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,


CHS Pics | With Pride rainbows and black leather, Doghouse Leathers unveils expansion

Celebrate the start of Pride Week on Capitol Hill with black, not a rainbow.

The expansion of Doghouse Leathers is complete on E Pike. CHS told you about the LGBTQ and kink friendly retailer’s plans to double its Pike/Pine presence earlier this year with more room to shop and create male-focused leather goods. Meanwhile, Dennis McDonnell and his much-loved Central Vacuum Service said goodbye to the neighborhood after 56 years of repairs. Doghouse Leathers, by the way, is a CHS advertiser.

The neighborhood, meanwhile, is gearing up for a busy week of Pride — you can check out the roster of Capitol Hill Pride Events here via the CHS Calendar. And keep your eyes peeled — Tuesday, even more rainbows are soon expected to appear.

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 | Capitol Hill’s F.A.M.E. holds vigil for South Carolina

Capitol Hill’s First African Methodist Episcopal held a vigil Thursday night to mark the deaths of nine people in the South Carolina church murders at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church.

“The massacre that occurred there yesterday was nothing short than an act of terrorism,” Seattle King County NAACP president Gerald Hankerson said as he addressed the crowd gathered inside the Capitol Hill church.

“There seems to be a special place in hell for that kind of evil,” Seattle City Council member Bruce Harrell said.

Friday night, the NAACP and local Black Lives Matter organizers will hold a vigil starting in Pratt Park at 7:30 PM.

The First African Methodist Episcopal church began holding service at 14th and Pine in 1890.


Postal Service announces search for new Broadway Station

Postal news! The U.S. Postal Service has made it official — the search for a new “Broadway Station” is on.

U.S. Postal Service Seeks New Site for Broadway Station

SEATTLE — The U.S. Postal Service is looking for a new site for its Broadway Station, 101 Broadway Ave. E. The lease on the current location expires Dec. 31, 2015.

In a final decision letter dated June 10, 2015 to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Tom Samra, USPS Vice President, Facilities, says the Postal Service will move the Broadway Station “to a yet to-be-determined location as close as reasonably possible to the existing location.”

Samra also wrote – “The Postal Service anticipates providing the same services at the new location as are currently provided at the existing location.”

Postal Service representatives appeared before the Seattle City Council on May 6, 2015 to discuss the status of the Broadway Station.

Post-Office-Relocation-Boundaries-400x533CHS reported here on the May City Council session where the search plans were discussed:

The federal service is on the hunt for new real estate to serve the neighborhood around central Broadway as the current home of the post office will be leveled to make way for a planned six-story, mixed-use development at the site. According to a USPS spokesperson, officials are looking at retail locations on the same 100 block of Broadway E and in the 600 block of E Pine in the “primary” boundary to relocated.

Meanwhile, we haven’t heard any updates about a possible move for 15th and Republican’s Postal Plus.

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.


CHS Pics | Bubbles and love in Volunteer Park at the 2015 Pride Picnic

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

(Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

Breaking news: There was a picnic in Volunteer Park on a sunny, gorgeous Saturday. Here are a few sights from 2015’s Pride Picnic, the annual family and friends-oriented start to Capitol Hill’s month of Gay Pride celebrations. This year, kids were in control of more than SOAP box derby cars and the bouncy houses — they even rocked the stage as the pint-sized musicians from Pig Snout let it rip in Volunteer Park.

This weekend brings a relative lull in the events end of things for Seattle Pride though don’t miss out on the 2015 Pride Shabbat at Temple de Hirsch Sinai on Friday the 19th and lots of Pride parties in the neighborhood. You can check out what’s in store for Pride weekend on Capitol Hill here.


Continue reading

‘Not one more’ — March strikes back at anti-queer violence on Capitol Hill

IMG_9991 IMG_4078With reporting by Alex Garland for CHS

With Seattle Gay Pride events in full swing including a sunny Saturday picnic in Volunteer Park, a march against anti-LGBTQ violence took to the streets of Capitol Hill Saturday night and struck a more defiant tone.

“If you don’t like a gay neighborhood, why did you move to one?” went one chant after the group marched from Cal Anderson into the nightlife scene of Pike/Pine. The demonstration was noisy and provocative with protesters entering bars and restaurants along E Pike to make sure patrons inside got the message.

From the organizers:

Our goal is to have a large force marching on the hill and getting the message out: NOT ONE MORE!

-Wear black accented by pink and rainbow #queervisibility
-This is not a violent protest. We are not responding to their hate with hate.
-The main chant will be “NOT ONE MORE”
-This is a solidarity movement. We are standing in solidarity with every member of the community who has been victimized.

IMG_3996 Continue reading

On the List | 2015 Pride Picnic in Volunteer Park, Queer Art Walk joins Capitol Hill Art Walk, Chophouse Row celebrates grand opening

Pride Picnics past (Images: CHS)

How about a $1 picnic complete with a rainbow-y collection of fun things to do and music in Volunteer Park? How about music in the park with Pony Time, Glitterbang, and Pig Snout? The 2015 Pride Picnic is Saturday:

The Seattle Pride Picnic is a chance for family and friends to come together in one of Seattle’s iconic parks and celebrate our amazing community.All the fun begins at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 13 at Volunteer Park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. $1 PICNIC MEAL — Including hot dogs, delicious side dishes, refreshments and dessert (All proceeds to benefit YouthCare) — FREE LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ALL DAY
Box Car Derby Races by Rat City Roller Girls
Bouncy Houses
Picnic games
Photo booths
And SO much more!

queerartwalk-2015-mapJune’s edition of Thursday’s Capitol Hill Art Walk will also be super gay. Here are details on the first annual Queer Art Walk slated to be part of the fun:

 Our first ever! As part of the Capitol Hill Art Walk, we’re working with artists and venues to create an art-walk-within-an-art-walk, featuring some of the most popular queer artists in town! We’ll be announcing those artists here and distributing a queer art walk-specific map for the night. PrideFest is all about arts & culture! We’re very excited for this first-year event.


The Factory – John Criscitello (formerly # Gallery) (event:
Joe Bar – Paul D. McKee and Therese Buchmiller
Ingersoll & Gay City Art and Poetry – 517 E Pike Street
Art Primo – #keithharinglives Street Artist Tribute
Calypte Gallery – Jeffry Mitchell (event link:
Steve Jensen – Male Nudes (photographs & drawings)
Cupcake Royale – Queer Photo Group Show
Cairo – Sofya Belinskaya, Andrew Lamb Schultz, and Shawn Parks – “Object(s) of Affection”
Sole Repair – Allan Carandang – “Love My Bare Naked”
Poco – Michelle Salazar – “Uncovered”
95 Slide – Frank Correa (projections), Taylor Barker (body painting, live), hosted by James Majesty (event link:

More upcoming 2015 Capitol Hill Pride events here.

IMG_8439-600x400 (1)Thursday’s busy night also brings the opening celebration for Liz Dunn’s 11th Ave Chophouse Row project:

To celebrate the official opening of the Chophouse Row project, developer Dunn & Hobbes, along with the project’s tenants and neighbors, is throwing a neighborhood party on the evening of Thursday, June 11. The party will take place in the alley and courtyard at 1424 11th Avenue on Capitol Hill.

Festivities will include an outdoor beer garden and live stage with performances by local bands Breaks & Swells and Lushy, as well as sounds from Seattle DJ Wesley Holmes. Food and drink will be provided by ground floor tenants Chop Shop Cafe & Bar, Kurt Farm Shop, Amandine, and Bar Ferd’nand, as well as neighbors Osteria La Spiga, Cupcake Royale, and Café Pettirosso. The party will take place from 5pm to 10 pm, and will coincide with the Capitol Hill Art Walk.

For more things to do on and around Capitol Hill — or to let us know about your event — check out the CHS Calendar. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Parke Diem takes it easy in Volunteer Park

CHS stopped through a little too early for the festivities Saturday at the Parke Diem party. With temperatures in the 80s, the day of DJs and dancing in Volunteer Park was taking it easy in the midday sun. Still, there were a few people working up a sweat, Seattle style.

Temperatures are forecasted to remain in the high 70s while drifting lower into the weekend before bouncing back by next Monday. Don’t forget to water your DJ.IMG_0479