West Seattle, Washington
(Well, we were, in the comments on the next post down.)
I actually had been meaning to mention our encounter with the 34th District Democrats at the Farmers’ Market last Sunday. (Where are the 34th District Republicans? It can’t be an issue of potentially hostile territory … heck, I’ve seen Pro-Life Washington at the Fremont Fair … which by the way is coming up this weekend! … so the GOP at the WSFM would seem do-able.) Anyway, the D’s proclaimed themselves very excited about the state’s hottest candidate du jour speaking at their meeting tomorrow night, even though nobody in this area is eligible to vote in that contest. And just steps away at the WSFM, the local anti-war activists were leafletting for the big event at Roxhill Park this weekend (mentioned here some days back), before they took up the signs for their weekly march back and forth across the “Walk All Ways With Walk” intersection.
If you want to avoid all that at the WSFM, though, just be sure to enter on the west side instead — all you have to dodge is the friendly lady peddling “Real Change.”
-Looks like the Pathfinder advocates now comprise one of just two groups most loudly protesting the latest version of the school-closure/consolidation plan. This is the only story resembling a thorough article in today’s papers. (Looking in from outside, I’d suggest they focus their arguments on the condition of the Boren building — the complaint about Delridge won’t hold water; for example, what is arguably WS’s most successful elementary school, Lafayette, is right on Cali Ave in the Admiral Junction bizdist, across from a busy supermarket.)
-While the school district dithers over the shutdowns and shifts to save a few $, how much is it going to waste on this fight? (Side note — if you want to spend $ on something related more to body than mind, how about playground improvements? Lafayette has a project going and so does Gatewood, which plans a meeting about its playground-reno project tonight.)
-If this goes through, will our beloved, scenic WS become home to more B-and-B’s? The only one I’ve ever noticed is down by the Fauntleroy ferry dock (and political signs I’ve seen in its windows would keep me, on principle, from ever recommending any visiting relatives stay there, but that’s just me).
-Guess this means I’ll get to see those nice little old precinct workers a few more times.
The P-I takes on the Luna Park Cafe. I haven’t been there since a breakfast get-together some years back featuring WS Blogger Spouse and I inspecting the latest girlfriend of one of our beloved terminal-bachelor pals. (We liked her; he didn’t.)
Side note … it’s always struck me as odd that somehow that particular area around the underside of the west end of the Big Bridge has carried on the Luna Park name, even though the actual Luna Park site was nowhere nearby.
You’ve laughed your way through the video we now know WE actually paid for!
You’ve bitten your nails while driving its scenic topside and muttering under your breath “just let me get to the other side before the Big One hits!”.
Now … just a week and a half to register for your annual chance to actually WALK on the viaduct. Hope to see you there.
A new comment on an old post reminded me I hadn’t heard much lately about the rumors of Trader Joe’s finally, finally, FINALLY coming to West Seattle. Seems speculation is centering around the forthcoming mixed-use project on Admiral just west of Metropolitan Market, so we went fishing around a bit.
Project description mentions “grocery store.” MM & Safeway are so close by (and PCC not much further), it would have to be something “specialty” like TJ’s.
The contact name on the applications traces to the same architect that handled the same owner’s project to the north (Bartell’s and what’s above it) — no sketches on the site, though.
A notice on a pole at the site mentions another design-review meeting just about a week ago — anybody got the scoop on that? Just curious.
Did find a couple other notes of interest along the way. First — a little history about part of the site. Second — I can’t find a direct link to the relatively recently renamed “Admiral Neighborhood Association,” but it looks like neighborhood leaders joined in a “street-level survey” a little earlier this year, with results documented here.
Enough about all that, though. Any inside info on TJ’s, or not TJ’s, very much welcome. Definitely tired of driving to Burien. And this is one of the last few franchises we still don’t have out here (in the years since WS Blogger Spouse and I arrived, we’ve stopped having to drive somewhere else for Pagliacci, Jamba Juice, Barnes & Noble, to name a few).
-If you have a small child in the house, something new turned up at the WS Farmers’ Market today … fresh, local, vegetarian food for babies or toddlers.
-For the produce we didn’t find at the Farmers’ Market, we dropped by Tony’s on 35th. Great prices — beautiful apples for 99 cents a pound, mushrooms for $2.50. Kinda fascinating that the guy who runs it is the president of the Burien-area sewer district.
-Further north on 35th, we noticed the “Mars Hill West Seattle, Coming Soon” sign up at Doxa. According to the MH Web site, the dedication was just the other night.
-Also as we cruised northward on 35th, a wildlife sighting … one of our majestic national symbols, being pestered by crows. Common, I know, but always mesmerizing, as the crows are so much smaller than the eagles, yet so brazen about this behavior.
This should be interesting:
Check out the West Seattle anti-war coalition’s Web site. In about three weeks, according to the site, Roxhill Park (across from Westwood Village) will be the site of a visually dramatic protest installation.
According to the sponsoring group’s site, it’s already been at other parks, including Green Lake, and further investigation reveals this isn’t even its first year — but it does seem to be the first stop in West Seattle.
The following arrived in the WSB inbox. I didn’t recognize the name, but I know I’ve seen some of her work. (Organizers are also looking for auction donations; if you want to contact them, e-mail me from the WSB “About” page and I will forward you the entire original e-mail.)
You may be fortunate enough to know Kelly McLain as a longtime West Seattle resident. You may have taken a class from her at Pilchuck Glass School. You may have sampled her culinary creations at Coffee to a Tea, West 5, or Capers. You may have seen her artwork exhibited at Seattle's William Traver Gallery, Seattle Children's Museum, Issaquah Public Library, SeaTac International Airport, Boise Airport, Scottsdale, Arizona's Victoria Boyce Gallery, or pictured in Metropolitan Home. Kelly McLain has suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm and has been in Harborview Hospital's ICU since early May. Starting at 5:00 pm, Sunday, June 4, 2006, Coffee to a Tea and West 5 will be hosting a special evening to raise funds to support our dear friend and colleague. Join us for music, food & drink, and an auction to help the McLain Family during this time of need. If you would like to contribute but cannot attend the fundraiser, the Kelly McLain fund has been established at Wells Fargo Bank's West Seattle (Alaska Junction) Branch.
We’ve been wondering why it’s taken so long for somebody to do something about the burned-out, fenced-off ex-Schuck’s store in the 3700 block of California. Meandering around the land-use-application database, we discovered evidence that something is in the works, finally. (And shockingly, given recent development trends, NOT A RESTAURANT … well, at least at this stage.)
Sun or no sun, it’s opening day for West Seattle’s coolest pool.
Most people get there by parking in Lincoln Park’s south lot and walking north on the paved waterfront path. We prefer the other way — find a spot by Lowman Beach, walk down the end stub of Beach Drive to the start of Lincoln Park’s unpaved path — so much more beautiful and peaceful.
But whatever you do, our advice is, just go! We won’t get there today; something else is on the calendar … but before the holiday weekend’s over, we’ll definitely make our start-of-season pilgrimage.
-It’s not just Alki. I see urban tree protests are becoming the hot new thing.
-The new First Mutual Bank branch north of the Junction is finally open. Huge “GRAND OPENING” banner. That site was home to a “COMING SOON” sign for what seemed like years.
-The new Safeway gas station on Admiral (east of the Jack in the Box) looks close to opening. As we drove past, West Seattle Blogger Spouse exclaimed, “Good God, the site is even LANDSCAPED!” (But do a couple cents a gallon really matter when gas prices are this high? Just asking.)
-Driving almost the full length of California, I was a bit astounded at the number of new teardown-to-condo projects under way. It’s grown exponentially. One project even shows the transformation on its Web site. (And some of those condos are going for ALMOST A MILLION BUCKS!)
I’ve been a devoted voter since the first election after my 18th birthday — some tiny special election, sewer district board or something like that. Haven’t missed an election since. Every election day, the entire West Seattle Blog delegation walks to the small semi-public facility where workers for our precinct and several others are headquartered, and we cast our votes.
Apparently those days are ending. This may be good news for a lot of people, but not me. Voting always felt like a precious ritual. Trust me, I know it can be inconvenient — I’ve worked a lot of jobs with crazy, long hours, and sometimes it was tough to carve out that time to walk over to the polling place and do the deed. But it was, and is, important. Now it’ll be just something else to do at the cluttered dining table. I’ll miss those little old precinct workers.
–The latest edition of the Alki News Beacon just went up a few days ago.
–On the other end of the peninsula, the Fauntleroy Community Association’s spring newsletter is now posted.
–Found an excellent tale of community crime-fighting at the “Fairmount Springs” site.
–The West Seattle Junction site has been bannered “New Site Coming Soon” for months. I know redesigns are tough, but I’ve seen entire skyscrapers go up faster than this.
–Just one week till Colman Pool opens for the summer. If you have never been to this Sound-front city pool, you are missing something spectacular. Excellent swimming bargain, too, since its public swims run up to three hours, three times the maximum swim time for the same price at Southwest Pool and most other indoor facilities.
–Want to re-experience the joy of discovering West Seattle? Check out this blog entry from a new arrival.
Sorry if you tried visiting WSB in the past 20 hours or so and got an error page. Some sort of hijinks at the hosting company, apparently. Anyway, here’s what weÃ‚Â would have posted last night if we could have:
We rode the Water Taxi last night for the second time this season. It’s picked up even more ad banners since our first ride. They cover most of the surface space on the top deck. Mostly for WS enterprises — from our favorite bubble-tea place to the new cupcake joint — with a notable exception, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the waterfront.
We’re all for revenue-raising on behalf of public transit. But this is veering on the tacky — all the aesthetic qualities of those ad collages you find yourself facing sometimes in restaurant restrooms.
Meantime, speaking of public transit, tipster Rob wants to make sure we all know that our next chance to speak out in WS regarding the ongoing viaduct saga (remember, now we have FOUR OPTIONS!) is coming up in just a few days — here’s the calendar.
So much for the “heat wave” … didn’t hit anywhere near 80 ’round these parts. West Seattle Blog World HQ was comfy throughout the evening, even the parts of the bunker exposed to direct sunshine out of the west. However, it’s definitely time to switch from hot espresso drinks to iced espresso drinks. And if you’re into sugary (er, corn syrupy) soda, don’t miss the “four 12-packs of Pepsi products for $9” coupon in the Fred Meyer insert from last Sunday’s paper. (We alternate trips between the really nice Fred Meyer in Ballard, aka West Seattle North, and Burien, aka West Seattle South.)
-Go to the Farmers’ Market (10 am-2 pm).
-Decide whether you want to recruit somebody for the Hi-Yu Pageant (deadline tomorrow) or perhaps protest it as a last remnant of sexism (hey, after all, the Miss America pageant is in its last gasps). BTW you will never catch me trashing the Hi-Yu Parade. Beauty queens or not, I love the parade. Hope you’ll join me on the sidelines (July 22).
-Stake out a spot on Alki for tomorrow’s impending heat wave.
-Practice cooling off by going to public swim at Southwest Pool (4 pm).
Taking a brief break from all that sunshine … Our neighborhood positively roared with the sound of lawn mowers and weed-whackers, mixed with the chugging of cars en route to the garage sales dotting every block. One member of the WS Blogger Clan managed to purchase that best-of-all garage sale souvenir … a knick-knack whose true purpose in life is entirely mysterious … even the seller had no idea what it was for.
Finally the pattern in all this new restaurant/bar activity has dawned on us … We’re getting colonized by North Seattle.
When we got here more than a decade ago, the persistent perception seemed to be that “no one who’s SOMEONE would want to live THERE — it’s boring, out of the way, rolls up the sidewalks even before the sun goes down.” The population out here was dominated by old folks who’d bought their houses during the real-estate boom around World War II.
But the secret they kept was the true desirability of this side of the bay — water access, fabulous views, proximity to the rest of the city without quite so much urban density, noise, blocked sunshine, and so on. We saw it when we got here, and as the for-sale signs started going up (we had a morbid joke that you could find a new one by following the aid cars around), other “young” (subjective term, we know) people followed us.
What lagged was culture and services for a younger, livelier, better-off population. But now, somebody’s turned on the tap. We started thinking about this after a reputable tipster e-mailed us that he’s heard Queen Anne’s Bricco wine bar is opening an outpost next to Cupcake Royale (could be the space formerly occupied by the used bookstore — we hadn’t even realized that store had left).
The cupcake folks, of course, are from the north side. So are the Matador people whose business is booming just a bit further north on Cali Ave. According to this article, the people behind Talarico’s run successful nightspots in Fremont. Down on Alki, the ex-market is turning into a Cactus Restaurant, previously known only to folks in Madison Park (and Kirkland).
These are just the most recent examples. The colonization of West Seattle REALLY started with a couple of watershed events — Pagliacci opening in the Junction (can we whine again about their delivery-area borders? thanks) and Starbucks expanding beyond the lone Admiral store that for years after we got here remained its only presence in WS. True!
On one hand, we’re happy that WS is finally considered hot ‘n’ happening. On the other, we’re personally feeling a little left out, since we’re not in the snack/sip/hookup demographic many of these places are targeting. But overall, it makes WS a livelier place than the old days dominated by drugstores and diners, no question, and WSB World HQ can at least enjoy the resulting vibes by osmosis!
Back with more later tonight … but first … a reminder … tomorrow’s the Letter Carriers’ Food Drive; do some good without even having to leave your house/apartment/wherever — fill a bag with nonperishable food ‘n’ put it out where you pick up your mail.
Totally forgot about Larry’s Markets’ brief, doomed venture into West Seattle till the mention deep inside this story about Larry’s bankruptcy. But the recovered memory reblooms vividly: Summer 1995, venturing over to that space where the Roxbury Safeway now holds court, to check out “LoBucks” — loved the idea of Larry’s treats like brownies being available over here, but the store just stunk. Literally. Couldn’t set foot in it a second time. And soon it was gone.
As for the entirety of the Larry’s demise, it saddens WSB Spouse and I a bit. In our early years here, long before Metropolitan Market and other rivals, we used to drive all the way over to Queen Anne just to enjoy favorite dishes from the Larry’s deli. A couple times in the past two years or so, we went back in hopes of recapturing the magic — and it just wasn’t there — many trademark cold salads and marinated chicken varieties had vanished — even the trademark brownie trays were hard to find. So we stopped going. And apparently we weren’t alone.