Archive for August, 2013

Pioneer Square artist charging $25 for portraits

August 30, 2013  |  Art, PI  |  1 Comment

After finding the article in the Stranger for my news roundup yesterday, I decided that I needed to go and check out Ruthie V and Shift Collaborative Studio.

It’s not every day that you can walk into a studio and get an impromptu painting for only $25. She used to be free, but the demand was so high, she started charging a nominal fee — and not nearly enough for how great her work is.

We walked into the light-filled studio and saw Ruthie at her desk, working feverishly to catch up with her stack of portraits.



Her artwork is as charming as her personality and it’s clear that she has a passion for what she does. Below are her paintings, in addition to some of her “fast” portraits:











Although her solo show at Shift Collaborative Studio ends tomorrow (august 31st), she says she is considering continuing the portraits for $25.

If you can’t make it during the 12 – 5pm hours today or tomorrow, you can contact her through her facebook page, her website, or by emailing her at


Shift Gallery Launch Party and Opening Reception
When: First Thursday, September 5th, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Where: Shift Gallery, 312 S. Washington St., in the Tashiro Kaplan Arts Complex

Shift Gallery officially opens its new space at 312 S. Washington with the “First Thursday” opening reception for its group show. Check out their website ( for more info!

Seattle launches new smartphone app for reporting service requests

August 30, 2013  |  News  |  No Comments

The City of Seattle is launching “Find It, Fix It<>,” a smartphone app offering mobile users a new way to report selected issues to the City. The app takes advantage of technology available on mobile devices, including geographic awareness, to give mobile users a convenient way to alert the City to issues such as graffiti and potholes, while providing location information that helps City staff respond. The City is also soliciting public feedback on the app, which will be fine-tuned to respond to initial use and comments.

The app, which can be downloaded to any iPhone or Android phone, offers the following service request categories:

  •  Abandoned Vehicles: report vehicles parked in a public right-of-way more than three days.
  • Graffiti: report graffiti, including what it is on – parking meter, utility pole or building – so it gets automatically routed to the appropriate department for response.
  • Pothole: report a pothole.
  • Parking Enforcement: make an inquiry regarding a parking concern.
  • Other Inquiry: this miscellaneous category is for making an inquiry or request, which will be processed by the City’s Customer Service Bureau<>. Mobile users should choose this category to provide feedback.

The app also provides a link to, the mobile version of the City of Seattle’s website.

Android users can download the app from the Google Play Store and iPhone users can download the app from the App Store. The fastest way to find the app is to search on this phrase within quotes: “find it, fix it.”

The public is currently able to report issues and request information in person at City Hall, the Seattle Municipal Tower and any of six Neighborhood Service Centers<>, over the phone by calling 206-684-2489 (CITY), and at the City’s website at With the new Find It, Fix It app, members of the public can now also report an issue using their smartphones by snapping a photo, adding detailed information, and hitting submit. The map’s “drag and drop” feature or the phone’s own technology can be used to pinpoint the location.

Pioneer Square in the News

August 29, 2013  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

0 Pioneer Square
Soaring rents force lifestyle changes (Seattle Times)
Rising rent is forcing many to reexamine lifestyle choices and, in some cases, move out of Seattle altogether. “It’s almost a perfect storm, and we haven’t seen any change in weather on the horizon,” said Pettit, whose company will open its latest building, The Nolo, next month in Pioneer Square. Its average monthly rent? Also $2,200.

Portland raises stink about toilet ‘knockoff’ (Seattle Times)
Portland itself has seven Portland Loos installed around the city and has sold them to three other municipalities, according to the complaint. It is negotiating to sell more to the cites of San Diego, Esquimalt, B.C. and Seattle, where a Pioneer Square developer would pay for it and a neighborhood group would fund maintenance.

Think Seattle’s awesome? This community backed film will show the world why (Seattle Times)
The team has drawn up designs for T-shirts, posters and some fun retro coasters with the help of logo designer Jordan Butcher and Pioneer Square letterpress shop Constellation & Co.

We’ve got a real problem in Pioneer Square (MyNorthwest)
Don O’Neill wanted to show his son this statue that stands in memory to four Seattle firefighters. “I want my son to know the city and to know our history and to walk down there and say, ‘Let me tell you about the Pang warehouse and these four brave Seattle firefighters,’ and now I can’t tell you about them because a guy is over there, and has his pants down, and he’s peeing on one of the firefighters, and he was. It’s like, wow, we’ve got to do better than this,” said Don.

Undercover Officers On the Lookout For Bad Behavior Outside Seahawks Games (SPD Blotter)
Toward the end of last football season, police received complaints about fan-on-fan violence and harassment in and out of the stadium, some of which was witnessed first-hand by officers attending games while off-duty. This season, undercover Seattle police officers will be milling about in the crowds at Seahawks home games (starting today), looking for bad behavior on game day.

Pioneer Square ‘Ratpocolypse’? Depends on who you ask… (KOMO)
Some pest control experts believe thousands and thousands of rats and other rodents are invading Seattle streets courtesy of “Big Bertha” — the machine that’s digging the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel downtown. But business owners tell KOMO News that so far, they haven’t seen any rat explosion.

Twitter takes space in downtown office tower (Seattle Times)
Tech tenants like Amazon, Facebook and Groupon have more typically leased space in buildings to the north and south of the central business district. But as submarkets like South Lake Union, Pioneer Square and the Chinatown International District become tight, more tech tenants are looking at spaces in the downtown core.

How to Succeed in Art Without Even Trying (Stranger)
for anyone who visits her solo show this month at Shift Studio in Pioneer Square, she’ll do an on-the-spot portrait painting, or snap a picture if you’d rather pick up your painting later. Open by appt., and every Friday and Saturday, 12-5pm.

NORD Alley event for September’s First Thursday

August 27, 2013  |  Alley, Event, First Thursday, PI  |  No Comments

September 5th | 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Pioneer Square First Thursday: music, food, art & snacks

Share Your Ideas for the Alley Corridor Project
Meet our design team – SvR Design & Olson Kundig Architects

Help design Pioneer Square’s alleys!
THE RESULT a “shovel-ready” surface design
*cost effective, historically appropriate & community driven*

Waterfront EIS Scoping Open House

August 20, 2013  |  Call to Action, Event, PI, Waterfront  |  No Comments


The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on elements of the proposed Waterfront Seattle project including Alaskan Way, the pedestrian promenade, and the overlook walk.

EIS scoping meeting
A public scoping meeting will be held:

September 9, 2013
4:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Seattle City Hall, Bertha Knight Landes Room
600 Fourth Avenue

The meeting will be an open house format, and is free and open to all.

Submit comments
SDOT would like your ideas about what should be discussed in the EIS. The scoping comment period began August 14 and continues through September 25. All scoping comments must be submitted by 5:00 p.m., September 25. Comments can be submitted in several ways:

  1. Online comment form
  2. Email:
  3. Provide comment at the public scoping meeting
    Write to:
    Peter E. Hahn, Director, Seattle Department of Transportation
    c/o Mark Mazzola, Environmental Manager
    PO Box 34996
    Seattle, WA 98124-4996

View the public scoping notice.

What is scoping?
Scoping is the first step in the EIS process. The purpose of scoping is to seek input from the public, interest groups, agencies and affected tribes on the actions, alternatives and environmental impacts proposed to be discussed in the EIS. The scoping process is also intended to eliminate detailed study of those issues that are not significant or have been covered by prior environmental review.

To learn more about the State of Washington’s State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) and the scoping process visit the Department of Ecology’s SEPA website FAQs at:

For more information about the project, and the scoping process visit or call 206.499.8040.

Pioneer Square in the News

August 19, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

0 Pioneer Square
Seahawks season brings fans new food experience (KOMO)
CenturyLink Field is serving up several new food items made with ingredients from local businesses in Pioneer Square and Chinatown-International District.

619 Western Building On Verge Of Dramatic Comeback (Curbed)
The former warehouse and renowned artist workspace, owned by L & B Property Investments LLC, is in prime position to take advantage of dramatic Elliott Bay and Olympic Mountain views when the viaduct comes down in early 2016. It’s something potential tenants are already aware of.

McGinn pledges $400,000 for new violence prevention patrols (KOMO)
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn says he’s devoting $400,000 to additional violence prevention patrols. Police officials say the city is getting safer, but restaurant owner Mike Kotz said statistics don’t help him in his trouble-plagued Pioneer Square neighborhood.

McGinn taps $400K to boost patrols in crime hot spots (Seattle Times)
Neighborhood leaders from Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District and Capitol Hill attended the mayor’s news conference. They expressed appreciation that more police patrols would be added around the city but cautioned that crime in their neighborhoods was complex and required a coordinated response among police, city agencies, prosecutors and social-service providers.

Mayor adds police patrols to crime hot spots (Seattle Times blog)
The city in June added two park rangers who divide their time between Cal Anderson and Occidental Park in Pioneer Square.

Bus shooter dead, driver recovering; questions remain (KiroTV)
Police sources identified Duckworth, a man who also was involved in a March Pioneer Square shooting and has a history of drug crimes.

Neck Beards for Sale at The Belfry (Stranger)
Open in Pioneer Square for just over a year, The Belfry is a lean but airy space with bright windows, deep gray walls, and a tidy stock of natural oddities, religious artifacts, and Victorian-era collectibles.

Pioneer Square in the News

August 13, 2013  |  News, PI  |  No Comments

0 Pioneer Square

Another Big Opening in Pioneer Square (Seattle Weekly)
Pioneer Square is on a roll: Local celeb chef Matt Dillon and Marigold and Mint’s Katherine Anderson’s new wine bar/mini mercantile The London Plane is open for business.

Altstadt to Open in Pioneer Square and More Food News (Seattle Weekly)
Here’s another big win for Pioneer Square: Hitchcock chef Brendan McGill will launch bier/brat haus Altstadt at 209 1st Ave. S., hopefully in time for Oktoberfest.

Panic on buses as gunman shoots driver, then fatally shot by Seattle cops
The man who shot a bus driver Monday morning in downtown Seattle and later was fatally shot by police had a history of drug and mental-health problems.

2013 Seattle Design Festival (arch daily)
This year’s Seattle Design Festival, hosted by Design in Public and AIA Seattle, will feature large scale installations, home tours, walking tours, films, lectures, exhibitions, competitions, activities, pop-up parklets, and more which is open to the general public. The city-wide event takes place September 13-22 with the hub of the festival at the ‘Design Block’ in Pioneer Square.

Seattle, Then and Now (1891 to 2013) (Atlantic Cities)
We compare 1890s Seattle to today, via Google Maps. We start at Pioneer Square, where the modern version of the city got its start.

Stadium countdown: Safeco shines, inside and out (USAToday)
As we enter the top half of our ballpark countdown, we encounter a stadium that long has been famous for its retractable roof. This past offseason, though, it made news when its outfield fences retracted.

In Little Uncle We Trust
This summer, they opened a second, brick-and-mortar Little Uncle restaurant in Pioneer Square, expanding both their menu and their loyal following of hungry fans.

The London Plane: Day 4 (Seattle Weekly)
It’s opening week of The London Plane (Phase 1), Matt Dillon’s (Bar Sajor, Sitka & Spruce) new spot in Pioneer Square. Seattle Weekly covered Dillon’s part in the revival of the neighborhood recently here.

Like shopping at local businesses? Now you can invest in them, too (CSMonitor)
Community Sourced Capital, based in Pioneer Square, is a newly formed lender that aims to apply the crowd-sourcing model to encourage the growth of locally owned businesses.

Jeff Bezos’ firm hand: Steering news back to the future? (Crosscut)
In a bid to assure the world that he absolutely loved the kind of traditional cedar-shelved and -scented bookshop that his critics accused him of being out to kill, Bezos had the television crew follow him down to Pioneer Square, to what he described as his favorite bookstore in the world — the Elliott Bay Book Company.

Best of Seattle: People and Places
(Seattle Weekly)
Best Lawyer: James Egan
Get a DUI? James Egan is your man. Get punched in the face by a raging cop? Once again, James Egan is your man. Having built his Pioneer Square business defending alleged drunk drivers, more recently Egan has branched out, launching a social-justice onslaught that’s been a perpetual thorn in the sides of the Seattle Police

The Best Chef in Seattle You’ve Never Heard Of (stranger)
Bar Sajor is Matt Dillon’s gorgeous and great new restaurant in Pioneer Square, but Matt Dillon also runs the (gorgeous, great) Corson Building and (ditto) Sitka & Spruce, and he is only one human. At Bar Sajor, Edouardo Jordan is Dillon’s right-hand man—his co-conspirator de cuisine, Dillon says.

Bar Sajor | Taylor Shellfish Farms
Quick, while it’s nice out: Go to Bar Sajor in Pioneer Square for socks-knocking-off crab, served with a garlic mayonnaise that you will want to dip the rest of your life into.

New Beer Hall opening in Pioneer Square

August 9, 2013  |  Announcement, Business, PI  |  No Comments

According to the Seattle Eater (again), a new beer hall is opening at 209 1st Ave S (old location of Larry’s nightclub):

The menu, which will be composed of about eight items, will be based around platters of sausage, kraut, crispy Belgium frites, crusty bread and housemade mustard. The sausage will also be made in-house (as if there was any doubt) from heritage breed hogs in Washington. Right now, they’re using hogs from a farm in Euphrata. “We want to up the ante a little bit in the typical $12 brat plate.”

They are planning on opening sometime in October, hopefully in time for Oktoberfest.

Matt Dillon’s London Plane now open!

August 9, 2013  |  Uncategorized  |  No Comments

According to a post in Seattle Eater, Matt Dillon’s new space opened on Tuesday:

The London Plane, a collaboration between Dillon and Katherine Anderson (Marigold & Mint), will open in two waves. This is the first one, a small-ish space offering food and wine, plus a retail selection of cookbooks, flowers, wines, housewares and gifts.


Update on parking options for Waterfront + Pioneer Square

August 9, 2013  |  Parking, PI  |  No Comments


With summer tourism and peaking downtown traffic peaking, and with Bertha breaking new ground right under downtown Seattle, several efforts are in play to ensure parking in the Waterfront and Pioneer Square neighborhoods is still easy, accessible and affordable despite construction in that area, thus mitigating impact to businesses.

Last week, in partnership with the City of Seattle, WSDOT announced the following updates:

  • Web App to Find $3 Parking –  a Web app is launching that enables visitors to find available, discounted parking, throughout the Waterfront and Pioneer Square neighborhoods. The app will go live today, available at
  • Painted Columns Guide to Discounted Parking – Eight columns underneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be permanently painted by local Pioneer Square artist Jeff Jacobsen and will share promotional parking messaging driving readers to the parking Website and Web app for parking assistance.
  • Free Parking on First Thursday – The launch coincides with Pioneer Square’s First Thursday Art Walk on Aug. 1, during which free parking is offered by WSDOT and its partners.