West Seattle, Washington
Perfect timing for sunshine’s return, as hundreds of people picnicked on closed-for-the-occasion 42nd SW between Holy Rosary Church and School, in honor of the parish’s centennial. A special nod to history lined the streets – classic cars, some attended by people dressed in fashions from when the cars were new:
Had to take a closer look at this beauty:
Centennial-celebration events continue on into the fall (all listed here), culminating in two special Masses on October 11th, with Seattle’s Archbishop Alex Brunett expected to take part, and a time-capsule opening too. (And before then, it’s Holy Rosary School’s annual WestFest, itself celebrating a big anniversary this year – the 20th – that’s coming up September 18-19.)
Thanks to Lynn Ogdon for the photo and this info:
After months of rehearsals, tonight is the opening night for Seattle Opera’s The Ring (Der Ring des Nibelungen). We have five West Seattleites in The Ring as Nibelungen. They are L-R (front) Shana Heavey, Chloe Simmons & (back) Lisel Perrine, Nathan Perrine & Jacob Simmons.
“The Ring” continues through August 30; more info at the Seattle Opera website.
That photo is above a note on the door of the popular restaurant Phoenecia at Alki, telling this sad story: Owner Hussein Khazaal has died unexpectedly, and the restaurant is closed until further notice. This is a transcription of the unsigned note from his family – it is dated August 8th (yesterday):
To our customers:
This morning, West Seattle lost one of its finest residents.
Hussein Khazaal, my father and best friend, passed away in his sleep of natural causes.
While this loss is devastating to our family, we know how much he meant to the community as well.
Words cannot express the sorrow in our hearts in losing someone to whom we were so close. He was far too young to die but we are grateful he went peacefully.
Dad lived for his family, which included his patrons. The restaurant along, with his wife, children and grandchildren, were everything to him.
Anyone who ever had the pleasure of knowing him can vouch for me when I say, he never had a selfish moment in his life. You, our dearest customers, were what made him happy. The looks on your faces as he took you to paradise with his culinary masterpieces brought him great pride and joy. We thank you for indulging him and letting him “prepare something special” for you.
We are not sure where we will go from here. There is a possibility we will reopen Phoenecia. We are confident we can prepare the food; we are just not sure how we have it in us to run the business he built without him by our side or if we can provide the same magical atmosphere our beloved Hussein did. Our decision will take time, thought and discussion.
Regardless of the fate of Phoenecia, we know Hussein will live on. Whenever one person performs an act of kindness to another, Hussein lives on. Wherever there is generosity, Hussein lives on. Wherever there is beauty in the simplest of things, Hussein lives on.
A memorial will be held within the week. We have not yet determined the location. However, if you would like to attend, you may e-mail me at email@example.com and I will send you information regarding the time and place.
Lastly, if you are wondering if there is anything you can do for us … there is. If you have any warm thoughts or stories you would like to share with us about Hussein or Phoenecia, please e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your words will be of great comfort to our family.
We will be in touch soon regarding our decision as to the fate of Phoenecia.
Till then we thank you so much for your patronage over the years, as did Hussein. We consider you part of our family. Thank you.
Just this summer, Seattle Metropolitan magazine hailed his restaurant as one of the Best of 2009. Mr. Khazaal first opened in The Junction in the ’70s, and also operated in Queen Anne before bringing Phoenecia back to West Seattle at its current Alki location.
He was 63 years old. (Thanks to those who called and e-mailed this afternoon to let us know about Mr. Khazaal’s death.) MONDAY NOTE: Here’s our followup story with funeral/memorial information.
West Seattle photographer Rasmus Rasmussen had an idea – and after a few weeks of planning, he’s set the time and place to make it reality: He’s offering free professional headshots to jobseekers, and he’s set up the photo session for 11 am Tuesday, August 25, at C and P Coffee. First-come, first-served, the first 100 people, age 18+. Read all about it on his website, here.
We got to Saturday’s 5th annual Duwamish River Festival at Duwamish Waterway Park in South Park just in time for the informal kids’ parade, featuring crafts young festivalgoers made from reused items:
This annual event is unique in its emphasis on education/outreach, along with kids’ activities, musical performances and other classic festival fun. A heavy-hitting lineup of government agencies, environmental groups and nonprofit educational organizations manned the booths – including the one where we found Kris from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which designated the Lower Duwamish a “Superfund” site in 2001, next to a display mapping key spots in the toxic timeline of the river’s industrial history:
The EPA has its own website full of Duwamish-cleanup information – find it here. The wheels of government-run cleanups turn slowly – take one hop to this page, and you’ll see another “draft” report due next year, and then a proposal in 2011. As for the history of all this – an even longer list of links is on the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition‘s site. Beyond the cleanup information, several booths offered resources and advice for dealing with everyday toxics, including the Vietnamese Healthy Nail Salon Project, run by the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (whose festival-booth staff told us they’ve worked with some West Seattle salons, but didn’t have a list handy). Another hot topic this year: Transportation – both what’s in the works (the Alaskan Way Viaduct project had a booth) and what people wish was in the works:
That hand belongs to Sustainable West Seattle‘s Chas Redmond, showing the stickers used to create that evolving display at festivals all spring and summer long (including SWS’s own festival back in May) – participants were told each sticker represents $500 million, so if they had that money to spend on an aspect of local transportation, what would they do with it? “Transit” was the most crowded section. (He and others are working to organize a Transit Riders Union of Metropolitan Puget Sound group to work more closely on transit advocacy.) The festival folded up as scheduled at 4 pm, but the Duwamish restoration work goes on, as does the work of restoring more shoreline sections to enable more recreational use – like this small park spot just a block west of the festival, nestled between industrial sites:
You can also get out on the river during a Community Kayak Tour, organized by Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Alki Kayak Tours and the Seattle Aquarium Society, during one of three upcoming Monday nights: 8/17, 8/31 or 9/14. More info here.
That “artist’s rendition” of a unique piece of stolen property just arrived in the WSB inbox from Gina, along with this explanation — and plea:
*6 Foot Tall Animatronic Gorilla Stolen from Youngstown Garage Sale 8/8/09: help us bring him home!*
During our garage sale (4408 Delridge Way SW) on Saturday, two men in a red Chevy King Cab pick-up truck license plate B67(—-) stole a 6 foot tall shaggy brown gorilla from our parking lot. Two lovely but unidentified ladies followed the crooks who took off southbound on W Marginal Way. We’ve contacted the police but they’re not able to help much because we don’t have the ladies’ contact information. If you know anything about or saw a red pick-up truck with a 6’ tall gorilla in it or know two ladies who stopped by the garage sale in a green Subaru hatchback, give me a call. Help bring the Gorilla home and slap 2 crooks for stealing in our neighborhood!
Gina’s # is 355-1170, though we would suggest first calling police. (The garage sale referred to, if you didn’t see the story yesterday, was at Youngstown Arts Center, with some of the proceeds going to the nonprofit Service Board.) ADDED SUNDAY EVENING: Gina says the gorilla “suit” was used as a costume in the Fremont Solstice Parade, and dug up this photo:
A week and a half ago, West Seattle neighborhoods had a heartening turnout at a once-in-a-decade meeting to talk about the “neighborhood plans” for the five WS areas that created them in the late ’90s: Admiral, Delridge, Highland Park/Westwood Village, Morgan Junction and The Junction. However, just getting people to the meeting was only part of the process. A followup meeting will happen this fall – but the city needs to hear from hundreds (even better, thousands!) more residents regarding growth and planning in their neighborhoods and what they hope to see over the NEXT decade or so. You can do that by taking an online survey. The graph above shows how response is going from the neighborhoods around the city that have had these update meetings. As you can see, Ballard has had the most responses … but they didn’t even have to turn in 200 to get way out in front, so with more than 35,000 households on our peninsula, we should be able to muster a larger response. Not that there’s a prize – although there’s certainly value in having a say in your neighborhood’s future. And the city Planning Commission makes it clear: Even if the neighborhood where you live doesn’t have a plan, fill one out for the one you regularly visit (that means in West Seattle almost all of us qualify for The Junction). Example – we live in Fauntleroy, but it doesn’t have a plan, so we’re doing the one for Morgan Junction, the nearest business district, where we spend a lot of time. The deadline is DAYS AWAY (the actual site says “Tues 8/12” but Tuesday is the 11th so we’re checking on the real deadline) – so please take a few minutes now – it really will make a difference.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: So much summer fruit is at its peak, and that’s some of what you’ll find at the Farmers’ Market today, 10 am-2 pm; here’s the “Ripe ‘n’ Ready” list.
CUB SCOUTS’ CAR WASH: Scouts don’t just go for woodsy, outdoorsy activities – you’ll also find them washing cars sometimes, like noon-3 pm today at Alki Auto Repair, where Cub Scout Pack 799 from the Arbor Heights area is having its annual car wash. What’s it cost? Donations, says assistant cubmaster Craig Harrold (who shared that photo from the “Crossover” event that’s held at Camp Long to “close the Cub Scout year,” he explains).
HOLY ROSARY CENTENNIAL BLOCK PARTY: 100 candles on the birthday cake for yet another West Seattle church, and today’s block party (42nd SW will be closed alongside the church/school) is the next big event for Holy Rosary‘s 100th birthday celebration. 1-4 pm, with picnicking, treats and – according to online discussions of the event – classic cars evoking the parish’s bygone days.
Yet another excellent turnout at West Seattle Junction Outdoor Movies on the Wall — a courtyard full of fine folks who weren’t going to let a little unseasonable weather keep them away from summer-type fun. Despite a full day of relentless clouds that appeared to have rain potential, not a drop fell during “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” Saturday night. If it had drizzled, though, most would have been prepared — lots of hats, since we had a tin-foil-hat-making contest in honor of the movie’s alien theme (the five-note singathon was skipped because your editor here, scheduled to lead it, had to rush off to the SW Manning fire instead). Above, some of the hat-making entrants; at right, the winner. The grand-prize package included free bowling at West Seattle Bowl, a WSB T-shirt, and classic movie candy; preshow music included, appropriately, selections from “Dark Side of the Moon.” Lots more photos in this Flickr slideshow:
Next week, second to last Movies on the Wall of the summer (ALREADY?) — “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl“:
Same place – courtyard by Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) — gates open next Saturday night at7, showtime at dusk.