by Courtney Crockett
With heritage as its inspiration and an interest in fostering creativity and community, it’s no surprise that E. Smith Mercantile is a great fit for Pioneer Square. Many of us in the neighborhood are already well acquainted with E. Smith Mercantile and I, myself have sat several times at their appropriately horseshoe-shaped bar drinking alcoholic potions and eating largely organic bites that charm.
For those not yet familiar, half of the storefront is pure mercantile featuring dry goods ranging from a specialty foods pantry to American made denim and leather products. The other half offers the back bar where friendly cocktail making takes place with the skill and inclination of an apothecary.
On occasion, E. Smith Merc also features chefs for special one night culinary experiences. The shop space is cleared and family style tables are set for multiple courses of culinary delight. As it happens, at 6 pm on Sunday 22 February, Seattle’s Monica Dimas is Guest Chef.
Dimas is a well-known chef in the Seattle food world. She previously cooked for Spinasse, Le Pichet, Monsoon, and more recently for Ethan Stowell’s Mkt. Currently Dimas is taking on the kitchen at Capitol Hill’s Nacho Borracho and making it her own Mexican street food operation.
by Courtney Crockett
If I didn’t live in the Square I would be entirely unaware that the Seattle Seahawks are playing this Super Bowl Sunday. But I do live here and have learned that a tremendous number of people will battle traffic in order to fit themselves into bars to watch the games and that many people actually move into the neighborhood expressly to be near the arena and their team. It’s a complete mystery to me.
People of Pioneer Square: I don’t know how to play football, I don’t care about how to play football and I don’t particularly appreciate the aftermath that a game of football leaves on my doorstep the following morning.
It was around this same time last year however, that I decided I love the Seahawks. Before last year’s Super Bowl I was unpleasantly awakened by a conflagration of Seahawks fans hollering below my windows at 2am thanks to a live broadcast by an East Coast morning show. Indignant, I listened to the pre-camera light fluffer ginning up bellowing cheers from 100’s of fans who came out with their children, all to be seen in support of their team at an absurd hour during the work week. Further rest was no longer possible and I contemplated my choices. What I chose is love over hate. I decided then that I was living in Rome and I would love my coliseum and its gladiator Seahawks and these are the reasons why.
I have a laugh every time passersby assume that my dog is named in honor of our cornerback. The Seahawks’ athleticism isn’t simply about knuckle dragging power, they move really really fast and with superb grace. The team sticks together and is gracious enough to share victory with all of its players. Then there is the mischief incited by some. Marshawn Lynch elevates his distaste for public speaking to performance art and during his interviews; Richard Sherman develops a wicked grin that seems to reveal an inner glee about exchanges with the media.
So while the probability that I will ever attend a football game is infinitesimally small and certainly I will not wear any jerseys or gear, on this Sunday I will drink heartily with friends, our eyes fixed on a television. And I will cheer on our team like most everyone else in the neighborhood.
Beastmode, son! #GoHawks #SuperBowl
By RaNae Vodder
If you live in Pioneer Square and are a Seahawks fan, you are probably preparing for Sunday’s Conference Championship game. You are likely asking yourself, “Do I have enough beverages? What snacks shall I serve? Is my TV big enough? Should I ask my friends not to yell at passersby from the deck?” If you are not a Seahawks fan, then you might be planning to be as far away as possible. Maybe you pack up your dog and head out early to a friend’s house on the Eastside?
As more and more people have clamored to climb aboard the Seahawks’ bandwagon, my neighbors and friends have developed some new traditions. We often have people “stop by” before the game for a visit. They drink a beer, use the bathroom, and generally head out early if the weather is good or with minutes to spare when it is not. Sometimes there is a request to use our “extra parking spot.” This is a great test of patience as they try to park in our tight little space. I hope they use the $50 they are saving wisely.
After the game, we love to go outside and soak up the energy of the crowd, watch Blue Thunder and once I was even able to “hug the Hawk” (Blitz). Our traditions ramp up with our team in the playoffs, more friends stop by before and after the game, and some even stay the night to ensure a safe drive home. There is more celebrating and tailgating, the recycle bins are stuffed, and people who support our neighborhood have more work to do to keep everyone safe. This year I started a new tradition… I make eye contact with our police officers and say, “Thank you for being here today.” I am making a little extra effort to be a good neighbor.
So, in the spirit of traditions and being on the bandwagon or just appreciating what living in Pioneer Square means to you, please reply and tell us what traditions you have on game day! And as the Bud Light slogan so perfectly said, “It’s only weird if it doesn’t work.”
The Pioneer Square Residents Council is joining the “Shop the Square” effort with a gift-wrapping service (for a donation) at Milepost 31 from 11 am to 5 pm for the next two Saturdays: December 6th and 13th. The proceeds will go to the Pioneer Square Residents Council for our community projects.
You’ll find cookies, goodies, and good cheer at Milepost 31, too. If you print and have the Shop the Square Passport validated at five participating Pioneer Square stores, you’ll be entered in a weekly drawing for great prizes.
If you bring your gifts in by noon, you can pick them up the same day by 4:30. Then you can spend your time enjoying the holiday spirit on the Square and checking out all the recent additions to our community.
Get your passport and more information at the Residents Council website.
The garlands are up around the Square and the holiday excitement is mounting. The festivities begin this First Thursday, December 4th when Coco+Kelley will sponsor a special Holiday Pop-Up at 95 Yesler Creative Studios. An impressive lineup of local designers will show their wares and present classes in holiday crafts. On First Thursday, you’ll find an opening night party, and there’ll be nibbles and treats every day.
On Saturday, you can sign up for one of the three sessions of the Gift Wrapping 101 workshop, led by Brandy of Marabou Design. You’ll learn how the pros wrap their presents and you’ll have the opportunity to create your own gift tags and wrapping paper. McKenzie Powell will be on hand to lead two workshops on Wreath Design – she’ll share the process of creating the perfect décor for your front door. You can sign up for sessions at Coco+Kelley’s website here: http://cocokelley.bigcartel.com/.
Do plan to come by 95 Yesler Creative Studios to discover the creativity and holiday cheer on Pioneer Square!
Here’s the schedule:
|* Thursday, Dec 4th 5-10 pm||* Friday, Dec 5th 12-7 pm||* Saturday, Dec 6th|
|Opening Night Party||Workshops|
by Jenny Kelly
My husband and I moved to this neighborhood over 5 years ago, and fell in love with it right away. Shortly after moving in, we started this website/blog, and mostly kept up with it over the past five years. (However, I am more than excited to have new contributors to the blog!). In that time, we also had a daughter, who is now an inquisitive 2 year old, who loves exploring the neighborhood and various activities downtown.
Despite some of the tough times we’ve experienced in Pioneer Square, we really love this neighborhood and are committed to contributing to its success. With new businesses, and especially with more residents, I think we are beginning to see some great changes in the neighborhood. I’ve always felt that this neighborhood had all of the right pieces — it just needed a better balance of a strong residential base — and we see new building announcements every year that continue to move the neighborhood in that direction.
When my husband and I decided to open a healthy, fast-casual restaurant, Pioneer Square was our first choice. So, a little over a month ago, we opened SPROUT at the base of Smith Tower (512 2nd Ave S). We weren’t too public about it because we are new to the restaurant business, and wanted time to work out some of the inevitable kinks. It’s been amazing so far, and we are incredibly grateful to all of the support we have already received from local employees and residents.
This Thursday, we are (finally) going to have our Grand Opening and would love for you to stop by and try a salad, wrap, soup, or some frozen yogurt.
Details from the official announcement are below:
SPROUT Grand Opening this Thursday
After a few weeks of being open, SPROUT is ready to celebrate with a Grand Opening. Come by this Thursday (12/4) to experience live music, a free cup of soup (with the purchase of a salad), and taste their organic frozen yogurt.
They will have a ribbon cutting at 4pm, and the festivities will continue until 6:30pm, so stop by after work for some dinner while enjoying the live music and free samples.
SPROUT was started by Pioneer Square residents Jenny and Michael Kelly, with their business partner Marcus Oesterwinter, and Executive Chef Alison Strong. Looking at all of the fast-food choices today, they wanted a place where people could eat healthy food every day — and eat with purpose. ‘
SPROUT offers a variety of filling salads that carry as many organic and local goods as seasonally possible. Their dressings are all house made, and are low fat and gluten-free. Drinks include uniquely house made drinks (like Agave Lemonade, and Strawberry Limeade) that will make you forget traditional soda ever existed.
What: SPROUT Grand Opening
When: First Thursday, December 4th
Live Music from 12 – 1:30pm and 5 – 6:30pm
Ribbon Cutting at 4pm
Reason #572 why I love this neighborhood:
Architect and special effects photographer Kevin Scott is currently set up in Occidental Square Park in the hopes of capturing portraits of everyone and anyone who comes through the park in a 24 hour period.
While I stood there, waiting to get my picture taken, interested commuters kept stopping by to find out more and to sign the disclosure to get their own portrait taken.
He has been there since 5:30 this morning, and will be around until 5:30 Saturday morning (or maybe more like 4:30am).
Stop by and check it out — the pictures will eventually be collated into a coffee table book, and posted online at: www.occidentalallday.com sometime in December.
Sponsors of the project include: Kevin Scott, Vanessa Naff, and Olson Kundig Architects
The Seattle Design Festival, now in its fourth year, celebrates the ways design makes life better. Every September, Seattle’s citizens, city leaders and design experts come together at workshops, tours, talks, films and gatherings to exchange ideas.
You can find out more on their website here, but below are the events specifically happening in our neighborhood, starting this friday:
SDF2014 KICKOFF PARTY
9/5 6–9 p.m.
Tether Inc. 316 Occidental Ave S, #400
A fun celebration to kick off the start of the 2014 Seattle Design Festival. Live music. A limited number of tickets will be available to the public at the door, $20 suggested donation. Food and libations included in cost of entry.
SDF2014 BLOCK PARTY
9/6–9/7 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Block Party at Occidental Plaza 310 Occidental Ave S
The SDF Block Party will present design demonstrations, activities, workshops, exhibits, tours and more! This year the Block Party will feature nine installations from the SDF
Rumble, designed and built by teams of local designers, community groups and contractors. Visit the SHOWCASE14: Seattle Design Gallery and Pop-Up Shop with innovative products from local designers. Come hear and see performances, try parkour and take part in art activities and games. Families welcome and encouraged. Suggested donation at the Block Party.
Other events during the block party include:
– rumble installations (ideas for large-scale, inhabitable installations for public display)
– free library design/build competition interactive exhibit (walking map and presentation of competition)
– relief printing (learn how to make a relief print)
– pronto cycle share (meet seattle’s new bike sharing system)
– experiencing transportation projects through visualization (hands-on educational activity experiencing a simulated driving experience)
– traveling tinker tank (a fun, hands-on challenge great for kids and parents)
– how would you get there? (discover industrial design’s impact on movement)
– alley scope (bringing awareness to alleys)
– crea.t.u.r.e (explore the ‘what if” future of sentient buildings, personalized transport, and interactive space)
– mobile couch armada (tricked out mobile furniture)
– Wayfinders community mural (throw paint at a giant canvas)
– add space: shaping interior stories (help design collective Creature Environments for Design Block Creatures)
CITY IN MOTION; A COMMUNITY CONVERSATION AT LITTLE LONDON PLANE
Little London Plane, 322 Occidental Ave S
Seattle seems to be developing and growing at the speed of light. How can the city become a place where people of all ages and incomes can affordably live, work, travel and thrive? What are the relationships between design, density, community and mobility? What are the factors that make a great, affordable, livable city, and how can we achieve them equitably? What are the relationships between well-being/ happiness/work/play and planning/urban design/architecture/mobility? Come ask the questions you think need to be asked and speak directly with the panelists around a large community table. Free and open to the public. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Refreshments available from Little London Plane’s SDF special menu
WALK 2 WORK WEEK
9/8 – 9/12
The space between home and work
Participants will challenge themselves, hundreds of employees and companies around the city to track trips (to and from work and portions of the commute) and miles. Participants are encouraged to recognize how design plays an important role in great walking experiences and support pedestrian safety and accessibility in Seattle. The daily architecture themes include Mosaic Monday, Terra Cotta Tuesday, Windows Wednesday, Stair Tread Thursday and Fountains Friday. Prizes will be given to people with the most miles and trips and will be awarded at the SDF Closing Party on September 19. To participate, RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full schedule of events, click here.
Today through 5:15 PM Thursday: Gameday Village in Occidental Mall and Park. We hear Shaun Alexander is there, giving autographs, and Jim Zorn might be around, too. They’ll even autograph your phone case!
Wednesday Night: “Practice fireworks” at CenturyLink in preparation for tomorrow night’s big bash. Somewhere between 6 PM – 7 PM tonight. EXPECT NOISE!
- Helicopters and Television crews are already here
- Soon our streets will be packed with cars and fans, so expect traffic delays, especially Thursday.
- Metro is altering routes, detouring away from S. Jackson Street (#16,66, and 99) Metro link: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/
- If you are driving to work on Thursday, it might be easier to come back home into PS about an hour after the game starts. (5:40 PM kick-off)
Click here to see a map with Thursday’s street closures.
For more information about what’s happening surrounding the big game and all of the local events, go to the Alliance for Pioneer Square’s website here.
Remember, cell phone networks can be overloaded during special events, so text when you can.
Be safe and have fun out there!
Help the bride and groom solve a marital murder mystery when a member of the wedding party is murdered.
Take your own vows to help solve this crime before it’s too late!
If you’re attending the world’s worst wedding then you should dress like it.
Pull out your unfortunate bridesmaid dress, terrible ties and downright disastrous wedding attire!
Price is $65 per person General Seating
$75 per person Premiere Seating
Doors will open at 6:00 p.m.
INCLUDES UNDERWORLD TOUR, MURDER MYSTERY
SHOW, 4 COURSE BUFFET DINNER (DRINKS NOT INCLUDED)