The photo is courtesy of a North Admiral resident who doesn’t want to be identified but wrote, “Looks like the leprechauns finally woke up from their 2-month nap and refreshed the green stripe on 41st (behind Metropolitan Market) last night. They even did the shamrock at the end. Was it a special Irish saint’s day? Or just a delay due to rain? Either way, we’re glad it’s back!” We looked up Irish holidays; nothing. Today is exactly two months since St. Patrick’s Day – when the stripe usually turns up “refreshed” – perhaps May was confused with March? Or, someone decided to make it a Syttende Mai stripe instead?
(Thanks to Babs for the motorcade photo)
ORIGINAL 5:13 PM REPORT: We’ve gotten a couple messages about a motorcade in the Alki area. We’re told it’s for the president of Bulgaria, who has indeed been visiting Seattle. Earlier today, first-year President Rosen Prevneliev was on Capitol Hill. While in the area, he’s also met with Bill Gates. He’s in the area to drum up U.S. interest in Bulgarian business and is also visiting the “other” U.S. tech hub, Silicon Valley.
8:07 PM UPDATE: President Prevneliev has moved on, according to a WSB’er who called to say the motorcade had (temporarily) shut down I-5. Commenter WS says he was visiting The Pacific Institute, which is on Harbor Avenue SW between Salty’s and Seacrest; we passed by briefly en route to another story and noted the motorcycle officers were parked right across the street from the Institute.
(Event photos courtesy FOCUS News Agency, used with permission)
ADDED EARLY THURSDAY: Thanks to Bulgaria’s FOCUS News Agency for sharing photos from the West Seattle event; their correspondent reports that President Prevneliev told members of Seattle’s Bulgarian community that he is working to build trust between citizens and their political leaders, and that he is working on a long-term development plan for the country, including a proposed technology park.
FOCUS reports that about 40 people met with President Plevneliev during his West Seattle stop, including Bulgaria’s Ambassador to the United States, Elena Poptodorova, and the U.S. Ambassador to Bulgaria, James Warlick, who has been tweeting about the trip:
— James Warlick (@AmbJamesWarlick) May 16, 2012
The president’s Silicon Valley itinerary Thursday includes a stop at Google HQ.
If you’ve noticed trucks like these around the Admiral District – including around Hiawatha Community Center – no, it’s NOT a movie crew; it’s World Famous Inc., shooting a corporate video for Microsoft. Thanks to Forest for the heads-up about an alert posted at Hiawatha in advance of the shoot, which caught lots of attention this morning (thanks also to those who texted and e-mailed!). The crew told us they’ll be around till noon or so, and that they chose West Seattle for their backdrop just because it’s scenic! (P.S. According to the Seattle Office of Film and Music‘s website, corporate/commercial production like this comprises a third of the “permitted filmwork” in our city.)
600+ peeps in a Lowman Beach-area yard, said the e-mail tip from Scott. So we had to go take a peep – er, peek – for ourselves.
We didn’t count them, but we’ll take his word for it. Pastel bunny Peeps, to be specific, all over the lawn. And even in the bushes, with some of their faceless marshmallow cousins:
P.S. For other Peeps creations, check out the gallery from our partners at the Seattle Times.
The tree stump on the KeyBank corner of the California-Alaska intersection (aka “Walk All Ways”) in The Junction has a new decoration. A tipster e-mailed us early today to say it had been “yarn-bombed” overnight. First one of those we’ve heard of/seen in a while. The tipster’s photo was too small to use, so we stopped by while in The Junction a little while ago to get this one.
Everybody has a specialty. One of Mark Bourne‘s specialties is spotting appearances of The Grouchos – the mysteriously appearing and disappearing Groucho Marx likenesses seen alongside the West Seattle Bridge over (at least) the last five years. He just spotted them somewhere they haven’t been seen before, and writes about it here.
First, “Mount Costco” – now, “Mount Westwood,” and a determined (?) driver. Thanks to Johnston for the photo.
One of those days where, as the old saying goes, it’s raining cats and Dawgs. Yes, Dawgs, as in the Apple Cup-victorious University of Washington Huskies … and that win meant Washington State University Cougars fan Conor lost his bet. We found him in Morgan Junction, in the wind and the rain, wasting no time making good on it.
First, Grant mentioned it on the WSB Facebook page. Then Rosalie e-mailed a longer report:
Tonight at 9:30 while driving home (west) on the Spokane viaduct , a car was driving east on the westbound lanes. A little scary, drivers had to move out of the way. The wrong way driver made no attempt to turn around or stop, just kept driving along. It didn’t appear to be a cop or ER vehicle. If you hear about this from others I hope you’ll post something, it would be interesting to find out what happened. In order get on those westbound lanes the car would have had to come down the bridge on the wrong side…
We have an inquiry out to police to ask if they got involved at any point. (Those westbound lanes, of course, were to close about half an hour later for another round of construction work.)
1:43 AM: Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams says police did get multiple reports about the wrong-way driver, who was “last reported to be heading eastbound up Columbian Way, so South Precinct officers went to look for it.” No report that the driver was found, though.
Halloween creativity meets catch-phrase in North Admiral: Photographer/writer David Perry texted us (206-293-6302 any time) with word he was about to add the final touches to his gourd-geous “Occupy Dave’s Tree” display – protest signs. We happened to be in the area and detoured over just as he was about to head up the ladder to place the signs:
He says the display will be lit tonight for Halloween enjoyment – in the 2100 block of 42nd SW (map). … Here’s our list of other West Seattle Halloween sights/events.
We saw that group multiple times in the Gatewood, Fauntleroy, and Morgan Junction areas this morning, but couldn’t stop to see what they were up to – Volksmarch, maybe, we thought. Nope – now we know, it was another Seattle Stairway Walk! Jake and Cathy Jaramillo led another of their trademark walks, and shared photos – above, the group, 40-plus strong, passing the Westside Unitarian Universalists‘ church in the 7100 block of California SW, headed uphill/southbound. Great day for a 3.5-mile walk, reports Jake, adding that their route included the fabled SW Thistle staircase, and the Solstice Park stairs/walkway:
(From there, they passed the P-Patch pumpkin sale, we’re told. P.S. Jake and Cathy are writing a book, due out next August.)
The Grouchos are back. They’re tougher to see than during their previous appearances on the north-facing slope alongside the eastbound West Seattle Bridge (our photo is from 2007) – but, as Patt posted on the WSB Facebook wall today, they’re back. Until last year, they seemed to appear magically each spring. This year, it turns out, they actually reappeared a few weeks ago, according to West Seattle writer Mark Bourne, who had chronicled them in the past; we contacted him this afternoon to mention the new sighting, and he pointed out he’d already written about it (with new photos showing they’ve multiplied!). Who puts them there? Still a mystery.
Or so you might think, upon spotting this. WSB Forums member Bettytheyeti called attention to it there as a “Rave.” Betty explains, “Two weeks ago, the neighbor’s wife hand-painted a big yellow oval on the garage door. I went out of town, e-mailed home to find out what was going on there. My spouse’s response was that the superhero had moved to Seaview. That’s all I was told. When I returned and took out trash to the alley, behold the BATCAVE!” She adds, “I spoke with the neighbor yesterday to tell him I thought it was great and that evildoers should beware.”
TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE: We asked Betty to put us in touch with the Bat Cave’s owner(s). “Batwoman” Jamie answered a few questions for us via e-mail:
There’s not much to the backstory – Like Batman, my heroic husband spends a lot of time in his “cave.” The “cave” door was simply too large, white and boring not to cover with something! I’ve been known to paint flowers and cartoon animals around the house, but that theme clearly wouldn’t work for a Man Cave – it would have to be something more masculine. The train of thought quickly went from “Man Cave” to “Bat Cave,” and voila! As far as technique, it’s freestyle all the way baby! The Bat symbol is definitely here to stay. We may have to further embrace its popularity by dressing up as Batman and Catwoman for Halloween.
We are open to further suggestions for the plain, white, boring backboard…
Again, the Parade of Ships in Elliott Bay is scheduled to start around 1:45 – but that information is mostly geared for those who will watch from the downtown waterfront, so be looking out at the bay from West Seattle sooner if you’re interested, and keep an eye out here (as well as on our Facebook and Twitter channels) for updates.
For the next week-plus, the biggest events of Seafair are in the spotlight around our city. Here are a few notes of special West Seattle-and-environs interest:
TORCHLIGHT PARADE TONIGHT: You can get a sneak peek at the floats by going to Seattle Center 2-6 pm this afternoon for the “Taste of Torchlight.” Look for West Seattle Hi-Yu Festival‘s “Sparkling Seattle” float (seen above in last Saturday’s WS Grand Parade). Every year Hi-Yu comes up with a new theme for its float and button, builds it, and takes it to parades around the region – the last neighborhood-specific organization in Seattle to carry on the tradition. In the parade lineup (which you can see here), they’re scheduled to be #70 out of 106 entries. Other entries of local interest: King County Executive Dow Constantine (#10), South Park’s “Legacy of Innovation” float (#93), All-City Band directed by West Seattle’s Marcus Pimpleton (#95). Know a West Seattleite in one of tonight’s group entries? Let us know! Also, Veronica Pupava represents Hi-Yu in the Miss Seafair program – right before the parade, we’ll see if she’s chosen queen or princess. Meantime, some parade logistics: If you have to go downtown, here’s the road-closure plan; if you are staking out a spot, the parade officially starts from Seattle Center at 7:30 pm and proceeds along 4th Avenue southward to the International District, preceded by the Torchlight Run (which is what’s closing the northbound Alaskan Way Viaduct at 5:30 pm) – go ASAP! The front line along the curb fills up fast along the entire route.
After tonight, the U.S. Navy takes centerstage in the air (here’s our earlier report about the Blue Angels’ arrival) and at sea:
(Seafair Fleet Week Parade of Ships 2010 photo by David Hutchinson – that’s the USS Port Royal)
FLEET WEEK AND PARADE OF SHIPS: We got our first look at the U.S. Navy Seafair lineup hereon the website of a participating ship. While the Parade of Ships in Elliott Bay – visible from most of West Seattle’s north- and northeast-facing shore – is scheduled for 1:45 pm Wednesday, most will arrive sooner. That Navy page says the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) and guided-missile destroyer USS Sampson (DDG 102) will arrive Tuesday before 2 pm, mooring at Terminal 25 (just north of the West Seattle Bridge) and Pier 66, while guided-missile destroyer USS Chafee (DDG 90) will arrive at Terminal 46 at 8 am Wednesday. Also participating, according to references here and here, US Coast Guard cutter Mellon (WHEC 717) and, from the Canadian Navy, HMCS Whitehorse (NCSM 705) and HMCS Nanaimo (NCSM 702). Public tours of ships participating in that part of the program are set for Thursday through Sunday; more on the Seafair site, here.
If you can spare a few dollars to help fight muscular dystrophy, keep the cash close by as you drive through West Seattle – local firefighters are out asking you to “Fill the Boot“ for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This morning we spotted Seattle Fire Department Lt. Sue Stangl and the Admiral District’s own Engine 29 at Admiral Chevron; she says they’ll be back in that area and near Taco Time at 35th/Fauntleroy starting around 4:30 this afternoon, to catch people heading back home.
When photographer/musician extraordinaire Trileigh Tucker told us she’d heard a Google Street View car was in West Seattle today, we didn’t believe it until Meredith shared the photo via Facebook (the picture’s from Pigeon Point). Trileigh’s suggestion is that we all go put “I (Heart) West Seattle” signs outside our homes/apartments/whatever just in case the GSV car drives past. (We know they’ve been here in a previous July – if you look up California/Edmunds, the view you see includes West Seattle Summer Fest tents and road-closure barricades!)
If you saw a sizable contingent of scooters zipping through West Seattle streets, here’s the occasion: The final day of the Vespa Club of Seattle‘s four-day “Rally to Restore Insanity” brought dozens of scooter riders (a few of whom are pictured above) to Skylark Café and Club in North Delridge for brunch this morning. From there, they were heading to Vashon via the Fauntleroy ferry, on a ride led by West Seattle’s own Westenders (who have their own rally coming up later this month).
Maybe the endless semi-winter is really ending. Not only are there reports it might hit 70 degrees before the week is out – the annual hanging flower baskets have arrived this morning in The Junction. We photographed this one outside Husky Deli, looking south; crews are still at work moving them from staging areas including this one in the Farmers’ Market lot:
Just sent by Heath, with the observation, “How true.” (The structure on which the impromptu sign is duct-taped is along the Beach Drive waterfront, across from Me-Kwa-Mooks. It’s the framework for another of the wayfinding kiosks that are going up around the area – this one has been awaiting its permanent map and artwork inserts, as of our most recent drive past. A stretch south of this spot is in pretty good shape after a rebuild a few years ago, but further down, it’s arguably one of West Seattle’s ruttiest stretches.)
Looks like West Seattle’s YarnCore “yarn-bombing” guerrilla-art collective has struck again, just in time for May Day. Melissa was passing by tonight and spotted them in action (above – she says they made her promise, no faces); then we received an anonymous photo from someone else with a closer-up look at some of the work at the Admiral Way Viewpoint:
One other weekend sight – Eric Shalit shares a photo of old-school BMX (bicycle motorcross) riders who hit Alki today:
(Photo courtesy Eric Shalit)
He tells their full story at his website, Tubulocity.
(Photos by Ellen Cedergreen for WSB)
Whether they heard about it via Facebook (which is where we got and shared the word, after a WSB’er tip), or just happened to be on the boardwalk at the time, a delighted crowd paused to watch a dancing ‘flash mob’ this afternoon – at 4:30 pm on 4/30. Its organizers Stephanie Gaebel and Karen Klebs had explained it, amid laughter, on YouTube:
(The choreography was shared via that same YouTube channel too.) Ahead, photos of the dance as it happened this afternoon: Click to read the rest of At Alki this afternoon: The sun, the sea, the sand, the flash mob…
Just before 11 am, we stopped by C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor) – and discovered they were moments away from an Easter-morning egg hunt (unadvertised to avoid a giant crowd, they explained, though if you’re a C & P regular, you would have seen the sign). So we hung around for a photo, as the littlest hunters got a head-start on the front patio. Before that, we found a little holiday brightness at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, next best thing to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival:
(Skagit Valley, by the way, apparently is running later than usual this year – just like Easter – so if you haven’t been yet, there’s still time.) Then, further south, we happened onto an entirely unseasonal sighting:
The itinerant Christmas tree was spotted along SW Thistle, by Southwest Pool.
Gray day but we’ve seen some colorful sights in the past hour. First, Marguerite Lynch shared the news that her twin sons Sean and Andrew Lynch turned 13 today – and got a flamingo flock courtesy of friends, with the help of the youth group at Admiral Congregational Church (which happens to be right across the street from her house; we recently covered their flocking at Alki Mail and Dispatch). The flamingos are currently gracing Marguerite’s famous planting-strip edible-garden spots, as well as part of the rest of her yard. Meantime, in The Junction:
Jaesee the West Seattle “yarn-bomber” has struck again. We told her story here earlier this week, after her guerrilla knitting project at an Admiral District bike rack; this morning, she announced a new creation, and we photographed it while driving through The Junction (it’s at the southeast corner of Walk All Ways). First word came from WSB contributor Keri DeTore, who reported on the first “yarn-bomb” and got a statement from her – after the jump: Click to read the rest of West Seattle scenes: Birthday flamingos; Junction ‘yarn bomb’…
Got a note very early today that the fabled green stripe of Admiral’s 41st SW, near Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), has been refreshed, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day 2011 – so we had to send leprechauns over to get photos – including the shamrock at the end (in the 1900 block – here’s a map).
Thanks to everyone who continues to share wonderful photographs – particularly of our wildlife, plant life, and other scenery, as well as news events big and small, breaking and not (here’s how to share something, any time) – Top photo, Danny McMillin caught one of West Seattle’s eagles lifting off from a madrona snag on Alki Point today. Next, the sunny scene at Alki this afternoon, photographed by JayDee, who observes that warmth-deprived West Seattleites seemed like crocuses, popping out once the sun appeared:
And from Trileigh, tonight’s golden sunset, viewed from the Lincoln Park bluff:
More in queue for tomorrow already … more photos and more nice weather (at least by afternoon, says the forecast).
Increasing bird sightings are yet another sign of impending spring … This morning, in fact, we heard robins and Steller’s jays pre-dawn, and then we saw … pink flamingos. Thanks to the WSB’er who tipped us to the flamingo flock outside Alki Mail and Dispatch; when we went over for a photo, Alki Mail staff pointed us to the flyer saying the flock was placed by the Admiral Congregational Church youth group, who were in the flamingo-flocking-fundraiser business last year (WSB coverage here) and apparently are at it again (here’s the page on the church website).
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