West Seattle, Washington
They’re just about to bloom at the Fauntleroy Creek overlook (across the street and up the staircase from the ferry dock).
They’re not big splashy flowers like tulips or daffodils. They’re small and relatively rare. They’re on a spiny plant called Darwin’s barberry, and they are the color of a tequila sunrise. No photos do them justice but here’s one anyway. They usually bloom at the start of April — that’s whenÃ‚Â we saw them for the first time, on a bush at Shore Acres State Park in Oregon, more than 15 years ago — and discovering them on a hedge at the salmon overlook here was more joy than we could stand. Just wondrous.
Tunnel? Viaduct? Neither? What about the rest of our … hmm … not-so-great transportation network — if you had the money and power, what would YOU do to fix it? Tonight’s your chance to say it straight to West Seattle’s Most Famous Politician (and others) — right in our own backyard. 6:30 pm, WSHS, be there.
Gosh, I hate to brag. Well, no, I don’t, really …
Also sort-of-new tonight: Someone who helps publish the WS Herald finally found this here blog thing and answered my question from last month (scroll down to the comment).
Taking a break from the Holy Rosary situation … another West Seattle pastor makes it into the news today. Unfortunately, it’s because he seems to be “our” version of noted prejudice-monger Ken Hutcherson (second-to-last paragraph here; at least this story rescues the WS image with a more reasonable quote from Councilguy Dow).
Sounds like things are getting a little scary on this side of the peninsula.
First the Fairmount Springs team runs yet another post about a car prowl.
Now the Fauntleroy folks are calling a “community security meeting” after a siege by smash-and-grabbers so brazen, they’re even hitting the church parking lot. Now that’s just evil.
Interesting tidbit about a West Seattle gas station toward the end of this P-I story.
Even with gas prices back on the brink of $3, I hadn’t thought much about the possibility of not always getting what you pay for. But one cup out of a $3 gallon would be more than 18 cents worth of gas — and in a fill-up, that could add up fast.
By the way, looks like they kinda need some West Seattle gas-price spotters at this site — I chose “SW Seattle” (W Seattle didn’t appear to be an option) and nothing came up but a plea for tipsters.
Our friends who attend Holy Rosary are keeping us up to date on the priest situation following the bombshell resignation of the church’s longtime pastor. They say today’s church bulletin said “this weekend, the identity of our new pastor will be revealed, but he won’t arrive until July 1” — however, at least at the service they attended, they didn’t hear an announcement.
This morning’s deadly shooting rampage on Capitol Hill left me trying to remember if anything really horrific ever happened here in WS. I remember a particularly ugly summer in the early ’90s including someone getting shot and killed on a waterfront bench along Beach Drive. But I forgot the 1998 bridge shootings till this Times “side note” article on Other Really Bad Shootings in Our State. Anyway, condolences to the relatives of today’s victims, and prayers for all who are taken away too soon …
I’m a big fan of the smoking ban but I have to agree with West Seattle Blogger Spouse, it just seems wrong somehow for smokers to even have to take it outside at divey little joints like Chuck ‘n’ Sally’s. Quite the little clot of puffers standing outside there a bit earlier tonight, perhaps getting ready to tank up for the Big Basketball Game …
I thought the Monorail Board wasn’t supposed to decide the fate of the tab tax till they opened the bids and told us all how much $ they would reap from the real-estate sendoff. Guess not.
Also … for those of us envious of waterfront-property owners … here’s something to dunk your envy in today.
Passed by Eats Market Cafe tonight at Westwood Village. The local food stars who run this well-regarded eatery have something more than menus posted in the window right now — a birth announcement! Luke Handler, born March 16, described on the flyers as a “future chef.” Congrats to Evan and Toby!
Perhaps the news coverage of this week’s two cruise-ship-related tragedies made you wonder how soon those big white boats are going to start showing up again every weekend off Duwamish Head, aiming for Alaska. Looks like we’re a month away from the first one, according to the Port of Seattle cruise schedule (PDF). Provided Councilguy Dow’s word is good and the Water Taxi will be back this summer, should be more good times with the “Sightseer” crossing paths with the mega-ships on sunny summer afternoons …
OK, so it’s hard not to know that Eddie Vedder is from West Seattle. And we had long since heard that Soundgarden has ties here too. But it’s news to us (go ahead, laugh) that a major name from Mudhoney lives in WS too. The band’s out with a new album and that means a new round of interviews, including this one that caught our eye on an unrelated search because of this line:
Having turned 44 last month, Mark Arm, who shares a West Seattle home with his wife, remains one of rock’s most iconic figures.
A more-entertaining quote comes from a Seattle Times interview last week:
Q: Briefly describe the most annoying neighbors you’ve ever had.
A: The people who lived next door to us when we first moved into our house in West Seattle. Nosy retired couple.
And even more to the point about WS, an excerpt from a 2002 interview in the Times, when the writer asked two band members to interview each other at Easy Street:
Turner: What do you like most about living in West Seattle?
Arm (gazing down the street from behind Elvis sunglasses, chewing gum ferociously as he ponders): I like the fact that … it still hasn’t been renovated. I like the fact that, with the exception of Easy Street, you’re not surrounded by hipsters every time you walk down the street. I like being surrounded by the salt of the Earth.
Yeah, us too.
Discovered two bloglets that seem to have something to do with the Junction successor to Ben ‘n’ Jerry’s (remember, you read it here first). Cupcakes ‘n’ coffee, trumpets the ad art featured on this page. If you want to be the first to know when they’ll open, you can sign up for their e-mail list here. And if you want to be intimately familiar with the signage and fixtures they’re looking at, have yourself a party here.
P.S. Also from today’s papers — a P-I update on the Holy Rosary situation, mentioning 700 people at last night’s meeting (and that’s about the only bit of “news” in the story).
The east side of Cali Ave in The Junction just keeps a-changin’ — Just discovered that New Luck Toy isn’t just getting a new look, it’s getting a new mission. A flyer posted to its door touts “Talarico’s Pizzeria,” ostensibly coming soon. And even more shocking — the streetfront facade to the restaurant’s great brown hulk now has WINDOWS!
I do wonder what will become of the charming blinking neon New Luck Toy sign, though. Such a throwback to the day when every small town (and WS was once a small town all its own) had a sort-of-kitschy Chinese restaurant, serving cornstarchy Cashew Chicken over Minute Rice with a side of those crunchy canned “chow mein noodles.” Ewww.
BTW, Talarico’s does not appear to be a chain — the name only turns up online as a store in Kansas … (“Dorothy, we’re not eating Chinese food any more!”)
The Times picks up today on the flyer that we mentioned on Sunday. Also noteworthy in the story: a link to a remembrance blog. One of the listed contributors traces back here. Seems like something/someone I would have heard about before, so I went off in search of more info about that business — found two stories, here and here. (Not necessarily relevant to the topic at hand here except that it’s yet more proof of the abundant creativity bubbling beneath the WS surface!)
Kind of forgot about ’em for a while … but the other day, when I just couldn’t bear to spend another dime on Corporate Coffee, I wandered into Casablanca (on 35th, a bit south of the water tower). Yum!!! Very smoooooth latte’. Although the whole bit with the house next door selling “discount mattresses” is just a bit bizarre.
It’s nice to have this tiny nook on the Web to ramble about memories as well as what’s happening now. That said — our jaunt to Alki yesterday reminded me that I still don’t know the fate of The Bird Lady of Beach Drive. She lived in a white bungalow across from the open waterfront at Emma Schmitz Viewpoint, an older lady with wild long salt-and-pepper hair and glasses. Many mornings, you’d see her out on the grassy streetside waterfront bank across from her house, throwing food at seagulls and ranting loudly at the world as her hair danced in the breeze like a kite. More than once, I saw her at West Seattle Thriftway, continuing her semi-high-volume muttering while shopping.
In the past few years, I hadn’t seen her, but her old mini-station-wagon-type car was still parked next to her house, so I suspected she was still in there somewhere.
Then some months back — the “FOR SALE” sign went up, and the station wagon was nowhere in sight. Yesterday, in fact, as we passed the cottage, an open house was under way, and that reminded me I still didn’t know the fate of The Bird Lady of Beach Drive — dead? living with a caretaker? institutionalized? Certainly a memorable WS character, and those are in shorter supply these days.
The scene at Alki this afternoon looked more like mid-July than mid-March. Bikers posing along the sidewalks, kids digging in the sand, teens spilling out of the burger and fish-n-chip joints, traffic moving at slug-pace. Crowded but spectacular! Even brought out one of the first street musicians I’ve seen at the beach in a long time — a guy who turned one of the concrete pedestals across from Pepperdock into a mini-stage, singing and strumming to everyone and anyone. ‘Scuse me now, I think I have to go find something for a mild case of sunburn …
Seems the case isn’t entirely closed on the priest resignation at Holy Rosary. Our friends who go there tell us they got a flyer in today’s bulletin announcing a meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the whole thing. The flyer also says something about the circumstances of the case involving an area of the rules overseeing “sexual misconduct and harassment,” which wasn’t really hinted at in any of the local media stories about the departure. Wonder just how much information church leaders will be able to share; it’s going to be hard for the upset parishioners to really feel any kind of “closure” unless they really understand whatever it is in this case that was such a heinous violation.
So how are you coping on this mostly-Viaduct-less weekend? We had to work around it a couple times on Saturday and managed just fine. And now I’m intensifying in my support of this opinion — Hizzoner should be brave and bold and shut the thing down for a real test of just how we all will cope, so we can get some stats and whatnot before The Big Vote (eyeroll) this fall. Trying to remember back to our post-earthquake Viaduct-less-ness five years ago doesn’t count; we were all too traumatized. I suggest that our City Leaders get their traffic engineers and researchers together, make a plan, and pick, oh, say, two weeks in the first half of May (gotta do this before the summer tourists show up in mega-force) to Just Do It: Close the viaduct, look at how flows change on the bridge, I-5, Alaskan Way, First Avenue South, etc. Oh, and it would be handy if they could rev up the Water Taxi in time.