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Local Businesses Teetering on the Edge

My inbox filled up the other day with forwarded notes from local business owners that are sending out an S.O.S.  I give these folks credit for having the guts to ask the community for help, but I also have to believe that there are plenty of others out there in the same boat.   Especially with all of the impending re-development, it seems the future of some of our favorite spots may be uncertain.

Images15 ParkPlace Books is looking for donations so that they can afford to pay a large bill that is coming due on 4/28.   Their heartfelt note explains that it has been difficult competing with the internet and huge box stores, not to mention the downturn in the economy and the slowing of foot traffic at Kirkland ParkPlace due to retail businesses departing in anticipation of Touchstone's project.  This plea also addresses the fact that they are doing some long range planning so they can stay ahead of the curve in the future, and stresses the importance of this great bookstore to the community of Kirkland.  It is a great independent shop where you can find knowledgable staff and a comfortable space to relax, read, and discuss.  If you're a fan of this bookstore too, Mary and Rebecca would love to see you stop in, buy a book and/or donate.  Too busy? You can mail your support to: ParkPlace Books, 348 Parkplace Center, Kirkland, WA 98033.

Images9 Cruising down Lake Street you'll see the big banner for Ben & Jerry's Free Cone Day on 4/29.   Then underneath that banner is a sign asking for donations.  I found this to be quite confusing, but I think instead of donating to a non-profit organization they have started their own "Ben & Jerry's Fund" to help save themselves from disaster since they will be vacating their current location during their busiest season (summertime) for remodeling.  It's important to know they support the project, however, it sounds like they will struggle to land on their feet.  Can't the Ben & Jerry's "mother ship" step in to help too?  Regardless, Kirkland ice cream lovers (seriously, does anybody NOT like ice cream?) should head in for their free cones on the 29th and just 'pay' for them anyway.   You can check out their site at www.saveourshop.com

If you love these Kirkland spots, now is the time to help keep them off our obituaries list! ~j

Is our Hibernation (finally) Over?

Sunnykirkland08_026 When the sun beams down on Kirkland in April, we all stop what we are doing immediately and head for the outdoors.   How friggin' AWESOME was this Saturday??!!  Here's a little of Sunnykirkland08_015 what I observed-the car washes lined up, dogs proudly marched with their sunglass-ed owners, musicians strummed happy tunes in the parks, and children's hair whipped in the wind as parents cruised with all the windows down.  I saw an abundance of un-pedicured feet Sunnykirkland08_011 that were obviously caught off guard by the sandal-appropriate weather.  One set may have Sunnykirkland08_018 even been mine as I got in my first water-ski run of the season ;-).  Every cyclist and motorcycle took to the streets, the roads jammed up, classic cars came out, outdoor dining spots overflowed and you had wait in line 20 minutes for an ice cream.   Shorts and tank tops were prevalent and even the flowers perked up and stood tall to welcome the rays.   As I walked through town I just wanted to do cartwheels down Lake Street and belt out a happy song to welcome this weather and beg it and all the fun that it brings to stay. 

Firstski08_009_2 Sunnykirkland08_017_2 Please please please don't let it be another springtime teaser.   The false alarms are hard to take, but I guess I would settle for just one day now than none at all.  It was fun seeing you all out and about enjoying Kirkland today.  Enjoy the pics.  ~j

Finding a Cab in Kirkland Just Got Easier

Images1 Attention Kirkland party crowd!  Or maybe those that occasionally have one too many.  Have you ever tried calling for a cab in this town?  They aren't just floating around when you need them and you'd better have a Red Bull in your hand if you are planning on calling for one and waiting. 

But one smarty pants group of taxi drivers have noticed the need for service on the eastside and started a flat rate service called Eastside for Hire.  They've been around since October and have 40 cars in operation serving mostly the eastside (but of course they will take you anywhere!).  Wait times are typically 10-15 mins. The cool thing is it's a flat rate- no surcharges for waiting or for extra passengers.  So, if you've tied one on down at Tiki Joe's, you can call 425-453-9000 and stuff yourself and 3 of your friends in the car for $7 to all crash at your 98033 address.  There is a handy rate calculator on their website- it's $35 to go from 98033 to the airport, for example.

So stay safe and smart, Kirkland.  I don't want to see your swervin' ass on the road (and neither do the plentiful DUI taskforce officers) and now you have no reason not to make the right choice.  It's that easy.  Please leave your feedback here if you have the chance to use this service.  The old has-been partiers like myself are curious :-)    ~j