Outdoor basketball court at the RECC getting a makeover

The outdoor basketball court behind the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center is getting some work done.

Weather and contractor permitting, over the next week or so (starting Tuesday, May 27), apshalt-cracking tree roots will be removed, the playing surface will be repaired and leveled, and new standard-height hoops will be installed.

RECC users and visitors: The small parking lot off Ravenna Avenue NE will be closed during the project for staging equipment.

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Workers began removal of the old basketball hoops on Thursday, May 22.

In case you’re not sure where it is, the RECC’s outdoor basketball court is tucked between the small parking lot off Ravenna Avenue NE and the tennis courts. The court lines are faded. The playing surface is uneven, cracked asphalt. The hoops are not set at a standard height.

RECC coordinator Tim Ewings tells us that last fall the Ravenna-Eckstein Advisory Council put the wheels in motion to get the project started, requesting funds for a 2014 capital project. The plan was approved (funds coming from the Associated Recreation Council who partners with Seattle Parks and Recreation to provide instructors), a project manager fleshed out the details, timing, and final pricing, and the work has begun.

In the event that the work schedule changes, we will post updates here.

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.”

Water main breaks between University Village and the NE 45th Street viaduct (UPDATE)

Updates appear at the bottom of the Storify window — hit the blue “Read next page” button below to view them.

Hungry for a business opportunity? Three Ravenna restaurants for sale (UPDATE)

As we mentioned in our newly returned Sunday Edition, there were some local restaurant sale mysteries we were puzzling over. Then, on Monday afternoon, we had a break-through: There were not TWO Ravenna restaurants looking to change hands, but THREE.

The first local restaurant for sale is the Pied Piper Ale House (2404 NE 65th St).

The family friendly pub and Geeks Who Drink pub trivia spot has been closed with no explanation since the end of 2012. Then, this week, we learned from a follower on twitter who spoke to the Pied Piper manager on what happened to be their last day of business (the end of December, either the 27th or 28th).

Here is the listing for the location, with the name included in the picture, leaving no mystery:

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing)

Commercial Brokers Association listing for the Pied Piper Ale House (click to read the full listing).

The second closure is a long-time Ravenna neighborhood fixture: Casa D’Italia* (2615 NE 65th St).

We were first alerted to this closure via a Craigslist post just last week, which included the ominous line, “We are no longer able to run the restaurant due to family issues but the restaurant has great potential for the future.”

Since then, three more Craigslist posts have popped up: Two on Saturday, February 16 (one showing the furniture for sale, the other listing other fixtures), and a final one on Monday, February 18, stating that the location is for lease.

We visited the location Monday evening, and found this note on the door:

To all our guests,

On February 16th, we made a family decision to close Casa D’Italia. We would like to thank everyone for your support throughout the last 12 years. We will be keeping our website running so check us out at www.casaditaliaseattle.com to keep up on our next venture and find out where Anthony is cooking next.

Again, thank you for your support.

God bless,

– The Donatone Family

Turns out the closure seems fast because it was.

Casa_DItalia_closes2

We’ve reached out to the family for more information, and will update this post if we hear anything back.

UPDATE (Thursday, February 28): From Angeli Donatone, wife of Chef Anthony (via email):

Yes, it was a sudden closure but one that had been looming for awhile. Like so many others, we have been affected by the changing economy, both personally and professionally. It was a challenge for us to say good-bye to Casa D’Italia, which grew in 11 years to be like family for so many. We trust that when one door closes, many others will open, and it is with this blind faith that we made the decision to close.

Our lease had been month-to-month for many years, and we felt the deferred maintenance on the building was catching up with it, and didn’t want this to become a liability to us, an independant family-run business. We are so proud of the community that was built and all of the fans of “Casa” “Anthony’s” or “the two tomatoes” among other nick-names…Please thank the neighbors for sharing their lives with us. We also have referrals for some great Italian caterers…They may contact us via our website where we will post updates to our whereabouts.

http://casaditaliaseattle.com/default.asp

The third local restaurant sale is more of a mystery.

The listing states a location of the Ravenna neighborhood, but is not any more specific. In fact, interested parties are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement before learning of its location.

Our only clues are in the description, which includes the following:

[E]xposed timber beams and soaring 18′ ceilings. Opened August 2011 after extensive remodel. 1,760 SF (restaurant) plus 220 SF (on site office and storage room). Seats 60 including 18 counter seats in bar area.

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

Craigslist ad for the mystery restaurant (click to read the full listing).

We have our guesses. We’ve been told we’re wrong (by a friend of friends of the owner), but with an NDA on the table, all bets are off.

____________________

*Casa D’Italia was the Ravenna Blog’s very first paying customer, in terms of advertising. We will always have a hyperlocal place in our heart for them, and we wish them the very best in the future.

Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center holiday Play Space and Tot Gym schedule

Parents of tots, we have a Christmas present for you.

Did you know that the Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center (6545 Ravenna Avenue NE) is OPEN on Christmas Eve? OH YES, oh yes.

The community center’s Play Space is open from 9:15 AM – 5:30 PM. And we can tell you, from personal experience, sending the small, unruly ones down there with a parent to get their wiggles out before dinner, is a FANTASTIC idea.

It’s only three bucks a kid. (But they could charge 10, and it’d still be a great deal.)

BUT WAIT — THERE’S MORE!

Here’s the Play Space and Tot Gym schedule through Saturday, January 5, 2013:

Play Space

Christmas Eve: 9:15 AM-5:30 PM
Christmas Day: CLOSED
Wednesday the 26th: 2-8:15 PM
Thursday the 27th: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Friday the 28th: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Saturday the 29th: 9:15 AM-1:30 PM

Monday the 31st: 9:15 AM-5:30 PM
New Year’s Day: CLOSED
Wednesday the 2nd: 2-8:15 PM
Thursday the 3rd: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Friday the 4th: 10:15 AM-8:15 PM
Saturday the 5th: 9:15 AM-4:30 PM

Tot Gym

Wednesday the 26th: 10:15 AM-2 PM
Wednesday the 2nd: 10:15 AM-2 PM

Everybody into the [wading] pool, before it closes!

It’s August, and Seattle summer is chugging right along: Lots of sun, temperatures consistently in the mid- to upper-70s…this time of year is why we live here.

So, naturally, the city’s wading pools are all preparing to close for the season.

Our region of the Seattle Parks and Recreation map (the Northeast) has two wading pools and two swimming beaches open during the summer. Here are their remaining days of use:

  • Dahl Playfield Wading Pool (7700 25th Ave NE): open August 14-16, noon – 7 PM
  • Magnuson Park Wading Pool (7400 Sand Point Way NE): open daily from noon – 6:30 PM through August 26
  • Magnuson Park Summer Beach (7400 Sand Point Way NE): open through August 26
  • Matthews Beach Park Summer Beach (9500 51st Ave NE): open through September 3

At this time, NE Seattle does not have any of the unstaffed sprayparks, which tend to stay open later in the season. However, Sarah (raintea on twitter) would like us to mention the brand new spraypark at Northacres Park (12718 1st Ave NE). It’s open daily from 11 AM – 8 PM through September 3. It is technically in Seattle Parks and Recreation’s NW geographic area, but when you and the kids are too hot, who cares.

You can find the full list of Seattle’s wading pools, sprayparks, summer beaches and pools and their schedules right here (280 KB PDF; comic sans).

Slushfest Friday: What’s open/closed around Ravenna (UPDATES)

For the second day in a row, we’re offering a page full of local information on weather-affected schools, businesses, and events in Northeast Seattle.

If it’s closed or open, canceled or postponed, opening late or closing early, and somebody tells us about it, we’ll post the information below (and update it throughout the day).

Schools

ALL Seattle Public Schools = CLOSED
North Seattle Community College = CLOSED (classes and activities)
University of Washington = CLOSED

Businesses and Facilities

8 Limbs Yoga = OPEN regular hours (Wedgwood location)
Bagel Oasis = OPEN until at least 2 PM
Blossoming Buds Cottage = OPEN regular hours
Good To Go Customer Service Center = OPEN from 9 AM-7 PM
Laurelhurst Community Center = OPEN at noon
The Local Vine = OPEN regular hours (at University Village location)
Meadowbrook Pool = OPEN at noon
Magnuson Community Center = OPEN at noon
Maple Leaf Ace Hardware = OPEN
MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) = OPEN
Northeast Branch of the Seattle Public Library = OPEN from 1-6 PM
Northgate Community Center = OPEN at 1 PM
Planet Happy = OPEN
Queen Mary Tea Room = OPEN regular hours
Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center = OPEN at 12:39 PM
Swink Style Bar = OPEN regular hours (University Village location)
Trophy Cupcakes = OPEN regular hours (University Village location)
University District Food Bank = OPEN until 3 PM
Vios at Third Place = OPEN for full service in restaurant AND pub
Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts = OPEN

Events

Roosevelt High School Drama Winter Production (“Quilters”) = CANCELED (waiting for word on a new opening night)
Roosevelt Station Meet the Artist event = CANCELED, but will be rescheduled

Ice Storm Thursday: What’s open, what’s not, around Ravenna (UPDATES)

Anything open out there? Ravenna Ave NE and NE 65th St, taken at 8:51 AM

 

Here’s what we’ve heard is closed (or open) in or near the neighborhood today (in alphabetical order):

ALL Seattle Schools = CLOSED
Apple Store = OPEN, but closing at 2 PM
Bagel Oasis = OPEN until 2PM
Bartell Drugs = All local stores OPEN, but University Ave NE location’s pharmacy is CLOSED
Blossoming Buds Cottage = CLOSED
Burke Museum = CLOSED
COA Tequileria = OPEN at 4 PM, with their new menu!
Create & Barrel = CLOSED
Delfino’s Chicago Style Pizza = OPEN
GAP = OPEN, but closing at 3 PM
glassybaby = OPEN, closing at 3 PM
Grand Illusion Cinema = OPEN
H&M = OPEN, but closing at 3 PM
The Herbalist = OPEN but may close early
Judy Fu’s Snappy Dragon = CLOSED
The Local Vine = OPEN
Maple Leaf Ace Hardware = CLOSED
MOHAI (Museum of History and Industry) = CLOSED
Northeast Branch = CLOSED (as are all Seattle Public Library branches)
Pinup Salon = CLOSED
Planet Happy Toys = CLOSED
Queen Mary Tea Room = OPEN
Ravenna-Eckstein Community Center = CLOSED (as are all Seattle Parks and Recreation facilities and activities
Ravenna Third Place Books = OPEN until 5 PM
Sunlight Cafe = OPEN
Taste of India = OPEN
Trophy Cupcakes = all locations OPEN until 3 PM, and first 10 to say “Snow Day” Get a FREE cupcake
University District Food Bank = OPEN from 10 AM-3 PM
UW Neighborhood Clinic – Ravenna = OPEN at noon, reduced hours
Varlamos Pizzeria = OPEN
Vios Cafe = OPEN until 2:30 PM
Wayward Coffeehouse = OPEN
Wedgwood Safeway = store and pharmacy both OPEN
Wedgwood Top Pot Doughnuts = OPEN until 3 PM (dozens 1/2 off if you mention seeing the deal online!)
Whole Foods at Roosevelt Square = OPEN until 6 PM
Zoka Coffee = OPEN until 4 PM

Our next ‘hood neighbors at the Roosevelt Neighborhood Blog are also keeping track of closures (and have a Cowen Park sledding video to boot).

We’ll update this post throughout the day. If you learn of any other openings or closures, let us know and we’ll add them in.

Ravenna’s Candy Cane Lane set to open December 10

We’ve heard from one of the homeowners on Candy Cane Lane (NE Park Rd) that their annual holiday light extravaganza is set to start on December 10 this year.

Looking festive now — Imagine what it will look like at night!

Here’s a story on the history of this annual neighborhood tradition from the Seattle Times last year.

After a try for an encore, The Shoe Zoo bids farewell again

We received the following email from “The Zoo Keeper,” owner Bruce Stern, this afternoon, saying that The Shoe Zoo (2920 NE Blakeley St # B) is closing:

Well, I certainly hoped I wouldn’t have to write this letter, but I must. I was optimistic when we gave it one more try last year. I thought maybe we could survive with everyone knowing how tough of a time we were having. I am afraid to say it was a mistake. I just prolonged the inevitable. I couldn’t have imagined it getting so much worse, but it did.

I want to thank you for your support, not only during this last year, but for the past 24 years as well. It’s been very special watching your kids grow up over the years, from fitting your children with their first pair of shoes, then, in a blink of an eye, outgrowing our store. I felt a little bit more special than just your average retail store owner, maybe because you treated me that way. And for that, a heartfelt thank you.

Now, I don’t want to get into too much detail, but after the going-out-of-business sale last year, I had to re-stock the entire store. Let’s just say, The Zoo Keeper really needs your help. I have to try and pay for all of these shoes. So please come in and take advantage of some great savings on your shoe and boot purchases.

Starting today, everything in the store will be 20% off. Everything must go, so if you see something that isn’t marked, please make an offer. I will be selling stockroom shelves, which are perfect for your garage, classic children’s movies, stuffed animals, pictures, equipment, tools, benches, and much more. Over the next few months, I will be sending out email notifications with updates and such. I really hope to see you, it would mean so much to me.

Thank You,
The Zoo Keeper

Here are links to our previous coverage of The Shoe Zoo’s rebirth (May 21, 2011), and the first closure sale (January 30, 2011).