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Celebrate PrideFest at the Seattle Center this Sunday

June 26th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Pride Fest 2015Since I have a day job, I often get to the end of the week and haven’t had time to post on key weekend events on and around Queen Anne. This week is no exception, as it’s Friday and I just now have the time to post on PrideFest. But, for the first time, I’m glad I didn’t have time before now, as today is the perfect day to give everyone the heads up about this particular event.

Here are the details on Sunday’s events – the Parade from 4th Ave & Union up to the Seattle Center, and the Pride Fest activities at Seattle Center all day Sunday. Note, there are 30,000 people expected at the Seattle Center festivities this Sunday. It’ll impact traffic and parking, but after today’s Supreme Court ruling, who can complain?

Seattle Pride Parade: The parade begins at 11am, moving from 4th Ave & Union Street to Denny Way, then west on Denny to 2nd Ave N, ending at the Seattle Center. Parade is estimated to run 2.5 hours. Streets will be closed from 7am-4pm.

Seattle PrideFest: The Fest will celebrate Pride at the Seattle Center from 10am to 8pm.  About 30,000 people are expected to attend.

SCOTUS ruling

Happy PrideFest weekend!

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Free yoga and zumba classes return to Seattle Center this week

June 14th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

For the past couple of years, the Seattle Center has hosted a free Summer Fitness program, and starting this week it continues the rather-new, but very popular, tradition.

Two different classes will help get you moving – Zumba on Tuesdays and gentle yoga on Thursdays. Both classes are free and open to all. Here are the details for each class:

zumbaZumba
When: Tuesdays 6pm-7pm
Dates: June 16 – August 18
Where: Fisher Pavilion Rooftop
Bring: water and comfortable sneakers

Come join us for an adventurous journey around the world through exhilarating Latin music, World Rhythms, West African, belly dance, dance hall, pop, classic rock, you name it. The result – a workout full of high energy, easy to follow choreography, and FUN!   It will get your heart pumping, get you sweaty, and put a big smile on your face. Everyone is welcome. No dance experience is required. 

Seattle Center FitnessGentle Yoga
When: Wednesdays 11:30am – 12:30pm
Dates: June 17 – August 19
Where: Exhibition Hall Lawn
Bring: your own yoga mat

Gentle Yoga is a class for everyone, no matter what age or fitness level. This class will focus on fluid movements to increase range of motion and increase joint and muscle flexibility. Beginners will learn the basics of Hatha Yoga, which is the physical practice, and all will have an opportunity to feel challenged and enjoy lots of fresh air. 

Get ready to enjoy another Summer event on Queen Anne, and get moving!

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Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon starts and ends at Seattle Center on Saturday

June 12th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Another summer weekend is bringing more people into the neighborhood. The biggest event of the weekend is the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon tomorrow (Saturday) morning. 26,000 participants are expected per SDOT, but the numbers are even higher from the event organizers: “18,000 runners and walkers, in addition to tens of thousands of spectators, family and friends.”

Also, take note: the Seattle Pacific University commencement ceremony is also on Saturday at 1pm at Key Arena, with 10,000 attendees expected. The two events will overlap, so avoid the area if possible or walk.

Here’s the info on the Seattle Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon:

Course Map:

Rock n Roll Marathon map

Road Closures:

So numerous, it’s a pdf of a spreadsheet of road closures. Rest assured, many are around Seattle Center, so plan accordingly. The route also takes runners on the Viaduct and out and back on I-90. Getting around is going to be tricky. You can check out an interactive map of road closures online here.

Here’s a snapshot of the pdf, click the image to see the full list in non-ant print:

Road Closures

Remember, deep breaths and pack your patience if you’re driving or biking around Lower Queen Anne tomorrow.

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Teacher Rally today starting and ending at Seattle Center will impact traffic

May 19th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

A late notice last night from SDOT on a Teacher Rally today that will impact traffic around the Seattle Center and downtown. Here’s what you need to know…

Teachers are picketing select schools today starting at 8am. They’ll then travel via bus to the Seattle Center for an Educator March and Rally for Education Funding. Staging for 70 buses  will take place on roads surrounding the Seattle Center starting at 10am.

At 11am the march kicks off at the Seattle Center Broad Street Green Sculpture Garden. About 2,000 educators, parents, students, and supporters are expected to march from the Seattle Center to Westlake Plaza for a noon rally, then back again to the Seattle Center via 4th Ave N.

The rally/march is expected to end at 2pm, but with 70 buses and 2,000 attendees, expect traffic impacts to last later than 2pm. Here’s the route map to plan your travels:

Teacher Rally Map

 

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Whiligig! returns to Seattle Center today through April 19

April 3rd, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Whirligig RidesStarting today, kids 12 and under can celebrate the return of Whirligig! at the Seattle Center. The annual “bounce fest” features super-sized inflatable rides and it’s taking over the Seattle Center Amory starting today (Friday) at 11am.

In addition to the rides, Whirligig! also includes, balloon artists, face painters, and expert caricaturists – plus a Toddler’s Zone for the younger ones.

New rides this year include Pirates Revenge Obstacle Course, Zoo Playland, and Undersea Mini Combo bounce/slide for Toddlers.

The Seattle Center Whirligig! hours are 11am-6pm until Sunday, April 19th. Entry to the Armory is free, ride admission is $8 for an all-day main floor pass, $4.50 for an all-day toddler zone pass, and $1.50 for a single ride ticket. Thursdays are Ride Free days, but note that on Thursday, April 16th the rides will close at 2pm.

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KING5 report on Key Arena making a profit

March 19th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

In good news for the city, the Seattle Center, and Queen Anne, KING5 profiles the turnaround of Key Arena. After the Sonics left, many thought it doomed, but Key Arena is now thriving. And, it’s got a bit of the national spotlight this weekend as a March Madness venue.

Click the photo below to check out KING5′s video report on Key Arena to learn more about its success story:

KING5 Key Arena video

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Hot Chocolate Run will close Aurora and streets around Seattle Center on Sunday

February 28th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Despite the unseasonably warm weather, the Hot Chocolate Run will forge ahead tomorrow, Sunday, March 1st. The races start at 6:45am (5K) and 7:55am (15K), so participants can likely still enjoy some hot chocolate without questioning our record-setting warm winter.

The race begins and ends at the Seattle Center, so that means roads around Lower Queen Anne will be closed. Plus, the race takes 15K runners to Green Lake and back via Aurora, so it’ll be closed to traffic as well.

According to SDOT, Aurora Avenue N/SR-99 will be closed between N 47th St and the Western Ave off-ramp from 6am to 11am, and all other streets along the route will be closed from 6:30am to approximately 11am.

Hot Chocolate Run 2015Impacted streets include:

  • 2nd Ave N at Seattle Center to Broad Street
  • Broad to Elliott
  • Elliott to Western
  • Western to Pike
  • Western to Aurora/SB-99
  • Aurora/NB-99 to N 47th St
  • Harrison to Dexter
  • Dexter to Mercer
  • Mercer to 5th Ave N
  • 5th Ave N to Thomas
  • Thomas to Seattle Center grounds

If you have Sunday plans that involve driving north, avoid Aurora; if you have plans around Lower Queen Anne, check the map and make appropriate detours. Or, just sleep in and have a late brunch.

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New Year’s at the Space Needle is just hours away

December 31st, 2014 by Laura Fonda

New Years Needle Seattle Times

Pyro Spectaculars setting up the show
Photo courtesy of The Seattle Times

It’s New Year’s Eve and that means the crew setting up the fireworks display at the Space Needle should be ready to see their work pay off. The New Year’s at the Needle show begins at 11:59pm tonight and will run 8 minutes, with the pyrotechnics set to a musical selection curated by KEXP.

You can catch the show from various Queen Anne viewpoints or you can join the crowds at the Seattle Center. If you choose the latter, expect to be one of about 16,000 people expected at the Space Needle.

New Years KEXP

Photo courtesy of KEXP

Prior to the fireworks, you can enjoy a free concert by THE NINES at the Seattle Center Armory’s Center Stage. They’ll be performing from 8pm til 11:45pm, and their repertoire includes hits from a variety of genres – The Beatles, Prince, and KC and the Sunshine Band are all on their playlist.

Streets around the Space Needle will be closed starting at 11:30pm, reopening 45 minutes after the fireworks show concludes. Affected streets include 5th Ave N between Mercer Street and Denny Way, and Broad Street between 5th Ave N and Denny Way.

The street closures, festivities, and crowds add up to a good reason to walk if you’re around Lower Queen Anne tonight.

Happy New Year!

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Reminder: Seattle Marathon is Sunday, bringing road closures to Lower Queen Anne

November 29th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

First of all, who made the Seattle Marathon route map? It’s oriented with West at the top, which is weird to begin with as most maps have North at the top. Because of the standard orientation most of us are used to, the Seattle Marathon map is a view of Seattle that’ll make any resident look twice.

Seattle Marathon 2014 map

But, you’ll need to look at least once to see the road closures planned for tomorrow. The race begins near the Seattle Center and ends at Memorial Stadium, so expect closures to begin early in the day and run through 4pm. Here’s a close up of the roads impacted around Lower Queen Anne – although note that the race start is at 5th Ave N and Harrison… which is not shown as closed (instead, it’s 4th Ave N).

Seattle Marathon 2014 closeup

Color-coding:

  • 4th Ave N and 5th Ave are in orange: closed 5:30am-9am
  • 5th Ave N, Mercer, Harrison are in green: 1 side closed 8:45am-4pm

Race start temps are expected to be in the 20s, so perhaps plan a late start to your day, unless you’re logging 26.2 miles, 13.1 miles, or cheering runners on!

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Teenage suspect robs woman on her way to work near Seattle Center

November 7th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

A woman was robbed on the street earlier this week on her way to work near the Seattle Center. The victim was on her regular route to work, and was approached by a white male, around 20 years old, 5-8” with a slim build. He threatened to slap her, then took her earbuds.

According to the police report, the incident occurred at 7:32am on Tuesday, November 4th at a location near 4th Ave and Broad St. The report states that she was near a business with a security guard, and that business name is not made public (Pacific Science Center, Space Needle, EMP, etc – all located near the location):

Robbery 4th and Broad map

Here are the details from the SPD report – some details are redacted, including the location landmark/company:

[Victim] stated that while she was walking to work through the (on the west side of the [redacted]) she was approached by an unknown male (WM, 20yo, 5’8″, slim build, blue rain jacket w/hood). The unidentified male stated, “I’m going to slap you!” and proceeded to walk towards her.

[Victim] began walking backwards while the suspect closed distance and shoved her back. [She] spilt her coffee and stumbled. The suspect then grabbed her headphones (green ear bud style) off her head and ran off southbound towards Denny Way. [Victim] screamed for help and was joined by a security guard from the [redacted].

The report goes on to state that the victim was not injured and had never seen the suspect. She was on her regular route to work and in her description of the suspect stated: “he did not look homeless” and “looked like a bored teenager.”

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Two Seattle Center buildings approved for historic landmark status

October 21st, 2014 by Laura Fonda

International Fountain MOHAI

International Fountain Pavilion, photo courtesy of MOHAI

The Seattle City Council has approved the historic designation of the Seattle Center’s Northwest Rooms and International Fountain Pavilion. Both buildings were designed by architect Paul Thiry for the 1962 World’s Fair.

These two newest Seattle Center landmark buildings join others such as the Space Needle, the Seattle Center House (aka the Armory), and the Monorail. A complete overview of the Seattle Center campus and the buildings that are either landmarks or pending landmark status is available as a pdf.

Northwest Rooms Ken Prichard

Northwest Rooms, photo courtesy of Ken Prichard

The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods Historic Preservation Program is responsible for the designation and protection of over 400 historic structures, sites, objects, and vessels.

You can learn more about landmark designation and also search the full list of city landmarks online.

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Check out the Seattle Center piano in the park and enter to win a Concerts at the Mural performance

July 20th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Earlier this week, the City of Seattle and King County Parks launched Pianos in the Parks, a summer campaign that runs from July 17 to August 17. Twenty pianos that were nearing the end of their lives have been refurbished and made into works of art by the Gage Academy of Art faculty, students and friends.

Seattle Center piano

Seattle Center piano, courtesy of Pianos in the Parks

Fifteen Seattle parks and public locations each got a piano as part of the program.

According to Mayor Ed Murray, “We are delighted to host the pianos at 13 city parks, Seattle Center and City Hall plaza. Pianos in the Parks will enliven our parks and engage communities through the power of art and music.”

Each piano is open to the public and play is encouraged! Plus, to invigorate a sense of competition, KEXP has joined in to sweeten the pot with a Facebook contest. All you have to do is play the Seattle Center piano (or any of the other pianos outside of our neighborhood), upload your performance to the Facebook page, and wait for the “likes” to pour in.

Your music selection must be original music or a piece from the public domain, and you have to be ready to perform! The 5 most-liked videos will be judged by a community panel and the winner will have a feature performance at the August 22nd Concerts at the Mural event.

At the end of the summer program, the pianos featured in the parks will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Proceeds will benefit Seattle Parks and Recreation, King County Parks, Seattle Symphony, KEXP and Gage Academy of Art.

Check out the Seattle Center piano at the Mural Amphitheatre or discover other pianos in the program, and enter to win your 15 minutes of fame!

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