Archive for July, 2006

Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount

The Paramount Theater’s Silent Movie Mondays begins one week from today. Experience movies on a grand scale, accompanied live by master organist Dennis James on the Wurlitzer organ. all images via The Paramount
Monday, August 7th, 7pm: Don Juan (1926) starring John Barrymore donjuan.jpg
Monday, August 14th, 7pm: The Prisoner of Zenda (1922) starring Lewis Stone and Alice Terry Zenda.jpg
Monday, August 21st, 7pm: Sparrows (1926) starring Mary Pickford Sparrows.jpg
Monday, August 28th, 7 pm: The Iron Mask (1929) starring Douglas Fairbanks Iron-Mask.jpg

As an added bonus, some Starbucks locations have passes that allow you to get a fre ticket to one of these fine films.

The thing about Seafair

I love a summer festival as much as the next girl, really, no matter how much I might complain about the constant state of sunburn. But the one thing that baffles me about Seafair is the pirates. Why pirates? Historically, as far as I can figure, there were no pirates anywhere near Seattle.

I know that I think about this a little too hard, which is a side effect of growing up in the Tampa Bay Area, a place that celebrates the questionably accurate history of the local pirate Jose Gaspar with another great big summer festival involving an invasion. So I am perhaps mistaken in the idea that such things should be in any way related to the city itself.

But here’s what I think. (I know, you were waiting for this part.) I think that since this town was built on prostitution and logging, we should build a parade off of that. Instead of coming from the water they could come from Pioneer Square, a big crowd of lumberjacks and hookers running through the streets convincing everyone they come across that it’s time to party. They’d be just as much fun as pirates, and a good way to educate the kiddies at the same time.

Besides, everyone wants to be a pirate these days. Pirates are so over. Loggers are going to be the new pirate, I predict, so we might as well get ahead of the rush.

running the numbers : capitolhillseattle on seattle crime

Chs Crimestats

As July draws to a welcome close (see also: “go the hell away!” [mb] and “blame it on the squid?” [mb]), up-and-coming infographic and data-dredging superstars j &/or k have put together another bar-chartastic look at how Seattle’s crime scene compares to the rest of our violent nation [chs].

Short answer: not that much different. With fewer crimes per capita than criminal hotbeds Tacoma and Detroit, and more than Portland or the U.S. average [Ed: note to honor roll parents, not a good kind of “above average”], Seattle seems entirely unexceptional. The unfortunate part of this would-be reassuring analysis is that it not only excludes this depressingly violent month in local news, but also this year as well as the whole of 2005. But for now — bar charts! yeah.

Income doughnuts?

Bill Rankin at Radical Cartography got interested in the idea of “income doughnuts.” The idea is, he says, that “a city will create concentric rings of wealth and poverty, with the rich both in the suburbs and in the “revitalized” downtown, and the poor stuck in between.”

He goes on:

This does seem to have some validity in older cities like Boston, New York, Philadelphia, or Chicago, but in newer cities it is not the case. Instead of donuts, one finds “wedges” of wealth occupying a continuous pie-slice from the center to the periphery.

True enough. Here’s his map of the income distribution of several major US cities. Seattle/Tacoma is about halfway down the page.

Easy enough to see the tech-industry and Microsoft money on the Eastside, and the pockets of high-income folks all around the waterfronts. And the much lower income brackets around Tacoma and Fort Lewis…though I wonder how much that will change in the next census, at least for rapidly gentrifying downtown Tacoma.

(via kottke.org)

Why Transit Now Is a Good Idea

I’ve read many opinions concerning Transit Now. Some love it. Some hate it. After some research, I figured I’d throw my hat into the ring as well. I think Transit Now is a good idea.

What Transit Now is
Transit Now is a county-wide plan to improve Metro bus service by adding bus rapid transit to main corridors, improving the frequency and reliability of existing routes, adding new routes, and expanding service partnerships. These improvements will be paid for by a 0.1% increase in the sales tax totaling $50 million per year.

Why Transit Now is a good idea
Affordable – 25 bucks. A 0.1% sales tax increase will cost the average family $25. That’s a date at the movies or a half dozen lattes. Spread over a year’s worth of purchases, you probably won’t even notice.
Immediate – If Transit Now is adopted, we will see immediate improvements to Metro. Buses will run more often and be more reliable. With the Light Rail another 3-4 years away and a comprehensive rail network decades away, we need a transitionary solution now. To emphasize the point further – according to Sound Transit’s latest estimates, my son, who is due to be born in a week, could be my age before the Light Rail gets to the Roosevelt neighborhood where we live.
EffectiveTransit Now will add over 700,000 hours of new transit service annually, get 50,000 drivers a day out of their cars, and generally make Metro easier to use with more frequency, better reliability, and easier connections.

What Transit Now is not
It is not a complete, long-term transit solution. Let me repeat – Transit Now is not a complete transit solution. Bus transit has many inherent flaws, the biggest being that they run on roads (not grade-separated) and are therefore subject to congestion and decreased reliability. Ultimately, buses suffer from the same scalability issues that cars face.

Transit Now is a temporary solution – a stepping stone to get us to where we need to go. I believe grade-separated, rapid transit is the most effective long term solution. The down-side to that is that it takes years of planning and construction to complete. In the meantime we need an affordable, immediate, and effective solution. We need Transit Now.

turkish spa like atmosphere in the heart of downtown Seattle

banya5.jpg
In my past life, I worked for a cruise line (who shall remain nameless) that had one of the most traditional yet stylishly upscale Turkish bath afloat. In the rare opportunities where I could get on one of those ships for a vacation, my friends would have to drag my pruned body out of the hot and steamy rooms before I wasted through the wooden slats in the floor. But, back on shore, I could never find a Seattle equivalent to the little piece of heaven onboard.

This weekend was a special treat for me, and before I knew it, I was walking into Banya 5, an urban retreat for the mind, body and soul, located in the heart of Seattle at South Lake Union, for a black-olive Moroccan soap exfoliation treatment and oil massage; but this was only the start of things to come. It doesn’t take long to figure out the relaxing benefits of temperature shifts on the body. Heat helps relax and detoxify the body; cold helps to ease pain and invigorate the senses. And this is what you will get with one admittance ticket to Banya 5.
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know your gunmen : naveed haq

Naveed Friendster

Yet another insane crime, yet another seeming normal social networking service profile. Get to know the softer side of Naveed Haq, the man held in custody on a 50 million dollar bail [slog] in connection with Friday’s shooting at the Jewish Federation, via Friendster (that service that you used back when you suspected that myspace was just a passing fad with hideous user interface.)

Being opinionated is not me but I lean on the liberal side. I don’t do anything real crazy, like ice climbing or bungee jumping. That would require getting off land, which I don’t like to do. Finally, I like cats, but currently I have no cats. [friendster]

I guess this cursory examination of seemingly innocuous online profiles is this era’s version of neighbors telling newscameras that he seemed like a pretty normal, quiet guy who posted pictures of couches he liked on the internet.

(via candid [del])

Seafair: Ships and planes

It’s that time of the year again: the Navy is arriving. Two Navies, in fact. The Seafair fleet will be steaming into Elliott Bay on Tuesday.

For those interested, here’s the list of the ships planned:

The U.S. Navy is contributing two destroyers, USS Chung-Hoon and USS Milius, and an amphibious loading dock (USS Cleveland).

The Canadian Navy is contributing three coastal patrol vessels, HMCS Edmonton, HMCS Saskatoon, and HMCS Yellowknife.

Last but certainly not least, the U.S. Coast Guard is sending the USCGC Fir. I was hoping they’d send the original Fir, the last of the old lighthouse-service ships, but that one was decommissioned and replaced awhile back.

Yeah, it’s a less impressive fleet than we’ve had some years. The Navy is busy, they pointed out.

Hell with all of that, you might say, are the Blue Angels coming? Of course. They’re arriving on Thursday and flying Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1:30 to 2:30. Watch out for stopped traffic on I-90, and if you’ve got dogs or small kids, keep an eye on them when the Angels fly by. My greyhound doesn’t love the roar of their engines. The full schedule is available here.

[Seattle P-I]

Murder City Devils add Sunday show to reunion!

Hey look! The Murder City Devils claim about only playing one show? Not so much. If you missed their Block Party supposedly one-time-only reunion or just need another dose, they used their time onstage to announce that they’re playing a show on Sunday night with Blood Brothers and Bright Shiny Objects tomorrow at the Showbox .

Tickets went onsale at the merch tent, but others might be available at the box office. Developing

update: ticket info, webstyle [showbox]

Greetings from Reggie Watts

With Franki Chan on turntables, Reggie Watts’s emcee humor, and Murder City Devils gathering to take the stage, its beginning to feel like olde timey Seattle of yesteryear.

(I’m not sure how Shane from the Divorce’s bleached blond pre-mullet fits into this journey down memory lane, but it does bear mentioning.)

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