DISCOVER SEATTLE: Beers (Oktoberfest), Chills (Halloween) and other Fun October Activities

Fall is officially upon us with the onset of drizzle rain, chilly weather, and the ever-changing colors of nature around us. As much as I dislike the cold and the gray skies that are starting to fill my days, I do look forward to fall with TV’s new seasons and new series. My favorites being “The Black List” and now “How To Get Away with Murder.” But I digress because I am actually here to share with you many fun fall activities for October, in and around Seattle.

First thing I looked up was Oktoberfest. Now I know the real Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany begins in late September thru early October but I hoped Oktoberfest in Seattle began in well, October. Nicht! Unfortunately, Oktoberfest was last month from September 19 – 21 in the Fremont neighborhood. There were other Oktoberfest events happening in other close-by cities such as Renton (September 26 – 27), Kirkland (September 26 – 28), and Puyallup (October 3 – 5) but have already passed. There is still an ongoing Oktoberfest event I have listed below that is still happening till October 18th but it is about 120 miles from Seattle.

Leavenworth Oktoberfest from October 3 – 18, 2014 (Fridays & Saturdays) is 119 miles east of Seattle.  Leavenworth Oktoberfest has free shuttles in town, live music, German food, family activities, arts and crafts, and beer!

Another fun event starting next week is Seattle Restaurant Week from October 19 – 23 & 26 – 30. Get a special deal on a three-course meal at 170 restaurants during Seattle Restaurant Week, which repeats in April. I love Restaurant Week because I get to try different restaurants and taste various types of food, and get a good deal out of it, perfect for us graduate students on a budget!

Other happenings in October are the following events:

Jazz festival from October 10 – Nov. 11, 2014 at various Seattle locations. The Seattle Earshot Jazz Festival features more than 50 concerts by local and worldwide jazz greats.

Literature in Bars on October 23, 2014 (6 to 9 p.m.) Lit Crawl Seattle features 65 local authors reading their works in bars, cafes, bookstores, art galleries, and performance spaces on Capitol Hill, followed by a 9 p.m. party at Richard Hugo House. Free.

Halloween party at EMP on October 18, 2014 (9 p.m.) Enjoy costume contests, a ghostly photo booth, drink specials, a dance party, and a horror scavenger hunt at Fashionably Undead Bash: Beware the Woods for age 21+ at Experience Music Project.  I attended this event last year and recommend it.

For all you Michael Jackson fans out there, Seattle has the Thriller dance on October 25, 2014 (3 p.m.) Practice dancing Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” in advance, then show up (ghoulish costume optional) for Thrill the World Seattle at Pioneer Square. Free.

Halloween dash on October 26, 2014 at Circle Seward Park in costume at Run Scared, which includes a 5K, 4K, kids’ dash, and costume contests for people and dogs.

Halloween on Capitol Hill on October 31, 2014 (8 p.m.) Adult Funplex: Haunted Edition is a costume party with DJ beats and horrors at three Capitol Hill bars (Neumos, Barboza, and Moe Bar). Free.

Giant Halloween party on October 31, 2014 (8 p.m.) Join 2000 young partiers in costume dancing to live music at Pulse in the Experience Music Project.

For all you parents out there, there are wonderful Halloween events for your children.

Halloween at the Zoo from October 18 – 31, 2014 (some days). Enjoy treats and watch animals play with pumpkins at Pumpkin Bash at Woodland Park Zoo. One child 12 years and under in costume is free per paid adult.

Kids Halloween show on October 25, 2014. Caspar Babypants sings fun, kid-friendly music that gets kids dancing in their costumes at Spooktacular at Cedar Cross Cooperative Preschool in Mill Creek.

Trick-or-treating for kids on October 31, 2014The City’s Sweetest Spots for Trick-or-Treating include Seattle, the Eastside, Northgate, and Tacoma Mall.

There is so much more going on than what I have listed but I think this is a good start. For more information on events happening every month in Seattle please check out the following links:

Events12 http://www.events12.com/seattle/

Seattle.gov http://www.seattle.gov/calendar/

Visit Seattle http://visitseattle.org/Visitors/Events

I hope you have a chance to check out these events. If you do, please share your experiences by commenting on this blog to let readers know what you enjoyed and recommend, or Like and follows us on Facebook and Twitter and post your comments there, too.

https://www.facebook.com/SUGSC

https://twitter.com/SeattleU_GSC

Happy Fall Everyone!

Mariquita de Mira / MFA in Arts Leadership 2015 / Artist. Arts Leader. Global Adventurer & Explorer.

[I moved to Washington from California a little over a year ago and slowly but surely discovering Seattle.  Through my DISCOVER SEATTLE Blog, I will be sharing my adventures of places to eat, the nightlife, and other events that I have attended or feel will be a cool event to attend to that I will share on GSC Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and World Press.  I look forward to meeting you all at our GSC events.  Cheers!]

This scavenger hunt could win you a pair of free plane tickets

Hey SU grad students! It seems like this week might be the last of the sunny warm weather we’ve been enjoying lately, so if you’re looking for an interesting way to start off your weekend consider a cool scavenger hunt with awesome prizes. Alaska Airlines is gearing up to add more Boeing 737 planes to their fleet, and in celebration they are organizing a scavenger hunt in the Puget sound area. The first prize is a chance to take a ride on a flight simulator for the 737 and even more importantly, they are giving away two round-trip tickets to any North American destination where Alaska Airlines flies. This includes Hawaii and Mexico so when the rain starts, you can take a vacation and get in some more sun time. Second place wins you a flight right from the Boeing Field on a delivery flight. Either way, you win great views of the Puget Sound and surrounding areas.

The hunt will take followers to iconic spots around Seattle and the Puget Sound area. Starting at 6 am (for those of you who like to wake up early and jump right in, great!) Alaska Airlines will begin posting to their Twitter and Instagram accounts with clues to the first location on the hunt. You’ll need to figure out the puzzle in order to find the location. When you have done this, post pictures and tweets; don’t forget to use the hashtag #seattlesairline so that you’ll be tracked as first and as the winner! This could be a great way to explore places around the area you might not be aware of if you’re new to the area and lets be honest, who wouldn’t want to win two plane tickets if they can get you to a beach in Mexico or Hawaii? Follow both the Twitter and Instagram accounts for the best chance of getting all the clues to win.

If this sounds like something anyone in the grad community would be interested in, we can form groups to divide and conquer. Message us on our Facebook, or comment here. Friday is going to be sunny and beautiful so lets all get out and enjoy the weather. Good luck!!

Adventures in navigating the streets of Seattle

I recently moved to Seattle from Fort Collins, Colorado. My decision to leave my car behind was influenced by several thoughts: I had come to terms with the fact that my 1992 Honda probably wouldn’t make the drive, having a car in the city might be a burden, and Seattle is known for its bike advocacy and friendliness. In my adventures traveling around the city, I have found a couple of resources that I find to be useful and thought I’d share them for those of you also new to Seattle and interested in getting around by foot/bicycle/public transportation.

Before moving here I had only visited once, and although I had heard plenty about the weather, I knew nothing about Seattle’s geography. I will admit that when I first came here, the realization that this city looked more like what I’ve heard of San Francisco made me question how Seattleites ever managed to ride bikes. Fort Collins is on the edge of the flat, agricultural, amber-waves-of-grain part of Colorado and is generally a place where it is a piece of cake to ride a bike.

I originally intended to bike to Volunteer Park on my first bicycle outing, however I bypassed that and went straight to Interlaken Park. Interlaken Park is a lazy winding road through a lush green forest, filled with ferns and covered in moss, and quite unlike any forest I’ve seen in Colorado. I was blown away and thus continued riding my way through, staring at the beautiful scenery and while it was a glorious downhill ride it was another story on the way back. So this is where I will make my first piece of advice, check out the route you are taking on Google Maps.Map screen shot

You certainly cannot avoid hills all together in this city, but you can try to take the route that is going to cause you more pain than its worth. When you plan out your route on Google Maps, it gives you elevation gain/loss so you can adequately prepare and you won’t be as surprised as I was. By toggling back and forth between the different route options you can chose the one with the difficulty level you are going for. Another useful feature for bike commuters is the ability to turn on a filter that shows you bike paths, streets that have bike lanes, streets that are bicycle friendly etc. All of these features make Google maps, the online version and app version, an excellent resource for people in Seattle who want to travel by bike.

Along with google maps, there are a couple of other resources I’ve found helpful in navigating the city on bike. Community Transit is a great resource for getting around the city with no car, it basically has every bike path you wanted to know about! If you are a little more old school and prefer a map you can hold in your hand, you can request one from the Seattle Department of Transportation for free, in addition to viewing online.

I should note that at this time, I had not purchased a helmet and was riding very unsafely. It wasn’t until I read an article in a freely distributed publication called Bicycle Paper that I ran out and bought a helmet before I got on my bike even one more time. Besides the fact that there is actually a fine for riding with out a helmet, sharing the road with much larger and sturdier cars is dangerous. Helmets, reflectors, wearing reflective clothing, and lights (especially if riding at night) go a long way towards making you more visible to car drivers. Bells are also not a bad idea in the event you need to make your presence known to either another bicyclist or car driver. Personally I feel that the more informed people are about bikes, the safer bike riding will be and this includes using hand gestures to signal to everyone around you what your intentions are. You can brush up on all your hand traffic signals here on the City of Portland (our rival bike-friendly city) website.bike-signals

Riding a bike around the city but it becomes much safer and less intimidating if you are prepared and know what you are doing.

That being said, there are probably many of you out there that are not into the idea of riding up and down steep hills with cars zooming around you. Not having a car in the city is not a big challenge so far but there are definitely tricks that make it easier. The King County Metro system has a couple hundred routes around the greater Seattle area to help commuters get around without with out worrying about parking, traffic etc. Transit maps are available at many places throughout the city, the Seattle Public Library being one of them; however staring at the hundreds of maps is not very useful if you aren’t familiar with the area. This is where I thanked the gods for smart phone technology and started using one of the many transit apps available. One Bus Away is a popular app that many Seattleites use daily.

IMG_2518 This app allows you to zoom in on your location to see which busses come to stops near you and when they will arrive.

Another useful app is Transit, which is similar to One Bus Away, shows you bus lines around the city and gives you real time data about when they will arrive at a bus stop near you. My favorite feature of this app is trip planning, so you can plan to arrive somewhere at a specific time and tells you each bus you should take including transfers to other lines.

IMG_2516IMG_2517

My only gripe about these apps is although they brag about having real time data about when busses will arrive and other similar info, they still are not always 100% accurate and thus can create some problems if the 8 route comes five minutes early and you’re now late to your lunch meeting.

Taking the bus every day can eat up all your change, each ride around Seattle is generally $2.25-$2.50. Getting an ORCA card from SDOT is an option that allows you to save up all your pennies. Seattle University students are also eligible for discounts on cards, and you can either pay by the quarter or for the whole year. Checkout the SU ORCA card website.

These resources are all great ways to get around the city on a day to day basis, but what about a safe late night ride home? Luckily there are always taxis, or even services like Uber. Uber is essentially a taxi service where every-day-Joes can sign up to give people rides in their with their own cars. The Uber app allows you to see cars in your area and request a ride at any time. The app also connects to your whichever account you choose, so you even pay the person driving you through the app. Its a catch-22 though and prices vary based on the demand for rides, so the rides can be either very cheap or very not. There are also car sharing services such as Car2Go. By being a member of this service, you can find any smart Car2Go car near you and use it at a low cost per mile. This is ideal for short one way trips. If you are looking for longer, round trip transportation, consider checking out zipcar. Zipcar allows you to use a variety of vehicles to fit individualized needs, and Seattle University even partners with zipcar to get you a discounted membership. Many of these services offer free rides, or a free month for being a new member or a student, so the time to sign up is now!

All in all I’ve found many different ways to get around the city so far, and each one offers its own unique view of Seattle city life. I’ve discovered that “real” Seattleites don’t carry umbrellas, and the hardcore ones ride their bikes in all kinds of weather.  Biking is a fun way to get around, and to get your exercise without going to the gym. If that isn’t for you there are a myriad of different ways to get around, and the ones I’ve just told you about are just some of them. Whichever way you choose for travel make sure you are always safe and be aware of your surroundings. If you have anything interesting to add about the way you get around, comment below, tweet us @SeattleU_GSC or write us on Facebook. Follow us on social media to find out more updates throughout the year and attend our awesome upcoming events!

Ona Fisher , Student Development Administration 2016 /  Vice-Chair of Community Relations, GSC 14-15

DISCOVER SEATTLE: Styless in Seattle

photo 2

On a recent trip to Puerto Rico, I was flipping through the pages of Delta Airlines Sky magazine, and discovered a one-page ad for an event in Seattle called “Third Annual Downtown Seattle Rocks The Runway” that was happening on Saturday, September 20th, 2014.

Having a passion for fashion and a former Fashionista who has attended her fair share of fashion shows from LA to NY, I decided to buy tickets for this event.  I was also curious about the fashion scene in Seattle being a recent transplant to Washington.  On the website, I found that they had 3 levels of tickets: General Admission for $50.00; VIP Admission for $125.00; and VVIP Admission (yes that is 2 v’s) with exclusive backstage access and an after-party.  I opted for the general admission because I didn’t want to pay more for something that may not be worth it.

photo 1

Can’t argue with goodie bags

It was worth it after all.  At least for the general admission price of $50.00.  Upon entering the Paramount Theatre (a Seattle historical landmark), my guest and I were greeted with a video cameraman capturing our arrival à la red carpet style; there were servers walking around and handing out hors d’oeuvres; a photographer who took photos of guests against the backdrop of the name of the event and its sponsors; and lastly the theater hall where the fashion runway event was to take place.  This was the perfect venue with cathedral-style high ceilings lavished in opulent gold tones, designed from the 1920s Art Deco era.  There was a nice buffet of delicious hors d’oeuvres and sandwiches, a dessert table filled with cupcakes, open bar that served wine, local beer, and cocktails, and last but not least, every fashion event-goers’ favorite thing: SWAG!  Gift bags on every seat filled with Aveda sample products, a cosmetic bag, and random postcards and coupons for one’s stylish needs.

photo 5

Yum!

Guests rocked the event with fall-color cocktail dresses, suits and ties. Although, you could tell that some of these guys were dragged by their girlfriends, as this was a predominantly female-attended event.  The fashion show itself displayed fall’s latest looks that appeared to be a throw-back to 90s casual grunge look, but much “cleaner” if you will, with flannel, hooded jackets and knit woven caps; as well as the minimal and monochromatic look of that decade with a more streamlined design for outerwear with subdued colors (Oska, Club Monaco).  Other styles included a bit of punk rock (Finerie CoLab), camping (Columbia) and business attire (Mario’s, SuitSupply).  However, orange and red were abound on many of the clothing lines, including hair color.  A couple of male and female models with red hair dominated the runway that night.  Orange indeed, is the new black.  Speaking of models, I noticed they had a variety of heights and sizes of various ethnicities.  A definite plus for this Asian Fashionista!

photo 3

When one thinks of the fashion capitals in the world (New York, London, Paris, etc.), Seattle does not come to mind.  And it may be a while before it makes it into that category.  Nonetheless, I was very pleased with the “Rocks The Runway” fashion event, and feel we are on our way!  Styless in Seattle?  I think not.

Seattle is celebrating Style Week from September 20-27 where you can get deals from selected retailers. For more information please check out http://www.downtownseattle.com/runway/ and http://www.downtownseattle.com/assets/2014/09/style-week-bag-insert-5×7-web.pdf


Mariquita de Mira, MFA in Arts Leadership 2015 / Associate Vice-Chair of Marketing & Communication, GSC

[I moved to Washington from California a little over a year ago and slowly but surely discovering Seattle. Through DISCOVER SEATTLE blog, I will be sharing my adventures of places to eat, the nightlife, and other events that I have attended or feel will be a cool event to attend to that I will share on GSC Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and World Press. I look forward to meeting you all at our GSC events. Cheers!]