Tim and Michelle Wunderlich, owners of Seaside Coffee Roasters, outside their downtown location.
Credit to coastweekend.com, Matt Love author, June 2016, The Daily Astorian
I walked into Seaside Coffee House on a gray Thursday afternoon and Michelle Wunderlich, the owner, didn’t waste any time greeting me warmly like the semi-regular I am.
My order was the same: the angst-ridden writer special — black coffee in a white mug.
After handing me my mug, Michelle launched into a wonderful story about her teenage daughter, an obsessive reader, who recently exhibited signs of impressive writing ability by cranking out a dystopian tale that caught the attention of her teacher. Perhaps that teacher’s attention will light a fire in Michelle’s daughter to become a writer. It can happen that way. It did for me at 16 when one of my teachers noticed.
What a lucky kid! She can hang out in her mom’s café all day and write her dystopian novel series and coffee is eternally free! My advice: set the series in Seaside after global warming has caused sea levels to rise and all the tourists have disappeared. Maybe have the surfers running everything. No zombies please.
The Seaside Coffee House boasts one of the most delightfully eclectic interiors of any coffee joint I’ve ever patronized. It acts as a de facto art gallery for local artists, a quasi museum of vintage bicycles and toy wagons, a library with books, magazines and old Seaside High School yearbooks, and a groovy time warp back into the 1970s when potted and hanging plants were the decorative rage.
What I particularly enjoy about this place is that a customer has an astonishing array of choices of how they want to sit: couch, stool at window counter, student desk, plush chairs or plain old wooden chair at a table. My preference is typically wood seating at a table where I can look out the window and watch people come and go.
On my most recent visit, I saw an elderly bald man wearing camouflage shorts. His head was covered in a green and orange tattoo of the most intricate design. He seemed very much like a possible character in a dystopian novel set in Seaside. I bet Michelle’s daughter is already on it.
Matt Love is the author/editor of 14 books, including “A Nice Piece of Astoria.” His books are available at coastal bookstores or through his website, nestuccaspitpress.com
Celebrating 12 years in 2016, the next Seaside First Saturday Art Walk, will be held on March 5th, 5-7: pm. The event is all about selling art.
Visitors meet artists, sip wine or snag appetizers by favorite restaurants or personal chefs, at times, view an artist demonstration and, oftentimes, enjoy live performances in music. The affairs are free and are all about raising awareness for the cultural arts in businesses, shops, boutiques and dining establishments located between Holladay and Broadway in the historic Gilbert District of downtown Seaside.
Two significant exhibitions are featured this month:
Beach Books, 616 Broadway
The Green Cab, (a group of artists inspired by the influential BlueRider artist group (Der Blaue Reiter) of Europe in the early 20th century,) was created with the goal of encouraging and inspiring each other, sharing techniques and information about the business side of art, and sharing our work with the public. The “Cabbies” are a synergistic alliance of artists, working in a variety of mediums.
About the artists:
Helvi Smith, founder of the Green cabbies, paints every day. Color never scares her. She is a fearless, self-taught painter. Bruce Ulrich believes that all art is an abstraction, and painting is, at its core, colored marks on a flat surface. Painting is a way of investigating different styles and uses of abstraction to explore landscapes, objects, colors and textures. Penny Forrest uses art as an invitation to slow down, look around, and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us daily in our busy and cluttered lives. Jim Zaleski combines the traditional art forms of painting and drawing with the high tech computer world to produce colorful and exciting art that is full of vibrant colors and loaded with whimsy.
Jeff Hall enjoys using re-purposed materials in his art making process. His surface building explores real and imagined space, while leaving room for the viewer’s own interpretation and experience. Barbara Martin comes from a line of story tellers and herbalists and the product of an internationally nomadic life. An Oregon artist who channels the primordial through her art, calling us home to our most ancient roots of time and place. Anne E. Brown paints on wooden panels: loving the way the brush and the paint feels when they touch the surface of the panel, letting some of the wood show through. Elina Zebergs’s art is as varied as her interests. She works in a variety of mediums, including acrylics and encaustic (wax) painting. She is also an accomplished muralist.
Elina Zeberg at Beach Books
Fairweather House and Gallery, 612 Broadway
Celebrates its 10th anniversary with an opening reception for an exhibition titled Above and Beyond, offers insightful, timely and relevant works of art about the spring season. Regional artists, selected, basically, to acknowledge the coastal flyway habitats and to awaken our senses to nature from the ground up.
About the artists:
Britney Drumheller, Cannon Beach resident, along with Abbas Atwi, offers art that functions as symbolic expressions relating to the value people attach to the North coastal tidelands and its marine life.
Britney Drumheller’s OWL at Fairweather’s
Art by Kathryn Delany includes many diverse aspects of life, challenging a viewer’s horizons and viewpoint of the world. Delany explores the art of birds and mixed media inspired by the passing of the winter solstice.
Kathryn Delany From a Bird’s Point of View at Fairweather’s
Rosemary Klein works in the realm of visionary truths. Yet, as a former journalist and reference librarian, it’s sometimes hard for the artist to let of to the literal and venture into the more intuitive dimension of “what if?” Klein’s featured art is found in the beyond if one could see below the sea.
Rosemary Klein Ode to Joy at Fairweather’s
Seaside/ Gearhart naturalist Neal Maine will reveal his latest natural history photo journal, as well as providing lecture at 6:00pm about what is above and beyond “the coastal edge”.
Special guest Joshua Saranpaa, Executive Director of the Wildlife Center of the North Coast, will speak about promoting compassion, empathy and respect for all life. Flynn, the ever dashing American Kestrel, visits.
“WCNC” is a volunteer based non-profit Oregon corporation with IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status, whose mission is to rehabilitate injured, sick, orphaned and displaced native wildlife with the goal of releasing healthy, viable wildlife back into the appropriate habitat. Operating under permits issued by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife and the US Fish & Wildlife Service. Light refreshments. wine tasting and live music by Shirley 88 will be offered.
In addition, original art is featured at:
SunRose Gallery, 606 Broadway
Seaside Coffee House, 3 N. Holladay Drive
T. Anjuli’s Gallery, 5 N. Holladay Drive
McKeown’s, 1 S Holladay Drive
Three Little Bird’s Bakery, 8 N Holladay Drive
Tora Sushi, 619 Broadway
Nooni’s Bistro, 831 Broadway
McKeown’s, 1 S Holladay Drive