Capitol Hill Block Party 2015: Day Three Open Thread

Images from Day Two 

We’ll start Day Three with a look back at the late night action of Day Two at Capitol Hill Block Party when the streets around E Pike looked a little like the coming pedestrian zone pilot had already started.

Capitol Hill Block Party 2015 Open Threads: Day One | Day Two | More photos!

Block Party organizers are hoping to put more feet on the streets Sunday. Tickets for the day headlined by electric folk rocker Father John Misty are being sold for $35 with a “lastchance35″ promotional code.

Day Three is forecasted to be the wettest of the three-day festival with predictions of showers starting in the afternoon and continuing into evening. Temperatures will stay around 70 F, however, so it will pretty much be a warm shower. After three days of loving music, Pike/Pine could use a bath. Continue reading

#SelfID: Why somebody might ask you about your gender and sexuality on the way to Capitol Hill Block Party


A group of artists is bringing its project to explore gender, sexuality, and identity to the streets around Capitol Hill Block Party this weekend and posing some of the stickier questions in life to the crowds of attendees and passersby.

CHS watched Friday afternoon as #SelfID posted their work at the corner of Pike and Belmont and stopped people on the street to talk about how they identify their gender and sexuality.

“The goal of this project is to allow people to inquire about their own identity and in doing so appreciate the struggle and challenges LGBTQ folks face,” Yonnas Getahun, organizer of #SelfID, said. “Many of us take for granted the prescribed identity we tend to fall in to. It is not often when someone asks you ‘when did you come out as straight or how did you know you are male?'”

Getahun also helped organize the #caphillpsa campaign.

Getahun said the goal for #SelfID is “to continue the conversation about the complicated issue of self identification through gender and sexuality by showing the breadth of diversity in how people approach and describe their own identities.”

#SelfID includes 38 interviews with Seattleites answering questions about their sexuality and gender identity.

You can learn more at

Capitol Hill Block Party 2015: Day One Open Thread



The 19th year for the Capitol Hill Block Party music festival began Friday with clouds and a breeze — and only a hint of July showers in the first time in recent memory that the event has faced a serious threat of rain.

National Weather Service forecasters are predicting the chance for rain to top out with a 50% mark on Friday night, Saturday facing a 30 to 40% chance of showers, and Sunday lining up for a 60% chance.

Excellent rain hat

Excellent rain hat

No umbrellas allowed at CHBP, so pack a poncho or grab the Stranger’s pull-out section and fashion a rain hat.

Meanwhile, we’ve been told that one component of this year’s re-emphasized local art integration won’t be happening as planned. We’re sorry to inform you that this giant inflatable cowboy will not appear at Block Party after all due to “installation issues.”

Again in 2015, CHS will update open thread posts through the weekend on the people making Block Party happen, the crowds, and the community around the festival.

As usual, don’t bring a car. 12th Ave will also closed to parking this year and parking will also be affected on Broadway, E Union, and E Pine.

Gots a view #chbp #capitolhillblockparty

A video posted by Matthew Callis (@matthewcallis) on

One trend we’re noticing right off the bat — more views from above like this. All of the new apartment buildings in the area remain under construction but the workers in the offices in the new Chophouse Row development have already contributed some new angles on social media at this year’s Block Party.

For more on this year’s festival, check out Capitol Hill Block Party a little more Capitol Hill as festival turns 19.

You can also follow @jseattle for updates. Let us know if you see anything — or anybody — interesting, too. You can email us or call/txt (206) 399-5959 for the *really* interesting stuff to let us know what you’re seeing. Or hearing. Continue reading

Vivre: Veteran chef plans shift from Japanese to French to catch up with Hill’s restaurant boom

In the midst of the Capitol Hill food+drink economy’s boom, one chef/owner is admitting he made the wrong call.

“I’m a fighter,” Eric Stapelman tells CHS. “I could have just given up.”

Instead, Stapelman says that after just over a year of business on E Pine, he is going to turn his troops around and choose a new flag to fight under.

Saturday, August 1st will be the final night for Stapelman’s Shibumi, the Japanese-faithful restaurant concept he brought to Seattle in his move from Santa Fe. By Tuesday, August 4th, Stapelman says the restaurant will become Vivre, his new concept based along classic French bistro lines.

“Some of the first foods that I was cooking were French,” Stapelman, who sprang to a kind of fame as a celebrity chef in New York City, said. “I love simplicity and I love bistro food.” Continue reading

The (relatively) giant retailer coming to E Pike will be a… grocery store

As much as the return of the Capitol Hill Block Party has some remembering the “good old” days of Pike/Pine circa 1997, the changes underway on E Pike may eventually leave you pining for the CHBP days of yore — or, at least, remembering a day when there weren’t all those pesky large grocery stores on every block.

CHS reported this spring about the mysterious, relatively huge, 10,000 square-foot retailer making plans to join a new mixed-use development under construction on E Pike:

According to permits, the project’s plans for multiple retail units along the street have been pushed aside in favor of one combined “retail store” in the project. At just over 10,000 square feet, the store would be about half the size of Elliott Bay Book Company, for example, but twice the size of the still-empty OfficeMax that shuttered on Broadway earlier this year.

The developer wasn’t talking.

But CHS has learned that the project is being lined up as a grocery store involving an unknown company with plans to join what will be a wave of new market offerings joining the area in coming years. By 2017, a Whole Foods Market is destined to rise at Broadway and Madison as part of a 16-story apartment development. And developers say a “Portland-based grocer” is in talks to become the anchor retail tenant in the development surrounding Capitol Hill Station.

We’re not sure what that leaves as far as grocer possibilities to join E Pike where hundreds of new apartments will soon join the market in the blocks between Broadway and Summit. Maybe Samuel Pitts is getting back into the business.

UPDATE 7/24/2015 10:00 AM: Uh oh. In a letter dated July 20th, DPD says the plan for the mystery project to combine what was planned as multiple storefronts on E Pike doesn’t jibe with zoning. The developers have the opportunity to reply to the correction notice.Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.10.44 AM Screen Shot 2015-07-24 at 10.10.55 AM

Capitol Hill Block Party a little more Capitol Hill as festival turns 19

(Image: Ashley Genevieve/CHBP with permission to CHS)

(Image: Ashley Genevieve/CHBP with permission to CHS)


(Image: Ashley Genevieve/CHBP with permission to CHS)

(Image: Ashley Genevieve/CHBP with permission to CHS)

This year, Capitol Hill Block Party won’t be competing with the Timber Outdoor Music Festival in Carnation, as the 2015 edition of yet another Pacific Northwest music festival took place last weekend. Still, CHBP owner and producer Jason Lajeunesse said the flood of music industry cash into festivals — one of the few highly profitable corners left in the business — is increasingly having an effect on CHBP. “It’s been challenging to book the types of acts that we want to attract,” he said. “Overall, expenses have doubled over the past five years.”

In response, CHBP is looking a little more Capitol Hill in 2015. It started in March, when organizers rolled out new branding for the festival’s 19th installment, featuring a map-inspired logo representing CHBP’s Pike/Pine venue.

Some familiar neighborhood groups are also playing a bigger role in this year’s festival. In an effort to bring back visual art elements to the weekend, CHBP is teaming up with Capitol Hill Art Walk and Capitol Hill Arts District. CHBP commissioned a large mural that was unveiled during this month’s Art Walk and supported a poster show at Grim’s, which featured 40 different prints inspired by CHBP bands. The festival is also earmarking $10,000 to support the neighborhood Art Walk.

“We found it challenging (in past years) to do scalable art that would work in the festival setting,” said Lajeunesse. “It’s important that we don’t lose it.” Organizers are meeting the challenge this year with a 25-foot inflatable installation dubbed “The Lone Ranger.” UPDATE: Due to installation issues, CHBP is postponing the giant inflatable cowboy. Better luck next year, partner.

IMG_5824Of course, Block Party will also have some spiffy new Capitol Hill crosswalks coloring the festival streets.

In the meantime, Lajeunesse told CHS on Wednesday that everything was on pace for the weekend festivities. Without any major logistical changes over the past few years, organizers and regular festival-goers should more-or-less know what to expect. Continue reading

A little tactical urbanism puts parks in streets of First Hill, test pedestrian zone on E Pike

Finding ways to make the city streets work best for residents, businesses, and the community in increasingly dense areas like First Hill and Capitol Hill requires a little bit of strategy and tactical urbanism. The summer of 2015 will see the deployment of a few early test missions on our streets.

Screen-Shot-2015-06-03-at-5.23.28-PM-600x401Organizers from the Capitol Hill EcoDistrict behind a plan to create a pedestrian-only zone in Pike/Pine have set a target for their test mission:

The pilot will close three blocks of Pike Street to car traffic on four Saturday nights in August. The first two nights, August 8 and 15, will be shorter and focus on crowd management and public safety. The second two nights, August 22 and 29, will expand on this concept with community based programming. Volunteers needed for data collection! Continue reading

Design review: seven-story Crosby Capitol Hill on Bellevue, six (more) stories at 22/Madison

The future Crosby Capitol Hill (Images: B+H Architects)

The future Crosby Capitol Hill (Images: B+H Architects)

The recipe at Crosby Capitol Hill (Image: B+H Architects)

The recipe at Crosby Capitol Hill (Image: B+H Architects)

Now that we’ve solved downtown’s design issues, Capitol Hill can get back to making sure the buildings in its next waves of development are full of “community,” “connection,” and, as the developers of the Crosby Capitol Hill project on Bellevue Ave put it, “lifestyle.”

The Crosby and a six-story project planned for the *other* corner of 22nd and Madison will go in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night.

1517 Bellevue Ave
Land Use Application to allow a 7-story structure containing 45 residential units, 5 live/work units and 700 sq. ft. of retail space. Existing 2-story building is to be demolished. — View Design Proposal      

Review Meeting: July 22, 2015 8:00pm — Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: REC–Recommendation  See All Reviews
Project Number: 3018252  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Beth Hartwick

The first item on the agenda for what should be the final review for the project at 1517 Bellevue Ave is a discussion of the project’s branding:Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 3.43.38 PMJust kidding. There’s nothing you can do about it other than accept and embrace.Screen Shot 2015-07-21 at 4.11.35 PM

But you can weigh in on whether the form and finish of the seven-story, 50 market-rate unit project live up to this: Continue reading

Capitol Hill food+drink | Portland’s Sizzle Pie bringing Burnside hip and pizza brunch to E Union

(Images: Sizzle Pie)

Straight outta Burnside, a Portland pizza bar known for late hours (including delivery until 3 AM — and 4 AM on the weekends), pizza brunch, and a wide selection including gluten free and vegan pies is coming to Capitol Hill.

Sizzle Pie Capitol Hill will open in the former home of the Auto Battery sports bar and Po Dog hot dogs after the duo shuttered last week.

Sizzle Pie is about to opens its fourth Portland-area location and also has a joint in Eugene. The company was said to be “scouting” Seattle.

Founded by Portland food and drink entrepreneurs Matt Jacobson and Mikey McKennedy, Sizzle Pie will look to bring its brand of Portland-style hip and “Voodoo pizza” to the backside of Pike/Pine in an area poised for a massive shift in a wave of major restaurant, bar, and brewery investments. Last week, CHS showed you inside one of the ambitious projects involved in Pike/Pine’s southern march as Chop Shop opened on 11th Ave. Continue reading

Only two of Seattle’s 85 pot tickets handed out in East Precinct

Seattle Police issued 85 tickets for public marijuana use in the second half of 2014 — but only two in the East Precinct including Capitol Hill and the Central District. Meanwhile, males and blacks were disproportionately cited for public pot violations.

The statistics were discussed in a Monday morning City Council briefing with Chief Kathleen O’Toole as the department continues to study the public safety impact from I-502’s legalization of retail marijuana. The trends match the first half of 2014 when it was revealed that one downtown bicycle officer had written nearly 80% of Seattle’s pot citations.

The numbers area also important for advocates seeking to create new venues for people to consume marijuana. CHS has reported on the renter’s paradox under I-502 in which apartment dwellers may have nowhere to go to smoke pot due to lease restrictions.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.52.10 AM

Of the 85 tickets issued from July through December 2014, only two were handed out in the East Precinct — 94% of Seattle’s citations were handed out downtown.

The citation totals do not, however, include SPD traffic stops and contacts for suspected marijuana use. An SPD dispatch dataset shows five different marijuana related incidents handled in the East Precinct in the past week, each of them in the Pike/Pine core or near Cal Anderson, three initiated by a “suspicious stop” by the officer. None of the five, by the way, resulted in a citation.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 11.10.31 AM


Here are the other breakdowns for the 2014 dataset including the racial component showing 27% of citations were issued to African Americans.

The dataset also reveals one additional aspect of enforcing public marijuana consumption laws — only 9.4% of the 2014 tickets have been paid.

Screen Shot 2015-07-20 at 10.52.04 AM