Pikes/Pines | A Capitol Hill Christmas tree story

I’m not going to pretend that every person who reads Pikes/Pines participates in the tradition of putting up a tree for the holidays. I generally see Christmas as wasteful, contributing to the consumer nightmare that is the contemporary United States. I’m also a solidly secular individual. However, it’s a time of year when I get to see distant friends and family, eat wonderful food, and I rather like getting thoughtful presents. The trees themselves are also a gift, of sorts, bringing a piece of forest life into Capitol Hill homes and neighborhood hangouts.

When I was in high school, I worked at a Christmas tree lot in Seattle. All our trees came from a family farm near Shelton, Washington and I got to know the different species intimately. We had Douglas fir, noble, and grand firs, the odd blue spruce, and a few pines.

According to a 2012 census by the USDA, Oregon and North Carolina produce 79% of the Christmas trees in the United States. Lewis and Mason Counties in Washington are our state’s largest producers, but are far behind counties like Ashe County, North Carolina and Clackamas County, Oregon. Only a small portion of real trees in the country are from u-cut operations, where you show up and cut your tree, or from non-agricultural sources, individually harvested on National Forest Service land. Most are grown as monocrops and shipped around the country. Fraser firs are the most-sold US tree, noble and Douglas firs second and third. Continue reading

Windy night snaps trees but not power on Capitol Hill

Neighbors along E Aloha woke to the sound of chainsaws and a wood chipper Saturday morning as a city crew worked to remove portions of a large tree that fell and blocked the street during Friday night’s windstorm.

While thousands across Seattle and more than 100,000 customers were left without power across western Washington, Capitol Hill and the Central District made it through the night’s storm mostly unscathed saved for a few reports of downed branches and cable TV wires. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Neighbours Alley Celebration — and CHS Pics Pledge Drive


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CHS PICS SUBSCRIPTION DRIVE: Speaking of the season of giving… regular CHS readers know well the work of Alex Garland and other talented Capitol Hill shutterbugs that we’ve worked to make a big part of CHS. You may have noticed fewer of these great pictures lately. Basically, it costs more to hire the great reporters and writers we feature at CHS. In the end, CHS is a business and we’ve had to adjust our photography budget accordingly. But you can help make sure CHS can continue sharing the sights and scenes from around Capitol Hill. We currently have around 700 monthly subscribers on CHS — about 14% of our daily visitors. Help us bump that to 18% 200 more subscribers per month will give CHS what we need to expand our budget to keep bringing you community news reporting and great photography from around the Hill. CHS is a pay what you can news site! Thanks and happy holidays!

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While lanterns filled Volunteer Park for its annual holiday celebration and shoppers and art lovers wandered the last Capitol Hill Art Walk of the year, the center of the neighborhood’s holiday spirit Thursday night just may have been found on a dumpster in the alley behind Neighbours running between Pike and Pine. Continue reading

Blotter | Thousands of dollars in power tools reported stolen from Capitol Hill Station mixed-use work site

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

  • Overnight robberies: In a busy overnight for East Precinct cops, SPD investigated two armed street robberies early Friday morning. The first reported hold-up went down around 1:45 AM when a man said he was robbed at gunpoint near the 100 block of 21st Ave E. A second street hold-up was reported about 15 minutes later when a group of five said they were robbed at gunpoint near Union and Boylston. The group said they were held up by a group of three with one person armed with a handgun, according to East Precinct radio dispatches. In the first robbery, the victim told police there were two assailants including an armed suspect described only as a black male in his 20s with a stocky build and wearing a white sweatshirt. Police searches for the suspects were not successful. There were no reported injuries. Continue reading

With sammies and fries, Sunset Fried Chicken makes ‘good partnership’ in Queer/Bar’s kitchen

(Image: Sunset Fried Chicken)

In the beginning, there were no chicken sandwiches on Capitol Hill.

Then there was Ma’ono at the Rhino Room. But that didn’t last long. Then Sunset Fried Chicken sandwiches rose at 12th Ave’s Rachel Ginger Beer. But Ma’ono came back to the Hill and took over that gig. Now, Sunset is back and Queer/Bar is the happy landing spot.

The spicy chicken sliders from Capitol Hill-centered master of the small space Monica Dimas are now taking over the kitchen at Queer/Bar, the 11th Ave gay bar and — now — fried chicken sammie purveyor. Continue reading

After Capitol Hill Block Party 2019, city to ‘assess the viability of this event in this neighborhood’

(Image: Capitol Hill Block Party)

Seattle City Hall is asking the Capitol Hill Block Party to clean up its act on its edges and will be conducting its own round of outreach to neighboring businesses and Pike/Pine residents “in order to better gather feedback on benefits and impacts” from the annual summer music festival “and other major Capitol Hill events,” city officials tell CHS.

Don’t expect there to be any financial mitigation. And there is zero chance the city will cancel permits for the 2019 event. But 2020 — and beyond — is another question.

“It is clear the Capitol Hill Block Party is economically beneficial to some Capitol Hill businesses, and culturally beneficial to the Capitol Hill neighborhood and Seattle,” Chris Swenson, who leads the city’s Special Events planning process, said in a statement sent to CHS. “It is also clear through feedback from Capitol Hill businesses and residents that the Capitol Hill Block Party is negatively economically impactful to other businesses and residents, and presents significant access and operations impacts to neighborhood businesses and residents.”

“The City and Committee take these impacts very seriously,” Swenson added.

For the 2019 Block Party, the city is requiring Block Party producers to make “several physical immediate improvements” including “streamlining access for employees and residents in and around the event perimeter” and “adjusting placement of portapotties and other operational elements to be less impactful to businesses and residents.” It will also require security staffing to be trained “to better support business and residential access.”

But in a message to neighborhood stakeholders sent Thursday, the city says for 2020 and beyond, it plans to consider larger changes to the festival including an effort to “assess the viability of this event in this neighborhood.” Continue reading

With I Love Wasabi roots, Migoto Sushi now open on 12th Ave

(Image: Migoto)

A restaurateur familiar with Capitol Hill’s appetite for sushi has opened a new spot across from Seattle University.

Migoto opened earlier this month with a deep menu of rolls, donburi, noodle soups, and grill specialties. It replaces longtimer Lemongrass, the mid-2000s born Vietnamese joint that managed to hang on even as more modern competition from Ba Bar moved in next door.

The space underwent a modest overhaul and now features a sushi bar setup and cleaned-up exterior. Continue reading

Gay City has expanded E Pike library and resource center — and Three Dollar Bill Cinema as a new roommate

Time to hit the books (Image: Gay City)

Capitol Hill’s Gay City has opened its new library and resource center on E Pike. It also has a new partner in the expanded space.

Gay City, which promotes wellness in Seattle’s LGBTQ community by providing health services, connecting people to needed resources, allowing for artistic expression, and building community, has maintained a growing library for years. The Michael C. Weidemann LGBT Library, at Gay City first opened in 2009, when the nonprofit inherited the LGBT Lending Library from the closing Seattle LGBT Community Center, and now houses more than 8,000 books..

“It’s really about making our existing resources more accessible,” Gay City executive director Fred Swanson said of the opening of the new, larger facility. “More space means more room for people to access services, and more opportunity for programing through the library.” Continue reading

Developers of planned seven-story Belmont Ave E condo project hold community meeting

The city’s new effort to give neighbors an earlier say in shaping neighborhood development is playing out with plans for a seven-story, 34-unit condominium project on Belmont Ave E.

Developer Real Wave Capital and architect Workshop AD have been collecting feedback and will hold a community meeting Thursday night at the Capitol Hill library starting at 4 PM.

“We want to hear from the community about what you want to see at this property,” the developers for the Belmont Z condos write. Continue reading