Capitol Hill Neighborhood - Seattle, Washington - Seattle's Alternative Neighborhood and Popular Retail Destination

Capitol Hillis a neighborhood inSeattle, Washington directly east of the downtown retail core. It is unofficially bounded to the east by 23rd Ave E, to the west by Interstate 5, to the south by E Union St, and to the north by E Interlaken Blvd. Capitol Hill is the most populous neighborhood in the city and is the center of the city's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Famous residents include Dan Savage, a popular American gay alternative sex advice columnist, who well represents Capitol Hill's population of hipsters and homosexuals. The neighborhood is not exclusively gay by any means, and there are almost no establishments that aren't integrated with homosexual and heterosexual customers.

Capitol Hill has been the center of Seattle's alternative community for decades. During the 1990's, Capitol Hill was one of the birthplaces of the country's grunge movement. Kurt Cobain and other famous grunge musicians frequented Capitol Hill establishments. Capitol Hill is still the center of Seattle's independent music community and welcomes alternative lifestyles from every genre.

Popular retail districts within Capitol Hill include Broadway, the Pike/Pine corridor, and 15th Ave East. There are a variety of restaurants, bars, music venues, clubs, boutiques, and other shops in the neighborhood. Condominium and apartment buildings surround the areas and there are many grand old homes in "mansion land" to the north, near Volunteer Park. Capitol Hill residents are generally some of the most politically progressive in the country. Many of the 1999 WTO protests spilled from downtown into Capitol Hill.

Besides the inevitable large Seattle-based chains like Starbucks,Seattle's Best Coffee (now owned by Starbucks), andTully's Coffee, Capitol Hill has been home to some of the city's most prominent locally owned coffeehouses. Present-day coffeehouses on the Hill include such local chains as Cafe Ladro, Cafy Vita (two locations), and Top Pot Doughnuts, as well as Bauhaus Coffee, Cafe Dharwin, Espresso Vivace Sidewalk Bar, Faire, Fuel Coffee, Insomniax (two locations), Joe Bar, Kaladi Brothers, Online Coffee (two locations), Uncle Elizabeth's Internet Cafy, Stumptown Coffee (two locations), People's Republic of Koffee, and Victrola Coffee & Art (two locations).

While many of Capitol Hill's churches began as suburban congregations serving to establish the newest neighborhood of young Seattle, they have changed with the neighborhood to reach out to the poor and homeless and those living with HIV, as well as continuing their work of encouraging the faithful.

Two landmark church buildings nearGroup Health Hospital no longer hold congregations. The First Methodist Protestant Church of Seattle, listed on theNational Register of Historic Places, is now the headquarters of the Catalysis Corporation. As of 2007, the former First Church of Christ Scientist is being remodeled into condominium apartments.

From downtown, it's a pleasant walk up the hill on a nice day. By bus, Metro Transit serves the area with numerous routes, most of which run frequently. There is currently a light rail station under construction on Broadway, but it is not scheduled to open until 2016.

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