Velouria First Thursday Art Walk Event

May 4, 2015  |  Event, Fashion, First Thursday, PI  |  2 comments

velouria shop

Velouria First Thursday Art Walk Event on 7 May from 6-9 pm

by Courtney Crockett

beth naumann - velouria

lu - velouria

One of our lovely neighborhood retail stores, Velouria is having an event this First Thursday Art Walk as part of an ongoing curatory collaboration with Shawn Parks, Founder of QMNIQBL (pronounced communicable). The occasion features large-scale architectural mobiles by Bay Area artist, Beth Naumann. This is Naumann’s Seattle debut and she will be in-store with selected works from her jewelry line Hellbent.

The evening event also features local designer Jenny Fort and her Seattle-made clothing line Lu. She and her team will be on hand for a special trunk show from the current collection of season to season pieces that are both modern and easy for women to wear.

Velouria is located at 145 S King St.

Soccer is Back!

March 6, 2015  |  Event, Families, Fun, Personal, Residents  |  2 comments

by RaNae Vodder 

image4I live just a few hundred feet from Century Link field and am ignorant about the sport of soccer.  I decided to interview some local, die hard soccer  fans to find out what I need to know about soccer and what to do in Pioneer Square before and after the game.

I learned that soccer is a very popular sport in countries around the world.  The American fan base was jump started by the World Cup in 1994.  Before that, fans were only able to watch international games on TV. Major League Soccer (MLS) might not have happened this year due to negotiations between the players union and the league. They came to agreement just this week!

What you need to know about soccer and what to do in Pioneer Square according to:

Matt Goss: • Played D1 soccer in college and current recreational player • Coach (under 9 years old) • 2014 World Cup attendee

Susan Behroozi • Played D3 soccer in College • Sounders Season Ticket Holder • Aspiring Soccer Mom


Why do you love soccer?

Matt:  I grew up playing soccer and love to see the athleticism of the players in the game, especially the things I can’t do.  Plus- there are only commercials at half time so the game really is only 90 minutes long!

Susan:  I have created life-long friendships from playing soccer and my seats are close to the field so I can actually see the game. Now that I have Miles, it has truly become a family activity.

Who is your favorite team? (both qualified this is their favorite MLS team)

Matt:  Seattle Sounders- their ownership model is unique and it’s great to be in the home town!

Susan: Seattle Sounders – I would be a Sounders fan whether I lived in Seattle or not!

What do I need to know about soccer to understand the game?


  • The Portland Timbers hate us more than we hate them
  • Learn the Boom, Boom, Clap
  • Get a team scarf to hold up at the right times during the game


  • You can’t use your hands when you play
  • It is ok to end the game with a tie score
  • There are two 45 minute halves

What must I do in Pioneer Square before or after the game?

Matt:  Attend the March to the Match, starve yourself before and after the game to take advantage of the 2 for $5 hot dogs.

Susan:  Have a beer before the game at Elysian and enjoy being with great friends.

If you wrote Soccer for Dummies, what would you include?

Matt: A clear and simple explanation of what it means to be off-sides.

Susan’s depiction of being    off-sides

Do you have any insider tips?

Matt:  If you need a ticket, go to FX McRory’s for a tall boy and they might have one there.

Susan:  Pick a spot to meet up with friends for Tecate half time.  It’s a great way to drink, catch up and talk about the game.

Now that I am armed with this great advice, all I need to do is visit to the team store for a proper Sounders jersey!

Pioneer Square Blog readers:  What do you think I need to know about soccer or things to do in Pioneer Square?

E Smith Mercantile Guest Chef Series

February 19, 2015  |  Event, Food, PI  |  No Comments
Photograph Courtesy of White on Rice

Photograph Courtesy of White on Rice

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.

To learn about the menu for this event and ticket orders, please visit E. Smith Mercantile location and hours of operation are also available on their website.

Some Game on Sunday

January 31, 2015  |  Event, Sports  |  No Comments


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


Playoff Game Day in Pioneer Square

January 15, 2015  |  Announcement, Event, Sports  |  2 comments

By RaNae Vodder

Foggy Pregame AfternoonIf 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 Sausagesnew 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.StadiumFlag

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.”

Shop the Square Gift-Wrapping Service

December 5, 2014  |  Announcement, Event, Residential Council  |  No Comments



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.

Three-day Coco+Kelley Holiday Pop-Up this week

December 3, 2014  |  Event, First Thursday  |  No Comments

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:

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

SPROUT – Grand Opening this Thursday

December 2, 2014  |  Business, Event, First Thursday, Personal, PI  |  No Comments

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

Check them out online for more information:

Occidental All Day: a 24 hour photoshoot in the park happening today

September 19, 2014  |  Event, Fun, PI, Residents  |  No Comments


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: sometime in December.

Sponsors of the project include: Kevin Scott, Vanessa Naff, and Olson Kundig Architects





Seattle Design Festival coming to Pioneer Square this weekend

September 4, 2014  |  Event, Families, PI  |  No Comments

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:

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.


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)

9/6 5PM
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

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

For a full schedule of events, click here.