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    Who says Scandinavians don't know how to have fun? Well, actually, Scandinavians do; but no one would deny they know how to eat. And annually Seattle's descendants of the Norse and Suomi share their culinary secrets with the rest of us at the Nordic Heritage Center's Tivoli/Viking Days. Here you can feast on æbleskiver, pönnukökur, vinrterta, hardfiskur, and lappi. Doesn't that sound like fun? Well, what about Swedish meatballs? Or lefse dogs? Ah, we thought that would get your attention. While you're licking the æbleskiver's powdered sugar and strawberry jam off your fingers, you can watch demonstrations of spinning, weaving, and bobbin lace-making. If you're lucky, you'll be raided by Vikings, which are sort of like Seafair Pirates but generally blonder and better looking. And if you're not lucky . . . well, there's always the beer garden. The fun starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, July 12, with the traditional Swedish pancake breakfast (didn't we mention the breakfast?) and doesn't stop till the salmon dinner's over at 6 p.m. (Didn't we mention the salmon dinner?) And you can relive the whole experience the very next day, though breakfast starts and dinner ends an hour earlier. That weekend, 3014 N.W. 67th St. is the center of the Seattle Scandinavian universe, so be there, pojken och flicker: show the world that blonds do have more fun.


    The French, zay were not always ze peace-weasels; 214 years less five days ago, some Parisians got together, attacked a royal prison called the Bastille, released all the prisoners, and murdered the prison governor after promising to spare him. And they've been celebrating the event ever since. This year Bastille Day proper falls on a Monday, so Seattle's Francophile community is celebrating (bloodlessly, we hope) a day early on July 13, with a picnic at Vasa Park on Lake Sammamish. The tab is $27 ($10 for kids), but that includes cold poached salmon with three sauces, barbecued spareribs, ratatouille, pommes frîtes, and wines of Muscadet and Beaujolais. (In a concession to prevent young picnickers from committing some bloodshed of their own, hot dogs and chips will also be on the menu.) If you want to play pétanque (sort of like bocce ball, but even slower and duller to watch), it'll cost you $30 per two-person team, and you have to bring your own boules. For tickets or more information, call the French-American Chamber of Commerce at 206-443-4703.

    Oh, and one other thing for whoever wrote the press release: The Bastille fell in 1789, not 1784.


    The Weekly's snooty wine writer doesn't think Washington syrahs are ready for prime time, but some real wine experts disagree: At 2002's Northwest Wine Summit, a 2000 syrah from Cañon de Sol Winery in Benton City took the Best in Show award, and just last Saturday the same winery's just-released 2001 syrah placed in the top two in a tasting sponsored by Wine Press Northwest. And the kudos isn't restricted to eastern Washington producers, either; the 2000 syrah from Sequim's Lost Mountain Winery got a gold medal at the Grand Harvest Awards in Santa Rosa, Calif. So there.

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