Venture into 2nd Cycle

2nd Cycle is a hidden treasure of a resource for our community.

Hilltop’s 2nd Cycle is a wonderful community bicycle project. It is located in an alley along 11th Street between Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South L Street. Nestled behind a few of Hilltop’s favorite resturants, Pho King and Le Le, and just around the corner from Pho Bac, it is a friendly place to go if you’re in need of bike parts or repair instruction.

Volunteers at 2nd Cycle works to be advocates for bicycling in Tacoma. They provide work space, tools, bicycling literature, and a staff who’s willing to help others learn how to fix and maintain their own bicycles. They offer low-cost bike parts, as well.

2nd Cycle is always looking for donations of unwanted bicycles and parts. They are able to maintain their space through donations and sales of refurbished bicycles and parts.

For more information about 2nd Cycle, check out their blog and Facebook page. They are open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays sometime around noon to six. Stop on in and see what they’ve got. Entering the space is an experience in itself.

Oh, and, someone at 2nd Cycle is an amazing artist. Their hand-drawn posters are awesome.


Josh Rizeberg’s Saturday Video Shoot

Saturday afternoon Josh Rizeberg’s family and friends gathered at Hilltop’s People’s Park to take part in the video shoot for his single “Don’t Be Late.” “Don’t Be Late” is the newest single from Rizeberg’s recently-released album, Rize of the Boom. It is a collaborative project he did with Seattle producer Boombox Massacre. Ryan Nielson of Tacoma-based AFATASI Pictures directed the video.

Video producer Ryan Nielson, Boombox Massacre, and Josh Rizeberg talk shop.

Rizeberg is a long-time Hilltop resident and writes a column called “What’s the Word?” for the Weekly Volcano. In addition to Rizeberg and Boombox Massacre, local rappers, including Mr. Von, General Wojack, Ghetto Baby, Abom, Awall, Young Crime, the Koomaniacs, Anaxagorous, K. Coats, and more, attended the shoot.

“Don’t Be Late” is due to drop in about two weeks. Check out a preview of the video here. Be sure to download Rize of the Boom, too. With its strong commentary and powerful beats, it’s worth a listen.

Hilltop Urban Gardens’ Petting Zoo

Last week on Thursday, Hilltop Urban Gardens (HUG) hosted a petting zoo at their farm on the corner of 19th and Ainsworth. The animals, brought by Raven’s Grove Family Farm in Shelton, were tiny reminders of how it’s possible to have farms and sustainable food sources right here in the city.

Hilltop neighbors, including kids from the Al Davies branch of the Boys and Girls Club, attended the event. Petting zoo visitors got to see and touch rabbits, pigs, ducks, and goats.

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Hilltop Urban Gardens is a wonderful addition to our neighborhood. Make sure to attend their other events. They work closely with the Boys and Girls Club and believe it is possible for everyone in our neighborhood to sustain themsleves through education and urban gardens.

We hope see the folks from Raven’s Grove Family Farm again soon. The petting zoo was fun. Our daughter’s still talking about it.

Rizeberg Video Shoot Tomorrow: Don’t Be Late.

This Saturday, Hilltop hip-hop artist Josh Rizeberg will be filming his newest music video and we’re all invited. The video shoot for his song “Don’t Be Late,” one of the singles off his newest project, Rize of the Boom, will take place at People’s Park at 2 pm. “Don’t Be Late” is an energetic track. The video shoot is bound to be fun.

On Rizeberg’s newest album, Rize of the Boom, he collaborates with Seattle producer Boombox Massacre to bring a lively, thought-provoking collection of songs. His style has evolved from his last album, Word to the Wize. The content of his lyrics is similar, but his delivery is better. He is successfully transitioning from his spoken word roots to rapping.

One of our favorite songs from the album, “My Truth,” is a powerful commentary on the realities of Western culture. In “My Truth,” Rizeberg raps about living with open eyes and seeing the injustices around us–steroids in our food, pollution, government control, social class warfare, and more.

Another of our favorites, “Hugs From a Mother,” is a tribute to all the women in the world and the sacrifices they make to raise their children. Rizeberg speaks to single moms and grandmas who are helping to raise kids. The inspiration for “Hugs From a Mother” was a poem he once wrote for his own mother.

Josh Rizeberg collabs with Seattle producer Boombox Massacre on this album.

Don’t Be Late — Josh Rizeberg

My Truth — Josh Rizeberg

Hugs From a Mother — Josh Rizeberg

Check out Boombox Massacre vs. Josh Rizeberg, Rize of the Boom. You can download the album in its entirety on Rizeberg’s Bandcamp page. Remember, don’t be late the the video shoot tomorrow at 2pm at People’s Park.

Bird on a Wire

A lone crow watches over Ernest S. Brazill Street and Hilltop Safeway at sunrise.

Demolition Man is Here

Progression: Old walls are down at Community Health Care's new Hilltop site.

Today the sun set on the old Mr. Mac and Sam & Terry Barber Shop building along Hilltop’s Martin Luther King Jr. Way. For weeks the site of Community Health Care’s new regional site has been fenced in. Demolition Man has finally reduced the space to bricks and sticks to make way for the new campus, set to open next year.

While we’re excited for the change, we’re sad to see such pieces of Hilltop’s history in a pile of rubble. 

Community Health Care, take care of the space you’re building. Tend, water, and bring people to her. Bring some life back to our part of town.

Nate Dybevik’s Piano Museum

One of our favorite artsy places on Hilltop right now is N. Dybevik Piano Company. It’s located near 13th and MLK in a cluster of Spaceworks Tacoma projects, including Fabitat and Toy Boat Theatre. Dybevik’s space is thought-provoking and humble. It’s a place we could admire for hours.

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Nate Dybevik is a musician and a collector. All of the old pianos in his Spaceworks spot are from his personal collection and he is learning how to bring them back to life with the help of piano expert Obi Manteufel. The space is a work in progress. It changes little by little, but its essence stays the same. The heart of the space, the pianos, are young and old, worn and torn apart, and beautiful.

In addition to the piano museum, Dybevik plays live music and hopes to teach piano lessons in the space. Stop by N. Dybevik Piano Company and visit the collection. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear some live acoustic music. 

For a preview of Dybevik’s music, check out his Bandcamp site. There you can download his latest album. Also visit his website, Facebook page, and Spaceworks Tacoma’s site for more information and press. 

Most importantly, though: Go see the pianos!