Clark Humphrey

Cheap drinks, easy parking, and affordable housing once existed in Belltown, honest!

Clark Humphrey has written for just about every paper in town. Lately he’s applied his inexhaustible urban curiosity to the Images of America series of history books—slim little paperbacks basically consisting of vintage photos and captions. It’s a perfect format for Humphrey in Seattle’s Belltown (Arcadia Publishing, $19.99), from which he’ll read and presumably show photos tonight. The book allows him to be erudite without being overbearing, providing quick hits of historical trivia on architectural oddities, forgotten buildings, and lipstick traces remaining in the former Regrade. Though a condo-hating anti-growthnik with strongly nostalgic feelings towards his home turf (where he also publishes The Belltown Messenger), he’s not a crank. These photos, culled mostly from the Seattle Municipal Archives and MoHaI, document the inevitability of change. Of one long-forgotten tiki bar, he writes, “Some of the décor now hangs at the Crocodile Café.” Not anymore, sadly, but that’s another book. Form/Space Atelier, 2407 First Ave., 349-2509. Free. 6 p.m.

Fri., Jan. 11, 6 p.m., 2008

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