Pronto Bike Share On A Roll On Capitol Hill

Pronto CycleIf you live on Capitol Hill, you’ve most likely seen one of the bright green Pronto Cycle Share bikes that are docked at 10 locations throughout the neighborhood. So, after three months in operation, are people riding them? According to Pronto’s recently released statistics, the answer is yes, and a large chunk of them are starting on Capitol Hill. The docking station at Broadway and Harrison has the highest number of origin trips out of all 50 stations in the city, with 849, and the stations at 16th and Pine (747 trips) and 15th and Thomas (639 trips) are also in the top 10. Not surprisingly, only one Capitol Hill station, Broadway and Harrison, is on the list for the top 10 destination stations (it appears most of you prefer to ride downhill).

The majority of users were those who purchased single-day or three-day passes (3,501 people), but nearly 2,000 people have signed up for an $85 annual membership, as well. With the 21,026 total trips taken, Pronto users have ridden 43,010 miles – enough to circle the Earth 1.72 times; burned 1,677,390 calories; and saved 34,941 pounds of CO2. We’d say that’s a pretty good start, and numbers should only increase as the weather improves!

Melrose Promenade Plan Taking Shape, Set For 2017 Completion

Melrose PromenadeMelrose Avenue East runs along the western edge of Capitol Hill, and though it provides some of the best views in the city of the Olympic Mountains, the street itself is unwelcoming and often the site of robberies and other crime. A greenway at its north end that should be a perfect place to sit and watch the boats on Lake Union is overgrown and isolated from the rest of the neighborhood.

A group of neighbors has been working since 2010 to transform the street into an inviting promenade that will serve as Capitol Hill’s “front porch”, proposing wider sidewalks, benches, trees and new landscaping (including creation of Bellevue Place Park north of Roy Street), and public art. Aided by a $20,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund grant from the City of Seattle, the Melrose Promenade planning group released a Visioning Project Report in September 2013, outlining the group’s proposed design for the corridor. The planning process took a big step forward this October, as the City announced it would incorporate the promenade project in its citywide network of greenways, and set a project completion date for 2017.

While this is a major victory for the community members who have been working to see this project through, they still need public support, and there will be an extensive public engagement process throughout the planning stage in 2015. So, keep up to date on the project’s website, and if you would like to help fund the project you can do so through the Seattle Parks Foundation.

Capitol Hill Art Walk Is Tomorrow, 12/11

Capitol Hill Art WalkThe end of 2014 is quickly approaching, and that means it’s time for the last Capitol Hill Art Walk of the year. This month’s walk is tomorrow, December 11, and as usual there is a long list of participating venues. Barca will host two Pacific Northwest jewelry designers, Michelle McCarthy and Khai Bhagwandin; Capitol Cider is hosting a “Drink and Draw” event along with Gage Academy of Art, and will have free drawing materials to use; Glasswing will have vintage workwear on display; and many other venues all over the hill will host shows of their own. See a full list of venues and their opening times here.

Celebrate The Holidays In Volunteer Park This Thursday

PrintVolunteer Park will be lit up with lights and 500 luminaria this Thursday, December 11, for the Volunteer Park Trust’s annual Holiday in the Park event.

Pop into the Seattle Asian Art Museum, get your first peek at the newly renovated Volunteer Park Conservatory (both will offer free admission on Thursday), and stroll the park while enjoying holiday music and complimentary snacks and drinks. The Volunteer Park Express holiday train will be on display and circling the seasonal house, and Friends of the Conservatory members will receive 30 percent off at the Palm House gift shop.

The festivities run from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and keep in mind that the concourse in front of the Asian Art Museum will be closed to cars for the duration of the event. This will be a great chance to spend some time with your neighbors and see the restored conservatory decorated for the season!

Celebrate The Season At Capitol Hill Holiday Hotspot

Cap. Hill Holiday HotspotThink of the Capitol Hill Holiday Hotspot as the winter version of the Capitol Hill Block Party. Though there won’t be live music in the streets and you’ll have to bundle up for this one, holiday activities will take place within the same footprint as the block party, the area bordered by 12th Avenue and Broadway, and Pike and Pine streets, as well as in Cal Anderson Park.

The celebration will kick off Friday, December 5, with the lighting of Sound Transit’s street stars at the section of wall surrounding the Capitol Hill Transit Station construction at Broadway and John (see here for photos of last year’s stars).

On Saturday the 6th, bring your little ones for a kids party from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Elliott Bay Book Company, featuring face painting, holiday mascots, and a performance by children’s rock group The Board of Education. Find the perfect Christmas tree at the Seattle Area Support Groups‘ pop-up tree stand, located in the parking lot behind Havana at 1010 E Pike St., between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. They will also be serving coffee, cider, and cocoa, and in true Capitol Hill fashion you might spot the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence singing Christmas carols throughout the day.

After that, get some Christmas shopping done. The Oddfellows Building on 10th Avenue is home to a trove of local businesses where you are likely to find a gift for everyone on your list. Super-stylish clothes and home goods at Totokaelo; handmade furniture, candles, and furnishings at NuBe Green; well-made bags and tech accessories at Brenthaven; and books of all kinds at Elliott Bay. Many businesses are also offering free gift wrapping on both Saturday and Sunday.

Round out Saturday afternoon with cookie decorating from 2:00-4:00 p.m. at the Cal Anderson Park shelter house, which will be decked out with holiday lights, and then stick around for photos with Santa from 4:00-6:00.

Whether you live on Capitol Hill or not, this will be a great chance to do some shopping at local businesses and get in the holiday spirit!

Support Local Businesses At Shop The Hill This Weekend

Shop the HillIf you are brave enough to hit the stores on Black Friday this year, consider staying a little closer to home and doing your holiday shopping at Capitol Hill’s many independent merchants. More than 50 shops will be running discounts and giveaways on Black Friday, November 28, as part of the “Shop the Hill” event, and on November 29 and 30 to celebrate Small Business Saturday and Sunday.

Capitol Hill’s wide range of shops means you will likely be able to find a gift for everyone on your list, from kids to grandparents. Head to The Red Balloon Company on 15th Avenue East for 15-20 percent off select toys; enjoy 10 percent off all blankets, candles, and housewares at NuBe Green for the home decorators in your life; storewide discounts at Dr. Jen’s House of Beauty; 20 percent off 5-class cards at 8 Limbs Yoga Boutique; 25 percent off any one item at LTD Art Gallery; and many, many more (click here for a full list of participating shops). While you’re at it, get yourself the gift of 50 percent off all nail services at Bang! salons.

If you’re looking for unique gifts for your loved ones and you want to avoid the crowds and overflowing parking garages you’re sure to find downtown, make a day of walking around the Hill and visiting the shops that give our neighborhood its character. Happy shopping!

Gymnastics Coach Needed At Garfield High School

garfieldDo you have gymnastics skills and knowledge that you would like to share with Garfield High School’s gymnastics team? The school is in need of a head coach for its program, and without one the program may have to be canceled. Garfield’s team also runs a gymnastics summer camp, which could be in jeopardy, as well. If you or anyone you know is interested in the position, apply online here, or contact the Seattle School District Athletic Director Mike Scott at (206) 252-4911 or mjscott@seattleschools.org. Spread the word so Garfield doesn’t lose its team!

Get In The Halloween Spirit With Events This Weekend

Halloween is quickly approaching and there are several events happening this weekend on Capitol Hill to get you in the Halloween state of mind before the 31st. DCF 1.0

  • If you’re feeling like a big spender, a $100 ticket will get you in to the Haunted Halloween Party at the rumored-to-be-haunted Stimson-Green Mansion this Saturday, October 25. The ticket price gets you admission to the party, signature cocktails, appetizers, sweet treats, and entertainment including a DJ and a live burlesque performance. Costumes are required! Buy tickets here.
  • If that’s a little too rich for your blood, the Halloween Pub Crawl on 15th Avenue East is also happening on the Saturday the 25th. The crawl kicks off at Smith at 5:00 p.m. and will also visit Coastal Kitchen, the Hopvine, Liberty, Harry’s Bar (at Olympia Pizza), and wraps up with a costume contest at The Canterbury.
  • For the little ones, Hilloween is Capitol Hill’s kid-friendly event, taking place at Cal Anderson Park on Saturday the 25th. Get there at noon for carnival games,entertainment, and face painting; followed by a costume parade at 3:30; and trick-or-treating on Broadway from 4:00-7:00. Kids in costume will also get a free pizza slice from Pagliacci! RSVP on the event’s Facebook page.

Historical Ghost Tour Of Capitol Hill Tomorrow 10/18!

DCF 1.0Get yourself in the Halloween spirit and learn about the spooky side of Capitol Hill on the 9th annual Capitol Hill Historical Ghost Tour, tomorrow October 18. This is first of three tours (Saturday, October 25, and Friday, October 31 are the other two dates), and begins at Elliott Bay Books at 5:00 p.m.

For approximately an hour and a half, you’ll take a guided walking tour of the Pike/Pine area and head up Broadway, ending at the Harvard Exit Theatre, which is considered one of the most haunted theaters in the Northwest. Hear spooky stories of famous Seattle residents (and their ghosts), including Bruce Lee and Jimi Hendrix.

There is a suggested $5 donation, and tour organizers recommend calling ahead to make sure there is room, especially for large groups (206-523-6348).

Halloween Pub Crawl On 15th Next Saturday 10/25!

15th Ave Pub CrawlThink of next Saturday’s 1st Annual 15th Avenue Halloween Pub Crawl as trick-or-treating for grown ups, except instead of candy you’ll be collecting delicious beers and prizes at bars and restaurants up and down 15th.

Put on your costume and start the night off at Smith at 5:00 p.m. After that, the crawl will move every 45 minutes, starting with Coastal Kitchen (don’t forget to eat a few oysters…or a dozen), followed by stops at the Hopvine, Liberty, Harry’s Bar/Olympia Pizza, and the Canterbury. The person with the best costume will get a special prize, so make sure to stick around until the end!