Pikes/Pines | Queens of spring: flowering trees around Capitol Hill

This week we welcome new CHS contributor John Chau to join Brendan McGarry in bringing you Pikes/Pines, our semi-regular look into the nature of Capitol Hill.

Spring has bloomed. With the mild winter this year, the gardens, parks, and parking strips around Capitol Hill have been filled with life and color again for several weeks already by plants in full flower.

Among the most spectacular and noticeable of these early spring bloomers are the trees. The most common and showy ones are generally either magnolias, which have large flowers with many petals, or members of the rose family. The rose family is a large and important one that can be easy to recognize if you remember that their flowers typically have five petals and many stamens. Three popular trees in this family in bloom now are the ornamental pears, flowering plums, and flowering cherries.

Ornamental pears
Ornamental pears, seen above, are among the first to flower. They generally have white flowers and green leaves that appear when the flowers start to fade. Most ornamental pears belong to one species, Pyrus calleryana, which is originally from Asia. They are commonly called Callery or Bradford pears. Continue reading

CHS Crow | APRIL Festival edition — Wendy and Søren

Wednesday, APRIL did its best to summon the spirit of Alice B. Toklas from the walls of the Sorrento along with Rebecca Brown, Joshua Beckman, Jan Wallace and “musical accompaniment.” (Images: Alex Garland)

APRIL Festival 2015 has been keeping the literature calendar packed with unconventional events for most of the last week and it all wraps up today with the grand finale — APRIL’s annual small press book expo:

Sunday, March 29
Hugo House, 11 am – 5 pm
Our annual book fair, featuring more than 40 small presses from around the country.

Thursday night, the CHS Crow stopped by the independent literature festival’s annual collaboration with art gallery Vignettes — hosted at an offsite location this year — and chatted with poet Wendy Xu and artist Søren Nilsson. What read as a playfully deconstructive video by Nilsson was one of the eight works responding to Xu’s book You Are Not Dead that made up the exhibition. Works by Ripple Fang, Susanna Bluhm, Max Cleary, Francesca Lohmann, Klara Glosova, Aidan Fitzgerald and Paul Komada were also featured. Check it out. Continue reading

This week in CHS history: Piecora’s sale, Costco Coffee and Pine/Pike pranks, Rancho Bravo

IMG_0719-600x449 (1)Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:


CHS Pics | Comicon on Pike Street

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Every March, the pedestrian parades on Pike and Pine grow even more interesting as crowds of Emerald City Comicon fans make their way up and down Capitol Hill. Here’s a look at who we ran into Friday afternoon. The three-day convention wraps up Sunday. Running in the Incredible Hulk is good fun. It’s also a reminder of the weird and wackky role the Convention Center — planned for a $1 billion expansion — plays in the connective area between downtown and Capitol Hill.


Continue reading

Capitol Pill | Cherry Blossoms

We’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.

(Image: Karyn Schwartz)

(Image: Karyn Schwartz)

I am being tormented by a tree. It’s not every day that I feel such an intense connection to a plant, so when it does happen, I pay attention. This tree is one of a row of huge ornamental cherries outside my window, and they are like the elders of the neighborhood, waiting until all the youngsters have already bloomed and lost their pretty flowers before showing them how its really done.

Everyone who lives on my street knows what’s coming – it’s been the subject of conversation for weeks – the explosion of gigantic flowers that’s on the verge of occurring, and the magical pink light that will fill all of our apartments for just a few days before the petals are blown away. I have been waiting, breathlessly, through their seemingly endless transformation from winter-bare branches to tiny buds and the most recent appearance of early leaves and a million tightly closed blossoms, rushing to my window every morning like a kid wondering if Santa actually showed up – and I cannot bear it any more. Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 25,000 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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Spaghetti Western — Hill’s first and possibly last pasta and BBQ joint — is closing

Just a little more than four months after reopening his Capitol Hill restaurant, Aleks Dimitrijevich has tapped out another classic goodbye message — this time in honor of his Spaghetti Western, the first and possibly last pasta and BBQ joint on Capitol Hill. Here’s his note posted Friday afternoon via Facebook:

And a good day to everyone :) i guess i’ll just make this short and sweet, maybe a touch of bitter to round things out, but such things are to be expected when things just dont seem to go the way you want them to.
i’m going to be closing this space down as Spaghetti Western so to speak. Tonight, tomorrow night and sunday brunch are going to be my last three official services here at the restaurant. five years of exhausting work, no vacations and no free time will suffice as reason enough…

a heartfelt thanks to all the friends and folks who came in and enjoyed round 2, hope you enjoyed everything! Continue reading

A colorful start to Seattle’s First Hill Streetcar testing

Mayor Murray and King County Council and Sound Transit board rep Joe McDermott take a ride (Images: CHS)

Mayor Murray and King County Council and Sound Transit board rep Joe McDermott take a ride (Images: CHS)

In front of a rainbow assortment of new trolleys, the first completed tram for the First Hill Streetcar — sky blue — took a very important load of passengers for a 600-foot ride Friday morning as testing for the system has moved into full motion.

It only required one “reboot.”

“This is another step in our efforts to get streetcars running throughout Seattle,” passenger and Mayor Ed Murray said to the media assembled to cover the event at the system’s International District maintenance facility.

Inside, workers were assembling three more cars set to join the fleet including a hot pink number one Seattle Department of Transportation representative said captured the, um, “modern energy of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.” The colors of the multi-hued cars were “inspired” by the “different characteristics” of the neighborhoods the 2.5 mile streetcar route travels through — Pioneer Square, the International District, First Hill, and Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Rudy’s Barbershop opening on 15th Ave E

(Image: Rudy's)

(Image: Rudy’s)

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

A familiar Capitol Hill-headquartered barbershop chain is expanding its stylish empire this summer into a 15th Ave E space with deep roots in the hair business. CHS has learned that Rudy’s Barbershop has signed a lease to open a new location at 15th and E Republican.

The 15th Ave shop will be the 10th Rudy’s location in Seattle, and the first to open in the same neighborhood as an existing shop. The E Pine Rudy’s first opened its doors in 1993.

“We just thought we could use more business up there,” Rudy’s spokesperson Alyssa Dykgraas told CHS. “It’s far enough away that it’s not going to take away customers from our other Capitol Hill shop.” Continue reading

Step $11* — Minimum wage rally planned Saturday on Capitol Hill

10448616_999792076715411_2076883839272315428_oIn 2014, Mayor Ed Murray came to Capitol Hill to sign Seattle’s historic minimum wage law. On April 1st, the first stage of the march to a $15/hour minimum for all Seattle workers (well, except these folks, maybe) will begin. City Council member and District 3 candidate Kshama Sawant, the biggest champion of the new wage, will return to the Hill for a rally to celebrate and defend the new law:

Seattle’s Getting a Raise – Now, Let’s Enforce It!
Saturday, March 28th at 1 PM
In Front of Seattle Central College – Broadway & E. Pine
$15 was won due to the efforts low wage workers, unions, and grassroots organizations. The next step is to make sure our bosses follow the law.

On March 28th we’ll be visiting low-wage workplaces to let workers know their rights. Join us and take action for workers’ rights under the new minimum wage law.

Starting next Wednesday, the minimum wage at Seattle employers with more than 500 employees will rise to $11 — an 18% jump. Employees at smaller companies with no tips and no medical benefits will also have a $11/hour floor. Small employers of tipped workers and employers that provide medical benefits may pay a $10 minimum and make up the balance with credit for the tips and bennies. No foolin’.