SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2: THREE MORE LIGHT-RAIL STATIONS FOR SEATTLE
In case you are not up on things, three new light-rail stations open this weekend. One, the U District Station, is underground and leads right up to the heart of the Ave. Another, Roosevelt Station, opens a dense area of North Seattle to the 24-mile rail line. And, finally Northgate Station has a bridge that will radically transform the walking and biking experience of its neighborhood. Anyone who's been forced to get from one side of I-5 to the other on foot knows it is the definition of a nightmare. The engineers of old did not give a damn about any mode of transportation but that of the car. And now we a have bridge here, and it's named after a leader of the civil rights movement, John Lewis, and it has, as with the station, direct access to buses. This is freedom. This is justice. This is democracy. Going from Columbia City (my neck of the woods) to Northgate will be as easy as going to Capitol Hill Station. It really is a dream come true. Let's be happy for once.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3: THIS WEEKEND MAY BE YOUR LAST CHANCE TO SEE WHAT A PRO-PEDESTRIAN AVE IS LIKE BECAUSE THE GREAT OUTDOORS ON THE AVE EXPERIMENT COMES TO AN UNDESERVED END
Just as U District Station opens, Outdoors on the Ave comes to an end. Why? Because the latter was an experiment and a last-ditch effort to help small businesses hit hard by the pandemic and the online learning imposed on the University of Washington by the lockdown. On July 11, Outdoors on the Ave liberated large sections of the Ave between 42nd and 43rd for pedestrians. We saw something of a city appear for the first time on this culturally diverse street. You could almost walk it without taking your life in your hands. The organizers of the summer-long program added lots of picnic tables here and there, and outdoor dining structures rose from parking spaces. If you want to experience the combination of the democracy of light rail transportation and a car-reduced Ave all at once, you can only do so (for now) this weekend. (What will it take to keep things this way for good?) You can also enjoy on October 2 the U District Station Festival & $3 Food Walk, which is the only big festivity celebrating the opening of the three city-transforming stations.
Outdoors on the Ave ends Sunday, October 3. For more information about that program visit here. The U District Station Festival & $3 Food Walk happens on October 2. More information about that event can be found here.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 3: THE RECENTLY REOPENED ROYAL ROOM FEATURES A HEAVY AND SOCIALLY IMPORTANT PERFORMANCE BY THE SOUND ENSEMBLE
You really do need a moment to reflect on the way things are going. The world is heading to hell in a handbasket. That we can be sure of. Environmental destruction seems unstoppable; the climate is changing rapidly. We could all be toast by 2050. Now is the time to listen to music that captures the seriousness of our moment on a Sunday, the day of our lord. The music is by The Sound Ensemble, and the work is called EXTRACTION: Art on the Edge of the Abyss. Yes, the light rail is opening, but it's still not enough to save the only world there is and will ever be. (Royal Room is a 10-minute walk from Columbia City Station.)
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 30 to THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7: THERE IS A MOVIE ABOUT A-HA AND IT OPENS AT THE EGYPTIAN
What we do not want to think about at this moment is how long the doors of the greatest cinema house in Seattle have been closed. It feels like forever and a day (and some), and the same can be said about this bloody pandemic that has the full support of the anti-vaxxers. But this Thursday, the grand Egyptian opens in the best way imaginable: with a documentary about the '80s band A-ha! It's called A-ha The Movie, and it's a part of the first-ever SIFF Doc Fest. Indeed, take on me. (The Egyptian is a 10-minute walk from Capitol Hill Station.)
SIFF Doc Fest opens on September 30 and runs through October 7. Tickets for A-ha The Movie and other docs can be purchased here.