About Margo Vansynghel

Margo Vansynghel is a journalist and photographer based in Seattle. She covers news, human interest, business, art and lifestyle for newspapers and magazines and makes documentary photography series.

‘The Intimate Values of Inside Space’ — Of course an art show mixed with a townhome open house is happening on Capitol Hill

At first glance, “The Intimate Values of Inside Space” sounds like your quintessential Capitol Hill Art Walk Valentine’s Day show.

The one-night exhibition, opening this Thursday during the monthly art walk at the new construction at 1532 15th Ave E, checks many of the typical boxes. It is curated by two local artists, Gabriel Molinaro and Alexander Keyes. And it groups together a group of great local artists, such as Jennifer Zwick, Philippe Hyojung Kim, Natasha Marin and local bands like Cumulus and Mahal. It also name-checks a French philosopher (Gaston Bachelard) along with a fancy-sounding concept (topoanalysis, in this case).

The Intimate Values of Inside Space

What’s peculiar, however, is its setting: six new construction townhouses. Hosted by Keyes, artist-turned-real-estate-agent, and real estate developers and investor company Build with Style, ‘The Intimate Values of Inside Space’ is also a real estate open house. Continue reading

On the List | Valentine’s Capitol Hill Art Walk, Noir City, Capitol Hill Dandy Flea Market

Sure, we’ve seen the Snowpocalypse or Snowmageddon hashtags, but here at CHS, it is all about “Snowbruary.” Find stuff to do during the second week of this month of snow and ice on the CHS Calendar (but please check on social media or by phone about cancellations and closures), or find a list of things that will warm up your soul, and perhaps your Valentine, below.

THURSDAY, Feb. 14: Whether you’re looking to escape V-day or planning on taking date night to new, artsy levels, this month’s Capitol Hill Art Walk is the place to be with a slew of promising art openings. Over at Cupcake Royale, check out I Am Andy Warhol by Seattle artist Blake Blanco, who exhibits a series of portraits painted using Andy Warhols’ Polaroids. Find heartbreak, love, bananas, and ponies at The Factory and burgers plus a concert by Tarsier Eyes during Requiem for Burgerland over at the FoodArt Collection. Various locations Continue reading

On the List | Tamari Bar birthday, F*** Fest #3, Love City Love ‘Winter Warehouse Sale’

Happy birthday, Tamari Bar

It’s February, which apparently means snow on Capitol Hill, an uptick in seasonal depression, and corporations peddling pink-hued crap for Valentine’s day. Luckily, there’s all-day happy hour plus sushi and whiskey cocktails over at Tamari Bar, Aphrodisiac-tincture making at Ada’s on 15th and sunny indie-pop at Chop Suey to distract us all. Find this and much more here below or on the CHS Calendar. And if you need more to do, jump on the streetcar and celebrate the Lunar New Year at Hing Hay Park in the ID on Saturday.

THROUGH THURSDAY, Feb. 14: A year ago, the brand-new Tamari Bar arose between Summit Avenue and East Pine (or, as CHS put it then, “where World of Beers and the ghosts of old Pike/Pine once reigned”). The informal, new-style Izakaya has not lost any of its attraction, thanks to a steady stream of excellent cocktails (such as the Toki-tory Saburo highball), omakase, sushi, noodles and much more. Tamari Bar now wishes itself a Happy Birthday during a ten-day Happy Birthday Tamari Bar (1st Anniversary!) fest of all-day happy hour, special dishes and an Insta-contest to win gift certificates and T-shirts. In case you missed it: that’s happy hour. All day. For ten days. Kanpai! Tamari Bar Continue reading

This Capitol Hill entrepreneur could make human composting a reality

(Image: Katrina Spade)

“Magical” might not be the first word that comes to mind while enumerating the process of human decomposition. And yet, it is the exact word that Capitol Hill designer and entrepreneur Katrina Spade uses — twice — to describe the process of converting human bodies into soil.

“The fact that all we really need is nature is pretty magical to me,” Spade says, her soft timbre nearly drowned out by the clinking of coffee cups and cookie plates at Victrola.

With her company, Recompose, Spade hopes to make human composting in Seattle an alternative to burial and cremation, or at least a reality, by 2020. By then, she hopes to open a human-composting facility in the city. Spade dreams of a large, warehouse-like space where lush plants welcome grieving families. Hexagonal recomposition vessels are stacked high against the walls. Human bodies will recompose in the aerated, heated containers along with wood chips, alfalfa, and straw. Continue reading

On the List | Rage Becomes Her, Thriving While Trans, Zeeks Capitol Hill Super Bowl grand opening

Soraya Chemaly (Image: Karen Sayre)

February’s almost here, and it’s time to unleash some rage. If you’re a woman, that is. Writer Soraya Chemaly explains why she thinks women can use their anger as a generator for change on January 31st. Start February off right with a performance by Seattle “jafunkhop” band Cavalerie, exotic plants, and much more. You can also find more to do on the CHS Calendar.

THURSDAY, Jan. 31: Writer Soraya Chemaly thinks women should unleash their bottled-up rage and let it all out. It won’t be simple in a world that has punished women —specifically women of color— for being “angry” while rewarding female compliance, Chemaly argues in her book Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger. During a lecture and Q&A for Seattle Arts & Lectures, Chemaly will explain how she thinks women can use their anger as a dynamo for change. Benaroya Hall, 7.30 PM Continue reading

Capitol Hill Historical Society receives first-time funding — and has big plans for 2019

Are more Capitol Hill buildings headed towards landmark status in 2019? If you ask Capitol Hill Historical Society, the answer is a resounding yes.

Now, with new funding, that might just become a little easier for the local conservation non-profit. 4Culture, the cultural funding agency for King County, recently awarded CHHS two-year funding support of $2,000 total for its preservation advocacy and historic neighborhood education. Other groups receiving 2019-2020 Preservation Sustained Support funding include Historic Wallingford, Kent Downtown, the Alliance for Pioneer Square and the Seattle Chinatown-ID Preservation and Development Authority, among others.

It is the first time Capitol Hill Historical Society, since its early 2017 founding, received public funding. Until now, the nonprofit has relied on individual donations and goodwill from unpaid volunteer board members and other volunteers.

“It gives me the sense that things are moving forward and that we’re getting recognition. We must be doing something right,” said Tom Heuser, board president of the nonprofit and a CHS contributor on Capitol Hill history. Continue reading

Ready for big decisions on center’s future on Capitol Hill, Velocity Dance names new executive director

(Image: Ron Rogers/Velocity Dance Center)

Catherine Nueva España (Image: Timothy Mowrer)

Catherine Nueva España is the new executive director of Velocity Dance Center. Nueva España, a Seattle-based nonprofit consultant, dancer, and teacher, has been chosen to fill the shoes of Tonya Lockyer, who departed Velocity after 16 years with the organization.

Former associate producer Erin Johnson, who has taken on the role of interim artistic director in December, will oversee programming in 2019 as Velocity “explores different options for how to fill the role of artistic director in the future.”

Nueva España will start on February 19th. She comes to Velocity from local nonprofit 501 Commons, where she served as the program manager for arts and development and consulted with arts organizations and nonprofits to streamline and stabilize operations. Continue reading

Tired of baking French pastries on the Hill, Mariela Camacho brings pan dulce to the people

“It’s also about food justice,” Mariela Camacho says. “I want to give this to a community that doesn’t have a lot of food that is healthy and accessible to them.” (Image: Margo Vansynghel for CHS)

The sky is invariably dark, the atmosphere eerily quiet when Mariela Camacho gets to the commissary kitchen at 3 AM. No buzzing of mixers yet. No butter sizzling in pans, radio in the background, or cooks chopping onions, or bakers kneading dough. Usually, it’s just her and her diablitos (smoked paprika croissants), conchas (sweet bread rolls with crunchy toppings) and roles de canela (cinnamon rolls). One by one, Camacho loads them onto trays that go on top of the warm oven for proofing, the final rise before the final bake.

While the pastries rise, Camacho mixes the dough for sweet buns and bread, assembles pink cakes and alfajores, and chops up queso oaxaca for empanadas.

“And that’s just a regular day,” Camacho says. It’s 11 AM, and she’s worn out after a Sunday morning of baking. Her cheeks rosy from the work and oven heat, she’s loading up big boxes with bread, sweet buns and pastries to be whisked off to her wholesalers across the city: La Marzocco Cafe, Elm Coffee Roasters, Resistencia, Little Neon Taco, Addo, Bait Shop and Damn The Weather. Her wholesaler’s list has been growing quickly since she started her on-demand and pop-up bakery Comadre Panadería last spring.

Her pastry pop-ups, at Little Neon Taco, Dorothea Coffee or Broadcast Coffee, are increasingly popular as well. During her next pop-up, planned for Sunday, January 27th at Broadcast Coffee’s Jackson roasting house, Camacho will be selling cardamom orange conchas and a raspberry/beet niño envueltos.

Comadre Panaderia Pop-up

Continue reading

On the List | Children’s Film Festival opens with Muppet Movie Singalong, libraries rally, Lindsay Lohan’s Beach Club Viewing Party

January is almost over, and one thing is sure: the month’s last week will not be boring. From Puppet-making to supporting libraries, feminist bicycle education and Lindsay Lohan-fangirling, check out this week’s eclectic round-up of things to do below. Find more events on the CHS Calendar.

THURSDAY, Jan. 24: Good news: the opening night gala of this year’s Children’s Film Festival Seattle (Jan. 24 – Feb. 9) is not just for kids. Adults are invited to join Kermit, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and Gonzo the Great during a Muppet Movie Singalong at SIFF Egyptian. This year’s annual festival features 146 films from 39 countries, screening mostly at Northwest Film Forum.

Unfortunately, the Puppet Making Workshop hosted by local artist Clyde Petersen ahead of the Muppet Movie Singalong at 5PM is only for kids. Puppet-making (and free pizza-munching) students will be able to sit in special reserved puppet choir seating during The Muppet Movie. SIFF Egyptian Theatre, 7 PM Continue reading

2019 Womxn’s March Seattle, thousands strong, rallies on Capitol Hill

(Image: Alex Garland for CHS)

Thousands made their way from Cal Anderson Park to the Seattle Center Saturday in a third year of marching for women’s rights in Seattle and as part of the national Women’s March movement. There were fewer people compared to the two previous marches in the city with the 2017 inaugural march of around 120,000 people setting the record for largest demonstration in Seattle’s history and the largest event ever hosted in Cal Anderson. The 2019 march still brought out thousands to the streets of Capitol Hill.

Colleen Echohawk-Hayashi and Monserrat Padilla led the morning rally to start the day in Cal Anderson. “We have to be more than just marching today, we have to donate, volunteer, we have to lead,” said Echohawk-Hayashi, executive director of Chief Seattle Club.

“I’m undocumented and unafraid. Transgender and unashamed. A woman and unapologetic about it,” Padilla shouted into the mic. The crowd cheered. Padilla, coordinator with the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network, then asked the audience to call out after her, “Trans women are real women.” Continue reading