West Seattle, Washington
One is good news, the other sad (at least for many of us old-timers).
Sad first: Just found out via the West Seattle Herald (in a letter to the editor from last week; we’ll admit we’re behind in our reading), the Charlestown Street Cafe has lost its lease. We went there a lot in our early years here; not too many WS restaurants back then, plus we enjoyed their breakfasts. Then along came Easy Street, and Endolyne Joe’s, and our tastes shifted. But CSC has given ample warning, so we’ll go back for another round of Montana Potatoes (if they’re still on the menu!) at least once before they go …
Now, happy: The long-awaited Alki Statue of Liberty super-spruce-up is finally under way. As promised, the statue was trucked away this afternoon; read more here about what happens next. And check out a slideshow of what the future might look like when the all-new Liberty 2 arrives.
Well, you know that, and I know that.
Now the latest Seattle Weekly confirms it. Love this quote. Guess WS Blogger Spouse and I aren’t the only Easy Street patrons with, um, a couple gray hairs (but really, just a couple):
But as much as we can play up West Seattle’s younger music community, it can’t be denied that an entire generation of older folks remains. How will they take to the same summer fest they’ve been attending for the last quarter-century being transformed into a rootsier version of the Capitol Hill Block Party? Vaughan has only to look at his Easy Street patrons to see the answer.
“A lot of the old folks out here are pretty hard- edged,” he says. “In a way, they’re kind of punk rock. When they come into Easy Street, they go for Johnny Cash, lots of rockabilly, just harder-edged older music.”
With that in mind, Summer Fest’s organizers couldn’t have found a better headliner than roots-punk icon John Doe.
For everyone who thinks the city should have reopened The Bridge more quickly after the killer crash the other night — somebody at City Hall seems to feel the need for a moment-by-moment explanation; check it out here.
Meantime, we’re finally hearing who those three people in the Scion were. I just knew it would turn out to be teenagers. What heartbreak for their parents.
Some of the news coverage of yesterday’s Bridge Disaster unearthed long-buried memories of the olden days of the stretch between 99 and I-5. It used to be a barrier-free high-speed death trap known as the West Seattle Freeway (or its official name, the Spokane Street Viaduct), with endless official protestations of “sorry it’s so dangerous, but there’s no room for a barrier” — till “new technology” was found and deployed six years ago.
Meanwhile, as of this writing, all looks well on The Bridge (note that the “Chelan intersection” link on our cams page shows the approach to the low bridge, if you ever need to check that out before leaving home). Some interesting follow-up stories in this morning’s papers, including lots of gripes that clearing away the wreckage took way too long. Still don’t know who those three people in the mangled, burned car were, though.
The semi-final list of proposed Seattle Public Schools closures is due to change hands today from the ciitizens’ committee to the superintendent. This morning, the Times spotlights the one West Seattle proposal that seems to make no sense — “closing” High Point Elementary (but not the building, which Pathfinder K-8 would take over) even as hundreds of brand-new housing units pop up all around it. And this morning’s P-I asks the other tough question — will this plan really save much money? I can’t see how it will unless the closed buildings are sold, period. Pathfinder’s Genesee Hill land alone would make dandy townhouse turf, if zoning allowed.
Trying to find out more about a report I heard on radio news while we drove home tonight after spending the day out of town. Something about a shooting early this morning in the Junction. As of right now, not a shred posted on any local-news site I can find, even the one for the station where I heard the blurb (I suppose their Web producers all have the holiday weekend off) … but the Seattle 911 log does have an “assault with weapons” at California and Alaska at 12:53 am today.
(Monday update: Discovered a small eyewitness account on chasBlog … scroll down to the photo of flashing police-car lights.)
Some weeks back, as we walked past the front of Aaron’s Bicycle Repair in Morgan Junction, we saw a hand-lettered sign on the store door that said “Gypsie was hit by a car.” We’ve often stopped to look through the window at the store’s resident cats, so we quickly made the assumption that “Gypsie” was one of them.
How wrong we were. This article says “Gypsie” is one of the shop owners, who’s battling back from quite an ordeal.
(Though my bike’s been in the basement for years, I’ve long felt fondness toward Aaron’s, because even at the height of anti-monorail mania, they were among the few who proudly and prominently displayed pro-monorail posters.)
Sorry I didn’t know about this meeting ahead of time; sounds like a chorus in which I could easily have sung — I’m also in the “tunnel schmunnel” section, although, as I’ve mentioned, I’m more a fan of the “third option” at the moment. Not that I’ve done any scientific studies or anything, it just seems like something we can get done quicker and cheaper.
(Side note with calendar relevance: The only time each year I actually feel warm and fuzzy about the viaduct is when I get to walk on it. The WSB team always signs up for that event — WSB Spouse and I are both “adult orphans” whose moms died of cancer, and it’s become our way of paying tribute to them each summer.)
From the WS Herald: WSHS cancels 9th-grade honors program.
Seattle Public Schools leaders wonder why enrollment keeps dropping. That’s because they offer nothing for the people who have the resources to make a choice. Check out the 12th paragraph here — what in the world could an educator possibly have against spending some time working with bright kids? Practically right across the street from WSHS, the district’s “Spectrum” program manages to hang on, despite outright hostility and neglect from district leaders. You can bet the parents of those kids are trying mightily to save for private school in later years, now that the district has flown the “we’re not even going to try to keep your kids challenged in high school” flag.
In this case, it doesn’t even sound like a case of money trouble for the district. Just flat-out indifference to the very real needs of gifted kids, and other high achievers. Getting off my soapbox now, but my blood’s still a-boil …
Here’s the story in today’s P-I. I wouldn’t exactly call the pub move “a block” … details, details. As for possible names, Monorail Memorial Park really rings my bell. Perhaps some folks on the non-o-rail board can rustle around in the storeroom and find some decorations from items bought but unreturnable …
Sounds like an ugly crash late last night, the one along Alki that killed two people. I love going to the beach at night and looking out at the lights across the bay … but especially as the weather warms up, things do get a little out of hand. Sad way to start the warm-weather season.
Managed to miss this while I was on blogging semi-hiatus the past two weeks. Funny, I was just telling a visitor the story behind the building’s massive flag. So will that stay or will that go? I always wondered what kept that guy in WS this long anyway, considering the oxymoronic nature of the term “West Seattle Republican.”
Gosh, I hate to brag. Well, no, I don’t, really …
Also sort-of-new tonight: Someone who helps publish the WS Herald finally found this here blog thing and answered my question from last month (scroll down to the comment).
Taking a break from the Holy Rosary situation … another West Seattle pastor makes it into the news today. Unfortunately, it’s because he seems to be “our” version of noted prejudice-monger Ken Hutcherson (second-to-last paragraph here; at least this story rescues the WS image with a more reasonable quote from Councilguy Dow).
Interesting tidbit about a West Seattle gas station toward the end of this P-I story.
Even with gas prices back on the brink of $3, I hadn’t thought much about the possibility of not always getting what you pay for. But one cup out of a $3 gallon would be more than 18 cents worth of gas — and in a fill-up, that could add up fast.
By the way, looks like they kinda need some West Seattle gas-price spotters at this site — I chose “SW Seattle” (W Seattle didn’t appear to be an option) and nothing came up but a plea for tipsters.
This morning’s deadly shooting rampage on Capitol Hill left me trying to remember if anything really horrific ever happened here in WS. I remember a particularly ugly summer in the early ’90s including someone getting shot and killed on a waterfront bench along Beach Drive. But I forgot the 1998 bridge shootings till this Times “side note” article on Other Really Bad Shootings in Our State. Anyway, condolences to the relatives of today’s victims, and prayers for all who are taken away too soon …
OK, so it’s hard not to know that Eddie Vedder is from West Seattle. And we had long since heard that Soundgarden has ties here too. But it’s news to us (go ahead, laugh) that a major name from Mudhoney lives in WS too. The band’s out with a new album and that means a new round of interviews, including this one that caught our eye on an unrelated search because of this line:
Having turned 44 last month, Mark Arm, who shares a West Seattle home with his wife, remains one of rock’s most iconic figures.
A more-entertaining quote comes from a Seattle Times interview last week:
Q: Briefly describe the most annoying neighbors you’ve ever had.
A: The people who lived next door to us when we first moved into our house in West Seattle. Nosy retired couple.
And even more to the point about WS, an excerpt from a 2002 interview in the Times, when the writer asked two band members to interview each other at Easy Street:
Turner: What do you like most about living in West Seattle?
Arm (gazing down the street from behind Elvis sunglasses, chewing gum ferociously as he ponders): I like the fact that … it still hasn’t been renovated. I like the fact that, with the exception of Easy Street, you’re not surrounded by hipsters every time you walk down the street. I like being surrounded by the salt of the Earth.
Yeah, us too.
P.S. Also from today’s papers — a P-I update on the Holy Rosary situation, mentioning 700 people at last night’s meeting (and that’s about the only bit of “news” in the story).
The fine folks of West 5 got a newspaper rave today. That’s probably why the line was out the door when I drove through the Junction around 6:40 tonight. I agree with the reviewer about the mac ‘n’ cheese. However, how can they pass right over the incredible BLT (even more incredibly edible when you get the avocado add-on)?
P.S. Very busy night in the Junction … especially around the Senior Center, which appeared to be having some sort of shindig upstairs, live music included (someone playing a bass could be seen against a window).