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Up On "The Hill"

"The Hill", as it is known by locals, got its name from early settlers when it was still the planned site for the Washington state capitol. It was the epicenter for the grunge rock revolution of the late '80s and early '90s. Main thoroughfares include Pine, Pike and Broadway.

Located northeast of Downtown, north of the Central District and First Hill, and west of Madison Valley, Capitol Hill encompasses quite a large area, bounded roughly by I-5 to the West, Madison to the South and East, and Boyer to the North. It is home to what's probably Seattle's largest gay community, and also a significant homeless population. To many Seattlites, Capitol Hill is synonymous with the commercial strip along Broadway, also home to Seattle Central Community College and two popular Landmark art-house movie theaters (the Egyptian and the Harvard Exit). The Pike-Pine corridor and 15th Avenue North of Denny are also important business and activity centers.

There are several parks in Capitol Hill, including Volunteer Park, where you can climb the water tower and get a beautiful view of the surrounding area, including the old mansions around the park.

Capitol Hill is the hub of Seattle's free-thinking, artistic, open-minded community and home to many reputable music venues and bars such as The Chapel, Linda's, Cha Cha's, Chop Suey, Hopvine and Neumos. The neighborhood is also home to a number of art galleries, and independently-run boutiques and coffee shops.

Capitol Hill is inarguably Seattle's "hip" neighborhood, a fact reflected in skyrocketing rental costs and the recent interest of large-scale developers in tearing down blocks that have housed neighborhood landmarks for years to make way for condominiums with a high real estate pay off. The slapstick-condo phenomena has been a city-wide issue, but is particularly rampant in Capitol Hill due to aesthetic appeal of the neighborhood, largely attributable to its counter cultural roots.