be 21 or older.
Officials noted that most wineries are small, and it is recommended that guests break into groups of no more than six people for attending a tasting.
Bringing food is encouraged, though some wineries will have cheese and other small snacks available for purchase.
The chocolates on tap are as varied as the vino.
For example, Amelia Wynn and the Island Tasting Room Gallery Cafe will be offering handmade chocolate eclairs; Bainbridge Vineyards will have handcrafted raspberry wine truffles (made with their own raspberry wine), savory shortbread and rosemary and sea salt roasted almonds; Eagle Harbor Wine Company will feature handmade chocolates from Bainbridge Island-based chocolatier L’Atelier; Eleven Winery’s chocolate truffles infused with Eleven wine are made by Bainbridge’s own BonBon; and Fletcher Bay Winery will set out a variety of handmade truffles from Bainbridge Island’s Powell & Jones Chocolates.
Tickets will be available for purchase at any winery the day of the event for $50, but discounted tickets can be bought in advance via www.eventbrite.com.
A dynamic doublehader is on tap at Eagle Harbor Book Company.
Anca L. Szilágyi and Julie Christine Johnson will visit Eagle Harbor Book Company for a doubleheader discussion of elegant and memorable writing at 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11.
Szilágyi will talk about her debut novel, “The Daughters of the Air,” and Port Townsend-based Johnson (“In Another Life”) will offer a look at her latest novel, “The Crows of Beara.”
Both of their literary novels include elements of the fantastic.
Szilágyi’s book tells the story of Tatiana “Pluta” Spektor, who was a mostly happy, if awkward, young girl — until her sociologist father was disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War. Sent a world away by her grieving mother to attend boarding school outside New York City, Pluta wrestles alone with the unresolved tragedy and at last runs away to the streets of Brooklyn in 1980, where she figuratively — and literally — spreads her wings.
Told with haunting fabulist imagery, this searing tale of love, loss, estrangement and coming of age is an unflinching exploration of the personal devastation wrought by political repression.
Zilágyi’s writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Gastronomica, and Fairy Tale Review, among other publications.
Johnson’s new novel takes place along the windswept coast of Ireland, where a woman discovers the landscape of her own heart.
When Annie Crowe travels from Seattle to a small Irish village to promote a new copper mine her public relations career is hanging in the balance. Struggling to overcome her troubled past and a failing marriage, Annie is eager for a chance to rebuild her life. Yet, when she arrives on the remote Beara Peninsula, Annie learns that the mine would encroach on the nesting ground of an endangered bird: the Red-billed Chough, and many in the community are fiercely protective of this wild place.
Among them is Daniel Savage, a local artist battling demons of his own, who has been recruited to help block the mine. Despite their differences, Annie and Daniel find themselves drawn toward each other, and inexplicably they begin to hear the same voice — a strange, distant whisper of Gaelic, like sorrow blowing in the wind.
Guided by ancient mythology and challenged by modern problems, Annie must confront the half-truths she has been sent to spread and the lies she has been telling herself.
Johnson has written short stories and essays that have appeared in journals including Emerge Literary Journal, Mud Season Review, Cirque: A Literary Journal of the North Pacific Rim, Cobalt, and River Poets Journal; in the print anthologies Stories for Sendai; Up, Do: Flash Fiction by Women Writers; and Three Minus One: Stories of Love and Loss; and have been featured on the flash fiction podcast No Extra Words.
Visit www.eagleharborbooks.com to learn more.
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