West Seattle, Washington
Seen on our way back from low-low tide photos:
HARBOR/SPOKANE WORK BEGINS: As previewed earlier this week, work is now under way on the Harbor/Spokane project. That lane – westbound Spokane to north/westbound Harbor – will be kept open during peak pm commute hours, 3 to 7 pm weekdays, per SDOT, but remember that continuous work is planned this weekend.
ADDED THURSDAY EVENING: More info on upcoming Alki Trail closure/detours:
Starting Monday, June 18, crews will close part of the Alki Trail in order to remove sections of the sidewalk and road in preparation for the safety improvement work at the intersection. This phase of work is expected to take 3 weeks (construction dates and duration are subject to change). We wanted to share with you the Alki Trail detour information for people walking and biking.
People walking and biking will be detoured around the work zone as appropriate. The detour routes are:
Eastbound bikes on the Alki Trail
Continue south, past SW Spokane St, to SW Avalon Way
Left onto SW Yancy St
Left onto 28th Ave SW
Right onto SW Andover St
Continue east, across Delridge Way SW, and onto the trail
Detour signs will be posted along this route. A temporary crossing will be added for people biking to cross from the Alki Trail to the west side of Harbor Ave SW. Once on Harbor Ave SW, people biking will merge with traffic and continue following the detour to SW Avalon Way.
Westbound bikes on the Alki Trail
Detoured south toward 22nd Ave SW
Right onto SW Andover St
Left onto 28th Ave SW
Right onto SW Yancy St
Right onto SW Avalon Way
Continue north onto Harbor Ave SW to reconnect with the Alki Trail
Detour signs will be posted at the east end of the trail, directing people biking toward 22nd Ave SW.
People walking eastbound and westbound on the Alki Trail
A uniformed police officer will direct people walking at the intersection of Harbor Ave SW and SW Spokane St
Please note: Bikes will not be able to access the walking detour route and must follow the signed bike detour route.
(back to original story) Nearby, under the bridge, along SW Manning, we noticed this:
NEW SIGNAL-BOX ART: The rose-covered signal box is signed by Desmond (aka Graves) Hansen. It’s not mentioned on his Instagram page or elsewhere that we’ve found, so we don’t know yet if this is the finished work or, like the box at California/Graham, another tribute portrait might eventually be painted onto it. As mentioned here earlier this week, he’ll be painting a mural of and at the Morgan Junction Community Festival this Saturday, starting at 1 pm, at Morgan Junction Park [map].
When you launch a new event, you never know who will turn out. The first-ever ZwingRally for “supercars” promoted room for up to 120; we counted 15 as participating drivers swung through Alki this morning.
And there they go. pic.twitter.com/DEw0mWoO3U
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) May 26, 2018
After a stop on Duwamish Head, the drivers headed up to the Alki business district, then turned around and headed back toward the bridge.
Drivers in the rally, organized by local filmmaker Zach Wingfield (who is of course chronicling the whole thing), were scheduled to head to another beach – Seaside in northwestern Oregon – after their West Seattle stop.
Thanks to Brian Presser of TouchTech Systems in The Junction for the photo – the 7-11 at California/Erskine is finally getting its sign replaced. Particularly if you drive by at night, it has been an odd sight, rows of LEDs atop a pole. We’re not sure how the 7-11 lost its sign this time, but it wasn’t the first time.
MONDAY EVENING: Thanks to John LaSpina for this photo of a West Seattle photo-op by singers who are more than 3,600 miles from home. The Fóstbræður all-male choir, from Iceland, performed at the grand opening of the new Nordic Heritage Museum on Saturday and has a show tonight at Plymouth Congregational Church. John caught them in the Duwamish Head sunshine around 3 this afternoon.
ADDED TUESDAY: Thanks to Erla for sharing, in a comment, video of the choir singing on our shore:
Megan sent the photo, explaining:
I walked my dog this afternoon and came home to see someone had left a single tulip at my front door. Checked my camera and saw 2 little kids run up, drop it and then run off!
Maybe they are spreading the joys of Spring? Too cute.
ORIGINAL REPORT, SATURDAY MORNING: Some days back, we got a couple texts about someone with a full drum set, set up out in the parking area along Spokane Street under the West Seattle Bridge. We went by and saw the drums … but the drummer was nowhere in sight. Then we discovered via Twitter that Byron of BikeHugger.com had spotted the drummer one recent evening and recorded him. Byron gave us permission to use his video; he doesn’t know the mystery drummer’s backstory either. Do you?
ADDED MONDAY MORNING: Over the weekend, the “mystery drummer” identified himself in comments as Dakota Duran. In a followup chat by text during a break from his local grocery-store job, he told us that his band is Mad Culture, based in Admiral, and he drums under the bridge a few times a week so he doesn’t bother his neighbors.
12:00 PM: Thanks for the tips about the Seattle Police motorcade that headed westbound over the West Seattle Bridge a little while ago. They’re now at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) and we are told that they’re escorting Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who just yesterday was on the East Coast meeting with President Trump.
1:21 PM: Our photographer went back over to await the departure and to find out the reason for the visit.
Salty’s proprietor Gerry Kingen told WSB that apparently the local
embassy consulate was asked for dining recommendations and his establishment emerged!
1:51 PM: Prime Minister Abe has moved on.
(Update: Photos added.) His jet, by the way, is a 747 – here’s Twitter video posted after it landed.
Seen in West Seattle on St. Patrick’s Day 2018:
We of course had to go see if the legendary green stripe on 41st SW north of Admiral Way had been refreshed for another year. The pictorial proof is above. (We’ve featured it many past years – including 2017, 2016, 2015, 2011, 2010 – and it remains a mystery.) The next photo is from Suky:
Suky explains, “No shamrocks at Lincoln Park this morning – Just clamrocks!”
Thanks to Al for the photo – Alki is one of the spots around Seattle where green pigs like those have suddenly popped up. Given the location, we first called Seattle Parks to see if the pigs were some sort of authorized art; nope, no one had asked permission to place them there, and Parks was working to track down who had, before having to spend crew time to take them down. They had heard of sightings elsewhere in the city, so next we went to Reddit‘s SeattleWA subreddit – and indeed, someone elsewhere in Seattle had already solved the puzzle: A real-estate company that has done this elsewhere.
We all know development is happening at a fast pace. And in some cases, it’s a bit repetitive – in the 5200 block of California SW, four side-by-side parcels are proposed for nine townhouses each. And we just noticed one parcel has this sign:
(Our favorite reaction on Twitter, where we shared this a little bit earlier: “When templates attack!”)
Do those books look familiar? Lost? Stolen and dumped? Or? Joy sent the photo, noting, “These books were in Bay 2 shelter at Junction” when she was there late this morning. We just drove by a few minutes ago and they are still there, on the bench in the covered shelter on the south side of SW Alaska just west of California SW.
Several people asked us about a group seen “marching” northbound on California, through The Junction and beyond, this morning, carrying a flag and some wearing what at least two observers perceived as military-style garb. One person caught the photo shown above. We caught up with the group north of The Junction; when asked what they were about, they directed us to goruck.com. In addition to selling rucksacks and other gear, the company organizes/facilitates teambuilding-type long-distance walks; its founders include a former Green Beret, and some of its event raise money for the Green Beret Foundation. Thanks again for the tips – on many things, so far today! – 206-293-6302 any time of any day/night.
From the WSB inbox today – two photos of bicycles that appear to be abandoned, both orange. This one, in The Triangle:
This one, off Harbor Avenue SW:
If either one is potentially yours, let us know.
Thanks to everybody who texted/e-mailed to let us know about that film/video crew at 46th SW & SW Stevens in the Admiral District. We went over to find out what they’re working on. It’s a TV commercial, according to the production-company manager who spoke to our photographer, and that’s all he said he could tell us, along with noting that they’re only expecting to be there through mid-to-late afternoon today.
The photos are from Keith, who spotted “what appears to be a dumped CD portfolio” while walking his dog in Gatewood: “Further inspection shows the CD carrier has been repurposed to house technical information. This was likely stolen from a truck and discarded. I bet the owner would love to get it back.”
If you recognize these, let us know and we’ll connect you.
The photo is from Lynn Hall, who says the performance at Anchor Park is/was a promotion for Leavenworth. Given that liederhosen and mountain goats are not usual sights around here, we will take her word for it. Maybe we can set up an exchange program and offer them … a standup paddleboarder bearing fish ‘n’ chips?
9:08 PM MONDAY: Thanks to Jim Borrow for the photos (and also thanks to the person who texted a view that we tweeted earlier) – this was seen over Alki around 7 pm.
And so we’re wondering, did Sheila say yes?
P.S. Last airborne Alki proposal we featured was five years ago.
TUESDAY MORNING: See the comment section for Sheila’s answer (and more)!
9:31 PM: Don’t know yet what this was but we’ve received multiple reports, including the text that had the video attached, as seen from Alki Avenue SW. Help us sleuth it! We’ll add whatever we turn up.
9:57 PM: One commenter points to the possibility it was just a contrail. Haven’t found any meteor or rocket reports so that just might be it; still looking just in case.
11:10 PM: Our favorite expert skywatcher Alice Enevoldsen believes it’s a contrail. She writes:
tl;dr–In my expert opinion: contrail.
Longer answer: of course I don’t know for absolutely certain, who could possibly know that, besides the pilot? So let’s run through the main reasonable possibilities.
Space Junk Reentry
As mentioned by the viewers of the video (yay! thank you!) it could be space junk, right? You’re absolutely correct, there’s space junk burning up in our atmosphere all the time. That bright second half of the line sure looks like fire too. The speed is wrong though. Most reentries go a similar speed, since they’re stuff entering our atmosphere from orbit. Controlled reentries have a slightly different speed than uncontrolled ones, but they all tend to be a good bit faster than this is moving.
Here’s a gif of a satellite going about twice as fast as usual.
Again, the speed is wrong. Meteors go much faster, they’re also known as shooting stars. When your friend says “look! A shooting star!” by the time you look, it’s gone. The Chelyabinsk meteor seemed to go a bit slower, because it was huge (as average meteors go) and therefore got deeper into our atmosphere than most. Here’s a gif of a meteor, going about normal speed.
From our point of view looking at the sky on a given day, comets don’t move.
For something long, thin, and cloud-like the first direction to examine is a contrail. The speed of the object is correct for an airplane moving out of our field of view. Also, the direction works, because this “downward” path is consistent with a plane travelling west and eventually disappearing over the horizon. We still have some questions: why do we see it go so far down, and why is the contrail two colors: dark and “fire”?”
Both colors can be explained by the direction of travel and the time. This is around sunset. The end of the plane’s contrail is in the evening sky, in a position that is after sunset and therefore in the Earth’s shadow. The plane’s current position is in sunlight, but as it is sunset, the position is brightly lit with all the colors of the sunset. It is brighter than the clouds it appears near, because it is higher than them and therefore in brighter sunlight than them.
It is potentially possible that the lighting of this contrail makes it so we can see the plane and it’s contrail longer than usual, contributing to the “straight down” appearance of the trail. I’m not certain of that explanation for this part. It could also be as simple as observation bias: this one is so cool, we don’t remember other contrails going this direction.
P.S. Details soon on Alice’s summer-solstice sunset watch!
Texter noted military aircraft in the area. Looks like it’s for Military Appreciation Day at the Sounders FC match vs. Salt Lake, 2 pm, with pregame ceremonies scheduled to include U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers from Whidbey Island’s VAQ-129 Squadron.
“D in West Seattle” sent that photo this week after the flamingo flock turned up outside a neighbor’s house. It’s been a few years since the peak of the flamingo-flocking fad, and D wondered what we might have heard about who’s doing this right now (and why). The sign in the photo was a big hint – we found contact info online for the West Seattle branch of Young Life, a faith-based organization, and area director Alison Bray answered our inquiry: They’re flocking through July as a fundraiser, $50, West Seattle/White Center area only: “All donations help local middle-school and high-school students attend camp this summer.” If you’re interested, you can contact Alison – email@example.com.
Friday, a commercial in Sunrise Heights; this weekend, a short film along Beach Drive. We saw the trucks and equipment late today outside a waterfront complex south of Constellation Park and stopped by to inquire; they just said the shoot is for a “short film” and they will be done this evening. Subsequently combing various corners of the internet, we turned up a production-help-wanted listing mentioning a West Seattle shoot this weekend for an independent short film called “Victory“; cross-referencing that to an audition call, the plot summary is: “Our film catapults the viewer into the last fifteen minutes of the story of a mysterious insurgency group trying to do something about a chain-reaction holocaust.” We’ll make a note to watch for it when it’s done.
Three Easter Sunday scenes from around our area:
GIVING: Courtney e-mailed to let us how her brother, sister-in-law, and their children (photo above) spent their Easter morning – traveling around the area to give food and other life necessities to unsheltered people on the street. “I was so very touched by his heartwarming idea he just woke up with this morning,” she said.
WORSHIPING: Ann Anderson shared the photo above from the annual Alki Beach sunrise service coordinated by Admiral UCC, Alki UCC, and Fauntleroy UCC, one of West Seattle’s two annual Easter Sunday sunrise services.
SHINING: Ann also shared that photo of the sunrise itself, from Duwamish Head.
1:32 PM: We’re getting a flurry of questions about loud jets. Checked the flight tracker – they’re all commercial jets, to/from Sea-Tac Airport. So we’ll be checking with the airport next to see if anything unusual’s happening – might just be an abrupt weather change – we’ll update if we find out more.
1:36 PM: A caller points out there are military jets in the area too. Still checking.
1:40 PM: Sorry we hadn’t heard about this in advance: Military flyover for the Mariners‘ home opener (which has the odd start time of 2:10 pm, as we noted in today’s morning traffic report). That would tend to divert commercial traffic for a while, as when the Blue Angels are flying, for example.
2:27 PM: Mariners spokesperson Rebecca Hale replies, “We did inform media this morning of the possibility of the fly-over. As it was weather dependent, we weren’t sure it was going to happen until the last minute.” Of the many media lists WSB is on, somehow we weren’t on the M’s list, but we’re fixing that.