About Margo Vansynghel

Margo Vansynghel is a journalist and photographer based in Seattle. She covers news, human interest, business, art and lifestyle for newspapers and magazines and makes documentary photography series.

This Capitol Hill entrepreneur is making waves… with inflatable pools

Myllebeck (Image: Margo Vansynghel)

(Image: Mylle)

Kristin Myllebeck’s office has all the trappings of a fashion stylist’s workplace. Four small, graphic purses hang on spread-out hooks on the wall, like an art installation. A faux-cowhide rug partly covers the polished concrete floor, and on the floating wall shelves stands a framed Warhol reproduction, on which a bold, black typeface spells out “I like boring things.”

What stands out: Myllebeck’s office is filled with pools.

Deflated ones.

Since Myllebeck debuted her inflatable pool company Mylle (pronounced mile) last year, she’s been fulfilling orders from all over the country, sending them out one by one by mail.

“They’ve been popular in Brooklyn and in LA where people’s backyards are like the size of the pool,” Myllebeck, who worked as a fashion stylist for Nordstrom for over a decade, said. Continue reading

On the List | 10th annual Linda’s Fest, La Quinta Carnival, First Hill Pop-up Petting Zoo

(Image: Linda’s Tavern)

This summer’s (astronomical) dog days are over, but there are still plenty of options to squeeze everything out of these late-August summer days.

Case(s) in point:

For more fun and things to do, check out the list below, or head over to the CHS Calendar. 

WEDNESDAY, Aug 21: It’s not the best way to choose a City Council person to represent District 3. But it’s usually a fun and sometimes bizarre night. This year’s event is on Capitol Hill. And, yay, it’s free. Get a first-person look at D3 candidates Kshama Sawant and Egan Orion through the warped prism of Hill-headquartered alt-biweekly The Stranger at Candidate Survivor 2019. Fortunately, Washington Bus will also be there. Neumos, 6 PM

Looking for something a little less frat house and a little more service club? The Urbanist and the Capitol Hill Renter Initiative are holding their monthly volunteer night with a letter writing session on studying green spaces and transit-oriented design near future Link light-rail stations and advancing the principles of Seattle’s Green New Deal and the MASS Coalition’s Transportation Package. You can help. Cafe Solstice, 5:30 PM

Continue reading

Where do Sawant and Orion voters live? D3 neighborhood Election Night voting mapped

With the dust of the primary election settling and ballot counts slowing to a trickle, Seattle City Council candidates who made it to the General Election in November are now gearing up for the second round of campaigning. Expect for things to swing back into action with a wave of forums starting next month including the GSBA’s event at the Broadway Performance Hall on September 10th.

Meanwhile, in mapping out their strategy, precinct-level voting data from King County Elections might help candidates figure out in which areas they could garner some more support — or which ones might be lost territory.

For the full picture, candidates including D3 City Council incumbent Kshama Sawant and General Election-bound challenger Egan Orion will have to wait a couple more days. Primary results will be certified August 20th. Precinct-level voting data will be released in the days following.

The precinct-level results CHS has mapped date from the night of the election represents 60% of ballots counted. Continue reading

On the List | Outdoor yoga, Sonics appreciation, kid-designed parklets, Brewlab birthday party, and a Trove comeback

If you’re going to have Big Beer in your neighborhood you might as well enjoy the parties (Image: Redhook)

(Image: The Hopvine)

Watching paint dry might not be everyone’s idea of a fun night out, but comedian Mihkel Teemant puts a spin on it at Club Comedy Seattle this Thursday. During the comedy show, the audience can paint along to a Bob Ross video. With QTPOC Is Not A Rapper on Friday, no-cover comedy at The Hopvine and Unladylike at Jai Thai this Saturday, comedy fans will be able to their fix this weekend.

Speaking of fixing: this Saturday, the Capitol Hill Tool Library is hosting another Repair Café.  A team of volunteer fixers will help repair broken household items, including clothing, electronics, jewelry and small home appliances.

Find out where else to go and what to eat and see this weekend on the list below, and head over to the CHS Calendar for more events.

WEDNESDAY, Aug 14: No, the Seattle SuperSonics are not coming back to Seattle (yet). But the owners of Life On Mars, self-declared “huge Sonics fans” want “their” team back. So, naturally, they covered one of their bathrooms in Sonics-themed wallpaper. The wall collage will be unveiled this evening during the Sonics Appreciation Party. Showing up in Sonics gear will get you 15% off drinks all night. Life on Mars, 7 – 10 PM  Continue reading

‘Community preference’ — A new anti-displacement policy could have big impacts for the Central District and Capitol Hill

The Liberty Bank Building in the Central District

Antonesha Jackson still remembers riding bikes near the three-bedroom Central District apartment she shared with her sisters and mother growing up. From there, it was just a brief trip to her grandparents’ house and an even shorter walk to Garfield High School.

But when she tried to return to the neighborhood after 12 years studying and working in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles, finding a place to rent in her now-gentrified neighborhood proved nearly impossible. She looked for an affordable apartment for months.

Until acquaintances told her about a then-new affordable housing development right here in her neighborhood: Liberty Bank Building, an equitable development project led by Capitol Hill Housing and Africatown. She moved in this March, finally returning to the area she’d grown up in and now operated a fashion boutique out of.

“A lot of the people that live in my building, I have seen around growing up. [They] are from this community,” Jackson said. “It’s beautiful to me.”  Continue reading

On the List | Capitol Hill Art Walk, Jockstraps & Glitter kickball, Wainestock at Volunteer Park, Optimism summer beer party

In case you missed it: this year’s Shark Week’s already over. Can’t get enough? Head over to Elliott Bay Books on Saturday, where ocean conservationist, filmmaker and writer William McKeever will screen his film “Emperors of the Deep” and talk about his book of the same name. McKeever will discuss sharks’ role in balancing marine ecosystems (and perhaps Donald Trump’s “excessive fears” for the animals), plus his reasons for calling these predators “the Ocean’s Most Mysterious, Most Misunderstood, and Most Important Guardians.”

And for those terrified by sharks but not scared by the demanding modernism of James Joyce’s “Finnegans Wake”: At Gallery 1412, Seattle composer Neal Kosaly-Meyer will continue his multiple-performance project of reciting chapters of the book by memory.

For more things to do, including a jam-packed Art Walk, take a look at the list below or head over to the CHS Calendar for more events.

THURSDAY, August 8: This month’s Capitol Hill Art Walk will bring arts and fashion to the streets. Or one street, to be precise: 11th Ave between Pike and Pine in front of Vermillion, where the fifth edition of the public arts/fashion collaboration festival Imminent Mode will take place. Local artist duos pair up to create “wearable art” and a gallery installation based on this year’s theme, the future. The fashion show starts at 8 PM, afterparty at Vermillion. Head over to The Mercury @ Machinewerks for the afterparty and $2 vodka well specials. Continue reading

Serious crashes on major arterials in Capitol Hill, Central District and First Hill area up from 2018, long road to Vision Zero, SDOT data shows

In April, a car seriously injured a bicyclist at the intersection of 24th Ave E and E Madison. A few months later, a driver was severely hurt in a crash just a couple of hundred feet up the street, on the intersection of 23rd Ave E and E John St.

The locations of these two crashes don’t just point to the places where lives were wrecked. They also offer a first glimpse into the traffic pain points on Capitol Hill, which have clustered on and near Madison in the first six months of 2019, data from the Seattle Department of Transportation show. The Seattle Times first reported on the data.

The two crashes are among the 98 serious or fatal collisions that happened in the first half of 2019. Ten people were killed in traffic. 88 were seriously injured, of which six on Capitol Hill, four on First Hill and eight in the Central District (including a sliver south of I-90). The dataset showed no fatalities in these neighborhoods in the first half of this year.

One important caveat, per SDOT: The data the department provided are preliminary. Usually, there’s a “pretty rigorous auditing process” in which SDOT works with officials from the Seattle Police Department, Washington State Department of Transportation, Washington State Patrol and hospitals to review and filter out discrepancies for a report that comes out at year-end, SDOT said.

Still, the data provides a glimpse into Seattle’s long road to Vision Zero, its plan to end traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030, and problem zones for Capitol Hill, the Central District and First Hill, particularly on or near arterials.

Continue reading

Good news for bikes, more trains during rush hour, connection to the Central District, and more: What’s next for Capitol Hill light rail riders

(Image: Sound Transit)

They grow up so fast, don’t they? This summer, Link Light Rail is celebrating its tenth birthday.

Back then, the Link covered 14 miles. The Capitol Hill and University of Washington stations opened three years ago, and ridership is now at 8,100 weekday boardings at the Capitol Hill Station. Sound Transit projects the number to rise to 18,000 daily weekday boardings at the station in 2026.

With the addition of more stations and lines, new trains and information system, a lot more is going to change. Here’s a look at what’s ahead for Capitol Hill Light Rail riders.

Where the Light Rail will take you: Pretty far. It won’t happen overnight, but the system will grow to 116 miles by 2041 with 48 more stations. In two years from now, Capitol Hill riders will be able to hop on a direct line to the new, underground U District and Roosevelt stations, and an elevated Northgate station.

By 2023, also on a direct line, Capitol Hill riders will be able to reach the new Judkins Park station smack-dab in the middle of I-90. From there, passengers will be able to take in views of Lake Washington and Mt. Rainier if you’re lucky by riding the train on the I-90 bridge (or more precise: the world’s first train tracks on a bridge that floats) to Mercer Island and South Bellevue. Lynnwood, Kent, Federal Way and downtown Redmond will be within light rail’s reach just a year later.  Continue reading

On the List | Adult Recess in Cal Anderson, Umoja Fest, festival:festival, Dead Baby Downhill

Want to feel like a kid again? Recess, a festival for adults to play recess games while drinking beer, dancing to DJs, and eating from food trucks is coming to Cal Anderson Park.

In case you prefer your events free and/or happening in non-cordoned-off public space: There is free top-notch theatre, as we wrote last week. Also: Umoja fest (see below), a free concert of the Low Hums at Cha Cha Lounge, plus free poetry from the Youth Speaks Seattle team and Seattle Poetry Slam team at Hugo House and an equally free two-day arts festival (see below). Head over to the CHS Calendar for more events.

THURSDAY, Aug. 1 – SUNDAY, Aug. 18: OK, this play is not free, but we’d gladly pony up $24.00 (but check out the discounts) to see Salty. And after we’ve told you the play is set in one of the last remaining zoos in the by-then-climate-change-ravaged world, that it’s Mother Nature who “be SALTY” and that it features gay penguins, you will too. 12th Avenue Arts, 8 PM  Continue reading

The Capitol Hill chamber — and with it an ambitious push for a neighborhood-wide business improvement area — is dead. What went wrong?

The chamber’s annual Hilloween festival is likely to be picked up and continued by the new guard.

When the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce shuttered in June, board members chalked its demise up to a confluence of issues and “unanticipated developments.”

A couple of “key” board members left, chamber board co-chairs Joey Burgess, and Tracy Taylor wrote in a letter at the end of May. Plus: Egan Orion, the recently appointed executive director of the chamber, decided to run for City Council, they wrote, and “a reduction of funds” from the Office of Economic Development “imposed insurmountable obstacles to operating as a true Chamber model.”

Now, two months after the announcement, interviews with former board members and others reveal a fuller picture of what happened to the nonprofit representing the neighborhood’s business community— and what is to come. Continue reading