News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Entries from February 2012

Rural film festival coming to the Grand Illusion

February 29th, 2012 by master

Need an escape from the city without leaving the city? The Grand Illusion Cinema is hosting a film festival devoted to rural people and places called the Rural Route Film Festival. From an impressionistic documentary about Iowa to an amateur remake of Footloose to the story of a Lebanese beekeeper, the festival is an artful and eclectic look at the dusty backroads of the world.

Three different programs will be screened the week of March 16 through March 22:

Friday, March 16; Monday, March 19; Thursday March 22: 7pm
Ten of the best narrative, experimental and documentary short films from the 2011 festival.

Saturday, March 17; Tuesday, March 20: 7pm
How do you grow fresh vegetable with no land? With some dirt and a truck bed! From the makers of past fest (and Grand Illusion) hit, King Corn.

Sunday, March 18; Wednesday, March 21: 7pm
SELECTED TRAVELS: Driftless, Sand Mountain, Land of the Pure
Down home stories from Iowa, a journey through borrowed culture, and tourism in an unlikely, out-of-the-way place.

The creators of Rural Route Film Festival leave it up to filmmakers to create their definition of the word.

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U District family asking for help to find missing cat

February 24th, 2012 by master

Updated Feb. 27, 2012

The family reports that their cat has been found and returned.


U District resident Emily sends this note and plea for help:

Earlier this week, our cat Anna slipped out the front door and hasn’t returned. We are getting especially worried and heartbroken since she is an indoor cat and the weather is supposed to be pretty chilly this weekend. She’s a dear part of our family and we’d appreciate any help we can find to get our girl back to us safely.

The family lives in the area of the U District north of NE 50th Street and west of Roosevelt Way NE.

She’s a tabby/tortoise that’s multicolored with a split orange and grey chest. Her name is Anna but Emily says she’s pretty shy.

Anna went missing on Monday, Feb. 20

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New restaurant on the Ave offers authentic udon noodles

February 23rd, 2012 by master

By Julia Li

Hungry for good eats on the Ave? These days, the Ave is offering something different: authentic style Japanese noodles at a new restaurant just north of 45th Street NE called U:Don. Even the name of the restaurant is eye-catching, with its incorporation of a smiley face emoticon (the name is pronounced “You-Don” by the way). U:Don proudly serves thick textured noodles cooked in a broth or sauce of your choice, providing the perfect warm meal for Seattle’s wet winter season.

U:Don Fresh Japanese Noodle Station offers a unique experience, not just to the U District but all of Seattle. It is the first and only Sanuki udon noodle shop in the region. Sanuki is a region in the southern Japanese island of Shikoku where the udon noodle originated, and there are many such restaurants in Japan. Chef and owner Tak Kurachi works hard to bring the same authentic Japanese taste and experience to Seattle. Flour and broth ingredients are imported from Japan, and the noodle-making process takes a full 24 hours to ensure a purely Japanese taste.

The noodles are served with a variety of other ingredients: beef, fried tofu, and egg are just a few options. Once you choose the udon of your desire, you may also select side dishes such as crunchy Tempura, Karaage, or Onigiri. In addition to being delicious, the layout of the restaurant makes ordering very easy. Prices are also very reasonable, an important characteristic for a restaurant on the Ave.

Tak wants to make sure that people are getting the best product at an affordable price. “We strive ourselves and take every effort to put out the highest quality,” says Tak. “I love cheffing and food, and I want people to have a true taste of Japan.” Indeed, with the latest success of U:Don, he has made this vision into a reality.

For more information:

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Meet the artists for the future light rail station at Brooklyn Street

February 16th, 2012 by master

Sound Transit is offering up a chance for you to meet the people from Lead Pencil Studio who will be creating the art at the Brooklyn and Roosevelt light rail stations.

The artists will discuss their previous work and how they will prepare for creating public art in these two new spaces.

6 – 8 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 17, 2012
Henry Art Gallery auditorium
University of Washington
15th Ave NE and NE Campus Pkwy
(entrance on east side of pedestrian bridge)

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Humans Versus Zombies creeps into UW campus life

February 2nd, 2012 by master

By Sean Duncan
UW News Lab

The UW campus has been invaded by zombies.

Just ask two young men, walking back-to-back cautiously with Nerf guns drawn, trying to survive the apocalypse. I’ve never met them but they ask me where I’m headed and offer to escort me to class. I share their fears, but since I’m almost at my destination I decline their offer.

Freshman Sarah Wai, and other humans strategize in an open classroom minutes before a mission.

We are playing Humans Versus Zombies Tag (HvZt).

“It just adds a whole bunch of excitement … and you also get to meet like a ton of people you’d never ever meet in your life,” said Daniel Barrack, a UW student who has played HvZt “about five times.”

According to the website, the game was invented at Goucher College in 2005. It has infectiously spread to 650 colleges and universities. The game came to the UW in 2008.

Almost every player starts out as a human and wears an orange bandana on the arm. If a human is tagged by any of the few zombies, he or she will become a zombie too and move the bandana to his or her head. Zombies must convert one human every 48 hours to avoid starvation, so the zombie side grows as time goes on.

Humans can use Nerf darts and socks to stun a zombie for 15 minutes, but most humans survive by keeping a low profile and sneaking to class using strange routes that allow them to go undetected by the zombie groups.

Barrack explains: “I actually discovered a whole portion of the campus I didn’t even know existed.”

The popularity of the game has spread; even faculty members’ kids can be seen sporting the orange bandana during Zombies week.

Humans stand in a line in Red Square after a midweek mission. Since they succeeded, fifteen humans will be selected at random to have immunity from normally-unstoppable "superzombies."

Justin Fernando, an overseer of the game, said: “It’s mostly supposed to be just students but if you’re a part of the UW community you can play too,” noting that he knows of five faculty members who play.

Thomas Greene is an officer of HvZt, which is the second rank of the HvZt planning group, just below overseer. “I think we’ve had a few people who’ve graduated who keep playing,” he said, “but I’m not sure.”

Players participate in missions to prevent the other side from winning perks such as immunity or extra lives for humans or quicker recovery times for stunned zombies. Humans who complete the final mission on Friday evening are survivors. Missions generally involve humans protecting an area or transporting a “scientist.” Their main challenge is the hordes of zombies that show up to tag them.

The game is played once a quarter, lasts about a week and is played all over Seattle, but most of the action is on campus. The latest game happened Jan. 23 through 27.

Fernando said: “We change the game up like every quarter, so the missions are never really the same.”

The game has evolved in its few years at the UW. For example, there are perks for zombies who tag 10 humans; they get green bandanas, are called superzombies, and they can’t be stunned. This school year the overseers shortened the human-to-zombie transformation time, so that tagged humans can start playing as zombies soon after being tagged.

“We keep changing the rules to try to make it better,” Greene explained.

Outside criticism has also changed the game. For example, some people felt that the Nerf guns could be confused for real guns at night, so overseers changed the rules so that the game is suspended from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

A group of zombies stand guard outside, hoping to tag humans when they leave the Allen Center. The game will be paused at 6 p.m., so the humans will most likely wait to leave until then.

“We’ve definitely changed the rules to make faculty feel better repeatedly,” Greene said.

Before winter quarter, some players avoided zombies by walking through parking garages and loading docks, but this quarter these areas were declared no-play zones by request of UW Transportation, according to Fernando.

“We do whatever the school tells us to do because we want to keep the game going for as long as we can,” Fernando said.

Because of sensitivity to gun violence related to school shootings, Nerf guns have been banned at some schools, including the University of Colorado. In those situations, the HvZt players tend to play the game with just socks.

“We don’t want that to ever happen [at the UW],” Fernando said.

The reason Barrack kept playing the game was because he wanted to survive the whole week. After he achieved that last spring, he thought he would be done playing, but he discovered that there was more to the game.

“You could go out trying to help other humans by targeting zombies,” Barrack said. “You can also like go on the other side and just die on the first day so you can be a zombie and explore the other aspect of the game.”

Fernando had a similar statement: “As long as I’m playing the game I’m having fun. I don’t really care which side I’m on.” He added, “I knew a whole bunch of the like hardcore players were all going to go human, so I was like, ‘the zombies are going to need help,’ so I just went zombie. I’m one of the superzombies right now.”

The humans and zombies peacefully share post-mission stories. Humans are not tagable and are not allowed to use their nerf guns if they are touching an open door or are inside a building.

Human or zombie, the enthusiastic people at the HvZt sign-up tables in Red Square have a common well-wishing statement. “Happy Hunting.”

For more info, go to:

Zombies wait patiently outside for humans to leave.

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