Hey there, it’s Tuesday. And it’s Seattle Public Schools’ spring break. If you’re reading this from a beach or mountain somewhere, hi! 👋 And if you’re counting down the days to your next trip out, we’ve got some things you should know…
Seattle is the fastest growing big city in the country. Many of us feel it during our commutes, whether it’s on long, cramped bus rides or sitting in our cars in rage-inducing traffic. As schools across the region let out for spring break this week, there’s another place we might notice it — at the airport.
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport is the ninth busiest airport in the U.S. In 2017, nearly 47 million people caught flights in and out of it – that’s up 41 percent over the last five years, GeekWire reports. And Sea-Tac says by 2034, there’ll be 66 million passengers coming through the airport each year. 😮
Despite all that, our airport only spans 4.2 square miles, which is much smaller than other international airports like Chicago and Denver, the latter of which covers 53 square miles. In 2016, we even processed more passengers than Newark’s airport and New York’s JFK.
Hopping on a plane for spring break? Here’s what you need to know…
GETTING TO YOUR GATE FASTER: The airport just brought in more explosives-sniffing security dogs and a schmancy new security screening lane equipped with bigger bins that put themselves away. Security officers are hoping with these changes they can move folks through security faster.
MAKING MORE ROOM IN A SMALL SPACE: To ease congestion, the airport’s expanding the food court, adding eight more gates to its northern satellite terminal (aka the “N” gate), and building a new international arrivals terminal. The airport even opened more places for travelers’ pets to do their business.
AND ABOUT THAT INT’L TERMINAL… The current international terminal has room for about 1,200 international passengers each hour, but as Seattle’s grown, the terminal needs to make room for about 2,000 passengers an hour, according to an airport spokesperson. So when’s this expansion happening? February 2020, as of now. It’s projected to cost $830 million — about 21 percent more than originally proposed — and it’s running five months behind.
PREVENTING HANGRY PASSENGERS: As of last month, much of the central terminal’s food court closed for renovation to make room for new 50 new food spots, including local faves like Skillet, Sunset Fried Chicken, and Caffé D’arte. Here’s where you can eat in the meantime: Anthony’s, a 24-hour Qdoba, and Floret, a new vegetarian spot.
FOUR WAYS TO MAKE WAITING MORE DELIGHTFUL: Marvel at this cool Pearl Jam poster exhibit, check out the live local music schedule, take a deep breath in the meditation room, or download this app to geek out over airport art.
ONE FINAL TIP: Heading to arrivals or departures during peak hours? If traffic’s a nightmare, try picking up or dropping off from the opposite terminal.
Got any more surprising facts or hacks to take on air travel at Sea-Tac? Let us know here.
Our houses are making bank. So here’s a weird and shocking stat: If you pretend for a minute that a Seattle home is a person, that person earns $54.24 per hour — more than three times Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage. That’s money earned as home equity, not straight-up cash, so it’s not money you can take to the bank unless you’re looking to sell your house. But still. What a difference owning a home makes. Only in San Francisco and San Jose, California, are houses even richer. (KING 5 / Zillow)
Meet your new (horned) neighbor. Taj, a male greater one-horned rhinoceros, is the first rhino who’s ever lived at our Woodland Park Zoo. He moved in Friday, and another rhino buddy, Glenn, will join him soon at the zoo’s new Assam Rhino Reserve before it opens on May 5. The number of rhinos worldwide’s dropped from 1 million to fewer than 30,000, so here’s hoping we make this Seattle newcomer feel welcome. (The Seattle Times)
You’re supposed to pay to ride the bus. But what if you can’t? And every time you get caught, it makes your chances of getting that home you need tougher? That’s what our local officials are wrestling with now that they’ve seen this pretty discouraging report about how we make sure people pay to ride. It’s discouraging not just because multiple citations and charges are hurting people who already struggle, but also because the costs and returns just aren’t adding up for the county. So what next? “Transit cannot determine whether its model of fare enforcement makes sense, in terms of costs or outcomes, or identify ways to improve it,” reads the report. Sigh. This is a tough one. (The Seattle Times)
No warning. A quirky coffee shop in Queen Anne might need to move after 18 years. El Diablo Coffee serves a mean Cuban-style espresso, and when a courier handed a notice to vacate notice to one of her baristas last week, El Diablo’s owner, Jill Killen, was stunned. Jill knew her landlord wanted to raise her rent, but figured the next step was a new lease, not a goodbye. “In this crazy real estate market do not take anything for granted,” Jill wrote on her Facebook page. “I love you Seattle, but at this moment I don’t like you very much.” Thanks to reader and El Diablo fan Danielle Gregoire for the heads-up. (Eater Seattle)
Here’s where all the cars are. If you’ve ever wondered which neighborhoods have the most cars, the map halfway down this article lays it all out. (Spoiler alert: downtown and the University District are the most car-free.) Are cars more of a thing in Seattle these days, or less? Both. According to the Times’ FYI Guy Gene Balk, our car population’s hit a new high — 444,000 — but the percentage of car-owning households is dropping for the first time in decades. 🚗 (The Seattle Times)
🗣 April 19: Explore the living history of Seattle’s first people at the second edition of Seattle Live (Queen Anne)
💻👩 April 23-27: Connect with inspiring mentors, peers, and resources at the weeklong Women in Tech Regatta (South Lake Union)
🎟 Hear from Laverne Cox of “Orange is the New Black” — could sell out fast! (Belltown)
🎟 Laugh at baked comedians – through Saturday (Greenwood)
🎨 See “Oh, You STILL Work There?” an art show about the service industry (Capitol Hill)
🎶 Party with local space geeks at Yuri’s Night (Tukwila)
🎨 See the city’s drag royalty hit the runway (Downtown)
🏞 Help re-forest a park (Seward Park)
🎈 Go to the biggest kids’ parade in the state (Tacoma)
🏞 Take a free Spring Day hike (All over)
🎈 Take the fam to the International Children’s Friendship Festival (Queen Anne)
👋 Go on a photo scavenger hunt (South Lake Union)
🎈 Dip the kids in Marine Mammal Mania (Downtown)
💡 Remember victims of the Holocaust (Belltown)
🗣 Hear from feminist culture critic Lindy West (Downtown)
GOING TO ONE OF THESE EVENTS?
Send us a pic or tag #theevergrey. See more upcoming events (and submit your own) on our events page.
It’s the debate that never ends: Seattle is rainy, and umbrellas are for rain, so why doesn’t Seattle love umbrellas? Writer and stylist Alexis Steinman moved here in 2013 and makes a solid case in Crosscut:
“You act like umbrellas are shackles that hold you prisoner, but they give you freedom to wear whatever you want underneath,” Alexis writes. “Umbrellas are a chance to accessorize, to add a splash of color to the gray skies, to brighten your point of view, literally and figuratively.”
Have a bright one, all. — The Evergrey
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