Plus: More of your U District questions answered.
The Evergrey

👋 Say hello to Seattle’s new bike lane sweeper: 'OK Broomer'

Plus: More of your U District questions answered.

Happy Friday Jr.!

We’re not sure why the city felt like it needed to give a saucy name to the new machine that will sweep protected bike lanes, but here we are. 

After more than 1,500 votes, the sweeper will henceforth be known as “OK Broomer.” All credit for the name goes to a local 11-year-old which we couldn't love more.

We’re taking a day off from the headlines to answer more of your questions about the U District. But before we get to that, remember to tune in today for our Instagram Live with the cafe turned radio station Cafe Racer Radio at 4 p.m.!

Your U District questions answered continued...

(Photo by Grace Madigan)

Although we still have a couple of days left, our ongoing spotlight of the U District is winding down right along with the month of May. If you missed our previous coverage of the neighborhood or want to revisit any articles, you can conveniently find them on our website at the bottom of this web post.  We answered four reader questions about the U District in yesterday’s newsletter, and today we’re answering four more. 

🤝 What are some community-based organizations or nonprofits to volunteer at?

There are a ton of different organizations and nonprofits based in the neighborhood worth supporting. Here are a few:

University District Food Bank — You can watch our “Have a drink with” the org here. The group is always looking for monetary donations, pantry items, and volunteers to help with distributing food.

University Heights Center — As its website says, "UHeights Center promotes lifelong learning, creativity, culture, community activism, and the preservation of our historic building." Among other things, the center has created a Safe Lot for those living in their cars, installed a Seattle Street Sink, and hosts a free vegetarian food truck four days a week during the pandemic. In addition to volunteer opportunities, UHeights Center is currently hiring an Outreach and Events Coordinator.

ROOTS Young Adult Shelter — With a focus on serving those between the ages of 18-25, ROOTS offers its guests shelter, access to a health clinic, and meals on Friday that are open to everyone. Find out how you can support the shelter’s essential mission on its website

Teen Feed — This organization consists of three programs, one of which offers meals to folks in the U District at various locations seven days a week. Teen Feed also runs the Street Talk Outreach Program (STOP) which aims to assist high-risk youth who might avoid traditional social service agencies.  Lastly, the group has a case management program called Service Links for Youth. More details on how to volunteer, donate, and support them can be found here.

Elizabeth Gregory Home — Located in the basement of University Lutheran Church, this nonprofit, non-faith-based organization works to support women experiencing houselessness. The org provides transitional housing, a day center, and case management services. Want to know how to support them? Check out the official website for opportunities and information on how to donate. 

🍚Is the U District Seattle's capital of boba tea or teriyaki?

Speaking from a non-authoritative position, I can neither confirm nor deny this. But if you’re interested in the history of teriyaki in Seattle, I recommend reading this Seattle Weekly piece from 2007. You may not have realized it, but teriyaki is a very Seattle thing and not so much a Japanese one. For fans of Bon Appetit and Melissa Miranda, you can watch a recent video where she attempts to cook a classic Seattle-style teriyaki meal faster than the time it takes for it to be delivered to the studio.

As for boba — a cursory search on Google Maps makes it appear as though it’s safe to say the U District is indeed Seattle's capital of bubble tea.

🏍What's the story behind the Wall of Death along the Burke Gilman?

There’s a great article from Atlas Obscura that dives into the notorious art installation’s backstory. It was created by father-son duo Mowry and Colin Baden, and is supposed to resemble the cages used by performers to zoom around a cylindrical track fast enough to defy gravity.

🏢Why do some many storefronts sit vacant for so long?

This is a really common question — and we couldn’t find any one article that definitively answers it — but we will try our best to provide some insight.

  • There’s the simple problem of money. A study done in 2019 for the U District Partnership found that retail rents have increased by 50% over the past couple of decades due to a simultaneous rise in demand and decrease in retail space. Additionally, there’s an ongoing conversation concerning upzoning in the neighborhood.
  • Reliance on the UW community. The U District isn’t solely inhabited by university-affiliated people, but they drive a large share of business for the neighborhood’s stores. The neighborhood isn’t nearly as bustling come summer when the school year is over, and thus, there’s less spending money circulating around.
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🎸Tune into this livestream of local artists La Fonda and Shaina Sheperd (Online)

🎙️Crosscut discusses America's reckoning over race with Doug Baldwin(Online)


🍺Stop by LTD Bar & Grill for Fremont Fridays with the Marshall Law Band and Mediums Collective (Fremont)

🏀Cheer on the Seattle Storm as they take on the Minnesota Lynx (Everett)


🌇Join the Black Farmers Collective at YES Farm and the Danny Woo International District Community Gardens (Chinatown International District / Yesler Terrace)


🍫Grab some chocolate at Theo's Broken Bar Day (Fremont)

⚽️Support the OL Reign as they take on the Washington Spirit (Tacoma)

⚽️Watch the Sounders host Austin FC (Pioneer Square)


🏀Watch the Storm take on the Indiana Fever (Everett)

Thursday, June 3

🤓Attend the event Celebrating Seattle Black Businesses which brings together a group of local, Black business owners for a panel discussion (Online)

🔥Ready to burn your sh*t? Think psychological Spring cleaning!(South Lake Union)

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One more thing …

As you may already know, I’m a Dawg at heart, and while I never thought I’d be one of those annoying college graduates who shouts out their school at every opportunity, I always get excited when playoffs for college softball come around. 

I was raised in a baseball-loving family — yes, I do give the Mariners flack, but it comes from a place of caring way too much one too many times — so softball is a sport that came easy to love. Especially after following the Huskies’ journey to win the World Series in 2009

This year, the Huskies are an underdog in disguise: The team’s severe under seeding in the tournament has put them at a paltry 16 seed despite finishing second in the conference. 

All that to say, watch their games this weekend and support them as they play Oklahoma in an attempt to make it back to the World Series. But more importantly, support women’s sports in general. The Storm have a game on Friday, and the OL Reign have their own match on Sunday. I know I’ll be tuning in, and I hope you will too.

See ya tomorrow! 

— Grace at The Evergrey

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