month : 12/2005 10 results

A neighborhood by any other name

December 31, 2005 5:57 pm
|    Comments Off on A neighborhood by any other name
 |   Seen around town

Did a double-take today, driving south on Fauntleroy just past Fairmount Park, in what we have always known as the Fairmount Park neighborhood. A green and white sign is up on the west side of the street, just past the stoplight south of the school, saying “Welcome to Fairmount Springs … our neighborhood.” Springs? As in, Palm Springs? (with which even Alki Beach would never be confused, and as a desert-hater, we say, damn good thing) Is this some subversive new neighborhood-naming campaign, like whatever in the world gave rise to “West Edge” in the downtown spot by the viaduct’s Seneca offramp?

Pothole Alley, perhaps. But not Fairmount Springs. “Park” sounds classier, in fact.

Coming up later … our West Seattle Year-in-Review. Highly subjective, of course. But bound to be fun!

Remodelers’ row

December 30, 2005 1:36 am
|    Comments Off on Remodelers’ row
 |   Development

All along the west side of California Avenue SW as it climbs the shoulder of Gatewood Hill, south of the Morgan Junction urban village, er, business/residential district, the old warbox houses are making way for three-(or so)story reworks. None, though, is quite as mystifying as this one. Price tag: almost a million bucks. OK, we get that, for a view house, but this one is in a spot where sightproofing seems as necessary as soundproofing. It’s a corner lot directly across one street from a busy church and school, and across California from the church annex, including more play space for the kids. To boot, the lot is right at the start of the California climb, right about where buses (and many other vehicles) start to gun their engines to make it up the incline.

We repeat — a million bucks?

Closed eye?

December 29, 2005 1:47 pm
|    Comments Off on Closed eye?
 |   Seen around town | West Seattle businesses

Passed the Cat’s Eye Cafe north of Lincoln Park this morning — big hurricane-zone-style piece of wood over the door, spray-painted in orange, TEMPORARILY CLOSED. Looked like something more serious than the holiday closures local restaurants engage in. Hope it’s not the same kind of “temporary closure” that bit Chez Million on Alki (formerly The Lighthouse Grill and The Point) before the unmarked butcher paper went up over all the windows …

Missed all the excitement

December 29, 2005 6:28 am
|    Comments Off on Missed all the excitement
 |   West Seattle news

Wow, how did we sleep through all this?

That’s one thing about our little peninsula … a whole lot of land where there’s nowhere to run except right into the Sound.

Let there be lights

December 28, 2005 6:05 am
|    Comments Off on Let there be lights
 |   Holidays

Some people can’t wait for Christmas to get here. Not me. The holiday itself always makes me sad. I love Christmas lights more than any other feature of the season — but once December 25 arrives, it seems half the people who put them up, stop turning them on. I know they’re not out there on Christmas Day dismantling their displays, but suddenly they just stop bothering to go out back and plug them in, or whatever. Personally, I don’t believe in taking down the tree or deactivating the lights until after New Year’s Day. This is still a “holiday week,” even if you’re working. So here’s a shout-out to all the fine folks who “let it shine, let it shine, let it shine” until the day they box everything up again. Especially West Seattle’s boldest and brightest, the Menashes down on Beach Drive. (But what happened to Fauntlee Hills, over the ferry dock? We took a spin through their neighborhood this year & it seems to be a shadow of its former self.)

“Impacts the site the least”?

December 27, 2005 5:02 am
|    Comments Off on “Impacts the site the least”?
 |   Development

Not far from Lincoln Park, housing developers have ripped out a phenomenal amount of greenery in the past few years, turning hillsides into homesites. The watershed is gone; the trees and bushes for urban wildlife, all gone. Today, one of these projects has turned up in the P-I. A developer whines that it hasn’t been particularly profitable, while also claiming he and investors launched the project with these questions: “What’s the best use of the land? What can we do that impacts the site the least?”

The article doesn’t even nod to the possibility that the answers might have been, leave it alone.

Not a real mall, yet

December 26, 2005 8:50 pm
|    Comments Off on Not a real mall, yet
 |   Holidays | Westwood

Westwood Village may be a mall wanna-be, and the addition of Barnes & Noble and Pier 1 certainly has nudged it closer to mallhood. But it’s never going to be a real mall until it’s got its own after-Christmas-sale mania! We’re just back from a trip over there and pshaw, no bargains to write home about. Especially Bed, Bath & Beyond. Quel disappointment! We couldn’t even find a $20 choco-fountain. B&N has calendars on sale at half price, but then again, you didn’t need a Magic 8 Ball to see that one coming …

Life without the Viaduct — or a replacement

December 26, 2005 6:25 am
|    Comments Off on Life without the Viaduct — or a replacement
 |   Alaskan Way Viaduct | Transportation

If you take the West Seattle Bridge straight to 1st Avenue South, or I-5, you might not care much about the endless Viaduct dithering. Same if you telecommute. But for the thousands of us who rely on that crumbling concrete lifeline along the waterfront, its looming doom is a matter we ponder daily, if only for the moments we roar along its deck, praying The Big One won’t strike until we are safely off it. Lately the discussion has focused on “tunnel vs. New Viaduct,” but this weekend, an editorial threw in an alternative viewpoint — why not just tear it down and stop there? Intriguing, especially if truly usable water transport could be mustered (for example, foot ferries not just from the Water Taxi jumping-off-point vicinity at Seacrest, but also from Fauntleroy, for the south end of our peninsula) — but does it have the proverbial snowball’s chance?

West Seattle hero

December 25, 2005 6:57 pm
|    Comments Off on West Seattle hero
 |   Holidays

The Seattle Times Christmas edition features more than a bundle of after-Christmas-sale flyers — it also showcases a nice collection of local folks doing good. Among them, this guy. Trivial side note — nice picture of our west-facing shore behind him, too; so many people think West Seattle=Alki=downtown skyline views.

The 2 sides of Santa

December 24, 2005 8:28 am
|    Comments Off on The 2 sides of Santa
 |   Holidays

Honestly, this is intended to be a blog about West Seattle — what’s going on, and what’s not going on, on this side of the city, the quasi-peninsula that used to be a city all its own.

However, today, while this is still in stealth mode, we just have to say something about one of the “who stole Christmas?” controversies raging wildly across the Web.

The East Coast substitute teacher who revealed the truth about Santa Claus to a class of first-graders wasn’t all wrong.

“Those same children are going to know someday that what their parents taught them is false,” she explained, according to newspaper accounts. True. Exactly why we chose not to start the whole Santa mess with our kid, and honestly, we’re surprised more modern parents haven’t chosen to go that same route. Were we the only ones who felt betrayed when we realized we’d been deceived all those years? Did all the rest of you really just go “Oh, OK, whatever, fine,” when you found out? Didn’t it make you wonder what else your parents were lying to you about?

And yet … there is another side of Santa, also represented in the article we read about the East Coast controversy. One of the miffed parents mailed the substitute teacher a copy of “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus.”

To this day, we do believe in that Santa — the symbol of unconditional giving, and therefore love. That’s the Santa we taught our kid about, not the one that scratches up the roof, tumbles down the chimney, and cleans out the cookie jar.

Merry Christmas. No, we mean it. Not just Happy Holidays.

Much more to come …