West Seattle, Washington
More details are up at the Sidewalk Cinema site regarding this summer’s slate of outdoor movies in The Junction, including two of the planned movies (hint: dogs and Depp) and some of the sponsors (still looking for more). Those movie nights bring some of our favorite WS summer fun, along with the Seafair Pirates’ landing @ Alki (July 7), Summer Fest (July 13-15), and the Hi-Yu Parade (July 21). Looks like Seattle Music Fest is expecting to be back on the beach this summer too (Aug. 10-12), after a year off.
What better distraction on a murky, chilly day in late winter? WS Junction Association president Dave Montoure — who also happens to be the guy who runs ever-cool West 5 — is thinking summer, as the chair of the committee planning this year’s West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction. And he asked us if we could ask you, what do you like or dislike about Summer Fest? What (within reason) could make it better? They’re planning this year’s event now and would love input … either in comments on this post, or e-mail Dave directly. (If you don’t mind, they’d like a little demographic info to put your comments in context too — family? single? how long in WS? etc.) Our biggest suggestion: Even more WS flavor. We go every year and it still seems to be pretty much the same street-fair vendors you find at all the stops all over the area. Don’t know how you get around that; gotta be a way.
We almost skipped up the Morgan Junction Community Festival, because if you drive by on California, it looks like almost nothing is happening. Luckily, we drove by again on our way back from the Farmers’ Market, and realized all the booths are set up on the BACK (west) SIDE of the “future monorail memorial park” site (formerly Fauntleroy Auto Repair & Video Vault), almost out of view of those passing by on Cali. And it’s a nice collection of booths: wide variety of community staples from the WS Herald to the Log House Museum to Megawatt (taking advance orders for the 2007 WS Calendar!) to Furry Faces Foundation to the Morgan Community Association (natch), plus local faves such as Bird on a Wire Espresso and Sugar Rush Baking Company, and even the new wireless broadband service that’s been putting up towers around WS, Clearwire (the salesperson who’s there says they’re “live” in many WS spots now and can check your location on her map). On the Cali Ave side, there’s entertainment (the WS Big Band was doing a great job when we dropped by; here’s the rest of the day’s slate). If you see this before 6 pm tonight — go check it out!
Not going to get to the Mega-Post till the dead o’night. So here’s one more thing:
A lovely senior-citizen couple in their military uniforms, with a banner on their car, “ART AND GLORIA/WWII AND KOREA/STILL MARRIED!” and a smaller banner, “ART’S 80 TODAY!”
Don’t know their backstory but they got lots of applause. And deserved it.
More to come later … gotta head back out to the next Big Summer Thing to Do …in no particular order, here are five of the things we noticed:
-Fine parade, as always. Ran almost exactly two hours, at least from our vantage point near the heart of The Junction (first sighting of the Seattle motorcycles up the street @ 11:19, last vehicle passing with the “Th-Th-That’s All Folks, See You Next Year” banner — new, and a nice touch, for the folks who are never quite sure “is this the end” — around 1:15).
-A little odd that the Rainbow City Band was followed immediately by a Scouts group. Perhaps in the spirit of “can’t we all just get along”?
-Also WRT placement, the giant Henry Weinhard’s beer bottle would have been a particularly special touch if it had immediately preceded the Seafair Pirates.
-The Pirates handed out souvenir silver coins advertising “Iron Horse Casino, Auburn and Everett” on the back. Just made sense somehow.
-The Vancouver Police motorcycle team TOTALLY ROCKED as usual. I would love to know how parade organizers manage to get them to come to the WS parade year after year when as far as I can tell, they don’t appear in any other area parade. It was quite fun to watch the Seattle PD motorcycle team members, who performed right before Vancouver, standing on the sidelines applauding, high-fiving, and exchanging salutes with their compatriots from the north.
YOUR FELLOW WEST SEATTLEITES!!!!
OK, this will sound treacly, but it’s true. The parade is all about people: The folks who volunteer their time to plan and stage it; the folks who participate in it (you’ll even get a chance to cheer for our local legislators if you are so inclined); and the folks on the sidelines. Every year we meet somebody interesting; you never know who’s going to wind up in the chairs (or on the blanket next to yours).
So here it is parade time — starting at California & Lander, on the south side of Lafayette Elementary, and rolling all the way down to California & Edmunds on the south side of the Junction, with a “kids’ parade” a little while before the big show. Things will probably be hopping till 1 pm or so; after that, you’ll probably see participants all around WS — usually the Last Resort antique fire trucks turn up down along Beach Drive, and the Seafair Pirates are seen wandering around in search of a tavern (things haven’t been the same since the Admiral Benbow shut down). Check it out; have a blast.
PIRATES! In a double dose … the Seafair Pirates and the Caribbean Pirates (no relation to Cap’n Jack & company), both in tomorrow’s parade. Viewing tip: The east side of the street starts in shade. Just save us a spot over near Petco.
Unrelated but I gotta say it … ONE HOUR to get through downtown en route home tonight, before I could get onto the Viaduct. ONE HOUR IN 96-DEGREE AIR, NO AIR CONDITIONING IN THE MODEST WSB-MOBILE. Once I finally got onto the Elevated Freeway of Doom and past the Mariners backup in the left lane, it didn’t even take 10 minutes to get home. I’m sure somebody out there went through something similar, so I’m mentioning it here for virtual commiseration. MY, the air coming off the bay felt great … once the jammed traffic was past …
A team of local real-estate agents has brought him along in their parade car for a few years now, and they’re all scheduled to show up again this Saturday. We weren’t here back when he was a TV fixture, but in order for us (or anyone else) to even remotely pretend to be semi-natives, it’s vital that you know who J.P. is, AND cheer him wildly any time you happen onto one of his public appearances. (As for my REAL childhood TV memories, I’m partial to Checkers & Pogo …)