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I love my neighborhood, the Central District. I walk through the streets and see myself and my history reflected in churches like Mt Zion Baptist, in Al Smith’s Seattle jazz scene pics in the 23rd and Jackson Starbucks, and in the iconic living cultural institutions Douglas Truth Library and the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. In these and other parks, I see Black history commemorated and celebrated: Powell Barnett Park, Homer Harris Park, Dr. Blanche Lavizzo Park, William Grose Park, Pratt Park and Jimi Hendrix Park.

I also love the CD because it feels neighborhoody with kids barely awake with their parents awaiting school buses; a variety of unique, personality rich small gardens; and people/families strolling day and night. I can easily walk to Elliott Bay Books and towards downtown to whatever I need. With 20 years in this neighborhood, I’m a relative newcomer. I still get it wrong sometimes, respecting those whose grandparents have lived here and those who lived here all their lives. The one dislike I have now with the CD is the newcomer who doesn’t pause to appreciate the rich cultural history of the community….the newcomer who walks along Rev Dr. S McKinney Ave and not ask who he is/was this person and why is there a street named after him…..the newcomer who appears to cross the street in fear as I approach to walk up the stairs to my home….the newcomer whose instinct is to call police rather than not knock on a door to voice a neighborly concern or complaint when an event or party of mostly black and brown folks is louder than you like.
— Cloud Room Member, Rodney Hines

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C E N T R A L D I S T R I C T C O N T R I B U T O R R O D N E Y H I N E S

CEO/chief mission guy of Metier Brewing Company and Director, US Social Impact at Starbucks.

Weekend cycling and running warrior, balancing days with IPAs and espresso.



Near 13th and Jefferson, I can start and spend much of a day with espresso, a beer and journal writing at Peloton Café, then jazz and smoke meats at Central Smoke. Life doesn’t feel complete when I’ve gone a week without stopping in at Peloton Café to say hi to Dustin and Paul and enjoy a little quiet time with an Americano and/or a beer with Mckenzie’s avocado toast. This beautifully mounded toast is with lemon tahini, arugula and sunny side egg makes me happy.

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Depending mood and run, walk or bike route, I like my choice of two cafes within a couple blocks. Omar pulls a solid espresso shot for me at Tougo Café and Shirley gets my traditional macchiato perfectly every time at Squirrel Chops.

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You see and taste the careful love Mi Kim puts into every donut at Raised Doughnuts. Her raspberry donut holes have a delicious fresh and tart fruit flavor. You will want a couple.

It’s not often I go a week devoid of Little Uncle’s garlic chive cakes and Khao Soi Gai (or one of the other delicious entrees). The warm smiles and welcome from owners’ PK and Wiley and their fresh and flavorful food, make them my fav for local takeout.

When I NEED a martini and my tummy filled with fresh halibut or something else seasonal and special to us here in PNW, I like that I can walk Marjorie’s for a hug from owner Donna and a seat at her bar. I also like knowing Donna business helps fuel her civics and commitment to local arts and culture preservation.

The Jackson Street Jazz Walk is an annual promotion of music, local history, art, and community. Hosted and organized by jazz vocalist Eugenie Jones and others features seven venues along and around Jackson Street. I went recently for the first time – caught the jazz, bluesy and sophisticated sounds of local award-winning vocalists Ms. Jones and Gail Pettis at Ernestine Anderson Place.

C O M I N G S O O N

I’m excited to walk a few blocks to 23rd and Jackson to the That Brown Girl Cooks restaurant when it opens! I may still buy their spicy and flavorful black eyed pea hummus at Central Coop, but I can’t wait to enjoy in one spot the delicious healthy soul food and creative cocktails Kristi and Damon are known for in their catering and pop ups!