Capitol Hill food+drink | Kukai Ramen — and its roasted bone broth — opens on E Pine

Jessmin Lau (Image: CHS)

Jessmin Lau (Image: CHS)

A Japanese import part of an ongoing wave of new Asian-flavored eateries joining Capitol Hill’s burgeoning restaurant scene has softly opened on E Pine this week.

Kukai Ramen and Izakaya Capitol Hill, the third of the Japanese-born restaurants to open in the Pacific Northwest and part of what the company’s founders hope will be many more in North America, debuted over the weekend and is continuing reservation-only service through the rest of the week leading up to a full-on opening Thursday.

Jessmin Lau, a co-owner of the company leading Kukai’s North American expansion, tells CHS what you’ll want to experience at the ramen bar are the noodles, of course — but especially with the Kukai broth made of roasted bones for a fuller, richer meaty flavor. Continue reading

Civic Duty | New Hugo House planning, levy happy hour, Unite for Marriage Seattle

There’s a busy slate of events to start the week around Capitol Hill — here are a few opportunities for you to fulfill your civic duty and get involved:

  • New Hugo House: Monday night you can help set the direction for the new Hugo House as the nonprofit plans its new facility destined to be part of a mixed-use project planned for its current home across from Cal Anderson Park:
    Now that we’re in the later stages of space-planning, we’d love to get more specific feedback from you about what you’d like from our classrooms, performance space, and all other aspects of the new Hugo House

    Hugo House is also asking for community members to fill out this brief survey to provide feedback on the project.

  • Banks for Council kick-off: Election organizers People for Pamela Banks will hold a campaign kick-off party Monday night at 11th and Pike’s Sole Repair:
    We have the opportunity to bring new leadership to the Council that reflects the diversity of our city. This is the time to build great neighborhoods for all members of District 3, I invite you to come join the conversation.

    If the politics don’t interest you, maybe food from Jamil’s Big Easy will win you over. CHS wrote here about the Urban League CEO’s decision to enter the race against sitting City Council member Kshama Sawant in Seattle’s new District 3.

  • Levy happy hour: SDOT director Scott Kubly will be in the Central District Monday night to help push the Move Seattle levy that is set to appear on November’s ballot. Kubly and SDOT reps will be at Chuck’s starting at 5:30 PM. “We’ve been hosting a series of daytime coffee hours that have resulted in some great dialogue and feedback – this is yet another chance for people to learn a little more and share their priorities and ideas, and ask questions,” SDOT says about the Monday night event.
  • Unite for Marriage — Seattle: There are still battles to be fought for marriage equality. Tuesday night, groups are planning a downtown Seattle rally to support marriage equality across the nation:
    On April 28th, SCOTUS will hear oral arguments on the subject of national marriage equality. Movement leaders will stand in solidarity with communities across the nation to send a message of love and understanding, as well as celebrate local progress made so far.
  • Design review survey reminder: You don’t have to leave your seat for this one. CHS wrote here about the Department of Planning and Development effort to rethink Seattle’s design review process. You can provide feedback on the Design Review program via this survey.


#rentcontrol: 11 things CHS heard at the Affordable Housing Town Hall

(Image: City of Seattle)

(Image: City of Seattle)

If rent control and “stabilization” becomes law in Seattle, you can point to last week’s affordable housing town hall as the night it all started. Calling the event “ground zero” in the fight for housing justice, Seattle City Council member and District 3 candidate Kshama Sawant drew a standing room only crowd at City Hall to talk about bolstering tenant’s rights in the city.

“I know there are many, many scare stories,” Sawant said. “The purpose is to have everybody leave here today with a real feeling of inspiration.”

Along with outgoing council member Nick Licata, Sawant lined-up several speakers to talk about their ideas on affordable housing ahead of a public comment period and brief speeches by four candidates seeking to be appointed to Sally Clark’s recently-vacated council seat.

Emotions ran high at the meeting as people shared stories about rent increases forcing them out of apartments. Others blamed landlords and foreign investors for Seattle’s skyrocketing cost of living.

Passing a rent control law in Seattle would first require the state legislature lifting a statewide ban on such policies. While there seems to be little indication today that lawmakers would take up the issue in Olympia, Sawant is making it a key part of her campaign for the Capitol Hill and Central District-centered Council District 3 position.

The parallels to the push for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle are unmistakable. And Mayor Ed Murray’s approach to embracing the call for affordability while moderating the activism with committees and recommendation reports has been in high gear for weeks now.

But more radical factions persist. In the coming days, Licata said he would forward a proclamation for the council to vote on to state its support for lifting the statewide ban on rent control. Sawant previously elaborated on her ideas about rent stabilization in an email exchange with CHS. Here are the 10 things CHS heard at the Affordable Housing Town Hall:

  1. Licata said the state could be violating federal housing law by not letting Seattle take steps to address its affordability crisis.
  2. David Trotter, a candidate for the at-large City Council Position 8, called the state legislature “bullies and terrorists” for preventing Seattle from implementing rent control. Continue reading

One man dies, two other victims to hospital in drug overdose at Cal Anderson

One man died and another was in critical condition Sunday night after Seattle Fire and SPD responded to three people suffering heroin overdoses on the sports field at Cal Anderson Park. UPDATE: SFD says the female may have been suffering a medical issue “not related to the overdose.” 

SFD’s Aid 25 unit was called to the Bobby Morris Playfield around 5:20 PM to a report of a female suffering an apparent seizure. The crew arrived to find the female and two other males suffering a drug overdose. Additional SFD units arrived and began CPR on the field in the middle of a busy night in Pike/Pine and as a baseball game continued on the diamond nearby.

Seattle Fire reported that one male died at the scene following 20 minutes of CPR while another male was transported to Harborview in critical condition. The female victim was also transported to the hospital in reported stable condition.

According to Seattle Police, the three victims suffered heroin overdoses. The incident is being investigated. UPDATE:  “Three individuals who know me contacted me and said that from their understanding ‘there was some bad meth going around,'” an officer’s report on the incident reads. The officer writes that SFD responders at the scene said the three victims were “under the influence of heroin” but police found no drug paraphernalia. “It is unknown if subjects had mixed the two drugs,” the officer writes. According to the report, SPD was able to identify the dead man from a medical bracelet he was wearing.

Last week, SPD announced the early results of its “9 1/2 Block” effort to combat an “open air drug market” in downtown Seattle. East Precinct and city officials have said that the area around Cal Anderson has also been identified as another of Seattle’s “drug market” areas and that patrol and investigative efforts would also be brought to bear around the popular Capitol Hill open space.


Capitol Pill | Tectonic Shifts

TARAWe’ve asked Karyn Schwartz, owner of the Sugarpill apothecary on E Pine, to contribute to CHS about health and Hill living on a semi-regular basis. If you’re an expert and want to share with the community in a recurring CHS column, we’d like to hear from you.

Weeks ago I began writing a love letter to my neighborhood – to all the people who on any given day I have interactions with that make me feel like I belong to this place; like I am at home, and that I matter here. Along the way, I kept thinking of some teachings I received very early on about how to assist people living with depression, and how one of the most important things to offer is actually just your presence — your real attention and your company — to anyone who is suffering in their heart or soul. How, in order to really heal, a person must know that their presence and existence matters, and that they are welcome; that they belong.

Up early to finish one or the other of these trains of thought, I saw the news that a major earthquake had occurred in Nepal just a few hours prior.  Once I read the initial reports, all I could think about were the people there, and in every place where something is happening that is so tragic and overwhelming that it brings people together in a communal gesture of courage, generosity and selflessness.

Searching the social media streams of everyone I know who has loved ones in that area, I came across a Twitter post by a journalist in Kathmandu named Kashish Das Shrestha, whose photographs of the immediate aftermath of the quake were shared in The New York Times:  “As I walk through city, i see people who are scared but ready to help, buildings standing still, but fragile. The day we dreaded arrived.” Continue reading

This week in CHS history | May Day marches and riots, minimum wage compromise, Phoenix Comics

Bmm47vhCYAAM4EL (1)Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:

CHS Crow | Jonti, Sam and Que — Montage of Heck edition

It’s hard to say what Kurt Cobain might have thought of it all. Maybe he would have smirked in bemusement at some point, at least. The Egyptian was sold out in advance Thursday evening for an exclusive screening of Montage of Heck, a documentary about the oft-idolized Nirvana front man Cobain, with director Brett Morgen in attendance and addressing the audience before the film. The CHS Crow stopped by and chatted with some fans of Nirvana and of what has been labeled “grunge rock” who came out to see Morgen’s patchwork portrait depicting a sensitive and troubled, driven and often vexed, artistic genius from Aberdeen, Washington.


JontiWhat did you think about the film?
I thought it was pretty enlightening, man. A lot of stuff I’ve always wondered about. Really nice.

So you grew up a Nirvana fan?
I became a Nirvana fan probably like early in high school, maybe like ’89. That’s about when I realized I loved that Kurt Cobain.

What in the film stuck out for you as being enlightening, or as giving you new insight?
His family life. I think that was the most enlightening thing. Because everything else you’ve heard before. But the fact that you got to see all that stuff behind the scenes on the family life, I think that was new. Continue reading

Woman who died in 16th Ave E house fire identified

The woman who died in last week’s 16th Ave E house fire has been identified by authorities.

Novis Felder died in the blaze inside her 1902-built home in the 400 block of 16th Ave E the morning of April 16th. Seattle Fire investigators determined the fire was started by improperly discarded smoking materials that ignited a chair inside the house.

Felder would have turned 93 later this year.

Her son was injured in the fire but suffered only minor burns and a caregiver living in the house was not injured, a SFD spokesperson said.

CHS does not have any information about services or a memorial fund.

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 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. Continue reading

Found pianos of Capitol Hill

I was walking through Capitol Hill, Seattle one weekend, and encountered an abandoned piano at the side of the road. I decided it needed a final piece of loving, so I recorded it in my phone. The next week I found the piano had been joined by a second, and both pianos had had their keyboards smashed. So I played the strings directly. Both pieces reflect the decay and misuse of the pianos, and the environment they spent a short time in before going to their final resting place.

We don’t know anything more about it than what we found here where you can download both tracks — One piano with working keys and One piano with destroyed keys — of this very Capitol Hill music project.