Backstory: Why Glowing Monkeys Are All over Phinney Ridge and Greenwood

Cheery LED animals are more than mere holiday decoration
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 
Greenwood Hardware on Phinney Ridge

This article appears in print in the December 2019 issue. Click here to subscribe.

The Landmark. Holiday monkeys
The Location. Greenwood and Phinney Ridge neighborhood businesses

The Backstory. Strolling down Greenwood Avenue during the holidays, you may notice some unusual decorations: glowing monkeys swinging from buildings and storefront windows. The multicolored LED-lit monkeys can be spotted on the PhinneyWood GloCone (N 67th Street and Phinney Avenue N), which is the neighborhood’s take on a Christmas tree; hanging in the storefronts of businesses, such as Greenwood Hardware and Seattle Recreative; and even dressed in tutus at American Dance Institute.

In addition to bringing a little funky seasonal cheer to the area, the monkeys, touted as “runaways” from the popular annual WildLights festival at Woodland Park Zoo, contribute to funding the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s business membership program. The PNA debuted 150 zoo escapees in 2014 as a way to promote local businesses and provide a neighborhood holiday display; this year, nearly 200 monkeys (which cost businesses $35 per monkey to foster for the season) will light up the neighborhood from November 30 until early January.

Related Content

Everyone wants to know when the pandemic will end. But perhaps a better question is: What will it look like to go on

Everyone wants to know when the pandemic will end. But perhaps a better question is: What will it look like to go on.

Abigail Carter had never seen her elderly neighbor. While social distancing, she worried how she might help him.

Abigail Carter passed the house with the mossy roof every day. But now, during the pandemic, she thought about her elderly neighbor she didn't know and had never seen while on her daily walks.

Photographer Ted Zee has been documenting the way people are coping with stay-at-home orders. "As part of an exercise in socially distant portraiture, and a way to address my own anxieties, I stepped out to learn more about my neighbors."

Gravity Payments CEO Dan Price: “The employees bailed us out.”

A few years ago, Dan Price, the CEO of Gravity Payments gave his employees a raise to $70K. They returned the favor: “The employees bailed us out.”