West Seattle, Washington
I try to avoid prattling about the mechanics of keeping a blog, but it’s worth noting that one aspect of tracking incoming blog traffic allows you to see how people find you — certain search terms, for example. One search that brought somebody here today reminded me it’s time to check on some of the “in-the-works” businesses headed to WS, such as the ex-storefront north of the Junction that applied for a liquor license as “Divina Cantina.” My own subsequent search turned up this online entry that seems to suggest the Cantina will be a “Uruguayan wine bar” with live music, opening in late August. There’s something fresh! Also in the wine-bar realm, we noted on a semi-recent stroll that a wine bar was in the works next to West Seattle Cellars. Its website now says a 2007 opening is in the works – and offers a mailing-list link if you want to stay updated.
E-mail tip says this week’s edition of “Landscapers’ Challenge” on HGTV features a West Seattle family. I haven’t seen this show before but the premise sounds awesome … now THAT’S a makeover I’d be interested in. (HGTV is channel 68 on Comcast.)
The Seattle Times says one of the five women who survived getting shot at the Jewish Federation downtown on Friday night is from West Seattle. According to the Times, Cheryl Stumbo is in serious condition.
On a related note, a few anomalies we noticed at the Seafair Torchlight Parade tonight might have been related to the shootings: Mayor Nickels, Police Chief Kerlikowske, and County Executive Sims did not appear in the parade. They’re part of it every year, but not this time. (Security concerns? Was there an evening briefing or other event related to the shootings? Or just coincidence?) Also, the Lake City Western Vigilantes (the guys with the bouncing truck) did a do-si-do for their street routine instead of the usual faux gunbattle.
for the rest of the day & night, just a reminder about some of what’s up around West Seattle:
—Alki Art Fair today & tomorrow.
–“Jumanji” tonight at Sidewalk Cinema next to Hotwire Coffee, north of The Junction.
–May be too late by now, but I just found a notice about outrigger-canoe racing that was happening relatively early today off Alki. I haven’t seen outriggers since Hawaii.
–Tangentially WS-related: If you’re going to tonight’s Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown (wouldn’t miss it; fun to applaud the runners before the parade, too), remember the brand-new Miss Seafair is from West Seattle! So you can cheer her on the Seafair float as well as the delegation on the Hi-Yu float.
After tonight, it’s on to wondering exactly when the Blue Angels will arrive at the Museum of Flight in advance of next week’s excitement … Monday? Tuesday? The MOF site only lists the public Thurs-Sun activities, but I believe at least a few of them arrive earlier in the week. Might just have to wander over tomorrow in person to inquire.
This morning’s P-I sort of jumps into the “will we get a Trader Joe’s or won’t we” question … with a few slightly odd side trips, including grousing about what kind of materials will be used to build the Admiral project rumored to be TJ’s potential home. The other oddity about the P-I story is its inference that QFC is not already in West Seattle; the Westwood store’s been open for more than a decade.
A bit more information about something we noted last month, the prevalence of land-use aps around West Seattle for a new wireless-Internet service called Clearwire (headquartered in Kirkland). Info on availability was scarce then, but while walking through The Junction the other night, we noticed a big Clearwire banner in the window at Quidnunc, so we e-mailed to see what’s up. Here’s what Quidnunc boss Bill wrote back:
I can’t give you specific dates yet. I’ve been told ‘this fall.’ I know that some towers will be up and running before the end of August but the full rollout for King, Pierce and Snohomish counties will likely be October or later (but we’re hoping earlier). Coverage will be totally dependent on the ability to receive the signal (like a cell phone). All of West Seattle will be covered, but it is likely that some areas will have stronger signals that others.
–Some construction work seems to be under way at the old Mail & Dispatch building just east of Slices. When we passed last night, the signage area across its front and side bore the odd scrawls “Act Like It’s a Cigarette/He’s a Narc.” (Graffiti, or a past life as a head shop?) Speaking of Slices, the Alki noise/booze flap has now made The Stranger, one week after the writeup in The Herald.
–Also on the Alki restaurant beat, the Cactus Restaurants website finally has been updated to reflect the impending Alki location. New info includes its hours.
–And back in the non-virtual world, business appears to be booming on the relatively new Alki Crab & Fish beer/wine patio. Big crowd when we went by last night, and the adjacent Seacrest pier was jammed with fisherfolk. (By the way, it was a bit of a thrill to browse the counter in AFC and happen onto a copy of the Alki News Beacon, left open to the page with their kind little writeup about us.)
Back from a grand tour of WS with several bits of news. Most will have to wait for morning, except for this bit of breaking news from the Junction: An eviction notice is posted on the front window of Emily Ann’s Dollar Boutique (the former Kitty Corner, next to Key Bank, across from and to the south of Easy Street). It’s dated today and gives the store 10 days to “vacate.” Beneath that posting, rather superfluously, is a simple page with this bold print:Ã‚Â WE ARE CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
Pending our nightly cruise-for-news around WS, we have to get in this pitch, since Seafair comes but once a year.
If you have never watched the Blue Angels take off from and return to the Museum of Flight (which is just over the ridge from the east side of WS), it’s a must-see. More like must-feel, since the takeoff thunder gets right down into your bones, if you’re anywhere near the MOF runway.
We are MOF members almost solely for the purpose of having in-and-out Museum privileges during that joyful four-day weekend every summer. Aside from Seafair “Free” Friday (when you can go sit on the Lake Washington shore and watch the airshow and hydro practice for free), our vantage point for the rest of the Angels’ three runs (for rehearsal & for real) is at the MOF, along the fences. From the walkdown to the start-up to the takeoff, it’s tons of fun — and you do get to see a few fly-bys, plus several cool maneuvers when the sky is clear enough for the “high show.”
Just a week from tomorrow, it all begins!!!!
-Not only is West Seattle home to the mayor, we’re also now home to Miss Seafair! (Official coverage and photo on the Seafair home page, here.) So now if you’re joining us at the Torchlight Parade downtown on Saturday night, you can cheer crazily for her as well as for the fine folks on the Hi-Yu float.
-Haven’t heard a lot of noise on the school-closure issue lately, but the final School Board vote is set for tonight. There’s been a lot of excellent, thought-provoking discussion for the past few months — including issues beyond the closures/consolidations — on the “Saving Seattle Public Schools” blog, whose main contributor will be a Pathfinder parent next year.
-Lost/found dog/cat notices are sadly common on poles and windows — but last night while out and about, we spotted a “found rabbit” notice. It’s in the window of Pet Elements on the south end of Morgan Junction, and pretty vague, mentioning only that a “small domestic rabbit” was found “on California Avenue” and suggesting a call to the Seattle Animal Shelter if it might be yours.
BASEBALL: I hate the Mariners. They’ve ruined my commute for three nights straight.
SOCCER: In two weeks, David Beckham’s going to ruin my commute.
VOLLEYBALL: This Sunday, on Alki, concurrent with the Art Fair, and there’s something of a baseball tie-in.
FOOTBALL: I got nothin’.
The experts insist the heat wave is finally ending. Still — if it’s still sweltery tomorrow night — here’s a different way to try to keep cool by pretending to feel wintry: Cruise past Canine Casa in Fauntleroy (just south of Endolyne Joe’s) and check out the red-and-green holidayish lights. Bonus: Tuesday happens to be exactly five months till Christmas.
Got home from another tough commute to find out we’re inching closer to Decision Time regarding the (cue ominous music) Future of the Viaduct. Another thick new report has appeared, the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement. (All 8 chapters available here.) Wait, wait, don’t fall asleep yet … this is important stuff. Haven’t seen any impartial analyses yet (guess the reporters are still reading those 8 chapters) but among many other things, this report reminds us the official “deciders” (to borrow the President’s term) are only really considering two options: the tunnel and the replacement. Nothing more, nothing less. Wish they’d quit calling the tunnel “cut-and-cover”; sounds too much to my ears like the dread old phrase “duck-and-cover,” which is what I keep fearing we’ll have to do on the Viaduct sometime anyway.
So now the question remains: When will City Councilmembers decide if they have the you-know-whats to make a decision themselves, or if they’ll just “let” us decide — till somebody starts trying to force a re-vote till they get the results they want?
Took a closer look at the in-the-works Dakota Place Park, north of the Junction, on Sunday morning. Cool way to honor a chunk of West Seattle history (instead of, oh, say, turning it into more condos). The official city info page is here; citizen organizers have a site here. Several other park projects are under way on our peninsula too, including the ex-monorail site in Morgan Junction — where butcher paper just appeared on the windows of the ex-Video Vault building, to become the new home of Beveridge Place Pub as part of a deal with the city.
Most of today has been spent in pursuit of ways not to roast. We’ve guzzled gallons of ice water. We’ve run up our SPU bill by running the hose on the car, the plants, each other. We oohed and aahed over the air conditioning at Target, while in search of summer-specific merchandise that of course is no longer available, since that type of store has now turned its marketing attention to “BACK-TO-SCHOOL SEASON!” (despite the fact we’re not even midway through the miserably short summer break). Now it’s time to make a nice cool salad with lettuce procured at the Farmers’ Market earlier today, and think warmly (?) about the lower temperatures allegedly on the way.
Also time to look ahead to next weekend … looks like one of the marquee events on our side of the bay will be the Alki Art Fair, Saturday & Sunday.
If you’re old enough to remember the heyday of the drive-in movie, you’ll adore the Sidewalk Cinema movie series this summer. We decided at the near-last-minute to go to tonight’s kickoff — good turnout, looked like a couple hundred people, all gathered in the courtyard/parking area just east of Hotwire Coffeehouse. Not only was “Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit” a howling good time (our second viewing), the WWII-era Bugs Bunny cartoon and JFK-era school “instructional filmstrip” video provided some laughs too.
A few things we weren’t prepared for: would have brought $ if we’d known each of these showings has a benefit charity; tonight it was Furry Faces Foundation, announced as “West Seattle’s newest nonprofit” (can’t find a website for them, darn). A hat was passed twice to collect donations, and two items were auctioned at “intermission” — a $40 Hotwire prepaid coffee card (went for $30) and something from the “flamingo flocking” folks who also had appeared in the parade earlier (went for $17). Plus, West Seattle Christian School is presenting concessions — popcorn and candy, on the east side of the courtyard (Hotwire was open before the movie too; yummy drinks).
Next Saturday night, same place, same time (excellent screen/DVD video and audio quality, if you’re picky about those things) — movie will be Jumanji. We’ll be at the Seafair Torchlight Parade downtown instead (cheering for the Hi-Yu float! and anything else West Seattle-related, including Hizzoner) but if you’re not going, Sidewalk Cinema is a great time. (Especially after a hot day … on our way out, we overheard a guy complaining he’d be going home to the “hottest house in West Seattle.” I always thought ours was. Love the western exposure, except for those two or three scorchers every year …)
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.