Seattle’s writers and creatives find Capitol Hill home again at Hugo House grand reopening

Maria Semple, best-selling author and screenwriter, speaking at the opening event last Saturday

There once was a Hugo House here / We loved its old crazy quilt cheer / This house, it would seem, an architects dream / But the spirit of quirkies still near

This poem was recited by Dick Gemperle last weekend at the grand reopening of Richard Hugo House, a beloved community workspace for writers and a home for Seattle’s “literary heartbeat.”

“This is a wonderful time for Hugo House. Everything is coming together in September. On the 4th of September we closed the transaction to purchase this space. We’re almost done with construction, almost done with our capital campaign, tonight is our grand opening, and next week classes start,” said Gemperle, board president of Hugo House. “It’s all coming together.”

The new Hugo House offers more space for readers and writers with more classrooms, along with a dedicated performance space for readings, and a front parlor space with desks and bar that will be open during events. Continue reading

Plans coming together for 2019 Seattle Women’s March — UPDATE

MLK Day 2018 marchers

Some of the thousands who marched for women in 2018

UPDATE 1/14/19: Three days of activism begins Saturday 1/19/19 with a rally and march from Cal Anderson Park:

1/19/19: Seattle Womxn’s March starts at Cal Anderson

UPDATE 9/26/18 1:55 PM: Organizers from Womxn’s March Seattle say they are working with the groups that hold the city’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day march and rallies to coordinate on an event in 2019 that brings the two efforts together with respect for both and without overshadowing either cause.

CHS reported previously on a 2019 plan for a Sunday march starting in Cal Anderson but that event does not have the support of Womxn’s March Seattle which has been key in driving the past events. To eliminate confusion, CHS has removed details of the un-supported Sunday march. We apologize for adding to any confusion around the 2019 march.

Liz Hunter-Keller tells CHS that the weekend is still being shaped but that a “super group” of activists and organizations has been working on the plan and will announce participants and details soon. As it did in 2018, Womxn’s March Seattle is planning a Saturday of workshops and activism before next year’s event planned for Monday, January 21st in conjunction with the annual MLK celebrations and march. Continue reading

‘A gift’ — first look inside Capitol Hill’s new Hugo House

Boards from the old Hugo House — complete with the graffiti encouraged at a goodbye party before its demolition — live on in the new Hugo House

The new Hugo House will be open to the public for the first time Saturday but the staff moved in Wednesday and the space has already hosted its first event — an opening preview for the more than 300 community donors and public officials responsible for the one-of-a-kind writing center across from Cal Anderson Park.

“We’re in a time right now when words really matter,” State Representative Nicole Macri said at Monday night’s pre-opening reception in the new center.

“I’m so grateful that the state came through.”

Rep. Macri inside the new Hugo House Monday night

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CHS Pics | DeafThrive Day in Cal Anderson Park

Sammy Ruiz Jr. performs magic for the crowd

Saturday night, bar patrons around Pike/Pine may not have noticed some of the groups hanging out in neighborhood venues. The sense of revelry and energy wasn’t different at all with their hands busy and fully in the motion of American Sign Language.

The after-parties followed a day of celebration of deaf culture in Cal Anderson as the annual DeafThrive event brought performances and speeches to the park. Continue reading

Seattle Parks says Cal Anderson experiment with cork-filled field a winner

With Seattle kids swarming playfields for fall soccer, Seattle Parks and Recreation tells CHS the department’s experiment at Cal Anderson using a new more environmentally friendly cork base for its turf fields has been enough of a success to roll the solution out at more locations in the city.

“We will be using the same synthetic turf system that we installed at Cal Anderson at Brighton and Soundview playfields and are in the process of updating our specifications for future synthetic turf conversion and replacement projects,” a Seattle Parks rep tells CHS. Continue reading

New Capitol Hill story ready to begin at Hugo House

A rendering of the soon to open new Hugo House

Construction of the new 9,600-square-foot Hugo House writing center at 11th and E Olive St. is fully imbued with the creative process — right down to the burning spirit that drives any author, poet, or journalist: a deadline.

“Construction always take longer than they think it will and there have been some unavoidable delays,” Hugo House executive director Tree Swenson tells CHS. “They say they’ll be ready.”

Like a publisher awaiting that final draft, Swenson is planning for Saturday, September 22nd — the planned official grand opening of the new Hugo House inside the six-story mixed-use apartment building that stands at the site the old Hugo House previously called home.

Opening Celebration: New Hugo House

“The celebration will be a chance for everybody to explore the whole space in a design that invites creativity,” Swenson said.

Designed by the architects at NBBJ, the new Hugo House is centered around a 150-seat auditorium but Swenson said the first thing any visitor will see from the 11th Ave entrance is the front salon with built-in writing nooks, seating areas, and a small stage. Continue reading

Skater protest can’t stop removal of rogue ramp in Cal Anderson

No ramps, please (Image courtesy Seattle Parks)

Skateboarding is not a crime. But building a rogue cement ramp in a Seattle park is.

Police were called to the busy courts of Cal Anderson Wednesday morning to a report of a group hindering a Seattle Parks work crew trying to remove a rogue ramp installed on the basketball court on the park’s western edge.

A Parks representative tells CHS somebody was lying down on the ramp prompting the call to police.

Police arriving to the callout around 10:30 AM reported that things had worked themselves out. There were no arrests. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Pets | Moose says go to First Caturday in Cal Anderson Park

 

We met Moose, a massive Siberian cat, as he was lounging around the trees at Cal Anderson Park. His minders, Anneka and Ryanne, have had Moose for about three of his seven months on the planet. He is expected to get even bigger. “He’s second to Maine Coons in terms of size. He loves to hike, kayak, and hangs out in Ryanne’s backpack when we go out” Anneka says. Moose is super friendly, so rub those giant ears when you see him next.

This Saturday, September 1st brings another First Caturday to Cal Anderson. We understand it has become quite the thing. Expect a crowd!

We ask photographer Alex Garland to follow marchers in the rain and do crazy things like trying to make yet another picture of yet another huge apartment building look interesting. We thought we’d ask him to do something a little more fun. Capitol Hill Pets is a semi-regular look at our furry, fuzzy, feathered, and finned friends found out and about on Capitol Hill.

 

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CHS Pics | Shopping and meeting a few neighbors on Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day

Let’s do 10. Sunday’s ninth annual Capitol Hill Garage Sale Day again drew crowds to Cal Anderson Park for a central gathering of community rummage, vintage, and treasure tables. Many of the day’s best bargains were also found at sales on surrounding streets. Organized again by CHS, the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, and the Cal Anderson Park Alliance, the event focused on community — and fabulous re-use — continues to grow. Have ideas for next year? Let us know in comments.

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2018 outdoor movie season begins in Cal Anderson

The smoke has cleared. It’s finally time for a few outdoor movies on Capitol Hill — and nearby.

Friday night brings the 2018 debut of Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s outdoor series in Cal Anderson Park with a screening of Sister Act:

Three Dollar Bill Outdoor Cinema: Sister Act

The Three Dollar Bill screenings begin at sunset — usually around 8:30 PM — in the southeast corner of Cal Anderson:

Arrive early to get a good seat and join us for fun pre-show events. Concessions will be open and music will start at 7:00 pm.  Official announcements will begin at 8:00 pm.

The screenings continue on the 24th and 31st.

There’s also a bonus movie on First Hill to add to your schedule. The First Hill Improvement Association will host a screening of Nine to Five on Friday, September 7th in Freeway Park.