Tag Archives: Columbia City

YA Novel ‘Places to Be’ Takes Youth to the Columbia City Library and Beyond

by Amanda Ong


In March, local Seattle author Alvin Horn released his first young adult novel — Places to Be. The story is set in Seattle and follows a young Black teen and star basketball player, Marley. Though he is a good student, Marley falls in with a group of friends who get him into trouble, and when he flunks history, his mother puts him on house arrest for the summer. But what starts as punishment becomes a summer of maturity.

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Columbia City’s Taco City Taqueria Hosts Cinco de Mayo Festival

by Ronnie Estoque


Cesar III opened Taco City Taqueria alongside his business partners in Columbia City in August of 2020. Originally, he had been heavily involved within the music industry in Seattle and was eager to provide authentic Mexican food to the neighborhood. Cesar is revisiting his music roots by hosting a Cinco de Mayo Festival. The festival will also include both food and drinks specials, live local DJ sets from Supreme La Rock, Topspin, and JusMoni, and a live performance from Seattle’s Marshall Law Band. Taco City Taqueria will be opening at 11 a.m. on Thursday, May 5, and will begin its event at 5 p.m. with an ending time of 9 p.m.

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NEWS GLEAMS: New Kicks, Colon Cancer Awareness, Columbia City COVID Test Site, & More

curated by Emerald Staff

A round-up of news and announcements we don’t want to get lost in the fast-churning news cycle!


✨Gleaming This Week✨

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Jackalope Brings Tex-Mex Cuisine to the Heart of Columbia City

by Ben Adlin


When the husband-and-wife team behind the Columbia City restaurant El Sombrero retired last May after 17 years in business, locals turned out in droves for a tearful goodbye. Now a new tenant is saying hello and hoping to win over stomachs across South Seattle.

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Rainier Avenue Radio to Host Holiday Bazaar at Columbia City Theater

by Ben Adlin


Rainier Avenue Radio will host a family-friendly holiday party and bazaar this Saturday, Dec. 11, at the historic Columbia City Theater.

The station’s first annual holiday bazaar will run from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday at the theater, at 4916 Rainier Ave. S., between South Ferdinand and South Hudson streets, and will feature handcrafted art and other creations from a dozen local vendors. Admission is free and open to all ages.

Tony Benton — known widely as “Tony B.” after more than two decades on the air locally, including on KUBE 93.3 and Sports Radio 950 KJR — says the event is meant to showcase the creativity of local makers and give artists an economic boost during the holiday season.

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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at the Seattle Latino Film Festival

by Kathya Alexander


The Seattle Latino Film Festival (SLFF) opened for in-person viewing on Friday, Oct. 8, and continues through Sunday, Oct. 17. 

The festivities began last Friday at the Seattle Asian Art Museum with an opening night gala and after party reception. Dennis Mencia, a Honduran American actor known for playing Mateo Villanueva on CW’s Jane the Virgin, was MC for the event. The gala showcased the Uruguayan comedy, The Broken Glass Theory, one of the festival’s 106 in-person and online films supporting the magic of filmmaking as part of Hispanic culture globally. 

The in-person showcase continued at The Beacon Cinema in Columbia City on Saturday with an American film called Coast, directed by Jessica Hester and Derek Schweickart. Also shown was the Venezuelan film, Opposite Direction, and an LGBTQ film called Liz In September. The director, Fina Torres, known for Fox Searchlight’s Woman on Top with Penélope Cruz, was present for the Q&A after the screening. 

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Local Sightings Filmmakers Crack the Alabaster Jesus Façade

by Beverly Aarons


“This film is dedicated to the future memory of white supremacy, the new world’s original gangster,” a deep voice declares. That’s how Manifest Destiny Jesus begins. Orchestral music blares, white text fades onto a black background, the words of English writer William Gilpin come into view: “The untransacted destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent — to rush over this vast field to the Pacific Ocean.”

Seattle’s crane-filled skyline comes into view. Logos of the richest and most powerful corporations in the nation glide down towering skyscrapers. Weathered tent cities cling to a dusty underpass. Seattle: a paragon of westward expansion and capitalist conquest. Fast forward: Displaced Seattleites lament the relentless hammer of gentrification. “I can’t even afford to live here,” a man says. 

A woman sits in Columbia City Church of Hope, a stained glass Jesus hovers above, his ivory hand points westward. 

Manifest Destiny Jesus, which screens at this month’s “Local Sightings” film festival, is a documentary that explores how the widespread portrayal of Jesus as white influences everything from gentrification to police brutality. And how one small church in a gentrifying South Seattle found the courage to ask, “What does it mean to worship a white Jesus?” 

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The Beacon Cinema Reopens Tonight With a Kshama Solidarity Fundraiser

by Mark Van Streefkerk


Columbia City’s newest indie movie theater is back! Since halting almost all public screenings last March, The Beacon Cinema reopens tonight with a screening of The New Corporation at 7 p.m. 100% of ticket proceeds will go to the Kshama Solidarity campaign to fight the right-wing recall of socialist City Councilmember Kshama Sawant. The Beacon will also debut a remodeled and freshly repainted lobby and an even more focused lineup of film offerings.

Co-founders and co-owners Tommy Swenson and Casey Moore officially opened The Beacon in July of 2019 at 4405 Rainier Ave South, at what was once an office space with an adjoining yoga studio. Swenson and Moore are both cinephiles with roots in the University District of the 1990s, a time and place rife with cinema culture, including a handful of indie theaters, Scarecrow Video, and the now-closed Cinema Books. Before opening The Beacon, Swenson had been the film programmer for a local theater chain in Austin, Texas, and Moore had established his own film marketing firm, High Council. Swenson and Moore launched The Beacon as an opportunity to screen arthouse, rare, and cult films and as a complimentary theater to Columbia City’s historic Ark Lodge Cinemas

After The Beacon’s official debut in 2019, it was only about eight months before the theater was forced to temporarily close due to the pandemic. “Looking back now, those first eight months were a great testing ground to begin to get a sense of what works for us, who our audience is, and what our programming can look like,” Swenson said. 

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Rainier Arts Center Hosts Weekly Porch Festival Showcasing BIPOC Artists

by Chamidae Ford


This Wednesday, Aug. 11, the Rainier Arts Center will be hosting its second installation of the August Porch Festival. From 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. you can find local BIPOC artists taking the stage to perform music for their community. Each week offers a wide range of styles and genres of music and performances. 

The Center was opened in 1997 and has served as a gathering space to support the arts for the Rainier community since. Throughout the summer, the Center hosts a wide array of events and activities located in Columbia Park. As a part of that, the Porch Festival aims to provide local artists the space to demonstrate their talents while keeping everyone safe and socially distanced. 

“We primarily wanted to showcase South End artists that were BIPOC,” said Ben Leiataua, manager of the Rainier Arts Center.

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What Happens to Seattle’s Streetside Cafés After the Pandemic?

by Ben Adlin


Last summer, when the first COVID-19 vaccine was still months away and indoor dining was limited, a group of businesses in Columbia City transformed a half block’s worth of South Ferdinand Street into The Patio, a shared outdoor seating area open to everyone. Residents could order takeout from nearby Geraldine’s Counter or Lottie’s Lounge, sure — or they could just drop in and say hello to friends they might not have seen since the pandemic began.

After months of social isolation, “a few people said it just kind of saved their life,” said Lottie’s owner Beau Hebert. “They were just going bonkers.”

The project unfolded under a special pilot program by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), part of an aggressive push by the agency to quickly convert public streets and sidewalks into outdoor seating. Restaurants at the time were facing mass closures, and open-air dining offered customers a less-risky alternative to venturing inside. Changes to SDOT’s permitting process, including waiving fees that sometimes cost several thousand dollars per year, led to a proliferation of patio seating across the city.

But with restrictions on indoor dining now gone and nearly three in four eligible King County residents fully vaccinated, the city faces a choice: What to do with its outdoor dining and new communal spaces?

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