News Blog for Seattle's University District Neighborhood


Entries from September 2014

What's Happening In Our Hood? This Weekend in The U-district

September 26th, 2014 by master

What’s Happening: Things to do in-and-around the U-district

A Night in Spain Paella Dinner
Sat Sept 27, 6–8:30 pm.
Wallingford Community Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave N, Ste 140

For $15, you can help support the Wallingford Community Senior Center while enjoying traditional style tapas, sangria and other Spainish-centric food. Flamenco Dance performance to follow.
Tickets: $15

Free Museum Day
Various Locations
Sat Sept 27.

Visit the Burke Museum for free! Also, other city museums will be participation such as: Nordic Heritage Museum, EMP, Seattle Art Museum, Northwest African American Museum, the Log House museum on Alki, and the always free Frye and Center for Wooden Boats. And, down in Tacoma, the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum and Washington State History Museum

Tickets: Free

Real Time Comic
Sat Sept 27 at 8 pm
Open Flight Studio
4205 University Way NE

Dance, animation, and live music, with six collaborators in total

Tickets: $15-$20.

Ethnic Cultural Theater
Nanjing University Traditional Instrument Orchestra
Fri Sept 26 at 7 pm.
3940 Brooklyn Ave NE

Traditional Chinese Music Orchestra Performance: Nanjing University Traditional Instrument Orchestra

Tickets: Free

Maple and Vine

Sat Sept 27 at 8pm and Sun Sept 28 at 2pm.
Ethnic Cultural Theater
3940 Brooklyn Ave NE

Mirror Stage‘s Feed Your Mind staged reading series

The first entry is a community of 1950s era re-enactors.

Tickets: $10.

Stefan Litwin

Fri Sept 26 at 7:30 pm.
Brechemin Auditorium
UW Campus

Litwin is a pianist/composer

Performing Charles Ives’s Sonata No. 2, “Concord, Mass.,” and a composition of his, Thoreau’s Nightmare.

Tickets: $15

5241 University Way NE
Fri Sept 26 at 7 & 10 pm.

Rev. Rawlings & Ms. B Haven
Freudian Slurp


Grand Illusion 1403 NE 50th St

20,000 Days on Earth (NR)

Fri 7 pm, 9 pm

Seven Gables 911 NE 50th St

Hector and the Search for Happiness (R)

Fri 4:35 pm, 7:10 pm, 9:45 pm

Sundance Cinemas 4500 Ninth Ave NE

Boyhood (R)

Fri 1:15 pm, 4:40 pm, 8 pm

The Drop (R)

Fri 4:10 pm, 9:15 pm

The Equalizer (R)

Fri 1 pm, 4 pm, 7 pm, 9:45 pm

Jimi: All Is by My Side (NR)

Fri 1:30 pm, 4:20 pm, 7:15 pm, 9:50 pm

Last Weekend (NR)

Fri 1:45 pm, 4:30 pm, 7:05 pm, 9:20 pm

Love Is Strange (R)

Fri 4:50 pm, 9:40 pm

The Maze Runner (PG-13)

Fri 1:50 pm, 4:25 pm, 6:55 pm, 9:25 pm

My Old Lady (PG-13)

Fri 1:40 pm, 4:15 pm, 6:50 pm, 9:10 pm

The Notebook (R)

Fri 2:10 pm, 7:20 pm

The Skeleton Twins (R)

Fri 2 pm, 4:45 pm, 7:10 pm, 9:30 pm

The Trip to Italy (NR)

Fri 1:20 pm, 6:45 pm

A Walk Among the Tombstones (R)

Fri 1:10 pm, 4:05 pm, 6:40 pm, 9:35 pm

Varsity 4329 University Way NE

Alive Inside (NR)

Fri 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm, 9:25 pm

Flamenco, Flamenco (NR)

Fri 5:15 pm, 7:20 pm, 9:30 pm

Take Me to the River (PG)

Fri 5 pm, 7:05 pm, 9:20 pm

Guild 45th 2115 N 45th St

The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby (R)

Fri 4:15 pm, 7:05 pm, 9:50 pm

This Is Where I Leave You (R)

Fri 4:45 pm, 7:20 pm, 9:45 pm

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Meet the Authors of Amulet and Smile This Thursday 9/25

September 23rd, 2014 by master

Come Down to The University Bookstore for another fantastic Reading Allowed event.

Celebrating the release of his newest book in the Amulet series and also the success of her books Smile and Drama, Kazu Kibuishi and Raina Telgemeirs have come together to speak to what inspires them and what they have in store for the future.

Happening this Thursday Sept. 25 at 7pm, you’ll definitely want to bring your tween! Kibuishi and Telgemeier are tapped into the emotions and topsy turvy roller-coaster psyche of those special years.

  • When: Thursday September 25, 7pm
  • Who: Kazu Kibuishi and Raina Telgemeier
  • What: Amulet #6: Escape From Lucien and Smile (Scholastic) Reading & Book Signing
  • Where: U District store (4326 University Way NE, Seattle 98105 206.634.3400)

You can bring your own copy or purchase a copy for book signing

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#Mugshot Monday #7 – SureShot Espresso's Got Grit

September 22nd, 2014 by master

Welcome to #MugShotMonday: a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafés

As I opened the door and walked into Sureshot Espresso, I was greeted with the nostalgic scent of cafe’s from my past. A combination of coffee bean dust, old furniture and grit. I could tell that this place was used to well worn boots and quirky ideas. Personally, that makes me like a place.

Kind of like the Star Wars Cantina but without aliens and alcohol,” says Scott L. from a review on Yelp. I have to agree. This place seems to me to be a meeting place for a motley crew of patrons.

There were two grungy but sweet looking guys on the couch having a conversation about Hemp Fest and another guy quietly surfing the internet on one of the computers they have there for public use. (you get 15 minutes complimentary with a minimum purchase of $2) They even have printers for folks to use at 20 cents a sheet.

Another fun thing to know is they have a room of pinball machines! Not only that, they have Mrs. Pac-man and my personal all time favorite, Galaga!

1.Small, loose particles of stone or sand. 2.Courage and resolve; strength of character
In addition to a menu of tasty pastries and lunch items, they also serve white coffee. I chatted up the barista about what exactly white coffee is. He explained to me that it has a different taste and more caffeine than traditional dark roast coffee. The beans are flash roasted, meaning that they are very lightly roasted. Sureshot was the first cafe to offer it in Seattle and has been serving it now close to a decade. They have a loyal following because of it.

Sureshot is frequented by students and neighbors alike and they have a modest amount of seating for hanging out. Located conveniently near the corner of 45th and University Ave, they are open daily for 7am to 12am.

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Weaving Works: Lost and Found In the Roosevelt Neighborhood

September 16th, 2014 by master

Since 1974, Weaving Works has been a resource for Seattle fiber artists, crafters and the yarn-curious. Residing for years in the University District, Weaving Works has now relocated to the Roosevelt business district.

In their second month at the new location 6514 Roosevelt Way NE, they still get the occasional frantic caller standing in their old location wondering where they are.

“No worries though” — Jennifer and other employees assure them — “we are still around, still owned by Marcy Johnson, still have the same amazing inventory, still offer classes and most importantly, yes, we still have looms!

Today they are extra excited as they just launched their Fall Class Schedule.

Have you always wanted to try Appalachian Basket Weaving or other Exotic Fiber Arts? Or, are you looking to learn how to knit, crochet or weave? Not only do they have a very knowledgable staff, Weaving Works also has a great reputation for excellent classes.

The new space is bright and cheery. Albeit, a little smaller, the layout and organization of their yarns, wool and supplies was methodical and I had no trouble locating what I needed for my current knitting project.

I do miss the bazillion knitted samples that the old space had, though, I’m sure in time samples of cute baby hats, whimsical shawls, and delicate lace sweaters will cover the walls and tempt me to try a project just outside of my comfort zone.

Being that I personally live right smack in the middle of where they used to be and where they are now, it’s no sweat off my back to take a walk to get a skein or two. Unfortunately, their new location is sans a parking lot, of which customers might miss, but if you really need a parking lot, there is the whole foods complex just about a block-and-a-half south where you could probably secure a spot.

Roosevelt is definitely taking off with a lot of new businesses. When you grab some yarn for your winter fiber projects you can hop next door to Atlantic Crossing or one of the many other restaurants and pups in the area. Jennifer and her co-worker said the great food in their new ‘hood is a plus!

For More Information About Weaving Works Go To Their Website Or Visit Their FaceBook Page.

Phone (206) 524-1221/1-888-524-1221


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Aquarium Zen: a Meditation on Natural Aquatic Spaces for Your Home

September 13th, 2014 by master

Steve Waldron: The Man Behind Aquarium Zen

Two Years in the Making, Steve Waldron has been growing plants, maintaining environments, designing space and dreaming for this day.

With the intention of introducing people to a more natural experience of fish aquarium care-taking, Aquarium Zen is more about stewardship of an ecosystem than just about fish.

Opening today, Saturday September 13, Waldron’s vision has come out of the depth of his imagination to the surface. The place is just beautiful! Even if you are not in the market for a home aquarium set-up, the environment is inspiring to be in.

Waldron says that Live Plant Aquariums are great for year-round garden lovers. With live plants you have to prune and weed just like an outside garden, but this garden you get to populate with amazing underwater creatures.

Aquarium Zen is located at 920 NE 64th St and open Wed – Fri 1pm – 8pm, Sat & Sun 11-6. Being a one man operation, AZ is closed on Mon & Tues.

Be an awesome neighbor and stop by and welcome Aquarium Zen to the Roosevelt Neighborhood (just a hop over from the U-district) Between the Sunlight Cafe and Bol.

all the plants are live and can take up to a year to fully sustain a fish population

Living Wall: a symbiotic environment where water is pumped from the tank and feeds the plants on the rock wall attachment

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Mugshot Monday #6 – Tea Republik: Where Tea Holds Supreme Power Over the Bean

September 8th, 2014 by master

Welcome to #MugShot Monday: a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafés

I rolled down the Ave. on my bike past dense pockets of cannabis air, past Starbucks, past the Vape Store and found myself in front of Tea Republik.

Still on my coffee cleanse, I was thankful that my next MugShot Monday adventure would not be filled with the aroma of espresso while having to sip on a less-than-exciting cup of generic tea.

Tea Republic welcomed me with a nicely designed interior, warm lighting and a very friendly and helpful –would he still be considered a barista?– let’s just call him Tea-Guy!

I happened upon Tea Republik on a quiet morning, however, Manager Daniel a.k.a. the Tea-Guy said that once classes start up they get considerably more business. Although not strict about people ‘camping‘ with their laptops and school books, he occasionally has to remind patrons to help pay the rent!

While they have generous evening hours of operation, this republik is not for morning people:

Monday – Thursday 11am-11pm
Friday – 10am-12am
Saturday – 11am-12am
Sunday – 11am – 10pm

I ordered a London Fog, but after sitting down and looking at the tea menu I had buyers remorse and realized I should have ordered their Lavender Cream Earl Grey ($4.49 for a large pot, $3.99 for a small). Regardless, the tea arrived to my table and was delightful to sip. I had asked if he could sweeten it with honey instead of sugar of which he did without a blink of an eye.

In addition to House Specialties, Loose Leaf, Traditional, Caffeinated or Decaf, and an assortment of Flavored Teas, they also serve pre-made sandwiches and have bakery items if you have a hankering for something sweet.

I loved sipping and refilling my little tea cup. There is something so satisfying about pouring tea. I am sure I am tapping into the ancient art of the the Tea Ceremony. It’s a sweet reminder to slow down and breathe.

With its clean and inviting space (I even checked out the immaculate bathroom) the Tea Republic is the perfect atmosphere for students and people who need to get out of their home office. Daniel would like to add that this Republic is not a library, so make sure you purchase well and often if you plan to be there for a while — and I might add, tip your Tea Guy!

Tea Republik

4527 University Way NE

Seattle, Washington

(206) 497-7631

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Taste of India Unveils U-Districts Newest Cocktail Lounge Sept 7

September 5th, 2014 by master

Nestled adjacent to the much loved Taste of India Restaurant, Owner Mohammed Bhatti wanted to offer a place for the 21+ crowd to comfortably hang out for a pre-dinner drink.

The grand opening will take place Sat September 7. You can order from the Taste of India menu or partake in Indian twists on classic American bar food.

I talked to Managers Jerred and Phillip about what they were hoping this autonomous extension of the popular Indian restaurant would be like. They were excited to offer the U-district another Custom Cocktail experience and hope it ends up being the best!

Phillip and Jerred, Managers at the bar

The cozy lounge has a gas fireplace that is sure to heat up this winter along with any Indian spices you decide to partake in. I look forward to see if they fashion some custom cocktails with Indian flavors — the spicier the better!

Taste Of India Bar & Lounge is located at 5507 Roosevelt Way NE

(b/t 56th St & 55th St in University District)

Hours will be 11-11, but check the restaurant for any changes.

For more information check the website at

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Playing by the Book's: Live Music Takes Over the U-District Library

September 4th, 2014 by master

Expressions Without Limits Jazz ResidencyPresented by the Seattle Public Library and the Chamber Music America Residency Endowment Fund, the Steve Griggs Ensemble is playing a free concert at SPL branches.

On Sunday Sep 7, at 2pm at the U-District branch Griggs’ Ensemble will be performing “A Cup of Joe Brazil,” a program of original music and narration about jazz saxophonist Joe Brazil and his community organizing through music in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Fan’s of jazz and bibliophiles will come together for an afternoon and enjoy the sounds of live music in a Seattle Public Library branch. This performance is one of six free concerts that are taking place at different branches all over the city.

The ensemble features saxophonist Steve Griggs, trumpeter Jay Thomas, vibraphonist Susan Pascal, bassist Phil Sparks, and drummer Milo Petersen.

This program is part of the Steve Griggs Ensemble “Songs of Unsung Seattle” residency at the Seattle Public Library. For more information, check out the SPL Jazz Residency page.

A complete schedule of the residency is available at

Steve Griggs photo by Daniel Sheehan

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Mischief, Dreams and the Unknowable Forces of Jim Woodring: Author Event This Thursday PM

September 3rd, 2014 by master

“There are a lot of elements in the stories that mean something to me that shouldn’t mean anything to anybody else, though of course I hope they do.”

Jim Woodring, 2002 (from an interview with Gary Groth in the Comics Journal)

Jim Woodring will discuss and sign his new book Jim: Jim Woodring’s Notorious Autojournal at the University Book Store in the U District Thursday evening at 7pm.

Woodring is an award winning American comic artist, writer and designer. He has been creating fictitious and surreal worlds for decades using illustration, comic and fine art. This book is a collection of his ‘autojournals’ and explores the mischievous creatures, dreams and other realms of his strange worlds.

The Event is free and starts at 7pm. You can purchase your own copy of the book at the store, by phone or online.

Where: University bookstore (4326 University Way NE, Seattle)

When: 7pm, September 4th.

For more information contact the University Bookstore: (206) 634­-3400

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Mugshot Monday #5 – Remembering Long Lost Cafés of the Ave.

September 1st, 2014 by master

Welcome to MugShot Monday: a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafés

Front view of the Last Exit on Brooklyn / Photo Cred:Moss Willow via Wikipedia

For Labor Day I felt it would be nice to take a break from visiting up-and-running cafés and look back at some Cafés of Old in the University District.

It was a time before the internet and laptop computers. Before people were glued to their social media and texts. Before a cafe had to advertise free wi-fi to have street-cred. Back then, going to a cafe was really about wanting connection, a conversation, a moment of reflection with a cup of coffee, a pen, journal and a thought. It was a place to read Kafka,  poetry or write your own story. We didn’t obsess about coffee brands, gluten-free or Grande vs. Venté.

Cafe culture was about getting out and listening to the buzz on the street; being open to a more colorful collection of faces and delving into the dark-roasted realm of coincidence and spontaneity.

I moved to Seattle when I was 20 years old and my first job was at the Espresso Roma Cafe (where the Cafe on the Ave. now sits). Back then it was the waning years of grunge. We had to keep a close watch on the bathroom since folks would duck in and shoot up and fall asleep in there. It seemed like every one of my co-workers was in a band….hmmmm I guess not a lot has changed.

One of my favorite places to go for breakfast was The Black Cat (Brooklyn near Campus Parkway) The Black Cat was a vegan leaning vegetarian joint run by a collective of anarchy inspired punks and was operated for five years in the mid-90’s. The decor was a collection of remnants, mis-matched furniture and bike parts. It was a great place to go and feel apart of the Seattle sub-culture.

No posts about long-loved and lost cafes would be complete without an ode to Last Exit on Brooklyn. Appropriately situated on Brooklyn Ave., it opened in 1967 and sadly closed in 2000 not too long after a relocation to N. University Ave. According to Wikipedia, in 1985 it was deemed one of “Americas second oldest continuously run coffeehouses”. It was a spot you couldn’t help feel the vibe of the Grateful Dead, true hippy-dom and authentic bohemian round table conversation.  Body-odor shy people probably made a point to stay away because of an unspoken rule that with enough patchouli, showers were optional. It was also famously a meeting spot for chess players amateur and professional, including such players as  Peter BiyiasasViktors Pupols, and Yasser Seirawan. Last Exit remains a legend of Seattle café culture.

When Last Exit closed in 2000, many of the colorful grab-bag of patrons found their way down to The Pearl in the middle of the 4200 block of University Ave.

Saving the best for last, The Pearl was the beautifully inspired vision of Robynne Hawthorne whose love of literature, art and culture could be seen in every detail of the place. From the amazing mural her friend painted with magical and ghostly figures on the back wall to the beautiful finely crafted bar area. I saw Laura Viers play in her early years, and Jason Webley preformed his memorable musical performance art. The Jelly Rollers were frequent players and I always enjoyed doing my homework sitting next to the owner’s two beautiful young daughters.

Cafés will always be a place I crave to go and sit with a cup of coffee or chai. I still look for that independent café that offers an atmosphere that rises above the on-the-go coffee crowd, computer plug-ins and get-em-out the door vibe. In Seattle, a café that offers a warm interior with ambient light, an interesting staff, local offerings and consistently diverse music playing is where I will come back to.

Today, independent bookstores, video stores, record stores and cafés are all being challenged by today’s big business market. But it’s important to remember that they have been the backbone of youth culture, independent arts and creative expression in cities. In my opinion, independent cafés are needed to create a meeting space for people, ideas and diversity.

Today as we remember independent cafés of old, head out to your favorite spot and make sure you tip your barista extra good!

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