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Alethea Myers

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On St. Patrick’s Day 2017 (March 17th ), don your green and choose one or many ways to celebrate this year! Watch or join a step dance, learn to make soda bread, watch a Celtic movie or parade, sprint in a race, see an exhibit, attend a mass for peace, learn your genealogy or the Gaelic language. Or maybe just listen to rousing “trad” acoustic music while possibly sipping something green (Beer? Kale Smoothie?). Whether you’re descended from the Emerald Isle or not, we can all enjoy this holiday. Below are some local events and places to partake in shamrock fun, starting this coming weekend.

Variety of fun Irish events at Seattle Center. Photo: seattlecenter.com

For Starters….

Irish Flag-Raising

followed by the Irish and US national anthems

Friday, March 10th
12:20 pm
in front of the King County Administration Building (near Pioneer Square downtown)
500 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA

Landing of St. Patrick

per Irish Heritage Club site
Friday, March 10th

6pm on South Lake Union
St. Patrick was originally brought to Ireland by Irish pirates around 400 AD. Over 1600 years later, the Pirates of the Emerald Isle will deliver St. Patrick back to the Emerald City, dropping him off at South Lake Union (near MOHAI) at 6 pm Friday evening, March 10. No admission fee and kids are welcome. Climb on board at F X McRroy’s at 5 pm for the trip to South Lake Union. After welcoming St. Patrick, we’ll ride back to McRory’s by 6:30 pm for the Green Stripe Laying.

The Laying O’ the Green [Stripe]

Friday, March 10tho
7 pm
Participate in this mini-parade that lays down/marks the parade route that starts at 4th and Jefferson downtown.

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Saturday, March 11th
At 12:30 pm
On 4th Ave. travelling north from Jefferson St., passing the reviewing stand at Westlake, then via the Monorail to Seattle Center Armory. Closing ceremony at the Seattle Center Armory at 2:30 pm.

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Seattle Center Armory’s Irish Festival

305 Harrison Street, Seattle
More in-depth details on Irish Festival here.
March 11th and 12th:

IN LOFT LOBBY AT SEATTLE CENTER ARMORY:

Irish Soda Bread Cooking demonstration

March 11th and 12th
2-3 pm
This also includes demos on making other traditional foods: potato pancakes, cooking root vegetables, and Christmas/wedding cake. Samples of contest winners’ soda bread also available.

EXHIBITS

Doug Plummer Irish Photography

Seattle-based photographer’s photos of the western edge of Ireland
Antique Irish Postcards & Bartlett Engraving
collection by John and Alice Cooper, and their granddaughter Keely Cooper
Take a glimpse into Irish history through thousands of postcards, many from the late 1800s-early 1900s.  48 reproductions of an engraving pre-dating the Great Potato Famine by a few years.

IN UPPER LEVEL LOFT AT SEATTLE CENTER ARMORY:

SATURDAY ACTIVITIES:

1 pm “Basic Irish Genealogy”
3:00  “The Immortal Irishman” Reading and Book-signing
3:30  Children’s “Most Irish-Looking Face” Contest
4:00 “Learning the Irish Language”

SUNDAY ACTIVITIES:

1 pm “Basic Irish Genealogy”
1 pm  “Political Pressures in Irish Music
1:45 pm Children’s “Smilingest Irish Eyes” Contest

IRISH REELS FILM FESTIVAL

Six different documentary films that capture different aspects of Ireland are playing both March 11th and March 12th.
Seattle Center Armory Loft, Suite 2. See film summaries & times here.
FREE.

ON MAIN LEVEL AT SEATTLE CENTER ARMORY:

Music performed by many traditional Irish musicians and dancing groups

Sat. March 11, 12 noon-6 pm
Sun. March 12, 10 am-6 pm

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St. Paddy’s Day Dash

stpatsdash.com

Sunday, March 12th at 8:30 am
Join 10,000+ people carrying a ribbon of green for almost 4 miles.
The run starts at T.S. McHugh’s near the Space Needle.

St. Patrick’s Day Mass for Peace

Friday, March 17th, 12 Noon
St. Patrick’s Church, 2702 Broadway E (just off Roanoke), Seattle.
For information, call 425-582- 2688 or email Mass@irishclub.org

St. Paddy’s Party Cruise

Friday, March 17th
Waterways Cruises and Events
Enjoy a 3-hour cruise on Lake Washington and Lake Union with a DJ, appetizers, desserts, full-service bar, trivia and prizes. All with a great view of Seattle.
$56.99, including taxes and fees
https://www.waterwayscruises.com/St_Paddys_party_cruise_2017

Irish Genealogy Workshop

Saturday, March 25th, all day
Luther Memorial Church
13047 Greenwood Ave. N.
Full schedule at www.IrishWeek.org

Seattle Gaels Field Day

Sunday, March 26th, noon to 3 pm
Magnuson Park
Try your hand at games such as Hurling, Camogie, and Gaelic Football.
For more information: www.SeattleGaels.com

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LOCAL IRISH PUBS (including some in your neighborhood) 

Call or check links for cover charges, and what’s included in it (sometimes a free t-shirt or gift card, etc.).

Blarney Stone Pub & Restaurant

BlarneyStoneSeattle.com
1416 1st Ave. (across from Pike Place Market)
Friday, March 11th 6-9 pm- Irish Bank “The Pope’s Nose”. Contact for more St. Patrick’s Day information.

Conor Byrne’s
www.conorbyrnepub.com
5140 Ballard Ave. NW (in Ballard)
Opens at noon on 3/17. Live music starts at 1:00, various bands/groups. Skillet street food all day.

FADO Irish Pub
http://fadoirishpub.com/seattle
801 1st Avenue (Downtown)
Open: 9:00 am on 3/17/ Live Music Starts at 11:00 AM to Close.  21+ only starting at 2:00 PM.

Kells Irish Festival
http://kellsirish.com/seattle
1916 Post Alley (near Pike Place Market)
Live Irish music begins on March 8th and runs through March 18th at Kells Irish. A tent going up in Post Alley on Thurs. March 16th, which stays up through the weekend. Dancing, traditional food on menu, and much more. A great lineup of Irish bands direct from Ireland and the Pacific Northwest.

Molly McGuire’s
https://www.facebook.com/MollyMaguiresSeattle
610 NW 65th St (northern Ballard, near Phinney Ridge and Greenwood)
Contact for St. Paddy’s information.

The Old Pequilar
https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-old-pequliar-seattle
1722 NW Market St. (in Ballard)
Four live music groups/bands and Irish food from 12 noon to 2 am on St. Patrick’s Day.

Owl & Thistle
http://www.owlnthistle.com
808 Post Ave. (Downtown)
Five bands playing, including a bagpipe band, starting at 1 pm on March 17th.  Open 11 am-1:30 am.

Paddy Coyne’s
http://www.paddycoynes.net
2 locations: 2801 Alaskan Way, #103 (Pier 70 on Downtown waterfront) and also 700 Bellevue Way NE, Suite 100 (in Bellevue)
Traditional Irish fare always on menu, call or email for St. Paddy’s information

Shawn O’Donnell’s American Grill & Irish Pub
http://www.shawnodonnells.com
3 locations: Smith Tower, 508- 2nd Ave. (Pioneer Square), 3601 Fremont Ave. (in Fremont) and 122- 128th St. SE (South Everett)
Contact your location for St. Paddy’s information.

Sully’s Lounge
https://www.facebook.com/sullysqa
1625 Queen Ave. N. (in Queen Anne)
Opening at 12 pm on March 17th
(206) 283-3900
No cover charge!

T.S. McHugh’s Irish Pub
https://tsmchughs.com
21 Mercer St (1 block from Seattle Center in Lower Queen Anne)
On March 12th , the St. Patrick’s Day Dash begins here, so T.S. McHugh’s is serving breakfast until 11:30 am that day.
Traditional Irish pub fare always on menu, but a special traditional menu also available on March 17th.  Live music all day and all night: one music group begins at noon, and the other begins around 6 pm ending around 1:00 am.  In-between music sets, there will be bagpipe music and Irish step dancers as well.
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The Irish Heritage Club in Seattle is a wealth of information regarding all things Irish, including many of these events. This page, about “Irish Week 2017”, contains more information about events and activities that happen throughout the month of March. Click on the flyer on that page.

As the old Irish blessing goes, “May the road rise up to meet you, and the wind be always at your back” on St. Paddy’s Day, and always.

Photo: graymalkn /flickr. creativecommons.org licenses by 2.0

 

In spite of the building boom in downtown Seattle, there have been limited options for buying a home, versus renting. Somewhat resembling a giant stack of glass Rubik’s cubes, a new condominium called Nexus Seattle at 1200 Howell Street in the Denny Triangle, will rectify this for a few. The building will feature 382 units, vary in size and price, ranging from $300,000+ to $3.5 million. Because sections of the building are twisted to face different directions, owners’ views will vary, depending which floor their home is located on.

According to the Nexus website, 80% of the units have already been reserved as of November 2016. Underscoring the market’s desire for permanent housing and the influx of people for high-paying tech jobs downtown, hundreds of buyers lined up to pay the $5,000 refundable deposit to be guaranteed a spot at a priority presales event on June 4th last year. Some people even camped out overnight to be first in line.

The Burrand Group, the Canadian company that owns the site, plans to break ground this month to begin construction. The building itself will rise 41 floors, and will be within walking distance of at least two large-tech work campuses in the South Lake Union area. An article with Puget Sound Business Journal states a fitness center, common co-working space, the option of renting a guest room, and a rooftop terrace will be some of the amenities available.

As of October 2016, the median price for a downtown Seattle condo was $650,000. The median price for a 1-bedroom rental is currently $1,820 per month here, reflecting the 40% hike in rent over the past 5 years. Our city is now in the top ten of most expensive apartment markets in the United States, as of April 2016. So having the option of choosing a smaller place for the option of a smaller price (or larger space at a higher price) at the Nexus will no doubt appeal to some in our current high-demand market.

centrallibrary_exterior-interiorStanding at 1000 Fourth Avenue in downtown Seattle, Central Library, our largest city library, resembles a modern prism of glass and steel. Opened in 2004, the steel construction is meant to provide protection during an earthquake, and 10,000 glass panels reflect light outside, insulated to keep some of the weather from seeping in. Although some may consider the library’s architecture striking, the features and programs offered within the walls of the library are equally so.

The 11-level structure was conceived by principal architects Rem Koolhass, a Dutch designer with the Office of Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) and Joshua Prince-Ramus, a founding parting of OMA New York, the latter originally from Seattle. In 2005, the year after it opened, this building was voted #108 on American Institute of Architects’ list of “America’s 150 favorite structures in the United States” and a national honor award from AIA for architecture. It has also received a Platinum Award for Innovation & Engineering from the American Council of Engineering Companies (AEC) of WA.

overhead

Central Library is 362,987 square feet and also has 143-spot underground parking which requires paying a parking fee, racks to park bicycles, and metro bus service within walking distance. An elevator system, as well as stairs, whisks visitors from the bottom floor to the top.

stacks

Interesting things to try that are unique to
Central Library: 

  • Choose from the 1,283,420 items in their complete collection (as of 2015)
  • Reserve a practice room (one hour daily limit) and play music on a digital keyboard, choosing from the library’s extensive music collection (at Book Spirals 8)
  • Access one of the library’s 400 computers (90 minutes limit)
  • Attend a concert or lecture in their auditorium
  • Lounge in the “Living Room”, a space on the 3rd floor that invites reading
  • Visit a traveling exhibition (such as Shakespeare’s First Folio which was on display last year)
  • Sip a cup of espresso while nibbling on your baked good, sandwich, or chocolate at the Chocolati Cafe Cart (Level 3)
  • Peruse the gift shop
  • Find an ancestor or look up a history through the Special Collections. The Special Collections contain:
    • oral history
    • state document depository
    • aviation history
    • genealogy records
    • historical documents about Seattle
    • written materials, 30,000+ photos, original artwork (2D and 3D), and maps
  • Pluck a book from the Books Spiral that rises & winds straight up through 4 stories
  • Study the public art inside and outside the library
  • Take a guided tour or a self-guided one by typing in reference #s on your cell phone at different, designated points throughout Central library
childresources
Extensive Child Resources, Central Library
auditorium
Auditorium, Central Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interesting things to try at most Seattle Public Library locations (besides reading, of course):

  • Learn a new language (book, audio, or digital)
  • Learn new Adobe (InDesign, Illustrator, PhotoShop) and Microsoft Office (MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint) software
  • Loan a Wi-Fi Hotspot to take home with you
  • Print documents from your own wireless device (laptop, tablet, smartphone) using a Wi-Fi connection while at the library
  • Read a digital magazine through Zinio, a digital newsstand
  • Participate in the Library-to-Business program
  • Listen to an established writer through different classes and lecture series, such as SeattleWrites, then start your own book
  • Publish your own book through the SELF-e platform
  • Check out a wide variety of movies, from box office hits to lesser-known works

Interesting note: The amount the library has been used by guests is twice the volume originally predicted. Visit the Seattle Public Library website to find out more about programs on their Calendar of Events at Central Library and other locations.

upperfloor

All photos courtesy of The Seattle Public Library

dog-o-ween_illustration

If dogs wearing costumes makes you smile (whether it’s your pooch or someone else’s), you may enjoy the 2016 Dog-O-Ween held at Bell Street Park in the vicinity of 2nd Ave. on Bell Street in downtown Seattle. The event takes place on Saturday October 22nd from 11 am to 4 pm, with a dog costume contest as well as a performance by the popular children’s performer, Caspar Babypants.

Presented by Seattle’s COLA (Citizens for Off-Leash Areas), this will be the 2nd year for this event. Last year’s event was sponsored by Seattle Parks and Recreation and 6 community partners, but was cancelled due to extremely harsh weather conditions.

In a former life, Caspar Babypants (real name Chris Ballew) was a member of the musical group “The Presidents of the United States of America”. He now performs well-received, family-centric music, and has recorded 11 children’s albums, including two based on The Beatles’ music. His 12th album is due out in November 2016.

Bring your dog or enjoy someone else’s…in full Halloween attire at Dog-O-Ween.

In  August 2016, the sales price per unit on downtown Seattle condos increased an incredible 31% over the previous month. According to the Urban Condo Spaces site, condo units sold, on average, in 17 days, possibly driving the number of buyers making offers sooner, due to the short turnaround. The highest price unit was on the 39th floor of Insignia Towers (see photo) and sold for $2.8 million.

Although the Seattle Times reported that 30-year fixed mortgage rates recently rose 3.46%, mortgage rates still remain at a historically low level. Depending upon the circumstance, this may be good news for buyers as well.

Developers base their projects on demand, comparing what’s charged per square foot to costs and timing needed for construction. Since the average sale price per unit in July rose from $755,828 to $993,320 in August, the condo building boon will most likely continue for some time into the future.

insignia_630