West Seattle, Washington
If you’re old enough to remember the heyday of the drive-in movie, you’ll adore the Sidewalk Cinema movie series this summer. We decided at the near-last-minute to go to tonight’s kickoff — good turnout, looked like a couple hundred people, all gathered in the courtyard/parking area just east of Hotwire Coffeehouse. Not only was “Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit” a howling good time (our second viewing), the WWII-era Bugs Bunny cartoon and JFK-era school “instructional filmstrip” video provided some laughs too.
A few things we weren’t prepared for: would have brought $ if we’d known each of these showings has a benefit charity; tonight it was Furry Faces Foundation, announced as “West Seattle’s newest nonprofit” (can’t find a website for them, darn). A hat was passed twice to collect donations, and two items were auctioned at “intermission” — a $40 Hotwire prepaid coffee card (went for $30) and something from the “flamingo flocking” folks who also had appeared in the parade earlier (went for $17). Plus, West Seattle Christian School is presenting concessions — popcorn and candy, on the east side of the courtyard (Hotwire was open before the movie too; yummy drinks).
Next Saturday night, same place, same time (excellent screen/DVD video and audio quality, if you’re picky about those things) — movie will be Jumanji. We’ll be at the Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown instead (cheering for the Hi-Yu float! and anything else West Seattle-related, including Hizzoner) but if you’re not going, Sidewalk Cinema is a great time. (Especially after a hot day … on our way out, we overheard a guy complaining he’d be going home to the “hottest house in West Seattle.” I always thought ours was. Love the western exposure, except for those two or three scorchers every year …)
Not going to get to the Mega-Post till the dead o’night. So here’s one more thing:
A lovely senior-citizen couple in their military uniforms, with a banner on their car, “ART AND GLORIA/WWII AND KOREA/STILL MARRIED!” and a smaller banner, “ART’S 80 TODAY!”
Don’t know their backstory but they got lots of applause. And deserved it.
More to come later … gotta head back out to the next Big Summer Thing to Do …in no particular order, here are five of the things we noticed:
-Fine parade, as always. Ran almost exactly two hours, at least from our vantage point near the heart of The Junction (first sighting of the Seattle motorcycles up the street @ 11:19, last vehicle passing with the “Th-Th-That’s All Folks, See You Next Year” banner — new, and a nice touch, for the folks who are never quite sure “is this the end” — around 1:15).
-A little odd that the Rainbow City Band was followed immediately by a Scouts group. Perhaps in the spirit of “can’t we all just get along”?
-Also WRT placement, the giant Henry Weinhard’s beer bottle would have been a particularly special touch if it had immediately preceded the Seafair Pirates.
-The Pirates handed out souvenir silver coins advertising “Iron Horse Casino, Auburn and Everett” on the back. Just made sense somehow.
-The Vancouver Police motorcycle team TOTALLY ROCKED as usual. I would love to know how parade organizers manage to get them to come to the WS parade year after year when as far as I can tell, they don’t appear in any other area parade. It was quite fun to watch the Seattle PD motorcycle team members, who performed right before Vancouver, standing on the sidelines applauding, high-fiving, and exchanging salutes with their compatriots from the north.
YOUR FELLOW WEST SEATTLEITES!!!!
OK, this will sound treacly, but it’s true. The parade is all about people: The folks who volunteer their time to plan and stage it; the folks who participate in it (you’ll even get a chance to cheer for our local legislators if you are so inclined); and the folks on the sidelines. Every year we meet somebody interesting; you never know who’s going to wind up in the chairs (or on the blanket next to yours).
So here it is parade time — starting at California & Lander, on the south side of Lafayette Elementary, and rolling all the way down to California & Edmunds on the south side of the Junction, with a “kids’ parade” a little while before the big show. Things will probably be hopping till 1 pm or so; after that, you’ll probably see participants all around WS — usually the Last Resort antique fire trucks turn up down along Beach Drive, and the Seafair Pirates are seen wandering around in search of a tavern (things haven’t been the same since the Admiral Benbow shut down). Check it out; have a blast.