by Mark Van Streefkerk
When it comes to Rainier Beach landmarks, King Donuts is one of the most easily identifiable. Located in a bright blue-and-pink shop at the southwest corner of the Safeway parking lot on Rainier Avenue South, King Donuts houses a laundromat, a teriyaki kitchen, and a donut shop.
It’s a unique and ambitious business model for a relatively small space. Almost as if to reassure passersby, the sprinkled, crowned King Donut mascot painted on the side of the building exclaims, “It’s a Real Place!” from his perch atop a washing machine, a bowl in one hand and chopsticks in the other.
Owned and operated by the Chhuor family, King Donuts will continue to be a special place in the community far into the foreseeable future, but after weathering a pandemic and assessing what they can realistically sustain long-term, the family had to make some hard decisions.
Continue reading King Donuts Takes a Much-Needed Break and Unveils Plans for the Future
by Susan Fried
Melba Ayco, the founder and artistic director of Northwest Tap Connection is a Gullah Geechee and Creole storyteller and last Friday and Saturday, July 16 and 17, Northwest Tap celebrated their third annual Seattle Gullah Geechee Festival. Ms. Melba told stories about Gullah Geechee traditions around food, culture, and heritage. She talked about the importance of family and the practice of lifting the baby up during a Gullah christening, the significance of the conch shell in Gullah spirituality, and the history behind the “Emancipation” maypole. In-between the stories, Northwest Tap dancers and instructors performed numerous dances inspired by Gullah Geechee heritage.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Northwest Tap Connection’s Third Annual Gullah Geechee Festival
by Susan Fried
The Fourth of July weekend was also the first official weekend that King County dropped all COVID-19 restrictions, and many people in South Seattle were excited to finally go to their favorite places, sit down across from friends and family, and take their masks off (as long as they’d been vaccinated).
Individual businesses could ask customers to wear masks, but many allowed those who had been vaccinated to go mask free, trusting them to be honest about whether they’d been vaccinated or not. Some businesses chose to ask patrons to continue wearing masks while others opted to not fully open.
For many South End residents, things almost felt like they were back to a pre-pandemic normal.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: First Weekend of ‘Reopening’ in South Seattle
by Mark Van Streefkerk
South End ice cream fans have good cause to celebrate — Creamy Cone Cafe officially opened in Rainier Beach on Memorial Day weekend. The Black-owned, family-run ice cream cafe at 9433 Rainier Avenue South features root beer floats, sundaes, in-house-made waffle cones, coffee drinks, and 12 rotating ice cream flavors from local creameries.
Decked out in playful neon colors, including a small selection of outdoor seating, Creamy Cone Cafe brings sweet treats to a community that was in need of another ice cream shop, especially as the summer heats up. Creamy Cone Cafe is one of two ice cream destinations in Rainier Beach, in addition to Filipino American-owned Laina’s Ice Cream in The Stonehouse Cafe on Lake Washington.
For owner and South End resident Ashanti Mayfield, her sister Alexis Jones, and their families, ice cream is a regular part of family time and celebrations. But getting to an ice cream shop can be a bit of a drive for people in the Rainier Beach neighborhood. Ashanti and her family would frequent Full Tilt Ice Cream in Columbia City or Cold Stone Creamery in Tukwila. “Between those two, those were our cheer-up moments — going to get ice cream and just having a family outing together,” Ashanti said. “As far as ice cream goes, the South End needed [a shop].”
Continue reading Creamy Cone Cafe Brings Local Ice Cream to Rainier Beach
by Makayla Miles
(This article is co-published in agreement with Rainier Beach Action Coalition’s SE Seattle Freedomnet.)
This is the second in a series of articles drawing from the experiences of the many young adults employed by the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) to improve their community. These articles tackle practical issues young adults in our community should have learned about in school, but often leave school without knowing.
Every Saturday, at least a half-hour before the Rainier Beach Action Coalition Farm Stand officially opens, the line of people waiting to get their hands on fresh, organically grown produce stretches from in front of the Community Center all the way toward the entrance of South Shore K–8.
Food insecurity is defined as “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.”
It’s widely known that Rainier Beach only has one grocery store — but while Safeway is a reliable option for some people, it can be too expensive for people living in low-income households. As a result, people sometimes have to travel outside of the area to find affordable food.
Continue reading Adulting 101: Overcoming Food Insecurity in Rainier Beach
by Sarah Neilson
The epigraph of Reagan Jackson’s new book, Still Here: A South End Mixtape From an Unexpected Journalist, comes from the great Audre Lorde: “If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” It’s an auspicious opening to an impressive collection of some of Jackson’s most important journalism over the past 10 years; writing for which she has won multiple awards and distinctions, including the 2016 Seattle Globalist Globie Award Journalist of the Year and a 2020 Distinguished Visiting Writer at Seattle University. It’s an ethos that the writing consistently embodies.
Continue reading ‘Still Here: A South End Mixtape From an Unexpected Journalist’ Hits All Its Notes
by Gregory Davis
It was one year ago this month that a journalist thrust into the ether an idea that the pandemic was going to have a disproportionate impact on People of Color. He shared stories about friends and their current and impending struggles. One poignant detail he shared: “The coronavirus has magnified stubbornly unbalanced accounts between those with plenty and those barely holding on.”
Continue reading OPINION: Stopping Disaster Gentrification Post-Pandemic Will Require Robust Action
by Elizabeth Turnbull
Though COVID-19 disease activity remains high, and there are suggestions the pandemic curve might be starting to flatten, King County remains in Phase 3 of the Gov. Inslee’s reopening plan. And in South and Southeast King County there are concerns that certain communities of color have received the least vaccine coverage.
Continue reading King County Still in Phase 3, South King County Remains Less Vaccinated
by Carolyn Bick
Almost 40 years ago, Tilth Alliance’s plant sale was a modest affair, meant for just a few people in the neighborhood to share and discover varieties of decorative and edible plants.
Now, the nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization’s annual plant sale has grown to become the largest in the region — a massive affair of lush greenery and silky flowers of different native plants spilling over the sides of pots and containers. The plant sale usually takes place at The Good Shepherd Center in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle but last year took place online, due to the pandemic. This year will see a return to an in-person event with limited capacity. The sale will take place from May 7–14 at Tilth Alliance’s urban garden space tucked away just off South Cloverdale Street in South Seattle.
Continue reading Tilth Alliance Gets Ready to Bloom at 38th-Annual Plant Sale
The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.
We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.
Morning Update Show — Monday, April 26
Guest Host Brian Callanan | 16-year-old murdered in Rainier Beach | Police Reform Laws | New Drug Laws | Capital Gains Tax | Seattle News, Views, and Brews
Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 4/26/21