More summer fun to come on Capitol Hill: 11th Ave Street Fair, Adult Recess in Cal Anderson, Kinky Boots in the park

A scene from the 2018 11th Ave Street Fair (Image: CHS)

Pride may have passed and another Capitol Hill Block Party is in the books but there are still a few more Capitol Hill summer events to look forward to including art-filled street fairs, a new sports-y event at Cal Anderson, and the return of movies in the park.

11TH AVE STREET FAIR — Sunday, August 25 — 11th Ave between E Pine and E Union — More
Blue Cone Studios
will hold the 11th Avenue Street Fair again this year, hoping to connect and showcase Capitol Hill creatives in a free, wide open event.

“After a huge summer of festivals that cost money I think it’s important to throw something in the neighborhood that’s free to the people and involves community performers, creators, and makers,” said Carolyn Hitt, the founder of Blue Cone Studios.

Residing above Queer/Bar on 11th Ave, Blue Cone Studios is an organization run by a group of Capitol Hill artists and creatives providing like minded individuals with a meeting place, gallery space, and on Tuesday Nights during Capitol Hill art walk, an open art studio. Blue Cone’s mission of providing marginalized artists with a space to connect with other artists while creating and displaying art is twofold. While collaboration between artists evokes a sense of community, Hitt believes experiencing art encourages individuals to find an artform resonating with them.  Continue reading

Capitol Hill rally goes off without her but Sawant ready to make another push for rent control in Seattle

Rent control was the topic on everyone’s mind at All Pilgrims Christian Church in Capitol Hill Saturday night as Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant’s office and other local organizations hosted a rally to build momentum for the controversial — and currently illegal — policy.

But Sawant was nowhere to be found.

The Socialist Alternative council member who is facing a contentious reelection campaign for her District 3 seat excused herself from the event because of the threat of an ethics complaint for participating in a political rally after ballots have dropped for the August 6 primary.

Several of Sawant’s challengers for the seat criticized her in the lead-in to the rally for holding council-related events so close to the August 6th Election Day.

“Kshama is clearly using her city office to advance her political campaign by holding a city-sponsored rally and promoting it with her campaign,” entrepreneur and D3 candidate Logan Bowers said Friday, adding “Good policies and good leaders don’t need to resort to unethical tactics when they’re working in the interests of their constituents. We deserve better.”

“If Sawant is using city money to hold an election rally, I find this an egregious breach of trust and another reason why we need a change in leadership,” Broadway Business Improvement Area head Egan Orion said. Continue reading

Seattle’s $6M Sweetened Beverage Tax revenue tiff a fight over funding scraps for health and food programs

Monday’s City Council vote to dedicate funding from Seattle’s Sweetened Beverage Tax to create new programs that promote healthy eating and social services sets up a battle with Mayor Jenny Durkan.

“By redirecting money for unknown new City of Seattle programs, the City Council’s plan eliminates funding for programs they previously approved that provide nutrition assistance, child care for struggling families, and nursing care for low-income pregnant women,” the mayor’s statement on the vote reads. “Despite voting for this funding last year, City Council’s plan now cuts funding committed to these programs without identifying the millions in other funds or cuts needed to continue these critical safety net services.” Continue reading

CHS Pics | Outside the fences of Capitol Hill Block Party 2019

CHS wandered the edges of Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend and found so many events, DJs, funky drummers, and halfpipes that you couldn’t help but wonder what the festival would be like without the fences and $85 a day tickets.

CHS reported here on the Block Party producers’ efforts to create new events outside of the ticketed footprint including the second year of Battle of the Block skateboarding competition in Cal Anderson and DJs in the Chophouse Row courtyard. Those efforts were joined by more organic outgrowths of the swell of humanity attracted to the three-day festival like sidewalk drummers and an ultimate frisbee battle pitting Portland vs. Seattle. Continue reading

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