Archive for December, 2011

New Year’s Eve Underworld Tour & Celebration

December 20, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

Celebrate the last hours of 2011 and welcome in a new year by joining us for our special New Year’s Eve Underworld Tour & Celebration! The Underworld Tour is an adult-oriented guided tour of Seattle’s underground replete with the tales of graft, opium, sex, debauchery and Red Light district shenanigans that made Seattle what it is today. The tour ends in Doc Maynard’s Public House with a cocktail, and a champagne toast will be served at midnight.

For more details or to purchase tickets, visit

Tickets: $25

When: starts at 10pm

Where: 610 First Avenue, Seattle


Direct link to purchase tickets

Pioneer Square in the News

December 19, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Three foreclosed Pioneer Square buildings sold (Seattle Times)
Canadian investors have acquired three historic buildings in Seattle’s Pioneer Square — for about half what the previous owner paid four years ago. An affiliate of Seattle residential-developer Intracorp lost the buildings to foreclosure this year.

Pioneer Square to Get Its Streetcar; Aloha Extension Still Up In the Air (PubliCola)
At tomorrow morning’s meeting of the city council transportation committee, council members will discuss a proposal to extend the route of the proposed Capitol Hill/First Hill streetcar into Pioneer Square, a response to Pioneer Square businesses and residents who argued that the neighborhood would benefit from the extra transportation option, especially during construction of the Alaskan Way tunnel.

Heroes Catering Is a Blue-Collar FareStart (Seattle Weekly – Voracious)
With far less fanfare, Pioneer Square’s Bread of Life Mission has since 2003 operated a similar program, Heroes Catering, albeit one which sports a far bluer collar than that of its uptown peer.

Dudley: Dinner with Zynga CEO a game-winner (Seattle Times)
Seattle’s Cara Ely, created the blockbuster “Dream Day” franchise for Oberon Media’s I-Play, went to a Zynga recruiting dinner and ended up sitting next to founder Mark Pincus. Now she’s been commuting constantly to Zynga’s San Francisco offices, where she’s the creative director on a new hidden-object game called “Hidden Chronicles.”

At the Seattle Art Museum, listening to old records is the show (KPLU)
SAM has also launched a second pop-up installation called “Record Store.” It’s another kind of listening lounge (no actual records are for sale) where visitors can practice the art of looking and listening to albums. It’s located in a Pioneer Square storefront at 406 Occidental Ave.

Why a $490,000 viaduct museum now? (Seattle Times)
The government-waste question of the week is: Why is our state opening a viaduct museum, of all things, in Pioneer Square?

With Pioneer Square, a historic district, “we are going to mess up their lives for four years with this project,” Hammond said. “So we see this as a small price to pay to mitigate that.”

New Museum in Pioneer Square (PubliCola)
Erica has already made it clear that she thinks the uproar over the new museum in Pioneer Square dedicated to the tunnel project is faux populist journalism (and GOP rhetoric) at its silliest.

Viaduct replacement museum fulfills state’s obligation to protect Pioneer Square (Seattle Times)
An exhibit devoted to the project that replaces of the Alaskan Way Viaduct has generated some controversy over government expenditure. Guest columnists Charles Royer and Kevin Daniels say the law requires such a treatment because of its effect on historic Pioneer Square.

Schrammie: Wasting $485,000 on viaduct museum (KOMO News)
Secretary Paula spent some time with me explaining why the state DOT is opening a museum in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. She says its focus will be on providing a history of the neighborhood as well explaining the tunnel project that will replace the viaduct.

Midday Scan: Viaduct museum; see you in court over liquor jobs; Kalakala’s ‘significance’ (Crosscut)
In fact it’s mitigation (or horse-trading or politics). Pioneer Square will take a hit during the tunnel’s construction, and this is a tangible way to say “sorry about that.” As Westneat writes, “It’s just a cost of doing business.”

Turks, Looking To Do Business with Native Americans, Say They’re Related (Seattle Weekly)
You might think this is just the art of schmooze. But Sedat Uysal, the Turkish-born proprietor of Pioneer Square’s Cafe Paloma, lights up when asked about this affinity. He says he was struck by the same thing when he immigrated here 26 years ago.

Crystal Palace or Legoland for new Pioneer Square development? (King5)
The new “Stadium Place” development is now being built in Pioneer Square in the north parking lot of the Seahawks’ Stadium. It’s 25 shiny stories that will be one of the most unique buildings in the state. The defining points are several two-to-four-story sections of the building that are stacked askew, kind of like 50-foot Jenga blocks. But does it fit with the Square’s red brick and turn of the 20th century charm?

Slide show: North lot project to rise near Pioneer Square (PSBJ)
When completed in 2015, the project will include three residential towers, a hotel, offices, retail space and a parking garage. The developer started work last month, clearing away some contaminated soil on the site. Daniels expects he will be able to make up some of the time lost on the project.

Seattle seeking affordable space for artists (KPLU)
“We’re working on programs that would help bring artists back into the downtown. We’re expanding our partnerships and our work on the Storefronts program to really look at how we can use arts to help revitalize empty retails areas. So, there are a lot of challenges that we face.”


December 19, 2011  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

I was out of the country all last week and never had the chance to post that on the blog. But I’m back and refreshed and should have a bunch of posts coming this week.



New images out for North Lot (aka “Stadium Place”)

December 7, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

The Seattle Times has a new article out titled “Planned Stadium Place tower a game changer:”

The developers of part of CenturyLink Field’s north parking lot are unveiling the first detailed designs for their project’s first phase this week — including a 25-story apartment tower that promises to be one of the city’s most visible and architecturally distinctive new buildings.

Here are the newly released images (also available on Stadium Place’s website):

O’Crafty Night this Thursday

December 7, 2011  |  Art, Event, Fun, PI  |  No Comments

Just a reminder that there is still some space to sign up for O’Crafty Night for this and next Thursday:

Celebrate the holidays in Downtown Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood by making a craft so cool, you can give it to someone other than your mom! (But we support gifting to the mothers as well, don’t forget the mothers!) (All supplies provided.)

Special thanks to the designers of Crinoline & Tweed, our artist-teachers for the evening and to Grand Central Bakery & Arcade for hosting and providing artisan bread, iced shortbread snowflakes, iced ginger-people and hot chocolate for our guests! Produced by the Metropolitan Improvement District’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

Link for 12/8:

Link for 12/15:

Pioneer Square in the News

December 5, 2011  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

Alaskan Way Viaduct to be partially closed Monday night (Seattle Pi)
The Alaskan Way Viaduct’s southbound lanes will be closed from Monday night to Tuesday morning between the Battery Street Tunnel and the West Seattle Bridge.

Viaduct project gets its own museum (Seattle Times)
Called Milepost 31, it combines the history of Pioneer Square with the gee-whiz technology of the massive undertaking to dig a tunnel to replace the aging, and now partially gone, Alaskan Way Viaduct.

New late-night taxi stands coming to Fremont, downtown, Capitol Hill (KOMO News)
On Nov. 29, Mayor Mike McGinn announced the locations of the five late-night taxi stands that are part of his eight-point Seattle Nightlife Initiative. The stands, which will restrict curb space to cabs-only between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. every night, will be located in Pioneer Square, Capitol Hill, Belltown, Pike Place and Fremont.

This is Necessary for the Immediate Preservation of Public Peace (PubliCola)
The south portal of the tunnel would be next to Pioneer Square, and would dump an estimated 59,000 cars—via what one planner called a “linguini-type” system of ramps at yesterday’s meeting—onto streets in that neighborhood. But perhaps more jarring than the extra traffic through Pioneer Square is the size of the operations buildings that will house the tunnel’s emergency systems, batteries and generators, ventilation system, maintenance trucks, and pumps. That building—which will stand about 45 feet above street level, take up 20,000 square feet, and have no street level uses like cafes, shops, or restaurants—will be plopped right in the heart of the dense, mixed-use neighborhood of Pioneer Square.

BuiltBurger Closes in Pioneer Square (Seattle Weekly)
In less upbeat news, Eater Seattle reports that BuiltBurger at 217 James St. in Pioneer Square serves its last patty on Friday, December 2. Its owners are now on the East Coast and have decided to “pause the BuiltBurger brand.”

Art in the Park – time lapse video

December 2, 2011  |  Art, Event, PI  |  No Comments

I also shot a time lapse of the people walking through Art in the Park on First Thursday.

I didn’t know if I had it framed right, but hoped that I caught the fireworks from the Seahawks game — and I did!  Not as many vendors as in the summer months, but it was great to see some of the regulars out, and people walking through shopping:

Pioneer Square Christmas Tree Lighting – time lapse video

December 2, 2011  |  Event, PI  |  No Comments

Although it was already dark by the time 5pm rolled around, the atmosphere in Pioneer Square was merry and there were people wandering throughout Nord Alley (for caroling) and in Occidental Square Park.

This time lapse video isn’t perfect (my timer wasn’t working, so I had to do it manually), but for those who missed the tree lighting, here’s a brief video:

Holiday Festivities in the Neighborhood every Thursday in December

December 1, 2011  |  Event, Fun, PI  |  No Comments

TODAY: First Thursday, Holiday Tree Lighting, Caroling OH MY!
Join us today for the First Thursday Art Walk, and stick around for the spectacular Holiday Tree Lighting in Occidental Park from 5 to 7 pm!

In addition to the 25-foot Douglass Fir holiday tree lighting, Tuba Luba will be providing musical accompaniment to the festivities. Also happening is free hot chocolate and caroling by the Beaconnettes in Nord Alley, and sea shanty songs with the Shifty Sailors at the Klondike Park down the street!

O’Crafty Nights (on 12/8 and 12/15)
Celebrate the holidays in Downtown Seattle’s Pioneer Square neighborhood by making a craft so cool, you can give it to someone other than your mom! (But we support gifting to the mothers as well, don’t forget the mothers!) (All supplies provided.)

Special thanks to the designers of Crinoline & Tweed, our artist-teachers for the evening and to Grand Central Bakery & Arcade for hosting and providing artisan bread, iced shortbread snowflakes, iced ginger-people and hot chocolate for our guests! Produced by the Metropolitan Improvement District’s Pioneer Square neighborhood.

12/8 =
12/15 =

Trivia Nights at Merchants (on 12/22 and 12/29)
There’s Snow Place Like Pioneer Square this holiday season. Take a break and test your holiday IQ to win sweet neighborhood prizes! BYO holiday and/or trivia-obsessed team members.

Event starts at 5pm and the pub quizzes run from 6-8pm. Teams can be up to 6 players. Attendance will be capped at restaurant’s max capacity.

SECOND PLACE PRIZE: $50 in gift certificates to Tat’s Delicatessen
THIRD PLACE PRIZE: TBD…in addition to prize pints!

Produced by the Metropolitan Improvement District’s Pioneer Square neighborhood. Part of Holidays in the City.

12/22 =
12/29 =