West Seattle, Washington
Two sightings tonight on our side of West Seattle have us in eye-rolls:
(1) A set of teardown-turned-condos on the east side of Cali Ave now bears a name on a big advertising banner: “NOMO 12.” Took us a block or two to figure out that “NOMO” has nothing to do with Hideo the baseball player or Stan Boreson’s basset. Though we can’t find an online reference to confirm this, it HAS to be “NoMo” as in “North of Morgan (Junction),” a la all those pretentious names you find in NYC, Belltown, other trendy or wannabe-trendy neighborhoods. Cringe.
(2) Someone has peppered power poles on the south end of Cali Ave with laminated bright red flyers shouting, COYOTE WARNING/MULTIPLE COYOTE SIGHTINGS IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD/KEEP PETS INDOORS! Heaven & stars, all the flyer’s missing is a picture of Wile E. Coyote with a big circle/slash “no” symbol through his face. We suppose “keep pets indoors” is a more appropriate exhortation than oh, say, “shoot on sight,” but really now. The anti-wildlife hysteria is a little out of control. Keep your pets indoors is a great idea so they won’t get run over; that’s a bigger threat than hungry wildlife. Hmm, maybe we’ll go make up some flyers along the lines of CAR WARNING/MULTIPLE CAR SIGHTINGS IN THIS NEIGHBORHOOD/KEEP PETS INDOORS …
Dropped by the Farmers’ Market just as the weekly Junction anti-war vigil was revving up. Week after week, those folks are a steady presence … it’s taken this long for most of the rest of the country to catch up.
The subject came up again during the Terry Brooks reading at Westwood Village’s Barnes & Noble this afternoon. (SRO — next time they get a best-selling author, a few more chairs might be a good investment.) Brooks (proudly introduced as a WS resident) read about a dozen action-packed pages from the forthcoming 2nd book in his new trilogy that started with the newly released “Armageddon’s Children.” (Might be more than a trilogy; he hinted it could be the first of up to 9 books.) It’s post-apocalyptic sci-fi/fantasy (our favorite kind, so we just might have to buy this book), and he cited as inspiration his concern about the way things have been going since about the turn of the millennium. (Sounds like his politics are right at home in blue West Seattle …)
All this, on the eve of the milestone 5th anniversary of 9/11; tomorrow morning we’ll look back here at the special role West Seattle played in the mourning and tributes that followed that cataclysmic day.
Even with the acceleration in teardown-to-townhome construction, West Seattle still has thousands of homes dating back to the ’50s, and earlier. We found out some of our house’s history not long after moving in — I was out doing some garden cleanup one day, when a man walked up, asked me a few questions about the house, then revealed his father was the original owner/builder. He told us his dad had to go off to serve in World War II not long after the house was done; after the war, he said, his dad moved into the homebuilding business bigtime, and the family eventually moved to California. (Whenever I find myself bemoaning our house’s relatively tiny size, I think of its original residents, who were double our number and apparently got along just fine!)
After this encounter, we did more research on the house by going to some government building (memory fails me) and looking up its original building permits. (You should still be able to do this nowadays; check these places for starters.)
I mention all this as an excuse to link to a few interesting house-history sites we’ve encountered recently while doing online research. One is this site set up by real-estate agents for a Fauntlee Hills home that sold earlier this year (though the site is still active, please note the listing is not); they went to great lengths to create a site with the house’s history and even old marketing materials for the area (if you’re not familiar with Fauntlee Hills, it’s the group of brick houses just east of Fauntleroy Church and the old school-turned-community center, uphill from the ferry dock). Another is the site a local developer created a few years back for a 1923 Craftsman home he rescued from impending teardown, then moved a short distance and renovated. And the third is a site for a home whose history is still in progress, a rather dramatic renovation project we’ve seen along the south end of Cali Ave. Very nice of these folks to share the houses’ history with the rest of the world!