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Buy? Sell? Or hold on for dear life? We present true tales of Seattle real estate and expert advice to help you navigate the new rules of homeownership. Also: Seattle Sounders FC’s controversial marching band, hiking through a rainforest, how to eat nettles, and what the current economic climate’s doing to ordinary friendships.

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Quite The Pear

Just in time for spring, Chef Brian Scheehser creates an award-winning roasted pear relish and carrot soup combo that’s easy to recreate in your own kitchen.

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A Note from the Editor

Next Moves

Mail from the Metro

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Bailouts for Buddies

Brother, can you spare a mortgage payment?

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Man Handled

Purses aren’t just for her anymore. Here’s where he can get his bag on.

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Tomatoes from Another Time

Heirloom veggies take gardeners back to their roots.

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Frank’s, My Dear

Sarah and Felix Penn pay homage to dear old granddad in Ravenna’s retro steakhouse.

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Sting Operation

When life gives you nettles, eat them.

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Stomp and Circumstance

“Everything is better with brass.” That’s why comedian and Seattle Sounders FC co-owner Drew Carey insisted the pro soccer team needed a marching band. He marched right into a minefield.

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Let It Rain

A spring hike through the Olympic rain forest can be a muddy, waterlogged exercise in environmental immersion. And it’s wonderful.

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Woodway Hideaway

An award-winning remodel transforms a "dark, hunkering block" into a high-style sylvan sanctuary.

Does this Recession Make My Butt Look Big?

A look at how Seattle dresses in lean times.

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Global Warning

Lisa Ling spreads the news of a troubled world.

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Nanny-State Update

Seattle’s salad days of trashing table scraps are coming to an end.

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Peanut Butter Provocateur

Peanut butter, meet food fighter: Seattle attorney Bill Marler goes against Big Peanut.

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The Big Boom Theory

A new book unearths the roots of Northwest rock.

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For the Love of Froth

Stocking Seattle’s best beer bar is no easy task.

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Flights to Italy

At Tidbit Bistro, sample the best boozes from the Boot.

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The House that Juice Built?

A-Rod comes clean—maybe. But Safeco Field’s steroid history goes much deeper.

Democracy 2.0

Social change pioneer Sarah Schacht helps citizens and government talk. No mass protest messages, please.

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Click photo for slideshow

Dress Code

Scenes from: Project Red Dress; Do Good, Feel Good; Artist Trust’s 2009 Benefit Art Auction; Pillow Fight Against Homelessness; Make the Evening Matter; Henry Ball.

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About Face

A conversation with makeup artist Suresh Seneviratne.

Q: I’ve outgrown my current home. Should I buy now or should I wait?

Q: Interest rates are really low. When does it make sense to refinance?

Q: With so many new condos sitting empty, why would I risk buying one now?

Q: I’ve never owned a home. Should I buy now?

Q: Why does the thought of becoming a homeowner make me feel crazy?

Q: What’s a lease-to-purchase option, and is it a smart move for me?

Q: What’s a short sell, and why would I want to get involved in one?

Q: Everyone says that now is an awful time to sell, but is it really that bad?

Q: I’m underwater on my loan, so should I walk away from my house?

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Lunch: Make it Fun Again

Why not spring out of your lunch rut with these downtown lunch-hour superstars?

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Buy? Sell? Or Hold on for Dear Life?

In this comprehensive real estate guide, we examine topics such as what to do when you’ve outgrown your home, when to take advantage of low interest rates