November 7, 2018
This year, SAL moved its Poetry Series to the Broadway Performance Hall in Capitol Hill, arguably Seattle’s most poetic neighborhood. There’s emotion in the streets, a tempo to the crosswalks, and a poetic logic to the way we stop and start drift along Broadway. There’s poetry in the flood lights shining on the thick grass of Cal Anderson, the slightly swaying crowd gathered outside The Unicorn. There’s beauty in the mix of old and new, of Seattle culture past and present.
Or, as Darren Davis puts it in Seattle Met’s 2017 guide to the hottest Seattle neighborhoods: “The little world of the Hill is renewed every time I change my walking route. Glass and primary colors appear in place of facades abandoned to dinginess. Still, century-old brick remains, as do turrets, marble entryways, and stained-glass monikers.”
But, as Van Jones said during his SAL appearance on October 10, change is hard, even change we want. So, to ease the growing pains of adjusting to a new venue, here’s a handy guide for attending our Poetry Series this year, complete with parking recommendations and a couple of poems to get you through the streets and into your seats.
Where to Eat
The Tin Table
915 E Pine Street
2-minute walk to Broadway Performance Hall
*SAL subscription partner
Opened in 2009, this dimly lit restaurant is tucked inside the same building as Century Ballroom, with the magic of the dancefloor seeping in through the exposed brick walls. Menu favorites include a side of shoestring frites (complimentary for SAL subscribers) and any of the artfully crafted cocktails.
611 E Pike Street
4-minute walk to Broadway Performance Hall
A transplant from Vancouver, this izakaya features a sake-bottle chandelier that rains multi-colored light onto its tapas-sized dishes. If you love eating family-style, this place will provide the perfect pre-poetry smorgasbord. Try the uni shooter, the pork rib kara-age, a battera, and a noodle dish for variety. Pro tip: let your server know that you’ll need to be out at a certain time.
422 E Pine Street
6-minute walk to Broadway Performance Hall
*SAL subscription partner
Reasons to love Mezcaleria Oaxaca: handmade tortillas and an impressive collection of vegetarian dishes. Add to that scratch margaritas and tacos al pastor with ingredients sourced directly from Mexico.SAL subscribers, get a 10% discount on your check; flash your Benefits Pass when you sit.
1508 Melrose Ave
8-minute walk to Broadway Performance Hall
The food here is amazing and the place is pure poetry. Need proof? There’s a poem dedicated to the Eastern eatery on Claudia Castro Luna’s Seattle Poetic Grid. When you walk in, notice the artwork on the walls and the tables. Peek your head into the lounge and take a moment to admire the photographs. Order the mezze platter, the fried cauliflower, and the fattoush salad, and you’ll leave inspired, full, and happy.
Where to Park
1609 Harvard Avenue
The Harvard Garage offers 500 spaces and 24/7 access. Catch a parking spot in here and pay just $10 for the night. The entrance is behind Seattle Central Community College on Harvard Avenue, which runs parallel west of Broadway.
Parking on Broadway
This lot run by International Parking Management costs only $6 for the evening (after 5 p.m.). With only 40 available spots and a super convenient location for everyone that’s visiting the Hill, you’ll have better luck catching a spot earlier on in the night. The entrance is located on Broadway.
How to Ride
If you’re coming from downtown or the U-District, catch the Light Link and you’ll be on the Hill before you can say “Do Seattleites have a code of conduct for taking public transportation?” Otherwise, try catching a bus and focus on the trees and pedestrians as they blur together during the ride. Or, call a ride share and don’t be afraid to tell the driver about the poetry you heard.
Bonus: Poetry Pairing
Up first on #SALonBroadway is the nearly-sold out Danez Smith (they/them) on Monday, November 26. Not familiar with their work? Try this: “Not an Elegy for Mike Brown,” recommended by our Seattle Civic Poet, Anastacia-Reneé.
Although the Frye Museum isn’t open on Monday before Danez’s reading, we recommend pairing Danez’s work with the exhibit Ballast. This set of erasure poems, built by rapper-turned-monk Quenton Baker, is based on the federal papers documenting the slave ship revolt on the Creole in 1841. In Margo VanSynghel’s City Arts feature, she describes the work as “intended to induce a disorienting and alienating experience approaching the anti-Black reality.”
Have questions about the new venue?
Have questions about the new venue? Reach out on social media and don’t forget to tag your posts with #SALonBroadway. Otherwise, the SAL team is ready to help; email [email protected] or call the SAL Box Office at 206-621-2230 x10.