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Travellers heading between Seattle and Vancouver could soon shorten their journey, with direct flights between the cities’ downtown cores planned to take off next year.

The service will be run by Vancouver’s Harbour Air and Washington State-based Kenmore Air will include four daily flights between Coal Harbour and Lake Union.

Kenmore Air already offers direct flights between the Seattle lake airport and Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

The proposed Vancouver-Seattle flight path has been nicknamed the “nerd bird” because it links the growing high-tech sectors of both cities. If approved, the new route could begin as early as spring 2018.

In an interview at the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference in Seattle, Microsoft president Brad Smith said he’s hopeful for regular seaplane service between the cities within the next year.

“Frankly there was little reason not to have it in place this year,” he told The Canadian Press.

“I think it’s not unreasonable to say we need to move faster in getting that done.”

Smith said he also hopes a plan to build a high-speed train between the cities will come to fruition. Microsoft donated US$50,000 to a feasibility study commissioned by Washington State.

Vancouver’s Microsoft Canada office currently employs 800 workers, and Smith said he sees continuing opportunities for growth north of the border.

He added it “makes sense” for Vancouver to make an effort to woo Amazon.com, based in Seattle and currently looking for a location for its second headquarters.

Syndicated from bc.ctvnews.ca

by Christine Clarridge

Some brazen South Lake Union pedestrians who have felt the urge to cross Denny Way in the middle of a perilous block have a small but significant reason to celebrate.

The installation of a new traffic light and crosswalk was completed Tuesday morning (August 15th) at Terry Avenue North, meaning pedestrians will no longer have the temptation to take their lives in their hands to cross an unprotected intersection on Denny Way between Boren and Westlake avenues.

Many people would cross the intersection, which separates much of the South Lake Union workforce from public-transit options just to the south, mid-block to avoid walking down to Westlake or up to Fairview.

People so used to crossing the unprotected intersection didn’t seem to even notice the new traffic feature as they loped across Denny, just feet away from the white crosswalk lines, according to Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) spokeswoman Mafara Hobson. But those who noticed have been pleased, she said.

“Everybody has been saying ‘Thank God you did it,’” Hobson said, moments after the traffic light — a project costing the city about $100,000 — was turned on for the first time.

The impetus for the new crossing came from the state’s former secretary of transportation, Douglas MacDonald, who has been on a personal mission to walk many of the city’s streets looking for improvements, according to SDOT Director Scott Kubly. MacDonald reported to the city in January what many South Lake Union employees have been privately griping about for a few years, as the volume of pedestrian traffic in the area has increased dramatically in the booming neighborhood home to Amazon’s urban campus.

Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen said he’s pleased and relieved by the new crosswalk, which can be seen from the company’s newsroom windows just up the hill.

“I’m shocked we haven’t had an employee that’s been hurt because it’s just too enticing to cross without going up or down the hill,” he said. “This just makes a lot of sense.”
Syndicated from the Seattle Times. Photo credit: Christine Clarridge / The Seattle Times. 

By Scott Greenstone

In an apparent quest for an exclusive view of the July Fourth fireworks show, one man was arrested on investigation of criminal trespassing Tuesday night after scaling the underbelly of the Aurora Bridge, police said.

A little after 9 p.m., Dutch tourist Justin van Schaick saw someone climbing on the girders under the Aurora Bridge, which is more than 160 feet above Lake Union.

“He was carefully sliding from beam to beam and then finally stopped when he was far enough to be able to see the fireworks and took some selfies,” van Schaick said in an email recounting the incident.

Van Schaick snapped photos of the man as he climbed the 160-foot-high steel underbelly of the bridge, illuminated by the sky nearing dusk.

Photo credit: Justin van Schaick

The Seattle Fire Department and police arrived soon after and told the man to come down. According to van Schaick, the man asked authorities whether he could wait until after the fireworks show to come down.

They said no.

“He yelled down to the police at some point: ‘Could you please not make a scene?’ ” van Schaick said, “which was very funny because he was the very reason they were here.”

Upon reaching the ground, the man was arrested and booked into King County Jail on investigation of criminal trespassing, police said. He was released about midnight.

Syndicated from The Seattle Times.

Just a few of the makers at the Uprising, left to right: Dolcetta Artisan Sweets, Good and Well Supply Co., Paper Parasol Press, Haute Under The Collar, Estrella Soap Co., Dotted Line Jewelry, Lincoln Hobbs, and Lyonhart Bag Co.

The summer version of the Urban Craft Uprising (there’s a winter show, too) is happening on Saturday June 24th and Sunday June 25th this year. It’s being held at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall from 11 am to 5 pm, and at the time of this writing, there are currently around 146 indie vendors showcasing their handmade wares at this event.

Tripper Dungan, one of the artists at Urban Craft Uprising

For those who aren’t familiar with this, the Urban Craft Uprising supports independent artists and makers and their creations, by hosting Seattle’s largest craft show of its kind. In the summer, this juried show tends to be a bit quieter than the winter show (perhaps seeking out unique Christmas gifts then), so a good time to check out the event.

Crafts fall under different categories:
art ˖ accessories ˖ baby/kid stuff ˖ bags ˖ candles ˖ bath & body ˖ ceramics ˖ clothing ˖ fiber ˖ food (packaged) ˖ housewares ˖ jewelry ˖ kits & supplies ˖ paper goods ˖ pets ˖ toys

Between shopping for one-of-a-kind gifts, there are eating options as well.  Five different food trucks will be available on the premises.

Urban Craft Uprising
Seattle Center Exhibition Hall
301 Mercer St.
Seattle, WA 98109

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/642220882629399/permalink/683447358506751/

 

by Kate Calamusa

STROLLER ALONG

In my humble opinion, South Lake Union is best toured by the Seattle Streetcar. Pick up the cheery little trolley at the Westlake Avenue and Olive Way stop in Downtown Seattle and then hop on and hop off as you please. Stops of note include the Westlake Avenue North and Denny Way, which will drop you in front of Tutta Bella (see below), where you can enjoy some pizza on the deck if it’s a sunny day. Another is at the intersection of Terry Avenue North and Harrison Street. There you’ll find Ping Pong Plaza, outfitted with an outdoor bronze-and-steel Ping-Pong table for all to enjoy; plan ahead and BYOP (bring your own paddlesand balls). End your streetcar trip at Lake Union Park (860 Terry Ave. N; 206-684-4075), a lovely spot to hang after your ride. It offers an expansive lakefront lawn to roam, plus a spray pad to cool off in during the summer months.

SNACK BREAK

Time to cast your vote. Breakfast means making a tough choice between a stacked biscuit sammich from chef Tom Douglas’s Serious Pie and Biscuit (401 Westlake Ave. N; 206-436-0050) or the fully loaded toppings barstocked with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and syrups for your waffle or pancakesat Portage Bay Cafe (391 Terry Ave. N; 206-462-6400). Whichever side loses the breakfast battle can pick between LunchBox Laboratory (1253 Thomas St.; 206-621-1090) and Blue Moon Burgers (920 Republican St.; 206-652-0400) later in the day; both eateries offer up big beefy burgers and creative toppings. 

PLAY DATE

Kids can wiggle, giggle, dance, and jiggle at PlayDate SEA (1275 Mercer St.; 206-623-7529), an 8,000-square-foot indoor play space in this hood. With slides and tunnels,plus a dancing area, toddler section, laser tag, and even puppet shows, this spot is nice for parents too,with a café that offers Stumptown coffee and free Wi-Fi.

Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
2200 Westlake Ave., Suite 112
206-624-4422
$$$

Specializing in authentic Naples-style pizzas, Tutta Bella immediately offers parents a helping hand by handing pizza dough to little ones to play with in addition to Wikki Stix or crayons and coloring pages.Kids will also get a kick out of their own personal-size Bambino pizza ($6), arriving crisp and lightly charred from the wood-burning oven, with melted provolone and mozzarella cheeses. Psstwith the exception of the Bellevue location, the pizzerias all boast beautiful patios for alfresco dining.

*(c)2017 by Kate Calamusa. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Seattle Family Adventures by permission of Sasquatch Books.

Mary’s Place will occupy roughly 6 stories of Amazon’s new building on right.  Rendering: Graphite

Amid concerns about the rapidly rising cost of living in Seattle, rising housing costs and urban expansion often top the list. According to this news article, Seattle could possibly be the 9th most expensive city in the world to be a renter. Meaning it might actually be less expensive to rent an apartment in Paris, France (which also made the list) than in our city.

Mary’s Place currently occupies a former Travelodge motel on Amazon’s site.  Photo: Evan McGlinn/NY Times

Homelessness, along with this higher cost of living, has increased significantly here, as people find themselves in precarious life situations, and sometimes end up without a home. Mary’s Place is one local organization that provides safety and shelter for women, children and families. They also help people get back on their feet through meals, clean clothing, and social/financial/medical and employment services.

Amazon recently made a permanent commitment to Mary’s Place by pledging that the non-profit will be able to utilize six stories in one of two, new buildings to be built by the mega internet retail/cloud computing company on their current South Lake Union property. Plans are to open officially in the year 2020. Amazon will be providing the space rent-free for Mary’s Place, which currently occupies a former motel on the site, and will pay the utilities as well. The new space will provide an additional 10,000 square feet more than what the shelter currently has.

Amazon also recently made a commitment to FareStart, which give opportunities to people in the food industry, including job training. They will be providing significant space on their campus for 5 different types of FareStart eateries.

Rendering courtesy of Amazon.com

In a city rife with homelessness, donating space to carry out essential social service functions and job training may be a step in the right direction.

By Megan Hill

Hoping to capitalize on the still-booming South Lake Union scene, The Grilled Cheese Experience food truck has opened a brick-and-mortar restaurant to complement its melty mobile operations.

Photo source

The restaurant landed last month at 434A Yale Ave N, near REI and the frenzied Amazonia construction zone. Owner Mark Amatangelo says he’s long looked to set down roots for his business born on wheels, and South Lake Union was a natural fit given its explosive growth, workday lunch crowd, and the success of other truck-to-restaurant concepts in the area, like Skillet and Marination.

The Grilled Cheese Experience serves — you guessed it — tricked-out grilled cheese sandwiches with additions like house-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, and sunny side up eggs. The truck will continue to operate; on any given day, it offers just a handful of sandwiches from a master menu of about 12 to 14. The restaurant provides Amatangelo the opportunity to sell almost his entire repertoire at once, save for the seasonal creations. You may see some specials rotate through, too.

Amatangelo is waiting on a liquor license, so he’ll soon be able to serve beer and wine alongside the sandwiches. At that point he’ll also extend his hours, which currently run only Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Syndicated from Seattle Eater

The long-awaited Uwuajimaya spin-off, Kai Market is now open (as of today, May 3rd) in South Lake Union! The market offers sashimi, a poke bar, and delicious grab-and-go meals for lunch and dinner with cold noodle packaged salads and bento boxes. Kai also has a live seafood tank with oysters and crabs, which will soon also feature lobsters. Fresh fish fillets are on ice for purchase as well.

“We’re hoping as the neighborhood grows, that people will eat a lot of seafood,” Warren Huch, store director told the Seattle Times.

To encourage this, Kai Market will host cooking classes and other workshop for hands-on interest in the seafood and Asian-inspired cuisine the market sells.

In addition to prepared meals and fresh seafood, Kai Market offers staple Asian packaged foods, condiments, snacks, and more. There’s a growler-fill bar with sakes, beers and a kombucha.

“Kai Market is about options. The lunch crowd can stop in for a hand-crafted bento box in the dining area, while the after-work crowd can take home fresh seafood and a carefully curated selection of quality Asian products for which Uwajimaya is known,” said Denise Moriguchi, President of Uwajimaya Inc., in a release. “We were excited to try something new and loved the idea of a store with a smaller, more intimate footprint in a growing, vibrant neighborhood like South Lake Union.”

The establishment is running a couple of specials over the next few days in celebration of the opening:

  • May 3rd: Free Kai Market snack bag with purchase (first 250 customers)
  • May 4th: Free 500mL Ito-En Oi Ocha Tea with purchase of any poke bowl
  • May 5th: Free Chocolate Pocky or Hi-Chew with purchase (first 250 customers)

Online ordering and catering options will be coming soon.

By Daniel Person

In September, we profiled Row House Cafe as part of a series on “hold outs” in South Lake Union, the once-blue-collar hood that is now ground zero for the Amazon takeover.

“Sitting in the heart of South Lake Union at 1170 Republican Street, the scruffy restaurant sits in deep contrast to the glittering newness around it, its oldness a form of defiance. And therein lies its beauty, say its fans,” we wrote then.

Well, not for long.

The Seattle Times is reporting that the three old homes that were fused together to create the bar and restaurant have a date with a wrecking ball “some time in 2018.” There was a push to get the 1911 homes designated historic landmarks, but to no avail.

Photo credit: Jose Trujillo

“By one vote, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Board did not muster enough votes to designate the site a landmark. A majority of the 11-member board was needed to approve the designation, and the vote was 5 to 4,” the Times reports today.

In place of the small homes will be a 91-unit apartment complex with a gym and an “indoor pet relief area,” the Times writes. This lends credence to the contention that a lot of Seattle development is dog shit.

When we wrote our story, Row House’s general manager Erin Maher was philosophical about the changing neighborhood around here, saying that the growth was a blessing and a curse.

“We opened because we knew this area was undergoing dynamic growth; we just had no idea that it would happen literally on every block in this neighborhood,” she said. “I don’t think anyone anticipated there would be so much construction all at once.”

However, she added, “You’re not going to stop growth. Physics just won’t allow it.”

No, it seems, it won’t.

Syndicated from the Seattle Weekly

By Monica Nickelsburg

The Seattle City Council voted to increase building heights in the South Lake Union and downtown neighborhoods Monday (April 10th). It’s the second upzone that South Lake Union has seen in the past five years.

The upzone allows for buildings with an additional one to five stories. In exchange for taller buildings, developers will be required to build at least 2.1 percent affordable, income-restricted units or pay fees to the city that will go toward nonprofits that focus on affordable housing. If developers take the fee option, there’s no guarantee that the housing it funds will be built in South Lake Union or downtown.

The program is an extension of Mayor Ed Murray’s Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) plan to all of South Lake Union and a significant portion of downtown. It was a point of some contention during the City Council meeting Monday. Councilmember Lisa Herbold proposed an amendment that would increase the mandatory affordable housing to 5 percent, but it was voted down by the council.

South Lake Union has undergone a dramatic transformation in the past decade driven by the growth of Amazon, which is headquartered there. But it’s not just Amazon — Seattle’s booming technology industry is drawing record numbers of newcomers to the region, creating traffic and affordability issues around downtown.

The City hopes this legislation will reduce congestion by encouraging more people to live near their offices and alleviate some of the housing affordability issues longtime residents are facing.

“This legislation that we’re about to pass today really does set the city on a new path and a new course of requiring all construction in the city, whether it’s commercial or residential, to contribute to affordable housing,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess during the meeting. “We’ve never had a mandatory program like this.”

The upzone stems from the mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA), a plan aimed at adding 50,000 new homes in Seattle over the next decade, 20,000 of which would be reserved for low- and middle-income residents.

Syndicated from GeekWire.com