Victory Life Center

CAPITOL HILL NEIGHBORHOOD
The Culture

 SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, Saturday, October 18, 1997

Day and night, it's the 'strangest place in town'
By ROBERT L. JAMIESON Jr.
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTER

At first glance, Capitol Hill is a giggly friend with spiked hair and a pierced navel. She traces bronze dance steps on sidewalks and tempts you to buy retro clothes from her shop windows.

Sometimes, her hand -- outstretched and dirty -- begs for loose change. She loves bookstores, fine art and neat-looking brick buildings. She covets quiet side streets with comfy cafes and antique shops.

At night, she swings to disco or salsa. In a blink, she will introduce you to Ms. Fresca -- "The Latin Spitfire" -- whose high-stepping song is surpassed only by her height: 6 feet, 6 inches -- in drag-queen heels.

In short, Capitol Hill will show secrets -- if you allow the time.

"This community is so alive," explains Everett Reagan, who lives in the neighborhood and works for Seattle Central Community College on Broadway, one of the city's most bustling streets.

Map"It runs day and night. It's very urban. There's such rich diversity. Broadway is the closest thing we in Seattle have to New York's Upper West Side."

Indeed, the neighborhood has a reputation for being the hippest, prettiest (well, in some places), grungiest and, to some folks, strangest place in town.

It has been featured in Hollywood's "Singles," where angst-ridden twentysomethings fall in -- and out -- of movie love. Rap artist Sir Mix-A-Lot immortalized its nightlife in his song about a "posse on Broadway." And who can miss the male "nuns" who occasionally don habits and heavy mascara.

So it is not entirely a surprise that out-of-towners who seek an interesting place to visit are sent here by Seattleites. One businessman calls Broadway the "the living room" of Capitol Hill.
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