West Seattle, Washington
If you’ve noticed bicyclists with numbered bibs riding northbound and eastbound along the West Seattle shoreline today – they’re finishing the longest route of the cancer-research-fundraising Obliteride, its two-day, 150-mile route. Many are pausing at a rest stop at the Marshall Reserve greenspace on Duwamish Head:
Obliteride also offered 10-, 25-, 50-, and 100-mile routes, all starting from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (which presents and benefits from Obliteride) and finishing at Gas Works Park. The 150-mile route was the only one going through this area. In all, organizers say more than 1,000 people are participating in Obliteride this year.
Maybe you saw the flyby too – Rosie asked about it via the WSB Facebook page, almost concurrently with that photo arriving in the WSB inbox courtesy of Keefe Leung. That was the Europe-based Breitling Jet Team, which performed at Seafair last weekend, leaving around 4:45 today. Keefe reports, “They did a couple photo-op passes in formations with the downtown skyline before continuing north.” They fly seven Czech-made L-39C Albatros jets; read about the team here. Next stop: Abbotsford, British Columbia.
If you’ve been to Seacrest today and noticed the photography crew … including support RVs along Harbor Avenue to the east … here’s what’s up: After getting a tip from Sunny, we headed over for a look. It’s a photo shoot for Timberland Shoes. A crew member told us the bicycles in our photo are among the props and also mentioned they’ll be shooting tomorrow at nearby Don Armeni (where “no parking” signs are already up).
Every so often, we get a sighting of a powered* paraglider flying over West Seattle shores – here’s our photo from April, and a reader pic from February. Then today – a double sighting! Thanks to Gary Jones for photographing this pair’s Alki flyby. Must be at least a few degrees cooler up there!
*Added “powered” per comment discussion – thanks as always.
Carolyn shared that photo via the WSB Facebook page and wondered what was happening; we just went over to find out. A dozen or so people are camped out on the sidewalk east of Seacrest for the second-to-last in a series of “educational sleepouts” organized by the homelessness advocacy/shelter-operating organization SHARE/WHEEL. According to the flyer they gave us, the location for this one was chosen because they think that some of the money the county is spending on the Water Taxi – which was finishing its late-night runs when we stopped by – should go to SHARE instead, to help pay for shelter operations, which they say were affected by a county budget cut. The group has had “sleepout” protests before, including one we covered in 2009 outside then-Mayor Greg Nickels’ house in North Admiral. Its final sleepout in this series is Monday night in Georgetown; details are on the SHARE/WHEEL website. They told us they’ll be on the sidewalk by Seacrest until about 9 am tomorrow.
In case you pass by that truck and several others accompanying a video/film crew on the west side of California SW, north of SW Thistle, sometime today and wonder what’s up … they’re shooting a commercial for Wave Broadband. The crew plans to be on site until around 6 pm. (Side note, since this made us wonder, being fairly close to this location: According to Wave’s website, the service is not available in the zip code where the shoot’s happening. But they’re expanding; we’re asking their HQ, which is in Kirkland, if West Seattle is in their future.)
ADDED: Turns out the company making the commercial, Spin Creative, is “headquartered on Harbor Island at the Harbor Marina Corporate Center,” per a note we received later. They also sent a link to this Flickr gallery of “behind the scenes” photos.
(Photo courtesy Mark)
Have you seen the sign? ALKI, spelled out with 53 rocks in the 59th SW median south of Admiral Way. We noticed it in passing last week and tweeted a photo, but got caught up in other things and didn’t get around to mentioning it here. Since then, though several other people have called it to our attention, and wondered whose work it is – we don’t know either, so we’re publishing the photo to ask if YOU know!
Headed home? Enjoy the sunshine – forecast suggests it might not be back tomorrow. Above, a paraglider was in flight again this afternoon over the West Seattle shore – we caught him headed southbound over Emma Schmitz Overlook/Me-Kwa-Mooks. Don’t know if it’s the same one we featured two months ago. Below, the newest state ferry Samish is still out on sea trials; we spotted it this morning from Charlestown Hill:
The Samish is the second of three 144-car ferries being built at Vigor on Harbor Island and is expected to start service in June in the San Juan Islands – but if you see a ferry off West Seattle making unusual moves between now and then, it’s probably this one.
Thanks to everybody who tipped us about what’s up in Seaview today, near 48th and Juneau – that truck is part of it. No, it’s not a movie – it’s the type of film/video production we see much more often around here, a TV commercial. This one is for Nissan, and the truck in our photo brought some of the vehicles that are being used. Unlike many West Seattle commercial shoots, this location wasn’t chosen for its view, but specifically for the house it’s at. The crew moves on to the North Sound after today. (Last commercial spotted here was for health care, a month ago.)
(UPDATE: It’s a memorial procession – scroll down)
ORIGINAL REPORT, 12:38 PM: Don’t know yet what exactly this is about, but a major motorcycle ride has just traveled through West Seattle – these photos came in via Twitter, as the ride headed westbound, then northbound, then eastbound:
Police stopped traffic on 15th ave sw & Roxbury to let THE longest line of motorcycles I've ever seen go by. pic.twitter.com/dwsRgzBPtq
— Kassidy (@kassidyv) April 18, 2015
— Cami MacNamara (@webcami) April 18, 2015
We’re still researching – if you know the reason/occasion, please clue us all in – thanks!
12:45 PM: Just found it via websearch. Memorial procession – here’s the link with details – in honor of 59-year-old Dennis Costello, who died of leukemia in February. His funeral is in Tacoma later today.
(Click image for the full-size, downloadable, printable PDF)
The native-flower photos, in montage format, were taken last weekend on Fairmount Avenue by Fred Weinmann, whose son Chris Weinmann shared them with us, to share with you. After a quick review, we suspected this was the work of someone more knowledgeable than the average wanderer, so we asked Chris. He tells us his dad – a Port Townsend resident who frequently visits West Seattle to be with family – is a botanist and former president of the Washington Native Plant Society. Fred Weinmann also has published a few botany books, as you can see in this bio from the UW, where he has taught. Thanks to them for sharing, and enlightening!
Thanks to everyone who tipped us on this one: Yes, there’s a film/video crew in West Seattle today. They’re working on a commercial, shooting at multiple Admiral spots, including West Seattle Coin Laundry and Shanti as well as the future home of Mioposto. We weren’t able to procure extensive details but did get an answer to the big question: A crew member said he was allowed to say it was a commercial for Virginia Mason.
P.S. We did subsequently contact VM’s marketing/media department to ask what they could tell us about it. Answer: Nothing right now; it’s top-secret. But they promised to let us know when they’re ready to tell the world.
11:08 AM SUNDAY: From the “in case you wondered” file: Here’s what the Seahawks-spirit crowd, with cameras and sound equipment, was doing at Don Armeni Boat Ramp a little while ago. We checked it out after someone texted this photo, wondering if it was some kind of video shoot.
Turns out it was local Zumba instructor Jennifer Cepeda and friends, dancing in Hawks fan gear (and recording it on video, link to follow).
With warm-ish temps and dry weather, perfect morning.
ADDED 3:17 PM MONDAY: Jennifer sent us the link to her finished video:
For everybody who was wondering what the Seattle Fire Department heavy-rescue crew, Ladder 7, and Aid 14 were doing at Admiral Way Viewpoint: Nothing to worry about – just training. When we started getting calls/messages, we checked the online 911 log, and in the absence of an incident on the list, that’s what we figured, but just to be sure, we went by to check, and they confirmed that they were just wrapping up with training. (Thank you to everyone who messaged/called us anyway – just to make sure!)
Seen at 35th/Holden in Gatewood (by us on Saturday, though we couldn’t stop for a photo, and then today by our Arbor Heights-based anonymous correspondent, who DID stop to snap it and shared the photo). Hope the sale went well.
Meantime, this gives us a chance to point out that today happens to be the exact midpoint between last West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day and the next one! Six months from today, on May 9, 2015, shoppers and sellers will swarm the peninsula for the 11th annual WSCGSD, organized and presented by WSB. (New to West Seattle? Here’s our coverage from last year.) As usual, we’ll open registration in early April.
Sometimes for Halloween, you visit a haunted house; these West Seattleites visited a firehouse. We went along for the annual Bright Horizons “costume parade” across the street to Fire Station 32 on Thursday afternoon.
Parents (and other chaperones) were there to record the excitement too.
Even the stroller riders were captivated:
Capt. David Pagan was going to sound an alarm so the kids would know what it sounded like – but then one came in for real (a call for medical aid), and that ended the visit.
They won’t be able to do this next year – Station 32 will be torn down, with a new expanded station to be built in its place, starting around the end of this year (we’re checking to see how soon the 32 crew will be moving to their temporary site on 40th south of Alaska).
We feature new Little Free Libraries as they pop up around West Seattle, as we hear about them – and today, Rose Sheppard from the Building Committee at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation sends word and pic of theirs, and its designer:
On October 4th, our Little Free Library was installed. Designed and built by congregant John Monahan, we love the Dr Who phone booth motif. It’s a perfect model! We are sure it’s the best British phone booth on this side of the Atlantic Ocean – and much more useful.
We are very grateful to John and proud to have such a distinctive Little Free Library structure on the south side (Othello St.) of our church property at 7141 California Ave SW.
ADDED TUESDAY: Thanks to Clay Eals at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing a new scan:
Another TV/film crew is in West Seattle – if you’ve noticed the truck and portable restroom along Beach Drive, not far north of Lowman Beach Park, it’s for the Animal Planet show “Treehouse Masters.” We confirmed that with a crew member on scene, after a tip from Dr. Bryan Wiebe (of longtime WSB sponsor Fauntleroy Chiropractic). Turns out Athena and Laura were also discussing it on the WSB Facebook page. The crew member couldn’t go into detail, much less show us the “set,” but it seems they’re likely to be there a few days longer. The show’s built around East King County-based treehouse designer Pete Nelson, featured recently by The Seattle Times (WSB partner). His show is in its second season; we’ll keep watch for the West Seattle edition!
From the Playa to the beach. Previously seen at Burning Man (here’s video!), the Tiki Tank turned up on Alki tonight. David Hutchinson photographed it outside Spud, not far from the salsa’ing crowd at Statue of Liberty Plaza, in what mashed up into a fine late-summer Saturday night at the beach.
ORIGINAL REPORT, 1:14 PM: When we noticed the tower-crane base in place at 40th/Edmunds, and then “no parking” signs for today, we thought maybe the crane was arriving.
Then, Andy sent a note wondering what a video/photography type of crew was doing at the site. We went over to find out.
It’s a shoot for Brooks Running, we learned on-site from Erika of Blondehouse Production. And they’ll be shooting in West Seattle again on Tuesday, just a few blocks from today’s shoot, over by food truck Beloved Mexico and West Seattle Produce – so if you’ve seen the “no parking” signs on the east side of Fauntleroy Way SW south of SW Alaska, now you know what they’re for.
ADDED 8:41 PM: Maris, who lives near the construction site, took this photo during the actual shoot:
If you’ve lost track of the project on that site, by the way, it’s 4745 40th SW, 135 apartments plus some ground-floor live-work units and a relatively small amount of retail. The site next door (south of the bank) is owned by Seattle Parks but in the shorter run will be temporary home soon to Seattle Fire Station 32 during the rebuild on its permanent site at 37th/Alaska.
… it MIGHT be the real-estate site Zillow. We got a note from Michael in Gatewood this afternoon, saying someone suspicious was taking photos of houses along his street. A neighbor, he told us, asked the person what they were doing; they said they were with Zillow. After we tried contacting the company via Twitter just to ask, they called us to confirm yes, it’s a project they’re working on, to “improve the images on (their website)” comparable to what you might see on Google Street View. However, the spokesperson assured us, they aren’t taking photos with people in them, and if you tell the photographer not to take a picture of your house, they’ll honor the request. Just thought we’d share what we found out.