West Seattle, Washington
This won’t affect your commute tomorrow – but if you use The Bridge eastbound, it probably will, starting Tuesday. After a complete overnight closure 9 pm Monday-5 am Tuesday, the eastbound Spokane Street Viaduct (between 1st and 4th Avenues) will be down to one lane for up to six weeks, around the clock, so the new 4th Ave. offramp can be connected to the existing roadway. Here’s the best explanation of what’ll be going on (including a reminder that the lower eastbound Spokane St. lanes are open in that same stretch).
(WSB photos by Cliff DesPeaux)
During today’s West Seattle Garden Tour (co-sponsored by WSB), that sign outside the Morgan Junction garden dubbed “Treasures of Strange Origin” told visitors how the garden got started. We don’t know if 3-year-old Kieran Peterman of West Seattle could read it – somehow we suspect he didn’t need to:
Also in the Treasures of Strange Origin Garden, Jamie Murphy of West Seattle was surrounded by green:
Tourgoers admired the many attractions:
And owner Andrew Malcolm took a coffee break:
The garden was one of eight on this year’s WSGT. Visiting a sampling of them for WSB coverage, photojournalist Cliff DesPeaux discovered other small treasures, like these baby hummingbirds at the “Tree Lovers’ Garden” in Gatewood:
And a bird bath with toy boats at the “His and Hers, or Hers and His Garden” in Admiral:
And an irresistible rose in the “Master Composters’ Garden”:
From the personal experience, to the big group – standing-room-only for guest speaker Willi Galloway of DigginFood.com, at the South Seattle Community College Arboretum:
She is an expert on what some call urban farming – growing your own food – even raising chickens in your back yard:
Back out in the gardens – the Master Composter’s Garden offered everyone a hand (or two):
Splashes of color delighted in spots like this one in His Hers, Hers His:
And after all, in the end, of course, there’s simply the beauty of the plants:
The West Seattle Garden Tour is a nonprofit event that raises money for local beneficiaries – this year, the ArtsWest Theater Education Program, the Duwamish Longhouse Rain Garden Wetlands, Highland Park Elementary School, Seattle Tilth, South Seattle Community College Arboretum.
The city’s new Walk/Bike/Ride campaign has issued a challenge: Spend five days commuting without cars. West Seattle resident Councilmember Tom Rasmussen plans to do it this week, and has an invitation for you:
This week several City Councilmembers and I will be participating in the “Walk Bike Ride Challenge” of Mayor McGinn. The goal is to convert two car trips per week to walking, biking or riding to shop, work or play. This is a great idea and sounds pretty easy to me.
If you would like to join me on my commute to work next week, meet me at Weather Watch Park at 4035 Beach Drive SW [map] at 7:00 a.m. [photo above shows the park & the councilmember’s bike] I will be riding my bike from that location each morning for the next five days unless something requires me to take the #37 bus instead.
I will be updating (my) blog (rasmussen.seattle.gov) with experiences from my commute trips. You can let me know by commenting (on that site) how you are participating by taking the challenge yourself. Here is where you can sign up and get more information:
Councilmember Rasmussen’s plan is particularly notable, given that he chairs the council’s Transportation Committee.
Last year, then-Seattle Lutheran High School senior Emily Meyer organized the “Remember This Benefit“ to raise money to fight Alzheimer’s – which killed her mom Betsy Meyer (shown with Emily at left, in a photo shared with us last year) way too early (the journey was chronicled by our partners at the Seattle Times). This week, Emily has another fundraiser in the works, to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of her mom, gone now for a year and a half: Tuesday night at Comedy Underground (109 S. Washington), hosted by Emily’s brother Alex Meyer. Here’s the lineup:
The show starts at 8:30 pm Tuesday (July 20), and tickets are just $10.
Not only was the centennial-celebrating courtyard by Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor) wall-to-wall with West Seattle Outdoor Movies-goers by the time the preshow fun began, Hotwire’s Lora Lewis says a few dozen people had seats staked out by 5:30 (about three hours early). Covering the series extensively, and participating as a sponsor, for the past few years, we can declare the turnout for “Mamma Mia!” the biggest opening-night crowd ever, if not the biggest crowd ever. Raffle-ticket sales raised more than $250 for WestSide Baby – donated prizes included cards for beverages/food at Hotwire, Elliott Bay Brewery, and Pagliacci Pizza, as well as a Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor) T-shirt. And then it was time to dance:
Therese from The Body Bar, one of the movie’s sponsors, isn’t in the shot, but she led the “dance party,” in the spirit of the night’s movie (a musical, if you’ve never seen it). The preshow shorts included a WC Fields classic:
The main feature started around dusk, 9 pm last night, but obviously that’ll get a bit earlier each of the next five weeks as the series continues, so our best advice is, come early (4400 California SW) and stake out a spot (BYO chairs/blankets). Next Saturday night, the movie is the ’80s classic “WarGames” – here’s the trailer:
That’ll be an ’80s-themed event (with a geek subtext, pocket protectors and all!) with sponsors including WSB, Skylark Café and Club (WSB sponsor), and Nicholson Kovalchick Architects. (You’ll likely see our favorite geeklet, aka Junior Member of the Team, assisting again with raffle-ticket-selling and raffle emceeing, though he prefers ties and vests rather than pocket protectors.) To review the full list of what’s ahead the next five Saturday nights – free! – go to the official WS Outdoor Movies site.
(The all-night moving operation ended at 6:25; below, our coverage as it unfolded from midnight on)
(ADDED 3:19 AM: Video of the 2nd half of the 14-minute process to roll the home off its lot)
ORIGINAL 12:20 AM REPORT: We’re here along 42nd SW, about half a block north of the Junction QFC, where workers are in the early stage of the delicate process of moving an old house – broken down over the past few weeks of work, so that it’s more or less a roofless one-story box – from its original site in The Junction, part of a future development site, to a new location in the Admiral District. Background and photos here. We’ll be posting periodic updates. There’s a dozen-plus spectators out here. Tough photography conditions but we’ll be rolling video when actual action ensues, and photos are likely to be easier once the house is closer to the street lights. The crew’s having a meeting right now, which we can hear from across the street – getting safety reminders from their boss, hearing that traffic controls will be in place at both ends of this block of 42nd as they get started soon.
12:59 AM: The block is now closed from Oregon to Alaska. The crews are placing long wood strips to create ramps for the house, which has been jacked up on wheels, to roll onto the flatbed that’s also standing by.
1:24 AM: The house is rolling down the ramp momentarily.
1:51 AM: “This seems pretty improbable!” the house’s new owner, Jacques White, laughed nervously in the midst of the first phase of the move – getting the house off the lot and onto the street. That phase is now complete. We rolled video (up later) – it took about 15 minutes, once the tow truck started to pull it down a wide temporary ramp. We’ve been told they won’t start rolling it down the route to its new site until 3:30 am. It’s in the middle of 42nd SW on its trailer now, engines off, while the crew does some cleanup on its now-empty original site. Once it was fully onto the level street, the dozen-plus spectators hooted and cheered. White says the contractor tells him it will take about six months to make the house ready to live in; he and his wife currently live in a house on the same lot, on which they once had hoped to build a new home – that didn’t work out, but the idea of finding a great old home and moving it did. Here he is, in a pullover with the contractor’s logo:
3:15 AM: Heading back to the site after a quick break, since the house should be rolling down the route to its new home shortly. Night owls can watch our Twitter feed for photos along the way, till the next update here. (added later) Here’s video of the house making the turn onto westbound Charlestown from northbound California:
5:15 AM: The house is just yards from its new home. The actual on-the-streets move has taken two full hours, with delicate maneuvering around signs, hydrants, trees.
Owner Jacques says getting it onto the lot will be tricky too.
5:41 AM: They are getting ready to slide it onto the new site.
7:09 AM: Just got back to HQ. As of 6:25 am, the moving operation is over; the house’s owners, Jacques and Beth, popped a bottle of champagne (and were giving another one to Alex Schenkar, their contractor, who hollered up at the end of the move, “We’re within an eighth of an inch – is that good enough?”).
(That’s part of the house behind him, by the way, formerly over the front door, removed for the move, but to be put back into place.) The last few inches were heart-stoppers, as the house, still jacked up on a wheeled trailer, was pushed onto a platform elevated over the hole that will be turned into its foundation over the next few weeks before work on the house itself resumes. The Seattle Times (WSB partner) was the only other media organization covering it from start to finish, though a few others parachuted in and out, so keep an eye out for the Times story and video too. Meantime, we’ll be adding a few more visuals – photos and video – to this narrative over the next hour or so.