District 3 challenger adds 6 pound, 10 ounce running mate to ticket

Caitlyn and grandmother Ly Tran (Image: Elect Ami)

District 3 candidate Ami Nguyen has announced a new running mate.

The challenger for Kshama Sawant’s seat on the City Council gave birth Saturday morning, her campaign has announced.

Complete with a press release featuring proud grandma Ly Tran, little Caitlyn joins a race marked by the amazing amount of cashed poured into the battle where her mom has held her own thanks in large part to the city’s Democracy Vouchers program. Nguyen, whose “get out the vote” strategy is centered on meet and greets and “aggressive” doorbelling, Nguyen, a public defender vying to become the first Vietnamese American to serve on the council, has focused her campaign on D3 communities beyond Capitol Hill.

“There’s never a perfect time to have a baby, but I’m excited to be in a position where I have the chance to help build a more inclusive Seattle for Caitlyn to grow up in,” Nguyen said in the announcement. “I want her to feel safe walking our streets, have access to great educational opportunities, and create a city that is affordable so that if she chooses to remain here in the future, that option is available to her. But right now, I’m just happy that she’s here and healthy.” Continue reading

With an homage — or three — to the past, new restaurant coming to old Broadway Grill space

The Broadway Grill (Image: CHS)

For the first time in six years, 314 Broadway E has plans to host a Halloween costume contest. The Broadway Grill will remain only a ghost but a new project from a Broadway restaurant owner teaming up in a partnership with his longtime chef will put the venue back into motion this fall.

Witness owner Gregg Holcomb and the southern-influenced restaurant and bar’s chef Jesse Elliott are teaming up on the as of yet unnamed project set to take over the long-empty Broadway Grill with a new restaurant hoped to evoke much of the spirit of the long gone old joint.

“We will bring back some of the old Grill feel, working on an homage to the old menu and some throwbacks,” Holcomb said;

The plan for the project — tentatively titled Olmstead to evoke Capitol Hill’s shadowy bootlegger history — is a cleaning-up of seven years of disuse and an overhaul of the old, huge restaurant. Holcomb said the old Grill’s sections — the open front, the atrium, and the warrened-awar back room will be utilized to give the new project separate components including a back “Sportsball Room” planned as a space for people to gather to watch games and special events together.

The new joint will also make space for trivia, karaoke, and, maybe just maybe, “light dancing.”

It will not be a total gutting of the past. “The space has a tremendous layout as it is,” Holcomb said. Continue reading

Street Critic | The Diabolical Diagonal — the architecture of the angled streets that climb Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill streets and building parcels are almost uniformly delineated by an orthogonal grid; however, when confronted with the second part of our neighborhood’s name the ubiquitous grid revealed its limitation as an all-inclusive planning tool and left city planners little choice but to utilize diagonal streets to ascend and descend our heights. Diagonal streets present a foil to the well-ordered grid, yet most buildings conform to the grid even when the site is an unconventional shape. There are reasons to stay square when designing a building, but design opportunities are sacrificed when the only nod given to an atypical, non-orthogonal site is to design an orthogonal building and treat its diagonally bounded site simply as a remainder to be ‘planted-up’.

The Hill’s longest and steepest diagonal street, Belmont Avenue, exhibits a variety of design solutions to the grid’s disruptive diagonal. The first approach, illustrated in two variants below, plays to both diagonal and grid in a manner that preserves the conflicting geometries. The third solution is a rarely seen hybrid approach where the geometries of grid and diagonal are blended and create unexpectedly complex forms. which gave us a pair of delightful mid-century apartments. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party expands free events held beyond festival gates

(Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

Two blocks of E Pike are home to music, food, and troves of festival goers as Capitol Hill Block Party takes to the streets this weekend. Although increasing artist fees and production costs have raised ticket prices in recent years, CHBP plans to celebrate Capitol Hill beyond festival gates by offering a variety of free events.

“We’re excited about this year’s expansion of free events that will allow people who aren’t attending CHBP to still participate and enjoy the community celebration, while still getting a taste of CHBP,” said Kate Harris, CHBP’s executive producer.

While producers says Block Party attendance has not increased in the past eight years, the festival has continued to cement itself in Seattle’s music and arts scene, attracting big-name headliners across music genres. According to Harris, artist fees have tripled since 2012 and production costs have increased exponentially, resulting in a notable rise in festival ticket prices.

With crowds exceeding 20,000 people, surging ticket prices, and performances from mainstream talent, Block Party has strayed from its roots as a small, neighborhood celebration. According to Harris, this evolution has not gone unnoticed by the festival’s organizers, as CHBP has offered free events co-organized by a variety of local nonprofits, hosted at Cal Anderson Park and nearby businesses in recent years. This year, CHBP will expand upon its free events. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Loki — ‘best dog ever’ — on Boylston

Duncan was drawing on a scrap piece of plywood and Loki was curled up next to him when CHS found them hanging out near Fred Wildlife Refuge on Boylston. When approached, Loki became a wiggly-butted, happy, and gentle mix of Pit Bull and Lab. A rescue that’s been with Duncan for three and a half years, Loki will be four in October. Loki is assuredly one of the sweetest pups on Capitol Hill. “He’s the best dog ever,” Duncan says.

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.

After this weekend’s Capitol Hill Block Party, changes may be afoot for big events on the Hill

(Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

2019 will be a pivotal year for the Capitol Hill Block Party, which kicks off today. And not because the great flautist-twerker-chanteuse Lizzo is gracing its main stage Saturday. This August, the city will start looking into what effect the Block Party, grown from a street festival into a ticketed, three-day musical extravaganza now in its 23rd year, has on the neighborhood — and how it can move forward on the Hill in the coming years.

The city has hired local consulting firm Fife Consulting to lead an outreach process with people and businesses in the neighborhood. The company is also completing a study of large outdoors events across the city.

The process, separate from the regular post-CHBP “debrief” with city officials or public comment during Special Events committee meetings, will start in late August and will include focus groups, an online survey as well as interviews with residents, businesses and local business and neighborhood agencies, said Seattle Special Events Committee chair Chris Swenson.

By December, Swenson said, the process should be wrapped up. At which point the Special Event Committee will decide on whether the event can go forward as is, or in a modified form. These modifications could be light (as in: keeping the event but changing days, hours or footprint) or more significant, such as the consideration of other neighborhoods, formats and weekends, Swenson said.

“We want to make sure that this is still the right place, time and manner for this event to happen,” he said. “This is a Capitol Hill-centric event, and Capitol Hill is evolving, and we want to make sure this dedicated art center is the best place for the Capitol Hill Block Party.”  Continue reading

Court: Fatal Capitol Hill stabbing sparked by fight over declined cigarette lighter

A King County Superior Court judge Thursday found probable cause to hold David Nichols in jail for murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree. Seattle Police announced they had arrested Nichols Wednesday for the deadly overnight stabbing at Cal Anderson Park early Sunday that left 25-year-old Rayshauna Webber dead.

His bail was set at $2,000,000. Nichols has not yet been charged in the case.

SPD identified the suspect publicly after taking Nichols into custody thanks to video surveillance from a nearby business and credit card information from an E Pine business he patronized that night, according to court documents. Continue reading

In a sea of Capitol Hill poke joints, Aloha Cup Bap’s Hawaiian approach stands out

(Image: Aloha Cup Bap)

Its founders hope Aloha Cup Bap’s traditional Hawaiian poke will separate the shop from the sea of poke joints around Capitol Hill. The poke spot now has two locations around the Hill after it opened its second shop on Broadway this spring.

“Opening our first location a year and a half ago was a difficult job because customers didn’t really know what poke was. Now we have returning customers and wanted to open a second location,” said Tony O, one of Aloha Cup Bap’s owners along with Madelene Phung and Yuree Chong.

With locations on 12th Ave and now Broadway, Aloha Cup Bap is creating an island chain of fresh fish spots through the neighborhood. Continue reading