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A Word (many, actually) from Marsha

Marsha, our ex-Parking Enforcement Officer, had a few words for me after my post from Aug 23rd that she said I could share with you.  Thank you, Pretty Lady! Well said.


I am no longer employed by Kirkland as a Parking Enforcement Officer so I figured I could send you a note.  Anyone that knows me knows, that I prefer being called "Pretty Lady" and I'm not nice, I'm fair but stern.....kinda like your favorite Mother.  

Parking isn't a problem in Kirkland.....but "bad attitudes" are.  If you were to describe the parking situation to any other city, employee, or company that sells parking equipment you'd be laughed at.

1 PEO a day, I worked 11am-9pm, 2 hour, 3 hour, 4 hour FREE Parking.  FREE ALL DAY parking usually 1 1/2 blks away, $1.00 an hour parking from 5-9pm which means $4.00 a night,  Leased Private Parking Lot which was $1.00 an hour from 9am-9pm.  FREE PARKING W/PERMIT for downtown business owners and employees. ALL DAY FREE PARKING on Sundays and holidays,  By the time I got around to ticketing vehicles on FRI or SAT it  would be 1:30pm-2pm which is plenty of time to get your now sober butt out of bed and retrieve you vehicle.  If you did receive a $35 dollar ticket it is still cheaper than a cab drive or DUI.  It's the price to play.   FREE ALL DAY Motorcycle Parking Spots

 Name one city anywhere in the world that has more lenient parking near a lake, w/awesome stores, and beautiful trees and flowers!?  I know you can't.  

 Stop whining about the parking to strangers and friends, start spreading the word on how wonderful the city is.  Employees and Regulars....  Start parking in places that respect the business owners and frees up spots for "new customers and soon to be "new friends".    Take responsibility for your parking tickets...sometimes you win and sometimes you must pay.  I'm pretty sure everyone has once come running and yelling and waving their hands to me and they got a win...at least once.  Getting a parking ticket is all about being part of a city.

 I loved my job, loved meeting people, loved giving directions, giving restaurant suggestions, returning keys, phones, dogs and children, I loved doing personal shopping on my off hours, loved laughing at funny moments, loved hugging at the sad.  I tried to treat everyone "equally the same" (only maybe not "red state" plates or convertibles in the summer)  if you didn't get a ticket from me (unless you yelled, lied, or called me fat)  you usually were given a lecture on how to be better and options on where to park next time.    ;)

 If you have any ideas that the Parking Board has not covered or thought of.....It's time to volunteer!

 Marsha the Meter-maid

 (ps. I don't stop in for coffee. I'm allergic)

'Eden' Movie Filming East of Market

I've received a flurry of questions since yesterday about what looks like a movie filming at the corner of 7th and 3rd (east of Market).  You were right! They're gone now though.  It's called "Eden" and it's based on a true story about a woman in New Mexico who was abducted, throw in the trunk of a car and smuggled into Las Vegas, where she was imprisoned.  This victim of human trafficking and sexual slavery managed to survive by carving out power and influence by the same organization that was holding her captive.   

Megan Griffiths is directing and Jamie Chung (Hangover 2) and Beau Bridges will be starring in the film expected for release in 2012. You can find out more by visiting theirfacebook page or IMDB.


Get Ready with RED Emergency Prevention

Here is an interesting new company with services in our area that you need to know about.  County RED is committed to emergency prevention and disaster preparedness.  Any friend of my husband Steve knows that he takes his nickname of "Mr. Safety" pretty seriously.  So, you can imagine our excitement when we heard that a local firefighter and a pair of UW students have started doing household safety reviews and disaster plans at no cost. Did you know that over 90% of homes in WA state are not prepared for fires or other residential emergencies?  Yikes.  Not a good stat with all the natural disasters there have been lately. 

RED <--Richie, Jared and Andy

Knock knock knock.  These three handsome young men show up at the door in matching shirts and an iPad in hand.  They have software that has a comprehensive checklist of safety items for the home which will generate a score after our walk-thru the house.  I showed them where our fire extinguishers are, CO2 detectors, flashlights, gas shutoff tool, emergency plan, escape routes, dryer vents,etc.  I was feeling pretty good about it since I've been through the city's "Map Your Neighborhood" program and I do the crime watch for my street AND I'm married to Mr. Safety (bonus).  I thought things were looking up as I scampered around the house proudly producing hardhats and backup water supplies. Then we got an 82%.  Which almost made me cry (yes, I was that kid you hated in school.  I've never gotten an 82 before).  But the RED team praised our efforts and said that's the highest score they have seen so far. 

We also talked to the guys about escape routes from our home and they showed us how to turn off our water meter at the street and had us practice too.  Of course, they offer products and services to get you and your home ready for any disaster.  Everyone always procrastinates on this stuff, but a free inspection is a great first step to creating a household that is prepared.  Why wouldn't you do this?  Especially since I am challenging you to beat my 82.  I have a prize for the first reader that does it (email me kirklandweblog@gmail.com) . Call 888-557-5167 and make an appt. Go ahead, buy all your supplies and beat me.   Even just one more safe household in Kirkland will help me sleep better at night. ~j


Survey:Parking in Kirkland...what do YOU think?

The city would like our feedback on the ever-perplexing issue of parking in downtown Kirkland.  Here's a link to the survey. It's quick- I did it, so you should too.  That way the team of scientists on this issue can move on to solving world peace.  I sometimes daydream about stealng all of Marsha's chalk sticks. Btw- Marsha is the very nice and funny lady usually in the parking enforcement cart but DARN IT she's quick.  Then there's the new electronic chalking system that Big Brother the city is using now in case Marsha grabs a cup of coffee. Despite all of my whining, I rarely have issue with finding a parking spot in downtown Kirkland.  My problem is more that I'd like to spend a few hours doing multiple things (shop/lunch/park) but feel like I always have to go move my car.....  j

FanZappy Gets Started in Kirkland

How many of you use Groupon, Living Social, Tippr, Amazon Local, Mamapedia, Juice in the City, Bloomspot, Yelp Deals? ....sigh... so many deals, so little time.  But there is a new local deal site that Kirkland resident, Lee Wang, has started that has a different spin on it.   FanZappy! It's just fun to say. :-)

FanZappy has a program where customer loyalty is rewarded.  Currently, this is a mobile app for the Droid, but iPhone and other smartphones are coming in the very near future. Here's how it works.  For a nominal fee, you can 'unlock' voucher packs to some of your favorite participating merchants.  Once you use your all of your vouchers, there is a prize to thank you for your continued business.  Here's an example: Ristorante Paradiso offers a voucher pack of (6) $7 coupons ($42 value) that costs you just $3.  If you use your first voucher, your investment has already paid for itself.  Once you use all six (before the expiration) you will win FREE desserts for two people.  Everyone wins- the customers get their discount and the businesses don't have to lose their shirts while encouraging repeat business.  Once you have the voucher on your phone, it is easy to redeem by having the merchant enter a 4 digit PIN on your FanZappy app.

FanZappy is rapidly adding local businesses to their program and they have 100+ offers currently.  As CEO Lee puts it, "this is customer paid marketing."  With a PhD, Microsoft and another startup under his belt, he's confident this is a winning formula in the deal space for both the consumer and the business.  "We're counting on the power of social networking," says Lee, b/c he knows that many of us can 'do it all' right from our phones.  Right now the focus is in Kirkland and the eastside but they are quickly spreading to Seattle and will then start branching out nationally.  Keep your eye on this one- go download the app if you're a Droid user or request the reminder for when they are on your device. ~j

George's Celebrates 35 Years !

GerogesFamily (2)
George's family-owned restaurant has been a staple in the downtown Kirkland culture for 35 years this August.  Congratulations!! Many customers and their subsequent generations have been committed to the delicious food and comfortable friendly atmosphere since George Mangouras and his wife opened it back in 1976.  Other customers are new to the family and love it just the same. And so they CELEBRATE! Starting this week thru the month of August there will be $3.50 drink specials and food specials too.  Get ready for a heartfelt evening on August 27the from 7pm-close where there will be Greek music, door prizes, speeches from the Mangouras family and a special time to recognize the customers who have been part of 'the family' since the beginning. 

Speaking of family- look at that photo of theirs- isn't that amazing?  What must Thanksgivings be like at their house?  Many family members work at the restaurant from the cooks to the floor manager to the teenagers busing the tables.  George's is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is completed with a full bar.  The most popular breakfast is Eggs Karkinagri (the name of George's home village)- an english muffin embedded with gyro meat, tomatoes, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and feta cheese.  Faves for lunch and dinner include greek salad +chicken lemon rice soup and lasagna.  It is not unusual to see Froni, George's wife, visiting with customers at their tables.  On an aside, we threw Steve a little surprise birthday brunch at George's a few weeks ago and it was a perfect setting for a casual gathering of friends w/kids. It's like an episode of Cheers but with breakfast- warm, familiar, authentic.

Although George is gone now, his son Pete Mangouras and Pete's childhood friend, Derek McKenzie, (now co-owners) keep the tradition of family friendly service a top priority.  Not only are many of the recipes originals from Froni's family, a lot of them are named after family members such as "Athina's omelet," "Froni's muffin," "Johnny's Muffin," or "MacK's Chicken Fried Steak Burger."   Keep an eye out for menu items marked with a "G" which indicate that they were George's favorite. 

George's will be launching a new retail line of T-shirts and hats so you never have to feel like you are gone for long.  With each purchase, customers will receive a commemorative 35th anniversary key-chain. If you're a fan of George's ("like" them here) please feel welcome to join in the moment of savoring the past and embracing the future at this local Kirkland gem.  Aug 27 @7pm to close, 108 Lake Ave, 425-827-6622 


White Sauce Pies and FREE Pizza from Zeek's

Zeek's is changing it up and has invented five new pies with 3 of them being white sauce pizzas for us to try.  Their pizza scientists have tinkered with the perfect alfredo sauce to combine with their yummy crust and varying toppings which all get whipped into a well-deserved entertaining name that you can remember and enjoy.  Here's what you can drool over:

The White Album- white sauce, fresh mozzarella and parm cheese

Yeti-white sauce, chicken bacon, dices roma tomatoes, red onion, mozzarella and parm

Weekend Hippie- white sauce, portobello mushrooms, artichoke hearts, spinach, red onion garlic and mozzarella.

Buffalo Soldier-buffalo chicken, gorgonzola, sweet hot roasted peppers, jalapenos, ranch dressing fresh cilantro, olive oil glaze

Quentin Florentino- artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes , spinach, goat cheese, mozzarella, parmesan, olive oil glaze

Win a FREE YEAR'S worth of PIZZA!  Social media of course- each new pie has a specially designed poster that will be given out with delivery orders of that pizza starting TODAY Aug 1-Aug 31st.  The first person to collect all 5 pizza posters and upload a photo of them to the Zeek's facebook page will win free pizza for a year (one free large pizza per week). 425-893-8646 I don't see why you couldn't order all five pizzas at once? Just share with your friends or just forget about squeezing into your new bikini. :-)