Pushing Forward. Donuts. Bubbles...Onward.

I've had a shoulder injury that is taking some time to heal. This getting old thing is hard to get my head around.  It doesn't  matter how hard I work at physical therapy  (thx LWPT for the in-home sessions!), it just needs TIME.  Something that seems more plentiful these days, but when we are already limited in what we can do and where we can go, this is super frustrating. A number of  things that make me happy- golf and waterskiing for example, are off the table.  So I walk and do modified workouts...meh, been a little desperate for some new fun ideas.   I've been eating frozen grapes which are an amazing summertime treat, so there's a bright side.  And I watch TikTok, sometimes with my kids, and it makes me cry the best belly-laugh tears I have experienced in a while.  For all things good, universe, please don't take this small hilarious pleasure in life away.  If you have not been on this app, better hurry before it's too late, and scroll past the teenage girls desperate for followers and check out the hilarious dog and prank videos. It's like America's Funniest Home videos without a million replays and commercials, and restores my faith in the humor of mankind.

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The landscape is definitely changing.  Literally.  Have you seen the weeds in all of the medians? Just kidding, sort of.... anyway, as I walked through downtown Kirkland the other day I found myself wondering which businesses would make it.   Canvas has closed. A few months ago I was amazed at how they always seemed to have full classes in the middle of the day. Pike St Press closed their Kirkland location. Brix just closed - COVID is killing the bar biz and they need that to survive- but good news, they will be opening in Woodinville at Woodin Creek Village post-COVID. Bassline Fitness had to downsize their space.  Diva Lani has re-opened to warm support and added to their more casual quarantine-cozy clothes.  Santorini is working hard to re-open in the upcoming weeks (finally filling the void in my heart).  

There are also always a few stories that simply inspire.  I love when people are able to get scrappy and resourceful.  Hamed, the owner of Shirzad  Fine Jewelry on Central Way, recognized people aren't running out for fancy jewelry at the moment, so he opened a coffee/donut drive through in Factoria with a partner to keep things going.  They donated to local hospitals and now nurses/healthcare workers are a big part of his customer base.    Mini's Coffee & Donuts features coffee from his friend's farm in Costa Rica and donuts that are fried on the spot and made to order. People always need donuts and coffee, right?

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Go-getter Carolyn Holt is a Kirklander with crazy champagne skills. Yes, you read that correctly. This girl knows her bubbles. She's a familiar local face that has been the wine buyer and wine club coordinator at The Grape Choice, not to mention the Pop Up Bub Club coordinator,  and dreamed of having her own champagne bar.  And despite these times, she has got a plan to make it happen.  Hellooooo Pop!Culture. A non-pretentious, fun, bright atmosphere where families can enjoy bubbles and wine and small plates while creating long-lasting relationships with the locals.  She's hoping to find a space in Kirkland (but Woodinville has potential too) and open in October or November. Check out her sample menu and Kickstarter campaign here if you are champagne fan, there are lots of fun experiences in exchange for your support.  Pro Tips- her favorite champagne reco's would be: Billecart- Salmon NV Brut Reserve and Pol Roger NV Brut.  Show her some love if you want to see pop!culture in Kirkland. Virtual tastings too! 

 

 


Stay-at-Home Time Sparks Creativity: Seattle Supreme Clothing

Nathan  Nathanshirts

It's quite evident that these last few months have sent a screaming curveball into our lives, but local high school student Nathan Chen was not deterred.  Nathan decided to use his extra time to explore his creativity and start a company, Seattle Supreme Clothing, also known as "Seasup."   These Covid days....some sleep in, others get motivated! We may need to step up our game to keep up with this kid.

Nathan moved to Kirkland from Taiwan four years ago and he found himself thinking about the cultural differences he had experienced, and how he could incorporate language and design to help widen people's view of the world.  "During quarantine I needed a way to express my feelings," he says, "and I wanted to make a collection with meaning.  So I ran the idea by some friends, and they liked it."  Nathan's debut collection of trendy tees is called "Mandarin" and each shirt has an explanation of the language and design's deeper meaning if you click on it.  He emphasizes cultural diversity,  social awareness, and even international  landmarks and melds it with a splash of local flavor.  All of Nathan's designs are hand sketched and then fine tuned on Adobe Illustrator and then printed on shirts in Nevada.  Each shirt is $19.99 and 15% of profits go towards WA Youth for Masks,  another local teen-driven effort.

When Nathan isn't outsmarting the adults around him, you may find him working out, playing football or shooting some hoops.   He's hopeful to end up at one of his dream colleges, either UW or UC Berkeley studying business in 2021.   His advice to us..."If you have the opportunity, just do it!"  

You can check out Seasup's Insta page here and  don't forget to buy yourself a sharp new tee that will compliment your  face mask when you leave the house again next Tuesday.  


Comings and Goings. Hello to J. McLaughlin on Park Lane!

IMG_9832 <- supercute masks at Purpose
I prefer comings to goings but these are strange times, indeed. A little masked stroll around town in my newfound favorite mask, from Z Supply at Purpose Boutique (photo) for $12.99, was a good little fact-finding mission.  IVY- family emergency and closed until further notice as of 7/9. Birdcage has left the building. And  Rocketfizz has closed and will be turning into....drum roll please....a bank (deflated exhale). Santorini is working to reopen soon despite a recent personal hardship/loss (we love you Stavros!)

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But wait, wait for it.. something new is opening in August you say? YES. Mid-August at 129 Park Lane in the old Essentials spot you will find J.McLaughlin.  They have been around since 1977, provide men's and women's clothes/accessories and brand themselves as "classic clothes with current relevance and a retail environment with a neighborhood feel." So there's something to look forward to! Athleta in Totem Lake is getting really close too!  Let's keep working on our mask wearing/social distancing so we will be able to comfortably and safely visit these new places, Kirkland. :-)

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Lululemon Keeping us On-Point.. and safe

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Lucky me! I left my house on Friday to venture over to The Village at Totem Lake for the opening of lululemon.  Lulu fabrics have been working overtime to make me appear to be fit for years now, so I felt like I the least I could do is brush my hair and throw a mask on to visit their newest location here in Kirkland.  Good thing I did.  They were supposed to open on 3/31 but, you know our Crusty ole COVID friend decided that wasn't going to happen until 6/26. lululemon did an AMAZING job being prepared with  6 ft of distance floor stickers outside  and under 10 people in the store at a time to shop the latest sport-trendy attire.  New/current rules include masks on your mugs (they have them on too, thank you!), trying not touch clothes that you aren't going to buy (tricky, I love touching everything!) and no dressing rooms, but you can take home and return within 30 days.  Plenty of men's and women's sport and leisure clothes and accessories to peruse for summertime.

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Their corner spot across from 203° F Coffee is open and welcoming.  As I stood out front I thought if I closed my eyes and re-opened them I could possibly be in U-Village.  Love all of the plants and cozy 'village' feel outside and then the clean high energy vibe of lulu itself. Logically I can't walk out of there without a cute pair of joggers ($88) and short-sleeved top ($48) that may family will be lucky enough to see me wearing around the house or maybe even some strangers on a walk or at the grocery store.   Hours are 11-7 except Sunday is 12-6.  go- have fun, support this new store!

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A few doors down was the adorable flower/candle pop-up stand that just opened called Sweet Serenity, which has a heartfelt story behind it (photo).  And of course you are curious about what else is still on its way. Besides the giant 40% off sale at Nordstrom Rack (get on line) right now and much appreciation to Trader Joe's, Whole Foods and the other essential businesses, you can also look forward to Evereve and Athleta coming soon along with Cinemark (Phase 2, Nov-ish). Lots to look forward to! 


Re-Openings are Welcome News

There are twinkles of hope resembling normalcy as King County ventures into Phase 2.  Even new stores opening!  While we all continue to social distance and err on the side of caution to keep our numbers in check, businesses are striving to offer us a safe environment in which to do our shopping.  Check out the Village at Totem Lake that has continuously served us by way of Whole Foods Market, Trader Joe's, All the Best Pets, AutoZone, HSBC, Key Bank, Joe's Burgers, Chipotle, MOD Pizza, 203°F Coffee Co, T-Mobile.  T-Mobile, Wells Fargo, At&T and Verizon.  Anthony Vince Nail Spa and Nordstrom Rack and also now re-opened.  Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the Village and and ground stickers to remind us of safe distancing.  

UrbanTread
Urban Tread
just opened at The Village! It is a Seattle-based company that specializes in stylish and comfortable shoes and boots for men and women.  Let's go show them some support (just not all at the same exact time. And with our masks on..)

There was also some sad news of Anko permanently closing all of their US stores.  This is a loss, my daughters will no longer be able to afford to decorate their  own bedrooms. Also closing on the other side of Kirkland is Tuesday Morning on 85th.  By the way, if this is your first time hearing this news, you need to follow the Kirkland Blog on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) where I blab about these things as soon as I hear about them. 

Anyway, back to The Village!.......Still also expected to open very very soon are LuluLemon, Athleta and Evereve.  I know I will be a regular in those favorites. I'm just scared to learn what my new sizes will be. 

After construction resumes fully, the Village is also looking forward to celebrating grand openings of Cinemark, Sephora and Salt & Straw. I can't think of a better way to eventually wrap up this COVID thing than some great mascara, an ice cream and a movie. A girl can dream, right? #cantwait


Kirkland's Virtual 4th of July

From our 4th of July Committee:

4thofJulyvirtual

A message from Kirkland Downtown Association regarding 4th of July celebration:

 This year 4th of July is going to look a little different. To still celebrate as a community, we are creating a virtual parade and fireworks show to stream live on FB and Kirkland TV.

This will give us an opportunity to “gather together” from the comfort and safety of our own spaces and enjoy images and footage of 4th of July celebrations from the last 20 years.

How fun it will be to see how floats, styles, and downtown have evolved since we began Celebrate Kirkland in 2000. Pay attention and you just may see some familiar faces that have participated through the years.

Join us at Noon on Saturday, July 4th on the Celebrate Kirkland 4th of July! Facebook page or on Kirkland TV for the parade and fireworks show.

We would also love to see how you are celebrating! As you deck your homes, selves, pets, or children with red, white, and blue, we would love you to post your pictures with the below hashtags.


#CelebrateKirkland!2020 #KirklandTogether #WeGotThisKirkland


Attn Chocolate Lovers: Sweet Cloud Gifts is (virtually) Here

Olga and Yakov Sweet cloud gifts logo

You may recognize Yakov Gorshkov, the owner of Seattle Thread Company on Lake St., who is also a regular around Kirkland. But have you met his daughter, Olga? These two dynamos have started an online business together called Sweet Cloud Gifts and it's all about .....chocolate!  Oh thank goodness, right? That can solve just about anything.   A software engineer by trade, Olga is excited about her online chocolate gifting so that she can connect with the community and make people happy.  This idea has been swirling around in their brains for awhile, and they decided now is the time to bring it to life.  Olga and Yakov are primarily focused on Kirkland and individual gifting, but they also offer business gifts for rewards and events.  Their chocolates are sourced from around the world, so you'll notice some familiar Seattle area faves alongside unique global brands. Their stock is in Kirkland so it only take 2-3 days to get to you. They also have their own gift sets in an adorable Sweet Cloud Gift box.

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When I asked Yakov about his favorite chocolate he said, "I eat them all." Olga has a sweet spot for the liquor-filled chocolates (double trouble!). Check out their website- these two Kirkland mainstays are passionate about building connections, embracing community, collaborating and promoting neighbors.  So reach out and say hello and send a friend or associate some chocolate.  I'm sure they'll be glad that you did!


Kirkland's Seniors Cruise the Blvd

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The graduating class of 2020 has definitely had some special end of year moments robbed of them due to the Coronavirus restrictions.  But on Thursday evening, the rains stopped and the sun shone down on hundreds of smiling capped and gowned teenagers from Lake Washington High School, Juanita High School, Eastside Prep, Emerson and the International School.  A giant 'unofficial' parade of cars honked, shrieked, danced and  let loose down the Lake St/Lake WA Blvd in Kirkland as parents and socially distanced bystanders clapped and cheered them on from the street.  For those 45 minutes, life even felt a little bit 'normal' as kids got to see each other and feel the love and support of their friends, family and community.  Finally, a celebration!  I don't have a senior, but I still found myself holding back a few tears of pride for this amazing group of teens. 

Perhaps this grass-roots effort just started a new Kirkland tradition.  LW parent, Kristen Estes, helped the group of moms that put this effort together and commented, "We are so thankful to the Kirkland community for helping us celebrate the Class of 2020 during these unique times.  it was fun to see everyone come together and make this a special event for the graduating class of 2020."  Perhaps years from now Kirkland grads will read about COVID-19 in their history books and go charging out the door for their annual community graduation 'senior cruise' through our city remembering how it all started. I hope so. 

You've got this Class of 2020.  Congrats!