Your Moment of Ravenna Zen: Dark Side of the Top Pot

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At certain angles, the heavy glass doors of the Wedgwood Top Pot make a rainbow connection with the sun.

Road safety improvements coming to NE Blakeley Street / Union Bay Place NE

Some well-known traffic trouble spots near University Village are getting some overdue attention next month.

UnionBlakeleyProjectMap

The Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) is in the process of designing the following safety improvements to the Union Bay Place NE/NE Blakeley Street area (projected to begin construction as early as August 2014):

  • 25th Ave NE & NE Blakeley Street: Modified signal timing and intersection design. New bicycle leaning rails* (allow cyclists to wait for light change without dismounting, placing one foot on the rail).
  • 30th Ave NE & the Burke-Gilman Trail: Raised pedestrian crosswalk and repaired sidewalks approaching this crosswalk along 30th Ave NE between NE 50th Street and Union Bay Place NE.
  • Union Bay Place NE between NE 45th St & 30th Ave NE: New paved and painted pedestrian pathway along both sides.


View Safety Improvements to NE Blakeley St and Union Bay Place NE in a larger map

This work is funded by mitigation from the University Village and the Village QFC as well as Pedestrian Master Plan improvements. You can read more about the mitigation funding of this project on page 17 of this SDOT analysis of QFC’s 2012 land use application (208 KB PDF) to expand the store and build a parking garage.

The pedestrian improvements are part of SDOT’s Sidewalk Development Program and funded by the voter-approved Bridging the Gap levy. The Program’s 2014 projects include these new sidewalk connections:

Questions?  Contact Maribel Cruz with SDOT at 206-684-7963 or maribel.cruz@seattle.gov.

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*We are looking into the bicycle leaning rails to find out more about them (and see if these will be the first ones installed in Seattle).  We will update the post as we learn more!

Sneak peek inside the new Greenlake Village PCC

We have neighbors who still, over 13 years after its closure, lament the loss of the original PCC (located where Ravenna Third Place Books now resides). That store was 7,000-square-feet in size. The next closest location, the still-open-for-business View Ridge PCC, is not much larger.

The new Greenlake Village PCC, that opens to the public on Wednesday, June 4? It’s a 27,000-square-foot store.

We were invited to the pre-opening event on the evening of Monday, June 2, and in the interest of our more western NE Seattle readers, we attended.

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Keep moving, sir: The store isn’t open to the public until 9 AM on Wednesday, June 4.

As you walk into the front doors of the new grocery store (via the central courtyard of the three buildings that make up Green Lake Village), you’ve got two choices: Turn left and head into the Make Your Meal sections (bulk, produce) or turn right and head into the Make It For Me area (deli, espresso/smoothies, salad bar). Everything else (toilet paper, beans, kale chips) is in between, and makes up the bulk of the store.

Left Turn

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Bulk section, produce, and a fishbowl-style classroom on this side of the store.

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BULK.

Strangely enough (to View Ridge PCC shoppers, anyway) bulk coffee is not located in this section of the store. Think about tired parents needing caffeine with breakfast and find your fix in the aisle with baby food and boxed cereal.

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Ravenna Blog recommends the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Malt Balls.

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Beyond the produce section is beer, wine, and what I’m calling the Cheese Bunker (on the right, above). It’s a four-sided, highly defensible bastion of curds.

Right Turn

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Walk in the main doors and hang a right to find the pre-prepared food (handy for to-go meals headed to the park), as well as seating lining the front windows both inside and out.

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Here you’ll also find the deli (on the right above). Both this picture and the one above it show a full view across the entire store.

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Much of the store was stocked and ready to go, except for the most perishable of items. However, I was able to find some kale being made into a smoothie.

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When shoppers are ready to check out, the main register section of the store has five assisted checkout lines with a bank of six self-checkout registers in the middle.

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Bicycle parking is a bit sparse around the rest of the Green Lake Village commercial spaces, but two full racks line the front of the new store, just to the right of the entrance (where the special event guard is standing above).

Folks on wheels will need to approach the inner courtyard from Woodlawn Avenue NE to the west or NE 71st Street to the south for ramps. The NE 72nd Street side to the north is stairs only.

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Greenlake_PCC_preopening17Full disclosure: PCC Natural Markets is (very shortly!) a Ravenna Blog sponsor. At the pre-opening we didn’t eat any of the tasty party food placed all over the new store, but we were given a frisbee as we headed out to file this report. You can borrow it anytime you like.

Further full disclosure: Being the independent local news publisher that we are, we were impressed back in 2011 when PCC broke the news of their anchor tenancy in the Vitamilk pit project with a fellow independent local news publisher, the now shuttered My Green Lake.

The rumors are true! Toronado coming to Roosevelt.

Rumors have been swirling about the legendary San Francisco temple to microbrews, Toronado, getting a new location here in Seattle.

ToronadoSeattleLogo

The rumors were confirmed today on Toronado Seattle’s Facebook page: “Get ready Ravenna / Roosevelt Neighborhood you have a Toronado 1205 NE 65th St.”

Opening day is in roughly two months.

Saturday, May 17 seems to have been Mutiny Hall's last day of business in its current configuration. A hand-written "closed for maintenance" sign was posted in the following days, and the restaurant has been closed ever since.

Saturday, May 17 seems to have been Mutiny Hall’s last day of business in its current configuration. A hand-written “closed for maintenance” sign was posted in the following days, and the restaurant has been closed ever since.

Matt Bonney, co-owner operations manager of Brouwer’s Cafe in Fremont, Bottleworks in Wallingford and the Burgundian in Tangletown [corrected], is the owner of Toronado Seattle.

Craft Beer Monger (Seattle-based beer blogger Michael Dieterle) writes:

Word recently broke that Toronado was preparing to open a third location right here in Seattle. That information was confirmed in early May, when Matt Bonney shared the [Toronado Seattle] logo above his Facebook page with the caption: “Coming to a neighbor near you!” You might know Matt Bonney from Brouwer’s Cafe, the Burgundian, and Bottleworks. He’s a well known figure in the Seattle craft beer scene, and with him at the helm, I know Toronado Seattle will be off to a great start.”

The original Toronado opened in 1987 on Haight Street and has become a legend for its extensive and exclusive microbrew offerings. The second location opened 21 years later in San Diego. While the SF location doesn’t serve food, San Diego serves up burgers, spicy or smoked mac and cheese, a variety of sausages, among other dishes.

 

Mayor Murray would like to have coffee with you, Ravenna

Mayor Ed Murray is starting his rounds through Seattle’s many neighborhoods with a visit to Vios Cafe inside Ravenna Third Place Books (6504 20th Ave NE) this Saturday, May 17.

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e-Flyer for Mayor Ed Murray’s visit to Vios Cafe at Ravenna Third Place Books on Saturday, May 17. Click to enlarge.

The event runs from 11 AM until noon.

Third Annual NOAA Open House on Friday, May 16

Weather prediction? Tsunami detection? Sustainable seafood production? The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has you covered.

NOAA is an immense government agency, collecting and distributing scientific research and informing decisions that affect our daily lives. But the Western Regional Center of NOAA is in our own backyard, just north of Waren G. Magnuson Park at 7600 Sand Point Way. Friday’s open house is an opportunity to learn more and meet some folks doing this important work.

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Courtesy NOAA Western Regional Center

As part of the Seattle Maritime 101 Festival NOAA’s Western Regional Center campus will open its gates to the public on Friday May 16 from noon to 7PM! Come explore the work NOAA in Seattle does to support the maritime industry through weather forecasting, healthy ecosystems, safe waterways, protecting our coasts, and observing our planet. Come visit us for tours, hands-on activities, movies, and the chance to meet NOAA scientists.

Arrive early as tours will fill up on a first come, first served basis. Tours will include and are scheduled as follows:

WEATHER – Take a tour of NOAA’s National Weather Service Seattle office forecast center and learn how meteorologists work 24/7 to forecast the Seattle area weather from the waters of Puget Sound to the Cascade Mountains and everything in between. Tour is 45 minutes and start times are: 12:30, 1:45, 3:00, 4:15, 5:30.

OCEAN ANIMALS –This tour includes rare access to the NOAA marine mammal bone scientific collection that includes Orca Whale skulls and a Narwhal tusk! Then continue on to the Fisheries net loft where you will see how NOAA manages fisheries that produce sustainable seafood. Tour is 1 hour and start times are: 12:30, 1:00, 1:45, 2:15, 3:00, 3:30, 4:15, 4:45, 5:30.

OCEAN ENGINEERING – Step into NOAA’s engineering workspace where engineers are hard at work building and testing new technology to collect data from our oceans. See the evolution of tsunami sensing moorings and learn how we can now detect a tsunami smaller than a centimeter in the open ocean. Tour is 30 minutes and start times are: 12:30, 1:00, 1:45, 2:15, 3:00, 3:30, 4:15, 4:45, 5:30.

RESTORATION WALK (this may also be self guided at any time as well) – Take a walk with NOAA restoration experts and learn what we are doing to restore our campus shoreline on Lake Washington and habitats throughout Puget Sound. You will also learn about the history of our campus and various art installations along the way including the Sound Garden. Tour is 1.5 hours and start times are: 12:30, 2:15, 4:15.

Adding to the fun, the PIE food truck will be serving up sweet and savory pies (baked fresh daily) from 12:00-4:00 p.m. and Curb Jumper Street Eats will be serving speciality sliders, sandwiches, and fries from 12:00 – 7:00 p.m.  

If you have questions, contact Lauren Koellermeier lauren.koellermeier@noaa.gov or Rebecca Reuter Rebecca.Reuter@noaa.gov

Annual Clean Up this Saturday; 45th Annual Street Fair next Sat & Sun

A few ways to love the University District coming up…

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Meet your neighbors THIS SATURDAY, May 10, in the NW Parking Lot of the University Heights Community Center (NE 52nd and Brooklyn Ave NE) for the Annual U-District Clean Up. A continental breakfast will be available before you head out for some raking, sweeping, painting-out of graffiti, removing of litter, planting, and/or landscaping. Whew!

If you work up an appetite and pizza is your thing, lunch is provided afterwards. And a “trash contest” might just score you four tickets to Bumbershoot, among other prizes. Register for this good work here. 45thOn45th Celebrate your hard work getting the Ave into tip top shape by joining the longest running street fair in the nation the following weekend, Saturday, May 17, 10 AM-7 AM and Sunday, May 18, 10 AM-6 PM.

The free, open-air University District StreetFair centered at NE 45th Street and University Way NE features:

  • Hundreds of artisan vendors (such as clothing and jewelry, pottery and painting, candles and lotions, and food items, oh my!)
  • Food courts (at 42nd and 47th Streets) and food truck corral (43rd Street) and beer garden (at 41st Street)
  • Two large stages (schedule here but location to be announced) and scattered buskers of all types
  • Kids’ area (arts and crafts, various ongoing activities, and the kids stage schedule includes Zumba, Taiko Drummers, and Magic with Uncle Stinky)
  • Face painting, henna tattoos, balloon art, etc!

The Street Fair will close University Way NE between NE 50th Street and NE Campus Parkway from 2:30 AM on Saturday to 2:30 AM on Monday. Bus rerouting has not yet been announced, but we’ll post an update when it is. You can also check here for yourself.

The University District Street Fair began 45 years ago and was conceived by the late Andy Shiga, founder of Shiga’s Imports (located just south of the University Bookstore), and dedicated peace activist. The fair was created in an effort to to promote peace and heal community divisions during the height of the Vietnam War protest era (HistoryLink.org article). 

Two slices of local pizza news, from Zeeks and Mioposto

When the news hits your eye and it’s all pizza pie, that’s AMORE

Zeeks Pizza

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Last October, we were saddened to report that Zeeks Pizza’s Ravenna location (2108 NE 65th Street) had stopped serving individual slices of pizza at lunchtime:

Not eZEEK_Lunch Specials_MAY2014nough foot traffic to keep the quality of the product where the company likes it, is the reason we heard.

HOWEVER, starting Wednesday, May 7, our Zeeks on 65th will start offering special lunch deals on weekdays, from 11 AM to 2 PM (dine-in only):

Small pizzas (up to 3 toppings): $10 (normally $11.45 and up, depending on toppings)

Small Signature pizzas: $12 (normally $16.95 and up)

Breadsticks: $4 (normally $5.95)

Add a half salad: $3

Add a fountain drink: $1

We were happy to learn that Zeeks responded to customers’ desires for more lunch options at our location. And while it’s not as simple and fast as the individual slices were, your pizza will be made for YOU, be super hot, and provide you with a leftover slice or two for an afternoon snack.

Mioposto

When Taverna Mazi closed (we believe it had been up for sale since at least February of 2013; also, apparently haunted?), its corner location in the more Bryant-y area of the neighborhood was snapped up quickly. The windows were covered up on the inside, and work began.

The news that Mioposto had taken the spot for its second location (the original location opened in the Mt. Baker neighborhood in 2006 ) was well reported in foodier circles (Seattle Met magazine’s “Nosh Pit,” Eater Seattle, and Seattle Weekly, to name a few), but on the local front, things are pretty quiet.

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Move along, pedestrians. Nothing to see here. Yet. (Photo taken on April 26, 2014)

The new location has its own Facebook page now, but there’s not much going on there yet, either.

So far, the only sign on the establishment is the public liquor license application:

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This is all well and good, but we’re HUNGRY. And we’ve heard good things about this place. They’re even going to be open for all three meals. BREAKFAST PIZZA, people.

Eater claims an open date of June 12 for Mioposto II. And while we’d never put money on a new restaurant opening on the day it claims it will open, we’re gonna get up extra early that day just in case.

Funtiques officially calls it quits; “BIG sale” to come

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Funtiques, one of two long-time vintage and antique stores just east of where 15th Avenue NE and NE 65th Street meet, has been vacant for quite some time. And this week, orange notes taped to the business’s windows finally made it official:

Hello FUNTIQUES Clientele and Neighbors,

After 20 years, Funtiques is officially closing its doors. It has been a wonderful adventure! Many friendships have been built and are cherished. Knowledge that has been freely shared is greatly appreciated. Thank you fall for your support. Thank you so much Tom for the many years of dedication, it is upon your talents that much of Funtiques was built. Thanks to Silhouette for watching over us. Much gratitiude CEO for the care of my entire family for so many years!

My family has spent many hours supporting so many shops in the Roosevelt area and thank you all for taking such great care of us!

We are posting this notice for 30 days in hopes that the few consignors that have product left will leave contact information. After 30 days all items will be considered abandoned and become the sole property of Funtiques and will be disposed of at our discretion. After 30 days all contracts are Null and Void.

20140418-145955.jpgThis notice was posted on [handwritten] 4/16/2014

If you have any items left and would like to collect them, please follow these instructions:

  • Make a copy of your original receipt
  • Place in a sealed envelope and include a current address, phone number or email where you can be contacted.
  • Drop in the mail slot in the front door of FUNTIQUES

You will be contacted and arrangements will be made for pick-up of items prior to the liquidation sale. A donation to the Teen Center will be made from the sale of the leftover consignment items.

The entire building has been entered into a long termed lease agreement at this time and will not be place on the market.

Thank you so much

FUNTIQUES [initials]

PS: Keep an eye out for further posting of the BIG sale! This one will be great fun!

Three of the four buildings along the north side of the 1500 block of NE 65th Street now sit unoccupied: Vacant Funtiques joins empty Espresso Express (which closed on July 15, 2013) and the boarded up craftsman in between them. The other building, home of Silhouettes, is still open for business.

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The King County Parcel Viewer names the taxpayer of the property at 6502 15th Ave NE (Espresso Express) as “SISLEY HUGH K.” Both the house at 1508 NE 65th Street and the Funtiques property are listed under “SISLEY HUGH K+MARTHA E.” The building that houses Silhouette (1516 NE 65th St) is listed under “MROCZEK LUCILLE B.”

Fill Empty Bowls and support North Seattle families

Choose a hand-crafted bowl by a local student or artisan, fill it with delicious food from a selection of neighborhood restaurants, and support families in need in north Seattle.

Empty Bowls 2013

Empty Bowls Event 2013

North Helpline‘s 5th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser is Sunday, May 4th, Noon – 3:00 p.m. in The Commons at Nathan Hale High School (10750 30th Ave NE). Soup, salad, bread, and dessert will be provided by a number of local restaurants including Piatti Restaurante, Got Soup?, Wedgwood Ale House, and Kaffeekaltsch. There will also be an extensive silent auction and live entertainment. Tickets are $25 purchased in advance, or $35 at the door.

The event is part of the the Empty Bowls Project, an international grassroots effort to raise both money and awareness in the fight to end hunger. The bowl you enjoy a warm meal from and take home with you becomes a tangible reminder of hunger in our community.

North Helpline (12736 33rd Ave NE) combats hunger and homelessness in greater North Seattle by providing critical human services to more than 1,700 clients each week. They operate a food bank and health care clinic in addition to offering move-in support, eviction and utility shut-off prevention, help with obtaining a driver’s license or ID, and hygiene packs.

If you’re unable to attend the event but are still interested in supporting North Helpline, here are some other opportunities:

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Food Bank distributions in 2010

  • Visit the Wedgewood Ale House on Thursday, April 17th and 30% of your order will be donated to North Helpline.
  • Volunteer to sort or distribute food in their Food Bank, to pick up donations at local grocery stores, or to provide emergency services to clients.
  • Donate food or money, anytime.