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!