West Seattle, Washington
Lagged a few days in patroling for blog material; big work project kept me megabusy. Finally getting out there and wow, so much has happened! Went through the Junction tonight, for example, and two things in particular caught my eye:
-The “Watch This Space” butcher paper over the ex-tanning salon next to Pagliacci is now replaced with hand-lettering for “Coming Soon: Clementine/Women’s shoes/Handbags/(didn’t get close enough to read the third thing.”
-Tons of motorcycles outside Matador (10 pm Friday). Is this the upscale sequel to Taco Thursday at the Alki Tavern????
OPEN: The Safeway gas depot on Admiral … finally … sometime in the past week or so; just saw it brightly lit and serving customers tonight.
ALMOST OPEN: Also brightly lit, signs and interior alike — Super Supplements in the Junction.
SHUT: Looks like the Cat’s Eye Cafe may have run out of all nine of its lives. Signs spotted on its door tonight indicate its fixtures are for sale. Some kind of construction permit is posted — though it’s so new, I can’t follow its trail online yet.
A few more details in today’s P-I re: Ron Sims’ “lots o’buses, no waiting” plan. Our neck of the woods is in line for part of it (somebody had to earmark West Seattle for SOMETHING, given the fact the monorail is toast and light rail is nowhere nearby) … but the part about “approve the tax, THEN we’ll decide the details” is just a bit disturbing. Isn’t that where the monorail went wrong — voters said yes (repeatedly), THEN a revolt brewed when some of the details (like the Financing Plan From Hell) appeared?
It was better to approach Alki from the south rather than the north. The traffic coming off the bridge was at a constant crawl. We gave up on the crowded beach and went to the Junction to be part of the ice-cream-seeking throng spilling out onto the sidewalk in front of the Husky Deli.
KOMO has the list of record temp busters here.
As noted in the Times on Friday, looks like the NO BOREN FOR PATHFINDER crowd may get some action. They’ve certainly roused a lot of rabble for a relatively small school … just hours before that article posted, we even spotted a car with a NBFP sign in its back window, parked not far from Lincoln Park’s southernmost playground.
We’re noting this as an excuse to remind you that the next round of school-closure hearings is about to begin — this time, with a hearing at each school building on the latest list. One of the first hearings is tomorrow (Monday) at Fairmount Park, 6:30 pm in the cafeteria. Pathfinder gets its hearing on Wednesday, also 6:30 pm, also in the cafeteria.
Spotted next to a doorway in a Westwood neighborhood:
(preprinted) NO SOLICITORS … (big hand-lettered PS) ESPECIALLY POLITICAL ACTION
Interesting quote in this P-I article on the flap over this weekend’s official gay-pride celebrations moving from Capitol Hill to Seattle Center:
Moving the pride parade off Capitol Hill, Benner said, is “like holding the Fremont (Solstice) Parade in West Seattle.”
Does that mean we’re too dull for words out here? Or is it just a geographic reference, and she could just as easily have said “like holding the Solstice Parade in Lake City”?
I for one don’t consider WS boring, although we could use a few naked bike riders — that would really spice up the Seafair Pirates Landing! And good heavens, you have to remember that the Rat City Rollergirls were “born” in neighboring White Center. (Still a bummer about that rink.) I’ll think of some other reasons we’re not boring … just give me a bit, still waking up.
For everyone who thinks the city should have reopened The Bridge more quickly after the killer crash the other night — somebody at City Hall seems to feel the need for a moment-by-moment explanation; check it out here.
Meantime, we’re finally hearing who those three people in the Scion were. I just knew it would turn out to be teenagers. What heartbreak for their parents.
Some of the news coverage of yesterday’s Bridge Disaster unearthed long-buried memories of the olden days of the stretch between 99 and I-5. It used to be a barrier-free high-speed death trap known as the West Seattle Freeway (or its official name, the Spokane Street Viaduct), with endless official protestations of “sorry it’s so dangerous, but there’s no room for a barrier” — till “new technology” was found and deployed six years ago.
Meanwhile, as of this writing, all looks well on The Bridge (note that the “Chelan intersection” link on our cams page shows the approach to the low bridge, if you ever need to check that out before leaving home). Some interesting follow-up stories in this morning’s papers, including lots of gripes that clearing away the wreckage took way too long. Still don’t know who those three people in the mangled, burned car were, though.
-A final word from today’s crash-caused traffic jam: While trying to get out of WS in the late morning, West Seattle Blogger Spouse reported a suspected sighting of Councilguy Dow in the next car. I’m a little suspicious since it would seem Councilguy Dow would be the first to switch to the Water Taxi. But perhaps he was just on his way to Seacrest …
-Unrelated to the traffic but vaguely relevant to the title of this post — when the street in question is Alki Avenue, anyway — today’s batch of city land-use-permit applications includes one from the Celtic Swell for a sidewalk-cafe’ area. Wonder if they’ll keep it open for the hale ‘n’ hardy St. Paddy’s Day crowd …
The West Seattle Bridge reopened in both directions late this morning after wreckage from the overnight crash was cleared. We’ve heard that the Water Taxi did extra business because of the traffic nightmare, and it’s adding some extra runs for folks returning home tonight. As of mid-afternoon online reports, no information apparently about who the crash victims were or what exactly caused the crash.
If you use the high bridge to leave WS in the morning, check the traffic reports and the bridge cams before you go — right now it’s closed both ways because of a deadly crash. Here’s what’s online right now in the relatively early morning: P-I, channel 7, channel 5.
If you’ve never had to detour around the bridge before, beware the low bridge as an option — in situations like this, it clogs pretty fast. Heading south through White Center and then north on Highway 509 can also work.
First night of summer, last day of school, whatever the case, a little edgy down along Alki Beach just after sunset — we were out for a simple “scenic drive” en route home from downtown, but things bottlenecked right around the Pepperdock — at least half a dozen police cars blocking off a side street, officers walking warily around the edge of a fairly thick crowd on the beach side of the street. Hard to tell if any actual trouble had brewed, but with the crowd so close to the traffic lanes, we felt a bit nervous. I know Alki’s been a gathering place for The Young Folks since the dawn of time, but this density seemed a little unfamiliar.
Thanks to a tipster for calling our attention to a CitiFinancial branch that’s just opened on 42nd, south of Alaska, across from Jefferson Square. As the tipster notes, it’s a banking boom in WS these days — with Viking Bank building a branch at the old Burger King site further down Alaska, and First Mutual opening its new building on Cali Ave north of the Junction. Maybe the attraction is all the new construction? Or perhaps just the people moving here to live in the new construction …
This first day of summer is also the last day of school for Seattle Public Schools kids.
Congrats to all for making it through another school year!
(No holiday for the school-closure hearings, though; the next round is next week, including two stops on our side of the bay, at Fairmount Park and Pathfinder/Genesee; then the final recommendations come out just in time to ignite their own round of pre-4th fireworks.)
Nearing our six-month “anniversary” (yes, I know, “anniversary” really shouldn’t be applied to anything but increments of one year, so I put it in quotes), we’re thinking it’s high time to start putting together a page of other West Seattle-based bloggers. If you’d like to nominate someone, please e-mail me. Google Blog Search is helpful enough for pointing out who mentions WS in their blog, but it’s a little tougher to sort out who is truly BASED here (like this guy who popped up on GBS for the first time; I love his phrase “all-day dad”). So suggestions are more than welcome.
Summer solstice arrives at 4:26 am our time on Wednesday.
(Suppose there’s any chance summer weather will arrive with it?)
Forgive me if this is old news; just happened onto the definitive declaration that there will be no “Seattle Music Fest” at Alki this summer. The Alki Art Fair is still in the works, though.
We were briefly puzzled on Saturday afternoon when the RFTC shirts on “Walking with Logs” were replaced with dark green shirts and a huge banner, “CONGRATULATIONS VHS PIRATES.”
Chief Sealth … no V … WSHS … no V … aha — Vashon! Seems Saturday was graduation day.
Meantime, if school zones are on your regular route through WS, it’s worth noting that the school year is almost over — Wednesday’s the last day, at least for SPS.
Drove by the “Arlington Northwest” display at Roxhill this afternoon (mentioned in “events” post below). One word: Overwhelming.
As we approached, the oldies station launched into “What’s Goin’ On” by Marvin Gaye. (Follow the link if you don’t get the synchronicity.)
The display is up till 7 tonight if you haven’t seen it for yourself.
Just back from Father’s Day lunch on Alki … and the parking-spot-search backups were intense. We went to Duke’s and had to park up near Alki Community Center. Driving back toward this side of town, we saw a huge jam of folks trying to get into the Salty’s lot. At least one person gave up, dropped off someone near the Salty’s entrance, and then went off in search of somewhere to leave the car — we last saw them evaluating whether they’d get away with parking near the Harbor Avenue 7-11.
I mention all this not to say “gee, don’t drive to Alki,” because I am aware we were part of “the problem” by doing that very thing. I mention it because the eateries just keep opening and you have to wonder where the cars will go. For example, compared to the 100-plus capacity for the future Cactus, how many cars does that little underground garage really fit?
BTW, on the Salty’s end of things, Alki Fish and Chips has a flyer up saying they’re adding an “outdoor patio with beer and wine.”
The annual Viaduct Walk on Saturday morning was moving as always. To truly immerse yourself in the spirit, you have to read participants’ T-shirts, placards, and signs. This time around, the whimsical included “Babes for Boobs” and a contingent with bunny ears; the somber included a pink-shirted “survivor” with a note attached to her race bib “in memory of (name)/we’re walking today together.”
Chances are you’ll read this on Sunday, when another potentially memorable event is scheduled to take over part of Roxhill Park, across from Westwood Village.
A tipster e-mailed to say he’s seen posters suggesting the music lineup for this year’s West Seattle Junction Festival/Street Festival, now rechristened “Summer Fest,” has some intriguing acts — including, he says, John Doe of “X” — can’t find any corroboration to that online but there does seem to be a tangential West Seattle connection; JD duetted with our resident rock megastar on a recent release. He also mentions 50 Foot Wave, whose own site does mention the WS Summer Fest gig. (The festival’s own site doesn’t list the music acts yet.) Tomorrow when we’re at the Junction for the Farmers’ Market, I’ll look around for the Summer Fest posters.
Just another early plug for The Big Parade. July 22. Be there.