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

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.

DSC00378If you’re unable to attend the event but are still interested in supporting North Helpline, here are some other opportunities:

  • 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.

 

Hot fashion trends out, hot sandwich shop in on the Ave (UPDATE)

This post is for you, neighborhood living UW students and staff.

Normally for new restaurant tips, we hit up the Washington State Liquor Control Board’s New Liquor License Actions web page for King County. But this time we happened upon one while browsing for construction permits for our NE Seattle Development Tracker page.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop appears to be renovating the old Pitaya clothing space at 4520 University Way NE (here’s the project page with the DPD).

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Google Street View of 4520 University Way NE and a few extra storefronts to the north.

Potbelly currently has three shops in Seattle — two downtown and one on First Hill. They’re a national chain based in Chicago, Illinois with nearly 300 locations.

The Wikipedia summary of Potbelly’s offerings says:

Potbelly’s menu features a variety of sandwiches that are all served hot on regular or multigrain wheat bread. All sandwiches can be ordered “thin-cut” style, in which one third of the bread is cut out. Potbelly began offering salads in February 2007. The menu also includes soup, shakes, malts, smoothies, and cookies. Most restaurants feature live music from local musicians during the lunch hours.

You can read all about Potbelly’s Promise, Story (they started as an antique store?), Menus, and more at their website.

UPDATE (Tuesday, March 18): The Potbelly twitter account told us that they’ve got a couple new stores coming to Washington: One in Issaquah, in addition to this one on the Ave. The opening date for the Potbelly in our area is listed simply as “Summer 2014″ so far.

Broadcast Coffee coming to Roosevelt this spring

Get ready for a triple shot of espresso in the heart of the Roosevelt neighborhood.

Broadcast Coffee (current locations in the Central District and Capitol Hill) broke the news via Twitter on Thursday that they’re opening their third location in the new Kavela Apartments building (NE 66th Street and Roosevelt Way NE).

This new location will be the third cafe near the busy intersection of NE 65th Street and Roosevelt Way NE — joining the “coffee haven for geeks” Wayward Coffeehouse and the Roosevelt Square Starbucks.


View The Coffee Triangle of Roosevelt in a larger map

They’re aiming for a March/April opening.

For more info on Broadcast Coffee and their offerings, check ‘em out on Facebook and Twitter.

Soup Swap 2014 set to simmer on January 25

Seemingly endless days of drizzle and 45°F temperatures are best fought with good neighbors and hot soup. Soup Swap 2014 is being held on Saturday, January 25 from 3-5 PM at the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6535 Ravenna Avenue NE). Participants bring labeled quarts of frozen homemade soup and leave with a different set to enjoy at home.

Ravenna Blog's Soup Swap haul at the 2013 event -- brought four quarts of Pasta e Fagioli, came home with an assortment of yum.

Ravenna Blog’s Soup Swap haul at the 2013 event — brought four quarts of Pasta e Fagioli, came home with an assortment of yum.

Here are the details:

1. MAKE a BIG batch of soup.

2. FREEZE your soup in QUART sized containers.

3. BRING your frozen soup to the RECC on January 25, and swap ‘em for others!

A+ labeling job on this batch of Curried Lentil and Squash Soup

A+ labeling job on this batch of Curried Lentil and Squash Soup

We’ve created a Soup Swap 2014 Facebook event page for those that would like to RSVP and/or chat about the event.

For more how-to Soup Swap info, check out this page at the National Soup Swap site.  Our post on Soup Swap 2013 includes a video of a group who have been swapping for quite some time.

Loaves of Ravenna and Wedgwood bread from Grateful Bread, waiting to be given away in a contest.

Loaves of Ravenna and Wedgwood bread from Grateful Bread, waiting to be given away in a contest.

And what is a soup meal without a little bread on the side? We’ll be bringing a few loaves of Grateful Bread’s Ravenna and Wedgwood breads to give away at the event.

The Soup Swap 2013 spread (complete with kale bouquet) waiting to be divvied up by participants.

The Soup Swap 2013 spread (complete with kale bouquet) waiting to be divvied up by participants.

You need not be from Ravenna or even Northeast Seattle to participate! Soup Wizards from across the Puget Sound region are welcome to attend.

Take the PLUNGE on New Years Day at Matthews Beach (UPDATE)

UPDATE (January 1, 2014): Jordan Stead, a photojournalist with the Seattle P-I, was at the PLUNGE this afternoon. Now we can enjoy the action while staying DRY:

One year ago, one of the Ravenna Blog interns (whose birthday happens to be New Year’s Day) really really really wanted to do the Polar Bear Plunge at Matthews Beach please mom please.

So we went. He got his five-year-old toes wet, and I was proud of him.

The 2014 Polar Bear Plunge is coming up on Wednesday, January 1, at Matthews Beach (9300 51st Ave NE). People dressed in swimsuits and wooden Viking helmets and costumes will run into the cold, cold waters of winter Lake Washington to celebrate the coming of a new year…and win a Patch of Courage for submersing themselves up to their necks.

Participants may start registering on-site at 11 AM, with plunging to take place at noon.

More information follows, as well as pictures from the 2013 Polar Bear Plunge.

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It’s cold out, but it’s a festive atmosphere.

The history of the Polar Bear Plunge (from the Seattle Parks and Recreation’s PBP event website):

The Polar Bear Plunge was the first official event of its kind in the Seattle area. Janet Wilson, Aquatic Center Coordinator at Meadowbrook Pool, started the event off on January 1, 2003. About 300 people participated in the first Polar Bear Plunge; since then the attendance has reached nearly 1,000 brave bears. The plunge has inspired other, similar events in the Seattle Area. At this family event, wear a costume, enjoy warm beverages, and receive a Patch of Courage if you immerse yourself.

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Not even Waldo himself could stay in hiding from this event.

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Why, YES, even children can participate. Kids (as well as folks who might need to take things a little more slowly and/or carefully) enter the water before the rest of the huddled, shivering masses. Above is as far as the birthday boy got, which I still found impressive.

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After the Polar Cub Club has had a turn, the cold, shivering masses line up along the shore from one end of the park (looking south, here)…

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…to the other (north view). Lifeguards are on duty.

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The event is rather popular for local photographers/media folks, too. (Though they tend to be dressed to stay dry.) In the foreground here is Josh Trujillo (Seattle P-I).

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And at noon, everyone not simply spectating heads into the lake!

Some hints and safety tips for Plungers (adapted from the PBP website):

1. Come early/Carpool/Take the bus: Parking is limited! Plan your trip with the Metro Trip Planner.
2. If you have heart problems, consult your health care provider BEFORE taking the plunge.
3. Don’t drink! Alcohol does NOT warm you up, and actually accelerates hypothermia.
4. Do not stay in the water longer than 15 minutes. Body heat is lost 25 times faster in water than in air.
5. Do NOT remove your warm clothing until swim time, and DO remove wet clothing before getting back into dry clothes.

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I’m not sure if the woman on the left was a zombie BEFORE she went in, or just after.

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After the plunge, participants are treated to the Official Polar Bear Plunge Beverage: HOT TANG. Sounds gross, but is actually quite tasty. Think Hot Apple Cider, but with faux orange flavor instead.

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The Burke-Gilman Trail cuts through Matthews Beach Park, and is another excellent way to get to the park without a car. Great way to get warm after the plunge, too, by cycling or hoofing it home on the trail.

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Ravenna Blog Intern #1 enjoying his HOT TANG.

The Polar Bear Plunge has a Facebook page if you’d like to learn more about the event, or see more of last year’s crazy people participants. The number of people willing to jump into 46°F water in January while barely clothed is impressive.

For those who might appreciate more of a warm-up before plunging into winter lake water, there is a Resolution Run 5K and Polar Bear Dive down at Magnuson Park, also on January 1. Registration is limited to 2,500 crazy people.

Last days for Peaks Frozen Custard in Roosevelt

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Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Especially in the case of Peaks Frozen Custard (1026 NE 65th Street), closing on Sunday, September 29.

From their website:

We could not be more grateful to all of you amazing custardmers. It has been 5 years of wonderful. So why would we close? Peaks is a small family business that takes 100% of our families attention. We had fun, but now we’re on to a new lifestyle! At the same time, our lease comes to an end- so it was renew, relocate or stop!

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Hours for the remainder of their days on NE 65th Street are 6-10 PM on Thursday and Friday, and 1-10 PM on Saturday and Sunday.

And should you “custardmers” want to give the Peaks folks a good send off, a celebration is planned at the store on Saturday.

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A few glimmers of tasty frozen hope:

  1. Peaks says that, “We will, however, be serving what has become the best frozen treat in the Northwest at festivals only.” Keep tabs on the Peaks Frozen Custard website and/or Facebook page for that info.
  2. A “new and unique” frozen yogurt shop will be taking the space.

Long-time local kids coach, Liz Isaacson, hangs up her whistle (GUEST POST)

We here at the Ravenna Blog have the good fortune to live just up the street from a freelance journalist, Scott Johnson. Unfortunately, he’s got two small kids just like we do, and that makes it hard to make him write for us. Just not good for sitting and thinking and writing, the presence of the small children.

But where kids and news collide, Scott is there! (With his camera, too!)

Liz Isaacson won’t be roaming the playfield outside of Ravenna-Eckstein Center next week – or next summer, for that matter.

While that might not seem to mean much to local parents, these two words will:  Coach Liz.

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Coach Liz Isaacson (left) teaching a soccer class at Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center. Photo by Scott Johnson.

After 35 years in the profession, the past seven of which included time teaching soccer, Tee-ball, and other sports to young kids at Ravenna-Eckstein, Coach Liz is hanging up her whistle.

“I still can’t believe it,” she said after one of her final classes coaching soccer earlier this week. “I woke up this morning and almost started crying.”

The popular youth coach who grew up playing sports in the shadows of three older brothers decided this was the right time to get out of the game.

“My body’s telling me it’s time,” she said. “My mind wants to keep coaching, but my body just won’t let me do it anymore.”

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Coach Liz teaching Drew Johnson how to defend against a pack of girls at soccer practice. Photo by Scott Johnson.

Kids and parents hoping to say a final goodbye to Coach Liz before she goes back to being Liz Isaacson can attend a retirement party in her honor Thursday at 4 p.m. at the Northgate Community Center. Cake, snacks and games will be provided.

And if Coach Liz can’t hold back anymore, maybe even a few tears.

 

Scott Johnson is a stay-at-home father of two and freelance writer who counts The Associated Press, USA Today, The Sports Xchange and SportsPress Northwest among his part-time gigs. He lives in the Ravenna neighborhood with his wife, Erin, and their children, Drew and Molly.

New University Village stores and restaurants REVEALED (UPDATES)

Saw some tweets a moment ago saying that the parking garage in the new south building at University Village has opened.

If every floor of parking in the new building is now open (not sure at this time three of the five new levels are now open, every day from 11 AM-11 PM), that means over 700 more spots have been added. No need to circle around on the surface lots like a vehicular vulture ever again.

Portion of a graphic by University Village announcing the new parking. Click to see the entire image.

Portion of a graphic by University Village announcing the new parking. Click to see the entire image.

BUT WAIT — THERE’S MORE.

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Fresh from the ol’ Ravenna Blog Email Inbox we have a press release about the new stores and restaurants going into that south building. Some we already knew about (Virginia Mason, Din Tai Fung, Liam’s), but some are most likely new to you.

Keeping them in the categories mentioned in the email, and tacking on some of the descriptions therein, we have:

Fashion

Calypso St. Barth - The resort-wear boutique has developed into a luxury lifestyle brand since launching in 1992. Calypso garments feature feminine style, exquisite textures and an eclectic assortment of pieces that appeal to women of all ages.

Scotch & Soda - Since the 1980’s, Scotch & Soda has offered inspired classic men’s clothing, expanding its repertoire with a women’s line, Maison Scotch, and children’s collection for boys, Scotch Shrunk, and girls, R’Belle.

Hot Mama - Hot Mama was launched in 2005 by Megan and Michael Tamte on the premise that moms crave designer clothing. More than 150 premium brands are sold at Hot Mama including Splendid, 7 For All Mankind, AG and Sanctuary.

Sunglass Hut - Sunglass Hut carries the most popular brands including Ray-Ban, Persol, Oakley, Maui Jim, Revo, Gucci, Burberry, Prada and more.

Athletic & Active Wear

American Eagle Outfitters - Offering affordably priced, high-quality clothing, accessories and personal care products including their popular Aerie for American Eagle line of apparel.

Nike Running - Nike Running University Village will serve as the ultimate hub for athletes offering a premium assortment of Nike men’s and women’s running, training and sportswear product and one-of-a-kind services for runners including digital gait analysis, footwear trials and more.

Restaurants & Cafes

Din Tai Fung - Best known for delicately hand-made soup dumplings, Din Tai Fung boasts an extensive menu highlighting their dumpling and dim sum varieties and includes noodle dishes, appetizers, buns and desserts.

Joey Kitchen - This new addition boasts a warm and inviting open-concept floor plan, giving dining room guests a view to the heart of the kitchen. With two large exterior patios, guests can also enjoy outdoor dining nearly all year round. Led by Executive Chef Chris Mills, the culinary team brings a high level of craftsmanship to each and every dish, ensuring the bold flavors and signature dishes that create the JOEY experience are delivered right, each and every time.

Liam’s – The latest installment from Kurt Dammeier, the man behind Beecher’s, Bennett’s and Maximus/Minimus. Named for his youngest son, Liam’s menu is meant to satisfy a variety of palates – what Dammeier calls “home-style food made better,” with a commitment to serving fresh, authentic food free of artificial preservatives and additives. The restaurant plans to open in November, with 150 seats and a large deck made for long conversations.

Molly Moon’s Homemade Ice Cream - The scent of freshly made waffle cones lures in the customers where an assortment of whimsical ice cream flavors such as Theo chocolate, balsamic strawberry, salted caramel and honey lavender satisfy and surprise.

UPDATE (Wednesday, August 28): Got a press release from Molly Moon this morning! Included the following info:

  • Instead of wood floors we’re using … wait for it … tile.
  • This shop opens at 11 a.m. – that’s a whole extra hour of ice cream access compared to the Wallingford, Capitol Hill and Queen Anne shops.
  • Let’s be real, November is a weird time to open an ice cream shop in Seattle. Weird, special … same diff.

Professional Services

Virginia Mason University Village – Will open this fall as the Sand Point Pediatrics clinic is relocating to the Village. Part of the Virginia Mason Medical Center network established in 1920, the new location will offer comprehensive pediatric care for infants, children and teenagers. Services include laboratory facilities and X-ray.

 

Spoke & Food: Bike to dinner for good on July 30

How about we take a timeout from bicycle infrastructure matters, and get back to basics: It’s fun to ride a bike. Especially in the summer. ESPECIALLY to go meet friends for dinner, at a local joint.

Thanks to our own sponsors in the last year, the Ravenna Blog was able to help sponsor another great local thing: The fourth annual Spoke & Food evening of dining and bikes!

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From the Spoke & Food website:

Participation is easy. All you need to do is to bike to and from one of our participating host restaurants on the evening of our event. Invite your friends or family to meet you, bring your neighbors, pack up your kids or go at it alone.

Each of our participating host restaurants have agreed to donate 20% of ALL of their patron revenues from the evening of the event directly to the local non-profit that we select each year.

 

Dine at any of the participating restaurants listed on the Spoke & Food website from 5:30-9:30 PM on Tuesday, July 30th, 2013, and 20% (or more) of your dinner bill will be donated directly to the Bike Works non-profit.

TWENTY different restaurants around Seattle are participating this year, two of which are in our neck of the woods:

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50 North

5001 25th Ave NE #100;

just south of the Burke-Gilman Trail at 25th Ave NE

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Vios Cafe & Pub

6504 20th Ave NE;

inside Ravenna Third Place Books

 

From the Bike Works About page:

Bike Works is an innovative organization centered around bicycles that combines youth development, community engagement, bicycle recycling and a social enterprise bike shop to help build a sustainable and healthy community.

We’ll be stopping by these locations on the night of the event to check in, and perhaps to nosh.

The farm in your backyard (literally): Moon Rabbit Urban Farm (UPDATE)

UPDATE (Saturday, August 3): The Moon Rabbit Urban Farm has moved its farmstand to (Ravenna Blog sponsor) Boulevard Grocery (2007 NE Ravenna Blvd) on Saturdays and Sundays.

Hyperlocal sharecropping.

Ariana Taylor-Stanley and Austin LeSure are farmers — with crops, chickens, CSA shares, and a farmstand — but with very little land of their own. Or nine or so different farms, depending on how you look at it.

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Moon Rabbit Urban Farm’s first farmstand day back on June 20 was a wet one, but Ariana Taylor-Stanley and Austin LeSure (at center and right, respectively) are all smiles as they help a customer.

Last year, Ariana and Austin put flyers up around the neighborhood, in search of Land Partners: Local property owners who would allow them grow food on the property, in return for a share of that food.

Nine property owners took them up on it, and the Moon Rabbit Urban Farm was born.

Between 18th and 39th Avenues NE, and NE 55th and 105th Streets, the various plots that make up the summation of Moon Rabbit Urban Farm are located. Ariana and Austin care for and maintain the plots, share the harvest with the property owners on a weekly basis, then use the rest of the produce to give to their CSA subscribers and sell at their farmstand.

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If you are interested in purchasing some of there uberlocal bounty, Moon Rabbit Urban Farm has a farmstand open on Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30 PM (or until they run out of produce) in front of Dahn Yoga & Tai Chi (next to Mamma Melina), just steps from where the Burke-Gilman Trail crosses 25th Avenue NE. Look for the blue tent. (See the UPDATE at the top of the post for the farmstand’s new location and days.)

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Running an urban farm business like Moon Rabbit is not entirely new to the city of Seattle: This article on urban farms from the Seattle Times in 2010 describes the workings of City Grown (Northwest Seattle), Magic Bean Farm (West Seattle), Seattle Market Gardens (South Seattle).

In that article, Bryan Stevens of the Department of Planning and Development explains that within the city of Seattle, “anyone can grow and sell food on site or at a farmers market as long as no plot exceeds 4,000 square feet.”

Interested in becoming a future Land Partner yourself? Contact Ariana and Austin at moonrabbitfarm@gmail.com.

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You can see photos of Ariana working one of the backyard farms here (part one) and here (part 2), at photographer Cori G. Keady’s website.