Pikes/Pines | Capitol Hill’s Christmas Bird Count


Thanks for the holiday gift, Alex Garland Photography

You might be surprised to learn a significant bit of biological research has been happening in your backyards and parks on Capitol Hill since 1908. A few years have been skipped here and there, major wars in account, but since 1952, there have been continuous Christmas Bird Counts in Seattle. This year, you could be one of the proud citizen scientists who contribute just one day and further major monitoring and analysis of North American bird populations.

What exactly is the Christmas Bird Count (or the CBC)? The National Audubon Society in tandem with local organizations run this project: a day of counting birds all over the United States and beyond. On a day between December 14 and January 5, local organizations organize people to go out and to count every individual bird they can. In what started as a way to divert pointless slaughter in a holiday bird-hunting tradition, has become a behemoth 115 year old science project with over 2300 sites in the Americas and far reaching data now being used to track and project trends in bird populations, particularly in the face of climate change.

One of the most common birds in Seattle, the Dark-eyed Junco. Credit: Brendan McGarry

One of the most common birds in Seattle, the Dark-eyed Junco. (Image: Brendan McGarry)

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This week in CHS history: Cone & Steiner, Tallulah’s, Colman Auto restored, Montana

Montana_Capitol Hill SeattleHere are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Crow | Keoni, Sarah and Nick — ‘When you have all the eyes and ears on you, you have to deliver’

Music and community were in abundance at Scratch Deli when the CHS Crow stopped by during a Thursday night open mic at the 12th Ave eatery. Among the performers and attentive audience members — and there was significant overlap — the CHS Crow met three dedicated young Seattle musicians with day (and night) jobs, and loads of talent. Read on, and if you’re inspired to stop by sometime, do know that several regulars asked that people respect the special and supportive scene that’s been created at ‘Scratch.’

  Keoni, 21

Keoni and Lewis playing a rendition of “Rocks in my Bed,” written by Duke Ellington and famously sung by Ella Fitzgerald.

Who are you?
I was born in Hawaii, moved up here about a year-and-a-half ago. And I came up here to open myself to new opportunities, meet new people, have a little fun.

When I moved up here, the main event why I came up here was that, you know, I’m gay. Hawaii didn’t pass their same-sex marriage law until last winter. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’ So, I had my first Pride here with my boyfriend and a couple of his other friends. And it was so crazy, you know!? I didn’t know this whole thing happens — in downtown Seattle. Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

No Parking on Pike: Best Store in the World (Image:   Tatiana Gill via Flickr)

No Parking on Pike: Best Store in the World (Image: Tatiana Gill via Flickr)

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 18,000 19,000 20,000 21,000  22,000 23,000 24,000 photographs -— most of Capitol Hill images, many glorious, some technically amazing. The pool is a mix of contributions from Capitol Hill — and nearby — shutterbugs. Interested in being part of it? If we like your photo and it helps us tell the story, we may feature it on CHS so please include your name and/or a link to your website so we can properly credit you. Interested in working as a paid CHS contributor for scheduled assignments? Drop us a line –- our roster is full for general assignments but pitch us on an idea.

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Capitol Hill’s World of Beers now chain-free 500 East

The signs are coming down at World of Beers. But the exit of the national beer chain won’t mean the end of the party for the E Pine venue with 50 rotating drafts, 8 display coolers for more than 500 bottles, “tavern fare,” and a “full spirits program created by Outback Steakhouse spawn.

Employees at the location tell CHS the World of Beer Capitol Hill general manager Jamie Goldstein has been working on a plan to take the 2,600 square-foot beer bar legit and shuffle off its chain coil that tied the business to the 45-location, 14-state company. The new venture will be locally owned and will reportedly have no connection to World of Beer which continues to operate its Renton location. One employee reached by phone Friday said to expect an improved focus on local beers, a new food menu, and a new name.

Welcome, 500 East.

World of Beers opened on Capitol Hill just a little more than year ago in E Pine’s Terravita building, the long-delayed Murray Franklyn development that replaced a now legendary strip of old Pike/Pine nightlife, funk and culture. It joins a long, proud roster of national and global chains that have made abrupt exits after trying to make a go of it on Capitol Hill.

You can learn more at 500eastsocialhouse.com.

Meanwhile, another chain shuffle is going on up on Broadway where Capitol Hill’s Yogurtland has served up its last sticky sweet soft-serve after opening in spring 2011. Like the World of Beers situation, the business is transitioning to a local owner, CHS is told by the building’s landlord. But in the froyo case, the owner will be working with a Texas-based franchise to transition Broadway’s Yogurtland into Spoon It! Froyo & More. The new business will switch up the offerings and add items like bubble tea. As for froyo downtime, you shouldn’t suffer much. The transition will be “seamless,” CHS is told.

Capitol Hill bar owner to share Santa’s Secret Sauces in holiday mixology classes

(Image: Liberty via Seattle Central)

(Image: Liberty via Seattle Central)

The craft cocktail is as much a part of Capitol Hill’s food and drink culture as an excellent pull of espresso. The next two weekends, you have the opportunity to learn from one of the neighborhood’s leading purveyors of the craft just in time to spread the Hill’s culture far and wide during your holiday travels. Or, you can just mix up some excellent drinks right here at home, also. Seattle Central’s Experimental College is teaming up with Liberty Bar’s Andrew Friedman for two one-day classes at the 15th Ave E bar. They’ll cost you $60 and $55 a pop but you’ll get two hours of hands-on training in the fine arts of Santa’s Sauces and Naughty and Nice New Years Mixes. You can register online here. Last we checked, there was still room for more of Andrew’s little helpers to sign up as of Friday afternoon.

The Experimental College will offer two single-sessions holiday drink mixology courses with Andrew Friedman, bartender and owner of Liberty Bar on Capitol Hill later this month. He will teach students to mix both classic and original holiday cocktails.

The courses will be offered at Liberty Bar at 517 15th Ave E. The first course, Santa’s Secret Sauces, will take place on Sunday, Dec. 21 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. The second course, Naughty and Nice New Years Mixes, will occur on Sunday, Dec. 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. A fee of $60 is required for the class and participants must be 21 or older. Click the course titles to register and for more information.

Meanwhile, Liberty reports its Tiki Kitty is missing! Hopefully it and the Harvard Ave Baby Jesus turn up before Christmas.


Lark nestles into its ‘grown-up’ Central Agency home


Lark’s new roost in the old and overhauled Central Agency Building (Images: CHS)

Lark's ownership trio -- Sundstrom, J.M. Enos, and Kelly Ronan

Lark’s ownership trio — Sundstrom, J.M. Enos, and Kelly Ronan

In August 2013, when layers of metal sheeting were first getting peeled off the old File Box warehouse, CHS predicted that the area around 10th and Seneca would be completely transformed in 20 years. You can probably shave a few years off of that prediction.

After more than a year of preservation work on the 1917-built Central Agency Building, the cavernous food and drink complex is buzzing with activity. Central Agency’s anchor tenant, Lark, opened the doors to its new home December 4th after closing up shop at 12th and E Spring earlier this year. So far, chef/owner John Sundstrom said the reaction from his 12th Ave regulars has been overwhelmingly positive.IMG_3411

“We love the space,” he said. “It’s a little bit more of a grown-up experience.” Continue reading

Beware the Union Triangle, Capitol Hill’s current car prowl hot spot

(Image: SPD SeaStat)

(Image: SPD SeaStat)

As a dozen East Precinct patrol officers prepare to begin testing SPD’s new body camera program next week (and get ready for new uniforms, a new Capitol Hill-designed patch, and new SUV patrol vehicles), maybe the department can make some headway on the latest scourge identified by the department’s new SeaStat crime analytics. If not, you might want to walk when you go check out the new home of Lark in the Central Agency building.

Capitol Hill-based design firm DEI Creative worked on the redesign of SPD's patch

Capitol Hill-based design firm DEI Creative worked on the redesign of SPD’s patch. More on the patch, new uniforms, new SUV patrol vehicles and the camera program here

Identifying a trend CHS reported on in early November, SPD’s number crunchers say central Capitol Hill is part of a corridor of theft for Seattle car prowlers with more than 30% of the city’s prowling crimes occurring within a square mile and a half swath.

Overall, CHS’s analysis of SPD reports showed 2014 was on pace to produce about a third more reports of auto thefts and car prowls than 2013 in East Precinct beats covering Capitol Hill.

The worst recent concentration according to the SeaStat analysis was reported in the Union Triangle area bounded by Broadway, E Union, Madison and 12th Ave.

In the meantime, SPD has put renewed energy into addressing property crime after reports earlier this year of burglaries in the city not being investigated.

The top 10 films of 2014… on 12th Ave

The Grand Budapest Hotel made Bush's list. CHS gives it ***

The Grand Budapest Hotel made Bush’s list. CHS gives it ***

There are some bad signs for the future of film — and some good. Let’s turn to Lyall Bush, the executive director of 12th Ave’s Northwest Film Forum, for some home hope. NWFF has posted Bush’s 2014 top 10 list. You can add your picks in comments. The constraints are time-flexible. We don’t really care what year the film was made — just tell us what you watched and liked in 2014 and where you saw it.

Civilization and its Disturbances: The Year in Film vis Northwest Film Forum’s Lyall Bush

  1. force majeure asks us to regard nature against something like artifice
  2. Contempt — one of Jean-Luc Godard’s major films, and therefore one of the greatest films ever made
  3. The Grand Budapest Hotel — in his own highly designed way Anderson has made his Vertigo
  4. La Voz de los Silenciados — the film’s tale of human enslavement in New York quite originally suggests Czech surreal filmmaking from decades ago
  5. A Spell to Ward of the Darkness — a beautiful braid of the complex, the stirring, and the disturbing
  6. A Touch of Sin — a bigger film than he has previously made, harder and shinier
  7. Under the Skin — arresting film about an alien on the streets of Glasgow
  8. Nymphomaniac, Vol. 1 — Von Trier, and his leading lady, Charlotte Gainsbourg, make it something of a deconstruction of civilization and its discontents
  9. In Country — a documentary about Vietnam war re-enactors in Oregon
  10. Speed of Sound — what happens when the text message from a friend who died a year ago pops up on a phone

Outer Planet ready to brew its first batch, welcome neighbor cheese bar Culture Club

For many new food and drink ventures on Capitol Hill, the first days after openings soft and grand are critical to success. But for 12th Ave microbrewery Outer Planet, this coming weekend — weeks before its planned opening — is when it all begins.

“This weekend is pivotal,” Outer Planet Brewing co-owner Renato Martins tells CHS. “We’ll be brewing the first batch then the countdown begins.”

If all goes well, Outer Planet will be lined up to opens its doors — and its Capitol Hill-brewed taps — in late January.

The culmination of months of work and on-the-fly learning by Martins and brewmaster James Stoecardo comes in a big week of news for the “nanobrewery” on the groundfloor of a new 12th Ave microhousing apartment building. By spring, Outer Planet’s brewery will be accompanied by neighbor Culture Club, a “cheese bar” concept from Melrose Market cheesemonger Sheri Lavigne. Continue reading