Sure sign of spring

February 20, 2006 7:06 pm
|    Comments Off on Sure sign of spring
 |   Seen around town

Not only are the robins out in full force, I’ve seen the first homemade banner in weeks turn up on the pedestrian overpass atop the Fauntleroy approach to the WS Bridge.

If you headed to work that way this morning, you probably saw it too. I couldn’t read the whole thing — went by too fast since traffic was light — but it appeared to have something to do with the Muslim cartoon crisis.

Can’t wait till the birthdays, proposals, and secret messages start popping up in big numbers. And maybe this year we can get a banner up there before the July parade, since so many WS-ites seem, sadly, unaware of its existence.

Looks nice, maybe a little too nice

February 19, 2006 7:11 pm
|    Comments Off on Looks nice, maybe a little too nice
 |   Development

The Morgan Community Association site has posted the architect’s vision of what Fauntleroy Place might look like, in advance of an “Early Design Guidance” meeting next Thursday. (I found a closer look here — click the link below the image.)

West Seattle Blogger Spouse and I both asked the same initial question: “Where’s the bowling alley?”

The look is typical New Millennium Mall — a lot like the latest additions to Westwood Village — not the same architect, though (GGLO for Westwood Village, Stricker Cato Murphy for Fauntleroy Place).

The bowling-alley question might sound odd to you, but it seems relevant to the issue of plopping a huge new retail/residential development into an area like this. Perhaps everything around it will fall away and/or transform in time. Right now, my mind is hung up on not just the neighboring bowling alley, but also the funeral home across the street. Does it survive, thrive, or eventually get the boot?

P.S. Found an interesting link to the floorplans for Fauntleroy Place, for anyone interested in immersing themselves in every little detail.

Take one last look …

February 19, 2006 11:07 am
|    Comments Off on Take one last look …
 |   Seen around town

… at the Olympics today. (The mountains, not the Games.) Sounds like the clouds will return and the glorious peaks will go back into hiding, at least for a while.

I hear the Farmers’ Market is still open on Sundays. We might swing through to see what’s offered here in the heart of winter. Did you know that the WS Farmers’ Market is considered one of the two most successful in all of Seattle?

Opposite of “pipe dream”

February 18, 2006 1:42 pm
|    Comments Off on Opposite of “pipe dream”
 |   WS breaking news

If you’re curious about water pipes breaking in our sub-freezing weather, keep an eye on the city’s fire dispatch as-it-happens site (look for the “water job” calls). I believe I saw part of the problem from the one listed at midmorning in the 5400 block of California — thick ice in the gutter, a couple feet wide at some points. Go get your skates!

Out in the cold

February 18, 2006 10:14 am
|    Comments Off on Out in the cold
 |   Seen around town

20-something degrees at 9-something am — a crowd stood, shivering, waiting, outside a Morgan Junction business.

No, not tickets to a Barry Manilow concert. No, not one-buck gas. No, not two-for-one teriyaki.

Seems Video Vault launched its going-out-of-business sale today. Sign on the window says Feb. 18-25, “closing sale.” And more than a dozen people wanted to have first crack at it.

Well-worn copy of “Porky’s,” anyone?

Ringing up & cooling down

February 17, 2006 7:58 pm
|    Comments Off on Ringing up & cooling down
 |   Seen around town

A brave young lady has one of West Seattle’s worst INDOOR jobs tonight — manning the express checkstand near the front door of the Thriftway in Morgan Junction. She smiled bravely, but a shadow of a grimace passed over her face when the shopper in line in front of us remarked loudly on each opening of the automatic doors, “BRRR!”

Someone get that poor checker a pair of gloves. Or maybe hazard pay.

It could happen to you

February 17, 2006 6:12 am
|    Comments Off on It could happen to you
 |   Transportation

Funny, yet frightening — and practically plausible.

If only the people who shut down the Seattle streetcars last century had had a little more foresight, we wouldn’t be in this mess.

(When you see somebody weeping in front of the historic streetcar pix in the window of the Train Store in the Junction, it’s usually me.)

The answer, my friend …

February 16, 2006 7:18 pm
|    Comments Off on The answer, my friend …
 |   WS breaking news

… is blowin’ in the wind. Or so the lovely old lyric goes.

So then, you may wonder, what’s the question?

I would suggest: What kind of extreme weather are we facing here in WS? Right now, nothing much is going on but a fairly strong breeze out of the north. Keep an eye on the hourly observations (hint, KBFI is Boeing Field, T is temps, S is wind speed) and see if Arctic Blast Freeze ’06 makes it across the border, or whether it got hung up celebrating Jeff Buttle‘s figure-skating medal.

Cruelly early

February 16, 2006 6:23 am
|    Comments Off on Cruelly early
 |   Seen around town | Westwood

Wandering through the Westwood Village Target, a cruel reminder of how the retail seasons turn … bathing suits dangling off the racks, tables full of shorts, the “seasonal” section in the back corner laden with deck, patio, garden items.

All this as we sink into the coldest cold snap of the year.

And of course you KNOW all that stuff will be long gone by the time the real warm weather arrives around Seafair time — the Christmas lights will be starting to twinkle, and coats will be hung by the “apparel” signs with care …

Deep thought

February 15, 2006 7:34 pm
|    Comments Off on Deep thought
 |   Fauntleroy | Seen around town

On a blue SUV headed down Fauntleroy toward the ferry dock, this yellow bumper sticker with red lettering:

SAVE SOMETHING

So many ways to interpret that. I almost busted a brain gasket thinking through a dozen or so of them during the rest of the drive home.

Ice, ice, baby

When we moved into our house more than a few years ago, one of its selling points happened to be a relatively recent conversion to natural-gas heat. So much cheaper than oil or electric! … at the time.

Now, bills with LOTS of digits come sailing through the mail slot. And that’s just for the “average” winter temperatures we’ve had till now. Suddenly the big chill is upon us, the cars are frosted, my toes are frozen, and I can see far enough into the future to envision my first $200 heating bill spitting out of a PSE printer somewhere.

Jumping through hoops

February 15, 2006 6:08 am
|    Comments Off on Jumping through hoops
 |   WS & Sports

According to today’s Times, the high school on my side of the peninsula has a bit of a sports scandal to deal with. Just for once, I would like to hear about a school going out of its way to recruit students because of their brain, not their brawn …

In honor of the Olympics …

February 14, 2006 8:48 pm
|    Comments Off on In honor of the Olympics …
 |   WS & Sports

… I’m looking up West Seattleites with Olympic history.

First one I’ve turned up is Doris Heritage, an Olympic track star turned SPU track coach, who lives on this side of the bay, according to her bio on the SPU site.

That’s it so far … let me know if you know of someone else. Meantime, it’s back to the TV to ooh and aah and pretend I know the difference between a triple lutz and a triple toe loop.

Happy anniversary

February 14, 2006 4:35 am
|    Comments Off on Happy anniversary
 |   West Seattle restaurants

Was hoping to dine at West 5 last night to celebrate a special occasion — got there and found the restaurant/lounge was closed for its own special occasion — with a sign on the door declaring 2/13 to be West 5’s anniversary, and a party under way somewhere. Third anniversary, I think … well, kampai & may you have many more …

Mystery partly solved

February 13, 2006 6:55 am
|    Comments Off on Mystery partly solved
 |   Seen around town

Driving past the below-mentioned traffic-island decorations again, I noticed another one of the “Fairmount Springs” signs (which I’d blogged about in the early going of WSB). Two signs, definitely not a lark. This time, the search for info brought up FairmountSprings.org. No time to rattle around their site right this moment, but I’d still like to know, where did the “Springs” come from? We’ve been here for double-digit years and that neighborhood’s always been Fairmount or Fairmount Park. Any lurkers able to clue me in?

If we gave out “spirit awards”

February 12, 2006 9:32 am
|    Comments Off on If we gave out “spirit awards”
 |   Fairmount Springs | Holidays | Seen around town

… I’d have one for the people who keep decorating their traffic island along the west side of Fauntleroy, just before the bend into Morgan Junction. It was sparkly for Christmas; now its trees and bushes have heart ornaments for Valentine’s Day. I’m not much into “cute” but I still think they deserve props for creativity that just might make a passing driver or two smile.

Flicked off

February 11, 2006 9:21 pm
|    Comments Off on Flicked off
 |   Seen around town

Sigh, I do so wish we could see first-run movies here in West Seattle.

Since we can’t, I’ll spend a few lines on a theater recommendation. Not the closest to WS, but the nicest moviehouse we’ve visited in a long time — the new multiplex in Bellevue’s just-opened Lincoln Square. Mega-comfy seats, excellent concession menu, even the restrooms are nice (with all-black commodes, interesting touch). Interesting that it seems to be independently owned, not one of those mega-chains.

The extra gas $ we spent crossing the lake was more than offset by the free parking (our own city’s downtown has very little of that).

So if you’re tired of Tukwila, dreading downtown, but yearning to see a new movie, this one’s worth a try. The classic posters just outside the entrance are worth a look, too.

Paralyzed by possibilities

February 11, 2006 10:19 am
|    Comments Off on Paralyzed by possibilities
 |   WS miscellaneous

Saturday morning, sun’s out, no plans. So many places we COULD go … That is the joy of West Seattle. Parks, forests, beaches. No swimming this weekend; Southwest Pool is closed for a swim meet.

I’m just going to turn off the computer and force myself out the door. Really.

Second time around

February 10, 2006 10:51 pm
|    Comments Off on Second time around
 |   West Seattle restaurants

Went to the newly remodeled Spiro’s Pizza & Pasta tonight. Last time we went there was at least … 10 years ago. No foolin’. Went there once, not impressed, didn’t go back. Didn’t have a reason to, really, since the pizza picture here on the west side of the bay has steadily improved — especially once Pagliacci arrived.

Then came tonight: driving around with a West Seattle Blogger Relative whose hungry heart was set on sitdown pizza. Drove past Pegasus — no surprise, crowd spilling out onto the street, as it does just about any weekend night that’s not besieged with rain (or worse). WSB Relative suggested Spiro’s. What the heck.

What a surprise! The menu’s still a lot like Pegasus (minus Caesar salad, sadly). The pizza bears a bit of resemblance — crispy-topped cheese — but much more savory than Pegasus, and less overwhelming. (“Zesty,” was the proclamation of WSB Relative.)

The atmosphere, though, remains no better than what I recall from all those years ago. The remodeling work seems to have fancied up the walls (the baseboards remain glaringly aged), but the space is insanely noisy. My workplace is clamorous enough, I don’t need to deal with that kind of racket while dining out. We’ll go again — but next time, for takeout.

Did they say a MILE?

February 10, 2006 10:01 pm
|    Comments Off on Did they say a MILE?
 |   WS breaking news

First it started with a minor-sounding sinkhole … now it’s suddenly a major sewer-line replacement project along the beach at Lincoln Park (read the county’s full news release here). A mile? As in, all the way up to Lowman Beach? And will the four months be over in June? Gonna be some ugly overlap with the Colman Pool season …

Memories

February 10, 2006 6:19 am
|    Comments Off on Memories
 |   Development

The woman who inspired this Times column today had a kindred spirit along Alki Avenue not that many years ago.

I am fuzzy on specifics. But I can see it in my mind — one of those mondo-condo high-rises that went up, east of the beach, had to wrap itself around a home whose owner just wouldn’t sell out. Eventually either she sold out or died, and the home went away.

As they all do … even here in my neighborhood on the south side of the West Side, homes never seem to just change hands any more; if they are on land with even a hint of a view, the “sold” sign is followed by the backhoes, the debris, the new construction. We know we are the last owners of our little house, whether we are here six more months, six more years, or until the day we pass on to the next plane of existence (and no, I don’t mean Ballard).

Makes money, doesn’t make sense

February 9, 2006 9:47 pm
|    Comments Off on Makes money, doesn’t make sense
 |   WS miscellaneous

Just a thought, after a trip to the Westwood Village vicinity:

When Tony’s at 35th & Barton sells Christmas trees, the prices are as steep as Mt. Rainier.

When Tony’s sells fruits and vegetables, the prices, well, crater. Right now, a sign along the street touts 50-cent Hass avocadoes, available in grocery stores for a buck and up.

In other money-related news … looked up your house at Zillow yet? The values on our street are totally cattywhompers. Zillow thinks our house is worth exactly the same as the other half-dozen on the street of similar vintage … never mind that none of them have views.

WP-Backgrounds by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann