West Seattle, Washington
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.
As we passed through a bluffside neighborhood tonight, the view to the Sound and Blake/Vashon Islands seemed a bit clearer than usual. Won’t be able to verify till daylight, but I suspect more trees have come down; developers have stopped shying away from the area’s steeper hillsides. Brings back wistful memories of our earliest WS years, when I wished so hard to have enough money to buy a particular lot along Beach Drive where a thicket of trees hung over the northbound lane, marked ominously with a “FOR SALE” sign. It sat there for years, then finally went away when houses started going up atop the bluff where the trees grew. And the tree-thinning began. Now a “FOR SALE” sign hangs in the same spot again, in the shade of only a few remaining west-leaning trees. Most likely fewer birds sing, fewer bees buzz; did anyone notice but me?
If you like spicy Chinese food, I have to renew my recommendation of New Teriyaki & Wok, just south of the Morgan Junction Thriftway. I sort of started forgetting how good its kung pao and General Tso’s chicken dishes are, till dropping by Uwajimaya’s deli for lunch today. No comparison. NT&W is so much better. Spicier, sweeter, more … robust. Eat in, take out. Closed Sundays but if you see this before 9 p.m. Saturday, it’s not too late to grab something tonight! (You won’t see us there, though. We’ve passed our takeout quota for the week. Looks like something frozen tonight.)
Lovely Friday night. Not too cold. Not rainy. Just right for a stroll along Alki. Hmm … what’s that noise … Oops. St. Patrick’s Day. Overflow crowd outside the Celtic Swell, and drunken 20somethings staggering along the sidewalk for blocks either way, bellies full of green beer (or worse). Whoops, back home in a hurry, mark calendar for next year (when St. Pat’s will be on a SATURDAY), avoid the vicinity …
En route to Endolyne Joe’s this morning (see below), noticed for the first time that the south parking lot for Lincoln Park is fenced off and partially taken over by vehicles and material involved in the pipe project. If that drags on into the summer, LP parking will be more problematic than ever, especially on weekends when people book the picnic shelters for special events. So don’t say I didn’t warn you …
Dropped by Endolyne Joe’s (just uphill from the Fauntleroy ferry dock) for the first time in months. They’ve been doing a Quebec theme (certain food specials including, on the lunch menu, the classic fries-n-curds-n-gravy creation known as “poutine”) for a while, but the waitperson gravely informed us that it’s changing next week … along with the cute icicly (haven’t they heard about global warming?) decor. Next up: Santa Fe Tex-Mex. Jalapenos, here we come!
Cami from the fabulous Alki News Beacon suggests we should all mark our calendars for these. Note the one at West Seattle HS on March 29. I guess this means Hizzoner Himself will actually be there; not that the WSHS event will be much of a drive for Our Homegrown Leader.
The March issue of the Alki News Beacon is out … and our dear pals are revealing rough times. Good gosh, in a world where we can spend billions on bombs, we should be able to scrape up a few bucks for a good grass-roots community group & its newsletter.
I was going to suggest — have you guys tried brainstorming with Megawatt? Then I went to the MW home page & got an idea … how about a big rummage sale to raise $ for your group? I don’t live on that side of town any more but I promise I’d donate!
Now that banner season on the pedestrian bridge across the top of the Fauntleroy approach to The Bridge, one particular banner is driving me batty.
In huge black letters/numbers on a white sheet, it says, “22’s ABOUT TO B. WILDE.”
I’m guessing a local sports player who’s #22 is also “B. Wilde.” Can’t find anything on Web search. Anybody got a clue?
In case you miss it a few posts down, “HC” says he’s learned that Starbucks is buying/has bought the Rainier Roaster drive-thru restaurant near the 35th/Fauntleroy gateway to The Bridge. Have to say, that’s a killer location for a drive-up Starbucks, although I hope they re-route the traffic a bit, since one of the reasons I seldom visited RR was the weird route required to get to the window.
Just a bit of wistfulness …
The Morgan Junction Subway remodeling work is over. More like redecorating. A key point — the original Subway wall decor (wallpaper mapping the NYC Subway system) is gone, replaced by big color photo murals of vegetables. Yes, I know, that fits the brand, but it’s just one more little bit of familiarity by the wayside. Kind of like the whole 76 ball thing.
Friends of ours who go to Holy Rosary say an official from local Catholic headquarters dropped a bombshell at morning services today: the church’s priest resigned amid allegations of “improprieties.” No details, but our friends say the official was careful in his announcement to point out that it involved “adults.” This has to be a big shakeup for hundreds of local families — this priest had run that church for more than a decade. Nothing about it on the Holy Rosary website as of this writing.
A micro-protest is in progress along Cali Ave between the Alaska and Morgan Junctions.
We counted at least half a dozen small handcut white cards, no more than maybe 3 x 4, tacked onto phone poles, hand-lettered with this plea:
IMPEACH BUSH FOR WAR CRIMES
“For war crimes” was in blue ink;Ã‚Â “impeach Bush” in black.
The cards can’t have been up for long — they are not discolored or weather-stressed in any way. Maybe somebody prepping for the weekly WS anti-war vigil.
Started a long rant on this. Realized it really boils down to just one thing:
PAGLIACCI, O PAGLIACCI, PLEASE MOVE YOUR DELIVERY ZONE BORDER A COUPLE MILES SOUTH!
Our joy at Pagliacci’s WS arrival years ago was muted by the revelation that they refused to deliver to our neighborhood. The border is actually way north of even Morgan Junction.
So, at least three times a month, we place our order on the way home, and drop by The (Alaska) Junction for pickup. Past couple times, though, the wait has been insane. Last night, the wait just to pick up pre-ordered pizzas filled almost the entire store — 15 minutes just to get to the counter.
Sure sign of success. So why not expand the delivery zone? Even little Amante, headquartered way north of Pagliacci, will happily drive orders this far.
… like a big bright postcard headlined