Seen around town 751 results

Mystery vehicles of Westwood

While en route this morning to the multi-Starbucks side of Westwood Village (I’d prefer to patronize local independent stores but the Frappuccino fan in the household insists no other frozen coffee drink compares), I got another look at the eternally parked vehicles along Trenton (north side of WV) that always make me go “hmmm” … one is a U-Haul-size truck encrusted in graffiti; it’s been there for months if not years. On the other side of the street, along the downslope of the Southwest Athletic/Chief Sealth/etc. playfield/stadium, a couple of rickety motorhomes seem omnipresent — or at least, they’re there every time we drive by (an average of a couple times a week). Are they abandoned? Do they belong to people who live in the area but don’t have parking space for them at their homes? Are they auxiliary changing facilities for sports teams who play for the field? Or … here’s the paranoid person inside of me coming out … perhaps, mobile meth labs? Take a look next time you’re en route to Bed/Bath/Beyond, Barnes ‘n’ Noble, or Target, and tell me what you think.

More rebranding

We used to call the little grocery on the west side of Cali Ave, halfway between Morgan & Alaska Junctions, “the so-so market.” Not as a judgment on its quality or lack of it, but because its old sign saying “50-50 Market” looked more like “So-So.”

Well, we can’t make that joke any more. West Seattle Blogger Spouse tells me it’s put up a new sign with a new name, “Juneau Street Market.”

Everybody’s trying to upscale around here. Question though, does it have … CUPCAKES?

Mystery flyer

May 3, 2006 8:56 pm
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 |   Seen around town | West Seattle restaurants

On the bulletin board near the restrooms at the Thriftway, a hand-lettered flyer is up with the following:


5947 41st AVE SW, MAY 5-6-7 (IN ALLEY)

Went over to the Cat’s Eye Cafe (whose address bears no resemblance to that) and no evidence of anything except the same flyer tacked up to its sadly deteriorating sign.

Will have to send a scout over to the sale on Friday to get the scoop, unless anyone out there knows … is this the end for the months-shuttered CEC? Or a fundraiser?

Semi-sighting of WS’s most famous politician

April 30, 2006 6:16 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Hizzoner was at the track today. I suppose in honor of the marquee race of the day, the “Seattle Handicap” — had to have some authentic Seattle-ness on hand, since the track itself is in Auburn. We heard him announced but didn’t personally see him; we did, however, actually see a local TV celebrity (Dan Lewis from channel 4) hanging out with some horse owners in the area where they show off the contenders before each race. First time we’d been to the track in a couple years; didn’t win a dime, but it was good times hanging out in the fresh air and trying to pretend we have a clue about the difference between a “trifecta” and an “exacta.”

Did she/he or didn’t she/he?

March 30, 2006 5:23 am
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 |   Seen around town

Banner season continue to pick up on the pedestrian overpass that graces the first leg of the Fauntleroy bridge approach. One banner that’s been up for days now reads “MORGAN, WILL YOU GO OUT WITH ME?” One problem, it’s almost impossible to read unless you squint hard when you’re practically directly under the bridgelet. So I wonder if Morgan has gotten the message yet, and if so, what her/his reply was … Advice: HUGE BLACK LETTERING. Like that “22’s About to B. Wilde” one I still haven’t figured out.

Summer in March

March 19, 2006 5:51 pm
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 |   Seen around town

The scene at Alki this afternoon looked more like mid-July than mid-March. Bikers posing along the sidewalks, kids digging in the sand, teens spilling out of the burger and fish-n-chip joints, traffic moving at slug-pace. Crowded but spectacular! Even brought out one of the first street musicians I’ve seen at the beach in a long time — a guy who turned one of the concrete pedestals across from Pepperdock into a mini-stage, singing and strumming to everyone and anyone. ‘Scuse me now, I think I have to go find something for a mild case of sunburn …

From the “what was I thinking?” dept.

March 17, 2006 11:48 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Lovely Friday night. Not too cold. Not rainy. Just right for a stroll along Alki. Hmm … what’s that noise … Oops. St. Patrick’s Day. Overflow crowd outside the Celtic Swell, and drunken 20somethings staggering along the sidewalk for blocks either way, bellies full of green beer (or worse). Whoops, back home in a hurry, mark calendar for next year (when St. Pat’s will be on a SATURDAY), avoid the vicinity …

Running out of room

March 17, 2006 9:12 pm
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 |   Seen around town

En route to Endolyne Joe’s this morning (see below), noticed for the first time that the south parking lot for Lincoln Park is fenced off and partially taken over by vehicles and material involved in the pipe project. If that drags on into the summer, LP parking will be more problematic than ever, especially on weekends when people book the picnic shelters for special events. So don’t say I didn’t warn you …

Driving me a little batty

March 14, 2006 6:08 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Now that banner season on the pedestrian bridge across the top of the Fauntleroy approach to The Bridge, one particular banner is driving me batty.

In huge black letters/numbers on a white sheet, it says, “22’s ABOUT TO B. WILDE.”

I’m guessing a local sports player who’s #22 is also “B. Wilde.” Can’t find anything on Web search. Anybody got a clue?

Better to light a single candle …

March 11, 2006 3:48 pm
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 |   Seen around town

A micro-protest is in progress along Cali Ave between the Alaska and Morgan Junctions.

We counted at least half a dozen small handcut white cards, no more than maybe 3 x 4, tacked onto phone poles, hand-lettered with this plea:


“For war crimes” was in blue ink;  “impeach Bush” in black.

The cards can’t have been up for long — they are not discolored or weather-stressed in any way. Maybe somebody prepping for the weekly WS anti-war vigil.

Scenes from one block of MJ

February 28, 2006 6:29 am
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 |   Pets | Seen around town | West Seattle restaurants

–Everyone jokes about the same telecommuters sitting at Starbucks tables day after day, but we can also report that the same consistency seems to apply to nighttime visitors at the Morgan Junction SBUX. The family with kids doing their homework; the quilters; the guy with the gray ponytail. Someday someone’s going to walk in and everyone’s going to yell, “NORM!”

–The renovation work at Subway is into its down-and-dirty-and-temporarily-closed phase. If you want a sandwich, you’re going to have to go to Jefferson Square, at least for a few days. (Aside, how come Quizno’s is yet another thing we can’t get without driving to Burien?)

–The two cats guarding Aaron’s Bicycle Repair look like critters you wouldn’t want to tangle with. One of them looks like it’s actually tough enough to ride a bike, or at least steal it.

It’s not art, it’s a crime

February 25, 2006 9:43 pm
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 |   Gatewood | Seen around town

A bit earlier this winter, some vandal spray-painted two words, including the “f-word,” on an excruciatingly visible-to-the-street garage door along California Ave, just south of the Morgan Junction McDonald’s. With the proximity of Gatewood School, I wouldn’t think it an exaggeration to speculate that vulgarity assaulted thousands of young eyes (and offended age-nonspecific others).

Someone finally has covered it with white paint. Finally. But not all spray-paint vandalism is so easy to cover — for years, I’ve shuddered at the tags that have blighted our business districts, especially when the vandals have painted them onto natural-tone brickwork. And I know that in other areas of the city, some of the more creatively criminal vandals have taken to etching.

This all brings me to a video-game review linked prominently from the site’s home page this morning. Yeah, I know games are supposedly a harmless outlet for people to engage in even worse kinds of fantasy crime. I’d made a bit of peace with that. But for some empty-brain headline writer to declare fantasy vandalism “fresh and fun” just chaps me. Just wait till the designers wake up someday to someone having engaged in this “fresh and fun” crime on their property, requiring a costly cleanup.

If Michaelangelo had painted the Sistine Chapel ceiling without permission, that still would have been vandalism, regardless of its artistic merit.


Two notes

February 22, 2006 7:05 pm
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 |   Seen around town

I suppose some blog protocol somewhere would say I should make these separate entries. But it’s my blog, so phooey on protocol.

(1) Drove by the Cat’s Eye Cafe this evening. Dark, quiet, no sign suggesting when it might reopen. Hope all’s well with the reconstruction work there.

(2) The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce is updating its home page. I think I caught ’em mid-update, though, as the intriguing “speed-networking” blurb does not (as of 7:04 pm PT tonight) link to the correct info – maybe it will later.

Stay out, or else

February 21, 2006 9:04 pm
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 |   Seen around town

While down on Alki tonight, stopped by to squint at the piece of paper on the door of the ex-French restaurant/ex-Lighthouse Grill/ex-Point (THAT one, I miss). Cold hard eviction notice. Sez, call the cops if you see anybody here.

Seems so seedy, really, for our mellow little beach neighborhood. The butcher-papered window are bad enough. Will that space and the ex-Alki Market get some sign of life before summertime? All that emptiness can be contagious.

Hey, I know! How about Trader Joe’s in the Alki Market space? Probably would need some more parking … oh, I know, just tell me “dream on.”

Sign of the time

February 21, 2006 6:50 am
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 |   Seen around town

Spent a lot of time in The Junction last weekend. At one point, while driving eastbound on Alaska with West Seattle Blogger Spouse, I noticed the new sign at Jefferson Square, digital-display time and temperature.

“When did THAT go in?” I asked WSBS.

“MONTHS ago,” replied WSBS with a mondo eye-roll. “Where have YOU been?”

OK, so I’m behind the times. Guess that’s why I was immediately hit with a tsunami-size swell of nostalgia for the old analog clock, which never seemed to run on time.

But my longing for a slower era was satisfied almost immediately, as just a few yards to the northeast, the sign on the former Burger King (was it ever REALLY “Dave’s” for more than, oh, say, a few minutes?) advertises an auction from last September.

Sure sign of spring

February 20, 2006 7:06 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Not only are the robins out in full force, I’ve seen the first homemade banner in weeks turn up on the pedestrian overpass atop the Fauntleroy approach to the WS Bridge.

If you headed to work that way this morning, you probably saw it too. I couldn’t read the whole thing — went by too fast since traffic was light — but it appeared to have something to do with the Muslim cartoon crisis.

Can’t wait till the birthdays, proposals, and secret messages start popping up in big numbers. And maybe this year we can get a banner up there before the July parade, since so many WS-ites seem, sadly, unaware of its existence.

Take one last look …

February 19, 2006 11:07 am
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 |   Seen around town

… at the Olympics today. (The mountains, not the Games.) Sounds like the clouds will return and the glorious peaks will go back into hiding, at least for a while.

I hear the Farmers’ Market is still open on Sundays. We might swing through to see what’s offered here in the heart of winter. Did you know that the WS Farmers’ Market is considered one of the two most successful in all of Seattle?

Out in the cold

February 18, 2006 10:14 am
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 |   Seen around town

20-something degrees at 9-something am — a crowd stood, shivering, waiting, outside a Morgan Junction business.

No, not tickets to a Barry Manilow concert. No, not one-buck gas. No, not two-for-one teriyaki.

Seems Video Vault launched its going-out-of-business sale today. Sign on the window says Feb. 18-25, “closing sale.” And more than a dozen people wanted to have first crack at it.

Well-worn copy of “Porky’s,” anyone?

Ringing up & cooling down

February 17, 2006 7:58 pm
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 |   Seen around town

A brave young lady has one of West Seattle’s worst INDOOR jobs tonight — manning the express checkstand near the front door of the Thriftway in Morgan Junction. She smiled bravely, but a shadow of a grimace passed over her face when the shopper in line in front of us remarked loudly on each opening of the automatic doors, “BRRR!”

Someone get that poor checker a pair of gloves. Or maybe hazard pay.

Cruelly early

February 16, 2006 6:23 am
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 |   Seen around town | Westwood

Wandering through the Westwood Village Target, a cruel reminder of how the retail seasons turn … bathing suits dangling off the racks, tables full of shorts, the “seasonal” section in the back corner laden with deck, patio, garden items.

All this as we sink into the coldest cold snap of the year.

And of course you KNOW all that stuff will be long gone by the time the real warm weather arrives around Seafair time — the Christmas lights will be starting to twinkle, and coats will be hung by the “apparel” signs with care …

Deep thought

February 15, 2006 7:34 pm
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 |   Fauntleroy | Seen around town

On a blue SUV headed down Fauntleroy toward the ferry dock, this yellow bumper sticker with red lettering:


So many ways to interpret that. I almost busted a brain gasket thinking through a dozen or so of them during the rest of the drive home.

Mystery partly solved

February 13, 2006 6:55 am
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 |   Seen around town

Driving past the below-mentioned traffic-island decorations again, I noticed another one of the “Fairmount Springs” signs (which I’d blogged about in the early going of WSB). Two signs, definitely not a lark. This time, the search for info brought up No time to rattle around their site right this moment, but I’d still like to know, where did the “Springs” come from? We’ve been here for double-digit years and that neighborhood’s always been Fairmount or Fairmount Park. Any lurkers able to clue me in?

If we gave out “spirit awards”

February 12, 2006 9:32 am
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 |   Fairmount Springs | Holidays | Seen around town

… I’d have one for the people who keep decorating their traffic island along the west side of Fauntleroy, just before the bend into Morgan Junction. It was sparkly for Christmas; now its trees and bushes have heart ornaments for Valentine’s Day. I’m not much into “cute” but I still think they deserve props for creativity that just might make a passing driver or two smile.