CHS Pics | Fifth Annual Volunteer Park Picnic

The amphitheater green was filled for the Fifth Annual Volunteer Park Picnic Thursday evening under the silvery sky of a pretty perfect, warm Capitol Hill summer evening. Attendees visited the face painting station, played games like croquet and cornhole, and danced to live music put on by LoveCityLove.

Young‘uns from the Georgetown Seattle School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts were also in attendance for the second year running, er, tumbling, and said they were happy to be part of the picnic. There was also plenty of food. Cupcake Royale had a stand with free ice cream, and food trucks Rancho Bravo, Cheese Wizards, and Spicy Papaya were all serving up dinner.

The annual picnic is put on by the Volunteer Park Trust.

“People like the ice cream, they love the food trucks — I think there’s a lot of anticipation every year,” said trust member Erika Grayson. “We want to bring more people into the park, and the picnic is a fun way to do that.”

Tigerly Ox opens on edge of Capitol Hill and Central District

Wallingford-born Vietnamese eatery Tigerly Ox has opened up a restaurant on the border between Capitol Hill and the Central District, at 22nd and E Madison. Owners John Tran and his wife Jodie chose a location on the edge of Capitol Hill because they believe there is already an overabundance of restaurants in the center of the neighborhood. The E Madison location may be just the first wave of expansion for the eatery.

Tran said his aim with the E Madison Tigerly Ox is to serve people for whom getting to the Pike/Pine corridor of restaurants might be a hassle. “We feel as though we can better serve those on the outskirts,” said Tran. Tran said he was attracted to a location in between Capitol Hill and the Central District because he felt the area could use more restaurants and he feels there is an “oversaturation of restaurants” in the central Pike/Pine business district of Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Black Lives Matter marches to Capitol Hill to protest police killings

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As the nation reacted to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s speech in Cleveland, a large protest marched through downtown Seattle and Capitol Hill Thursday to speak out against police violence toward the black community.

“I’m sick of white supremacy,” said one 19-year-old woman as the group of hundreds of marchers circled up for a session of statements at 12th and Pine in front of the East Precinct headquarters. “I’m mourning children I haven’t even conceived yet.”

“They see our skin as a weapon,” said another. Continue reading

What’s in Seattle ‘Renting Crisis’ report

Progressive Seattle City Council members unveiled a pair of bills Thursday they say will help protect average residents looking for housing in Seattle’s cutthroat rental market. District 3 representative Kshama Sawant is proposing new legislation to limit move-in costs and “ease moving barriers” for Seattle renters. A measure from District 1 rep Lisa Herbold seeks to prevent landlords from turning down prospective tenants due to their source of income.

To put a finer point on the need for their proposals, the council members were joined by members of Washington Community Action Network, an advocacy organization working on housing justice, who released a ‘Renting Crisis’ report on the challenges faced by renters in Seattle.

Of the 303 renters surveyed, 95% rated housing as unaffordable, more than 70% said poor housing conditions were negatively impacting their health, and the report indicated that minority and LGBTQ tenants were more likely to experience problems with the conditions of their rental units and resulting health problems. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Block Party 2016: More sun outside, more neighborhood stuff outside the fences

The crowd during a sunny CHBP 2014. (Image: Jim Bennett/CHBP with permission to CHS)

CHBP-GuideMap-2016Capitol Hill Block Party has expanded its inside offerings for 2016 — an indoor panel discussion at Grims kicks off the festival Friday followed by a slate of indoor shows — but unlike last year, the sun will be shining on the streets of Pike/Pine.

With temperatures reaching the mid 70s through the weekend, this year’s forecast looks ideal for three full days of outdoor music. Nobody is likely happier than Block Party producer Jason Lajeunesse, who recently told his only regrets in 10 years of putting on CHBP were the times it rained. Continue reading

People on the Street | Jorge Vilchiz Pilar in Cal Anderson Park

Jorge Pilar
On most nice days, you can find Jorge Vilchiz Pilar painting on a bench in Cal Anderson Park. Pilar has made five paintings from that bench over the past several years, and said he paints in Cal Anderson because he is staying in a shelter right now and it is the only place available.

Pilar used to work as a paver in Seattle until he lost his job in 2009. He was always interested in color and art, and started painting because he could not stand doing nothing all day. On sunny days he sits in Cal Anderson painting scenes of futuristic Seattle from noon to about 7 PM. Pilar was working on the painting pictured here — The King of the Clouds — Wednesday in the park. He says it is about 70% finished and has traveled around with him since he started painting it in 2014.

People on the Street is a semi-regular feature on the interesting citizens we find out and about on Capitol Hill. Somebody you think we should learn more about? Let us know.

With Alaska Airlines deal landed, ad agency opens office on E Pike


The ad agency Mekanism has joined the ranks of tech and creative agencies opening offices on Capitol Hill. This time, the music was part of the draw.

“We were just drawn to it,” said Mekanism partner Pete Caban. “The Capitol Hill area has a ton of history, a counter-culture pioneering vibe. A lot of it had to do with raw creative energy of the area.”

Mekanism officially launched its Capitol Hill office above E Pike and Broadway last month. The company is known for ad campaigns like Messin’ with Sasquatch. Caban says that while landing the Alaska Airlines account in January tipped the scales, the idea of opening up a brick-and-mortar office in the Northwest had been floated for some time. Continue reading

First look: Manu’s Bodegita brings sandwiches, ceviche, and breakfast tacos to E Madison

Manu Alfau is enjoying the view so far on E Madison (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Manu Alfau is enjoying the view so far on E Madison (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

With a bright coat of Latin American colors and plenty of pickled jalapenos, Manu’s Bodegita is now open, softly, in the E Madison walk-up Little Uncle left behind.

“We’re buddies with PK and Wiley who own Little Uncle,” Manu Alfau said. I told them a long time ago, ‘Hey, if you guys ever think about getting rid of the window, give me a call.’”

“Sure enough, a couple months ago, PK called me up and said, ‘OK, dude…’” Continue reading

‘You have to start somewhere’ — Seattle looks at bias-free policing law

The investigation of William Wingate's arrest showed the importance of some of the new

The investigation of William Wingate’s arrest showed the importance of examining past statement and records of officers accused of biased policing (Images: CHS)

How can you legislate racism? It is a question at the heart of any effort to eliminate biased policing and one that Seattle King County NAACP president Gerald Hankerson was quick to raise Wednesday during a City Council committee meeting on the subject.

The answer came from City Council president Bruce Harrell: “You have to start somewhere.” Over the past year, Harrell and his staff have been working on a series of measures to codify bias-free policing practices in Seattle. On Wednesday, Harrell unveiled the basics of his plan.

Central to the proposal is making permanent the bias-free policing requirements laid out by a federal monitor as part of Seattle Police Department’s federal consent decree over excessive use of force practices. Collecting demographic data on police interactions is particularly crucial, Harrell said. Continue reading

Reminder: 5th annual Volunteer Park Picnic

Time flies when you’re working to make one of Capitol Hill’s great parks even better. CHS first introduced you to the Volunteer Park Trust — With big challenges looming, group forms to preserve *and* enhance Volunteer Park — in 2012. Thursday night, the group formed to shepherd the more than 100-year-old Olmsted park is holding its fifth annual Picnic in the Park:

5th Annual Picnic in the Park

Here’s the 2016 lineup:

• Live music provided by LoveCityLove Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Say goodbye to Sherlock and Watson before they sail away from Broadway

9U0A5938Sherlock (left) and Watson (right) are two pampered Scottish Terriers who will soon be leaving Capitol Hill for a new life in Amsterdam. Sherlock, 10, and Watson, 5, are friends of Sean (in the blue) and Joe (in the cammo). Sherlock is an Emerald City Pet rescue, is deaf, and has a great life. Watson, has been in the neighborhood since puppyhood and is a bit of a “Capitol Hill celebrity,” we’re told. He is known for his visits to Mud Bay and being a dog about town. Owners Sean and Joe will be taking the Queen Mary II with their pups to Amsterdam for a fresh start so say goodbye when you see them around the Hill.

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. Are you a Capitol Hill Pet we should know about? Drop us a line.

Your very own 2016 Capitol Hill Block Party

Seattle’s annual Night Out celebration of safe streets and neighborhoods is Tuesday, August 2nd:

“Night Out” is a national event promoted in Seattle by Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention. It is designed to heighten crime prevention awareness, increase neighborhood support in anti-crime efforts, and unite our communities.

You can register here through August 1st.

The official description leaves out an important element: It’s also a lot of fun. The Night Out component just gives you a day to rally around to organize a neighborhood BBQ and whatever else you want to do to claim your street in the name of neighborliness. We’ve seen DJs, bean bag toss, sidewalk art, lots of music, and, of course, so much grilling.

You don’t need to register, of course, but doing so does a couple of things. First, it puts your event on SPD’s official map so everybody — even your shy neighbors — will know about it. It also makes it so that SPD or a fire truck might stop by so kids and the young at heart can check out the gear and meet a first responder or two. And third, it makes it official which helps reduce the flak factor by around 120%.

Oh yeah. Registering also does one more thing. It helps CHS find your party so we can take more great pictures. See you at your block party. Continue reading