Queen Anne

The Anne Frank sapling planted in the Peace Garden at Seattle Center.  (Holocaust Center for Humanity)

An actual offshoot/descendant of the chestnut tree that young Anne Frank drew solace from, looking down from her attic window in Amsterdam, is planted in the Peace Garden at the Seattle Center. It was a gift to the Holocaust Center for Humanity in downtown Seattle, only one of 11 saplings sent to America through The Sapling Project.

Undated photo of Anne Frank from the Anne Frank Center, USA. (AP Photo)

The original tree lived 170 years in the Netherlands, 50 years beyond its young Jewish admirer, who died at 15 years old in a Nazi concentration camp. While Anne and her family hid for two years in a concealed attic during World War II, she wrote in her diary of birds, the blue sky, and her chestnut tree out the window: “As long as this exists, how can I be sad?”

Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom Hashoah) is this week, and the Holocaust Center for Humanity is holding a commemoration day on April 15th. Their current exhibit, “Let Me Be Myself: The Life Story of Anne Frank” runs through May 30th, reservations required.

Interesting news video about Anne’s Tree when it first arrived in Seattle:

Anne Frank’s attic window, looking out on the original chestnut tree in Amsterdam.  (KIRO7)

Today marks the start of the tastiest week of the season- the triumphant return of Seattle Restaurant Week!

We here in Seattle are so blessed with an abundance of fabulous dining options, ranging from simple and inexpensive to exotic, lavish and extraordinary, which usually doesn’t come too cheap. Seattle Restaurant Week is an opportunity for people to explore many incredible restaurants they may not normally spring for by offering fabulous deals you won’t want to miss out on.

Every Sunday through Thursday from April 2nd to April 19th, over 165 restaurants across the city will be offering up $33 three-course dinners, with many also offering $18 two-course lunches as well. These restaurants range in price, type of cuisine and location, giving you tons of options to choose from, in every department!

To maximize your SRW experience, check out a list of participating restaurants here (click on the name of the restaurants to see their location and view their SRW exclusive menu) and be sure to check out The Seattle Times lists of best overall value, best ambiance, neighborhood favorites and SRW newcomers.

If you are going to explore SRW (which we highly recommend you do!), remember to be patient, make reservations and tip your servers well! While SRW is a great opportunity for diners, restaurants do tend to get swamped, and the nicer and more understanding we are as patrons, the better the experience for everyone!

Now, go out and get a healthy dose of YUM, before it’s too late!

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



Central atrium inside Allen Institute.  Photo: Anthony Bolante/Puget Sound Business Journal

Science, art, and efficiency integrate seamlessly, not unlike our own left and right brains, in the architecture and structure of The Allen Institute building, located near the southwest bank of Lake Union. The large, LED-driven installation on the exterior façade, which is based upon neural brain activity and perception, transitions between colors and layered images. And among other unique building features is the engineering marvel of corralling existing mineral springs so a building could reliably stand on the site. The Allen Institute at 615 Westlake Ave. N. encompasses three entities: the Allen Institute for Brain Science, Allen Institute for Cell Science and Paul G. Allen Frontiers.

Allen Institute exterior. Photo: Lara Swimmer Photography

According to Puget Sound Business Journal, philanthropist Paul Allen’s 270,000 square foot, 7-story building has now won two awards from Engineering News-Record: ENR Northwest’s “Project of the Year” and Best “Higher Education/Research” project. Only 20 real estate developments were given commendations this year for any “Best of the Best” category. The two awards mentioned were given to the Allen Institute, in ENR’s words, “for achieving the promise of a collaborative concept, overcoming dewatering and structural challenges, and preserving a historical site.”

Dewatering? Structural challenges? What historical site? Well, “dewatering” refers to the mineral springs mentioned earlier; they bubbled up during initial excavation, which had to be addressed so the structure of the building wouldn’t buckle. Especially since the P4 parking garage is 34 feet below water level. Through a series of dewatering wells built during construction and careful monitoring over time of water pressure on shoring walls (more than 100 of them), the team was able to determine that the structure would hold. Because of a clever treatment system that filters the ground water so efficiently that it is released into Lake Union cleaner than the actual lake water, the WA Department of Ecology approved it.

Looking east toward Lake Union.

The integrity of the former Ford and Pacific McKay car showrooms on-site, designated as a historic landmark, needed to be considered. Pioneer Masonry catalogued, disassembled, and stored any protected components from the buildings, especially the terra-cotta façade which was later reassembled using a virtual 3D model made previously. The new building was built to wrap around the older ones.

The new Allen Institute building wraps around historic car showrooms.

The interior of the facility has interesting features as well. Studio SC built the external public artwork called “Pathways” that adorns the exterior, but also provided wayfinding graphics/ signage within the building. The central atrium of the building is built to promote easy access between labs and offices, between co-workers in different departments. The excess heat produced by the data center, which stores a huge amount of information, is effectively re-routed to provide heating and cooling for the building. Besides the data center, the institute also has wet and dry labs, an electron microscopy area, auditorium, and a center for education.

Studio SC’s public art installation “Pathways”, exterior.  Photo: Lara Swimmer Photography

Paul Allen, who initially made his fortune as co-founder of Microsoft, began this non-profit in 2003 to study the workings of the brain in an “open science” model (greatly simplified, meaning easier access to scientific knowledge and research). An interesting link to explore, the Allen Brain Atlas, gives a peek into the depth of what is studied here.


Owner/Developer: Vulcan Inc.
General Contractor: GLY
Lead Design/Architect Firm: Perkins+Will
Subcontractors: BOLA Architecture + Planning; Candela; Sparling; Coughlin Porter Lundeen; McKinstry; Affiliated Engineers NW; Valley Electric; GeoEngineers; Pioneer Masonry

It’s almost time to lace up those running shoes and sign up for the annual Hot Chocolate 15/5k run! This year’s yummy and fun event kicks off on Sunday, March 5th at Seattle Center How’s that for a great way to spend the first Sunday-Funday of March, both for seasoned runners and first-timers who aren’t afraid of a challenge!

The fun begins bright and early at 6:45a.m. with the 5K and the 15k starts at 7:55a.m. Race participants can expect a fun, well organized and challenging race through the heart of beautiful Downtown Seattle (hills and all!), a fabulous SWAG bag of goodies to take home, of course, delicious chocolate. Talk about motivation to finish strong!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday while getting a great workout, consider signing up for this once-a-year event. The challenge is worth it to get to the Post Race Party where runners will enjoy music, a family friendly environment and a ‘finisher’s mug’ filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and delightfully dippable treats. Don’t count the calories, you will have more than earned this chocolate indulgence!

The Hot Chocolate Run isn’t just a great way to spend a day off. The Hot Chocolate Run is partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helping to provide a home-away-from-home for children and the families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s’ Hospital, at little to no cost to the families. A portion of the proceeds from signing up for this race will go to this outstanding cause, helping to make a real difference in our community.

Not into running or chocolate? That’s fine! But be aware, this race will take place in Downtown Seattle and along many main roads and thoroughfares, so you will want to plan ahead for any travel on that day. Take a look at the map (left) to see the route and read the chart below for a street closure timeline, to help you plan your day.

This event is great to do with friends, family or even by yourself. You’ll probably leave with new friends after a little friendly competition! This event brings together people from all over the city and state, so get out there, mix, mingle and help build a wonderful feeling of community in our fair city. Sprint into Springtime at this fabulous annual event, get a good sweat on and maybe even make some new friends….oh and eat chocolate! Do we really need to sell you on this?


For more info on this event, road closures, the post-race party and more, visit the Hot Chocolate Run website here.




Anticipated Road Closures:

Street Closure From To Side of Road Closure Time Anticipated Opening
2nd Ave Thomas St Broad St Whole Road 6:15AM 9:10AM
Broad St 2nd Ave Elliott Ave Westbound 6:15AM 9:15AM
Elliott Ave Broad St SR-99 NB On-Ramp SB One Lane 6:15AM 9:20AM
Elliott Ave SR-99 NB On-Ramp Western Ave Whole Road 6:20AM 9:20AM
Western Ave Elliott Ave Spring St Whole Road 6:20AM 9:40AM
SR-99 Bell St John St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
SR-99 Western Ave John St SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Aurora Ave Denny Way 45th St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
Aurora Ave 38th St Denny Way SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Harrison St Aurora Ave Dexter Ave Whole Road 6:25AM 11:15AM
Dexter Ave Harrison St Mercer St SB One Lane 6:25AM 11:15AM
Mercer St Dexter Ave 5th Ave East Bound Lanes 6:25AM 11:20AM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave SB Lanes 3:00AM 12:00PM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave NB Lanes 6:25AM 11:25AM



1231 5th Ave N (unit 202), Seattle

Just a few minutes from Lake Union this spacious one bedroom plus den condo is for rent in the coveted Le Parc condominiums. Over 1,100sf with lavish master bath, walk-in closet, fireplace, and terrace with stunning Downtown Skyline and Space Needle views. Prime Queen Anne location on a quiet street overlooking Bhy Kracke Park. Secure Parking included. No smoking, no pets.

fireworks.pngThe holiday season is upon us! Wether you are new to seattle or you’ve seen Lake Union’s festive celebrations for years, it’s that time again. Luckily for residents of Lake union, just about every place, besides the lake itself that is fantastic for viewing the show is just a a few minutes away from the neighborhood. If you don’t want to go too far,  Argosy Cruises plan to count down to 2016 by offering spectacular boat rides in one of the most prime locations for watching the fireworks display that happen annually at the Space Needle; on the water. Gather with loved ones and usher in the new year with city skylines and fabulous views of the sound and lake union. With a New Year’s Eve party that allows sailing and dancing the night away, you are sure to have a great night!

If you are worried about crowds or prices, there are plenty of places to view the fireworks from all over the city. With Kerry Park being a superb spot for photos and a romantic view, get there first to snag a good spot to see the amazing show. Don’t forget to bring your camera.

Another top location to enjoy the night is Alki Beach where you can sit by the water. Be sure to bundle up and bring a blanket. There is sure to be a bit more room for larger parties to sit on the comfy sand and watch the display.

Though all of these areas are going to be fantastic spots to celebrate, you will find that it might be the most crowded yet the most magical — at the city’s center, the Space Needle itself. Being that close to the fireworks will get the feels going as the view of the show is right over your head. Arrive early and maybe even bring some ear plugs, still, it is safe to say this location is a top spot for a night that won’t be forgotten!

The Seattle New Years Eve main event is the fireworks show off the top of the Space Needle. Every year, people cram together near all of the known viewpoints (Kerry Park, Gasworks Park, etc.) to catch the sight at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, but there are few more – and less busy – places to celebrate the onset of 2013.

  • Cocktail or Dinner Cruise: Bring in the New Year right with a cocktail or dinner cruise on Lake Union. It’s a prime spot to see a panoramic view of the Space Needle show, with the party-friendly atmosphere provided by good food, cocktails, and an all-around epic night!
  • Ivar’s Salmon-Chanted New Year’s Eve Party: Think buffet dinner, dancing till the wee hours, entertainment, party favors, and more – Ivar’s is having a waterfront party to celebrate the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013 with a great night! This party is already booked, but you can still make the standby list!
  • Eastlake Bar & Grill’s New Year’s Celebration: Everyone is offering a champagne toast at midnight, but have they got the live music and prime Space-Needle-viewing spot that Eastlake Bar & Grill has? Probably not. Set your New Year’s celebrations to maximum and head to Eastlake for a great night bringing in 2013.

If partying hard isn’t really your style, but you still want to celebrate the New Year, there are plenty of places around Lake Union to catch the sight of fireworks from the Space Needle this New Year’s Eve. Queen Anne and Capitol Hill have some great lookout spots, whether you’re viewing the show from a park or friend’s apartment.

Whatever your New Year’s party plans may be, may your celebrations be fun and safe!