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.

Scramble for eggs this Saturday

[in our best monster truck voice]: SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY!

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center Spring Egg Hunt starting line in 2011.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center Spring Egg Hunt starting line in 2011.

This Saturday, April 19, at 10 AM SHARP, Seattle Parks and Recreation is holding Spring Egg Hunts all over the city. You can see the full, city-wide list on their website, but here are the hunting grounds closest to our area:

NORTHEAST

April 19 Spring Bunny Trail
Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center [6535 Ravenna Ave NE], 10 a.m., Ages 12 and under

April 19 Spring Egg Hunts
Nathan Hale Stadium [10750 30th Ave NE], 10 a.m., Ages 1-11
Laurelhurst Park [4554 NE 41st St], 10 a.m., Ages 12 and under

NORTHWEST
April 19 Spring Egg Scramble
Green Lake Community Center, 10 a.m., Ages 3 and under
Green Lake Community Center, 10:30 a.m., Ages 4-7
Green Lake Community Center, 11 a.m., Ages 8-10

Another option in NE Seattle is Calvary Christian Assembly’s annual Easter Egg Hunt at Cowen Park (5849 15th Ave NE). From the CCA website:

Registration begins at 11:30 am. We partner with Roosevelt Neighborhood vendors for this event that features 3 age-specific egg hunts as well as crafts, games, prizes, inflatables and more! Want to help? We will need people to donate candy and work at the event.

For all of these events, you’ll want your kids to bring baskets with which to carry their ovate loot.

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Ravenna Blog publisher posing with the largest holiday decoration in NE Seattle (outside of Candy Cane Lane).

BOOM in the neighborhood – lousy March weather strikes (UPDATES)

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At about 4:26 PM on Saturday afternoon, the weather turned TOO EXCITING near Ravenna Blog HQ. Lightning struck a tree just a couple hundred feet away, sending bark flying, hearts pounding, and causing a small power outage.

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Engine 16 stopped by to check things out briefly. A light smell of wood smoke hung in the air, and a homeowner nearby mentioned a cracked window.

Power was lost the instant the lightning struck, but the outage looks to be a small one, affecting around 60 households.

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Good to see you, too, Seattle City Light!

UPDATE (5:37 PM): On that lightning strike/power outtake just north of Green Lake:

UPDATE (6:15 PM): Estimated time of restoration for the Ravenna outage is around 1:30 AM, but you should check back here later for updated information.

Green Lake Way North Safety Improvements Open House

If you’re a regular reader of the Ravenna Blog these days, you’re into road safety improvements. (Seems to be all we post about on here lately, anyway.)

This next project is a bit out of our normal coverage area, but that doesn’t mean we don’t ever drive there.

On Tuesday, August 20, from 6:30-7:45 PM, the Seattle Department of Transportation is holding an open house about proposed safety improvements on Green Lake Way North (between N 50th and N 55th Streets) at the Green Lake Branch of the Seattle Public Library (7364 E Green Lake Dr N). The presentation portion begins at 6:45 PM.

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More details (via email):

Green Lake Way North is currently a four-lane street that borders the east side of the Woodland Park Playfields and provides access to Green Lake from the south. The Seattle Department of Transportation is proposing changes to make the street safer and more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities to walk and ride bikes, as well as safer for drivers. The changes will reduce speeds, and improve pedestrian and bicycle access.

The proposal includes installing a new center turn lane, reconfiguring the street to provide one travel lane in each direction with bicycle lanes on both sides of the street, and improving pedestrian crossings. A new stop sign will be installed at West Green Lake Way North. Traffic signal operations at Green Lake Way North and North 50th Street will be improved by removing one block of parking on the north side of North 50th Street.

For more information on the project, visit SDOT’s Green Lake Way Safety Improvements page.

My Green Lake evolves, says goodbye. We say THANK YOU.

Some bittersweet local neighborhood news to report today: My Green Lake, the local news website for the Green Lake neighborhood, has ceased regular operations.

The content on the site will remain, but no new stories are to be published. Readers and Green Lake neighbors are encouraged to check out the Seattle EveryBlock site to get their local happenings fix and connect with each other.

You can read about the site’s transition in the final post, here.

The old MGL on the left, and the new MGL on the right.

We here at Ravenna Blog have not only linked to MGL’s great info in the past, but have pestered sought local news blogging advice from publisher Amy Duncan on countless occasions. She has been endlessly helpful and encouraging. We will continue to consider her one of our Hyperlocal Gurus.

We are also thankful to MGL/Amy for helping us goad encourage Patty over in Roosevelt to start Roosiehood, the Roosevelt Neighborhood Blog.

Thank you, Amy, for your years of service to your community, raising the bar for hyperlocal reporting in Seattle, and for being a good friend.

Semi overturns on I-5, lands on NE Ravenna Blvd on-ramp (PHOTOS, UPDATES)

Just after 11 AM, reports the Seattle Times, a semi and a car collided on southbound I-5, sending the semi rolling over a barrier to land on the NE Ravenna Blvd on-ramp.

Mike Murphy at the Washington State Department of Transportation (also of Lynnwood Today, one of our fellow Seattle Times Local News Partnership sites) sent us these photos of the accident scene, taken by WSDOT’s traffic cameras not long after the incident occurred.

At the time of writing, all four southbound lanes of I-5 have reopened to traffic, but may be closed intermittently (along with the northbound express lanes) for the removal of the debris. The NE Ravenna Blvd on-ramp is expected to be closed for some time.

According to the Seattle Times, three occupants of the car sustained only minor injuries, and the semi driver was okay. An update on the conditions of all four people involved in the collision is below.

Seattle P-I photojournalist Josh Trujillo has a couple photographs taken from the on-ramp itself.

UPDATE (4:17 PM): The Seattle Fire Department’s Fire Line blog has updated information on the three car passengers and semi-truck driver, as well as a couple new photos of the accident scene.

Fire fighters at the scene of today's car/semi rollover collision had to cut the top off the car (a convertible) to remove its three occupants. / Photo courtesy Seattle Fire

UPDATE (4:41 PM): Seattle Parks and Recreation staff were nearby at the time of the accident and sprang into action (via a Seattle Parks and Recreation press release):

Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Northeast grounds maintenance crew members were working along Ravenna Blvd., mulching tree rings, when they heard screeching metal and a crash.

Jon Campbell, Dale McLeod and Marvin Bentley ran to the end of the island they were working on and looked up at the on ramp (NE 65th St. southbound entrance to I-5) and saw a semi truck overturned on its side.

Campbell and McLeod asked colleague Andy Rasmussen to call 911. Bentley blocked the entrance to the freeway with his truck and began directing traffic away from the accident. Campbell grabbed a fire extinguisher in case of fire (none occurred).

Read the rest of their story here.

UPDATE (5:02 PM): My Green Lake has been collecting photos and reactions from eye witnesses at or passing by the scene.