West Seattle, Washington
In addition to the transportation changes we noted earlier – more holiday info:
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE: Post offices closed, no delivery/pickup
MLK DAY OF SERVICE: We don’t know whether they have room for more volunteers, but here again is our preview with four local work parties – three in West Seattle, one in White Center. (If you’re out on a Day of Service project today – please consider sending us a photo!)
HIGH-SCHOOL BASKETBALL: West Seattle High School plays tonight in the 4th annual MLK Day Unity Hoop Showcase at Garfield High School. Doors open at 4; WSHS plays Eastside Catholic at 5 pm; it’s Cleveland vs. Franklin at 7 pm. Admission $10. (400 23rd Ave.)
9:29 PM MONDAY: Next Monday is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day and many observe the holiday as a Day of Service, with volunteer work. So far we have three opportunities on the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar for that day – a 9 am-noon work party in the Fauntleroy/Juneau triangle and two 10 am-2 pm work parties – one on Longfellow Creek, and another in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. Each of those links will take you to info about the event and how to be part of it. If there are other opportunities in West Seattle on MLK Day, we’d like to add them to the calendar too – please send us the info ASAP, firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
ADDED 1:03 PM TUESDAY: One more! From Lina:
Celebrate MLK Day with King County Parks staff and neighbors as we work to improve the health of White Center Heights Park. Event is 10 am-2 pm and we will be learning about the plants and animals of the park, digging out blackberry and planting native trees and shrubs. Please contact Lina Rose for more information – email@example.com, 206.491.5014
It’s the unofficial end to the holiday season every year on Alki Beach – a crowd gathers to burn Christmas trees. The 2017 edition happened last night; thanks to Mikayla Reynaud for sharing the photo today.
Thinking twice about leaving, or putting, your tree out, with a little more snow possibly on the way? Tomorrow you can drop it off for recycling with the Rainbow Girls, during their annual tree-recycling event at the Masonic Center in The Junction. Take it to the lot on the northeast corner of 40th and Edmunds in The Junction between 9 am and 1 pm Saturday. It’s a service the youth group is providing as a fundraiser, by donation, no set amount – give what you can.
Thanks to everyone who shared photos and video from this morning’s 2017 West Seattle Polar Bear Swim at Alki Beach!
(WSB video by Patrick Sand)
At the start of our clip, the countdown is being led by Mark Ufkes, who organizes this every year – he’s in the next photo with the megaphone:
Here’s a wider view of the big splash:
(Video by Kendall Browne)
For some, the Polar Bear Swim is a spectator sport – this guy told us he was there to cheer on his 15-year-old daughter, participating for the first time:
Some of the other sights – maybe the most-formal swimmer (or maybe just hadn’t been home since the NYE party):
Think we saw this dinosaur back on Halloween:
We noted the lampshade in a pre-swim tweet – and spotted it on the beach under someone else’s care:
Another standout hat:
Die-hard Cougar fan:
Maybe a tropical print helped make up for the almost-freezing air:
Whatever you were or weren’t wearing, there was post-swim chowder, courtesy of nearby Duke’s:
And memories that will linger until next New Year’s Day:
(added 7:30 pm) One more video of the big swim – this one is by Anthony Decena:
Happy snowy New Year’s Day! Here’s information you might find helpful:
RESTAURANTS OPEN TODAY: Here’s our list.
POLAR BEAR SWIM: Gather at 9:50 am along Alki Beach across from Duke’s – everybody in the water at 10 am sharp. (Alki Avenue SW & 58th SW)
NEW YEAR’S LABYRINTH WALK: Noon-2 pm at Our Lady of Guadalupe. (35th SW/SW Myrtle)
OTHER EVENTS TODAY … including special church services … are listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
FARMERS’ MARKET CLOSED: But it’s back to every-Sunday operation NEXT week, on January 8th.
SEATTLE PARKS FACILITIES: Here’s the closure list.
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY BRANCHES: Closed today.
TRANSIT: Regular Sunday schedules unless the bus is still on a snow route because of the early-morning snowfall. For Metro, check here.
Thanks for the photos of the Space Needle fireworks that kicked off 2017! Above and below are by Robert Spears, photographed from West Seattle:
The next photo is by Craig Young, from Kerry Park on Queen Anne:
This year’s show was longer than previous years, according to the broadcast team on KING5 – 10 minutes.
West Seattle’s New Year’s Eve celebrating started early at Highland Park Improvement Club, with one of the biggest Not-So-Silent-Night Parades we can recall in the 8 years HPIC’s been organizing them. Around quarter past 6, ~80 people of all ages headed out of the historic HPIC building, with drums and horns and homemade noisemakers and even a Christmas-lights-decked trombone.
The parade headed east toward the nearby flashing-beacon-enhanced crosswalk on SW Holden, and onto neighborhood streets to the south.
The weather cooperated – chilly but not too cold, very light mist, wet ground but not icy. And after about half an hour of walking, noisemaking, and occasionally shouting “HAPPY NEW YEAR!”, paraders headed back toward HPIC:
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) January 1, 2017
Inside, the New Year’s Eve edition of HPIC’s Corner Bar (which is otherwise a pop-up on the 1st Friday of each month) was already getting started, with lights, drinks, snacks, and activities for the younger partiers:
DJs Dr. Lehl and Evan were in the “costume party” theme spirit:
Their sets were to be interspersed through the evening with McTuff. Still time to head to HPIC and join them for the rest of the night – party’s on until 1 am.
Happy last day of 2016!
RESTAURANTS OPEN TODAY/TONIGHT: Here’s the list of those that confirmed to us they’re open New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day. Restaurants that aren’t listed either are closed for both or didn’t answer our inquiries. It’s not too late for changes or additions – via text (206-293-6302) or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) – thanks!
CELEBRATIONS TONIGHT: See the New Year’s Eve/Day section atop the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide for details on where and how you can celebrate – including two places with earlybird celebrations as 2017 arrives in East Coast time!
JUNCTION PARKING: Reminder that if you are celebrating in The Junction tonight, the four parking lots that are usually free for three hours of shopping/dining will suspend that limit between 7 pm tonight and 10 am tomorrow.
SPACE NEEDLE FIREWORKS: If you’re out at midnight, remember that parks and overlooks facing north are usually filled by then with people seeking a view of the Space Needle fireworks show. If you want to watch too, don’t wait until the last minute to find a spot.
WEATHER WATCH: The National Weather Service still has an alert up, warning of possible snow overnight – not expected, so far, to be major, but we’ll be watching closely for forecast updates throughout the day and night. Even if we don’t see snow, it will be cold, so don’t go out without a coat!
LAST NIGHT FOR WEST SEATTLE LIGHTS: The lights-and-music show at 3908 SW Charlestown is scheduled for 5-midnight tonight, and then it’s off until next holiday season. Bring a donation for the West Seattle Food Bank.
As we do for Thanksgiving and Christmas, we contact local restaurants to see whether they’ll be open New Year’s Eve and/or Day. Here’s what we have so far. If a restaurant isn’t listed, either it’s not open either of those days, or it hasn’t responded to our inquiry – we can still add/change, though, if the info is sent to email@example.com. This list also is linked in our Holiday Guide – where you’ll find other West Seattle New Year’s Eve/Day events – and on our year-round Event Calendar.
This year’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays (with sponsors including WSB) wrap up Saturday night with New Year’s Eve celebrations. If you are planning to celebrate in The Junction, and getting there via your own vehicle, the West Seattle Junction Association is covering overnight parking in its lots:
The West Seattle Junction merchants feel it’s important to stay safe while celebrating incoming 2017. On Saturday, December 31st, from 7 pm through Sunday, January 1st, 10 am, we invite you to leave your car overnight in one of our FREE Junction parking lots. Please pick up your car by 10 am, though, so we have plenty of parking for the January 1st brunch crowds. Happy New Year from the merchants!
Those are the lots marked “free 3-hour” on this page of The Junction’s website – at 44th/Oregon (southeast side of intersection), 44th/Alaska (southeast side of intersection), midblock on the east side of 44th between Alaska and Edmunds, and 42nd/Oregon (southwest side of intersection). WSJA also is spotlighting some of the Junction venues with special NYE events, here.
As we continue spotlighting New Year’s Eve options from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide: Say goodbye 2016, hello 2017, neighborhood style, as Highland Park Improvement Club welcomes you again this year for the Not-So-Silent Night Parade and Corner Bar.
Even if you plan to be somewhere else at midnight, join HPIC for the early going, especially the parade – bring noisemakers, drums, lights, and continue the tradition! Full details are on the HPIC website. (One change this year, by the way … the brief, fiery Sage Comet display that usually follows the parade is on hiatus.)
Still making your plans for New Year’s Eve on Saturday night? From the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide, here’s a party with a purpose:
“Exceptional artists and hilarious comics” are promised at The Skylark‘s big New Year’s Eve event, presented by RocksAnn Promotions, raising money for local musician Rachelle DeBelle‘s medical bills as she fights cervical cancer. It’s all ages 3-10 pm, and then a 21+ dance party. $10 suggested donation. Skylark is at 3803 Delridge Way SW.
Not that we’re urging you to rush your tree out the door. But if it overstays its welcome … that could be dangerous. Here are three ways to recycle it:
TRANSFER STATION: You also have until the end of January to take your tree and/or holiday greens to a city transfer station, fee-free (three trees maximum per vehicle). Nearest one to us is the South Transfer Station (130 S. Kenyon in west South Park).
RAINBOW GIRLS: 9 am-1 pm Saturday, January 7th, drop off your tree at Alki Masonic Center in The Junction. By donation; sponsored by West Seattle Assembly #18 Order of Rainbow for Girls. (4736 40th SW)
(Anyone else having a tree-recycling drive/event? Please let us know so we can add to the WSB Holiday Guide and Calendar!)
(2016 Alki Polar Bear Swim photo by Scott Nelson)
Just got confirmation that the West Seattle Polar Bear Swim is on again for Sunday (New Year’s Day 2017). From organizer Mark Ufkes:
January 1, 2017, at 9:50 am, polar-bear swimmers will line up along the beach across from Duke’s.
With a countdown, at 10 am sharp we will hold hands with our friends and run into Puget Sound.
Bring water shoes, a towel, a change of clothes and your hopes and dreams for 2017 with you. Also bring the lessons you learned in 2016. Running into the water with friends and family will help you leave behind the complexities of 2016 and start the new year clean and burden-free. We hit the water at 10 sharp.
Thinking about trying it for the first time? Here’s our coverage from last year, including video and links to previous years’ coverage.
A few minutes before 4 pm, we stopped by the Alki Masonic Center in The Junction to photograph the volunteers who had just spent four hours making West Seattle holiday history – serving a free sit-down dinner to anyone who needed one. The lodge and The Christmas People co-sponsored the first-ever event, feeding almost 100 people who showed up over the course of the afternoon. They also wanted to say thanks to community members who volunteered time to help prepare, and who donated dozens and dozens of homemade cookies! The Christmas People, led by Rev. Fred Hutchinson and Ruth Bishop, have been feeding others in need, but usually in smaller groups, he told us – this was the first time they decided to offer a big sit-down dinner, and they’ll do it again next year, getting the word out far and wide to fill the hall.
Merry Christmas! Some info you might find helpful on this holiday:
RESTAURANTS THAT TOLD US THEY’LL BE OPEN TODAY/TONIGHT: Go here for the list (and please note the disclaimer!).
GROCERY STORES OPEN TODAY: Local Safeways are open 8 am-5 pm; Westwood QFC is open 7 am-4 pm. Other West Seattle supermarkets are closed today.
CHRISTMAS DAY CHURCH SERVICES: See the list in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
ALSO OPEN TODAY: Origins Cannabis (4800 40th SW; WSB sponsor), 11 am-6 pm.
FARMERS’ MARKET CLOSED: No West Seattle Farmers’ Market today OR next Sunday.
WHERE TO SEE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS TONIGHT: See the Holiday Guide.
METRO: Regular Sunday schedule
SOUND TRANSIT: Regular Sunday schedule
WASHINGTON STATE FERRIES: Regular schedule for Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth, but expect heavier usage because as of first thing this morning, the Tahlequah-Point Defiance route (South Vashon-Tacoma) is out of service
Want to go to the movies?
ADMIRAL THEATER: The newly renovated moviehouse is open this afternoon/evening (2343 California SW), showing “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” “Sing,” and “Passengers,” all with showings starting just after 3 pm – here’s the schedule.
Breaking-news tips? Lost/found pets? Traffic trouble?
YES, WSB TRULY IS 24/7/365: Best way to reach us today is 206-293-6302, text or voice.
However you’re spending it – we wish you a wonderful day!
A heartwarming story – told in verse – from the WSB inbox this Christmas Eve:
A true Christmas story for everyone to enjoy:
Twas the night before Christmas, with no food in the house, so off to get groceries, for me and my spouse.
Bacon, eggs, bread, wine and rice, fruit and ice cream, checked off my list twice.
Away to the checkstand, I flew like a flash, to purchase my goods with not enough cash.
But what to my wondering eyes should I see? A guy with just greeting cards, that I let cut in front of me.
He replied with a thankful “no way really?”
And which I exclaimed, with an “of course, don’t be silly!”
To the cashier, he muttered something unclear, that was meant for just him and her ears to hear.
“Merry Christmas” he said as he left out the door! What a friendly man, I thought! A nice smile and more!
Now it’s my turn in line, to purchase my stuff. Hoping to God but doubting that I had enough.
With a look of weary, yet hopefulness in my heart, the lady exclaimed, “He gave me enough to cover your whole cart!”
I replied “Shut the Front Door!” and other words to not include. “Oh my God! Seriously? What a cool dude!!”
Tears began to fall down my excited cheeks in a flurry, leaving the store with vision so blurry.
This kind, generous stranger, out of nowhere came here, and left us all with a great feeling of Christmas cheer!
The moral of my story, my fellow West Seattleites, is to Pay It Forward, Merry Christmas and to Have a Great Night!!!
-Thank you kind and giving stranger at the Roxbury Safeway tonight!!! You have no idea how much you brightened our holiday and spirits! You are amazing, and the true definition of what this time of year should be all about! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
–Bradi and Tim Jones
So you’ve finished your last-minute shopping (or, if you haven’t, check here to see who’s still open) – and would love some help wrapping. That’s what the volunteer animal-advocate elves of Furry Faces Foundation are doing right now at Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW). Bring your gift items in and they’ll “Wrap It Up” by donation (how much? you decide) until 6 pm.
Thanks to Karyn Sherburne for the photo from somewhere in Lincoln Park (where, by the way, Thomas e-mailed to report hearing a pack of coyotes early today, so if you’re walking your dog, keep it close). Here’s what you need to know about the festive day/night ahead …
WHERE YOU CAN DINE TODAY: Here’s our list of restaurants (and coffee shops with more than pastries) open Christmas Eve and/or Day.
CHRISTMAS EVE/DAY CHURCH SERVICES: The full list is in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.
CHRISTMAS LIGHT SHOWS: They too are in the Holiday Guide, including lights set to music!
And this isn’t just Christmas Eve:
HANUKKAH: Tonight is also the first of the eight nights of Hanukkah. No local services that we have heard of; Kol HaNeshamah has an event next Wednesday.
Also from the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide and year-round Event Calendar:
WEST SEATTLE ULTIMATE FAMILY FRISBEE: “See you all at Walt Hundley Field at 9 am this morning. And bring elf/Santa/festive hats. Also bring red shirts and green shirts if you have them.” (34th SW/SW Myrtle)
SANTA AT ENDOLYNE JOE’S: Going to Endolyne Joe’s (WSB sponsor) for breakfast? We hear Santa’s taking a break from his last-minute preps to stop in, 9 am-11 am “ish.” (9261 45th SW)
FREE FOOD: “Taquitos Feliz taco truck will be giving out free food on December 24th from 11-4. Please stop by and get some tacos. We are located at 7427 Fauntleroy Way SW in West Seattle across from Lincoln Park. Happy Holidays from all of us at Taquitos Feliz.”
HELP PREP FOR FREE CHRISTMAS DINNER: The Christmas People say volunteers are welcome 9 am-4 pm – along with homemade-cookie dropoffs – at Alki Masonic Center in preparation for tomorrow’s free Christmas dinner. (4736 40th SW)
GIFT-WRAPPING FUNDRAISER: Need some help wrapping?
Wrap It Up! With Furry Faces Foundation!
Beveridge Place Pub, 12 pm – 6 pm
Have your Christmas gifts wrapped while watching the Seahawks game! The elves of Furry Faces Foundation are looking forward to wrapping your gifts in splendor and uniqueness! We have gift wrap, bows, tape, ribbon, garland, pine cones, pipe cleaners, name tags, and more! It’s up to you how much you would like to donate for the gift wrapping with 100% of the proceeds going directly to helping animals. Please note the Beveridge Place Pub is 21+ and over
(6413 California SW)
Have a great day/night! WSB really is 24/7/365 so if there’s breaking news today/tomorrow/beyond, we appreciate the tips as always, 206-293-6302, text or voice.
Maybe you’re a procrastinator like your editor here, and/or just haven’t had much time. Whatever the reason – if you still have gift shopping to do tomorrow (Saturday, December 24th), here are the independent local businesses that have told us they’ll be open:
Again & Again/Kid-Friendly Footwear* – Noon-5 pm
Atomic Boys – 10 am-2 pm
Avalon Glassworks – 10 am-2 pm
Bartell Drugs, Jefferson Square – until 11 pm
Beer Junction – Open until 7 pm (see comment with more details)
Click! Design That Fits* – 10 am-5 pm
Curious Kidstuff – 10 am-4 pm
Easy Street Records – 9 am-5 pm
Emerald Water Anglers* – 10 am-4 pm
Junction TrueValue* – 8 am-4 pm
Meeples Games* – 10 am-6 pm
Menashe & Sons Jewelers* – 10 am-4 pm
Mountain to Sound Outfitters – 10 am-4 pm
My Three Little Birds* – 10 am-4 pm
Origins* – 9 am-8 pm
Pet Elements – 10 am-4 pm
Second Gear Sports* – 10 am-4 pm
Tap Station – Open until 5 pm
Thunder Road Guitars* – 10 am-1 pm
West Seattle Wine Cellars – 11 am-7 pm
Wyatt’s Jewelers* – 10 am-4 pm
Zamboanga – 10 am-4 pm
(Asterisked businesses are WSB sponsors)
Any other retailers open tomorrow? Tell us your hours in a comment – or e-mail us – and we’ll add you to the list! Meantime, if you’re looking for restaurants open on Christmas Eve (and/or Day), that list is here; grocery-store closing times are in our Holiday Guide.
7:55 AM SATURDAY: We’ve added to the list and will continue to do so if we hear from more.
More West Seattle Christmas lights! Thanks to Cindy Craig for two photos from one street near Fairmount Park: Both displays are on 40th Avenue SW between Dawson and Findlay; above, on the east side of the street; below, on the west side.
We will be showing more tomorrow and Sunday – Christmas Eve and Day – and maybe beyond if we have enough suggestions/photos – firstname.lastname@example.org. (Here’s our archive of what we’ve shown already.) Thank you!