West Seattle, Washington
New haircuts to start the New Year. That’s part of what volunteers organized by Vietnamese Cultural Center director Lee Bui brought to the “Nickelsville” encampment in West Seattle today, along with donated food and clothing. Above, Renton hairstylist Van; below, Nga Ngo:
Volunteers promised they’d return, after a Thanksgiving visit with free flu shots as well as food (WSB coverage here). Here’s most of today’s group:
While there, we also found a second group of volunteers, who came to the encampment to offer a New Year’s Day barbecue:
What the New Year will bring for Nickelsville isn’t clear, as their status on this city-owned land remains tenuous. Though Mayor McGinn said after the encampment’s return last spring that he didn’t plan to evict them as his predecessor had three years earlier, the city also is not moving toward granting a request for utility hookups, as discussed at last month’s Highland Park Action Committee meeting (WSB coverage here).
Here’s one good sign for the year ahead: The hale and hardy of West Seattle, White Center, and environs were graced with sunshine for the second consecutive New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim on Alki (after two preceding years under cloud cover). Of course, as evidenced on the beach this morning, it’s not the weather – it’s more about the chance to, shall we say, chill with friends – like this group identifying themselves as the “Dunkins“:
And this one, the “Libres“:
Then there was the pirate, and friend …
No costume for organizer Mark Ufkes, just a big smile:
And as the crowd (biggest one we’ve ever seen!) lined the beach, ready to run into Puget Sound, one guy went first – everybody else counted down, and ran in, shortly thereafter:
(added) And from the WSB Flickr group pool, Henrik‘s really-close-up view:
P.S. Turns out that wasn’t the only Polar Bear Swim today. Dave Meucci shared this video of his friends-and-family dip:
Though this year and last year had sunshine in common, the air temperatures were different – we noted it at “freezing” on New Year’s Day 2011, but at 10 am today, it was 48 degrees!
Following the sad news about Frosty the seal pup, West Seattle-based Seal Sitters was heartened to end the year with a visit from this pup, promptly dubbed “Bubbles.” Seal Sitters’ Robin Lindsey shared the video of Bubbles; you can see more of her video and photos as pup visits (and other “news on the beach”) is chronicled on their Blubberblog site, where you’ll also find their year-end wrap-up – as noted here previously, it was a record year for pup sightings on local beaches, keeping the all-volunteer Seal Sitters busy. If you see a seal or other marine mammal on a local beach, call them at 206-905-SEAL (7325).
Here’s a potential New Year’s resolution for parents, grandparents, guardians, and caregivers of young children – take advantage of Seattle Public Library story times! Children’s librarian Amy LaVare shares a list of what’s scheduled at the Delridge (Brandon/Delridge) and High Point (35th/Raymond) branches the next few months:
JANUARY 5 and all Thursdays through MARCH 8: Preschool Story Time, 11:15 am, Delridge Branch (5423 Delridge Way SW)
JANUARY 10 and all Tuesdays through MARCH 20: Family Story Time, 7 pm, Delridge Branch (5423 Delridge Way SW)
JANUARY 12 and all Thursdays through MARCH 29: Toddler Story Time, 11:30 am, High Point Branch (3411 SW Raymond St.) No story time on March 15.
JANUARY 23 and all Mondays through MARCH 26: Family Story Time, 7 pm, High Point Branch (3411 SW Raymond St.)
JANUARY 28 and all Saturdays through MARCH 31: Vietnamese Story Time, 11:30 am, Delridge Branch (5423 Delridge Way SW) This story time is offered entirely in Vietnamese.
FEBRUARY 1 and all Wednesdays through MARCH 28: Somali Story Time, 5 pm, High Point Branch (3411 SW Raymond St.) This story time is offered entirely in Somali.
Story times are open to the public. Everyone is welcome. No registration is required. Free parking is available at each location. For more information, call the High Point Branch at 206-684-7454, the Delridge Branch at 206-733-9125 or Ask a Librarian.
You’ll also find Story Times at the Southwest, South Park, and West Seattle branches; we’ll be adding these, and those, to our ongoing WSB West Seattle Events calendar, and you can check on daily/weekly events through the calendar on the library website.
That’s our video from last year’s New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim on Alki, just in case you’re thinking about joining today’s swim but need a little reassurance that you won’t be alone. This year, at least, will be warmer – our 2011 story notes an air temperature in the 30s, and it’ll be in the 40s this time around. The swim is part of what’s on our list for this holiday:
WHO’S OPEN FOR COFFEE … Not an all-inclusive list but here’s who told us they definitely planned to be open: Hotwire Online Coffeehouse (WSB sponsor), 8 am-6 pm … Diva Espresso, open 8 am to 6 pm … Bird on a Wire, 10 am-2 pm … Caffe Delia (in Proletariat Pizza‘s WC storefront), 9 am- 1 pm …
Red Cup Espresso open 9 am-3 pm … (added) C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor) open 10 am-2 pm
RESTAURANTS … You won’t likely have much trouble finding places that are open, but several did let us know they definitely are open, and the list is on the West Seattle Holidays page (which goes back on hiatus after today, till next November!).
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET CLOSED for the holiday, but it’ll be back next Sunday (January 8th).
SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY … branches closed today.
POLAR BEAR SWIM … Jump/run/wade into Puget Sound from Alki, across from Duke’s/Christo’s, 10 am (here’s the announcement).
NEW YEAR’S DAY WALK … Emerald City Wanderers is sponsoring a New Year’s Day walk, starting between 9 am and 1 pm, 5- or 10-kilometer route, free. Starts from St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, 3050 California SW.
2011 again brought immense joy as another year of collaborating with you to cover our community – and 2012 is off and running that way too. Thanks to David Hutchinson for the first shared-via-WSB photos of the Space Needle 2011-2012 New Year’s fireworks, as seen from Duwamish Head.
When KING posts the fireworks video, we’ll add a link here.