Amazon: Mary’s Place Benefactor  

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

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.

Christmas Ships!


Ready or not, hear Christmas Ships come! Pun intended. Next Friday is the Argosy Cruises Christmas Ship Festival kick-off! For all of our new Seattleites, this holiday celebration has been a holiday tradition since 1949. The Argosy Christmas Ship sails around 65 different Puget Sound waterfront communities bringing holiday cheer. Join your community around a warm bonfire and listen for the arrival of the Christmas Ship!

Next Friday, November 25th, a Lead Boat will be performing from 7:30pm-7:50pm at the Seattle Tennis Club. The 2nd performance will be held from 8pm-8:20pm at the Park Shore Retirement Home. Although these may be private, check out the schedule for the rest of the holiday season!

Happy New Year! Where to see Fireworks in Seattle

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!

Apodments: Coming soon to East Lake Union

Apodments: Coming Soon to East Lake Union

EastlakeResidentialCommunity_bigThe new Apodment style communities in Seattle are making city living affordable for many but at a price to others. Much like micro-housing, an Apodment is a large complex that caters to low-income families, students and single residents.

Thanks to the dorm style living, residents are able to rent out a room with a private bathroom while sharing a kitchen and living space with many others who also enjoy lower monthly rent. While these structures are great for developers and students many people who are seeing them built in their home neighborhoods are not as welcoming. Most of the residents that feel these developments are intrusive voice problems with an existing parking situation that is sure to worsen. Many of these new structures do not offer any parking whatsoever.

After demolishing a 100 year old single family home and a duplex, two lots will be used to house 115 units at 2820 Eastlake Ave. This is a much higher density than what residents are used to on Eastlake according to a letter written to the city council. The letter expresses many of these local concerns in depth including the lack in ability for locals to comment on these developments and that these types of properties are not sustainable housing choices.

On the bright side, the developer of the property, Kelten Johnson, says he plans on offering “an efficient, clean, safe and affordable housing alternative to Seattle students and the workforce community” at prices ranging between $500 and $600 a month. These are significantly lower than an individual apartment in the area.

The new apodments are sure to bring changes for all in the Eastlake area and throughout Seattle. It is apparent this compact style housing is growing in popularity, with permits already issued for another handful of these complexes. Only time will reveal the true pros and cons of these apodments from a social, economical and sustainable point of view.



Calling All Pirates to the “Shipwrecked Pirate Party!”

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Come out and experience the “Shipwrecked Pirate Party” this Saturday! Epiphany Events is hosting this event in South Lake Union. Now 21+ Seattleites have a way to celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Sat Sept 19th). The Islander is moored on Lake Union along Fairview Ave. Address: 1611 Fairview Ave E Seattle, Washington 98102

One ticket includes a 3-hour Boat Cruise, Pirate Booty and One Drink Ticket (spirits, beer or wine)!  Among the festivities, be prepared to sing sea shanties, hunt for buried treasure and indulge in many other pirate shenanigans. Wear your best pirate costume and dance the night away to DJ EPop as you cruise!

Disclaimer: Anyone who buys a ticket and shows up dressed as a landlubber will not be granted access to our ship. YOU MUST BE DRESSED AS A PIRATE!

Purchase tickets online HERE!

The ship will start boarding at 7:00pm. The cruise departs at 8 PM SHARP and returns at 11 PM. Please be aware that you will not receive a refund if you miss the boat. There is very little free parking in the area, but you might think about arriving via taxi, Uber or Lyft.

Please bring a photo ID (must be 21+). Credit card or cash to buy drinks at the No Host Bar (and to tip your awesome bartenders). Limited food menu (bar food) also available for purchase.