Not everyone who traveled to Capitol Hill this weekend came for Block Party. Some came to get their sport on. CHS Crow stopped by Cal Anderson Park and a met skateboarder, a bocce ball champ, and a hooper all out doing their thing within earshot of the music festival, and learned a bit about their respective scenes and routines in the process.
What brought you out tonight? I was going to go to Block Party, but then, I brought my skateboard and I figured it probably wouldn’t be too cool to be bashing my way through the crowds with a board so I just came out here to skate at Cal Anderson.
… did you see anybody play today? No, I’m terrible. I didn’t even look at the lineup. I saw a couple of DJ’s playing on the stage, I wasn’t even sure who they were.
What kind of work do you do?
I deliver pizzas for Pagliacci Pizza.
Do you skate a lot around the Hill? All the time, yeah. The other day we over at Jefferson Park, because there was a Fallen footwear demo, with Jamie Thomas. He’s an old skater, 40 years old, still shredding. So yeah we’re always out here on the Hill. Continue reading →
By Jacob Olson and Tim Durkan/Images by Tim Durkan
We’re told there might be time for one last party: if supplies last, Charlie’s will host a blowout this coming Sunday of Pride weekend, the 28th, and you can expect to see a lot of faces from the recent and more distant past there if it happens. In the meantime, many have already been making the rounds at Charlie’s to say their goodbyes, keeping things quite a bit busier than usual, staff tell us. And regulars have been sitting in familiar booths and on well-worn stools, waiting for the swift changes afoot with some sense of uncertainty about the future.
This weekend, after 39 years on Capitol Hill, owner Ken Bauerwill close Charlie’s. “The time had come,” Bauer told CHS earlier this month. “I think my business partner is looking down and saying ‘Hey, it was a good run.’”
Last Thursday night, the CHS Crow stopped by the old Capitol Hill hangout to talk with some regulars and long-time staff members. Memories flowed, names etched in to the annals of Charlie’s history were checked and the word “family” was heard more than once. And while no tears were shed during the interviews, some promised they would be coming. Change and loss is certainly never easy.
Hal and Dr. Brenner
What does this place Charlie’s mean to you? Dr. Brenner: Well, when we moved up here to take over the management of the Sylvan Apartments in 1991, we walked up and down the street a lot and dropped in and we liked it. … And when we got transferred to different parts of town we always kept coming back. We like the atmosphere. And the prices are fair. Continue reading →
Perhaps the most telltale sign that it’s once again SIFF season on Capitol Hill are the lines of filmgoers. It has become a symbol of the annual festival to see the crowd winding down Pine and up Harvard. Meanwhile, 2015 will bring the last SIFF lines — sigh — to E Roy for the Harvard Exit’s swan song before redevelopment. Here are a few of the people we found in line this weekend. CHS roster of SIFF 2015 Capitol Hill highlights is here.
Coming out of Love & Devotion at The Egyptian Friday night
Ralph and Dan
What brought you guys out to the festival tonight?
Ralph: You know just a wild hair for tonight. Because it was beautiful out. I kind of forgot about the festival because I’d been traveling. But, now, luckily I caught it on the first night. I’m gonna see a lot more.
Dan: He sent me an email with three different movies to choose from and, I don’t know, that got us to here. I’m glad though, it was an excellent movie. Continue reading →
It’s hard to say what Kurt Cobain might have thought of it all. Maybe he would have smirked in bemusement at some point, at least. The Egyptian was sold out in advance Thursday evening for an exclusive screening of Montage of Heck, a documentary about the oft-idolized Nirvana front man Cobain,with director Brett Morgen in attendance and addressing the audience before the film. The CHS Crow stopped by and chatted with some fans of Nirvana and of what has been labeled “grunge rock” who came out to see Morgen’s patchwork portrait depicting a sensitive and troubled, driven and often vexed, artistic genius from Aberdeen, Washington.
What did you think about the film?
I thought it was pretty enlightening, man. A lot of stuff I’ve always wondered about. Really nice.
So you grew up a Nirvana fan?
I became a Nirvana fan probably like early in high school, maybe like ’89. That’s about when I realized I loved that Kurt Cobain.
What in the film stuck out for you as being enlightening, or as giving you new insight?
His family life. I think that was the most enlightening thing. Because everything else you’ve heard before. But the fact that you got to see all that stuff behind the scenes on the family life, I think that was new. Continue reading →
Wednesday, APRIL did its best to summon the spirit of Alice B. Toklas from the walls of the Sorrento along with Rebecca Brown, Joshua Beckman, Jan Wallace and “musical accompaniment.” (Images: Alex Garland)
Sunday, March 29 APRIL BOOK EXPO
Hugo House, 11 am – 5 pm
Our annual book fair, featuring more than 40 small presses from around the country.
Thursday night, the CHS Crow stopped by the independent literature festival’s annual collaboration with art gallery Vignettes — hosted at an offsite location this year — and chatted with poet Wendy Xu and artist Søren Nilsson. What read as a playfully deconstructive video by Nilsson was one of the eight works responding to Xu’s book You Are Not Dead that made up the exhibition. Works by Ripple Fang, Susanna Bluhm, Max Cleary, Francesca Lohmann, Klara Glosova, Aidan Fitzgerald and Paul Komada were also featured. Check it out. Continue reading →
“A Damn Fine Reading! And Hot!” with Matthew Simmons, Mary Miller and Shya Scanlon 3/28 at Hugo House
The cozy, home-like environmentof Richard Hugo House’s original and current space makes it a pretty fitting last stop for APRIL Festival’s annual grassroots romp around Capitol Hill and First Hill. Add the sorta-twisted fact that the 1904 building that houses the internationally acclaimed center for writers was once a mortuary and the space might seem an even more ideal fit as a venue for the week-long literature festival known for its freewheeling spirit and often unorthodox approaches to presenting works.
However, next year APRIL will have to find another site for its capstone small press Book Expo, and other events it has traditionally held at Hugo House. The writing center’s current building will be torn down in 2016 to make way for the construction of a six-story mixed-use structure. Thankfully, the new building does promise to provide a continued home for Hugo House on the east side of Cal Anderson Park, but it will of course take some time to build. And the new space will of course be a change; a welcome change in many respects, Hugo House’s executive director Tree Swenson says, but aspects of the ambiance will certainly shift.
It remains to be seen how APRIL will adapt in 2016 and if it will return to Hugo House once the new incarnation is completed. And while thanks to generous support Capitol Hill gets to hold on to Hugo House, some fear that trends the Hugo House property revamp reflects — including the continuously rising property values and rents helping spur the rolling redevelopment of the neighborhood — may threaten to push most less-commercial artists and arts out of the neighborhood once and for all. Meanwhile, the city’s designation of Capitol Hill as Seattle’s first official Arts District represents one effort meant to help prevent that from happening.
All that said, though at its inception four years ago it may have entered a Capitol Hill already past its prime as a readily accessible place for the arts to thrive without intervention or initiatives, APRIL has nonetheless seen impressive growth since its humble beginnings. Whats more, APRIL continues to find some ways to grow in 2015, as it now looks to adapt to new challenges in the near future.
“It’s definitely getting bigger and bigger than we ever could have imagined when we started it,” said Tara Atkinson, who founded APRIL along with Willie Fitzgerald back in 2012, when the two found themselves unemployed roommates in a Capitol Hill apartment that also served as APRIL’s headquarters. The acronym they chose as the name for the festival that comes every March, and which has morphed in to an organization that also offers some smaller literary events throughout the year, is descriptive — ‘Authors, Publishers and Readers of Independent Literature.’
This year’s festival runs one day shorter than 2014’s, kicking off Tuesday, March 24, with a party at Barboza, and wrapping up Sunday, March 29, with the Book Expo at Hugo House. However, while the number of days and events is indeed slightly lower, some other numbers are up. Continue reading →
After four years of serving up warm meals in a supportive social environment on Thursday nights, last month Community Supper added a weekly Wednesday night dinner to its offerings at All Pilgrims — the church that makes for a quintessential north Broadway landmark with its circa-1900 brick edifice bedecked with a giant “You Are Welcome Here” sign, and that plays many community-centered roles in Capitol Hill. The second night of supper seems to be gaining traction as word spreads, with about 80 meals being served this last Wednesday night to guests and volunteers, in addition to the average of about 140 meals that are served on Thursday nights, Don Jensen, director of Community Lunch on Capitol Hill, said. The Supper is an extension of Community Lunch’s long-running offerings at Central Lutheran on Cal Anderson Park.
Wanting to give space for the stories and perspectives of a few guests and regulars, which might in turn help tell the story of Community Supper in this moment of the program’s expansion, the CHS Crow dropped by and met with an aspiring support specialist with lots of love for the Hill, a Seattle-born soprano who’s created community through the meals and a father and grandfather, elder andpastor,who’s not done with his work yet.
Who are you? I’m in recovery, I’m 49 years old. I’m getting ready to try and endeavor in being a peer support specialist, because I’d like to work with homeless people and stuff. Because I’ve been homeless for about a year-and-a-half.
At first I was really taken aback by the community, and thinking I would never want to have [anything to do with it]. And then once you start to really know people in the homeless community, and you get their trust, they’re wonderful people. And they’re people from all walks of life. Continue reading →
There was a whole lot of whimsical swaying going on — and a bit of wild gesticulating — when the CHS Crow stopped by Capitol Hill art gallery and bar Vermillion for Seattle’s very own Belle and Sebastian Dance Party. Say hey to a transplanted Northern California radio DJ, a host who says he’d do it all over again and a music teacher and real-life indie rocker who were all there helping celebrate the lyrical Scottish melody makers’ particularly danceable new release.
Who are you? I was a DJ character. … I’m trying to figure out who I am in Seattle.
… where were you a DJ? In Davis, California. I had a radio show for four years there. KVDS. And that’s how [Carly — below — and I] met. Her band played on my radio show. And I ended up moving up here. And we actually live 10 minutes away from each other in the CD. So we know each other.
Are you still working in radio?
Unfortunately not. I’m hoping to get involved somehow up here.
Live on Capitol Hill?
I actually just moved to Central District today. I just moved from Wallingford.
… what drew you to the area?
I’m working out in Issaquah, so it shortened my commute, and I have more friends who live in the Central District and it just made more sense to be closer to Capitol Hill. Continue reading →
It might sound like fun to see a truly Capitol Hill movie but My Last Year with the Nuns is not a pleasant film. Yes, Matt Smith‘s acting is compelling and at turns dazzling as he deadpans his way through a script that’s been honed for nearly two decades, telling the story of a “white, 13-year old boy” living in Capitol Hill circa 1966, during the protagonist’s eighth grade year at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. And yes, in his directorial film debut, Capitol Hill theater veteran Bret Fetzer pulls on decades of experience of doing a lot with relatively little and helps turn a one man stage play, and a $50,000 or so budget, into a smartly-composed and imaginative feature-length monologue film that was a hit at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2014.
But the film does not flinch as it depicts the the racism, sexism and homophobia that informed and constructed the young protagonist’s reality and helped define his identity, and that still resonates in the reality and identity of his older, somewhat more reflective self, who plays the narrator.
“When I put this together, I wanted to convey the truthful essence of my experience from the point of view of a 13-year-old boy,” Smith told CHS, “And I tried to tell it from the stream-of-consciousness of this 13-year-old boy in such a way that it didn’t take me off the hook.”
After its packed shows at The Egyptian during SIFF last year, My Last Year with the Nuns is returning to Capitol Hill for a week’s run at Northwest Film Forum, where it will be taking over both screensstarting Friday. The film will show at 7 PM and 9 PM daily through Thursday, January 19. Members of the film’s crew are promised to be present at all screenings. Tickets are available here. Continue reading →
A new Seattle magazine founded on feminist principles and created by women at most every step arrived on the scene the first full week of 2015.
With some familiar northwest voices and some newcomers on the roster, STACKEDD Magazine’s site quietly went live late Sunday night. The volume will turn up this Saturday, however, as Neumos opens its doors for a rock-fueled celebration of an occasion years in the making.
A box of “name brand” tampons or pads — or $10 — gets you into STACKEDD’s launch party, “A Bloody Good Time,” with doors opening at 9 PM Saturday. All proceeds will benefit Mary’s Place, a Seattle non-profit “empowering homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives.” Ramonescovers, Aerosmithcovers, DJ’s and “surprise guests” are on the bill. Continue reading →