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Goodbye Piecora’s

Piecora's Website Farewell Screenshot

A longtime Seattle restaurant will serve its final meal this week, after the owners sold their property to one of the largest apartment ownership groups in the country.

Piecora’s pizza, at 1401 E Madison St., closes Tuesday night after 32 years on Capitol Hill. The restaurant opened in 1982, serving New York-style pizza to a west coast crowd.

“It’s very surreal,” said restaurant manager Tim DiJulio, after letting in a crowd of people who had lined up outside the restaurant before opening. “There’s a family atmosphere here that you can’t put a finger on. It’s hard to put

Continue reading Goodbye Piecora’s

Capitol Hilloween 2013

Hilloween 2013

Hilloween 2013

Hilloween 2013 was held this weekend, and as usual, we could not resist attending.

I like Hilloween for a number of reasons, but perhaps my favorite event pastime is watching wayward hipsters show up.

Every year, a handful of ex-suburban dillknockers show up at Cal Anderson Park dressed up in their “sexy” costumes, and every year, I watch as a look of confusion, and then rage comes over their faces.

See, when they read the flyers proclaiming Hilloween to be child-friendly, they naturally assumed that by “child”, the organizers mean people from 21-50 years old. This is

Continue reading Capitol Hilloween 2013

Save The Comet

Comet Tavern in the Snow

The Comet Tavern is to Capitol Hill what Las Vegas is to the Mojave Desert. A neon shithole, glistening in the darkness, beckoning the beholder to come hither and indulge in vice. A place to drink alcohol until 4′s turn into 6′s … the minimum score required for a half-hearted, al dente erection … topped off by a rousing game of venereal disease roulette.

Yes, it’s an institution The Comet is, but there is trouble in paradise.

This week, The Comet closed its doors, and they will remain closed for a couple of weeks. According to online rumors, this

Continue reading Save The Comet

A Dream Come True For Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square 7-Eleven

Pioneer Square 7-Eleven

In what can only be described as a stunning victory for panhandlers city-wide, cheap food and alcohol will soon be made available at the corner of First and Cherry. While this will be convenient, the fact that said venue will be directly across the street from two tourist attractions is what makes this a true stroke of genius.

“Uh, excuse me, could you buy me a sandwich?” “Could you buy me a sandwich?” “Could you buy me a sandwich?” “Could you buy me a sandwich?” “Could you buy me a sandwich?” “Look, I asked nicely five

Continue reading A Dream Come True For Pioneer Square

The Seattle Process: A One-Act Play

Easy Street Records in Lower Queen Anne

Easy Street Records in Lower Queen Anne

Queen Anne says, “We love Easy Street!”

King County says, “We love Easy Street too! We proclaim them Business of the Year!”

Chase Bank says, “We love Easy Street’s building! Gimme!”

The landlord says, “Right away!”

Mike McGinn says, “There’s nothing I can do!”

Seattle Rex says, “Well, no offense Mike, but if there’s nothing you can do … what the hell do we need you for? We can be powerless all by ourselves, and it would cost us a lot less!”

The P.I. says, “Vote Democrat!”

The Weekly says, “Vote Democrat!”

Continue reading The Seattle Process: A One-Act Play

Uneasy Street

Queen Anne - Easy Street Records

It’s a depressing time to be a Seattleite.

It’s a depressing time to be an American.

Over the last decade, I’ve watched not only the middle-class dry up, but small businesses dry up as well. While some places in this country are still doing better than others, in 2013 Seattle, you’d either have to be insane to start a small business, or you’d have to be a fly-by-night operation, hell-bent on mediocrity.

Consider this scenario:

You start a small business in a neighborhood giving the residents of that neighborhood what they want, or perhaps what they need. Maybe you

Continue reading Uneasy Street

Christmas Eve Smackdown: Candy Cane Lane vs. Olympic Manor

Olympic Manor - Christmas Lights

Olympic Manor – Christmas Lights

What better way to celebrate the birth of HeyZeus than going to Seattle’s north side to look at Christmas lights?  Why, it’s a Seattle Christmas tradition.

Our first stop tonight was Candy Cane Lane in Ravenna, perhaps the best-known of all Seattle Christmas streets.

As usual, the lights at CCL were quite engaging. I just wish it was possible to go somewhere in Seattle without being the perpetual protagonist in a game of Human Frogger.

Even though Candy Cane Lane is only .1 miles long, 90% of my fellow gawkers drove their automobiles through

Continue reading Christmas Eve Smackdown: Candy Cane Lane vs. Olympic Manor

The Pike Grocery Grand Opening (and a Pissed-Off Rant About Nothing in Particular)

Pike Grocery at Pike and Boren

Pike Grocery at Pike and Boren

Yesterday was an exciting day for yours truly. It’s a day I had been eagerly awaiting for months.

Yesterday, Pike Grocery finally opened its doors, and as soon as my ferry docked, I beat a hasty path to its doors. What I found left me quite pleased.

A grocery, a convenience store, a deli, oh my.

Beer, wine, salty snacks, milk, produce … Pike Grocery has everything an aging hipster could possibly want, and then some … such as 3, count ‘em, three different types of creme soda. It’s nirvana for the perpetually-21,

Continue reading The Pike Grocery Grand Opening (and a Pissed-Off Rant About Nothing in Particular)

Pike Grocery II … This Time, It’s Personal

Pike Grocery at Pike and Boren

Pike Grocery at Pike and Boren

Products are on the shelves, and it looks almost ready to go.

Last night, on my way up the hill to trick-or-treat, I peered inside the new Pike Grocery, and I was surprised by the size of the interior. The store is going to be bigger than I thought. It’s more than a convenience store, it’s literally what it says … a grocery.

After taking a few shots, I walked east to Benson’s, where I bought a round of ice cream.

Next year, we’re going to have those ice creams two blocks sooner.

Continue reading Pike Grocery II … This Time, It’s Personal

Hilloween 2012

Cal Anderson Park - Hilloween

Hilloween – Recess Monkey Concert

Yesterday, “Hilloween” (Capitol Hill Halloween) was once again celebrated in Cal Anderson Park.

Kids aged 1-51 got freebies from local businesses, played games, and were treated to concerts from a variety of performers … the most popular being the Recess Monkey, a children’s music group based right here in Seattle.

The festivities were topped off with a costume parade around the Cal water volcano, after which neighborhood kids trick-or-treated up and down Broadway.

We were no exception.

Cal Anderson Park – Hilloween Costume Parade

Cal Anderson Park – Hilloween Costume Parade

Continue reading Hilloween 2012

Coming Soon: Pike Grocery

Pike Grocery at Pike and Boren

Woo-hoo.

My street, Pike Street, is about to get a brand-spanking new grocery store.

Soon to be located at the corner of Pike & Boren, the Pike Grocery looks to be just a couple of weeks away from launch.

I for one welcome our new grocery overlords.

My money will soon be theirs for the taking.

Supposedly, the owner (who has a few other groceries in Seattle) is decent, and as long as the prices aren’t too steep, I imagine that I’ll be a regular at this place.

One burning question does remain, however:

Will Pike Grocery or won’t Pike

Continue reading Coming Soon: Pike Grocery

Let There Be Rails

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

Tracks for the First Hill Streetcar have finally made their way to Broadway.

It’s both an ugly thing, and a beautiful thing.

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks on Broadway

First Hill Streetcar Rail Tracks

Continue reading Let There Be Rails

Never Again! (okay, maybe again)

BMW Dealership Pike Pine Seattle

All hail the liberation of Pike-Pine!

The BMW Concentration Camp, where thousands upon thousands of good, upstanding people were sentenced to years upon years of hard douchebaggery, is finally coming down.

In its place will be … wait … what? … oh fuck me … another douchebag dormitory?

Really?

Details of the new project are on the Capitol Hill Blog, and the development also has its own gratuitous and useless (a sign of things to come?) Flash-based website.

Since segments of the current block are abandoned eyesores, this had the potential to fall under the “anything is an improvement”

Continue reading Never Again! (okay, maybe again)

Summer in the City

Enjoying the Day at Cal Anderson Park

Enjoying the Day at Cal Anderson Park

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again … hot, sunny days aren’t my thing. If I travelled everywhere in an air-conditioned car, my opinion might be different, but I’m a big guy, Seattle is hilly, and I get around mostly on foot.

This being the case, sunshine equals three things, and only three things to yours truly: sunburn, sweat, and glare.

Give me 50 degrees, a thick layer of clouds, and maybe a bit of rain to keep the air clean & the Californians indoors, and I’m golden.

Continue reading Summer in the City

The Ill-Fated Corner of Melrose and Pine

Melrose Market

The day after it was announced that Melrose & Pine would be razed and turned into Kirkland, complete with ample parking for car-dependent residents, I made it a point to get some updated shots.

Bauhaus at Melrose and Pine

Bauhaus at Melrose and Pine

Bauhaus at Melrose and Pine

I hung out at Bauhaus for a bit, and then I walked to the next block for a few dozen shots of that corner as well.

I don’t think I mentioned it in my last article, but the red brick building on the corner of Bellevue & Pine

Continue reading The Ill-Fated Corner of Melrose and Pine

The Greatest Easter Egg Hunt Ever

Cal Anderson Park - Hunting for Easter Eggs

Cal Anderson Park – Easter Bounce House

At 10:00am this morning, the Seattle Department of Parks & Recreation sponsored “The Greatest Easter Egg Hunt Ever” at Cal Anderson Park, and I was in attendance. I watched as my sprogs jumped in a moon bounce, got their faces painted, and of course … hunted for Easter eggs.

Now, when 200 kids are involved, an “Easter egg hunt” is always a misnomer. Trust me, there is no “hunting” involved. “Easter egg rugby game” or “grand theft Easter egg” are far more accurate descriptions.

At the appointed time, the kids lined up,

Continue reading The Greatest Easter Egg Hunt Ever

There Goes The Neighborhood

Pike/Pine - Corner of Melrose and Pine Street

Pike/Pine – Corner of Melrose and Pine Street

I love Pike/Pine. It’s the heart of urban Seattle. It’s the only neighborhood that, at least in my opinion, is equally part of Downtown, First Hill, and Capitol Hill. As someone who lives on the western edge of the neighborhood, it is where I spend probably the majority of my life.

This is why today, I sit here, heartbroken.

According to the Capitol Hill Blog (http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2012/04/06/developer-acquires-bauhaus-building-with-plans-for-half-block-of-pike-pine-mixed-use), the Southeast corner of Melrose and Pine Street has just been sold.

According to CHS:

“A person with knowledge of the deal said the developer

Continue reading There Goes The Neighborhood

New Photos: Marion Buried

Capitol Hill - Bellevue & Pine

Capitol Hill – Bellevue & Pine

Well, kids, the former Marion Apartments turned South Bronx understudy are no moe.

I was a bit confused when I stumbled upon the corner of Bellevue & Pine last week, because it’s the first time I’ve seen this lot vacant. Ever.

Soon, 132 apartments will occupy this very spot … assuming the developer’s plans have not changed since I last looked into it about 6 months ago.

The developer of the lot is the Stratford Company, and a list of their current projects can be found here: http://www.thestratfordcompany.com/prev/projects.html

Now if you will excuse

Continue reading New Photos: Marion Buried

Down it Comes

Pike/Pine - Pine and Bellevue

The demolition of the Pine Street eyesore is on its way down, soon to make room for yet another hipster habitrail.

Yay?

Pike/Pine – Pine and Bellevue

Pike/Pine – Pine and Bellevue

Pike/Pine – Pine and Bellevue

Pike/Pine – Pine and Bellevue

Pike/Pine – Pine and Bellevue

Pike/Pine – Pine and Bellevue

Pike/Pine – Pine and Bellevue

Continue reading Down it Comes

R.I.P. Greenwood Market

Greenwood Market

Greenwood Market

I’m sitting here in the parking lot of the Greenwood Market, and I’m truly sad.

Mere moments ago, I stopped in during one of my thrice weekly visits, and the place was being picked clean by shoppers.

“What’s going on?”, I asked the nearest cashier.

“We’re closing on February 5th”, he said, “the owner of the property decided not to renew our lease. Instead, they’re giving the property to Fred Meyer.”

“Noooo!”, I shouted.

“Yeah, my sentiments exactly”, he replied.

“I’m heartbroken. Just heartbroken”, a woman shopper joined in.

You know, it figures that this would happen.

Continue reading R.I.P. Greenwood Market

Nightmare on Aloha Street

Halloween on Capitol Hill

Halloween on Capitol Hill

When the citizens of Seattle decide to do something, it is rare that they do it in a half-assed manner. Instead, they are very likely to pour their heart and soul into the endeavor. This is why Seahawks Stadium is widely regarded as the most supportive in the USA for both football and soccer. It’s why we have massive parades when something as inconsequential as the freaking season changes, and it’s why we break world records for walking zombies. Regardless of the activity, if the people of this town don’t intend to go all out,

Continue reading Nightmare on Aloha Street

Almost Heaven … West Seattle

Enjoying the View of the Seattle Skyline from West Seattle

Scenic View from West Seattle

Yesterday, I had a couple of hours left on my Zipcar rental, so I decided to take a short trip to the “other” Seattle. West Seattle. Home of Eddie Vedder, Mark Arm, Matt Lukin, and an ambiguously gay junkie named Trent.

I don’t get out to West Seattle as often as I would like, but when I do make it to the other side, I’m reminded that it’s quite possibly the most beautiful of all of Seattle’s unofficial boroughs. The Olympic Mountains to the west, the glistening Puget Sound to the north, and a

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Noon Tune

Recess Monkey

Last Sunday was a busy day for yours truly.

In addition to Cal Anderson Park, Big Mario’s, and the 12th Avenue Festival, I also spent two hours at the “Freeway Park Noon Tune Concert for Kids”. This was a concert for Seattle city kids, and it featured two bands — Brian Vogan and His Good Buddies and Recess Monkey.

Brian Vogan’s band sounded a lot like Soundgarden, only heavier, and Recess Monkey featured mostly hardcore rap, including a rousing cover of NWA’s “Fuck Tha Police” that had the kids throwing up gang signs until the concert was stopped when

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12th Avenue Festival

12th Ave Festival Attendees

Today, the second annual 12th Avenue Festival was held in Pike/Pine, and after hanging out in Cal Anderson Park, I walked over to check it out.  Here is the release:

http://12thaveseattle.com/festival.php

Join us for the second 12th Avenue Neighborhood Festival this August! This unique community Festival features your favorite restaurants offering international flavors of the neighborhood for $5 or less. One-of-a-kind shops will have their wares and services available to explore while you enjoy local entertainment on the street. Bring the family and share in the experience of 12th Avenue!

For a two year-old event, the 12th Avenue Festival

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Green Lake

Green Lake, Seattle

Green Lake, Seattle

When you look at this photograph, it’s hard to imagine that you are looking into the middle of a major city of 600,000 people, but that’s why we’re called the Emerald City.

PIctured above is Green Lake, the geographic center of Seattle’s northern half.

It looks like Olympia, feels like the Pacific Northwest of yesterday, and seems like a world away from Downtown/Capitol Hill. It is, however, only a 15 minute bike/scooter/bus ride away from the urban core, and it’s a great escape for an hour or a day.

If you can find someone to loan

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Capitol Hill Block Party Fail

Capitol Hill Block Party Crowd

Businesses Open Signs

‘My Goodness’ is probably my favorite “new” Seattle band.

They’ve got a White Stripes meets Black Keys meets Mudhoney thing going on, and if they aren’t a household name in Seattle (if not wider) within the next few years, I’ll be surprised.

A couple of other bands that have the potential to save Seattle from folk and video game music are the Absolute Monarchs and He Whose Ox is Gored. The latter is an ultra-heavy Melvins-meets-Murder City Devils band with lead vocals which are every bit as radio-unfriendly as Buzz and Spencer’s, but which make for

Continue reading Capitol Hill Block Party Fail

The Capitol Hill Block Party: Hour One

The Stage on Pike

10th Avenue Entrance

The Capitol Hill Block Party kicked off one hour ago, and I walked up the hill to check it out.

So far, the only thing going on is security folks being kind of obnoxious. No music, no vendors, just guys in black shirts running around saying “you can’t walk here!” and “you can’t walk there!” while glaring at you in their most humorous, trying-to-be-intimidating pose.

Given its $30/day price tag, I think I’m going to skip going inside the fences Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, The Posies play, and I plan on seeing them. I was

Continue reading The Capitol Hill Block Party: Hour One

Cal Anderson Park Uncaged

Having Fun on the Swings

Having Fun on the Swings

Yesterday evening, I hung out in the new and improved Cal Anderson Park.

Now that the obnoxious fence on the lawn has been taken down, there is twice as much green space as there was earlier this year. Of course, nothing lasts forever, and word is that another fence is going to go up soon … so get up on The Hill and enjoy it while you can.

I captured the photos on this page during my visit.

Eat My Shorts

Meditating in the Fountain

The Lawn Without the Fence

Continue reading Cal Anderson Park Uncaged

A Ride Through Capitol Hill

Capitol Hill at Harvard and Pine

Capitol Hill at Harvard and Pine

Today, I had a few things to take care of on The Hill and I rolled my camera for the majority of the trip. I obviously didn’t ride over the entire hill, but I covered most of the Pike/Pine and Broadway sections.

I got the clanking sound issue worked out and I also experimented with looking left and right to capture some of the sidewalk action.

Anyway, for what it’s worth:

Continue reading A Ride Through Capitol Hill

Photo: Occidental Park Tree Warmers

Occidental Park Trees with Leg Warmers

Occidental Park Trees with Leg Warmers

I’m not sure what these things are, but I went down to get a shot of them this morning. I have a short writeup here: http://www.downtownseattlenews.com/2011/tree-warmers-in-occidental-park/