West Seattle, Washington
(First two photos by Craig Young)
Looked to us like the biggest Alki Beach New Year’s Day Polar Bear Swim yet!
Organizer Mark Ufkes (below) thought that was a fair assessment.
(This and subsequent photos/video by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)
Here’s our video as the hundreds of participants took the plunge from 42-degree air into 46-degree water:
12:42 PM: More photos added, ahead:
As mentioned earlier – in case you weren’t well aware – the New Year arrived wrapped in a thick blanket of fog. If you had hoped to watch the Space Needle fireworks from West Seattle, as many do each year, it was all but impossible. This morning, we did get this lone photo from Ryan O’Keven (thank you!), who took it in the early seconds, before the fog thickened even more.
With everything else that happened last night, from New Year’s Eve celebrations to breaking news, you might have missed this: Ed Murray, former Alki resident, is now officially mayor of Seattle. Though his formal inauguration ceremony isn’t until next Monday, he was sworn in before family and friends at 7:30 pm last night, with husband Michael Shiosaki at his side in their home on Capitol Hill. His new official mayoral Facebook page has photos. The introduction notes, “Murray took the oath of office holding Michael’s hand and beads from a rosary his grandmother brought into this country when she immigrated here in 1905, atop a Bible from 1850 written entirely in Gaelic. The tie he wore was the same tie he wore when he first took the oath of elected office in 1996.” In addition to the Facebook page, a mayoral Twitter account is now launched at @Mayor_Ed_Murray and he’s released his first address to the city, on video. Everyone’s invited to the inauguration ceremony at City Hall, 3:30 pm Monday (January 6th). *Photo from mayoral Facebook page, republished with permission*
(Pigeon Guillemots, photographed in West Seattle by Mark Wangerin)
A brand-new year has taken wing! Welcome to 2014; here’s our roundup of what’s up:
LOOKING FOR COFFEE? Here’s our list featuring some coffee shops that told us they would be open today. (Businesses do sometimes change their mind about holidays after we check – so please let us know if you find a discrepancy.)
LOOKING FOR RESTAURANTS? Here’s that list. Same caveat as above.
TRANSIT/TRANSPORTATION: Metro buses are on a Sunday schedule … King County Water Taxis are NOT running today … The Fauntleroy/Vashon/Southworth state-ferry route is on a regular weekday schedule … Sound Transit buses are on a Sunday schedule … In the areas of the city with pay-station on-street parking, it’s free today.
New Year’s Day events:
TAKE A WALK: Any time between 9 am and noon, you can head out on a mapped 5K or 10K walk planned by Emerald City Wanderers, departing from St. John the Baptist Church. Details here. (California/Hanford)
TAKE THE PLUNGE: 10 am sharp (you’re advised to get there early), on Alki Beach across from Duke’s, join the annual Polar Bear Plunge/Swim/run-in-and-run-out event – details here. (58th/Alki)
P.S. So foggy at midnight, we hear the customary Space Needle fireworks views from West Seattle weren’t so great. Here’s the KING 5 video – foggy *AT* the Needle too, but the colorful official-broadcast view was the best available.