Pike/Pine’s three-day Capitol Hill Block Party has grown so large that community themes around “reclaiming the street” get a little lost. It’s the ultimate human takeover of the roadway, really. Coming up on August 7th, Seattle will rally around a night that encourages many such (smaller scale) takeovers including many right here on Capitol Hill. But we’re pretty solid on the whole taking over the street thing already. And it’s not just Occupy.
“We’ve blocked off our street a bunch this summer so the kids can play and neighbors can schmooze,” a Stevens Elementary-area neighbor tells CHS. “It only takes two strategically placed cars.”
It’s a guerrilla tactic, for sure. The Seattle Department of Transportation offers permits for closing a non-arterial street whenever you’d like. But these Capitol Hill neighbors have taken things into their own hands and cut out the bureaucracy. “No time or need for that,” the neighbor said about city permits.
If you would like to do things on the up and up, the 2012 National Night Out is approaching. You can register here to permit your non-arterial street closure and join neighbors in a night of chat, bbq and fun. So far, the Capitol Hill listings are a little slim — nice work 2300 Block of 11th Ave E and 11th and Denny on getting yourselves registered already! Here’s a look at 2011′s night out on Capitol Hill.
Wednesday nights on Broadway (and on nearby streets) mean regularly scheduled Student Debt Noise Brigade marches. No permits there, either. The weekly #miccheckwallstreet event slows down the main drag for a bit as protesters march against student debt and into Cal Anderson every Wednesday. “Student debt is crippling lives and killing dreams,” the group says. “Bring a pot and make some noise.”
In the spirit of Occupy and those rebellious neighbors of north Capitol Hill, the Renegade Planners Collective has regularly established its guerilla block party in the street in the peculiar little stretch at E Denny and Summit Ave E:
Huge thanks to everyone who came out and enjoyed the space with us last Thursday. Without your faces and food*, it would just be two dudes and a bunch of furniture in a street.
As we gear up for future projects, we’re always looking for tips on locations that could use some love**, ideas on how to add life to spaces^, and extra hands to help haul^^. If you have any or all of these things, let us know, yeah?
(* A couple of tuppers were left behind)
(** The sea of concrete at Thomas and Harvard is looking ripe)
(^ Massive thanks to Sean Johnson and Jason Wood for their wonderful seesaw couches)
(^ Apparently park benches and tetherball poles weigh a bunch)
The collective will be on the street as part of Block Party this weekend, by the way. They’re on the hunt for “a couple hundred cassette tapes,” according to the Renegade Planners Collective Facebook page.