Why is this black metal box at 10th and Pike?

Pike/Pinetrenpreneur (and CHS advertiser) Dave Meinert posted a picture Thursday night of this new addition to the streetscape in front of Neumos and claims to have no idea what it is. Our first bet, these days, is marketing. But this one looks… different. Bolted to the sidewalk, the black metal box is supported on a post. Its hinged door reveals a plexiglass screen. In the back there is a wiring hole. At this point, there is nothing to wire.

What is it?

A mysterious black metal box at 10th and E Pike St. Anyone know what it is?

Posted by David Meinert on Thursday, May 28, 2015

A check of permits for the area revealed nothing. We’ve asked SDOT — and others — for any information. We’ll update when we hear back.

(We suggest you review the comments already made on Facebook before you add your joke about 2001, Meinert’s soul, or the NSA… they’ve all been done!)

Blotter | Woman suspected of trying to add stolen car to booty from 14th Ave restaurant theft nabbed by employees

(Image: Nue via Vimeo)

(Image: Nue via Vimeo)

See something others should know about? Email CHS or call/txt (206) 399-5959. You can view recent CHS Crime coverage here.

  • 14th Ave theft suspect caught on video: The employees at Nue restaurant swung into action Tuesday night after a suspected thief attempted to return to the scene and allegedly make off with an even larger prize. Here’s the video and details posted by Nue about Tuesday night’s caper:

    Okay, maybe I had a little too much fun doing this but we caught our first crook! Last night a woman came into Nue, ordered a Coke and some food, sat around for a bit and then darted out with a stolen purse, cellphone, keys to the restaurant, our house and our car! A while later she returned to the ‘scene’ trying to figure out which car the key fob worked on in order to steal that too. Butterfingers accidentally hit the ‘Alarm’ button at which point our bartender and kitchen crew hopped off the line, chased her down for a tackle and a full recovery of the goods before the police arrived.
    The cops asked if I had any video footage and just couldn’t resist the urge to put together a ‘case’. Lessons learned: 1: Stealing is wrong, 2: NEVER return to the scene and 3: Nue has some bad ass staff. Footnote: We never did get paid for the Coke :(
    Police responded to the area around 9:30 PM to a report that three or four people were holding a woman down on the pavement near 14th and Madison. She had apparently waited around two hours after the purse theft to return to the area. The suspect was taken into custody but we don’t more about any charges at this point. There were no reported injuries. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Kevin Bacon at The Egyptian


Bacon at Tuesday’s Q&A (Images: Alex Garland for CHS)

IMG_6423The only cinematic connection CHS can find between the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival lifetime achievement honoree Kevin Bacon and last year’s SIFF honoree Laura Dern is this poorly reviewed 2001 Steve Martin vehicle. The audience got a little closer Tuesday night at the Egyptian as Bacon appeared for an audience Q&A and to introduce his classic of wholesome teenage rebellion, Footloose.

Wednesday on E Pine, Bacon gets his trophy — tickets to “an evening with Kevin Bacon” and the screening of his new film are still available:

SIFF welcomes Kevin Bacon to the stage for an interview featuring film clips from his career and to receive the Seattle International Film Festival Career Achievement award. Afterwards, there will be a screening of Bacon’s latest film, Cop Car, directed by Jon Watts.

UPDATE: What? More Bacon? The actor stopped by Garfield High School Wednesday afternoon to meet the drama kids. Thanks to Garfield Stage for sharing pictures from the visit:

Meanwhile, there are still lots of Capitol Hill SIFF 2015 highlights still to come to the screens at the Egyptian and the Harvard Exit in the venue’s final run as a cinema:

A few more pictures and a couple notes from the Q&A from the crowd, below. Continue reading

Rancho Bravo ready to shift Pike/Pine’s only drive-thru into action


(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

As a plan to create a pedestrian only area in Pike/Pine’s nightlife zone moves forward, an equally audacious machination in an entirely different gear is also being readied for the two-block radius.

Rancho Bravo’s drive-thru is a “go.”

“I want to make sure the pedestrians and people in the cars are safe,” Rancho’s Freddy Rivas tells CHS.

Sometime likely in June, the not-so-new feature at the six-year-old Mexican joint will swing back into action. The signs are being painted, the menu boards and ordering intercom box have been in place all along.

The drive-thru is likely to instantly become a nightlife magnet on scale with the ultimately doomed Broadway Jack in the Box…

The drive-thru is likely to instantly become a nightlife magnet on scale with the ultimately doomed Broadway Jack in the Box which sometimes required SPD traffic control at the height of its weekend business hours. If Mix were rapping in the early 2000s, he might have made a different choice. Meanwhile, Capitol Hill, like any good American neighborhood, has a good history of food and cars intertwined.

Now, Rancho will suddenly become the only operating drive-thru restaurant in Seattle’s core. The Pike/Pine scene already attracts plenty of cruisers despite a slow go on clogged Friday and Saturday night roads. Expect a scene.

“First, we have to have enough people,” Rivas said of the logistics of opening what he believes will be a new feature that will significantly increase sales volumes at the restaurant. “We are ramping up.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Council | Reclaiming Power (and creating a Pike/Pine pedestrian zone)

Zachary Pullin, Vice President of the Capitol Hill Community Council, contributes to CHS about community civics and politics on a monthly basis.

Each week, my partner and I have my sister over for dinner. Before she leaves for the drive home, I remind her to be safe, walk with awareness, and text me immediately when she’s home. She’s a smart woman and I have faith she’d fight against violence. So, I was shocked at my becoming numb that foggy, winter morning when someone stole my power.

I did not plan to tell anyone about the sexual assault he inflicted on me three months ago. I self-prescribed a daily treatment of denial and suppression nurtured by a tenacious abundance of sadness, shame, and frustration. Violence and oppression separate us from our self, our bodies, and our communities.

I became a refugee from my own body.

Just three weeks after the assault, a mentor asked me if I sought power, if people like me should want power. I shuddered because, to me, power had become a swear word.  “Power” – much like the words “God,” “Love,” and “Progressive” — needs a reset to eliminate disparate, often conflicting, definitions that arise from deeply held beliefs about their meanings.

The Capitol Hill Community Council’s own history provides examples of power being used to actively lobby against a gay community center in the 1970s to prevent “perverts” and people of that “lifestyle” from ruining the neighborhood, or earlier neighborhood group iterations as active proponents of redlining. Negative illustrations and exercises of power in government, business, and social settings certainly repel me as it does so many progressive Seattleites. Continue reading

SPD makes arrest after victims jumped, robbed in Broadway/Pike parking lot

An 18-year-old was taken into custody early Sunday morning in another last-call street robbery in Pike/Pine.

According to police, a group of male suspects jumped the victims in the parking lot above the Harvard Market QFC just before 2 AM. A victim told police he was punched in the face and had his wallet stolen by a group of five to six males. CHS does not have description information for the suspects though one was reportedly wearing a white Seahawks jersey and had long hair.

As police fanned out in the area, a group was contacted on Harvard between Pike and Pine, according to East Precinct radio. The suspect was identified and taken into custody. He is jailed for investigation of robbery.

The victims were treated for their injuries by Seattle Fire. The victim’s wallet was not recovered.

During the search for the suspects, police received reports of a single gunshot heard by several witnesses on the north end of Cal Anderson Park. No damage was reported and police did not find a disturbance in the area.

Sunday’s arrest follows a small burst of street robbery activity this week on Capitol Hill including an incident early Saturday morning near Summit and Howell in which the suspect opened fire, hitting a victim who was trying to get his phone back after being robbed and, police say, also striking one of his accomplices.

Responding to concerns from area businesses, SPD has rolled out Pike/Pine emphasis patrols on Friday and Saturday nights to help deal with the swell of people who come to take part in the neighborhood’s booming nightlife scene.

Here is the preliminary report from SPD on Sunday morning’s arrest:

Officers arrested a suspect in a strong-arm robbery on Capitol Hill early Sunday morning.

Police were alerted to the robbery that happened in a parking lot near Broadway and Pike St shortly before 2 AM. The roughed up victims told officers several men began accosting them trying to demand their wallets. When the victims balked, the attackers summoned help and an additional group of suspects joined the fray punching the victims and eventually stealing a wallet from one of them.

With patrol officers and nightlife emphasis foot-beat officers in the area gang detectives quickly located a possible suspect seen running from the direction of the crime. The detectives arrested the 18-year-old man after a victim confirmed him as a participant in the robbery. Officers later booked him into King County Jail on investigation of robbery.

CHS Pics | Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling doc screens at SIFF 2015, more Hill highlights to come

IMG_5949Some of the best Capitol Hill moments of SIFF 2015 are still to come. Thursday, CHS found the veterans of Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling out to celebrate the one-night screening of Bodyslam: Revenge of the Banana:

For six years, the stars of Seattle Semi-Pro Wrestling thrilled crowds as they parodied professional wrestling with their boozy blend of burlesque and athleticism. But when a newcomer felt slighted by the tight-knit cabaret performers, he tried to take them down, forcing them into an all-too-real fight for their future.

The film isn’t slated to screen again during SIFF but you can learn more about the production at bodyslamfilm.com. Meanwhile, here are some of the upcoming on-Hill highlights slated for SIFF screenings at the Egyptian — and the Harvard Exit’s last run as a cinema:

HageresebMeanwhile, a package of films capturing life in Yesler Terrace and the issues related to the neighborhood’s redevelopment will be featured at SIFF this weekend in screenings at the Harvard Exit:

Faces of Yesler Terrace
Yesler Terrace is highly controversial in the changing landscape of the city of Seattle. These films capture the people and stories from the past and present of Yesler Hill’s public housing development.


Even the corner stores are getting into the Capitol Hill food+drink boom

It wouldn’t be the first time a scrappy Capitol Hill corner market has set its sights beyond snacks and soft drinks.

Benson’s Grocery, a corner store staple at Bellevue and E Pine Pike, is planning to shrink its market sometime this summer to make way for a new Japanese restaurant inside the shop. According to plans filed with the city, the $500,000 project will include adding a kitchen, dining area, and a restroom.

The move undoubtedly signifies that the Capitol Hill food and drink boom being watched ever so closely by pundits on all sides of the $15 wage debate is as strong as ever — or is about to pop. You choose!

Benson’s owner Hun Lee confirmed the plans with CHS, but declined to reveal specific details on the project. CHS did learn that sushi will be part of the restaurant offerings, but how the paired down market will function remains to be seen. Lee said work would start this summer.

Plans seen by CHS show a sushi bar-like setup added to the back of the current space with restaurant seating to take over the north portion of the store that neighbors the Seattle Eagle gay bar and the E Pike Victrola..

Over the years, Benson’s has been busy finding ways to generate more revenue out of the neighborhood bodega. At one point, a large advertising banner for Oregon’s George Fox University hung above the store. Benson’s again made sign news earlier this year when street artists put up a Starbucks apology banner on the side of the store.

Creative Blueprint artist work studios coming to Pike/Pine

11060845_725808247539881_4842954540878777262_n 2147012275_20110629_230345By way of Toronto, Capitol Hill is about to get a new space for artists and entrepreneurs to create.

Creative Blueprint, a gallery and artist work space concept with Canadian roots, is making plans to open its doors to the Capitol Hill creative class in a 5,000 square-foot subterranean space on Boylston Ave just around the corner from Pine.

“It’s an expansion of the vision and the project,” Creative Blueprint’s Ashley Proctor tells CHS.

The affordable and flexible studio spaces will be operated in conjunction with Capitol Hill coworking concern Office Nomads which in 2012 doubled its size by taking over both the ground and second level of the old Heath Printers building above Creative Blueprint’s new basement space.

CHS is a longtime Office Nomads member.

Proctor says she started Creative Blueprint in Toronto nearly a decade ago to solve a problem familiar to many Capitol Hill artists finding it increasingly difficult to find affordable work space. Proctor says that in Toronto she started the original Creative Blueprint in an affordable area of the city only to see that area develop and rents push higher. Creative Blueprint moved, then, gain, development came. It’s a cycle Proctor said happened quickly enough in Toronto that she was able to learn how to deal with it. Eventually, she said, she was able to purchase the building where Creative Blueprint now lives. Her Toronto operation in The Foundery building also includes a coworking business that she also operates.

In Seattle, Proctor is working with Office Nomads founders Jacob Sayles and Susan Dorsch.

“It seems so easy to run one company instead of two,” she said.

Proctor tells CHS that the success of Office Nomads helped convince the building’s owners that a shared art space was a viable tenant for their investment. Proctor said that having the support of the new Capitol Hill Arts District was also key as Cultural Space Liaison Matthew Richter wrote a letter to the building owners on Creative Blueprint’s behalf.

As she works this summer to open the new space, Proctor is also meeting with artists and coworkers to find out more about the needs of the Capitol Hill community.

Proctor said that it doesn’t necessarily require artists owning a building to preserve and protect art space in a neighborhood.

“Making sure that property owners and landlords understand the value can also work,” she said.

Still, Proctor said that, eventually, purchasing a building to secure homes for Creative Blueprint and Office Nomads could be part of the plans.

Creative Blueprint will be located at 1617 Boylston Ave’s lower level. Proctor said pricing and membership plan structures will be similar to how she has set up her Foundry coworking space. You can learn more at facebook.com/CreativeBlueprintSeattle/.

With better reporting, new tools, Seattle hate crime totals continue rise — UPDATE

Seattle Police Department officials say an increase in reports of bias crimes on Capitol Hill and across Seattle is actually progress and that more tools are coming to help the LGBTQ community report crimes and hate incidents.

In a report to the City Council public safety committee Wednesday afternoon, Lieutenant Michael Kebba said the rise in reports reflects an increased effort to encourage victims to tell police about bias incidents. “I don’t really see a lot of attack issues,” Kebba said.

Overall, there were 126 reported bias incidents in Seattle in 2014 up from 110 in 2013. In the East Precinct covering Capitol Hill, reports jumped to 34 “malicious harassments,” “crimes with bias elements,” and “bias incidents.”

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