Cody Ellerd Bay

Mighty Tieton
June 17, 2011, 11:44 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

I met Ed Marquand more than five years ago at a dinner party. He was totally giddy and brimming with excitement over a major enterprise he was undertaking: creating a Seattle satellite artists’ colony of sorts in a tiny, depressed Yakima Valley fruit town. He was in the process of buying up empty fruit warehouses with the intention of turning them into lofts and work studios and was trying to attract other creative types to his cause.

I tucked Ed away in my mind with a note to check back in a few years and see how his Mighty Tieton was turning out. A few months ago, he popped back onto my radar and I figured the time was right. I pitched the story to Seattle magazine and got my first feature in their June issue.


Tieton cover

Mighty Tieton – Seattle mag, June 2011


Farewell to a virtuoso
February 2, 2011, 10:02 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Most people in the Seattle area had no idea that one of the most legendary violists in the world was living in their midst. Emmanuel Vardi played with everyone from Frank Sinatra to The Beatles. You’ve heard his work if you’ve ever seen Blade Runner, Fame, or almost any classic Disney movie. I spent an afternoon with Manny and his wife, Lenore, at their home in North Bend in 2009, where they spent their days teaching and painting in shadow of Mount Si. My recording of Manny playing Paganini’s Caprice’s has been one of my favorite CDs to work to ever since–the way his amazingly agile bear paws own its twists, turns and challenges always inspires me to write outside the box. I’ve been listening to it a lot this week: Manny just passed away at the age of 95, and I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to tell his story.

Meeting Betsey Johnson
November 17, 2010, 10:26 am
Filed under: Recent work

Remember that  favorite doll you had as a kid, the one who you smeared over and over again with your mom’s makeup and whose hair you teased into a merciless mess, the one who really took the brunt of all your creative energy but in your mind she always adored you no matter what aesthetic experiments you subjected her to? Imagine if she suddenly appeared one day as your grandma. She would be Betsey Johnson. When I met the iconic Youthquake queen in the green room before a recent appearance at the downtown Seattle Nordstrom, I put out my hand for a shake. Rather than accepting it, she instead swept me into a giant bear hug that seemed way too powerful for her doll-like figure. Don’t get me wrong—I wouldn’t trade my own Granny for anyone in the world. But Betsey can totally be my grandma, too. Read my terribly charming interview with Betsey Johnson for On This Day In Fashion:

OTDIF Chats with Designer Betsey Johnson about the Sixties, her Birthday and Wearing Yogurt

Last week, Betsey Johnson was in town at Nordstrom to promote her fall line, a Wild West–themed collection that includes lots of classic Betsey-isms: oversize florals, horizontal stripes and tight tube dresses mixed with bandit babe motifs like pistols and cowboy boots. Largely inspired by Betsey’s past collections, there are also fun ’60s shout-outs to Marilyn Monroe and Andy Warhol, and nods toward crinolines, sweetheart necklines and cropped sweaters.

I was a lucky little fashion reporter indeed to score a few minutes in the green room at Nordstrom with Betsey before the event, where throngs of admirers, young and old, were lined up to meet her. She was looking adorable, smiling from ear to ear and bubbling over with enthusiasm, warmth and fun, fun, fun. Her sweet-but-harried handlers told me I would get to ask five questions, but when I finally got my turn, they told me there would only be time for two. My visions now dashed of a long trip down memory lane to visit her Youthquake years, the Velvet Underground and the glory days of Seventh Avenue, I got right to the point and, to my surprise, got more Betsey than I expected. Read more…

On This Day In Fashion
July 25, 2010, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A few months ago I was invited to be part of a fantastic new project. Ali Basye, a brilliant editor, writer and book author I had had the pleasure of writing for with Seattle Bride, announced that she was leaving the magazine to start her own publication. A dedicated lover of all things fashion, for the last several years Ali had been compiling every fascinating moment in fashion history, from the monumental to the absurd to the macabre, into a massive database that she would undoubtedly later turn into… something.

I must admit, couture was never my thing. I’ve always been more interested in what’s going on in my own backyard than in the dramas playing out on a twisted and surreal fashion planet a galaxy away that I honestly can’t afford to care about. But — I do love a good story. I love colorful personalities and the things that fall through the cracks. I love culture, art, politics, architecture, photography, vintage anything, and everything else that goes into making this life such a fascinating place to inhabit — and fashion would not exist without all of these things.  So I accepted the job as Assistant Editor, and in June we launched On This Day In Fashion, an online fashion magazine that delivers a daily dose of fashion history and the stories behind the styles that you never knew existed, along with inspiring tips and up-to-the-minute developments and events in the world of couture.

In the last few weeks alone, I’ve traced the shag haircut that hipsters so love back to Jane Fonda in her Oscar-winning role in the film Klute; I’ve learned that the three tiny pieces of fabric we know and love as the bikini were the brainchild of a twisted Frenchman who thought nuclear fallout was hilarious; and I interviewed the very first black model to appear in a major American fashion magazine back in 1961 — an amazing, brilliant and hopelessly charming lady I could sit and listen to for hours.

There’s something new here every day, so keep checking back, pass it on, and let me know what you think!

On This Day In Fashion

I think Fred Flinstone drove one of these
May 26, 2010, 10:23 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

My home telephone is a lime green push button behemoth from the late 1970s.  My camera collection includes my mom’s first Brownie and my husband’s grandfather’s Voightlander that he bought while fighting in Germany (with an undeveloped roll of film in it! I wonder!). I guess you could say I’ve got a thing for old-timey things.

That’s why I so love doing stories like this one. One of my favorite experiences as a journalist to this day was for the Wright Brothers’ Centennial of Flight working as a multimedia producer for the Associated Press, when I got to ride in an open-cockpit barnstormer, flipping loop-de-loops over the fields of upstate New York.  1916 Chandlers don’t do loop-de-loops, but they still have that magical ability to take you on a trip back in time.

Roger Anderson, proud owner of no less than 17 cars built between 1916 and 1929.

For collectors of early cars, just getting on the road takes passion and patience

By Cody Ellerd Bay

Special to NWautos

It was the 1950s; cars were faster, sexier and more outlandish than ever before. There was hardly anything cooler than hightailing it in a tricked-out hot rod or cruising in a brand-new Caddy. That’s when, at 15 years old, Roger Anderson bought his dream machine: a broken-down 1925 Chevrolet sedan he saw rusting under a tree during a family drive to Mukilteo.  Read on…

Seattle Bride – Spring Issue
January 25, 2010, 5:11 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

My piece in the Spring/Summer issue profiles six Washington wedding venues that recognize the impact that a large celebration has on the environment and go the extra mile to make weddings glow with green goodness. Plus, in this issue I’m doing double duty — Brandon and I are featured in the “Local Weddings of Note” section in the back!

Seattle Bride | Green Girl Venues

Trip magazine
November 18, 2009, 7:54 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

For the better part of 2008, I had my dream job. The Seattle Times had launched a new monthly travel magazine aimed at the young and adventurous, a refreshing antidote to the typical Sunday travel pages. On assignment for Trip, I trekked through an exotic biosphere of Mexico’s Serria Madre mountains; slept in a yurt in the funky, artsy enclave of Homer, Alaska; and joined the French Canadians to usher in the 400-year anniversary of Quebec City in a very modern style.

As the newspaper industry’s struggles compounded in the latter part of the year, Trip ended up in the obituaries along with so many other of our dearly deceased publications. To this day it remains one of the highlights of my career.

Trip magazine: Sierra Gorda

And more:

Yakima Valley Wine Country

Nation Hopping New York

And the 400th Anniversary of Quebec. My cover photo for this issue won Trip an Honorable Mention for Best Section Cover from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Advertising Executives Association.