New Stockbox market will freshen up First Hill, could help change groceries in Seattle

Stockbox South Park, version 1.0 -- things will be a little more brick and mortar on First Hill (Image: Stockbox)

Stockbox South Park, version 1.0 — things will be a little more brick and mortar on First Hill (Image: Stockbox)

CEO Carrie Ferrence with COO Jacqueline Gjurgevich (Courtesy Stockbox Grocers)

CEO Carrie Ferrence with COO Jacqueline Gjurgevich (Courtesy Stockbox Grocers)

First Hill is not an easy place to get groceries.

“When word got out we were looking at the neighborhood as a possible location for a new Stockbox, we were pretty immediately swarmed with community support from people on First Hill,” said Carrie Ferrence, CEO of Stockbox Neighborhood Grocery.

A grocer with a mission, Stockbox started out as a culminating project on sustainable economy between students at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute. The idea was to bring fresh produce to areas of the city suffering from “food deserts,” or a measurable dearth of nutritious food providers.

The project manifested initially as a produce truck in Delridge and, for a time, in a transformed shipping container.

“Our team was adamant about testing this model in the real world—creating small format grocers with fresh produce so every community has access to good food,” Ferrence said. Continue reading

12th Ave still hopping despite end of street festival


Views of 12th Ave Fests past (Images: CHS)

It’s official—after three years of street-based revelry, the 12th Ave Festival will not be returning this year. Originally created as a way to brand and market the emerging 12th Ave business district, the festival brought together nascent upstarts in the area to celebrate the forming community.

Three years later, that goal has been accomplished.

8443559457_fb9ce74a3e_b“In meetings with the businesses after last year’s festival, people said they really liked it,” said Alex Brennan at Capitol Hill Housing, who helped organize the annual event. “But we all agreed it felt like we achieved our goals that we set out in the beginning—great relationships between businesses had been formed, and a strong 12th Avenue identity had emerged.”

While the festival won’t be returning, Brennan says there are many more exciting 12th Ave happenings in store.

On June 11th, Capitol Hill Housing will be holding its annual Community Forum to discuss “neighborhood change, affordability, and the neighborhood character,” according to Brennan. “That’s the things that’s exciting about these new relationships on 12th—these new small business communities have informed much of that character we will be discussing at the forum, which is something we want to preserve as we continue to develop.”

On July 27-28, 206 Zulu will be hosting “Boogie Up the Block” on 14th Ave between Spruce Street and E Yesler Way, and E Fir Street between 12th and 15th Ave. The urban arts festival will include soul, funk, hip hop and reggae music stretching across three stages, as well as a variety of food vendors and arts and crafts activities.

Also in the works for the fall is the grand opening celebration for the 12th Ave Square Park. The park, slated to open up next to Cherry Street Coffee and Ba Bar on E James Court, was funded by a Seattle Parks Levy. The intention is to turn James Ct. into a “woonerf” defined by the Parks Department as “a street where pedestrians and cyclists have legal priority over motorists.”Screen shot 2013-05-19 at 7.14.55 AM

Community Council arts forum calls for a Capitol Hill ‘arts ecology’

Jeffrey Cook frantically adding to the giant list of Cap Hill Arts Organizations

Jeffrey Cook frantically adds names to the giant list of Capitol Hill arts organizations

“The culture and the arts are really core to the identity of this neighborhood—there needs to be policy that will allow for its preservation, so that there can be an arts ecology here,” said Randy Engstrom, recently appointed director of the Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.

And boy, is Capitol Hill’s arts ecology dense.

Discussion leader Jeffrey Cook struggled to keep up as the makeshift think tank that formed at Thursday’s Capitol Hill Community Council-hosted arts forum shouted out a litany arts organizations to add to the an arts mailing list, which quadrupled in the span of five minutes.

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Pride on Hill expands to celebrate LGBTQ milestones with Family Day in Cal Anderson

Not one but two family events on Capitol Hill for Pride 2013 (Image: CHS)

Not one but two family events on Capitol Hill for Pride 2013 (Image: CHS)

As the causes and the community around being LGBTQ in Seattle continue to change, grow and expand, the 7th annual Seattle PrideFest is prepping for its biggest year yet — including even more fun and celebration on Capitol Hill.

“Everything this year we’re trying to do bigger and better since we have *a lot* to celebrate,” said festival director Egan Orion. “We want the community to get amped up since we passed such a huge milestone last year.”

To capitalize on R-74’s big approval last year, PrideFest is playing of a same-sex marriage theme for its Gay Day of Service, with the appropriate official tagline “We Do.” On June 1st, PrideFest is teaming up with Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce to host a street cleaning community service project.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill’s Kimchi Bistro *not* closing down

Kimchi Bistro is safe and sound

Kimchi Bistro is projected to open its doors in a week.

To those who worried Broadway Alley’s Kimchi Bistro was closing its doors forever, fear not—the bistro isn’t going away.

Due to a hardship in the family, the owners of the hole-in-the-wall restaurant have been home in Korea the last few weeks, putting the tiny eatery on temporary shutdown until their return. According to surrounding storeowners, Bonsuk Park and family intended to return sooner, but decided to extend their stay.

The restaurant should re-open next week when the family returns home, according to the bistro’s neighbors. If you’ve never stopped in to give it a try — and try some kimchi — this seems like a good time to try something new and celebrate a non-closure of a neighborhood favorite.

Kimchi Bistro is located at 219 Broadway E.

Summer will see Capitol Hill Salvation Army overhaul on Pike

Surprise -- not a seven-story apartment building (Image: CHS)

Surprise — not a seven-story apartment building (Image: CHS)

Salvation Army Social Services tells CHS it is expanding its facility on 1101 Pike.

“We’re working through the plans to add an additional 14 beds so we can help more people off the street,” said Capt. Dana Libby, the director of the Capitol Hill branch. “The idea is let’s get more people in here, and let’s get them a better environment and better access.”

Capt. Libby and food bank coordinator Rebecca Phillips

Capt. Libby and food bank coordinator Rebecca Phillips

The Salvation Army, with its military-like structure and official status as a religious organization has taken increasing heat over tolerance issues and criticism from some corners on the Salvation Army’s stance on gay rights. Libby says at the Capitol Hill Salvation Army, the goal is to give everybody a place to gather. “The goal is for it to become a town square kind of space,” he said. Continue reading

Retail Therapy marks a decade in retail (and feisty window displays) on Capitol Hill

(Image: Maggie Soladay for Retail Therapy)

(Image: Maggie Soladay for Retail Therapy)

Retail Therapy is celebrating a decade of displaying feisty underwear in its Pike Street storefront. The boutique will be celebrating “10 years of madness, love and joy” on May 1st with a big bash featuring DJ Riz Rollins, local designers featuring their work and in-store surprises.

“I’m feeling pretty fortunate that we’ve made it this far,” said owner Wazhma Samizay, whose 10 year streak on Capitol Hill stands out from the slew of retailers who seem to come and go each week. Her secret to success?

“I think the biggest thing for us is that we’ve always made sure to engage with the community and be a part of the community, so we’re grateful for all the local support that we constantly get.” Samizay estimates Retail Therapy has done about 70 art shows, 40 fashion shows, and countless fundraisers for local non-profits in between. Continue reading

Miller Community Center opens its Little Free Library on World Book Night

Miller storyIf you’ve got some dusty old books laying around the house, tomorrow is your chance to help them find a new life. Miller Community Center will be hosting a World Book Night Celebration, simultaneously launching their new Little Free Library.

“It’s a nice way to reuse and recycle your books rather than just getting rid of them some other way,” said community center coordinator Sophia Sasaki.

The April 23rd event will run from 6-8 pm, and will also feature bookbinding activities, and a keynote speech from Philip Lee of Readers to Eaters, a group that promotes healthy eating habits through literacy. Food literacy is something of an emphasis at Miller Community Center, which features its own urban community garden. The center works with Seattle World School students to teach harvest techniques and culinary skills.

For more information, visit the event page here.

For those who haven’t done their reading, World Book Night is an annual worldwide event in which 30 books handpicked by a panel of librarians are given away for free by volunteers to light and non-readers. Miller Community Center has chosen the night to launch its own Little Free Library. Community members can come and donate their used books to be placed in the free library, which looks like a “big birdhouse” according to Sasaki. Those who find books that tickle their fancy are free to take them from the library without charge.

“We’re very excited about the launch,” Sasaki said. “I think it’s a great way to connect the community and promote literacy and a love of reading.” The community center decided to try out their own Little Free Library after hearing about the project’s success in Wisconsin, where the idea originated.

Those who don’t have books to give can still donate by participating in the MCC Supply Drive, which is seeking “shelf-stable foods (especially those high in protein, such as peanut butter and canned tuna), bus tickets, feminine hygiene products, sample-sized toiletries, and diapers.”

Do Earth Day right — Climb a giant Volunteer Park tree

Above the world thanks to Her Majesty (Image: Canopy Climbers)

Above the world thanks to Her Majesty (Image: Canopy Climbers)

Nothing says Earth Day like scaling a 110-foot tall tree to commune with nature. This Sunday, April 21st, Canopy Climbers will be strapping willing eco-adventurers into harnesses and sending them on the slow ascent up a massive red oak in Volunteer Park.

“It’s a very quiet, very peaceful place to be,” said Dave Bayard, founder of Canopy Climbers. “Once you get up there, you’re pretty much in your own little realm. Nobody ever looks up, so if you pull your dangling rope up when you’re in the tree, nobody will ever even see you.” Continue reading

East Precinct cops talk club violence, panhandling at council meeting — CHS asks about Cal Anderson

Sgt. Casey Sundin, Cpt. Ron Wilson and Lt. Matt Allen (Image: Courtesy East District Council)

Sgt. Casey Sundin, Cpt. Ron Wilson and Lt. Matt Allen (Image: Courtesy East District Council)

Officials from the Seattle Police Department made an appearance at the East District Council Monday night as a first step towards insuring that “citizens have a voice through the police department.” East Precinct commander Cpt. Ron Wilson, Lt. Matt Allen and Sgt. Casey Sundin met with the council on Monday to answer questions and address community concerns on everything from panhandling to recent club violence.

Earlier in the day, SPD Chief John Diaz announced he was stepping down from his post to retire from the force.

“It’s my hope to continue to reach out and hold meetings where we can discuss issues that are of a concern to everyone,” Wilson said.

Club violence was a hot topic at the meeting, citing recent episodes at The Social and what speakers said was continued trouble at clubs along Pike and Pine as a top community priority. Community members were especially concerned about the frequency of brawls outside of The Woods and Grim’s on 11th Ave.

“It’s a complex issue,” Allen said, referencing the liquor licenses, noise ordinances and various other factors involved in dealing with clubs. “My advice is to continue to call 911.” Continue reading