CHS Pics | Africatown parade crosses the Central District

Umojafest - 45 of 55

Mixing Black Lives Matter and classic automobiles, the Central District component of Seattle’s annual Seafair celebration again brought an Africatown community parade to the streets of the Central District Saturday.

Umoja Fest organizers say Seattle has been celebrating an African American community festival in the Central District since the 1940s: Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | L’Oursin and its ‘fruits de mer’ land in the CD

Proville and Overman (right) are hoping to crowdfund their new E Jefferson restaurant

Proville and Overman (right) are hoping to crowdfund their new E Jefferson restaurant

We are going to have to come up with a nickname for the food+drink neighborhood growing up around 12th and Jefferson. Or not. But there’s definitely something going on in the neighborhood.

“We were looking everywhere,” chef JJ Proville said of the search for a home for L’Oursin that brought the chef to E Jefferson. “It’s right in the spot where all those neighborhoods meet. Some people say it’s First Hill. Some say Central District.” Continue reading

Live from the CD, Hella Black Hella Seattle tackles everything from race to restaurants

(Image: Hella Black Hella Seattle)

Jazz, Alaina, and Eula (Image: Hella Black Hella Seattle)

Three women from the Central District are on a mission to animate the lives of people of color living in Seattle through a by POC, for POC summer-long podcast series.

Friends Eula Scott Bynoe, Jasmine Jackson, and Alaina Caldwell began recording their podcast Hella Black Hella Seattle in May. The show features three segments, each curated by one of the three women: Caldwell reviews restaurants, Jackson previews events that she thinks are worth checking out, and Bynoe interviews notable people of color from the Seattle area.

Bynoe said the friends came up with the idea for the podcast after hearing people vent frustrations that they felt like they never met anyone interesting or heard about any good events in the Seattle area. All three were born and raised in the CD and have known each other for 13 years, and Bynoe said the picture of a boring Seattle did not match the social life the three friends have built for themselves. The podcast was a way to share their store of knowledge about how to find food, art, culture, and fun close to home.

“We know that there are tons of people, especially people of color, who don’t think there’s anything interesting happening here,” said Bynoe. The three came up with the idea for the podcast in early April, aired their first show in May, and have been dropping an episode every two weeks since then. Continue reading

First stretch of reconfigured 23rd Ave opens to two-way traffic

Joel Connelly can hop into his jalopy for a pleasant drive — a long kinked-off segment of 23rd Ave reopens to “two-way traffic” with its newly reconfigured lanes today:

Two-Way Traffic Resumes on 23rd Avenue Today from East Cherry Street to East Union Street

SEATTLE – The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) advises travelers that beginning today, July 27, two-way traffic on 23rd Avenue will reopen from East Cherry Street to East Union Street, allowing better access to businesses, homes, and community organizations in the area. This work is part of the 23rd Avenue Corridor Improvements Project. Continue reading

Wise Orchid Tai Chi opens on E Union with an alternative to yoga — UPDATE: New home for Apex Aerial Arts

Wise Orchid led a Seattle celebration of World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2016 in May

Wise Orchid led a Seattle celebration of World Tai Chi Qigong Day 2016 in May


The army of local yoga studios are getting some competition. Paralegal-turned-Tai Chi teacher Viola Brumbaugh has opened her own Tai Chi studio in the Central District, in the space recently vacated by children’s toy and clothing store Magpie.

Wise Orchid Tai Chi opened for business at 2002 E Union with a series of free classes on the Fourth of July and has been up and running since then. While Central Seattle has no shortage of yoga studios, Wise Orchid is one of just a few Tai Chi centers in the area. Continue reading

DUI arrest after car plunges into Central District construction site

The scene at MLK and Union Saturday morning. Thanks to Leslie for the photos and tip!

The scene at MLK and Union Saturday morning. Thanks to Leslie for the photos and tip!

IMG_9909A driver was arrested for investigation of DUI after a car carrying the 39-year-old, another adult, and two children plunged around 20 feet after crashing off the roadway, through a fence, and into a construction pit Friday night at MLK and Union.

Seattle Fire rushed to the scene of the 11:21 PM crash to find the car sitting upright on the under-construction foundation of the four-story development underway at the corner. We do not know specifics of any injuries but no additional medical units were called to the scene after the initial response. The car’s four occupants were able to get out of the vehicle on their own, according to Seattle Fire radio reports. Continue reading

Tigerly Ox opens on edge of Capitol Hill and Central District

Wallingford-born Vietnamese eatery Tigerly Ox has opened up a restaurant on the border between Capitol Hill and the Central District, at 22nd and E Madison. Owners John Tran and his wife Jodie chose a location on the edge of Capitol Hill because they believe there is already an overabundance of restaurants in the center of the neighborhood. The E Madison location may be just the first wave of expansion for the eatery.

Tran said his aim with the E Madison Tigerly Ox is to serve people for whom getting to the Pike/Pine corridor of restaurants might be a hassle. “We feel as though we can better serve those on the outskirts,” said Tran. Tran said he was attracted to a location in between Capitol Hill and the Central District because he felt the area could use more restaurants and he feels there is an “oversaturation of restaurants” in the central Pike/Pine business district of Capitol Hill. Continue reading

Lennar planning 405 units — and lots of commercial space — at 23rd and Union

New filings from Lennar Multifamily Communities indicate the developer is continuing to move forward with its plans to develop the Midtown Center, a block at 23rd and Union that many see as one of the last major development opportunities in Central Seattle. They also provide the first look at the exact scale of development being planned for the block —  a 405-unit, mixed-use project with nearly 500 parking spots:

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 12.36.20 PM

The new documents are part of a process to bring the project into Seattle’s design review process. No review has yet been scheduled.

In June, CHS broke the news on Lennar’s involvement with the 106,000-square-foot property once home to the U.S. Post Office and still busy with tenants including a liquor store and Earl’s Cuts. Company officials have not responded to requests for comment on the project. A representative from Encore Architects, the firm working with Lennar on the project told CHS the early site work was a preliminary study.

There is still no record of a sale for Midtown Center. A $23.5 million deal with another California-based developer, Legacy Partners, fell through earlier this year.

Prior to its 23rd and Union acquisition, Lennar had its sight set on another neighborhood-defining project when it submitted a proposal to develop the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” sites on Broadway. Lennar is in the early stages of developing a mixed-use project at 22nd and E Madison. Meanwhile, the developer is building a 389-unit West Seattle project, The Whittaker, which will include a Whole Foods on the ground floor.

SPD ‘micro community’ policing survey shows ‘strong level of trust’

On Capitol Hill, the main issues are mental illness, car prowls, and graffiti. The biggest crime issue people had to complain about on First Hill is littering and illegal dumping. Meanwhile in the Central District, people are worried about getting shot, car prowls… and, well, getting shot. This from the results of a Seattle University-run survey on behalf of the Seattle Police Department as part of its ongoing “micro community” policing plan.

Limited results from the survey and a new micro community policing site were announced Thursday:

MCPP are the result of grassroots efforts, with direct collaboration from residents, business leaders, stakeholders, and police officers on the beat. Under the MCPP, community residents work in partnership with their local precinct captain and Community Policing Team to identify problems, analyze existing quality of life and crime data, and design individualized plans to reduce and prevent crime.

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Police look for convertible, gunman in 26/Alder shootout

Police were looking for a gunman and occupants of a dark convertible who exchanged gunfire Thursday afternoon near 26th and Alder. There were no immediate reports of injuries but multiple witnesses reported seeing the male shooter open fire on the speeding car.

Police found shell casings at the scene and were interviewing witnesses to the 5:30 PM shooting. The involved vehicle was described as a dark green or black Firebird or Camaro-type car.

The gun battle took place just blocks from Powell Barnett Park where the East Precinct is holding its community picnic Saturday in an effort to continue efforts to activate the park.


East Precinct picnic comes to Central District park

After years of hosting the event within walking distance of the precinct’s 12th and Pine headquarters, the Seattle Police Foundation will bring its annual East Precinct picnic to a park in the Central District this weekend that is an example of both ongoing community investment in the area and struggles with drugs and violence.

Some organizers working to make Powell Barnett Park a safer place are happy to bring the event to MLK Jr. Way. John Barber, a member of the Seattle Parks board, posted this invite via Facebook:

You are invited to a community picnic with the Seattle Police and the neighborhood surrounding Powell Barnett Park next Saturday, July 16, 1pm to 4pm, at Powell Barnett Park, MLK JR Way, between E Yesler and E Cherry. This is a community policing/fun activity — music, hot dogs and ice cream, entertainment and door prizes. The area has been beset by driveby shootings and gang activities for years and our strategy has been repopulating the park to create a more positive environment.

Continue reading