West Seattle, Washington
*From today’s city Land Use Information Bulletin: Alki Cafe‘s new owners have applied for a sidewalk-cafe permit. (The online notice says the city will accept comments till August 10th and explains how to send a comment.)
*Blue Angels update: The news release we quoted in last night’s story said #7 would be here at 9:30 today, but David DeSiga (who took the awesome photo we used in that story) says it actually landed before 9 am. So we should add the caveat, times approximate, which would go for tomorrow’s expected arrival of the other 6.
(Blue Angels fly over Boeing Field, photo shared by David DeSiga via Facebook)
If you have been a WSB’er for a year or more, you know that one of our summertime digressions from West Seattle-specific reporting involves the annual Seattle visit of the U.S. Navy’s aerial demonstration team, the Blue Angels. They even have their own WSB coverage archive. They start arriving tomorrow, so we’re publishing the schedule for starters (as distributed by their home base for the week, Boeing Field, though the Angels are here under the auspices of Seafair):
MONDAY: #1 Blue arrives at 9:30 a.m.
TUESDAY: Blues #1-6 arrive at 2 p.m.
THURSDAY: Blue Angels practice times: 10 am-12 pm, 1:30 pm-2:30 pm
FRIDAY: Blue Angels performance: 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: Blue Angels performance: 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
SUNDAY: Blue Angels performance: 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
TUESDAY: Blues #1-6 and Fat Albert depart
“Fat Albert” is their support plane, which usually flies right before they do, for one last survey of the area:
While the Blue Angels are primarily here to perform over Lake Washington, we highly recommend the experience of watching them take off and land at Boeing Field – adjacent to the Museum of Flight, an attraction in its own right, with special Blue Angels-related activities all week. To see the choreography of the pilots’ “walkdown” (WSB video here) and the maintenance crew Friday-Sunday (Thursday is a little looser since they don’t do the official show), you need a spot along the fence south of the Museum – it’s something like a parade stakeout, so be there a couple hours in advance (here’s our “On the Fence” story from 2007; note there’s overflow parking at the Boeing facility across East Marginal Way from the MoF’s main driveway – map). Once they start taxiing, everyone bolts northeast toward the museum/runway; the takeoff shakes the ground like an earthquake. On Friday, you can see the show at Lake Washington for free (except for the grandstands, which charge admission all three days), since technically it’s “rehearsal” and the hydros are in time trials, not races. If you want to go to the lake Saturday/Sunday, here’s all the official ticket/schedule info. Last reminder: The I-90 bridge closes for a few days each day Thursday-Sunday because of the Blue Angels; here’s the schedule.
Just circulated by Ron Angeles from the city’s Neighborhood Service Office in Delridge:
King County International Airport
July 1, 2009
Seattle/Tukwila/Renton metropolitan area residents may experience temporary increases in aircraft noise levels from SEAFAIR celebration events during July-August 2009. Please note the following dates:
July 29 Blue Angels Arrive
July 30 Blue Angels practice times:
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
July 31 Blue Angels performances:
1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
August 1 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
August 2 1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
August 3 Blue Angels depart
JayDee caught five of the six Blue Angels during a flyby at Costco on 4th Ave. S., a Blue Angels-viewing spot that’s been discussed here before. And shortly after we originally published this post, David Hutchinson sent photos from the north side of Boeing Field – here’s #5 coming in:
As for us, yes, the Museum of Flight one more time – for the up-close-and-semi-personal look before and after the airshow:
Fat Albert, the Blue Angels’ support plane, is a U.S. Marine Corps C-130, and it flies just before the Angels; as it taxis before and after that flight (which ends with a thrilling nosedive landing at Boeing Field), a crew member always spyhops from the top hatch to wave a flag and just plain wave. From the fence by the FA-18s’ parking spot, you can wave to the BA pilots themselves, too:
More scenes from today, and what’s next for the Blue Angels, ahead:Read More
Usually David Hutchinson contributes great Alki-area photographs – this time, he sent shots from the east side of Boeing Field, where he captured the Blue Angels‘ post-show, pre-landing flyby (which we usually see from the Museum of Flight at the other side of Boeing Field) as shown above, and on the runway, as seen here:
(#6 is the one that, as we reported yesterday, came back a few minutes after takeoff, with a mechanical/operational problem requiring its pilot to switch to a backup plane.) As David pointed out in his e-mail to WSB, that view is as close as you can get to the planes on the runway. But if you want to see the pilots up close and personal, you have to be at the Museum of Flight’s far-south fence – right next to where the jets are headquartered during their Seattle visits – and even though you have to watch through a chain-link fence, it’s a front-row seat to the “walkdown.” Standing in front of Blue Angel #1, we caught the first part on video Saturday (listen very closely to hear the commands):
There’s one other element to the pageantry – watching the crew. A video clip of that, plus a few more Saturday photos, just ahead:Read More
That’s Blue Angels jet number six getting inspected after its participation in today’s Seafair airshow abruptly ended after just a few minutes: It wasn’t long after all six took off that this one came back in to Boeing Field to land; once it was parked, its pilot got into one of the two #7 backup jets, took off, and rejoined the show. More than a dozen people were last seen working on #6 after it was towed to a spot on the east side of the area where the jets are headquartered during their Seattle visits. For our fellow Blue Angels fans, more later on today’s Museum of Flight/Boeing Field sightings.
That represents the “new” … the photo was sent by Community Harvest of Southwest Seattle (photo credit: Jason of “The Shibaguyz”) to entice you to today’s first-ever Edible Garden Tour of West Seattle. This garden tour is free – go here to get the map – tour any and/or all of the 10 spotlighted gardens between 10 am-2 pm today (including the one that produce came from). Now, something “old” …
That’s another scene from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” the 1988 pioneering live-action/animation hybrid classic that we at WSB are presenting tonight (in conjunction with Click! Design That Fits [WSB sponsor]) at West Seattle Movies on the Wall, dusk (8:45-ish) in the courtyard next to Hotwire Coffee (WSB sponsor) on the north edge of The Junction. Free, but in the spirit of Jessica Rabbit’s “Why Doncha Do Right” song in that clip – you can “do right” by bringing nonperishable food to donate to West Seattle Food Bank and $ for the West Seattle Christian Church (WSB sponsor)-presented concessions benefiting WSFB, plus a fundraising raffle (with the help of Hotwire boss Lora Lewis and some other fine folks we’ll tell you about at the movie, we’ve collected a bag of completely cool West Seattleness). Last but by no means least, something Blue …
As described in our “Seafair secrets” post, we always watch the Blue Angels at Lake Washington on Seafair Friday. But now, the weekend is here. You can watch them from the lake – or you can catch glimpses from West Seattle (WSB’er “Hopey” reports a great flyby at Westcrest on Friday) – and then there is our preferred method of viewing, at the Museum of Flight, their HQ while visiting Seattle. It’s a sort of “behind-the-scenes” view, when you stake out a spot on the fence that faces the area where the jets are parked (read our “On the Fence” post from last year, with pix), and spend the hour and a half or so before showtime watching first the maintenance crew’s arrival and activities, then the pilots themselves, leading up to the “walkdown” as they go to their planes – this 2007 photo is from their lineup pre-walkdown:
Once they’re in the jets, the sights and sounds include the whine of the cockpits closing, the engines roaring awake, then the groundshaking takeoff; the show is just over a ridge to the east, so you can see the high maneuvers from the MoF, and there are flybys – followed by the landing, and the walkdown in reverse, and your chance to applaud the pilots once they’re out of their planes. The practice show yesterday started around 1:45 pm, later than usual; wherever you’re going to watch from, you’ll want to be in place no later than 12:45 pm which is when the I-90 bridge closes. Full Seafair info on the official site; here’s our Blue Angels coverage archive.
Never mind the rain. Tomorrow’s what we refer to as “Seafair Free Day” – you can go to Lake Washington and watch hydro trials and the Blue Angels’ “practice show” for free, on the same shores where you’ll pay admission to watch Saturday and/or Sunday (read more in our “Seafair Secrets” post from last year). So what if it’s still cloudy, you ask? Checking the WSB archives (where we’ve now set up a Blue Angels-only category), seems that Seafair Weekend last year was plagued with the same problem – on “Free Friday,” though the clouds mostly burned off by noontime, the Blue Angels did their “low show” anyway (here’s our coverage). For the next three days, by the way, the I-90 bridge will be closed 12:45-2:40 pm for the Blue Angels shows (which don’t last two hours, but WSDOT needs to set a wider window).
Thanks to Mark Rhea for those photos of the Seafair fleet on “parade” in Elliott Bay this afternoon (first photo, a Navy and Coast Guard ship; second photo, two of the visiting Canadian ships; as we reported last night, the Coast Guard’s Local Notice to Mariners identifies the participating ships as USS Princeton, USS Germantown, USCGC Steadfast, and three Canadian ships – HMCS Yellowknife, HMCS Saskatoon, and HMCS Raven). You can tour them at Pier 90 tomorrow through Sunday; full details on the Seafair website. And tomorrow’s also the day you will start seeing the Blue Angels (who arrived on Monday; WSB video coverage here) practice, which also means I-90 bridge closures; tomorrow’s the one day with two separate closure periods, 9:45 am-noon and 1:15-2:30 pm – all closures are listed here. And we always put in a plug for the alternative way to enjoy the Blue Angels — by watching their takeoffs and landings at the Museum of Flight adjacent to Boeing Field (not that far from West Seattle) — explained in our “Seafair secrets” post from last year.
Just before landing: Here’s our video of the traditional Museum of Flight flyby:
Please forgive us this non-West Seattle digression; it’s an annual thing. We’re at the Museum of Flight side of Boeing Field, where the Blue Angels have just landed for their Seafair appearances. You can see the planes through the fence on the south side of the Museum of Flight (right up against Boeing property) any time during their stay here; they’ll go up twice on Thursday to practice maneuvers, then do a practice version of their full airshow on Friday, and “the real thing” over Lake Washington Saturday and Sunday. As we’ve written here before, there’s a lot to see if you come to the MoF and watch the takeoff and landing (such as the “walkdown”) – and since the airshow site is just over the ridge east of the MoF, you get to see some flybys too. They land one by one (which is why the photo above shows just one), but then they taxi in a group – here’s how that looked, peering through the chain-link fence between the MoF parking lot and the west side of the runway:
For our fellow Blue Angels fans as well as those who appreciate advance notice of possible loud flybys (with Boeing Field relatively close to West Seattle, etc.) — we have word from Seafair that the Angels are flying in around 11:30 am tomorrow, after a weekend airshow in Twin Falls, Idaho. Their official practicing doesn’t start till Thursday but you may see one or two flying in the interim, for special media flights and so on; once again this year, there’s a local pilot on the team — Lt. Cmdr. Craig Olson, a native of Kirkland. (Also remember, I-90 will have closures Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for the practices and airshows; dates and times are listed here.)
For those of you who were just holding your breath till this whole Seafair thing was over, thanks for indulging us and scrolling past these posts. As for us, well, one more round of photos from the Museum of Flight (today’s pre-takeoff and post-landing), and then it’s off to dream about ’08.
More of what you don’t see if you only watch the airshow over the lake … click ahead:Read More
We’ve mentioned that our favorite place to experience Blue Angels mania during Seafair weekend is on the fence by their parking spot at Museum of Flight/Boeing Field. After bringing the camera along today, we can show you what that’s really like:
That’s the fence crowd by the jets (not to be confused with the fence on the BF runway) around 1 pm, just before the pilots show up. We got there a lot earlier to be on the front line, inspected by the bomb-sniffing dog, whose photo you will see (and more) after the click:Read More
The “barely a sliver of sun before Sunday” forecast turned out to be SO not true today. Things improved steadily after our arrival on the lakeshore … see the two different views of the sky over Stan Sayres Pits, 11:30 am-ish and 1:30 pm-ish:
Love it or hate it, it’s here … the frenzied finale to Seattle’s biggest summer festival, Seafair. We had been debating whether to take up space here with our Blue Angels and hydro
obsessions interest, given that it’s not WS-specific, but bless the reader who wrote us to suggest we do exactly that … so here goes.
SECRET #1 — Watch the Blue Angels take off from and land at the Museum of Flight, which is at Boeing Field, just a few miles east of West Seattle. You don’t have to pay MOF admission to go stand along their fence and do this, although we highly recommend the very affordable MOF membership — it’s a unique Seattle institution worth supporting. This is always stirring, particularly on the Friday-Saturday-Sunday occasions, when you can see the full pageantry of the “walkdown,” the synchronized crew checks, the jet engine smoke, the feel-it-in-your-bones takeoffs … anyway, you can read our tales from last year: day 1 here, day 3 here, day 4 here. The Angels will have two takeoffs and landings during practices tomorrow (Thursday), then one each for the “rehearsal” show on Friday and the real deal on Saturday/Sunday.
SECRET #2 — “Free Friday.”
The Blue Angels become local news once a year around here during their Museum of Flight-based Seafair stay, and we’re major Blue Angels fans, so we are taking some space to say we are sorry to hear that a BA pilot died in a crash at a South Carolina airshow this afternoon. UPDATE: Other sites tracking this include BeaufortGazette.com and Bluffton Today.
I have already warned you that I am a bigtime Blue Angels fan. On the offhand chance you are too, let me be among the first to tell you that the first jet has arrived at the Museum of Flight — the West Seattle Blogger Posse (minus me) happened to be there late this morning, quite coincidentally, when it happened. They learned that the other six are coming in tomorrow. If you missed my earlier post, I’ll mention my two favorite “Blue Angels/Seafair semi-secrets” once again — (a) the Friday show over Lake Washington is considered a practice run (even though it’s the full official show), so you don’t have to pay a cent to go sit along the shore down near Genesee Park and watch the Angels (along with hydro practice runs); (b) also free, the Angels’ takeoffs and landings (and flybys) at the Museum of Flight and its end of Boeing Field. (Within the half-hour before the takeoff, it’s also cool to watch the synchronized ground maneuvers of the maintenance crew and the Angel pilots’ “walkdown.”
Last but not least … if the only thing Seafair weekend and the Blue Angels mean to you is “damn, the I-90 bridge is going to be shut down a few times for all that noise,” here’s the info link with days and times.