Wrist slap

May 11, 2006 3:30 am
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

You know, it’s only sports, for God’s sake. Did they really wimp out because of fears somebody would SUE? Fine lesson THAT teaches our next generation of adults.

This just flat-out sucks

May 10, 2006 5:51 pm
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 |   West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

From the WS Herald: WSHS cancels 9th-grade honors program.

Seattle Public Schools leaders wonder why enrollment keeps dropping. That’s because they offer nothing for the people who have the resources to make a choice. Check out the 12th paragraph here — what in the world could an educator possibly have against spending some time working with bright kids? Practically right across the street from WSHS, the district’s “Spectrum” program manages to hang on, despite outright hostility and neglect from district leaders. You can bet the parents of those kids are trying mightily to save for private school in later years, now that the district has flown the “we’re not even going to try to keep your kids challenged in high school” flag.

In this case, it doesn’t even sound like a case of money trouble for the district. Just flat-out indifference to the very real needs of gifted kids, and other high achievers. Getting off my soapbox now, but my blood’s still a-boil …

Grand opening

May 10, 2006 3:00 am
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 |   West Seattle restaurants

The Cupcake Royale mailing list just yielded an announcement of the Junction “grand opening” party next week. (Not that I’m any great cupcake fan — cupcakes make me think of childhood birthday parties, no hugely fond memories there — I just got on the mailing list to track our latest local arrival.) Here’s the text, in case this sounds like fun to you:

We’re almost ready to open our doors in West Seattle so we’re going to throw a party to celebrate! Naturally you’re invited, so plan on hanging with us from 6-9 pm on Thursday, May 19th. It’s our treat, so there will be FREE CUPCAKES, FREE COFFEE, AND DJ E.R. spinning the tunes. It happens one night only, so come on by or hear about it from your friends afterward.

We’ll be opening for official business starting May 19th. We’ll be open in West Seattle from 6 am until 10 pm every day.

Non-food “franchise”

Looks like one of the mega-churches within the Seattle city limits is branching into West Seattle. Doxa on 35th apparently started as a “church plant” from the trendy Mars Hill Church in Ballard; now we’ve read in a few spots that Doxa will be rechristened Mars Hill-West Seattle (and in fact, when we drove through the area earlier this week, the Doxa logo was gone from the sign). We’re all for spiritual diversity; just wish this side of the bay could get a vibrant New Thought church going gangbusters as well …

End of yet another era

May 9, 2006 3:14 am
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 |   WS miscellaneous

Totally forgot about Larry’s Markets’ brief, doomed venture into West Seattle till the mention deep inside this story about Larry’s bankruptcy. But the recovered memory reblooms vividly: Summer 1995, venturing over to that space where the Roxbury Safeway now holds court, to check out “LoBucks” — loved the idea of Larry’s treats like brownies being available over here, but the store just stunk. Literally. Couldn’t set foot in it a second time. And soon it was gone.

As for the entirety of the Larry’s demise, it saddens WSB Spouse and I a bit. In our early years here, long before Metropolitan Market and other rivals, we used to drive all the way over to Queen Anne just to enjoy favorite dishes from the Larry’s deli. A couple times in the past two years or so, we went back in hopes of recapturing the magic — and it just wasn’t there — many trademark cold salads and marinated chicken varieties had vanished — even the trademark brownie trays were hard to find. So we stopped going. And apparently we weren’t alone.

And ANOTHER restaurant?

After a cruise through the Junction tonight, en route to chilly, windy Alki, I went back to the city permit site to look for clues to what’s behind the butcher paper now covering windows at the old Neilsen Florist shop. Lo and behold … all signs point to another restaurant.

Meantime, to the south along Cali Ave, a cupcake war seems to be shaping up. Just as Cupcake Royale starts flashing more gang signs as it gets closer to opening, we’ve spotted the folks at nearby Coffee to a Tea With Sugar throwing down by adding the word “cupcakes” to its window decor.

If you love garage sales …

May 8, 2006 3:06 am
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 |   WS miscellaneous

… be sure not to leave West Seattle next Saturday; our side of the bay will be in the spotlight that day (May 13) as the Garage Sale Capital of the World. The folks from Megawatt were out at the Farmers’ Market yesterday with reminder leaflets.

The WSB clan is not much for garage-saling; we bought our house from someone who apparently made most of her living having them, and for months afterward, we were rudely awakened many weekend mornings by people asking when we were going to start putting out the stuff. So we won’t be among the sellers, but we might try a little browsing!

Farmers’ Market report

May 7, 2006 4:19 pm
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 |   West Seattle Farmers' Market

Produce: Too early for lettuce (unless everything got scooped up in the hour and a half before we got there); apples and asparagus abounded.

Baked goods: TONS. WSB’s escorts enjoyed tasty blueberry scones from one booth before we found ourselves passing at least three others where we could have picked up scones, tarts, cookies, muffins, etc. Food purveyors included new mom Toby from Eats Market Cafe, with baby in front-pack. WSB Spouse picked up a $2 carton of cole slaw from EMC for tomorrow’s lunch.

Plants: Our favorite nursery is back, in their double-size booth toward the east side of the market, complete with the spiky nightshades. Not too late to get some for your own yard next week! Three for seven bucks, quite the deal. Lots of other interesting plants too. (The nursery’s name is Langley Fine Gardens, which always confuses me because they are on Vashon Island, not Whidbey — it’s the operators’ surname, not their town’s name.)
Just a few highlights. Oh, and completely unrelated plug, but I want to start hammering it early: Next Saturday, May 13, is the annual mail carriers’ food drive, another rite of spring for us. Put together a big bag of nonperishable food and be sure to put it by your mailbox Saturday morning — set yourself an Outlook reminder or whatever you need to do; it’s a fab way to do a little good in the world.

What better to do …

May 7, 2006 10:06 am
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 |   WS miscellaneous

… on a breezy, showery Sunday morning, than go outside!?

The Farmers’ Market awaits. We want to see if the Vashon Island nurseryfolk who grow offbeat plants including some spiky nightshade varieties are back. And the lettuce that’s so tasty, it reminds you that supermarket non-organic varieties are barely a cut above green paper.

Not sure yet if we’re going to make it to the Water Taxi party. I have to arm-wrestle other members of the WSB household as to what we’re doing beyond the Farmers’ Market.

Back from the Maritime Festival

May 6, 2006 3:39 pm
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 |   WS miscellaneous

No doubt the cloudy, coolish weather tamped down the turnout a bit, but it’s still disappointing to see so few people show up for a fun only-in-Seattle tradition. As planned, we water-taxied over — the boat’s added some ad banners this year, including one for “coming soon” Cupcake Royale and another for “Patron Saint of the Water Taxi” Councilguy Dow — and wandered up to Pier 66. The free harbor tour switched this year from an Argosy boat to a Kitsap Ferries boat, the Rachel Marie — lots more space but fewer takers. The Port of Seattle guy who narrated had some outdated facts; he claimed six cruise ships visit every weekend during the season, but this year it’s going to be nine. As for the tugboat races, it’s always hard for us amateurs to tell from the shore exactly what we’re looking at — just looks like a bunch of tugs out there, whether it’s mid-race or not. More interesting were the pierside booths, including one plugging the tunnel option for the Viaduct replacement (an excuse to mention that another round of public meetings is coming up). Anyway, we had a good time, but I would just love to have the pier be elbow-to-elbow some year with huge crowds enjoying the festival, which for me is always the unofficial Start of Seattle Summer.

From burgers to bank

May 6, 2006 8:45 am
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 |   WS miscellaneous

Thanks to a tipster for writing WSB to tell us the Burger King Dave’s eyesore on Alaska east of the Junction is morphing into a bank. Info on the city business permit site appears to confirm this, and mentions “Viking Bank.” The VB site mentions it in the company’s latest newsletter, and I found info on the construction project elsewhere. Have a little lutefisk with your Money Market Account?

What a deal

My personal pick for Best Cocktail in West Seattle is the mai tai at West 5. Discovered tonight that you can get it during “Happy Hour” for an amazing price — four bucks. Even at that price, I couldn’t handle more than one, much as I wanted to. (Happy Hour btw is 4-6 pm daily.)

More on the new park

May 5, 2006 3:08 am
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 |   Environment | Transportation | West Seattle news

Here’s the story in today’s P-I. I wouldn’t exactly call the pub move “a block” … details, details. As for possible names, Monorail Memorial Park really rings my bell. Perhaps some folks on the non-o-rail board can rustle around in the storeroom and find some decorations from items bought but unreturnable …

Station out, park in

May 4, 2006 5:44 pm
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 |   WS breaking news

The fate of the Morgan Junction non-o-rail property is decided. It’ll be partly a park. I remember reading what the other part will be — the part that involves the “partnership with Beveridge” (owner of the neighboring pub) — but can’t find a link to refresh my memory. Anyway, more parks are always a good thing, IMO …

Meteorologically mean

May 4, 2006 5:38 am
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 |   Environment

It is just plain vicious that today will be spectacular and Saturday, when many of us are released from our cages offices to frolic at events such as Maritime Day, it’s supposed to be standard-issue soggy. If you can skip work today, go right ahead, and take an extra lap around Alki for me. I unfortunately was born with a weird gene that will cause me to drop dead on the spot if I ever call in sick when I don’t happen to be. So as Snow White’s mini-men once sang, hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to work I go …

Mystery flyer

May 3, 2006 8:56 pm
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 |   Seen around town | West Seattle restaurants

On the bulletin board near the restrooms at the Thriftway, a hand-lettered flyer is up with the following:


5947 41st AVE SW, MAY 5-6-7 (IN ALLEY)

Went over to the Cat’s Eye Cafe (whose address bears no resemblance to that) and no evidence of anything except the same flyer tacked up to its sadly deteriorating sign.

Will have to send a scout over to the sale on Friday to get the scoop, unless anyone out there knows … is this the end for the months-shuttered CEC? Or a fundraiser?

Howling at the m … enu

May 3, 2006 6:33 pm
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 |   West Seattle restaurants

Envelope o’coupons came in the mail today. Among them, one for Coyotes on Alki (as mentioned here just last night), touting itself as “Alki’s Greatest Attraction! Authentic Mexican Grill” and promising “specialty margaritas, salsa dancing Fri/Sat, outdoor dining, mariachi players, daily happy hour 3-6 pm, reservations recommended.” Did it open since we drove by last night? We suppose we should gather our snooping companion and go down to have a look. A Cinco de Mayo grand opening would be appropriate.

On the east side of the West Side

May 3, 2006 5:38 am
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 |   Delridge | WS culture/arts

Cool story about what’s up at the re-invented Cooper School on Delridge.

I’m waiting to see somebody write about what’s up at the ActivSpace building on Harbor Ave just past the bridge. Some weeks back, somebody hung a sign on the Fauntleroy overpass offering “readings” there, among other things, and I believe they meant what we used to call “fortune-telling” as opposed to oh, say, poetry readings. (Actually looks like a lot of alternative practitioners, when you peruse the ActivSpace “customer” list.)

OK, we DID find some news

May 2, 2006 8:59 pm
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 |   WS breaking news

… and all it took was a drive along Alki. Not only are the “Cactus Restaurant” coming-attraction-type signs posted in the windows of the old Alki Market, a name is also up now for the old Point Grill/Lighthouse Grill/Chez Million space a bit to the east — “Coyotes on Alki.” Corona Beer banners are already dangling festively over the railing of the streetside outdoor table space there. (Just Googled the name and it does look like somebody beat me to the news …)

Heading out in search of news

May 2, 2006 6:34 pm
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 |   WS miscellaneous

Going to have to go look for something to report. Wanted to tell you about the banner from the Fauntleroy pedestrian overpass that’s in some language I don’t even recognize … but I didn’t get a chance to write it down. So that can wait till tomorrow. The sun’s too high in the sky right now to let me stay inside!

Sounds, or grounds, of silence

May 1, 2006 8:49 pm
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 |   Gatewood | WS miscellaneous

Dropped by Caffe Ladro this chilly May Day Night. Busy but eerily quiet. A couple on laptops, a guy making some kind of print art, people at several other tables … yet no one talking. My companion and I chatted, yet felt somehow guilty about it. Is this the new coffeehouse etiquette? Or should we have just gone down to Starbucks and left Ladro in library-style quiet?

Another restaurant?

Started wondering again about what was up with the vastly empty Alki Market space. I hadn’t previously spotted the online minutes of the Alki Community Council with scuttlebutt that a restaurant was heading that way; the city permit site seems to bear that out, with a construction permit accepted recently. Can’t find any online evidence that the specific brand of restaurant mentioned by the ACC is the one that’s nabbed the space, but I probably just haven’t looked in ALL the right places yet …

Semi-sighting of WS’s most famous politician

April 30, 2006 6:16 pm
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 |   Seen around town

Hizzoner was at the track today. I suppose in honor of the marquee race of the day, the “Seattle Handicap” — had to have some authentic Seattle-ness on hand, since the track itself is in Auburn. We heard him announced but didn’t personally see him; we did, however, actually see a local TV celebrity (Dan Lewis from channel 4) hanging out with some horse owners in the area where they show off the contenders before each race. First time we’d been to the track in a couple years; didn’t win a dime, but it was good times hanging out in the fresh air and trying to pretend we have a clue about the difference between a “trifecta” and an “exacta.”