Monthly Archives: July 2014

It’s Seafair Weekend – Here’s a Look Inside

If you are new to Seattle, a natural reaction would be, “Man, you guys really have an irrational love for hydros.”

So for all of our new Puget Sounders, and for those young enough to not quite understand the obsession, here’s what you need to know about Seafair.

Hydro Flipping

1) How it Started
Seafair goes back to 1950, and according to, the first one “featured parades, boat races on Green Lake, amateur athletic events, royalty, community festivals like West Seattle Hi-Yu Days, Rainier District Pow-wow, Wallingford Pirate Days, the University District Kid’s Parade, and the Ballard Festival, and were highlighted by the nightly Aqua Follies performances. Seafair was deemed a success and the festival would grow the next summer with the addition of the unlimited hydroplane racing class on Lake Washington.”

If you’ve been to Green Lake, you will have seen an oddly placed amphitheatre situated at the south end of the lake. According to, “the 5,000 seat Aqua Theater (built specifically for Seafair) on the southwest shores of Green Lake was home to a dazzling “swimusical” known as the Aqua Follies.  Aqua Follies included a diving show with breathtaking high dives as well as comedy skits and diving.  The Aqua Dears, 30 female synchronized swimmers, performed ballet in the water while the Aqua Darlings, 24 dancers presented the stage ballet.  The nightly shows, including moonlight matinees that started at 11:15 p.m., were the entertainment highlight of the world’s greatest water carnival.  Bob Hope, Bert Parks and a number of Olympic divers were just some of the famous performers at this unique outdoor venue.  The Aqua Follies played a significant role in the Seafair festival between 1950 and 1965.”

So yes, not only did Bob Hope perform at Green Lake, professional swimmers actually dared enter the water at one point in time. And there was such a thing as a “swimusical” which we can’t believe doesn’t exist anymore.

Greenlake Swimmers

2) What’s the deal with the Blue Angels?
Early on, the U.S. Navy and Seafair started working together. Before the Blue Angels were the main draw, gigantic Navy ships docked in Elliot Bay, giving civilians the opportunity to tour them. So while Seattle men were touring the ships, the Navy sailors were touring Seattle and joining in the summer celebration. There are no published reports of Seattle women lodging any protests about this.

While the Blue Angels were formed in 1946, it wasn’t until 1972 that they became a fixture at Seafair. They now perform full shows on Seafair Saturday and Sunday, but also practice over Lake Washington on Thursday and Friday, giving everyone a chance to check out their maneuvers. If you are planning on crossing I-90, here are the times to avoid, since it will be closed. (Source: WSDOT)

  • Thursday, July 31: 9:45 a.m. – noon; 1:15 – 2:40 p.m. (Practice)
  • Friday, Aug. 1:  12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Practice)
  • Saturday, Aug. 2:  12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Full show)
  • Sunday, Aug. 3:  12:15 p.m. – 2:40 p.m., (Full show)

BlueAngels 2

3) So What’s The Obsession With the Hydros?
According to the, “It’s been said that the hydroplane racing boat called Slo Mo Shun IV invented summer in Seattle. In 1950, (Stan) Sayres and the Slo Mo captured the Gold Cup at Detroit — the hydroplane equivalent of winning the Super Bowl. That brought the race out West for the first time since 1904, and started the tradition of hydroplane races in Seattle.”

So it started with civic pride in 1950. But let’s be realistic for a second. 64 years later, Seafair fans are not necessarily enthralled with the race itself. The race is simply an excuse for everyone with a boat to congregate in one general area, tie up to the log boom, and engage in one of the world’s largest cocktail parties on a lake.

Seafair Logboom

4) That sounds fun. How do I get to do that?
Every Seafair weekend, boat owners become the most popular people in the Puget Sound. If your friend lives anywhere on Lake Washington, they’ll have their pick of friends and acquaintances to invite to the party. If you really want to be part of the Seafair experience next year, it’s good to mix in a question like, “So do you like boats?” in any conversation with new potential friends.

5) So if I don’t have one of those friends, what can I do?
If you don’t have access to a boat, your best bet is to head down to Genesee Park for all the events through the weekend. There will be beer gardens, exhibits, and things for the kids. You don’t exactly get to just drive down, park and walk in the same way you would a Seahawks game, so plan accordingly. Shuttles and Light Rail run from several locations.

To wrap it all up
The bottom line is that Seafair goes back 3 generations now. Most people don’t have any idea why we love it, but it’s our tradition. New Orleans has Mardi Gras, Milwaukee has Summerfest, Nevada has Burning Man, and we have Seafair.

Bob Hope, supersonic jets, crazy fast boats that flip over, a giant water based party and even crazy clowns. It’s uniquely Seattle, and couldn’t be more localicious.

Seafair Pillar Properties

Summer Dating in Seattle

Summer in the Puget Sound brings all of us out hibernation. Whether we’re married, in a relationship or enjoying the single life, it’s our time to grab a partner and entertain ourselves with an unending array of interesting experiences.

So let’s forget about dinners, movies and bars for a little while and go find something a little more experimental. Here are a few “less conventional” and localicious ideas for fun dates around downtown.

Seattle Art Museum Olympic Sculpture Park
2901 Western Ave | Yelp Review

What could be better on a Thursday night than looking cultured, being downtown, and getting free entertainment? Take a nice long stroll down the waterfront to the Seattle Art Museum’s Olympic Sculpture Park. Each Thursday evening from 6–9 pm, you’ll get views of the Sound, live music, and art activities like “Take an Art Hit Tour” and “SAM Creates.” If you want to add dinner to the experience, stop by one of the delicious food trucks. And you can even enjoy a glass of wine at Taste. If you need a daytime date, head over on Saturday from 10:30 am to 3 pm, where you can join in with some yoga and Zumba, or just learn from artists.

Via Astrid S on Yelp.

Via Astrid S on Yelp.

Pioneer Square Art Walk
Pioneer Square | Yelp Review

Now that you’ve moved into your brand new place, would you like to add some original Seattle art to the walls? Well a good place to start is the First Thursday Art Walk, which goes on right outside your front door in Pioneer Square. Grab a date and act like art aficionados on this free & self-guided walk around the neighborhood. It happens the very first Thursday of the month from 5 pm to 8 pm. When it’s over, you two can get dinner and Google all the artists you just saw.


Smith Tower Observation Deck
506 2nd Ave | Yelp Review

Longtime Seattleites know that the Smith Tower was once the tallest building on the West Coast. For over 100 years it has offered some of Seattle’s best views (second only maybe to The Wave…) One unique aspect is the bank of old-fashioned copper and brass elevators, where real elevator operators take you to the 35th floor. In addition to the Observation Deck, check out the historic Chinese Room, and read newspaper headlines from the early 1900’s. After enjoying a beautiful view, head downstairs for dinner and drinks.

Smith Tower

The Seattle Great Wheel
1301 Alaskan Way | Yelp Review

If you are going round and round trying to come up with a fun idea, maybe round and round is your answer. Head over to Pier 57 on the Waterfront and take a ride on the Seattle Great Wheel. If you make it a romantic nighttime date, you’ll be “de-lighted” with elegant white gondola lights. On special occasions, or any University of Washington or Seattle Seahawks home football games, you may catch special LED light shows on the wheel.

Seattle Great Wheel

Have a favorite date spot? Share it with your neighbors on our Facebook Page.

Getting In Summer Shape

Summer is here, and that means shorts, swimsuits and other outfits we want to look fit in. There’s still time to sculpt our way into athletic shape, so we pulled together a couple of recommendations across a few different types of endeavors – all within walking distance of Stadium Place.

Salt Room Yoga
214 First Ave S, Ste G-7 | Yelp Profile

Himalayan Rock Salt is known extensively in Eastern European folklore culture to purify and ionize the air and absorb excess moisture. Harvested from the Himalayan mountains, rock salt bricks bring a healing, nurturing vibe to the practice space.

I would happily drive across town to take classes there because I love it so much. The instructors are approachable and just the right balance of “yogi” and exercise motivator. I highly recommend Saltroom if you are seeking a true, but down to earth, yoga experience. – Katrina S

This is a gorgeous yoga studio – the salt mural is beautiful! I’ve only been to one class so far and my instructor was really knowledgable. This is my favorite yoga studio and I will definitely be back! – Kristin C

Seattle Fitness
83 S King St, Ste 100 | Yelp Profile

At Seattle Fitness, their mission Is to provide members the opportunity to experience fitness at its finest. The goal is to share knowledge and experience in a professional and friendly manner, contributing to overall health and well-being. Initial instruction is included with full membership.

“Best gym I’ve ever belonged to. Super clean, really friendly staff and great classes. Tija runs a great business, and for a smaller operation, the monthly fee is really affordable”. – Tiffany B

“This gym is great. Seattle Fitness was extremely low pressure, friendly, genuine, knowledgeable and helpful. I didn’t get a sales pitch during my week long trial, just the information I asked for, with no spin. Tried it out for a week and fell in love with the place. It’s clean, absolutely everyone is friendly and helpful, including the club members, and it’s just a warm, supportive atmosphere.” – Brian Y.

506 2nd Ave, Ste 1400 | Yelp Profile

The mission at GymRats is to remove the inconvenience that comes along with traditional gyms and traditional training programs. The company has created a solution that is Accessible, Attainable, and Affordable.

“I love GymRats Seattle! Everyone there is knowledgeable, always having fun and make it easy to achieve positive lifestyle changes.” – Jennifer M

Don’t forget, you can always use the exercise facility at Stadium Place. It’s a great way to make sure you fit in your favorite daily workout.

What You Need to Know About the Sounders and Timbers Rivalry

There’s a huge soccer game on Sunday. ESPN will be covering it. It’s a colossal affair.

No, we’re not talking about Germany vs Argentina in the World Cup Final in Brazil. We’re talking about Sounders vs Timbers in Seattle.

Some residents of The Wave and Nolo will be hosting BBQ’s and pre-game parties filled with rave green decor. But for those of you surprised by how may people will be walking past your front door, we have a few tidbits you can digest.


Q1: What’s with the crowd?
A1: A few nights per year, the Sounders open the stadium to full capacity. The Portland game is one of those days where the whole city wants to come out and root for the home side.

Q2: Why is the Seattle vs Portland rivalry so strong?
A2: It goes back 40 years, literally. Yes, the MLS Sounders only stared in 2009 and yes the MLS Timbers stared in 2011. But through multiple leagues (both major and minor) these two cities have competed in soccer for decades. The hardest of the hardcore fans can remember names, stats and stories from years ago. It’s arguably the best rivalry in sports that the rest of the country is unaware of.

Q3: What should I expect?
A3: After 17 games, the Sounders are the top of the Western Conference with 35 points (11 wins, 2 ties, 4 losses). After 18 games, Portland is in 7th place in the Western Conference with 21 points (4 wins, 9 ties and 5 losses). Portland is unique in that they have given up the most goals in the Conference (30), but also scored the 2nd most (30). Seattle has given up its share of goals (24) but leads the league in goals scored (33). It seems likely that these teams will score some goals.

Q4: No, I mean what should I expect in terms of crowd behavior?
A4: The fans of these two teams do not like each other at all. However, they respect each other enough to adhere to the rules of general soccer fan behavior. So expect a lot of singing, cheering and taunting, but nothing violent. For example, one song you may hear goes like this:
“Start a bonfire, start a bonfire,
Put the Timbers at the top.
Put Vancouver in the middle,
And we’ll burn the (stinking) lot.”

Now of course no Sounders fan wants to light another person on fire, but you can see how the rivalry goes.

Q5: What’s a tifo?
A5: For important games, the Sounders’ Supporters Group, the Emerald City Supporters, create a large banner to show off before the game. The ones from the last 3 years are quite impressive.
If you don’t go to the game, you might be able to see this year’s from your window.

Q6: This sound fun. Can I go to the game?
A6: Yes. It will be close to a packed house, but you can still get tickets from Ticketmaster, or if you want better seats you can go to StubHub. It should be a great evening.

Views From Stadium Place

There are few places on the planet more beautiful than Seattle in summer. Lots of sunshine, extended hours of daylight and skies so clear you can see for hundreds of miles.

Most of us don’t work on the top of the Columbia Tower and can’t enjoy every dinner at the Space Needle. But residents of The Wave and The Nolo at Stadium Place can enjoy amazing views in every direction every day. We hate to brag but we think these may be the best views in the city. You can peek into Century Link field, check out Mt. Rainier or enjoy the city skyline and Puget Sound.

So in celebration, we wanted to take a few shots from Stadium Place and share them with everyone. Let us know if you have any shots you’d like to add to the portfolio.

The Wave View 1

The Wave View 4

The Wave View 3

The Wave View 2

A Look From Above:
The Wave Chopper 3

The Wave Chopper 2

The Wave Aerial View

The Wave Chopper 4

Happy 4th of July from Stadium Place

Happy Independence Day, or as the British call it, “Traitor’s Day.” Before we share a few localicious ideas about how to spend the holiday, here are a few fun facts about the Declaration of Independence you can use to wow your friends.

  • No one who signed the Declaration of Independence was born in the United States of America. The United States didn’t exist until after the Declaration was signed! However, all but eight of the signers were born in colonies that would become the United States.
  • Although August 2, 1776, was the date of the official signing ceremony, there were several people who signed on later dates. Some of these late signers included Elbridge Gerry, Oliver Wolcott, Lewis Morris, Thomas McKean and Matthew Thornton.


Now, on to the festivities. Here are a few things going on around the city.

1) Residents of Pioneer Square may have the easiest way to get to Lake Union to see the Fireworks at the Seafair Summer Fourth. Simply head over to the International District stop in the Bus Tunnel. Get off at the Westlake stop and you will be pretty close to the fun and frivolity. If you don’t feel like walking the rest of the way, jump on the South Lake Union Street Car at Westlake and hitch a ride all the way up to the Lake. There are tons of great restaurants and bars in South Lake Union, so jump off early, find a spot you like, and make a whole evening out of it.

2) If crowds aren’t your thing, here’s something we suggest for NEXT YEAR. Argosy has a number of Fourth of July Cruises that head out from Pier 55 and 56. These sell out early, so you may want to book your 2015 reservations soon.

3) But don’t forget, The Wave is one of the tallest apartment communities in Seattle. You can also go up on the roof and take a 360 degree view and try to catch all the fireworks shows at once. Depending on how clear the sky is, you may see one or more of these displays from afar. Here’s a list of directions to look:

  • North: Seattle – Gas Works Park 10:10 pm.| Edmonds – Civic Stadium 10 pm. | Everett – Port Gardner Bay 10:20 pm.| Kenmore – Log Boom Park 10 pm.
  • East:  Bellevue – Downtown Park 10:05 pm. | Kirkland – Marina Park 10:15 pm. | Renton – Coulon Park 10 pm.
  • South: Federal Way – Celebration Park 10:15 pm. | Kent – Lake Meridian Park 10 pm. | Lakewood – Joint Base Lewis-McChord at dark | SeaTac – Angle Lake Park 10:15 pm. | Tacoma – Ruston Way 10:10 pm.
  • West: Bainbridge Island 10:20 pm.

Have a safe and fabulous 4th of July!