West Seattle, Washington
Two beautiful sights, both from Lowman Beach: Most recently, that’s where we happened to be when we spotted fireworks across the Sound, over Bainbridge (visible no doubt to anyone with a north- or west-facing West Seattle water view). Turns out the fireworks were part of the Town & Country Market 50th anniversary party. Earlier, here’s tonight’s sunset scene from Lowman, in a photo sent by Maria Esztergalyos (thank you!):
Today’s beach volleyball on Alki wasn’t just any old sporting day at the beach — this was the first time the EVP Tour stopped @ Alki, and the first time Comcast taped beach volleyball for broadcast. We dropped by the women’s championship match in late afternoon; it featured local standout Bri Murray, one of the Northwest’s top-ranked beach-volleyball players:
Bri and her partner Wendy Stammer (from Tigard, OR) won the first set; we couldn’t stay to see how the whole match turned out, but expect to find it online later.
The weather was iffy, with light showers passing through early on, but the sun prevailed, gracing scenery including the Golden Princess passing by after sailaway for its Alaska cruise:
You may see some of the players around WS tonight, as an afterparty was planned at Rocksport. Video of today’s games is supposed to be available via Comcast Digital “On Demand” programming starting September 10th.
(PHOTOS ADDED BELOW @ 7:45 PM) WSB reader Venkat sends along the story of someone whose erratic drive up and down the Gatewood Hill stretch of Cali apparently didn’t go too well:
We were having coffee at Ladro when we saw a car with a flat tire driving along. Didn’t think anything of it, and about 2 minutes later saw sirens going the opposite direction. About 10 minutes later, after finishing up coffee, we saw police cars towards the Thriftway, when we took a look, sure enough it was the flat tire car, with the driver in the back of the police car (i.e., in custody).
When we were headed back home, up California (towards Thistle) we saw a sign had been knocked down. I thought I saw a wheel mark on the lawn of the sidewalk. We talked to some of the neighbors and someone drove their car around 70 mph, up the sidewalk, knocked over a street sign, crashed into a generator, and drove off down to Ladro (where we saw the car).
I think no injuries were sustained (except for the transformer, and someone’s railing and front yard) but it was an odd incident.
7:45 PM UPDATE: Finally found the spot after our second drive-by along the hill. Note in the second photo, the offending vehicle left something telltale behind.
That’s the salute rowers got as they passed the finish buoy this morning at the Sound Rowers-sponsored Great Cross-Sound Race from Alki to Bainbridge and back. Here are the 60-plus participant boats as they lined up just before the 9 am start:
Less than 52 minutes later, the winner finished the 7 1/2-mile course. Here he is, Evan Jacobs (who with a partner finished first last year too), coming ashore:
Next to finish, the team of Todd Silver and Rainer Storb (fifth place last year). As the dozens of others continued to arrive at the finish buoy, each one got the hearty “Way to be!” and an air-horn blast from race managers at a tent by the bathhouse. Alki spectators’ side note: A few other inspirational feats of physical achievement will be making their way along Alki, on land, soon — Courtney wrote to tell us that it’s just been announced that the Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk will include Alki this year, with a cheering station to be set up in the 1700 block on Sunday, September 9th, between 7:40 and 10:15 in the morning; we also heard today from organizers of One Race/One Village, a fundraiser 5K happening on Alki on October 6th.
Pacino’s Coffee (5605 Delridge, barely half a mile south of the new Bubbles on Delridge) is now open. They’re offering all drinks @ $1.49 (plus tax) to celebrate their grand opening, at least as of when we stopped in a short time ago. Notable interior feature: a mural on the back wall (photo @ right from mural artist Alexi’s MySpace site).
There’s a new link in the gray navigation bar atop the Admiral Theater home page, enticingly titled FREE TICKETS. Click it and you’ll find this page about its restoration project. Donate $40 and they promise a name plate on a new seat, plus two tickets to any regular Admiral showing. Photos on the page include two historic pix, 1930 and 1949.
We noticed it while out walking in our Upper Fauntleroy hood a little while ago, and some readers wrote us that they saw it too: this mysterious white plane doing low circles over WS. We tried calling the FAA to find out what they knew; their 866-TELL-FAA hotline was amazingly unhelpful, and when we finally found a local number, they were closed, with a recording “leave a message.” Here’s hoping it’s nothing to worry about. We would speculate the dark object hanging off the side might be a camera, though we thought more aerial photography is done with helicopters than planes. Any enlightenment welcome. 9:45 PM SEMI-UPDATE: We think we at least know whose plane it was; an e-mail tip says a call to 911 yielded a mention that a State Patrol plane was in the area — this article about those planes mentions the camera mounted in a “black bubble” on the side.
Its proprietor tells WSB “things are moving along well” — they’re now drywalling inside, and hoping to open in about a month, though he adds it’s been tough to nail down a date (so many factors outside a would-be entrepreneur’s control, as we have learned while watching other new WS businesses-in-progress).
With school starting in less than 2 weeks, the machinery’s starting to rumble for kid activities too. WeÃ‚Â got e-mailÃ‚Â this week from Camp Fire USA, which wants WS families to know it’s starting registration for group programs (and in addition to what’s mentioned in that link, even has a preschooler-level program for kids as young as three; Camp Fire offers “community family clubs” too).Ã‚Â We have a soft spot for Camp Fire; one of us was a Blue Bird way back whenÃ‚Â (and was sad to learn whileÃ‚Â working onÃ‚Â this post that the Blue Bird designation was retired in ’89).
Last weekend in August, and we just can’t bear to see any more rain. We’ve got rowing & volleyball at Alki, the Art in Nature Festival, a narrated history walk around eastern WS, and a job fair (today!) … 31 ways to have fun without leaving the peninsula:Read More
This is it … the final weekday morning of the I-5 work that once swamped us in speculation that West Seattle would be cut off from the rest of the known world. The state still promises it’ll all be over by this time tomorrow; all we’ll have to show for it is a slightly smoother drive on part of 5, and the knowledge we are flexible enough to try alternative means of commuting when we absolutely have to. Next up: “Early work” to shore up part of The Viaduct, though the state’s latest handout materials (page 5) promise that won’t involve lane closures.
Just one week till construction starts “in earnest” on Ercolini Park west of The Junction, according to Bill Barna, one of the neighbors who’ve been leading the drive to make it reality. He sent us a photo (below) showing the park site tarped over after city crews busted sod to clear the lot in preparation. Just one little thing preventing everything from being perfect … the last leg of their fundraising effort is a few thousand $ short, which could affect how EP ultimately looks and functions. If you can help, they’re taking donations quick ‘n’ easy online.
One loose end from our report on Starbucks moving into Jefferson Square is now tied up: Starbucks says it’s moving into the Infinity Espresso spot (not the former Washington Federal spot), and hoping to open around the holidays.
South WS drivers beware: Seattle city crews have stepped up the drainage work at the south end of the Cali straightaway (Cali/Thistle) and, a block downhill, next to the Thistle/Northrop sinkhole that opened in the deluge before last December’s windstorm. Heavy equipment tore up more pavement today at Cali/Thistle (photo below) and the Thistle/Northrop bend is squeezed to one lane.
Two retail notes from Alki this afternoon: First, if you look down 61st, you’ll see this umbrella right by the Homestead:
Thanks to the Alki Beach Community group on Yahoo! for tipping us to the little produce stand now set up under that umbrella. Fruit on one side, vegetables on the other, all organic, obtained from Charlie’s Produce. According to what Homestead owner Tom Lin told the ABC group, its operator is a UW student named Eric. First place on Alki you can buy uncooked food since Alki Market shut down again. Speaking of that space …
… that’s the scene next to Cactus, as the future All the Best Pet Care continues getting ready for business. This will be West Seattle’s northernmost pet-stuff store, joining (north to south) Mud Bay, Next to Nature, Petco, Pet Elements, and Pet Pros.
Just a few one-time only events in this advance alert (much more tomorrow morning in our weekly WS Weekend Lineup):
SATURDAY: The Great Cross-Sound Race, with rowers going from Alki to Bainbridge and back.
We were so hoping to snag a pretty summer sunset photo tonight for the first time in a while. The clouds refused to cooperate. So instead, in case you didn’t get to go out and enjoy it, here’s actual proof that summer returned for a while this afternoon …. honest.