The stretch of Madison Street that runs through Madison Valley is somewhat of a hidden gem of a shopping district. While many may see it as simply a thoroughfare leading to Madison Park, it’s actually home to a great mix of retail shops and restaurants, and is an excellent place for local holiday shopping. This Tuesday, December 2, selected merchants will be participating in a Holiday Happy Hour event, staying open until 8:00 p.m. and offering holiday sales and specials. Restaurants including Cafe Flora, The Bottleneck Lounge, Luc, Seattle Salads, and more will be mixing holiday cocktails and/or serving food from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Click here for a list of participating merchants!

The holidays have arrived! Check out these Madison Park events coming up in December.

December 4: McGilvra Winter Concert
6pm | McGilvra Elementary School
Sing along to songs of the season at the McGilvra Winter Concert. Enjoy a festive performance by vocal music students in kindergarten through third grade. There will be a book sale and candy grams at the library as well! 

December 5: Holiday Art & Gift Sale and Reception
5pm – 8pm | Washington Park Arboretum
The Washington Park Arboretum holiday art and gift sale runs through December 23rd. Get holiday shopping done early at the sale’s reception, featuring local artists with a selection of locally made arts and crafts for purchase. 

December 6: Holiday Tablescapes
10am – 12pm | Washington Park Arboretum
Impress your family and guests this season with a beautiful centerpiece. Learn how to make holiday tablescapes in this UW Botanic Gardens class, which will focus on organic and edible table ornamentation. Participants will build and take home their creations.

December 6: Art Messer Tribute
3pm – 7pm | Red Onion Tavern
Those who knew beloved Madison Park artist Art Messer, who recently passed away, will have a chance to cherish his work and celebrate his life at a tribute gallery. His vibrant pieces and involvement in the Madison Park Art Walk will be greatly missed by the community.

Featured photo from UW Botanic Gardens

Those who knew and loved longtime Madison Park resident and artist Art Messer, who passed away on November 13, will have a chance to remember his life and work at a gathering at the Red Onion Tavern on Saturday, December 6, from 3:00-7:00 p.m. Art lived in Madison Park for decades, adding spirit and character to the neighborhood along with his colorful paintings. He was best known for his vibrant pieces he described as “Fauvist”, inspired by his time in Paris and southern France. He was a key figure in the formation of the Madison Park Art Walk, and has shown his work in at least 100 shows in the last two decades. He will be missed by both the Madison Park community and Seattle’s art community as a whole.

Click here for the obituary published in yesterday’s The Seattle Times.

Madison Park residents who commute to Downtown Seattle know that the bus serving our neighborhood, route 11, can often be late and unreliable, especially in the evenings. The Seattle Department of Transportation is looking to improve transportation efficiency on Madison Street, and has identified the corridor as an area in need of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

According to the SDOT project website, the BRT route would run from Colman Dock on the waterfront to 23rd Avenue, would be “fast, reliable, and frequent”, and would utilize new state-of-the-art trolley buses that produce zero emissions. So, while the new route won’t run all the way to Madison Park, it should provide a better connection for those who work downtown, or on First Hill, and will link up with the 11. SDOT wants as much community input as possible on the project, and will be hosting three “charrettes“, or design workshops, and an open house next week to gather ideas.

Charrettes will take place next Wednesday, November 19, with the first session from 9:00 a.m. to noon focusing on affected areas on Capitol Hill and in the Central District, and the second session from 2:30-5:30 focusing on Downtown. A third charrette on Thursday, November 20, will focus on the route through First Hill, and will run from 1:00-4:00 p.m. To sign up to participate in a charrette and get details about location, e-mail by the end of the day today, November 11. A public open house will also take place on the 20th at the Silver Cloud Hotel at Madison and Broadway from 5:00-7:00 p.m.