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Bowling in Your PJ's at TechCity

Images1 TechCity Bowl in Kirkland is helping raise money for foster kids in WA and OR by co-hosting the 3rd Annual Sleep Country USA Pajama Bowl.  It's easy to help and join in the fun!  Just roll your stinky butt out of bed on Sunday and stay in your jammies and head to TechCity by noon.  I know you can wake up by then (my kids make sure of it).  Register your team of 5 bowlers online at www.sleepcountry.com .  Minimum entry fee is $250 per team which all goes to the foster kids (there are over 18,000 in our state!).  Last year they raised $62K and hope to beat that number this year.  There will be plenty of fun prized and giveaways too.  And don't worry about your bowling skills- they'll come right back, it's like riding a bike.  Steve witnessed this a few weeks ago when I tossed a 162 game.  That's right.  Be afraid - very afraid. ~j

Concessions in the Parks

Kirkland Parks is mixing it up for us a bit this summer by allowing a few local businesses to have concession stands in the parks.  Keep an eye out this week for the Market Street Cafe trailer at Marina Park and Jimmy's on Houghton (owned by St. James Espresso) at Houghton Beach Park.  I love this idea!  Often in the summer we end up on these beaches for hours in the sun and have to take a break to search for food.  This year the food is coming to us!

Marketstcafetrailer Market Street Cafe, whose main location is just up the street from Marina Park at 609 Market St, will be offering more 'park-ready' foods than their upscale restaurant.  Here's a sneak peak at the menu where you'll find salads, kabobs and kid-friendly snacks.  They will be located over by the Argosy ticket stand (south of the restrooms)--to the left is a photo of their future spot.  Expect to find them seven days a week.  This will really come in handy during those concerts in the park which start on July 8th, btw.  Or you could dock your boat at the Marina to stop for a quick bite to go.

Jimmys_on_houghton_simulated_sign Jimmy's on Houghton, whose mother-ship is St. James Espresso at 355 Kirkland Ave, will also be opened 7 days a week during daylight hours.  You'll find them right across from Kidd Valley in the multi-purpose building in Houghton Beach Park.  Check out the rendition of their new sign (left). The menu is still being finalized, but you should be looking for lots of espresso drinks, blended drinks, frozen treats, baked goods, wraps/kids sandwiches, soup, salads, and don't forget the dog treats!  You can even use your pre-paid St. James cards at this location too. 

Sounds like spending even more time in our parks this summer just got easier.   Once my kids spy these stands there will be no going home. :-)   j

Another Blog to Keep your Eye on....

Check it out-there's another blog in Kirkland you need to stay on top of: www.kirklandviews.com .  Kirkland resident, Rob Butcher, started this one up and he's always in the know about what's going on in the city meetings that I don't have the stamina time to attend.  Bless you, Rob!  It's good info fast- don't miss his update on city council's reversal of the Bank of America decision from tonight's meeting.  ~j

Set of Kahunas needed: please respond to City Hall

Big_balls_std1 The word is out that last week our City Council voted in favor of an appeal of the Bank of America/Merrill Gardens project on Lake Street.  Why does it seem like we're always chasing our tails on these downtown projects? I'm about to throw up a whole bunch of info and let you pick the chunks out.   

Here's how I see it- the developers are always going to ask for the world.  Whether it's B of A, ParkPlace, McLeod, whatever.  That's their job- they want to build big things and have them be successful/well liked and of course, profitable.   If they know they can have 2 stories, they'll ask for 5 realizing they might just get 3.  They gear up with drawings, research, plans, motivation, some gusto and typically a willingness to hold hands with the city so that a workable middle ground can be discovered.    Then, entering stage left, marches in the ever-present quickly assembled group of activists that want to save our great city from being thrown into the perils of the modern ages of re-development.   

My opinion doesn't matter here- but since you asked and it's my blog, I'll give it b/c it's simple. I think the B of A site needs to be re-developed, it's a crusty old eye sore (but nothing tops that antique shop, for the record).  I DON't think that the bank and some elderly housing is the best fit for prime-time downtown real estate.  I also don't think that something needs to be just two levels - I've got to imagine that makes it difficult for the numbers to jive for the developers.  Kirkland doesn't need to be the next Bellevue, but we want to at least be interesting and sustainable while maintaining our little lake town allure.  We need to give people a reason to come to our downtown and spend some money so there aren't tumbleweeds rolling past our businesses. Kirkland will evolve- newsflash- we're not the old lumber town we used to be.  But we can't seem to stop spinning our wheels despite ourselves.

Did you see the Kirkland Reporter this week?  After city council supported the appeal, three members of the Design Review Board resigned.  I can't blame them- they volunteer hours of their time and make a recommendation, only to have city council rebuff their decision.  It begs one to ask why were they there in the first place?    Kirkland needs to get a set of kahunas!  Maybe we could hire another expensive consultant to help us find some?  Or we could call Chief Olsen and have him throw on the blue lights/sirens and speed us over to the kahuna store.  We're so worried about pissing people off or doing the wrong thing-but-we're going to make some mistakes along the way, and there will never be a time when everybody will agree.  Please, SOMEBODY draw a line in the sand and let's pick a direction.  Argh.  Ok. Will go calm down now.  Comment away!   ~j    PS- special thanks to Steve for posing for this photo :-)

Another One Bites the Dust...

Oandco Say goodbye to "O & Company."  It looks like they have cleared out.

Speaking of clearing out, due to the upcoming McLeod project, Manhattan Boutique will have to leave it's location on Lake Street.  So go take advantage of their blowout farewell sale (40% plus) between now their departure in June.  Even the furniture and fixtures are for sale.  I can't believe I'm telling you about this before I've done my shopping....... j 

Kirkland Weds Market 2008: It's time! It's time!

W107211 Sunny skies can't be far off if it's time for the Wednesday MarketMay 7th is the kickoff and they've changed the time up a bit:  it's 2-7pm for the 2008 season which runs thru October 15th.  I recently sat down with Jodi Bardinelli, the new Director for the market, and she's got lots of great vendors and cool new ideas in store for us. 

There will be 60 booths in total (12 artists and the rest farmers) where you can pick up oysters, jams, honey, cheeses, vegetables, flowers (<---attn: Steve, these are only $5-10 and on your way home from work), croissants from the French Bakery, La Pasta's fresh-made pasta, Wooly Pigs bacon, or Willie Green's organic greens just to name a few.   

The first Wednesday of every month will have a family/kid focus with a Sprout Story-time at the new demo booth.  For Opening Day, our mayor Jim Lauinger, will be reading "My Pet Goat" at 3pm.  The Lake WA High School choir will be singing the Star Spangled banner and the kids can participate in a 'plant a seed' activity. 

Stay tuned for chef demos on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month and future events such as 'Touch a Tractor', 'Adopt a Greyhound' and the Seattle Humane Society's 'Max Mobile.'  Sur La Table will be showing us how it's done at the demo booth on the 3rd Weds of each month.  We can look forward to a beer garden and grill-off for Father's Day where dad's grill up steaks to be judged by local chefs.  And in September, there will be a Grape Stomp where teams of 3 will each get 20 pounds of grapes to stomp- the team with the most juice wins!

This year you can also sign up to get "The Fresh Sheet" which is a weekly email to let you know what items to expect at the Kirkland Wednesday Market each week.  You can sign up for that by sending an email to info@kirklandwednesdaymarket.org