Plus: Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day; here are some businesses to support year round.
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📸The woman behind Vanishing Seattle

Plus: Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day; here are some businesses to support year-round.

By Grace Madigan

Hello, it’s a new week!

A quick note before we jump into today’s newsletter. I’m taking some time off this week. I've enjoyed the past few days in Ocean Shores and am now laying low, catching up on some TV, music, and maybe a little reading before heading to Bozeman, MT for a few days. 

That means this week’s newsletters have been pre-written so you won’t be getting the day’s latest headlines but instead, a mix of original pieces and some throwback pieces from the archives. With that said, if you’ve got any recommendations for Bozeman, I’m all ears and will likely check my inbox at least once today, just in case.

Keep reading for an old story we’ve since refreshed about the Vanishing Seattle Instagram page. 

Meet the woman behind the Vanishing Seattle Instagram

Today we’re revisiting an article about the woman behind the Vanishing Seattle Instagram account. Cynthia Brothers started the online project after becoming frustrated with the city’s ongoing gentrification and growing inequity. 

Her first post, back in 2016, was of Inay’s Asian Pacific Cuisine on the last day of its existence.

A server who led a drag show at the Beacon Hill restaurant was belting out a rendition of “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” Cynthia uploaded the video of the performance to Instagram along with hashtags #vanishingseattle, #renthike, and #gentrification.

She had been “feeling continually frustrated” with seeing parts of old Seattle disappear under gentrification. This was her hometown and she was sick of “seeing people get pushed out, and places I love going under.“

So Cynthia started the popular Vanishing Seattle Instagram account in January 2016, when she realized that the extreme inequity and gentrification that had been happening in New York’s Chinatown — where she’d lived for five years — had begun to surface in her hometown.

She first began posting photos that highlighted the changes she had seen happening in Seattle, like this #throwbackthursday post of the Buckaroo Tavern in Fremont, which closed in 2010.

She also posted about small local businesses she thought others should support and help preserve and she shared photos that highlighted the frustration some Seattleites felt about the direction of development in the city.

She wanted Vanishing Seattle to be provocative and to strike a nerve with people who looked at the photos and said “hell yeah” or “this is unfair.” At the same time, she’d heard from some people who were newer to Seattle who had said, “I’m mad that you’re mad about this. Just get over it.”

Cynthia had never wanted Vanishing Seattle to feel like a personal attack against a single person. But she knew the history would benefit newcomers with the “get over it” attitude, so they could hear and be empathetic to the concerns of Seattleites who had long been feeling hurt by the changes. She hoped that people could find some common ground and drop the "us versus them" mentality.

Six plus years later and Vanishing Seattle is still going strong, preserving Seattle memories for longtime Seattlites and new ones alike. Take the Elephant Car Wash for example:

This Elephant Car Wash opened in 1951 (the famed one on Battery opened in 1956 and was closed and demo’d last year) by Dean, Archie & Eldon Anderson. First known as Five Minute Car Wash, it was the first automatic car wash in WA. Dean & Eldon invented the hands-free system (super innovative at the time) by building on the tunnel design with a new car pulley system, nozzles with soap & water, overhead sprinklers, mechanical brushes, and a 50-horsepower dryer.

Local businesses have struggled to keep their doors open the past year and a half amidst the pandemic. While some managed to pivot their operations, others found themselves leaning on their communities, and many more did not make it. Vanishing Seattle provided documentation of these local spots — their triumphs and tragedies.

And she gives good news to the businesses who have made it through!

To Seattle newcomers, Cynthia gives this advice: “Be the fertilizer, not the weeds.” By that, she means: Be mindful, curious, and respectful in appreciating and helping maintain what people love about Seattle. “Even if — and especially if — it doesn’t directly interest or cater to you.”

Most importantly, she adds: “The account is not just about nostalgia, it’s about equity. I believe we have the power to make change if we share our stories, get connected and get engaged — and my hope is that Vanishing Seattle can be a part of encouraging and amplifying that.”

Last Saturday, Vanishing Seattle’s documentary about Bush Garden — the first karaoke bar in the country — screened at the Tacoma Film Festival. It’s the sixth and final documentary in a series that took a closer look at some of the businesses spotlighted on the IG page. 

You can find Vanishing Seattle on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

😋 A yummy giveaway for you

Learn to cook delicious Indian meals like this chest-warming stew and support the United Way at the same time. A good deed–instantly rewarded!

Invite your friends to join you for a night in, learning to make tasty Indian food while also giving back at this virtual cooking event!

Learn how to cook contemporary Indian cuisine using fresh and seasonal ingredients alongside Chef Preeti from Meesha and Brooke Fox from MOViN 92.5 via this Eat, Drink & Be Generous event. You’ll also learn about United Way’s Bridge to Finish program that helps to financially support college students so they can focus on graduating. Ticket proceeds will support this work thanks to generous sponsors, plus guests will also have the opportunity to make a donation during this event to help even more people.

Enter now for your chance to win a meal kit for two, valued at $100, with all the ingredients you need to follow along with the virtual class and make delicious Indian food at home!

Each kit includes:

  • Jaipur kala chana - black chickpea stew, cardamom, and spiced yogurt sauce
  • Red cabbage poriyal with mushkil seeds, coconut, and curry leaves
  • Handi chicken with smoked tomato sauce, bay leaf, and watermelon radish
  • Ghee scented basmati rice
  • Fruit Rabri - milk pudding with rose water and seasonal fruit
Promotion from Seattle Good Business Network

📢 Pop-Up Shops, Tours, Tastings, and Maker Classes!

Seattle Made Week is a celebration of products made right here in Seattle and the talented people who make them!

Join us this Friday for the Seattle Made Tour & Tasting to sip and tour the production facilities of some of your favorite locally produced drinks, including Ladro Roasting, Rooftop Brewing, and Fast Penny Spirits.

Each tour stop will last 20 mins and will include a sample of two drinks. Between tours, we will meet at the Rooftop Brewing event space to reconnect and sample offerings from more Seattle Made members. Tickets are $35 per person.

Be sure to check out all the events happening during the week!

Seattle Made Week Event Schedule & Tickets


🍪  Sugar + Spoon is bringing their cookie dough to Radford Court by Magnuson Park and Lake Washington (Windermere)

📖  Join Elliott Bay Book Company and Jonathan Franzen as he discusses his new book "Crossroads" with Maria Semple (Online)

🐝  Learn how to add a little bee on a t-shirt in this embroidery class (Online)


🔨  Join The Works as they bring back their Hammered Brass Earrings workshop for Seattle Made Week!(Capitol Hill)


👻  Come to the Halloween-themed West Seattle Art Walk (West Seattle)

🎨  Learn the basics of watercolor painting in a PNW botanicals inspired painting class at The Works.(Capitol Hill)


📖   Hear Kaveh Akbar speak about his new book of poetry "Pilgrim Bell" (Online + Capitol Hill)

👏  Attend Indigenous People Festival to celebrate Indigenous creativity and brilliance from a lineup of contemporary talent (Online) — Oct. 12-15

☕  Join us during Seattle Made Week to sip and tour the production facilities of some of your favorite locally produced drinks (Queen Anne)


🎞  Register to watch the free online film, 'Since I Been Down' on your own time Oct. 16-19 and a follow-up multi-faith discussion focussed on creating a more humane justice system on Oct. 24 (Online)

🗣  Join the Duwamish at their Fundraising Gala to Buy Back the Land (Online)

🏃  Participate in the 25th Annual SpiritWalk & Warrior Run is a community 5k run and 1.25m walk that’s open to the entire community (Magnolia)


😍  Beat the Sunday scaries with this "Not so creepy gathering for people who want to fall in love" event The Evergrey is sponsoring with The Collective (Online)

🎧  Vinyl collectors rejoice and head over to the Seattle Center for the Northwest Record show where there will be a number of collectibles (Uptown)

🍓  Take a tour around the Beacon Food Forest in Jefferson Park to learn about the different berries growing there (Beacon Hill)

🥒  Join The Works as they bring back their Quick Pickles workshop for Seattle Made week (Capitol Hill)

One more thing …

Yesterday was Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Wondering what local Indigenous-owned businesses you can support year-round? Check out our old IG story for a list of places you can give your business to. 

And today’s recommendation: Check out this story I did for KEXP’s Sound & Vision on the music used in two shows centering Indigenous characters that were made by people who are Native. 

Be back tomorrow! ✌️

— Grace at The Evergrey

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