filmmaker, VR explorer, musician

Dacia Sáenz

From the moment you set foot in Seattle, you can feel it: art is everywhere.

The thriving arts scene is a priority in this city—in fact, Seattle has been recognized for having more arts-related businesses and organizations per capita than any other metropolitan area in the U.S., according to Americans for the Arts. Filmmaker, VR explorer and musician Dacia Sáenz is one of the contributors to this creative city. Read on for a look at the city through her artistic lens.

Q&A with Dacia Sáenz

When you first moved here from Austin, what were you most excited about?

I’m in love with the Space Needle! I love that it’s quirky. I love everything it represents—history, the future, creativity and innovation. It’s a celebration of technology and ingenuity. The whole World’s Fair idea was envisioning how technology might lead to a more equitable society, a utopian society—that’s something I think about with my own creative work. Seeing the Space Needle encourages us to use our imaginations. The Space Needle is a reminder to dream.

How do you reconnect with your Mexican roots?

One of my first jobs when I got here was bartending at the Century Ballroom on salsa dance nights. The Latin American community really comes out for those events, so I got to speak Spanish and experience that warm family vibe. I also like the Seattle Fandango Project, which plays Veracruz style music. When it comes to Mexican food—Fonda La Catrina is great. Fogon Cocina Mexicana has dishes like my grandmother used to make. Plus, I grew up picking tamarind in Mexico, and they have a tamarind margarita! But the only place that makes a sauce spicy enough for me is Rancho Bravo.

Where do you like to take visitors?

I love the downtown library—that incredible building!—especially the corridor that’s painted entirely red. Fremont Antique Mall is one of my favorite spots for vintage shopping. I love the Monorail. And MoPOP—I can never get enough of photographing that building. The Museum of History and Industry does a great job of making history interactive. And I love taking people to Westward at the top of Lake Union. The bar looks like a Wes Anderson set, the view is spectacular, and you can have oysters and drinks by the fire pit.

How else do you engage with the city?

I love playing pinball—so the Pinball Museum in the ID is a must. Also Flip Flip Ding Ding in my favorite neighborhood, Georgetown. I also love Skee Ball, which you can play at King’s Hardware in Ballard. I go to the Crescent Lounge for karaoke. For live music, the Tractor Tavern feels like home. Oh, and the Hot Tub Boats! Renting one with a bunch of friends is an amazing way to see the city.


Interview by Brangien Davis. Photo taken near the Seattle Space Needle. 


Created by filmmakers Dacia Sáenz and Sara McCaslin for The Seattle Globalist, The Cost of Gender shares the stories of transgender Americans faced with health care discrimination at home, and who look to Thailand for better options.



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