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Team Arrington Elite Basketball Academy is a youth basketball and mentorship program based in Queen Anne. Elementary, middle school and high school students learn and achieve personal growth while accomplishing the many different developing levels of basketball. Coach Dari Arrington helps each child achieve this through patience, on-court routines and weekly life discussions. 

Team Arrington Elite has been around for 5 years and has become a member of the Jr. NBA. Their philosophy is built on the foundation and value of teamwork, and holds that “hard work beats talent any day when talent fails to work hard.”

You can learn more about Team Arrington on FB/IG: @taebballacdmy or via their website if you want to get registered! Clinics are year-round.

The slew of holiday parties have come and gone. The guests have returned home. The kids are finally back in school. Who else needs a healthy dose of self-love and some time away to recharge and revitalize? Valentine’s doesn’t have to be reserved for your sweetie. You’ve been giving a lot. And, February is the perfect time to show yourself some love and connect with your deepest heart’s desires. 

So grab your swimsuit and a water bottle and come luxuriate with self-care coach and massage therapist, Kristen Jawad; career change agent and life coach, Sara McArdle; and an intimate community of like-minded women during this private event with three hours of exclusive access to Ladywell’s Vitality Spa & Sauna in Greenwood.  

Get your ticket to this unique women-only opportunity today and thank yourself in February!  Tickets can be purchased here.

Ladies’ Self-Love Spa Night
Monday February 3, 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Ladywell’s Vitality Spa & Sauna
8538 1st Avenue Northwest

Taproot Theatre announces that Scott Nolte will retire from his role as Producing Artistic Director effective December 31, 2020. Nolte will remain in his current role until that time.

In a recent letter to Taproot’s patrons, Scott explained that in the summer of 2018, after hiking 800kms on the Camino de Frances in Spain, he and his wife (Taproot co-founder, staff member and actress Pam Nolte who will also be retiring from her staff position) began dreaming about the next chapters in their careers. That fall, Nolte began serious conversations about his retirement with Taproot’s Board of Directors and key staff. Nolte states:

“Our incredibly talented staff and committed board members continue to embrace Taproot’s mission to be a “theatre of hope”; a vision which began as a seed with six college students in 1976 and which has grown more than I ever imagined possible over the past four decades.”

Taproot Theatre Company was founded in 1976 by six friends, five of them graduates of Seattle Pacific University. Their early days as a theatre company saw them touring to local schools and churches with productions that included The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, by C.S. Lewis, and Gifts, a trilogy of stories which included Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant.

In a 1977 Seattle Times article Nolte is quoted as saying “Taproot right now is basically a touring company … we want to see it become an established theatre for Seattle.” In 1979 Taproot kicked off its first mainstage play and shortly after began their three-year residency at Seattle Pacific University. In 1988, after several other temporary homes and with Nolte at the helm, Taproot purchased The China Theater in the Greenwood neighborhood and began renovations on what is now their Jewell Mainstage theatre. In 2019, over 37,000 ticket holders entered that theatre to see plays in what has become Seattle’s “largest mid-sized professional theatre.”

In addition to the mainstage season Taproot produces plays in its Isaac Studio Theatre, Taproot also has a year-round acting studio and tours bullying-prevention plays to schools all over the Pacific Northwest.

Beyond serving as Taproot Theatre Company’s Producing Artistic Director, Nolte has served as adjunct faculty at Seattle Pacific University, past president of Theater Puget Sound and the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce and taught theater in Leon, Spain. The Noltes (Scott and Pam) were named Seattle Pacific University Alumni of the Year in 2011.

Over the course of 43 years, Nolte has directed over 90 plays at Taproot Theatre ranging from The Odyssey: A Play to Smoke on the Mountain and more recently Kim’s Convenience (with co-director David Hsieh). In his final season as Producing Artistic Director, Nolte will direct Babette’s Feast, The Spitfire Grill and The Old Man and the Old Moon and plans to co-direct (with David Hsieh) a revival of Kim’s Convenience in Tacoma.

Taproot’s Board of Directors is leading the search for Nolte’s successor and plan to announce Taproot’s new Producing Artistic Director by September 2020. Board president Larry Bjork says:

“Scott and Pam’s retirement has been a board discussions for the last several years and is part of our ongoing process of strategic planning. We celebrate their years of commitment and vision and are excited about the next chapter in the life of Taproot Theatre Company.”

Come check out Phinney Cooperativa Preescolar en Español (PCPE), Seattle’s only Spanish-language Cooperative Preschool, and a program of the PNA.

PCPE welcomes bi-lingual families with children ages 0 to 6 who speak Spanish either full or part-time at home. PCPE provides a play-based learning environment, encouraging and supporting the whole child and his/her development process.

PCPE is a strong community of bilingual families, celebrating diverse Latino cultures.  Attend the Open House to receive priority status on our waiting list.

For more info visit: pcpeseattle.org or contact them at inscripciones@pcpeseattle.org.

Saturday February 1, 10:00am – 1:00pm
Phinney Center Blue Building, Lower Level – Blue Room

Donate blood on Friday… win a car!

Haselwood Auto Group and its dealerships are sponsoring a chance for one lucky blood donor to win a brand new car when they donate blood with Bloodworks Northwest – including this Friday 1/31 at the PNA. Local blood supplies are critically low, so now is the time to act!

New to donating blood? Giving blood is easy. It takes about an hour and every pint donated has the potential to help three people.

Who does your blood donation help? Bloodworks supports hospitals across the Pacific Northwest. Your donation is key to saving lives of local Northwest individuals, like patients being treated for cancer, surgery, or trauma.

Ready to donate blood? Register Today! If you have any questions, give Bloodworks Northwest a call at 1-800-398-7888 or email schedule@bloodworksnw.org.

Bloodworks Northwest Blood Drive
Friday January 31, 1:00 pm – 7:00 pm (closed 3-4 pm)
Phinney Center Blue Building, 6532 Phinney Ave N

On January 31, join Couth Buzzard Books and friends for an evening of music, poetry, and readings from a new collection of letters written by prisoners, and help Books to Prisoners raise money to support more than 10,000 incarcerated readers in 2020.

Books to Prisoners is a Seattle-area nonprofit whose mission is to provide free books to people in prisons across the country to empower, educate, and connect prisoners.

This is also the launch party for their new book, “Dear Books to Prisoners: Letters from the Incarcerated,” a coffee-table-type book filled with the revealing thoughts and insights of some of the people BTP has helped. The party will feature live music courtesy of Jim Page and local band CHA, as well as readings from the book and copies available for purchase.

Books to Prisoners fundraiser and book launch
Friday January 31, 7:30pm
Couth Buzzard, 8310 Greenwood Ave N
No charge for admission

Per a Swedish blog post: “The Swedish Ballard Emergency Department will be temporarily closed to patient care through 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 31. We apologize we cannot offer these services throughout the SEIU 1199NW Labor Strike. Normal services will resume at 8 a.m. on Friday, Jan 31.

Our five other emergency departments (First Hill, Cherry Hill, Issaquah, Edmonds and Mill Creek) will remain open during the strike. Individuals with life-threatening and urgent medical needs should go to one of Swedish’s open emergency departments for care or another local/regional emergency center.”

Please visit the nearest emergency facilities located at:

UW Medical Center Montlake (4.6 miles) 1959 NE Pacific Street, 2nd Floor Main Hospital Seattle, WA 98195 (206) 598-3300

UW Medical Center Northwest (4.9 miles) 1550 N. 115th Street, 1st Floor Main Hospital, A-Wing Seattle, WA 98133 (206) 668-0500

If you have a life-threatening emergency, Call 9-1-1

Do you know or are you a young artist? Through Feb. 2, Northwest artists under 25 are invited to apply to the Phinney Center Gallery’s March 2020 show, called Up and Coming Artists. The submission process is open: visit https://www.phinneycenter.org/arts/ to submit your art today. Scholarships are available if the $20 submission fee presents a hardship.

A jury of local teaching artists will select art for the show to be displayed in the PNA Gallery from Mar. 11-Apr. 17, with the opening reception on Friday, Mar. 13 during the PhinneyWood ArtWalk.

Please submit your art today and email pollyf@phinneycenter.org with any questions.

Photograph titled Poster Artist & Son by Glenn Beebe from previous Phinney Gallery Show

PhinneyWood is full of wonderful people and great places that we all wish we knew more about. Resident Kevin Kozel periodically digs deeper to let us know more in a column we like to call … Hi Neighbor!

A year ago PhinneyWood added one of the city’s most anticipated restaurants when Windy City Pie opened in the old Phinney Market location. Specializing in Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, Windy City brings their well-reviewed pies to a region that has long lacked options in the style. A year later, crowds still can’t get enough of the delicious caramelized cheese edge. Owner Dave Lichterman tells us more about his pizza’s meteoric rise, and why this cult favorite pie is one everyone should try at least once.

Kevin Kozel (KK): How long has Windy City Pie been open in this location now?

Dave Lichterman (DL): We moved here from Interbay on January 1st, 2019. We opened for takeout on January 14th and then we officially opened for dine-in on April 4th. This is our first time having a “brick and mortar” and we’re happy to be in the neighborhood.

KK: And this is the first proper dining space you’ve had, right?

DL: This is our fourth iteration. It started off in my condo… which it turns out, isn’t totally legal. Then it moved to a commissary kitchen in SoDo. From there, it moved to a distillery in Interbay before finally landing in Phinney Ridge. All previous locations were either a “hole-in-the-wall” or even an undisclosed location instead of an actual restaurant. Long story short, yes, this is our very first full dining experience.

KK: I remember you started out as kind of a secret. You had to order a day in advance and it would be delivered to you, or something along those lines?

DL: I started making pizza for people I didn’t already know back in August of 2015. Before that, the only reviews I had were friends telling me my pizza was great and I should open a restaurant, which sounded like a terrible idea! Those are well-known money pits. I needed to see if there was some demand for this product, so I opened as basically a website, or “ghost restaurant” as they’re now called. The requirement was that you had to order a day in advance, delivery only, and it had to be somewhere within city limits.

KK: How has social media impacted Windy City?

DL: I used to do a lot of concert photography for KEXP and they had an intern luncheon one day. I told them I would cater it for them, so I made 12 pizzas in my house and brought them over. They posted it on social medial and all of a sudden people wanted to know where they could get Chicago-style pizza in Seattle. The biggest break came when I was defending the pizza style to food blogger, and soon-to-be James Beard award winner, J. Kenji López-Alt. He was saying there’s no good deep-dish pizza and tried his hand at a recipe. I responded by telling him he was doing various things wrong and piqued his interest in how I might know such a thing. He visited me in the SoDo commissary. I was terrified he wouldn’t like it. Thankfully for my sanity, he tried it and posted to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter that it was the best deep-dish he’s had anywhere, including in Chicago.

KK: This has all happened pretty quickly. You don’t have any professional cooking or restaurant experience. Did you even have any idea how to start a restaurant?

DL: I had no professional experience to speak of, just a lot of practice at making something and honing that recipe over the course of 10 years. I’m a computer engineer by education, so I didn’t know how to outfit a commercial kitchen or scale up food preparation. I could only do so much as one guy. Hiring people that knew the answers to these questions or were willing to learn with me was key. A lot of my staff have followed me for years now, from one iteration of Windy City Pie to the next, and I wouldn’t have been able to make all those moves were it not for their help. Moreover, the transition from Interbay to Phinney Ridge took a lot longer than anticipated, there was some downtime, and that’s hard for anyone working an hourly position in this city to survive. I did my best to keep everyone busy and gainfully employed, but my crew took a big risk on me and my crazy pizza dream. I’m forever grateful to them for that.

KK: How is the location treating you so far?

DL: The neighborhood has been very welcoming. Too welcoming at the start, to where we just didn’t have the space or flow in the space to keep up. We’ve gotten our sea legs at this point, largely thanks to Amanda Jensen, my right hand, who has loads more experience in running a full-service restaurant than I do. It took some work to convert this space and make it more of our own, but it’s a beautiful space. We wanted to make it more of an art deco, Chicago World’s Fair vibe. It’s been a labor of love creating an homage to Chicago without making it all about sports.

KK: A lot of people have very strong opinions about pizza, and Chicago deep-dish is no exception. Where do you sit on the “pizza wars”?

DL: I don’t really care about the “is it pizza/is it not” debate. It’s food; did you like it? There are thicker styles of pizza in New York and Italy. There’s so much variety in pizza, and there’s excellent implementations of most of those varieties. Check out the first episode of David Chang’s “Ugly Delicious” on Netflix for an example of that variety. Even in Chicago there are at least four different styles of pizza, three of which I’d classify as deep-dish. It’s just, did you enjoy the pizza?

KK: What are your recommendations for first time visitors?

DL: Start with one of the specialty pies, we know those are good combinations and a good amount of stuff. Everyone has different tastes, but we’d also be happy to help you build your own. Just let us guide you through the process. We want you to have a delicious pizza and keep coming back.

KK:What does the future hold for Windy City Pie?

DL: I’m always looking towards new things and I love cooking. The idea is to see where things take us, not necessarily decide the direction we’re going. Right now I’m working on incorporating software I’m writing to make restaurant operations run even smoother, with the hope to add delivery this year.

Visit Windy City Pie at 5918 Phinney Ave N, or order online at www.windycitypie.com. It is recommended that you order in advance, even for dine-in, as Chicago-style pizzas  do take time to properly bake. 

Any person, place, or thing you want to know more about in our neighborhood? Feel free to drop us a line or leave a comment and we’ll look into making it a future feature on Hi Neighbor!

Photo by Kevin Kozel of Dave Lichterman and Amanda Jensen (edited 1/27/20)