About Sumedha Majumdar

I am an aspiring journalist. I am currently a Journalism major attending school in Seattle University. I am graduating in the Spring. Writing and photography is a hobby and I want to turn them into a lifestyle. I am originally from India and I moved to Seattle back in 2004. My full-time job is in Safeway and I have been there for over ten years. I have always wanted to go into Journalism and have worked in a couple of school newspapers in the past. I have always wanted to cover serious issues and arts and entertainment. I am so looking forward to my internship in CHS and I know that I will be able to learn a lot.

Capitol Hill’s World of Beers now chain-free 500 East

The signs are coming down at World of Beers. But the exit of the national beer chain won’t mean the end of the party for the E Pine venue with 50 rotating drafts, 8 display coolers for more than 500 bottles, “tavern fare,” and a “full spirits program created by Outback Steakhouse spawn.

Employees at the location tell CHS the World of Beer Capitol Hill general manager Jamie Goldstein has been working on a plan to take the 2,600 square-foot beer bar legit and shuffle off its chain coil that tied the business to the 45-location, 14-state company. The new venture will be locally owned and will reportedly have no connection to World of Beer which continues to operate its Renton location. One employee reached by phone Friday said to expect an improved focus on local beers, a new food menu, and a new name.

Welcome, 500 East.

World of Beers opened on Capitol Hill just a little more than year ago in E Pine’s Terravita building, the long-delayed Murray Franklyn development that replaced a now legendary strip of old Pike/Pine nightlife, funk and culture. It joins a long, proud roster of national and global chains that have made abrupt exits after trying to make a go of it on Capitol Hill.

You can learn more at 500eastsocialhouse.com.

Meanwhile, another chain shuffle is going on up on Broadway where Capitol Hill’s Yogurtland has served up its last sticky sweet soft-serve after opening in spring 2011. Like the World of Beers situation, the business is transitioning to a local owner, CHS is told by the building’s landlord. But in the froyo case, the owner will be working with a Texas-based franchise to transition Broadway’s Yogurtland into Spoon It! Froyo & More. The new business will switch up the offerings and add items like bubble tea. As for froyo downtime, you shouldn’t suffer much. The transition will be “seamless,” CHS is told.

Capitol Hill Community Council looks ahead to 2015 with winter party

The Council also plans to unveil a new logo at Thursday's party (Image: CHCC)

The Council also plans to unveil a new logo at Thursday’s party (Image: CHCC)

If somebody gave you $1,000 to throw a party, what would you do with it? The civic-minded people of the Capitol Hill Community Council put theirs to work putting together a Winter Open House at the Cal Anderson Park Shelter this Thursday, December 18th at 6:30 PM. The event will provide an opportunity to meet community members and identify concerns and problems in order to build a stronger neighborhood.

“I believe that an engaged community is a first step in creating shared community,” Zachary Pullin, vice president of the Capitol Hill Community Council, tells CHS. Continue reading

Fourth annual Stand Down returns to Seattle Central to offer more help to more homeless veterans

Scenes from last year’s Stand Down (Images: CHS)

In 2013, The Seattle Stand Down provided services to nearly 350 veterans in a day of volunteering and outreach at Seattle Central. This year, organizers have expanded the Stand Down to two day event to reach out to even more homeless veterans. The fourth annual Seattle Stand Down takes place on Thursday December 11th and Friday December 12th.

“We are actually growing even more,” said Matthew Perry, one of the organizers of the event.

The annual event now provides services like dental exams, eye exams, medical screenings. There will also be a job fair counseling will be provided on various issues like legal affairs, housing, employment opportunities.

On the first day of the event, veterans will be provided interviewing clothing, help with writing resumes. The second day they will be provided with the opportunity to meet with employers looking to hire. Special attention will also be given to women veterans who organizers say often don’t get fair representation in the homeless counts and face additional problems when trying to access opportunities for housing.

Organizations like the Seattle University Veterans Committee, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars have joined to make this year’s event possible. The event is also funded by a Veterans Employment and Training Service grant from the U.S. Department of Labor and also by One Mountain Less, a nonprofit organization helping veterans.

“They get the chance to take care of whatever they need that day so it’s been very neat because most of the volunteers are veterans themselves or are connected to a veteran,” Perry said. “The veterans that are coming in from the street, homeless and here are other veterans ready to help them, shake hands and give a hug and help them through the whole thing.

Perry urges CHS readers to consider volunteering to help on the day of the event or getting more information to get involved in 2015. You can learn more at theseattlestanddown.org.

For more ways to give, check out the Capitol Hill food/coat/games/etc. giving drives 2014 page.


Central District’s farmers and boxers roll with the punches of more 23rd/Union development

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

Last week, CHS told you about how the Central District farmers of Alleycat Acres are ready to roll with the tide of development reshaping parts of their home turf by finding new neighborhood land to tend — including new pocket farms scattered throughout the area. A plan for another Lake Union Partners mixed-use development at 23rd and Union is in the works. It will eventually claim the land home to one of the community farms, a gas station, and Cappy’s Boxing Gym.

“I feel really confident that we are in good shape to make this move,” owner Cap Kotz tells CHS.

This summer, CHS reported on a fundraising effort mounted to raise $15,000 to help the 15-year-old gym prepare for the transition. “We kind of knew something special was happening,” coach Anne Bailey said about the drive. “We were really moved by what people had to say about our gym.”

Kotz said he is on the hunt for a new home for Cappy’s and zeroing in on a location near S Jackson. The new space will be larger and Kotz plans to ink a longer, 10-year lease to help give his business stability.

Cappy’s first opened its doors in October, 1999. Kotz said that he used to teach boxing fitness to people around Seattle and it seemed like a good time for him to open up a gym. “I lived in Central District. I have lived here for 35 years. We first actually opened up on East Union Street, just two blocks up and we were there for a year and half and then we moved here because of bigger space and higher ceilings,” Kotz said.

The longtime home is nearing its eight count. The lease for the building expires in August, 2015. By then, Kotz is confident Cappy’s will still be fighting.

As far as development goes, the displacement on the northwest corner of 23rd and Union seems about as positive as possible for farmers and boxers. Drivers who need to fuel up? We’re betting you won’t see a new gas station in the area anytime soon.

You can learn more at cappysgym.com.

The Central District harvesters of Alleycat Acres plant seed of idea for neighborhood pocket farms

IMG_4078IMG_4092The plan for developers Lake Union Partners to build a second mixed-use apartment project at 23rd and Union means change and some amount of displacement. But the farmers of the Alleycat Acres land at 22nd and Union, a patch of neighborhood farmland maintained by community members, seem ready for change.

“Our understanding and agreement with the developer is that they want us to stay there till the last responsible moment,” said Fisher Qua, farm coordinator of the space at 22nd and Union, told CHS. “They want the site to be active till they bring the bulldozer.”

The farm at 22nd and Union has been in existence since 2010 and has helped the community come together to produce and build relationships as well as fresh produce. The farm has yielded a variety of crops like potatoes, beans, garlic, flowers and northwest plants. Whatever is harvested is shared amongst the community members and then whatever is left is then donated to the community partners. Leftovers are often shared with various food banks and preschools and the farm in the past has even partnered up with the YWCA. Continue reading

On the List | 12th Ave Arts, Donum sale at The Project Room, comics at the library, BAIT Seattle opening, Lobby’s last night

Capitol Hill’s big upcoming event is Thursday afternoon as the theater-powered mixed-use development 12th Ave Arts celebrates its grand opening.

Also this weekend, six local artists will come together in support of Capitol Hill’s The Project Room to host a two day sale event. Donum: a Sale of Contemporary Art and Fashion will take place on November 21 and 22nd from 1 to 7 PM. The artists will display and sell their works — 25% of their proceeds will in fact go to support The Project Room.

Born three years ago, E Pine’s The Project Room provides grant and giving-powered art programs to the public in an effort to maintain a free flow of art and creativity in the city. The organization has been holding workshops and various art events and presentations since its opening. “We are trying to raise money for The Project Room, support these artists and connect to new audiences,” Britt Rynearson, planner for the show and a Project Room board member, told CHS. Continue reading

Manao Thai Street Eats: Lots of experience, lots of spices at 13th and Pine — UPDATE: Thudsuan Kitchen & Bar now open

(Image: Manao)

(Image: Manao)

A new Thai restaurant opening up on Capitol Hill may not be the biggest news but Manao Thai Street Eats owners Montida Lertkiasakul and Teeraya Cezaux are passionate food lovers with a lot of experience in the restaurant business. Manao opened in a new apartment building at 13th and Pine earlier this fall.

“We used to hang out here  and we love the neighborhood. People walk around all the time. It’s a busy place,a fun city and people look for a good place to eat, rain or no rain,” Cezaux said.

Continue reading

Capitol Hill high school kids get out the vote — Plus, Hill-area election night parties

As the final ballots are collected — you have until 8 PM Tuesday to either drop yours off or get it postmarked — a handful of Capitol Hill high school kids have been helping with campaigns and candidates while getting a taste of the reality of democracy in the USA: It’s hard to get people to vote.

“This is an experience the students will likely remember the rest of their lives. Most of them note, now that they’ve been on the other side of solicitations and door-to-door canvassing, they will respond differently when they’re on the receiving side again!” Scott Davis, who has been teaching Law and Society at the Northwest School for fourteen years and whose students are participating in the project, tells CHS. Continue reading

Capitol Hill novelist’s latest sci-fi work is written from the first-sea monster perspective

51RwTgZBvlL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_1059537254 Don’t be alarmed. But there’s a man living on Capitol Hill who thought this up. Imagine you are a giant blue stingray and you are attacking Tokyo as we speak. That’s not even the scary part. What happens when a giant squid falls in love with you and won’t take no for an answer! The worst part is yet to come. The story unfolds in Ron Dakron’s newest offering, Hello Devilfish!

Dakron is the pen name of Capitol Hill writer and poet Ronald Christoffel. Now in his 60s, he moved to Seattle and has been writing here since he was 24. When he moved to the city, he said he wrote poetry and painted houses to make ends meet. He was part of the “Red Sky Poetry Theatre.” Continue reading

Capitol Hill pot publisher covering the business of Seattle’s retail pot economy

10336788_301921989965574_8598761731603846361_nWhile there might not be any I-502 pot shops on Capitol Hill proper that doesn’t mean marijuana-related businesses aren’t cropping up around the Hill. One man is even crazy enough to try to make it in the media business! John Tommervik created High Above Seattle to review bud and rate the new stores opening around the city. It launched in March. You can check it out at highaboveseattle.com.

“I looked at applying for marijuana license and all these different things and I just realized that where I would be best at because of being a creative director and a marketer and all that is to develop a website that just focuses on the local Seattle marijuana industry and just cover it,” said Tommervik who runs the site from Capitol Hill and lives in the neighborhood.

He says his home neighborhood is a big influence on HAS and the growing marijuana industry in Seattle. Continue reading