West Seattle, Washington
That’s the most-asked question of 2011. Corporate didn’t answer recent inquiries, so…
… two things: First, compare how the site looks today, to the rendering made public when it was announced a year and a half ago:
Second, we do have a very unofficial source’s recent guesstimate of an early-spring opening. It’s been almost four months since Trader Joe‘s corporate HQ confirmed the West Seattle store wouldn’t open till next year, seven months since the extensive remodeling began at 4545 Fauntleroy Way SW, and 18 months since the official announcement the lease had been signed. What’s taking so long? you might wonder. The site has apparently posed some challenges – checking the online city files, for example, a permit revision was granted earlier this month for a “2nd-floor parking level modifications.”
As of about half an hour ago, both Blockbuster stores in West Seattle are closed. At least one of them – Admiral – is reopening tomorrow for a “liquidation sale,” but no more movie rentals at either one. We’d heard rumors about the Fauntleroy store closing (confirmed by the flyer for its “for lease” listing, though Blockbuster corporate PR did not answer our inquiries) but hadn’t heard Admiral was closing too till a note today from Martin sent us out to check in person. An employee at Fauntleroy told us around 3 pm that it was their last day of renting movies, but she wasn’t sure when the store was shutting down; we headed to Admiral, where at 3:55 pm, a note on the door said they would close at 4 pm and reopen for the liquidation sale at 11 am tomorrow.
Circled back to Fauntleroy after that – and a sign had appeared on the door between our visits: CLOSED. (No word of any reopening, but we’ll take a look tomorrow.) Note that the note at the Admiral location says the nearest still-open store is the one in White Center. That’s also the store to which people in Burien are being pointed, according to this report about Blockbuster’s impending shutdown there. The troubled video-rental chain was bought by Dish Network earlier this year. The two Blockbusters were the last standalone video-rental stores in West Seattle, though offline movie rentals are still available by other means, such as supermarket counters and Redbox machines. (P.S. Looks like other areas of the country are seeing closures too – Google News Search shows a multitude of recent stories.)
Some Decembers have been too busy for the traditional “Year In Review,” but we’re bringing it back for 2011, in installments that will roll out, topic by topic, between now and, well, the end of the year (11:59 pm Saturday), at least one per day. Today, we’re beginning the rollout with a site-specific topic – most-commented stories of the year. (Obviously, with five and a half days to go, there’s always a chance this list – and/or any other one published before Saturday night – will have to be updated …) A few of these stories will of course also appear in our subsequent 2011-in-review roundups later this week. Here goes:
#10 – 125 COMMENTS
West Seattle traffic: ‘Worst morning in 5 years’ – but why? (May 11)
#9 – 126 COMMENTS
Close Junction streets for trick-or-treating? Mom’s campaign (November 6)
#8 – 127 COMMENTS
Zippy’s Giant Burgers moving from Highland Park to White Center (February 3)
#7 – 136 COMMENTS
West Seattle speeders: SPD stops a 42 mph bicyclist (July 27)
#6 – 137 COMMENTS
West Seattle traffic: 1st morning of Viaduct-closure workweek (October 24)
That’s how April Long captioned this photo she took from Alki, and shared via e-mail, this morning.
This year’s latest proof that “crime takes no holiday”: Burcu e-mailed late last night with word of a Christmas Eve crash (photos added 2:02 pm):
There was a hit and run late 12/24 (in the 4400 block of) 45th Ave SW. Two cars were hit by a Ford truck which we could see from the remains. We didn’t leave the house all day (Christmas) until 9 pm. There were 2 Priuses parked back to back … the left side of the back one was badly damaged and the back side of the car parked at the front was badly damaged. … Ford truck remains on the floor is all we have. There wasn’t any note left on any of the cars. The police is here writing reports now but if anyone has heard/seen please notify us at firstname.lastname@example.org. This is extremely rude, heartless and I can’t find words to describe how I exactly feel. What a gift on Christmas!
For anyone and everyone whose holiday presents included an “e-reader,” the Seattle Public Library‘s Southwest Branch in West Seattle (35th/Henderson) is offering special clinics each of the next four afternoons, 1-3 pm. (Yes, the libraries ARE open today!)
(Christmas Day view of the downtown skyline from West Seattle, by Emily Austin)
Since Christmas happened on a Sunday this year, today’s the official holiday, which means some closures and changes. Here’s what’s different as a result:
TRANSPORTATION: Metro is on a Sunday schedule today (and a “reduced weekday schedule” the next 4 weekdays); no West Seattle or Vashon Water Taxi service; Sound Transit is on a Sunday schedule (but no Sounder trains).
PARKING: We don’t have city pay stations/meters in West Seattle, but if you’re going downtown or elsewhere with Seattle street parking that has them, it’s a “parking holiday” – no charge today.
POST OFFICE/MAIL DELIVERY: Today is a postal holiday.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES/FACILITIES: Most are closed, with this exception …
SEATTLE LIBRARIES ARE OPEN: Seattle Public Library branches are scheduled to be open regular Monday hours today.
LIQUOR STORES: Junction store (42nd/Alaska) is open, according to this list.