Archive for March, 2011

Parkour in Pioneer Square

March 31, 2011  |  Fun, PI  |  No Comments

Our alleys may be the playground for a lot of random people (and things) — but apparently they have also become a playground for people who like to jump.

Check it out.

MADAME DAMNABLE’S COCKTAIL CRAWL A Cocktail Contest Featuring Locally Distilled Spirits

March 30, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

Pioneer Square will soon have the opportunity to showcase the unique history and notable “Seattle Spirit” of its merchants. The first Madame Damnable’s Cocktail Crawl, featuring locally distilled spirits, will launch on April 1st. The two week event will showcase the talent of our local bartenders as they work their magic mixing new and creative drinks.

From April 1 – 14, diners and drinkers can check out participating bars in Pioneer Square and vote on Facebook to select the top five hand-crafted cocktails. The top picks will be announced via Facebook and Twitter and will be featured on the April 15th Cocktail Crawl. Guests can join the crawl and vote on-site for their favorite concoction to choose the one winning cocktail and bar champion for the spring season.

Pacific Distilleries, Woodinville Whiskey Co. and Softtail Spirits will begin the 2011 season of quarterly cocktail contests as the featured distillers. New distillers, cocktails and awards will occur again in the summer, fall and winter of 2011.

Named for our city’s first lady of ill repute, Irish-born Madame Damnable (Mary Ann Conklin) was the manager of the Felker House and “notorious up and down the coast for her good cooking, hot temper and exceptionally salty language,” according to the book Pioneer Square, Seattle’s Oldest Neighborhood. We think she would be pleased to have a community event named in her honor.

Madame Damnable’s Cocktail Crawl is hosted by The Alliance for Pioneer Square, DRY Soda and three Woodinville distillers (Pacific Distilleries, Woodinville Whiskey Co. and Softtail Spirits). Participating Bars include:

FX McRory’s
J&M Cafe
Central Saloon
McCoy’s Firehouse
Collin’s Pub

ARTSparks Call for Artists–Occidental Square 2011

March 29, 2011  |  Art, Call to Action, PI  |  No Comments

Call for Artists
ARTSparks—a partnership between Seattle Parks and Recreation, the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, and 4Culture’s Site Specific Program—is seeking proposals for arts projects to be temporarily installed and/or performed in Occidental Park, within the time-frame of June through October 2011. Any and all arts disciplines are welcome.

Individuals and organizations are asked to submit one to three distinct proposals for how they would implement a specific project in this unsecured public space. Collaborations or simultaneous projects are welcome. Final negotiations and scheduling of projects will be determined after proposals are chosen.

A map and a one-page introduction to Occidental Square Park are attached. Please note the boundaries to the park. Applicants are encouraged to visit and familiarize themselves with the park before designing or submitting their ideas.

Vision for ARTSparks program:
ARTSparks converts Occidental Square Park into a showcase for the creative imagination from June through September. Using this public space as art space, artists may produce temporary sculpture, environmental installations, media art, street theater, dance, music, or whatever their imaginations might devise to bring the challenge and spark of art into the day- to-day of this downtown public space. Proposals may range from small, seemingly random surprises to larger projects lasting 4 weeks or more. The end result: Occidental Square Park becomes a place where art and life entwine—where one goes to catch some of the freshest work coming out of the arts community—and where, simply by entering the park, people are welcomed into an artistic experience.

Impetus for the program:
ARTSparks is part of the Downtown Parks Renaissance Initiative to make our downtown parks the lively, safe, and welcoming public spaces they should be. Artists and artistic creations are one of our most powerful tools to bring positive life into the public realm and to inspire human connections through inquiry and play.

Applicants must have demonstrated experience in producing public arts events or installations. Priority will be given to applicants with experience producing programs in outdoor, public settings in collaboration with one or more sponsoring organizations.

Application Deadline
Application postmarked by Friday, May 6, 2011 and mailed to
attn: ARTSparks
101 Prefontaine Place South
Seattle, WA 98104-2672

Or delivered by 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 6, 2011 to
attn: ARTSparks
101 Prefontaine Place South
Seattle, WA 98104-2672

To get more information about applying, the grant, and the process, click here.

See a previous post about last year’s ARTSparks program here.

Pioneer Square in the News

March 28, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

From local artist, Sam Day — two paintings done in his “lunch hour”:


Police: Pioneer Square shooting was medical marijuana deal gone bad (Seattle PI)
A nighttime shooting earlier this month in a Pioneer Square parking garage was the result of a marijuana deal gone bad after the victim tried to sell a pound and a half of the drug to an off-duty parking attendant, according to court documents.

Warehouse in Seattle’s Pioneer Square Spared (Preservation Nation)
One of the many historic buildings in Seattle’s Pioneer Square was spared from demolition earlier this month, thanks to a new proposal from the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

Get designer kids’ brands at rock-bottom prices at the Zulily sample sale (NW Source)
If this is the first time you’re reading this, you missed the Zulily sample sale last Friday — but not to worry — you can still catch great deals on their website.

CityTank: A Tale of Two Neighborhoods (PubliCola)
Downtown Seattle Association VP of Advocacy, John Scholes, wrote a satirical post for Dan Bertolet’s new blog, proposing that South Lake Union and Pioneer Square trade places—a send up of neighborhood groups in both places who are opposing rezones for different, but equally self-defeating reasons.


C200: A Tale Of Two Downtown Neighborhoods (CityTank)
Today, two important downtown Seattle neighborhoods are currently assessing their futures – at least by way of land use rezones – which will have significant implications on their growth, vibrancy and livability in the years to come. Would it be easier on everyone if the neighborhoods of South Lake Union and Pioneer Square just simply traded places in Seattle? Would both neighborhoods be better for it twenty years from now?

Best of Art Walk Awards: Send in Your Submissions! (First Thursday)
City Arts is teaming up with Blue Moon and (coming soon) to celebrate local art from Seattle’s neighborhood community art walks. On a quarterly basis City Arts will be selecting six finalists from dozens of entries submitted by businesses and galleries participating in the local art walks. Once the six finalists are selected they will then throw a huge party in the artists honor where the public gets to vote on the #1 winner.

Pioneer Square Medical-Marijuana Shooting Is One More Reason to Legitimize Dispensaries (The Daily Weekly)
Possessing medical marijuana in Washington state is legal with a prescription. Selling it, however, is not. That’s certainly not to say that medical marijuana isn’t sold in Washington; just that when it is, people run the risk of getting shot, beaten, or robbed.

Seattle seeks artist to develop artwork for King Street Station

March 25, 2011  |  Art, Call to Action, PI  |  No Comments

The Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in collaboration with the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), seeks an artist or artist team to create a temporary, site-specific public art project for the new Jackson Street Plaza at King Street Station. The station is located in Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood at South Jackson Street and Third Avenue South.

The selected artist/artist team will work with SDOT and the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs to develop the temporary artwork. The artwork should enliven the space and offer passersby a new and energized view of the historic train station. Possible approaches may include projections or light, participatory or interactive artworks, and/or a temporary installation in the plaza.

The selected artist will develop the artwork in summer and fall 2011. The temporary artwork may be on view for a maximum of one year, but the duration may be shorter depending on the medium and concept of the artwork proposed. The project should be completed by summer 2012.

The opportunity is open to established professional artists living in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, California, Alaska, or British Columbia, Canada. The application deadline is 11 p.m., Wednesday, April 27. The total project budget is $35,000, all–inclusive of travel expenses, taxes, and all project costs for design, fabrication/production, installation and removal of artwork. A link to the online application and guidelines is available at

Built between 1904 and 1906, King Street Station is now undergoing a $50 million renovation, including restoration of the building’s historic character and grandeur, upgrading facilities, and LEED Platinum building certification. The station plaza that opens onto Jackson Street is also being renovated and reopened to the public.  Amtrak long-distance rail, Sound Transit commuter rail and Amtrak intercity buses all serve King Street Station. The station offers convenient access to local and regional buses, Link Light Rail, and, in the future, the Seattle Streetcar.

King Street Station was built by the Great Northern and Northern Pacific railways and designed by Reed and Stem of St. Paul, Minn., the associate architects for Grand Central Terminal in New York City. The station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.  In 2008 the city of Seattle purchased the building from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company.

Find more information about the King Street Station restoration at

What if South Lake Union + Pioneer Square… traded places?

March 24, 2011  |  PI, Politics  |  No Comments

Jon Scholes, VP of Advocacy + Economic Dev’t for the Downtown Seattle Association, asked this very question yesterday on citytank:

In Pioneer Square, familiar arguments are being made against new density in the neighborhood, for fear it would erode the historic integrity of the neighborhood (even though today the neighborhood has a retail vacancy rate twice that of Downtown). In South Lake Union, similar concerns regarding height have been raised, but for different reasons – the need to protect views of the Space Needle and preserve view corridors to the Lake are some of the reasons people have argued against significant new height.

Perhaps everyone’s interests would be better served if the two neighborhoods switched places and just maybe we’d wind up with better urban neighborhoods and come closer to meeting our local and regional goals for transit oriented development and density.

Click here to read the rest of the post (and the comments)

Huge Zulily Sample Sale this Friday

March 23, 2011  |  Business, Event, PI  |  No Comments

Zulily is hosting their first-ever sample sale this Friday, March 25 from 8am – 1pm at 155 Main St.  They are moving into the space where the Pratt had their holiday sale (next to the former BofA) for one day only.

They have a huge selection of items from their warehouse and photo studios – goodies for women and kids, strollers, toys and lots more.

Prices start at $2, cash only, and proceeds from the sale are being donated to earthquake disaster relief efforts.

It is free to attend the sale, but they are asking people to RSVP just so that they have an idea of how many to expect.

RSVP here:

It’s Hunger Week. Could you manage on $7 a day?

March 22, 2011  |  Event, Homeless, PI  |  No Comments

I didn’t get this up as I planned on Friday, but it’s never too late to try and make a difference. Yesterday was the first day of “Hunger Action Week:”

Consider this shocking national statistic: one out of every six adults and nearly one out of four children struggle with hunger. Here in King County, record numbers of people—our neighbors, co-workers and friends—don’t have enough to eat. People have to choose between paying rent and buying groceries, and children are going to bed hungry.

YOU can help. Join United Way of King County for Hunger Action Week beginning March 21.

They have listed numerous ways to help in this cause, including volunteering to plant a garden, serve a meal,  delivery groceries, etc. They are also running something called “The Hunger Challenge,” which I have to admit, I didn’t think I would be able to participate in, because of how difficult it is. Why?

You’re supposed to pay for a full day of meals for only seven dollars (which is the maximum food stamp benefit for an individual per day, by the way). Every day, Monday through Friday, on only seven dollars a day.

Even if you’re not able to try the challenge — just think about whether or not you would be able to do it, and what it would take. And then think about all of the people who try to do it every day. And then go to United Way’s website and see what you can do to help.

Pioneer Square in the News

March 21, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

From dnunez_za:


Pioneer Square parking: Did city just put neighborhood at a disadvantage? (Crosscut)
Pioneer Square is supposed to be recovering. Now comes the city to impose higher rates and longer hours for street parking. Merchants and residents are left to wonder whether this is supposed to help.

King Street Station gets new plaza this spring (DJC)
Once complete, the 13,500-square-foot plaza will have cherry trees, planters and a brick pathway running from Jackson Street to a renovated stair. Most of the plaza surface will be crushed granite and marble. Added vegetation will help reduce the heat island effect and mitigate stormwater.

Zynga moving to Seattle’s Pioneer Square (TechFlash)
Social game maker Zynga has picked Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square to open its local office. Cost to Save 619 Western Isn’t an “Overrun” (PubliCola)
Contrary to statements by the anti-tunnel referendum campaign, Protect Seattle Now, that the state department of transportation’s commitment to spend up to $20 million on seismic upgrades to the 619 Western artists’ building constitutes a “$17.5 million cost overrun,” the reports that, in fact, the money is coming out of the state’s budget for buying land and right-of-way along the path of the tunnel project.

Seattle tattoo shop owner fights parking rates with explicit sign (MyNorthwest)
Myers told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson Show on Thursday, “these guys are idiots. They don’t understand basic business…I told them ‘our best shopping day is on Sunday, which is a free parking day.'”

BofA closes 2 Puget Sound branches (PSBJ)
The bank has already closed one location in Pioneer Square and will shut down a Newport Hills branch on March 25.


Ty Myers, Tattoo Artist and Mad-As-Hell Seattleite, Unfurls Massive “F%#$ You Mayor McGinn” Sign In Shop Window (Seattle Weekly)
Ty Myers was looking for a simple message that captured the anger he felt toward Mayor Mike McGinn and the Seattle City Council over recent hikes in Pioneer Square area parking. “F*$% You Mayor McGinn” was what he settled on.

Drink Your Way Through Seattle’s Neighborhoods, One Beer at a Time (Voracious)
1. Pioneer Square: The loophole-laden beer ban in Pioneer Square is insubstantial, to say the least, much like taste of O’Doul’s.

Pioneer Square Business Mixer Today

March 21, 2011  |  Business, Event, PI  |  No Comments

Join fellow business owners / employees at a mixer later today:

What: Socializing + Happy Hour
Where: FX McRory’s Steak Chop + Oyster House
When: Monday, March 21, 4pm – 6pm