West Seattle, Washington
It wasn’t a “polar bear swim” that sent an international group of visitors into the water off Alki Beach – it was a warmup, so to speak, for something more hardcore than even your average polar bear usually faces. In a story broadcast tonight, our friends at KING 5 covered a visit by swimmers getting ready for next summer’s “Meeting of the Sun,” a 50-plus-mile relay swim across the Bering Strait between Russia and the U.S. (here’s a map on the event’s official website). Check out extended video coverage we found on that site – albeit, in Russian:
Our water is tropical compared to what a group of 30 swimmers is expected to face next July/August – average temperature, freezing!
The mid-afternoon high tide was receding when the wind started to pick up late today, but still good for some sea spray at Constellation Park south of Alki Point. The tide peaked around 3, but an hour later, it was still high enough to swamp a walkway at Jack Block Park:
Fran and Samuella shared the photo; that’s Samuella in the foreground – she says, “It was surreal, but also very, very beautiful.” (Tide-watchers please note, there’s a tide-tracking widget on the semi-new WSB West Seattle Weather page.) Though the wind’s had some powerful gusts this past hour, our area is not currently covered by any advisories or alerts, according to the National Weather Service. Tomorrow’s forecast? Partly sunny!
That’s Lee Bui, director of the Vietnamese Cultural Center in West Seattle, and daughter Lynda Bui. We photographed them late this morning at the encampment that calls itself Nickelsville – where a flock of volunteers from the Vietnamese community had come to provide both a feast …
… and flu shots (with the help of pharmacist Dr. Rosalie T. Nguyen)!
Lee Bui organized the huge Thanksgiving gift, explaining that every year, the center gets holiday solicitations for help, and usually donates money. But, he said, he drives by Nickelsville each day (taking his wife to work) – and after stopping to get a firsthand look, decided to organize something more meaningful this holiday season. (He says they’ll be back for Christmas, too.) The volunteers gathered under canopies for the operation; the only place to warm up was a campfire nearby:
The Vietnamese Cultural Center is in its sixth year of operation at 2236 SW Orchard just west of the Tug Inn, north of Home Depot; they’re open to the public for visits/tours noon-3 on Saturdays.
(P.S. A chance for you to help residents of Nickelsville is coming up on December 3, when Merrill Gardens-Admiral Heights has organized a “stuff the bus” event – here’s our recent report with details.)
Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering‘s kitchen at The Hall at Fauntleroy is bustling right now – we dropped by to see the comings-and-goings shortly before they started serving their traditional catered free Thanksgiving dinner (everyone’s welcome, till 3 pm, 9131 California SW). In addition to T&TS team members, volunteers abound – including those sorting through donating clothing items that are available for anyone in attendance who needs them:
This is one of three free-dinner events in West Seattle extending an open invitation to anyone and everyone this afternoon – the West Seattle Eagles are serving a “Thanksgiving to Remember” at their aerie (4426 California SW), and Good News Christian Fellowship invites everyone to the free dinner they’re serving 1:30-5 pm at the St. James building, 9421 18th SW.
(Click to see larger image)
One of the MANY things we have been thankful for every moment of every day (and night), in the course of four years of running WSB as a community-collaborative news service, is the fact that people share wonderful photos like this one from Mark Campbell, who wrote, “We spotted what we think is a snowy owl that was perched on a home at the corner of Stevens and 52nd.” He says it flew away just before 9:30 am. Various online photos seem to confirm the ID, and our area does appear to be in its winter range. (P.S. Speaking of snow – on Thanksgiving LAST year, we still had some on the ground!)
(UPDATED LATE AFTERNOON after a drive around WS revealed a few more “open” signs)
(Photo by Machel Spence, mushroom in Lincoln Park at sunset)
Happy Thanksgiving! Here’s our first round of showcased info from the WSB West Seattle Holidays page, which is where you will find even more info, including free workouts, free dinners, church services…
WHO’S OPEN FOR COFFEE: Here’s who told us they’d be open:
Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), 4410 California SW, 8 am-2 pm
(Barista George on duty this morning @ C&P)
C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor), 5612 California SW, 7 am-1 pm
Beachside Café, 61st/Alki, 8 am-1 pm
Bird on a Wire Espresso, 35th/Henderson, 7 am-2 pm
Caffe Fiore,, 2206 California SW, 7 am-noon
Caffe Ladro, 7011 California SW, 7 am-2 pm
Café Rozella, 9434 Delridge Way, 7:30 am-noon
Cupcake Royale, California/Alaska, 8 am-noon
Diva Espresso, open 8 am-1 pm
Freshy’s Coffee, 2735 California SW, 8 am-1 pm
Java Bean Organic Coffee House, 2920 SW Avalon Way, 7 am-2 pm
Pioneer Coffee, 2536 Alki SW, 7 am-11 am
Red Cup Espresso, 4451 California SW, 7 am-noon
Starbucks Alki, Morgan Junction, Admiral Way, 5:30 am-4 pm
Starbucks drive-through on Avalon Way, 5:30 am-5 pm
Thriftway coffee bar, California/Fauntleroy, open 5 am-4 pm (updated closing time)
Tully’s on Alki, open 6 am-4 pm
Uptown Espresso at California/Edmunds, 6 am-2 pm
Uptown Espresso at Delridge/Andover, 7:45 am-3 pm
GROCERY STORES OPEN TODAY:
Metropolitan Market (WSB sponsor), 2320 42nd SW, open til 2 pm
QFC, 42nd/Alaska and Westwood Village, open til 6 pm
Safeway, 4754 42nd SW/2622 California SW/9620 28th SW, regular 24-hour schedule
West Seattle Thriftway, California/Fauntleroy 5 am-6 pm
RESTAURANTS OPEN TODAY: Note, this is by no means an all-inclusive list – it’s who answered our calls for “let us know if you’re open” plus what we found online.
A Terrible Beauty (hours ?)
Be’s Restaurant, 8 am-2 pm
Christo’s on Alki 8 am-1:30 pm
Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor), 4 pm-2 am
The Thaitan, with full menu and delivery
The Bridge sent the most detailed announcement:
The Bridge will be open from 4 pm-2 am on Thanksgiving with bar service only. We are offering our full menu till 1 am, as well as our fresh sheet, which features an all-out tribute to Turkey! Turkey Chili, Turkey Tetrazzini, Open Faced Turkey Sandwich, Turkey Dinner (Green Bean Casserole, Cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy). For dessert, we are offering Pumpkin Cupcakes with a caramel center topped with a spiced cream cheese frosting!
(added 4:23 pm) Just drove around town looking for “OPEN” signs and saw a few more: Puerto Vallarta and Maharaja in The Junction; Admiral Pub with a marquee “free dinner till 6, donated money goes to diaper drive”; Alki Tavern; and even Admiral Jack in the Box)
Again, check the WSB West Seattle Holidays page for today’s free workouts and dinners.
TRANSPORTATION P.S. No Water Taxi; Metro is on Sunday schedule; Washington State Ferries have varying schedules; metered city parking is free today.
Elsewhere in the city, several big events will offer traffic challenges – as well as fun! – over the 4-day weekend, so SDOT has provided a weekend traffic-alert list just like the ones it routinely sends in summertime. Friday’s parade downtown and Sunday’s marathon are just part of it – read on:Read More