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Beaconettes celebrate a Seattle Christmas

December 10th, 2013 at 12:34 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap
Click on the picture to see a QuickTime video of Beacon Hill's own Beaconettes paying tribute to Christmas, the Seahawks, and Macklemore at the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Contest.

Click on the picture to see a QuickTime video of Beacon Hill’s own Beaconettes paying tribute to Christmas, the Seahawks, and Macklemore at the Great Figgy Pudding Caroling Contest.

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“Just Another Day” pays tribute to the neighborhood

November 17th, 2013 at 3:35 am | 4 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

You’ll probably recognize most of the locations in the video for “Just Another Day” by emcees Gabriel Teodros, Mic Flont, and Ka.lil, vocalist Jill Laxamana and producer Uce Wayne. This updated version of Queen Latifah’s song is a tribute to Beacon Hill, featuring neighborhood landmarks including Red Apple, The Station, Jefferson Park and Fou Lee Market. The video was directed by Eric Miller and Mic Flont.


PIE features Beacon Hill

October 10th, 2013 at 2:21 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The latest episode of the KCTS9 show PIE, with the theme “wheels,” visits Beacon Hill for two segments featuring local people and landmarks.

The first is an impressionistic “then and now” about the beautifully restored Fire Station 13, with views of Jefferson Park next door. See it here.

The second segment, “Old Guy Skateboarders,” also visits Jefferson Park, and finds that many skateboarders using the skate park aren’t the kids you might expect. Skaters in their 40s and 50s and even older are out there too. Some are returning to skating after taking time off for families and work, while others never stopped skating. See the segment here.

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Block parties galore for tonight’s Night Out

August 6th, 2013 at 4:53 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Neighbors will get together for block parties from one end of the Hill to the other tonight for the annual Neighborhood Night Out Against Crime. This year’s theme for the crime-prevention and community-building event is “Celebrating Crime Free Neighborhoods.” There will be potlucks, entertainment, visits from community representatives, police officers, and firefighters, BBQs, and more.

We’ve put together an interactive map of all the Beacon Hill Night Out events we know of. Check out what your neighbors are doing tonight, and join them if you can!

View Beacon Hill Night Out 2013 in a larger map


Beacon Hill animator showcased in SIFF

June 5th, 2013 at 7:04 pm | 5 Comments | Posted by Andrew Hamlin
An image from Tess Martin's They Look Right Through You.

An image from Tess Martin’s They Look Right Through You.

Beacon Hill animator Tess Martin attracted attention last year by animating a three-minute film, The Whale Story, on a large Capitol Hill wall. This year she’s back with three new films including Barzan, which played last Sunday at the Kirkland Performance Center, and They Look Right Through You, playing with the feature Furever on Sunday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m. at the Egyptian Theatre as part of the Seattle International Film Festival. She took some questions about her new work over email.

Beacon Hill Blog: Please describe the three new projects you’re showcasing in this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. Two are shorts, one is a feature including your sand animation. Which project was the easiest and which the most difficult?

Tess Martin: The three projects I have in SIFF this year are two animated shorts directed by myself, A Walk in the Woods and They Look Right Through You, and then I have 7 minutes of sand animation in a documentary called Barzan directed by Alex Stonehill and Brad Hutchinson.

They are very different — A Walk In The Woods is a one minute short, the shortest film I’ve ever made! And it is animated with objects–sticks and leaves, etc. They Look Right Through You is a nine-minute short, and I was working on it on and off over 18 months, but was seriously animating for about 4 or 5 months. This one is marker and paint on glass with some time-lapses thrown in.

The sand animation in Barzan took me about 7 months all together. In some ways Barzan was the hardest because we picked some very challenging things to represent in sand, but the results were worth it.

Beacon Hill Blog: They Look Right Through You combines interviews with pet owners and marker-on-glass animation. Had you used this style of animation before? What are its particular challenges? How did you go about obtaining the interviews for the soundtrack? What was Susie Tennant’s contribution?

Tess Martin: I hadn’t used marker-on-glass animation before. I was playing around and discovered that it’s very nice for animation because the marker can be easily wiped away, as opposed to paint, which is often stickier. I’d say the main challenge with marker-on-glass is that is requires a lot of drawing! You’re basically re-drawing the image over and over, and erasing where it was previously, so you have to be on your drawing game so to speak when you’re animating.

In October or November 2011 I put a call out on my neighborhood listserv for people who were willing to be interviewed about their pets. I got a lot of responses and spent a few weeks traipsing to people’s homes and talking to them with an audio recorder. I read about Susie Tennant’s situation in one the Seattle weeklies, because her and her family were raising money for her medical care. The story included one sentence about how her dog alerted her to the fact she had cancer. I asked her if she would be willing to share her story for my little film. She was gracious enough to accept, and her story is so compelling that it became one of the two main stories in the film.

Beacon Hill Blog: How was A Walk In The Woods animated? How long
did you spend in East Haddam, CT, where the film was made, and what did you do there? What were your impressions of the area?

Tess Martin: The film was animated with objects I collected in a big park that makes up a lot of the grounds of the I-Park artist residency. I won a residency there in August/September of 2012, and I was mostly working on They Look Right Through You during that month.But I had hit a wall with that film and had 4 days of the residency, so I decided to do something completely different.

I traipsed around the beautiful park, brought all the material back to my studio and created a story with it. I thought it would be fun to try to make it exactly one minute. So that’s how that happened — it’s the shortest production time of all my films! I then worked with my composer, Spencer Thun, to get a beautiful score for the film that hit all the emotional points in such a short time.

Beacon Hill Blog: Your work on Barzan was integrated into the documentary film. How much contact did you have with the film’s directors, Alex Stonehill and Brad Hutchinson? How did you go about coordinating with them? What are the particular challenges of sand animation, and had you used that technique before? (Does the sand tend to go all over the place?)

Tess Martin: I was approached by the Barzan crew and they showed me the cut of the film they had so far, and where they were envisioning the animated segments going, and what the animated segments needed to contribute to the film. Once I had a clear idea about that I storyboarded the scenes as I felt they should be, and then there was a little back and forth about particulars. I’d say we met about 4 or 5 times, with a lot of email. It was a very happy relationship because to their credit they were on board with most of my ideas even though it must have been hard to picture exactly what I was talking about.

Sand is great fun and challenging of course. You’re working with a very thin layer of sand on a flat surface, and yes, I was finding sand around my desk for a long time afterwards. You just have to be really careful not to bump the table or sneeze near your work.

Beacon Hill Blog: How long have you lived on Beacon Hill? How does it compare/contrast with other places you’ve lived? How does the neighborhood/community influence your work and your attitudes?

Tess Martin: Beacon Hill is the only neighborhood I’ve lived in in Seattle since I moved here five years ago. It’s certainly one of the most residential areas of a major city I’ve lived in, even though I live right on the main road, so for me the experience is probably less quiet than most Beacon Hill residents. But I love living in a quiet friendly place with other friendly people. I’d say the best thing I get out of Beacon Hill is its diversity — it’s nice living in a neighborhood where there are residents of all ages and ethnicities — it feels like the real world.

Beacon Hill Blog: What are your plans for the future?

Tess Martin: I’m working on a few films right now and I may be moving to The Netherlands for a Masters program at the end of the year — it’s still up in the air but could be very exciting.

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Reacting to the Beacon Food Forest

May 1st, 2013 at 6:06 am | 3 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Raspberries photo by Chris Gladis via Flickr/Creative Commons.

On Monday, Dan Stone of National Geographic’s Change Reaction blog featured “Seattle’s Free Food Experiment,” the Beacon Food Forest:

“Can food be free, fresh and easily accessible? That’s the bold question that the city of Seattle is hoping to answer with a new experimental farm not far from the city’s downtown that will have fruits and vegetables for anyone to harvest this fall.”

Read more at NationalGeographic.com.


Beacon Hill cyclists/travelers featured on KCTS9

April 26th, 2013 at 2:28 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

KCTS9 featured Beacon Hill residents and bicycle explorers Willie Weir and Kat Marriner in this week’s travel-centric episode of PIE. Here’s their segment of the show:

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Beacon Hill kids to perform in Swan Lake

April 12th, 2013 at 4:14 am | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The Pacific Northwest Ballet production of Swan Lake starts tonight and runs through April 21 at McCaw Hall. It features 24 students from the Pacific Northwest Ballet School, including three young performers from the Beacon Hill area.

Beacon Hill kids performing in the production include:

Amanda Allen, a fifth-grader from Maple Elementary School, will play the role of Waltz Girl.
Alexis Calonge, a fifth-grader at Dearborn Park, will play a Persian Attendant.
Lucas Galvan, a fourth-grader at Dearborn Park, will play a Page.

Congratulations and best wishes to these talented Beacon Hill dancers!

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BHIS principal honored as Principal of the Year

March 12th, 2013 at 10:19 pm | 1 Comment | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

Kelly Aramaki.

Kelly Aramaki.

Beacon Hill International School Principal Kelly Aramaki was honored today as the Washington State Elementary School Principal of the Year. Aramaki, who has been the BHIS principal since 2011, was one of three finalists out of 18 statewide nominees, and will advance to a national celebration this fall in Washington D.C. as part of the National Distinguished Principal of the Year program.

The award was determined by a panel from the Elementary School Principals Association of Washington, who lauded Aramaki’s dedication to instructional leadership and engagement with the school, including occasionally breaking into song “to create a positive, collective identity” among the school’s staff.


Beacon Hill businesses, people honored by Seattle magazine

December 13th, 2012 at 7:04 am | 10 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The big blue pizza oven at Seattle magazine’s “Best Pizza” restaurant, Bar del Corso. Photo by Dapper Lad Cycles in the Beacon Hill Blog photo pool.

The December “Best of 2012″ issue of Seattle magazine (unfortunately, not fully available online — you’ll have to buy a copy) gives Beacon Hill some city-wide love for our food, as well as taking note of a variety of Beacon Hill neighborhood “bests.”

Bar del Corso (3057 Beacon Ave. S.) was named “Best Pizza” in the city: “Tradition and creativity have never been so happy together as they are at Jerry Corso and Gina Tolentino Corso’s year-and-a-half-old Beacon Hill pizzeria.” The pizza crusts are singled out for mention: “simply perfection.”

In the “Best of the Neighborhoods” Beacon Hill category, Bar del Corso took another prize: “Best Restaurant.” “Best Bar” is El Quetzal (3209 Beacon Ave. S.), and the El Sabroso food wagon (corner of 16th Ave. S. and Roberto Maestas Festival Street) next to Beacon Hill Station earned accolades as “Best Takeout/Delivery.” The Station (2533 16th Ave. S.), just a few steps away, is “Best Coffee Shop,” while the Hilltop Red Apple (2701 Beacon Ave. S.) is, unsurprisingly, the “Best Grocery Store.” (The Promenade Red Apple at 23rd and Jackson likewise won that honor for the Central District.)

Not all the awards are food-related. The “Best Hair Salon” is Hair Skill Design (3226 Beacon Ave. S.), and the “Best Kids’ Activity” is the Beacon Mountain playground at Jefferson Park (3801 Beacon Ave. S.).

The “Best Live Music Venue” in the neighborhood is the Garden House (2336 15th Ave. S.), home of ROCKiT Community Arts events. Betty Jean Williamson, the current ROCKiT director, was named “Neighborhood Hero.”

Congratulations to all of the Beacon Hill neighbors, businesses, and organizations who have been honored. They all help make this neighborhood the great place to live that it is.

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