This week, the crow learned it’s about a body of work — not one episode. What did you learn?
Are you a clown?
Yeah, I guess I’m a clown! I do balloon art.
Do you do that professionally?
No, just a hobby. I do performances, and chainsaw pumpkins for Octoberfest.
We’re in Seattle, so of course you chainsaw pumpkins! Do you live on the Hill?
No, I live in Ballard.
What brings you out here tonight?
The Unicorn, actually. The four of us went out to a fabulous romantic dinner, and we decided to come here afterwards, because they have the downstairs clown area…
You mean, the Narwal?
Yes—it’s like being at a carnival down there!
Speaking of carnivals, have you tried the famous corn dogs here?
I haven’t, because I’m vegetarian. Well, I’m pescatarian—I eat fish. Maybe they could create a salmon corn dog?
Capitol Hill has a remarkably vibrant food-on-a-stick economy, so if a salmon corn dog ever exists, it’ll probably be here. Do you hang out on the Hill very often?
No, I stay pretty much in my realm, in Fremont and Ballard. Maybe two times a month we come out this far.
I’m the same way about staying on the Hill. I was out in Ballard the other day, and it’s great—it’s not far, but if you’re not driving, it might as well be in Bangladesh.
It’s so true. Most of us tend to stay in our own little neighborhoods.
A lot of people compare Ballard to the Hill, and vice versa. What strikes you as one of the main differences?
The driving in Ballard—there’s no rules in driving there. In Ballard, you can just pull out at a stop sign, or pull out in front of people. Signs and traffic lights are more like a suggestion than a rule.
Driving in Ballard sounds like driving in Italy.
It is! Only, everyone’s going about 15 miles per hour. But on Capitol Hill, you have to abide by the rules.
What line of work are you in?
I’m in animal and pet care. I take care of animals of all sorts.
So, tonight is Valentine’s Day. Some people love it, some people hate it. Where do you stand?
It doesn’t have to be a Hallmark holiday. I want us to re-think Valentine’s Day, so it’s not just about romantic love, but about all kinds of love. It can be about celebrating your friends, and all the people you love.
Do you have any thoughts on life on the Hill or life in general?
We like freaks! Create and love! I think that’s what today is about.
No, thanks. But I’m glad it’s legal in Washington now, aren’t you?
I’m not. I think it’s one of the worst things we’ve ever done. Because there’s no need for the government to control it in any way, shape or form. It’s just one more thing for them to have their hands on. They ruined it for us—or, I should say, we ruined it for ourselves. What we should’ve voted on was extending club hours past 2 AM. You sure you don’t want to smoke?
I have to go home and do some work later, so…
Good weed should make you more clear-minded.
That’s what I hear, but it always makes me sleepy.
You haven’t had the right stuff.
Are you a Seattle native?
I’ve been in this general area for about 25 years, but I’ve lived in Seattle itself for the past year or so.
What do you like to do in your free time?
Right now, most of my time is free. I’m between jobs. I like to check out new parts of Seattle—it’s so much bigger than it seems. Even Capitol Hill, from here [Caffe Vita on Pike] down to the bridge is just a small part of it. It’s Seattle’s biggest residential district. I also like West Seattle—Alki Beach has one of the best views in the city.
What would be your ideal line of work?
I don’t know. I think it changes. I just want to live a good life.
If you could change one thing about Capitol Hill, what would you change?
I would change a lot of things, to be honest, but they would be small things—not one big thing. Like how it’s kind of pretentious—people get way trendy. That sort of thing can create divisions among people.
What draws you to Capitol Hill?
Its laid back, dynamic. You don’t have to worry about stuff for the most part—it’s an unjudgemental place, although it’s got its moments. I’m kind of surprised by how much it does segregate itself in some ways—for instance, rich versus poor.
Any other thoughts on life on the Hill, or life in general?
Push the boundaries, and try not to hurt people. And try not to hurt yourself.
What are you up to tonight?
Just helping out with the space, getting Hard L ready for this first one-night gallery exhibition. It’s going to be a regular thing, with a different exhibit each month.
It’s a really cool exhibit. Are these all Seattle artists?
Yes, 26 women artists, all local.
Is there a unifying theme?
Not really. It’s our first show—all women, and just really amazing art.
Are you an artist yourself?
I’m a photographer, but more of a hobbyist. My art is over there on the left.
This may sound obvious, but photography is hard…people don’t always realize that.
It really is hard to get it just right, the way you want it to look. Digital photography is a bit easier, but my stuff is all film, which makes it even harder.
What line of work are you in?
I’m a bicycle mechanic.
That’s a great job to have in Seattle!
It gets old after a while, but yeah. It’s a way to make a living.
Do your friends all ask you to fix their bikes? Because, I would totally do that.
Yeah, I guess that does happen a lot. I do the best I can to help them out.
I’m scared to ride my bike on the Hill, because of…well, the hills. More specifically, the cars not seeing bikers coming down them. Isn’t it dangerous?
I don’t know that I’d call it dangerous. I’ve had close calls here and there, but people are pretty mindful of their surroundings. Overall, I think it’s pretty safe compared to some cities I’ve lived in, like Tucson, Arizona.
Why did you live in Tucson?
It seems like there’s a large pathway between Seattle and Tucson. I think it’s because it’s so dry there and so wet here, you have to dry out every now and again.
Do you currently live on the Hill?
I do. I live really close to here.
What do you like best about the area?
I feel like there’s a lot going on, a lot to be involved in. There are a lot of changes that aren’t very fun, both other ones that are really great—like this space.
How long have you lived here?
About 15 years, on and off.
Are you a Seattle native?
No, I’m originally from Eastern Washington.
Any other thoughts on life in the Hill?
This is a great spot to be right now, especially for me and all of my friends and colleagues here [at Hard L]. This is an amazing venture for me, because it’s not something I normally do.
More CHS Crow:
- Emily, Neil & Kory — ‘Why not? It’s the Sapphire by the Sea’
- Anna, Zach & Perry — “I’m a citizen of the planet”
- Audrei, Tim & Jennifer — ‘I create things, I sew, I make corsets…’
Marguerite Kennedy is a freelance writer, semi-professional thumb wrestler, and recovering New Yorker who currently resides on Capitol Hill. She blogs at www.marguerite-aville.com, and does that other thing @tweetmarguerite.