Free movies at the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre start this Saturday

Movies at the MuralA summer favorite returns this weekend, with Movies at the Mural turning the Seattle Center Mural Amphitheatre into an outdoor cinema for summer Saturdays through August 27th. The free fun kicks off with a Princess Bride Quote-Along on Saturday, July 30th.

As always, this year’s summer series features popular movies, many appropriate for all-ages. Bring your low back chairs, blankets, or bean bags and set up a spot to soak in the summer Saturday evenings. Seating is first-come, first-serve, with movies starting at dusk (around 9pm). Picnics are welcome, and Armory vendors will be open to sell their wares for movie-goers.

Here’s the roster for the summer:

July 30: The Princess Bride Quote-Along
Rated PG
This beloved 1980s classic blends comedy, adventure, romance and fantasy.  Follow peasant farmhand Westley as he battles three bumbling outlaws and a nefarious prince to win the hand of his one true love, a young woman named Buttercup.  This special Quote-Along edition is brought to you in partnership with SIFF.

August 6: Mad Max: Fury Road
Rated R
The desert wastelands inhabited by the Road Warrior are still rife with motorized gangs in this fourth chapter of the Mad Max legend. When Max encounters a group of refugees fleeing for their lives, he joins them and their fiery leader, Furiosa in this apocalyptic story set in a stark desert landscape where humanity is broken, and everyone is fighting for the necessities of life.

August 13: Galaxy Quest
Rated PG
Decades after the success of the sci-fi series “Galaxy Quest,” the show’s washed-up stars – Jason Nesmith (Tim Allen), Gwen DeMarco (Sigourney Weaver) and Alexander Dane (Alan Rickman) — are recruited by actual aliens to pull off an intergalactic rescue mission. At first, the actors assume the so-called Thermians are just another group of die-hard fans. But as the plot thickens, they realize they’re working with real-life extraterrestrials.

August 20: West Side Story
Not Rated
Winner of 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, this classic musical set among the tenements of New York City finds star-crossed lovers Maria and Tony caught in the midst of a turf war between rival street gangs.  Featuring music and lyrics by Leonard Bernstein and Steven Sondheim, and directed by Jerome Robbins.

August 27: Life of Pi
Rated PG
Based on Yann Martel’s best-selling novel, this coming-of-age tale recounts the adventures of Pi, an Indian boy who is the sole survivor of a shipwreck. While cast away, Pi is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery as he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor: a fearsome Bengal tiger.

Queen Anne’s first Play Street happens Thursday, next door to the Queen Anne Farmers Market

playstreetflyerLocal community group Queen Anne Greenways has been busy behind the scenes getting ready for our first Queen Anne Play Street. They were at last week’s Queen Anne Farmers Market, talking about the inaugural Play Street that happens tomorrow, Thursday, July 28th.

A Play Street makes sense for a neighborhood like Queen Anne, and if you’re a regular at the Queen Anne Farmers Market, you know that kids are a big part of the summer community event. Now, kids are the center of attention with the Play Street, thanks to help from QAFM, the Queen Anne Community Center, and local businesses Once Upon a Time and Blue Highway Games.

The Play Street runs from 3pm to 6pm on 1st Ave W between Crockett and Howe Streets, right next to QAFM, and along the stretch that houses Queen Anne Pool and the Queen Anne Community Center. What can kids expect from this great community event? Free balloons, face painting, toys, a games table, and fun activities to keep them engaged.

Remember to bring the kids to the Play Street, a great companion for the kiddos who are often so patient with us adults at the Queen Anne Farmers Market – tomorrow is their day!

It’s market day: Queen Anne Farmers Market special events & vendors

QAFM 2016 carrots onionsIt’s Thursday, and that means another market day along W Crockett. The Queen Anne Farmers Market opens for business at 3pm and runs through 7:30pm. It’s the perfect summer day to get outside and go to the market!

Here’s the info you need to know to plan your late Thursday afternoon and/or evening:

Every Thursday: farm & food vendors can be found here

Musical Guest: Instrumental music on the lawn, with the Kelly Moore String Trio. These three talented musicians, who also teach on Queen Anne, are excited for their debut QAFM performance!

Event Tent: Come to the Event Tent this week to taste the difference amongst different fresh fruits and vegetables starting at 5:00. We’ll be tasting different varieties of various kinds of produce – taste them all then vote for your favorite!

Community Tent:  Come learn about Play Streets at the Community Tent. Queen Anne Greenways will be hosting a Play Street next week at the market. The Play Street will have games, music and fun for all ages! Queen Anne Greenways will be at this week’s market to tell you about the Play Street as well as what Greenways is all about.

Rotating Food Trucks: BUNSPeasant Food ManifestoPoke to the Max, and The Grilled Cheese Experience

Winery: Wilridge Winery and Cinq Cellars

Make your plans now. The Queen Anne Farmers Market is today, Thursday, July 21st, 3pm-7:30pm, W Crockett Street between Queen Anne Ave N and 1st Ave W.

Old 7-11 site to become 4-story building with 66 efficiency units

A little over a year ago, the 7-11 at the corner of Valley St and 5th Ave N closed. At the time, another convenience store owner was looking into buying the site, but those plans didn’t pan out. In the meantime, the site has become an eyesore, with windows boarded over, acting as graffiti magnet. Now, Instead, a 4-story residential building is planned for the site.

While an original application was submitted in April, a new one was posted today for the development at 800 5th Ave N. The documentation references the proposed rezone that could allow for taller buildings in the area, but at this point, the proposal is still for a 4-story building with 66 efficiency units for floors 2 through 4, 4 live-work units, and 1,800 square feet of commercial space on the first floor.

Per the latest project proposal, no vehicle parking will be provided. Per the initial designs the efficiency units are small, about 10-12′ wide and 23′ deep, with a few units having a bit more square footage:

Screen Shot 2016-07-21 at 11.39.15 AM

At this point, there are no public meetings scheduled to review the project. However, if you have comments, you can submit them online at this link.

Reality TV show crew & contestants on Queen Anne this week

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 2.02.30 PMLast night, a reader reached out with news of a film production crew that had set up shop at Mt Pleasant Cemetery. She asked what they were filming and they described a reality TV show that sounds a lot like “Walk the Line” – a new reality show where two teams of contestants have to walk from one landmark to another. How do they win? By taking the shortest route.

That shortest route is the sticky issue here, as several people have let us know that the contestants and film crews have been aggressively knocking on doors, asking to cut through homes, and film it all in the process. According to Studio Lambert, the production company behind the show:

“They have to travel in a straight line and that line may pass between any number of obstacles, from rivers and walls to houses and thorn bushes… Walk the Line is not a race – it is not about finishing first. The winning team is the one that walks the shortest distance.”

We don’t have confirmation that this particular show is the one filming around Queen Anne. However, if a camera crew shows up at your front door or back alley entrance, this particular effort may be why. It seems a bit odd and bordering on an invasion of privacy – but, if you want your 15 minutes (seconds?) of fame and you’re on the route…

Good news? According to the production company, Studio Lambert, the show changes cities/locations weekly, so it won’t be too long before they move on to the next locale.

City seeking input on Uptown rezoning options with public meeting on August 4th

The City of Seattle is seeking input from residents on three potential rezone options for Uptown, ranging from doing nothing to allowing mid-rise (5-7 story) buildings to allowing buildings up to 16 stories in some parts of Uptown. As we’ve reported in the past, the Uptown Urban Design Framework (UDF) is the central document that guides the future of Uptown. It includes input from neighbors and community organizations like the Uptown Alliance.

Now, the city has published a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that evaluates a range of building heights, developed in collaboration with the community. It’s a hefty document, weighing in at 458 pages in its pdf format.

The EIS states upfront that the priorities for Uptown are as follows:

• Affordable housing

• A multimodal transportation system

•Community amenities (community center, new schools, open space)

• An arts and culture hub

• A strong retail core

• A welcoming urban gateway to Seattle Center

The Uptown UDF recommendations include developing rezone legislation, which could change building heights and development standards. The EIS outlines three alternatives which have been identified for study:

1) “No Action” which maintains current zoning and building heights for the dozens of parcels in the neighborhood that are expected to be redeveloped, but does not include new neighborhood-specific design and development standards to guide that growth.

2) “Mid-rise” with 5-7 story buildings that would include mandatory housing affordability requirements, along with new Uptown design standards.

3) “High-rise” featuring taller, thinner, more widely spaced 16-story buildings in areas of the Uptown Urban Center, also including mandatory contributions to housing affordability and the neighborhood design standards.

The map below shows the rezone area. Where there are 3 numbers separated by dashes, the first is the “no action” option, the middle is the “mid-rise” option, the last is the “high-rise” option:

Uptown EIS Rezone

If you want a say in the future of Uptown and potential rezoning that could either maintain the status quo or grow upward, now’s your time to get feedback to the city. Part of the City’s decision will be based on community comments and input on the three options.

The Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) and Seattle Center are hosting an open house and public hearing on August 4th at the Seattle Center Armory Lofts 3 & 4, from 5pm to 8pm. At this meeting, the public will have an opportunity to learn more about the alternatives, ask questions, and provide public comment.

In addition to the three options above, the following will also be on the August 4th agenda: the upcoming Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking Study, the emerging Uptown Arts & Cultural District, citywide housing affordability policies, and proposed transit improvements.

Written public comment can be submitted until September 1 by writing to

The City expects to complete the final EIS of the preferred alternative in November. Per the City: “Additional public comments will be gathered at that time before any proposed zoning changes are sent to the Seattle City Council.”

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