Category Archives: Activities

Cocktails Worthy of Your BBQ

Last week we brought you some recipes to elevate your BBQ to the next level. This week, we have some suggestions for tasty libations. Pioneer Square is home to some fantastic bartenders. So here are some drinks based on each of our favorite spirits, from some of our favorite localicious neighborhood bars.

Note: Most of these recipes don’t list measurements for each ingredient. In general, start with 1.5oz of the alcohol involved, and distribute the rest to taste. You’ll probably just need a dash of things like bitters, peppers and lime juice, and a little more soda or other fillers. Most of these are meant to be served in a cocktail or martini glass, which only hold 5 – 6 oz total.

Vodka:

  • Fuel: Turf Monster – Muddled Lemons, Blueberry Vodka, Melon Liqueur, Blue Curacao, and Lemonade, with a float of 151.
  • The Lodge Sports Grille: Peartini – Grey Goose LaPoire Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Apple Pucker; splash of sour

Peartini

Tequila:

  • E Smith Mercantile: Black Lemonade – Vanilla Black Tea Infused Tequila, Limoncello, Lemon, Soda
  • Fuel: Blue 51 Margarita – Tequila, Triple Sec, Muddled Lime, Sour Mix and Blue Curacao

Gin:

Whiskey:

  • The Lodge Sports Grille: The Perfect Mark Fresh muddled oranges, Makers Mark Bourbon shaken with a splash of both sweet and dry vermouth and a dash of bitters
  • Seattle Magazine recommends: The Sodo Shaker – Ice cubes, 2 ounces Woodinville Whiskey Co Harvest Release Bourbon,  1/2 ounce Carpano Antica Formula,  1/4 ounce Luxardo Maraschino, 1/4 Rainer Cherry, Simple Syrup
The Sodo Shaker, via Seattle Magazine

The Sodo Shaker, via Seattle Magazine

Share your favorite homemade cocktail recipes with us in the comments below.

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 Seafair.com, 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 Seafair.com, “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 SeattleP-i.com, “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.

Pioneer_Square_Art_Walk

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.

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.

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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.
2013: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PtKByi394M
2012: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ9DCBae8NI
2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rD21vrnsdK0
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.

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.

Source: http://www.constitutionfacts.com/us-declaration-of-independence/fascinating-facts/

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!

Recapping the Furry5K

Last week, we all grabbed our leashes and headed south to Seward Park to represent Stadium Place at the 15th Annual Furry 5K.

Furry5k - Pillar Properties 7Furry5k - Pillar Properties 3

This fantastic event is a fundraiser for the Seattle Animal Shelter, which takes in approximately 6,000 stray and owner-surrendered animals each year. Because so many of these animals are in need of significant vet and behavioral care, the Seattle Animal Shelter created the Help the Animals Fund in 1977.

Two-legged and four-legged friends walked and ran together around the park, enjoying views of Lake Washington all along the way.

Furry5k MapFurry5k - Pillar Properties 1

Hopefully you were able to stop by the Pillar Properties tent, where Regan, Megan and Genevieve were handing out treats.

Furry5k - Pillar Properties 2Furry5k - Pillar Properties 4

Overall the Furry 5K was a huge success and our residents who participated not only got to support a great cause, they spent a gorgeous day outside with other animal lovers.

Furry5k - Pillar Properties 5Furry5k - Pillar Properties 10

If you missed the walk, but want to support the Help the Animals Fund, you still can. Just visit this donation form.

 

Pioneer Square Loves the World Cup

You may have noticed a lot of people disappearing for 2 hours today around lunch. Yes, the most popular sporting event in the world is upon us.

The World Cup is our opportunity every four years to complain about how countries the size of Nigeria, France and Chile can possibly create more soccer talent than the U.S.

For the uninitiated, we’re talking about a 32 team, four week affair, being hosted in 12 cities in Brazil. These 32 teams are the final survivors of a 3 year, 200+ country tournament that has seen countries like Sweden, Norway, South Africa, Egypt and China disqualified.

With games in Brazil, the first round will feature three to four games a day for two weeks at 9:00am, 12:00pm and 3:00pm. Not perfect, but it does allow the opportunity to watch games at breakfast, lunch or happy hour.

If you aren’t a soccer fan, don’t worry. The cheering, the singing and the excitement will draw you in. And to help you out, here are a few talking points you can use that will keep you from looking like a total newbie. Just memorize these, throw them out in conversation and let the others start debating. You’ll get all the credit.

1) I think we’re going to be better off without Donovan.
2) Is this the year an African team can make a deep run?
3) Who do you think is a more likely sleeper? Belgium, Switzerland, Chile or Columbia?

Now, if you think you can just wander into a bar for a U.S. game, you’ll likely spend 90 minutes out on the sidewalk listening to the cheers and jeers. You may need multiple options for your viewing, in case one or more bars are packed to the gills long before kickoff. Luckily, Pioneer Square is a hotbed of soccer bars. But with so many people working within walking distance, most places may be packed throughout the day. Here are some options:

The Crazy Ones:
Expect these spots to fill up early. Maybe you can send someone to save you a table several hours earlier, but expect chaos.

Fuel: 164 S Washington St – It’s the home of the Emerald City Supporters. Expect crowds for every game, especially U.S. matches.
Fado: 801 1st Ave – This Irish bar is a soccer fan’s staple.
Owl and Thistle: 808 Post Ave – Located just behind Fado in Post Alley, it fills up with regulars and Fado overflow.

The Hit and Miss:
It’s hard to know if these places will be overflowing with fans, or just capitalizing on the chance to open a little early.
FX McCrory’s: 419 Occidental Ave S – It’s Seattle’s original sports bar and it’s right across the street.
The Lodge: 166 S King St – It’s a newer Pioneer Square sports bar…. And also right across the street.
McCoy’s Firehouse: 164 S Washington St – When you can’t get into Fuel, walk across the street to McCoy’s. It’s a fun place to watch a game.
Easy Joe’s: 704 1st Ave – This the closest spot to Fado that may not be completely overcrowded.
The J+M Café: 201 1st Ave S – It’s a classic Seattle bar.
Temple Billiards: 126 S Jackson St – A favorite for the soccer crowd pre-game. But be warned – there aren’t a lot of large TV’s to view the games.

The Stadium District:
On Mariners and Sounders game days, these spots are filled to the brim. But they are usually pretty quiet on the other days of the week. Give them a call to make sure they are going to be open for the game you want to watch.
Sluggers: 538 1st Ave S – Tall and skinny with lots of tv’s. Within about 100 yards of your front door.
Elysian Fields: 542 1st Ave S – You have to check to make sure they’re open but that won’t be tough since it’s right across the street.
The Hawks Nest: 1028 1st Ave S – It’s traditionally a Sounders and Seahawks bar, but may be a spot off the beaten path for the World Cup games.
Jimmy’s On First: 1046 1st Ave S – It’s a pre-Mariners hangout. But they may have some of the best wings in town.
Pyramid Alehouse: 1201 1st Ave S – You may know it for the beer garden before Mariners games, but on quieter days there’s a bar inside with plenty of TV’s.
Henry’s Tavern: 1518 1st Ave S – Good food, a nice place to watch games and a little off the beaten path on non Mariner days.

If you find a top spot to watch games, share it with your fellow residents here.

Enjoying Nature in Pioneer Square

During the long, cold winter, we take refuge in the bars and restaurants that exist within an umbrella’s length of Stadium Place.

But now spring is here. It’s time to climb out from our warm, safe blankets and take a look at some of the nature nestled into our little concrete jungle.

Within a short walk of Stadium Place, is Waterfront Park. Comprising the area from Pier 57 to Pier 59, this park provides excellent chances to fill your Instagram account with photos of Puget Sound, birds, seals, islands and, even the Olympic Mountains. If you forget your binoculars, four coin-operated telescopes are available for your convenience. Once you are done enjoying the nature view, use the benches or picnic tables to enjoy lunch in the shade of the trees. Or just relax and lay on the grass to take in the sunshine.

Waterfront Park

Image Source: Yelp | Address: 1301 Alaskan Way, 98101

But Maybe you are one who likes to be a little more “one with nature.” There’s almost no better way to spend a Seattle evening than cruising around on a sailboat in the middle of Puget Sound.

Emerald City Charters provides 2 voyages a day. Enjoy the 1.5 hourr cruise starting at 4pm for just $33 per person. Or take the longer 2.5 hour sunset cruise that launches at 6:30 for $49 per person. Feel the wind in your hair, smell the crisp sea air, and bring along your own bottle of wine to make the tour that much more lovely.

Elliott Bay Cruise

Address: 1001 Alaskan Way Pier 54, Seattle, WA 98104

Do you you have your own favorite nature walks in Pioneer Square? Let us know below.

Nature in the City: Go Chasing Waterfalls

Sure, we get it. There’s a reason you live where you do. You’re a city person now.  An urban aficionado. You love tall buildings, ample mass transit, and having a coffee shop on every corner. You’re powered by the hustle and bustle that comes with living in a densely populated area.

But hey, even the most hardened city-dwellers among us need a little nature fix every now and then. Why not use this year’s Earth Day as an excuse to spend some time in the great outdoors?

We’re not suggesting any grueling nature hikes or anything (believe us, that’s the last thing we’d recommend). It’s possible for you to bond with nature within city limits- in fact, there’s a great place that’s just a short walk out your door.

Two blocks north of the Nolo, on 2nd and Main, you’ll find a patch of nature tucked right into the city: the Waterfall Garden Park. You’ll walk right past it if you aren’t looking for it, so keep your eyes open for the sign, and your ears open for the sound of rushing water.

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Seriously, we aren’t joking. This thing is hidden.

Fair warning: there’s a reason that this historical spot (where UPS- yes, that UPS was founded in 1907) is referred to as a “pocket park.”  It’s not huge. There’s just a few waterfalls, trees, chairs, and tables scattered around. Despite it’s size, it’s a perfect urban oasis. Pop in during your day to just relax, or act like a local and bring a lunch to enjoy.

waterfall park.jpg

Photo via Wendy B. http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/waterfall-garden-seattle?select=KPpBHBptLV72FRH8w8XjYw#vEP7ncvyW5VeVXTqpYCAUw

It’s not a whole lot of nature, but it’s just enough.   

Explore the City! It’s Restaurant Week 2014!

For the next few weeks, Seattle’s turning into a food-lover’s paradise. During April 6-10 and April 13-17, it’s Seattle Restaurant week! There’s never been a better time to head out and explore some of the great localicious options within walking distance of your neighborhood.

How does it work, you ask? It’s super simple. Go here and find the closest restaurants to your neighborhood participating. Then, go to that restaurant and select three courses from their special Restaurant Week menu for only $28.

This time around, there’s not a ton of strictly Stadium District options right near you, but don’t worry, there’s a ton just a short walk away. Here’s a few we think you’ll dig:

1. McCormick’s Fish House and Bar:  It doesn’t get more classic Northwest than it does at this venerable Seattle seafood institution.  There’s a reason this place has been around since 1912, and their Restaurant Week menu shows that reason off. 722 Fourth Ave. Seattle, WA 98104

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2. Café Campagne – A quiet little bistro that wouldn’t be out of place on a busy Paris street has found a home in downtown Seattle, serving up classically awesome French cuisine. Check out their special menu and see what all the (well-deserved) fuss is about! 1600 Post Alley Seattle, Washington 98101

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3. Lecosho – It’s hearty, it’s unique, and it’s secluded. Hit up this hidden Harbor Steps (it’s about halfway down the stairs) hideout for some of the best full-flavored dishes around. They’ve got some interesting options this Restaurant Week (especially at lunch!), so don’t miss out on your chance to give them a try. 89 University Street Seattle, WA 98101

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Don’t limit yourself to just walking tours of Restaurant Week, either! Check out the full neighborhood list right here, hit the town, and let us know where else you’ve explored.