West Seattle, Washington
Almost forgot to mention, Cafe Revo (new Italian restaurant going into the ex-Murphy’s space in the Luna Park neighborhood along Avalon) sent word this weekend that it’s obtained building permits and is likely about 6 weeks from opening. Proprietors Sean and Sofia Zadra Goff also have added a webpage about their in-progress wine list. (We interviewed them for this preview/profile back in June.) They also say work will be starting on a mural on the building’s south wall.
We told you 2 weeks ago that The Bohemian (3405 California, next to Spiro’s) was about to open; this afternoon, its proprietors opened the doors for a “friends and family” preview event (we stopped by for the photos you see above) – and say they’ll open, starting tomorrow, in two phases: This week, daytime coffee/tea operations; starting a week from tomorrow, they plan to add the food/bar operations. More info including hours can be found online. Opening day tomorrow, by the way, marks exactly a year since we brought you first word The Bohemian (at the former Leslie’s location) was in the works. (Next door, the future Prost West Seattle may open as soon as next month, according to a note recently shared by WSB’er Marco.)
A stretch of Beach Drive in the Me-Kwa-Mooks vicinity is posted for parking restrictions that kick in tomorrow (9/8 through 9/19, 7 am to 6 pm). Neighbor Megan says the SDOT crews who put out the signs the other day told her it’s paving work.
(scroll/refresh for updates as we add them; our pre-closure reports can be found here)
Let’s just call him “Car-Free Guy.” At about 10 till noon, making our last motorized pass along Alki to check on pre-closure developments (coverage here), we spotted him (and his pal in the background) out in the road, just east of 53rd, hooting and hollering. Will they be the most enthusiastic Car-Free Day supporters we encounter in the next several hours? Any time you’re by a computer, check back to see what we find out; we’ll be posting updates, with photos. (And if somehow you’ve missed all the advance coverage — the waterfront roadway’s closed to vehicle traffic, except buses, from California Way/Harbor to 63rd/Alki, till 6 pm, and side streets leading from Admiral etc. are marked off as “Local Access Only,” so if you’re driving down, you’ll want to look for parking south of Admiral.) 12:34 PM UPDATE: Remember, you can head north on 63rd from Admiral, but you’re going to have to turn left – this is the west end of the closure zone:
Other streets are blocked off sooner – this is 61st/Stevens (note the bicyclist heading beachward):
We’re leaving the WSBmobile in a spot south of Admiral and heading off to report, car-free, from the car-free zone, laptop, aircard, cameras, and all. (Heaven forbid they should ever have a Tech-Free Day!) P.S. If you were wondering – Duke’s is open:
(When this was first announced in late July, they were quoted in a citywide-paper article as saying they “might close.” We’ll post here if we come across anyone closed who would otherwise be open.) 1:17 PM UPDATE: We’re at Tully’s on Alki, where it’s undeniably quieter than it might be on a day like today – so said the counter folks to an inquiring customers, plus there’s the anecdotal fact we didn’t have to wait in line. Here’s what the beach looks like, looking east from the Bathhouse; lots of empty sand:
If you come down here, though, you must go INTO the Bathhouse – that’s where you’ll find (left to right) Colette, Shannon, and Kim:
They are serving up Husky ice cream during the Cones for Kids fundraiser for a Children’s Hospital guild – till 4 pm – planned for today long before the Car-Free Day plan was announced. You can go in from the front, back, or east side of the Bathhouse – there are family activities outside, too – a scooter course on the east side and (in the background) a “fishing” tank on the north side:
Though it’s quiet-ish here at Tully’s, most of the restaurants we have walked by seemed fairly busy. Notably, we haven’t seen too many people just walking right down the middle of the traffic lane that’s closed off – more than a few bicyclists, though, although they usually have their own lane anyway. And some have paused along the seawall to watch kite-surfers take advantage of this afternoon’s spirited breeze:
We’ll continue walking east shortly for more updates. (Couple non-police non-government cars just went by in the bus lane past here … walkers seemed startled.) 2:17 PM UPDATE: Now on the curb along Bonair just before it intersects with Alki (map). Lots of cars coming down the hill – they have to turn right here – more than a few coming by, too, so it appears the “local access” really is happening. Even saw a taxi while heading this way:
Biggest news so far – came across one vehicle that never did move out of the no-parking zone – got a close look at what was under its wipers. NOT a ticket – the golden notice just says you shouldn’t have been parked here and if you need to move your vehicle before 6 pm, find somebody from SDOT – the white piece of paper, by the way, is hand-lettered with “Car-Free Day Complaints” and lists a 684-something (that’s the city, usually) number. A non-city notice, perhaps?
Back closer to the heart of the beach – the most action we’ve encountered so far is over by Coastal, Slices, etc. – Coastal has the skating/biking ramp, as promised:
And a little west of there, some hula-hooping’s going on:
Next, we’re going to walk a little further east before turning back toward the business district. 3:01 PM UPDATE: Changed our plan. Decided to keep walking to the other end of the closure zone – to be able to chronicle what’s happening all along the entire stretch. If we hadn’t decided to do that, for example, we wouldn’t have met these fine folks, among the few who’ve actually set up impromptu tables in the street for the occasion:
Left to right, that’s Aaron, Carina, Debbie, and Sara. We found them hanging out in the 1600 block of Alki, “playing Scrabble and eating grapes.” Plus, they set up a pirate flag (partly visible behind them) “so nobody hits us!” (On that side of the street, it would have to be a bicycle. We’re currently stopped a few blocks past their table – in the 1300 block of Alki, on one of those delightful seawall-top benches under a shady tree – and still seeing a lot of bikers, walkers, rollerbladers, etc. Heading on toward “Anchor Park” and beyond, momentarily. 4:03 PM UPDATE: Made it to the east end of the closure, by Seacrest, about half an hour ago:
No other surprise sights along the way, just a steady stream of cyclists and walkers, like those in this shot from the semi-high-rise-condo zone:
Seacrest looked like a typically busy Sunday afternoon. We caught a ride back to the other end of the closure zone, where just for comparison’s sake we snapped another photo a few minutes ago:
Less than two hours to go and no reports of any real problems. We’re staked out for the moment right across from the Bathhouse; a little ways down the block, a TV live truck (no logo) is setting up, so you’ll probably see something on one of the 5 pm newscasts. Not planning on filing another update unless we spot something unusual between now and the end of the event – but we’ll be back to verify everything’s open when 6 pm arrives. 5:58 PM UPDATE: Heading back toward the beach to verify everything’s open again. The TV report turned out to be KING; though there was some broad hinting that “some” business owners thought business was down a bit, the only person who said that on camera was from Spud. We noticed things definitely picked up as the afternoon wore on; Cactus, for example, had an overflow crowd when we walked back to our car after 4:30.
(scroll down or refresh for updates; we’ll start a new post when the closure starts @ noon)
We’ll break our Alki “Car-Free Day” coverage today into three reports – before the closure (till noon), during (till 6), afterward (later this evening). First report – Just drove the length of Harbor/Alki starting a few minutes after the parking restrictions took effect at 10 am, driving westbound to 63rd. No tow trucks spotted yet. Did see more than two dozen cars parked in the no-parking zone, though, like these in the 1300 block of Alki:
Parking-enforcement golf carts and some other Seattle Police vehicles are staging at Don Armeni:
SDOT crews are starting here on the west end of the to-be-closed zone and working eastward, placing cones along the center line (the Water Taxi and 56 will run in the lane away from the water).
Heading back the other way shortly to see if any tow trucks have turned up yet. 10:44 AM UPDATE: Back at the police staging area at Don Armeni. Heading southeast through the parking lot (toward Seacrest), just got passed by several officers on Segways. Almost every type of police vehicle is here, including several motorcycles and one of the parking-enforcement Chargers. Still no sign of tow trucks, but looks like some of the cars we spotted parked in the no-parking zone back closer to the beach have since moved. Meantime, the SDOT crew coning off the bus lane has already made it to the 53rd Ave Pump Station zone:
If you were having trouble visualizing exactly where the no-parking zone kicked in at Maryland/Harbor – here’s a look, pointed southeast – this is right by the west entrance to Don Armeni – the street sign toward the right side of the photo is Maryland:
Heading back the other way toward the beach now that Hour 2 of parking restrictions is about to start. Once noon arrives, we also will report on the other side of this – where roads are blocked leading to Alki from the Admiral etc. 11:20 AM UPDATE: Only about a dozen vehicles left parked in the no-parking zone; most appear to have been ticketed (unless that’s something else in the little gold envelopes):
Honey Bucket’s putting out some port-o-lets in spots east of the main beach zone (since you won’t be able to drive to a restroom if you need one????). Most interesting note: Beach-route side streets from Admiral (all the way up to Lander) are already marked off with LOCAL ACCESS ONLY signs – this pic is from 61st/Admiral:
Probably one more pre-closure update to come in this post – then after 12 noon we will start a new post on what’s happening during the actual event, whether the beach is busy (or not, as some fear), etc. 11:56 AM UPDATE: As of about five minutes ago, the side streets were all closed off. Just a few straggler cars parked in the no-parking zone; still no sign of tow trucks, we’ll check later to see if they just stayed put (with envelope under windshield wiper) during the event. We’ll launch the “happening now” post in a couple minutes – just passed a couple of enthusiastic guys out in the street east of 53rd yelling “WE’RE CAR-FREE, HOW ABOUT YOU?” “Gonna be,” we replied. Will be hoofing it shortly (and will start the new post with the sign guy’s photo, provided it came out).
FZ sent e-mail to remind us all about weekly bingo at Alki UCC — doors open at 5:30, bingo at 6, and after some time off it’s starting up again tomorrow night. FZ says, “It is a fun and really kind group of volunteers who are trying to get the Bingo going to support (the church) … It’s not expensive … 7 dollars for the buy-in … (and) there are snacks.” FZ says the session runs till about 9:15-9:30; here’s a map to the church.
ALKI “CAR-FREE DAY” TODAY: As per beaucoup previous mentions – noon-6 pm, no driving on Alki between California Way/Harbor and Alki/63rd except for the Water Taxi shuttle, the 56 bus (here’s one reroute alert), and a few exceptions spelled out in the official city advisory; parking restrictions (no parking between Maryland/Harbor and 63rd/Alki) kick in two hours earlier, so they’re in effect 10 am-6 pm. We will be posting frequent updates from Alki starting around 10, so you can check here for the latest report before you go. Lots of activities planned, and remember the Cones for Kids fundraiser at Alki Bathhouse (planned before the Car-Free Day was scheduled, so they’re really hoping it’ll be a fundraising boon and not a boondoggle), 1-4 pm.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: Happening 10 am-2 pm at 44th/Alaska as always. Here’s our weekly link to the latest “Ripe ‘n’ Ready” fresh sheet, listing what you can expect to find.
POOL FINALE: Today’s the last 2008 day for Colman Pool on the Lincoln Park shoreline. (Here’s our report on its first day; seems like minutes ago instead of months.) Today’s schedule, from the Colman brochure: Lap Swim noon-2:45 pm, Public Swim 3-4:45 pm, Lap Swim 5-7 pm.
More of today’s options are listed in the latest West Seattle Weekend Lineup.
Tina shares this alert:
Not sure if anyone else has been hit lately, but we noticed this week that some 6-7′ heating pipes were missing from inside our yard. This is the second time something has been taken in the past week. The pipes were tucked away near our fence so the person or persons must have been searching. I know these “scrappers” may be after only what seems to be junk right now, but I’m concerned that once the well runs dry they’ll up the game. We have seen the infamous red pick-up in our alley – a couple of Saturdays ago, right around 6 p.m. We live on 37th between Fauntleroy and Genesee (map). Obviously they like this neighborhood now. Please keep an eye out. I also saw a white male in a tan/gold sedan (Chevy or Taurus type) leaving our alley (Saturday), going directly across the street to the north and thru that alley. I waited and they turned around at the end of that alley, which would be Dakota (?). I didn’t wait because I felt silly for being suspicious, but perhaps I should have. Beware.
If you wondered what a lantern would look like in the new Alki Statue of Liberty pedestal – there’s two views of the answer: A soft blue. That’s one of the lights that graced tonight’s sunset concert capping the daylong dedication event, along with luminarias on the seawall:
While the bagged candles gently flickered (with a precautionary fire extinguisher here and there!), Jeanette Anderson played piano, accompanied by violin, on a waterfront stage – hmm, how about an Alki sunset concert series next year?
A few more sights and sounds from today (besides the unveiling and ribboncutting video featured in our earlier report), just ahead:Read More