Capitol Pill | Silence = Death


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.

In 1985, my best friend and roommate participated in a medical trial, giving blood from his 19-year-old gay body to see if a new test for a still mysterious but very frightening disease could be detected and understood. He would become the first young man in our little college town to receive a phone call telling him, “You have tested positive for this. We are not quite sure what that means. Take good care of yourself and let us know if you ever feel sick, and don’t have sex with anyone, because they might die.”

He took their advice. He told me and a small handful of other close friends that he was “positive,” and terrified, but determined not to let this stop him from living his life. He went to Italy to study art history. He came home, caught a cold, and decided to go to therapy so he wouldn’t suffer overwhelming anxiety every time he got a sniffle. Three weeks later he called me from the hospital where he was being treated for a rare strain of pneumonia. That was the last time we spoke. He died shortly after, quite possibly alone because his family hated that he was gay.

At a routine visit to my own doctor in the months preceding his death, I was told that I should move out of the apartment we shared, so that I would not catch this disease. When I pointed out that that both my friend and I were both gay and, therefore, not terribly likely to be swapping body fluids, my doctor told me that I could get this illness by sharing the same kitchen and bathroom. She suggested that I reconsider my “lifestyle” because it was going to kill me, and recommended that I make new friends who were “normal”. She asked me if I would like referrals to some “resources.” Continue reading

This week in CHS history | Soaring rents, protest against Pride weekend police action, 95 Slide opens

8446461472_1bfc1f97f8Here are the top stories from this week in CHS history:


CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

(Image: Tim Durkan via Flickr)

(Image: Tim Durkan via Flickr)

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 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. Continue reading

CHS Community Post | ‘Oh, Charlie’s’

(Image: Lauri Watkins)

(Image: Lauri Watkins)

By Lauri Watkins

Oh, Charlie’s. For so long I have been writing this in my head, meaning to tell you how much you mean to me *before* your demise was imminent. But alas, time has sped up in our neighborhood. Last Tuesday night, I was sitting in a front both with my visiting mom, talking about how I had a bad feeling your days were numbered so I was trying to come by as often as I could – two hours later, news of your departure came up in my feed.To tell you everything you’ve meant to me is to tell the entire story of my nearly 16 years in Seattle. Charlie’s, you have literally been there at every stage of my adult life – from my early 20s when I was newly arrived in town, knew no one, and wasn’t sure how to find a job or meet new people, to now, when I am well established in my home, work, and community, and come in with my son for Sunday brunch or in the evenings for meetings.

You have witnessed every major beginning and ending in my life in Seattle. I’ve kissed new dates in the back booths, and jumped into major new responsibilities by accepting the reins of the small theater I’d been volunteering for (complete with the handover of the theater’s financial records in the back bar!). I sat in those same booths hollow-eyed after the sudden death of an ex-boyfriend I wasn’t yet over, and been there again talking a friend through escape from a domestic violence situation, sitting there listening to one side of the conversation with the police, wracking my brain and legal contacts for ways to help.

I’ve nursed my infant son in the comforting privacy of your tall front booths, and sat writing alone on slow nights over decaf coffee and a laptop furtively plugged in next to the often-blinking lamp sitting on the table (you never seemed to mind – though I’m sorry I didn’t ask.)

When Burt Clemans, beloved bartender of the now-long-departed Jade Pagoda, set off to join his partner in Dayton, we threw his going-away party in the bar (picture attached). Some scandalous doings may have occurred that night in the pool room. They may have involved an amateur stripper (pictures most definitely NOT included!)

Stumbling in after cast parties. Stumbling in after rough nights, rough mornings. Walking home from Charlie’s with my three-year old after we had brunch with a man I was dating after my divorce, realizing that I was walking along Broadway in a bedraggled pair of slippers, and having to face the fact that I was stretched far too thin. Slowing life down, coming back better-rested and in actual shoes, and seeing Purple Mark and his regular Sunday brunch group in the front room.

I’ve brought my dad and my mom and countless out-of-town visitors through your doors. I’ve smoked inside and outside and finally quit (almost two years!) I’ve had the hard conversations and many many joyful ones. Your mozzarella sticks are the best in town :-)

You’ve hosted my son for every stage of his life, from my pregnancy to today – he’s almost seven, downright amazing, and loves your hash browns, though somehow he’s not a fan of your waffles!You’ve seen my tears and my excitement, shared my joy and my grief. Charlie’s, you are my oldest friend on Capitol Hill, and indeed in Seattle. I am going to miss the hell out of you.

And I am so, SO grateful for all the times we’ve had. Charlie’s, from the bottom of my heart,


On the List | Capitol Hill Pride Weekend including Trans* Pride, Pridefest, Dyke March — Plus, 48th Volunteer Park Criterium

Happy Pride Weekend 2015, Capitol Hill. There is a lot of LGBTQ celebration to be part of plus a few great events like the annual Volunteer Park Criterium. Have fun. Pedal quickly. Be proud.

  • Friday — Trans* Pride Seattle March and Celebration — Broadway and Cal Anderson (info)
    This event will follow the success we have built over the last two years! Trans* Pride March assembles at 5pm and steps off at 6pm from the north part Seattle Central Community College Followed by a celebration in Cal Anderson Park featuring speakers and performers from 7pm to 10pm. We will host community tables again this year featuring groups and organizations that are Trans lead or serve trans communities.

  • Saturday — Pridefest Capitol Hill — Cal Anderson (info)
    Includes Prom Dress Rugby!

    Includes Prom Dress Rugby!

    Back for a third year, PrideFest Capitol Hill has two stages–one with family and all ages programming and a DJ stage and a beer garden for the rest of us. Join us in Cal Anderson Park and 11th Avenue for another fun year of PrideFest Capitol Hill – we’ll post updates as we have ’em! Join us for our favorite thing of all, drag queen storytime! This year we’re planning on doing TWO sessions (each with 2 queens), most likely to start and end our family programming (1-1:30pm and 3:30-4pm).poster-pridefestcapitolhill

  • Saturday — Capitol Hill Pride Festival March and Rally — Broadway (info)
    A community festival march and rally celebrating diversity and community pride, remembering Stonewall and local history. The festival is open to everyone, LGBT, straight and anyone of any background. Live local Music, Food and Entertainment with over 150 booths of restaurants non-profits, businesses and artists. New in 2015:
    March rom Seattle Central Campus to Main Stage on Harrison. “Never Forget” 1969 Stonewall with speakers and history. The Capitol Hill Pride Festival March will be an all ages, all orientations, all gender/transgender civic march with no fees open to the public. The march has no fees as the Directors of the festival feel an individual should not have to pay a fee to march, demonstrate or show civic and community pride.
  • Saturday — The Seattle Dyke March — Broadway (info)
    The 2015 Seattle Dyke March is on Saturday June 27th. Rally from 5-7pm at the Seattle Central Community College Plaza at Broadway Ave E and E Pine St. The March steps off at 7pm to go around Capitol Hill and back to the Plaza.993922_592084907479682_64494430_n-400x300 (1)
  • Saturday — Volunteer Park Criterium (info)

    Racer Chris Soelling sent CHS these details of the day of cycling planned for Volunteer Park on Saturday including thousands of dollars in race prizes — and a free kiddie race:
    1975 Racing in the StreetsThe Cucina Fresca Cycling Team, a Seattle based bicycle racing team, is putting on the Volunteer Park Criterium Bicycle Race on Saturday, June 27, 2015 at Volunteer Park, Capitol Hill, Seattle. 

    As best we can tell, this is the 48th annual edition of the race, starting in at least 1967.  It features multiple “Criterium” style races, which are technical, high speed bike races on a closed circuit, this one around the Volunteer Park loop, approximately .8 of a mile each lap.  The races typically last from 30 minutes to an hour with riders competing for the overall win and intermediate prizes called “primes.”  There are prizes of more than $5,000.  Riders race in separate categories, from beginning amateur to professional cyclists, with separate races for each category, including pro women as well as amateur women’s races.  There is even a free kiddies race at 11:45 am.

    Volunteer Park will be closed to traffic all day, because the races start at 8 am.  This is one of only two or three bike races within the Seattle City limits, and has some of the best spectator viewing, because you can watch from the Asian Art Museum, the water tower, and other good vantage points around the course as cyclists reach speeds of 40 + miles an hour on the closed circuit.

    The racing is not without risk as well.  I attach a photo taken from the race in 1974 or 1975, when I crashed and was caught on camera going down.  I hope to not do that this year.

For more things to do on and around Capitol Hill — or to add your own event — check out the CHS Calendar. Continue reading

CHS Community Post | Is ‘rolling over’ for big development really the answer to keeping Richard Hugo House where it is?

The 1634 11th Ave project will be reviewed June 24th at 8 PM at Seattle U's Admissions and Alumni building, 824 12th Ave. Learn more and review the design packet here.

The 1634 11th Ave project will be reviewed June 24th at 8 PM at Seattle U’s Admissions and Alumni building, 824 12th Ave. Learn more and review the design packet here.

CHS Community Posts are written by CHS readers. Anybody can submit an article to appear in the CHS Community section — the best will be shared on the CHS homepage. Consider each the start of a discussion and please add your $0.03.

For more on the project discussed here, see Design proposals revealed for Hugo House, Piecora’s developments

By Will Hershman
I would like to begin by disclosing that I am an owner of a condominium unit in a building adjacent to the proposed construction site where the organization now known as Richard Hugo House is harbored.

Here, however, I discuss my public concerns – which I hope reflect the concerns of our community – about demolishing the 1902 Colonial Revival House which, since 1997, has been known as Hugo House, and replacing it with an expansive, 69-foot-high, six-story, mixed-use structure with 80-100 market-rate apartments and underground parking for 90-100 cars. All of this would be right across from the southeastern part of Cal Anderson Park and right across from its main entrance, on what is now on a quieter, residential street.

The benefit is obvious: Richard Hugo House would be permitted to remain exactly where it is. But is that worth all of the costs? Is it worth forever losing part of our history and culture? Is it worth closing in even more of Cal Anderson Park? Is it worth ruining yet another chunk of the park’s quiet, quaint surroundings? Is it worth the gentrification that would accompany the 80-100 market-rate apartments, especially in a prime location right across from the park? Continue reading

CHS Pics | This week in Capitol Hill pictures

The CHS Flickr Pool contains more than 26,000 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.

Continue reading

Throw your own $1K Capitol Hill block party

Why let these guys have all the fun! You should throw a block party — like the ones pictured here from around the Hill in 2014. And you should consider using the city’s Small Sparks Fund to help pay for it so you can invite everybody:

If your neighborhood needs funding to participate in the 31st Annual Night Out on August 4, the Neighborhood Matching Fund may be able to help. However, you’ll need to apply now to its Small Sparks Fund because the deadline is Monday, June 22 at 5:00 p.m.

The Small Sparks Fund provides matching dollars for neighborhood-initiated projects that promote community engagement. Community groups can request up to $1000 to help fund Night Out planning efforts and activities such as outreach efforts, educational fairs, bike parades, and neighborhood cleanups, to name a few. Even though the deadline for applications is June 22, you’ll need to register first in our web-based application system by June 19.

You can learn more about the fund here.

Meanwhile, if you live in the Central District, you can also get help turning your street into a play street:11400997_10206947173856502_6145360084459798473_n

We could not be more excited to get TWENTY FOUR of these Play Street boxes out in the Central District this summer as part of SDOT’s “Play Street Program”.

Get your FREE box of great outdoor equipment by following these easy steps:

1. Live and host a play street in the CD, which we are defining as north of I-90, (but including that little wedge of Colman Triangle), south of Madison, East of 12th or Rainier, West of 30th.

2. Apply for SDOT Play Street Program.

3. Take approved SDOT permit for your play street to Centerstone at 18th/Cherry.

4. Get FREE PLAY STREET BOX! for a whole bunch of fun and games on your CD street!

Can’t host a play street in the CD but know someone who might? Please share! Questions? Drop us an email: Thanks to Swedish for lending us a hand to make this possible.