West Seattle, Washington
Seafair is the only time we retract our statement, “Why do all those rich people choose to live on Lake Washington — if we had that many bucks, we’d buy a shoreline mansion on Beach Drive.” We spent about four hours today executing our annual plan to enjoy the Seafair Free Friday events — the Blue Angels, the “not Blue Angels” airshow, and hydro qualifying. Got our best waterfront “seat” yet …
-Another Sidewalk Cinema movie tomorrow night. “Little Shop of Horrors” this time. We had such a great time at Sidewalk Cinema (next to Hotwire Coffee) two weeks ago, we might go to this one even though we’re kind of meh on the movie.
-See what’s new at the Farmers’ Market 10 am-2 pm Sunday. (I recommend the lettuce from the produce booth close to the northwest corner … just a couple booths up from where Eats Market Cafe usually sets up.)
-Check out “Cabaret” at ArtsWest.
-Enjoy Colman Pool (and the view) … only one month left in the season (where DID the summer go?).
If you wanted to get bread daily from Great Harvest in The Junction, you’d have to skip Sundays — till now. Just passing thru a few hours ago, spotted a giant banner outside the store: OPEN SUNDAY. Funny they didn’t make the move sooner, given the size of the crowd that moves through the area for the Sunday Farmers’ Markets, for starters.
Regarding the display of grill equipment in front of the Delridge store behind an imposing fence: “Oh look, it’s a petting zoo for barbecues.”
Yet another viaduct report is out. This one apparently says, reinforcing the existing viaduct doesn’t seem to be the solution.
Seems like every viaduct report has the same theme. “Give me tunnel, or give me (death?).”
Reminds me of the ’90s animated series “Dinosaurs” — the Baby Dinosaur character kept rejecting the Dad Dinosaur by referring to him, in a high shrieky little voice, as “NOT the mama! NOT the mama! NOT the mama!” I imagine Mayor Nickels throwing similar tantrums, looking at each and every viaduct option (other than his oft-voiced preference) and shriekingly describing them as “NOT the tunnel! NOT the tunnel! NOT the tunnel!”
The Blue Angels have arrived and all’s right with the world … Oh wait, there’s a little something wrong. A tipster sent us a link to the Whole Foods Market webpage mentioning the upcoming West Seattle store … just one little problem … the address isn’t quite right, unless Fauntleroy Place is moving way far away from Fauntleroy!
The banners on the Fauntleroy walkover are getting livelier. Spotted one the other night that simply read TOGA, TOGA, TOGA. On the other side, somebody declared his love for his wife on the occasion of “30 HOT YEARS OF MARRIAGE.” One of these days, we’re going to get somebody in the WSB Posse to sneak up in the dead of night and hang something like WESTSEATTLEBLOG.COM LOVES YOU. (Because of course we do.)
I have already warned you that I am a bigtime Blue Angels fan. On the offhand chance you are too, let me be among the first to tell you that the first jet has arrived at the Museum of Flight — the West Seattle Blogger Posse (minus me) happened to be there late this morning, quite coincidentally, when it happened. They learned that the other six are coming in tomorrow. If you missed my earlier post, I’ll mention my two favorite “Blue Angels/Seafair semi-secrets” once again — (a) the Friday show over Lake Washington is considered a practice run (even though it’s the full official show), so you don’t have to pay a cent to go sit along the shore down near Genesee Park and watch the Angels (along with hydro practice runs); (b) also free, the Angels’ takeoffs and landings (and flybys) at the Museum of Flight and its end of Boeing Field. (Within the half-hour before the takeoff, it’s also cool to watch the synchronized ground maneuvers of the maintenance crew and the Angel pilots’ “walkdown.”
Last but not least … if the only thing Seafair weekend and the Blue Angels mean to you is “damn, the I-90 bridge is going to be shut down a few times for all that noise,” here’s the info link with days and times.
The arrival of August is bittersweet because it’s both the best part of summer (the nicest weather) and the worst part of summer (most of the big festivals and celebrations are over). However, the fine folks of Morgan Junction are going to stretch out the season with a community festival in mid-September. If you live on the other side of WS, come down this way sometime and check it out — the “big” Junction gets more attention, but things are hopping on the south end too. Have a Caffe Ladro latte and try their espresso cheesecake; check out the fiery-sweet General Tso’s Chicken at New Teriyaki & Wok; then head west to our “south West Seattle” beaches (Lincoln Park & Lowman) or take a ferry ride to Vashon and Southworth. Lots of teardowns-to-townhomes on this end too, so things won’t be quiet for long.
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 ruling’s in, according to a short post on the Seattle Times’ home page, which says regulators have pulled the school’s two titles because of the girls-recruiting scandal.