I wasn’t going to bring up the beard and fake nose. No, no, no.
Last Thursday was all about Macklemore’s new line of baseball-themed clothing in a partnership he developed with Ebbets Field Flannels in Pioneer Square.
“With Ben, he has such a love of local sports,” said Ebbets Field Vice President Lisa Cooper, referring to the Grammy winner by his given name. “If anybody should have their own apparel line, it’s him.”
The line was designed by Macklemore and Ebbets Field graphic designer Toron Smith and inspired by the uniforms of the Joe Louis Brown Bombers (1940) and the Lancaster Red Roses (1941).
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The designs went back and forth between Smith and Macklemore 15 to 20 times before they settled on a black-and-cream jersey ($195); a black- or red-satin jacket ($150) with a Shark Face Gang (Mack and Ryan Lewis’ fan club) patch on the front and the number 6 on the back (for area code 206).
There’s also a baseball hat ($40) bearing the Shark Face patch.
“It’s tough to pick just one,” Macklemore told me as he stood in the back of the store, waiting to greet fans. “I love the jersey, I love the jacket, I love it all.”
The line for the noon event started the day before, and stretched around the block.
First in line was Erica Troutman, of Orcas Island, who brought daughter Tayler Block, 10, and her friend, Madison Todd, 11. They had skipped two days of school and work, slept overnight on foam mats and carried Mace. That’s some sleepover party.
“This is for me, not really them,” Troutman said.
Next was Paige Day, Sam Nielsen and Anna Lacia Glossen, who has the first bars of “Same Love” tattooed on her chest.
Macklemore opened his arms to them all (“Bring it in!”) and made sure they got some free swag for their devotion. Big relief for Glossen.
“I wish I could afford one of everything,” she said, leaving with a T-shirt. “But I can’t.”
Norm Rice takes first
“I’ve learned to stand in one place,” Norm Rice told me, so that’s just what we did outside the Spanish Ballroom of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel the other night, when the former mayor received the First Citizen Award from the Seattle-King County Association of Realtors.
It was nice for Rice to get a new title just days before he left another: The following Friday would be his final day as head of The Seattle Foundation, where he came up with the GiveBIG campaign that this year raised $12.8 million for local nonprofits.
Sonya Campion credited Rice with “democratizing philanthropy.”
Rice’s wife, Constance, got the same award in 1993, “But I’ve always been first citizen,” he cracked. (Easy now; I hear she still makes you take out the garbage every Thursday.)
People commented on Rice’s weight loss (to help recover from November knee surgery), which really wasn’t rocket science. (“I closed my mouth and stopped eating.”)
There were four generations of Rices in the room. Rice’s mother, Beulah Williams, was there, along with his sisters, Audrey and Linda; his son, Mian; and his grandson, Sekoy.
Developer Matt Griffin of the Pine Street Group praised the political change of heart that moved Rice to reopen Pine Street in the mid-’90s and get big stores like Nordstrom to invest in the downtown core.
“Before that, sure, you could buy anything you wanted at Sixth and Pine,” Griffin cracked, “as long as it was illegal.”
“I wish (Rice) had run for governor,” said Sandra O. Archibald, dean of the Evans School of Public Affairs at the UW, where Rice is a “practitioner-in-residence.”
“He is a leader with a lot of courage,” she said. “And he’s really straightforward. You always know where he’s coming from.”
And where he’s going: The Rices are moving into a downtown condo this fall.
“Thirty-nine years in the same house,” Constance Rice said with a sigh.
“You can come hang out with us!” said actor Sean Griffin, who lives with his wife, 5th Avenue Theatre head Bernadine, near Pike Place Market.
Former recipient Herb Bridge brought his steady, Edie Hilliard, and wore his award around his neck. But 2013 recipient Lenny Wilkens came without his. Uh-oh.
“He’s got one now,” one of the organizers told me. “We’ve got spares.”
Keblas makes a move
Well played, James Keblas.
You made your firing as the head of the Seattle Office of Film + Music as much a controversy as the hiring of a new police chief.
There was the petition to reinstall you after Mayor Ed Murray cut you loose. The blog posts. The roast at The Showbox, where Sir Mix-A-Lot famously cracked, “You a black man now!”
No surprise, then, that your hiring by the Creature advertising agency came with a news conference on the steps of City Hall, complete with buttons bearing the phrase “#ThxMayor for Firing James Keblas.”
The whole thing was engineered by Creature founder Jim Haven, who met Keblas two years ago when he was asked to join an advisory group called Commercialize Seattle, aimed at growing the city’s commercial film-production industry. In the past two years, the city had $17 million in new productions.
When Keblas got canned, “I was distraught,” Haven said. So he invited Keblas to dinner, and before long they settled on a salary, a publicity stunt and a beer-and-hot-dog bash at Creature’s 12th Avenue offices the other night with folks like former Mayor Mike McGinn and Northwest Film Forum head Lyall Bush.
“A big part of the stunt was about it being water under the bridge,” Keblas said. “I reached out to Mayor Murray to make sure that he knew that everything was OK.”
I’m pretty sure he knew that already. But the bottle of Champagne that Keblas and Haven sent over couldn’t have hurt.
A raised spoon to the folks at Seattle’s Pike Place Chowder, which won second place for Best Clam Chowder in the annual Newport (R.I.) Chowder Festival. The contest drew entries from around the world, and Pike Place also won the People’s Choice Most Spirited Team award. Obviously.
Nicole Brodeur’s column appears Tuesday and Sunday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or firstname.lastname@example.org.