Bridge back in business

The West Seattle Bridge reopened in both directions late this morning after wreckage from the overnight crash was cleared. We’ve heard that the Water Taxi did extra business because of the traffic nightmare, and it’s adding some extra runs for folks returning home tonight. As of mid-afternoon online reports, no information apparently about who the crash victims were or what exactly caused the crash.

Deadly crash closes The Bridge

If you use the high bridge to leave WS in the morning, check the traffic reports and the bridge cams before you go — right now it’s closed both ways because of a deadly crash. Here’s what’s online right now in the relatively early morning: P-I, channel 7, channel 5.

If you’ve never had to detour around the bridge before, beware the low bridge as an option — in situations like this, it clogs pretty fast. Heading south through White Center and then north on Highway 509 can also work.

Living dangerously

First night of summer, last day of school, whatever the case, a little edgy down along Alki Beach just after sunset — we were out for a simple “scenic drive” en route home from downtown, but things bottlenecked right around the Pepperdock — at least half a dozen police cars blocking off a side street, officers walking warily around the edge of a fairly thick crowd on the beach side of the street. Hard to tell if any actual trouble had brewed, but with the crowd so close to the traffic lanes, we felt a bit nervous. I know Alki’s been a gathering place for The Young Folks since the dawn of time, but this density seemed a little unfamiliar.

Grand opening du jour

June 21, 2006 5:21 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Thanks to a tipster for calling our attention to a CitiFinancial branch that’s just opened on 42nd, south of Alaska, across from Jefferson Square. As the tipster notes, it’s a banking boom in WS these days — with Viking Bank building a branch at the old Burger King site further down Alaska, and First Mutual opening its new building on Cali Ave north of the Junction. Maybe the attraction is all the new construction? Or perhaps just the people moving here to live in the new construction …

Summer arrives in more ways than one

This first day of summer is also the last day of school for Seattle Public Schools kids.

Congrats to all for making it through another school year!

(No holiday for the school-closure hearings, though; the next round is next week, including two stops on our side of the bay, at Fairmount Park and Pathfinder/Genesee; then the final recommendations come out just in time to ignite their own round of pre-4th fireworks.)

Other West Seattle blogs

Nearing our six-month “anniversary” (yes, I know, “anniversary” really shouldn’t be applied to anything but increments of one year, so I put it in quotes), we’re thinking it’s high time to start putting together a page of other West Seattle-based bloggers. If you’d like to nominate someone, please e-mail me. Google Blog Search is helpful enough for pointing out who mentions WS in their blog, but it’s a little tougher to sort out who is truly BASED here (like this guy who popped up on GBS for the first time; I love his phrase “all-day dad”). So suggestions are more than welcome.

Last full day of spring. Really.

Summer solstice arrives at 4:26 am our time on Wednesday.

(Suppose there’s any chance summer weather will arrive with it?)

Forgive me if this is old news; just happened onto the definitive declaration that there will be no “Seattle Music Fest” at Alki this summer. The Alki Art Fair is still in the works, though.

Unusual way to use a free “blog” page

June 19, 2006 6:08 pm
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 |   West Seattle online

Or at least, it’s a tactic I haven’t seen before: new blog real estate listing here in WS.

Just passing through

June 19, 2006 5:38 am
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 |   Seen around town | West Seattle schools

We were briefly puzzled on Saturday afternoon when the RFTC shirts on “Walking with Logs” were replaced with dark green shirts and a huge banner, “CONGRATULATIONS VHS PIRATES.”

Chief Sealth … no V … WSHS … no V … aha — Vashon! Seems Saturday was graduation day.

Meantime, if school zones are on your regular route through WS, it’s worth noting that the school year is almost over — Wednesday’s the last day, at least for SPS.

Synchronicity

June 18, 2006 2:59 pm
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 |   Seen around town | Westwood

Drove by the “Arlington Northwest” display at Roxhill this afternoon (mentioned in “events” post below). One word: Overwhelming.

As we approached, the oldies station launched into “What’s Goin’ On” by Marvin Gaye. (Follow the link if you don’t get the synchronicity.)

The display is up till 7 tonight if you haven’t seen it for yourself.

Restaurants, restaurants everywhere and not a spot to park

Just back from Father’s Day lunch on Alki … and the parking-spot-search backups were intense. We went to Duke’s and had to park up near Alki Community Center. Driving back toward this side of town, we saw a huge jam of folks trying to get into the Salty’s lot. At least one person gave up, dropped off someone near the Salty’s entrance, and then went off in search of somewhere to leave the car — we last saw them evaluating whether they’d get away with parking near the Harbor Avenue 7-11.

I mention all this not to say “gee, don’t drive to Alki,” because I am aware we were part of “the problem” by doing that very thing. I mention it because the eateries just keep opening and you have to wonder where the cars will go. For example, compared to the 100-plus capacity for the future Cactus, how many cars does that little underground garage really fit?

BTW, on the Salty’s end of things, Alki Fish and Chips has a flyer up saying they’re adding an “outdoor patio with beer and wine.”

Events past/present/future

PAST:

The annual Viaduct Walk on Saturday morning was moving as always. To truly immerse yourself in the spirit, you have to read participants’ T-shirts, placards, and signs. This time around, the whimsical included “Babes for Boobs” and a contingent with bunny ears; the somber included a pink-shirted “survivor” with a note attached to her race bib “in memory of (name)/we’re walking today together.”

PRESENT:

Chances are you’ll read this on Sunday, when another potentially memorable event is scheduled to take over part of Roxhill Park, across from Westwood Village.

FUTURE:

A tipster e-mailed to say he’s seen posters suggesting the music lineup for this year’s West Seattle Junction Festival/Street Festival, now rechristened “Summer Fest,” has some intriguing acts — including, he says, John Doe of “X” — can’t find any corroboration to that online but there does seem to be a tangential West Seattle connection; JD duetted with our resident rock megastar on a recent release. He also mentions 50 Foot Wave, whose own site does mention the WS Summer Fest gig. (The festival’s own site doesn’t list the music acts yet.) Tomorrow when we’re at the Junction for the Farmers’ Market, I’ll look around for the Summer Fest posters.

ALSO FUTURE:

Just another early plug for The Big Parade. July 22. Be there.

Meet the guys and gals in blue

June 17, 2006 6:39 am
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 |   WS miscellaneous

If you’re still looking for an interesting way to spend your afternoon, the relatively new police precinct on our side of the bay is holding a picnic/open house event 1-4 pm today. (That link leads you to the precinct home page, and it’s got some other interesting info, such as this map … do you live in “F” sector or “W” sector?)

Busy bridge

June 16, 2006 6:26 pm
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 |   WS miscellaneous

The pedestrian overpass at the west (Fauntleroy) end of The Bridge was certainly busy tonight. Didn’t even get to take it all in while whizzing beneath. One marriage proposal … another declaration of love … and just before the bridge, there were the “Walking on Logs” sculptures, dressed in Race for the Cure T-shirts in honor of tomorrow’s Viaduct stroll. If you take the Admiral exit from The Bridge, you miss a lot!

More on “Al’s,” and an impending neighbor

Made it over to get a closer look at “Al’s.” Sorry I got it wrong while driving by the first time — it’s Al’s CAFE and Espresso, not “Deli.” Small hand-lettered sign promises “soups, salads, sandwiches.” It was closed by the time we got there, so I can’t vouch for any of that myself. An interesting sighting nearby, though — a couple doors down, next to West Seattle Cellars, a liquor-license notice is posted for “Vino Verite” — with a handwritten sign promising “Wine Bar Soon!” (I see it’s got a Web site too.) Makes sense, but I’m wondering what’s up with all this “Verite” — that’s the real name behind the Cupcake Royale people, too.

One MORE grand opening

June 15, 2006 6:07 pm
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 |   West Seattle restaurants | WS beverages | WS breaking news

Just noticed somebody new’s moved into the former Bubble Lounge Caffe (that’s the way they spelled it) on the east side of Cali Ave, a few blocks north of Morgan Junction. Big “Grand Opening” sign for “Al’s Deli and Espresso.” Didn’t have time to stop in to find out more — will wander by as soon as feasible.

Also Junction-bound

New liquor license application filed for something called the “Divina Cantina” at 4212 SW Genesee, just north of the Junction. A search on that address comes back right now with  some sort of drywall business. No time right this moment to drive by and have a peek — but isn’t that the church zone?

Roller coaster?

This story contains an interesting description of Beach Drive, apparently courtesy of our own WS-based city poobah, Hizzoner. Which section do you suppose he’s referring to? The long straight section with the speed bumplets got repaved several years back. So I’d vote for the section from Lincoln Park Way northward … although I still don’t think that’s as rutted as certain busy stretches of Fauntleroy Way. Anyway, your nominations are welcomed by Hizzoner’s office, and the “winners” supposedly get repaved. (Guess my street is out of the running; we’ve already gotten a postcard about impending chip-seal replenishment.)

West Seattle skateboard park?

While city leaders deliberate what to do about the viaduct, the Sonics, and other sore spots, it seems they also are plotting a network of skateboard parks. If you’ve got anything to say about this, there’s a hearing at SW Community Center tomorrow night.

Talk about synergy

June 13, 2006 8:54 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Just back from a drive around Alki, where we noticed the banners up for the impending Seafair Pirates landing. Just one day after the opening of the next pirate movie. Perhaps Disney will consider a spinoff, “Pirates of Elliott Bay” — where our hero/anti-heroes try to loot Alaska-bound barges. Or something.

Speaking of politics

(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.”

Tuesday morning news ‘n’ notes

-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.

Proof the monorail really is toast

Got our first post-monorail car-license renewal notice today. Wow, that really was a chunk of change. Maybe we can lay claim to a brick when the “Former Monorail Station Site Park” takes shape over on the Fauntleroy Auto Repair lot.