DFR SEA 2017 is a Return to Our Promise: Rediscovery, Rejuvenation, and Reconnection. Less Distraction.  More Amore.

Thursday, September 29th – Sunday, October 1, 2017

 Seattle’s Hidden Gems.

This year’s theme is Seattle’s Hidden Gems. It is a reminder that what we value most is often hiding in plain sight. Stuff like: Wonder, Friendship, and Kindness. With Seattle as our setting, we share some of the city’s best secrets. Each night we set a bountiful table of fine food, wine, and conversation. Your role is to populate this table with your unique gifts.

It’s you we came to see.

The Un-Conference: This is a professionally curated and managed event but it is not a professional business conference. There are no workshops or lectures. No bad coffee or lousy food. No Instagram shares or Twitter feeds.
You’ll hear no discussion of Clients & Profits or business processes. If you’ve been before, you know we aggressively discourage divas, whiners, and Klingons.
This gathering is about down time with up friends, fresh experiences and fresh-caught
salmon, bright pinot noir and dark craft beer, and Dudes in Kilts (who shouldn’t be) and Gals in Tats (who should).


Grand Equity.

$675 Dinner and Event Costs.
$250  Hidden Gem Itineraries

For less than a grand, you will have the grandest of times. And you will take home more memories and renewed friendships than you’ve ever experienced at any gathering of like-minded peers. Fees includes three catered dinners with entertainment, beer, and wine curated by Terry Marks and two inclusive Hidden Gem itineraries. Pas cher!


Hidden Gem Itineraries:

Time Out. Tune In. Listen & Learn.

There are 6 Hidden Gem tours; 3 on Friday and 3 on Saturday. All tours begin at 10 am and conclude, roughly, at 4 pm. Guests select two. Each limited to 25 persons. Itineraries will focus on a variety of subjects:  music, flora, fauna, food, public art, architecture, science, engineering, history, myth, internationalism, ghosts, weirdness, and strange smells. Lean in. Take a whiff. Be inspired.

Just you wait. We will show you architectural marvels that you never knew existed. And if you think we are just talking about the pumpkin-sized bolts that hold the legs of Space Needle to its concrete base, you are sadly mistaken. But if we tell you WHERE we are taking you we will spoil the surprise. To the smarty pants among you who think you’ve seen it all, word for the wise: “Architecture” goes beyond the physical structure. It can be metaphysical.

Seattle is graced with amazing public gardens, parks, and wildlife. We may see seabirds from the Terrace at the SAM Sculpture Park. We will show you an unheralded zoo not far from town. We will share with you the view from atop Poor Man’s Space Needle then, steps away, see one of the most astonishing collections of cacti this side of Joshua Tree. Flying Monkeys? Yes! After we stop for a libation at the Volunteer Park Cafe you will swear you are Dorothy and that Monkeys and Pigs Do Fly.

Spooky, Loopy & Strange is not a law firm. It’s a Seattle way of life. We offer unsurpassed levels of weird, fanciful, mythic, para-legal, and nuts. Ghosts, gamblers, grave yards, gore: We have it all. Visit the grave of Curt Cobain – oh, wait: he has none. How about Bruce Lee’s? Tour beneath the streets of Pioneer Square. Watch for the ghosts of Pike’s Market, built atop a native burial ground), and channel the gamblers, murders, and charlatans that once frequented the now gorgeously remodeled hotels of Gold Rush Seattle. Got to pee? So do we: Enjoy the view from the Ladies at Columbia Tower Club, offering the finest views of the city spires and a clean place to powder your nose. Fetishes, beards, tats, rats, and kilts? Don’t blink. You’ll miss ten.

You say “fuh” and I say “poe.” They may call it International District but it’s all about the Far East: Chinatown, Japantown and Little Saigon. If you smell something unusual, you’re there. Fermented fish is a distinctive olfactory branding device. Dim sum, tempura, pho, Bruce Lee’s roots and former haunts, the largest sento (bathhouse) in the U.S., Massive Monkees dance crew, and more bubble tea than you can consume. We’ll show you the best Soy Town has to offer.

Seattle is a city built on diverse ideas and innovation. And landfill. This tour will require some sober attention and active grey cells. Put away your iPhone. Vist the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, see how Seattle engineers moved mountains at MOHAI, explore the Jet Age at the Museum of Flight and marvel at the public spaces around Space Needle (did you know it was originally painted gold and had a gas light on top?). Wind it down with a drink at the lovely and historical Polar Bar at the Artic Club. Or, at least that is the plan. Spontaneity might takes us somewhere else.

Seattle is rich with art and design. Yes, there is the SAM. But there is also the FRYE.  There is the Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park. But have you ever visited the Suyama Space? How about a serene pocket park dedicated to the founder of UPS known to locals as the Waterfall Garden Park? We will visit the overlooked Mural Ampitheater near Space Needle—ignore the que for the $35 elevator ride and enjoy the free exhibit on the ramp that celebrates the making of the Space Needle. If we are lucky, Stanley Hainsworth might even let us see his beehives on the roof of Tether’s office.


The Five Spot. Lunch at Pikes Market. Mooncakes in Chinatown. High Tea at the Volunteer Park Cafe. Fresh baked cookies at Hello Birdy. And every twee herb garden, coffee shop, gluten-free bakery, and oenophile habitat in between. Lunch is on us. The rest is on you. Literally. You’ll be wearing  joi de vivre and cuisine insolite on the plane ride home.

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    While You’re in the Emerald City, there are a few things we’d strongly recommend if you have time and didn’t catch it on a tour:

    The Frye Museum Small, local and so very well done

    The Showbox at the Market Great, small venue for music that’s been around since the 1930s

    Monsoon Upscale Vietnamese on 19th on Capital Hill – so good

    Kubota Gardens A gift to the city in the form of Japanese inspired gardens

    The Walrus and Carpenter, The Whale Wins, Bar Melusine Anything by Renee Erickson, really

    Westland Distillery Local, award-winning and you don’t even need a reservation to show up and sample their wares


    You are free to stay wherever you prefer. We have identified 20+ units at Belltown Court Condominiums. These units are available first come, first served.
    Reserve units through the Seattle Oasis Vacations.


    Registration is on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendance is limited to 75 persons.
    To register, simply email Matthew Porter:


    Face it, if you are reading this, you probably already have our contact but in case you
    don’t or are just plain lazy, we can be gotten here:

    Matthew Porter

    Terry Marks

    If y’all saw the tasty letterpressed invitation, we owe deep thanks and props to the remarkable Todd Thyberg of Angel Bomb.
    Most gracious thanks to Jamie Saunders and Neenah to toothy Design Collection (Wild) paper.

    This reunion is sponsor-free, profit-free, diva-free, and whinge-free. Our aim is to not go broke while setting a generous table of rare friends, great stories, immense gratitude, and memorable meals.  DFR is a labor of love offered (not sold) given by Matthew Porter, his husband George, Terry Marks, Cathy and Francis Pavy, Justin Ahrens, Kevin McConkey, Tom Biederbeck, Elliot Strunk, Tom Ingalls, Abbey Fowler, Joel Nakamura, Chris Sickels, Elliot Strunk, Fred Cisneros, Wendy Quesinberry, Todd Christensen, Felix Sockwell (who in pajamas is far more giggly and girlish than he appears in public), Ann Willoughby, Emily Potts, Rebecca Bedrossian,  Mr. and Mrs. Jacki McCarthy, Todd Thyberg, the Atlanta Grimmetts, and the Austin Lewis-Carnegies.