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CHS Crow | Graves, Rachel & Peter — ‘It’s a fun story’

Screen Shot 2013-11-22 at 3.00.37 PMThis week, the crow learned it’s hard to write the same story twice. What did you learn?

  GRAVES, 34

Graves1What are you up to tonight?
I’m hanging out with a myriad of people—my leather community, my fur community, my “fet” community… I identify as a cat. Also, it’s “boots and buzz-cuts” night.

You’re giving buzz-cuts at a club?
I’m not personally doing cuts, but I happen to be the secretary for Seattle Men in Leather, and members of my club are doing buzz-cuts and straight-razor shaves. I’m having a great time.

So, is there a “Men in Pleather” or “Men in Leatherette” for any vegan leather daddies?
I don’t think there are a lot of vegans in the leather community. Personally, I don’t tend to eat a lot of meat—I’m more of a pescatarian. For most of the vegan people I know, it’s about the ingestion of meat, and not the wearing of it.

Do you have a favorite kind of cat?
I like black panthers, mostly.

You mean, like, Malcom X?
No, just the animals. No political associations.

Do you live on the Hill?
I live just south of the Hill in Cascade, next to South Lake Union, near REI.

Where are you from originally?
It’s a fun story. I was born in Georgia, but moved across the country and back before I was five, then grew up in Virginia, but spent four years in London growing up. I’ve lived in Seattle longer than anywhere else—about thirteen and a half years.

If you could go anywhere in the world tomorrow, and money were no object, where would you go?
I would say the town in England where I started school. I’ve been trying to get back there for many years, but my plans keep getting spoiled.

Let’s say you can have lunch with any three people, living or dead. Who are they?
First, Tori Amos. I have almost two gigabytes of her music—over 70 hours. My second person would be my new favorite, Florence from Florence and the Machine.  The third person is difficult…off the top of my head, I would have lunch with Steve Jobs. I am a huge fan of Apple, and I own one of almost everything from the major product lines. Steve wasn’t technical, but he dreamed it. From what I’ve seen, everything that Apple has put out reminds me of Star Trek. Video conferencing, iPads, tech streaming—Apple is always bringing Star Trek to life.

Do you have any favorite hangouts on the Hill?
My everyday place is C.C. Attle’s. I like the bar staff and what they’re doing; they’ve grown immensely since their 15th and Madison location. They have everything from open mic nights to leather fetish nights, to Seahawks and Sounders events, so they cater to very dynamic interests within the gay community.

What line of work are you in?
I’ve been in the customer service and technical support field for about twelve years, but I’m currently transitioning back into the retail arena. I’m going to be working for a local retailer who sells and services Apple products.

Do you have any other thoughts on life on the Hill, or life in general?
Life on the Hill is interesting, and complex, and a little bit dangerous. I’m a community photographer, and I’ve taken to not using standardized camera bags unless I’m going to a daytime event—the more mundane I look, the less of a target I am. I have friends who have been stabbed and held up at gunpoint. The Hill’s still a great place to be, but we all need to be a bit more cautious.

  RACHEL, ’19…none of your business’

rachel01What line of work are you in?
I’m an artist.

What kind of art do you make?
I’m working on some anatomical paintings and sculpture.

Could you describe your most recent piece?
Right now, I’m working on a piece called “Macrovilli.” The little finger-like things in your small intestines are called microvilli, and it’s those, only really, really big. It’s several small canvases that are all put together like a puzzle. There’s a two-foot stretch of healthy ones, and a two-foot stretch of non-healthy ones.

So, if I want to buy some large-format microvilli for my wall—and I think it would really tie my living room together—how and where can I find your art?
I’m putting together a show at Trabant Chai House in Pioneer Square, which will be in February.

You mentioned anatomical art. What’s your favorite part of the body to paint/draw/sculpt?
I think my favorite piece so far is of the spine, but the muscles of the heart were really interesting, too.

What draws you to anatomy as a subject?
I have chronic pain issues, and I’ve studied anatomy and physiology a lot, having danced and taught yoga. One day, I was struck with the idea one day to draw all the parts of my body that were causing me pain.

How do you feel about the art scene on Capitol Hill?
I’m just getting back into it, after five years in Lynwood. Living in the suburbs kind of sucks out your creativity.

Why did you live in Lynwood?
A boy…

Yeah, it happens… If you could take off anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you go?
Would it be bad if I said New Jersey?

Why New Jersey?
I have people back East. But, considering the weather right now, I would probably have to say Hawaii.

Any favorite hangouts on the Hill?
I love my apartment. And my boyfriend’s house.

What about places that random strangers could go to without it being weird?
I like Capitol Cider. They have a gluten-free menu, which a lot of places don’t have.

If you could have a superpower, and had to choose between flying and invisibility, which would you choose?
Flying. You would save a lot of money on gas, for one. And life would be a lot easier.

Any other thoughts about life on the Hill, or life in general?
From the second I moved off Capitol Hill in my sophomore year of college, my dream was to move back onto the Hill, and live with a partner in a nice place. It took me several years, but I’ve achieved that. Things have really changed since I lived here the last time, and it’s gentrified a lot. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing, because there are a lot of art galleries now.

  PETER, 34

peter02Do you live on the Hill?
I do.

Are you a Seattle native?
No, I was born in Poland, but moved to the States when I was ten. We lived on the East Coast for a while, but since the age of 13, I’ve lived in the Seattle area.

Is there a big Polish community in Seattle?
I’m not very Polish, myself. I don’t really hang out in the community, other than with my parents, so I don’t really know.

Have you been back to Poland since you moved here?
Only once. I’m from a small town called [something with a lot of consonants]. There’s a beer named after the town; I once found it in a grocery store in Seattle.

Last Poland-related question, I promise:  favorite Polish foods?
My mom makes this stew made with different kinds of meat and sausage and sauerkraut. It’s great wintertime food, except for people who are totally grossed out by sauerkraut.

What line of work are you in?
I do software engineering.

Gee, you don’t meet anyone in that field in Seattle, do you?
Nope! Not at all.

What drew you to this line of work?
I started playing around with computers in high school, and I found that I had a knack for it. And I got a job doing it. And they pay me!

That is always a nice perk in any job. Do you like what you do?
Relatively speaking. I like the brain puzzle part of it, but there’s also a lot of pressure and tight deadlines and overtime. The older I get, the more I feel like I would like my talents to go towards helping the planet somehow.

If money were no object, what would you be doing with your time?
I would be traveling the world, and probably volunteering for Greenpeace.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done in the past three months?
Probably my last trip, to visit a friend in Portland and camped on the Oregon coast, then took the train to Montana to check out Glacier National Park, which is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.

Do you have any favorite hangouts on the Hill?
I spend a lot of time at work and at home, but I like Café Vita, and Capitol Cider, and that restaurant down the street…Skillet?

If your house were burning down, what’s the one non-living thing you would grab on your way out?
Probably my smartphone, honestly.

Any other thoughts about life on the Hill, or life in general?
I’m very glad I moved here. I lived in the suburbs for many years. I owned my own condo for a long time, and got stuck in the suburbs because of the real estate market. I finally made it out this year.

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4 thoughts on “CHS Crow | Graves, Rachel & Peter — ‘It’s a fun story’

  1. From a 64 year old Seattle native: some of the funnest interviews I’ve ever read; not funniest, funnest. Wonderful to hear from such a variety of people. That’s what makes Seattle great!

  2. Per the comment above about the “fake article” at the Cuff–they must’ve been thinking of something else, or they are misinformed. I assure you that Graves is a real and very lovely person who (as far as I know) is utterly sincere. I think it is wonderful and deeply liberating that so many people on the Hill can be comfortable, open and expressive about their interests and lives that may not be heteronormative, but that are nonetheless valid and wonderful.

  3. Pingback: CHS Crow | Heather, Aiden and Justin — ‘I’m actually going to be a starving artist’ | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle