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Kirkland Tree Lighting 08: Nov 29th 5-7:30pm

Tree This is the 5th year of the Kirkland Downtown Association's Tree Lighting Ceremony, so get ready to put on your holiday cheer! Come downtown on Saturday, November 29th between 5:00 and 7:30 PM to enjoy the official start to the holiday season. Reindeer, soup samples from local restaurants, cider and cookies, caroling by the Northwest Sound Men's Chorus, Santa photos at Kahili Coffee, Santa hats for the kids (courtesy of Reasons to Believe) and a "local celebrity" will officially light the tree at 7:00 PM. Oh, how mysterious!

This year, as you may know, downtown Kirkland will be minus the lights in the trees - Roof Truss Systems who has so generously donated this beautiful gift is unable to do it again this year due to the building industry slump and the economy. However they ARE still providing the tree and the rooftop decorations so a big thank you for that! We also want to thank Verizon for donating their trucks and their time to hang the big wreaths, and the 45 or so volunteers who helped wrap the poles with garland and lights earlier this month.

Please remember to support our merchants and shop local this season!

Business Births in Kirkland....and a Few Goodbyes

There are so many businesses coming and going right now that my little pea brain can barely hold them all.  I keep writing them down on scraps of paper in my car and snapping pictures as I drive which is not all that organized (at least I'm not texting). In these economic times,  people are looking for small pleasures, such as taking in a movie, which helps us feel good or forget without putting too big of a ding in our pocketbooks.  When times are tough, we still need martinis for sure.  More than ever.  And a tan so we feel like we've been on vacation when we can't afford one.  And a cupcake wouldn't be so bad either.  I always feel better after a cupcake.

Vovina_002 VoVina is a new martini bar opening up at 15 Lake St. #103 (on the water side, where the Veggie House used to be) in mid December.  Marcus Franklin and Jaymie Vovina_001 Jones are modeling their dark, cozy, hip and swanky new spot after the martinis spots in the Pearl District in Portland.  If you're feeling too old for the Shark Club (or just don't like the smell of beer on your shoes) and The Grape Choice closes before your bedtime, this will be the perfect spot for you to huddle in.  Expect an extensive martini menu, plenty of wine (Marcus, pictured right, has a long history with wine), and 10-12 appetizer-type food items.  Be ready for some fun surprises too, like a themed shot menu and drinks made with absinthe, the licorice flavored liquor that used to be banned in the early 1900's.

Bronztanning_004 Bronztanning_002_2 Juanita just got a little sunnier with Bronz Tanning opening up a few months ago at 13325 100th Ave NE.  They've got ten beds including conventional, medium pressure, high pressure and spray tanning too.  Nice clean happy vibe with friendly employees that take the time to explain to you how the machines work (photo rt: Sarah, Kara, Jena and manager, Jen).  Tans range anywhere from $5-32/each depending on what kind of bed and package you're looking at. Mention the Kirkland Blog and your first tan is FREE.  Yes, you heard me right, FREE! So, go treat yourself to that 12 minutes of quiet sandless beach.

Sweetcakes Suzanne at Sweet Cakes has been busy painting her new storefront on Park Lane (which used to be The Bath Bar).  She is planning to open in early December and will be offering custom desserts, cakes, cookies, and more.  If your sweet tooth wants it, I think it will be there. 

Riverrockrovzar While we are welcoming in the new, we shouldn't forget to say our fond farewells to those that are leaving Kirkland.  Goodbye to Patricia Rovzar Gallery, River Rock , Bluefish Sushi, and Gunnar Nordstrom Gallery (17 years in Kirkland).  Gunnar's new spot is next to Joey's and Twisted Cork in Bellevue at 800 Bellevue Way and Patricia Rovzar is in Seattle on Second Ave. ~j

Turkey Trot Photos

Turkeytrot_004 Turkeytrot_006 Great turnout today at the Turkey Trot for Hopelink.  We made it a girls' day so I brought my two 5 1/2 year olds down and we hoofed it the ENTIRE 3 miles.  There may have been some wimpering and feet dragging at the end (and dogs passing us), but what little troopers they turned out to be!  THanks to everyone who helped make this a successful event.  Check out the pics. ~j

Calling all Turkeys and Swimmers

Turkeytrotside1 Start trotting turkeys! Hopelink's 8th Annual Turkey Trot is coming up on Sunday Nov 16th.  It starts at 1:00 at Marina Pavilion and your tailfeathers will be walking the 5K (3mi) waterfront route to Carillon Point.  It's $20 per person or $15/person if you assemble a team or bring the whole family.  Walk-up registration is at noon or you can get it done online, but however you do it just make an effort to be there.

Images6 And speaking of Hopelink and the season of giving, there is an all city effort to help fill Hopelink's empty shelves between Nov 15 and Dec 12th.  It's a little contest between our Kirkland neighborhoods!  The parks dept has offered a FREE summer pool party to the neighborhood that collects and donates the most food.  Woohoo! Results are measured by weight- so think canned goods, big bags of rice instead of those air-filled oodles of noodles.  Check with your local neighborhood association to coordinate with their collection efforts! ~j

Looking for a good mechanic?

Bmw Here is a picture of my 2000 BMW 323 getting detailed at Autobahn in Carillon Point (an awesome detailing shop BTW).   I try to take care of my car--it has less than 60k miles on it--I don't drive it too hard, get the regular tune-ups, oil changes, etc.  Despite my efforts the BMW has been falling apart as soon as it was out of warranty.  You name it, it's gone bad.   Transmission?  Totally replaced.   Radiator?  totally replaced.  Brakes, lines, belts, sunroof motor, electric windows, climate control?  All replaced or fixed.  There is more, but I won't go into every service visit I have had on this lemon.     Don't believe it?  Just click here to see one of many sites I found on BMW unreliability. 

I got tired of taking my car to the Downtown Seattle BMW dealer where the expenses have been piling up and the service hasn't been great.  If someone is going to make money fixing my BMW  I figured it should be someone other than the people who sold it to me (can you tell I will never buy another BMW?)   So when my brake light went on  a few weeks ago I became determined to find a good Kirkland mechanic.   

I have a neighbor who drives an older BMW 8-Series so I emailed him asking where he takes his car.   He emailed me back and wrote:  Jaguar Shop,  Inc.   I had to email him back reminding him I had a BMW and not a Jag,  but he assured me they worked on BMWs.  He also mentioned that they took care of another neighbor on our street that takes his cars there.  With two neighborly endorsements I figure it's worth a shot.   

To double check I find their website and they don't mention any car on their site except Jaguars.   So I then call the number (425-827-4887) and ask them if they work on BWMs.  The guy responds in calm voice and says "a car is a car, we work on all of them".   

I get an appointment for the next day and bring my car into their East of Market location.   When I arrive I was pleased to see a pretty  large  shop with several service bays.   The place is organized, clean, and had a nice lounge with some older cars on display--including an old Ferrari.   

Automotive_002 My brakes got fixed and I had them look at a few other annoyances including an oil light that constantly comes on (even though BMW just did my oil service a few hundred miles earlier).   The work was done the same morning and they gave me good details on what they did.  The annoying oil light is a bad sensor in the oil pan.  They advise I just let it go as it's expensive to fix and will only make the light go away.  I pass on having it fixed.   All in all it was a good experience and I liked the guys working there. Much cheaper than the BWM dealer too.   

Jaguar Shop, Inc. is now my auto service shop!  They work on most makes and models although you would never know it from their name, website, or any other marketing.    So if you are looking for a good mechanic try these guys out.  Let us know how it goes too....Steve