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Art in Action at the Woodmark Hotel

Friday, February 28th will be the reception to kick-off Woodmark’s Art In Action community artist exhibit, which will run through May. Below are details of the reception and the exhibit.  
When: February 28th from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Guests will be able to enjoy drinks (beer/wine) and complimentary appetizers as they walk through the interior and exterior of the hotel and experience an exhibit curated by Ryan James Fine Arts with supplemental works by Kirkland Arts Center. Among the works being exhibited are sculptures, mixed media and two-dimensional works being showcased by local artists including: Dan Freeman, Jason Sinclair, Peter Knox, Tom Trindle, Stephen Yates, Peter Juvonen and Freda Pongetti. Works range from $750 to $5,500 with the average price being around $1,800.
Art in Action was developed to offer local artists an opportunity to showcase and sell their art.

Pleasant Surprises.......

Things they are a changing.  

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I've always liked DeRu Market (723 9th Ave) but haven't been in there too often since they opened because there wasn't any seating.  Have you been in there lately?!  Love love love. It's adorable with it's farmhouse feel of bright crisp whites, woods and mason jars and SEATING.  A great little neighborhood spot. The food is excellent - quick, tasty and organic.  For lunch I've been ordering the 1/2 smoked turkey sandwich (hold the bread) with 1/2 farm salad and it's under $10 and delicious.  The menu changes from day to day. You can still get things to go- lots of great items in the case, not to mention some insane looking 6-layer cakes that seem to fly out of the case and onto people's tables at a lighting rapid rate. Coconut cream, chocolate/peanut butter-- danger! Anyway- wanted to give you the update since I was pleasantly surprised with how they've evolved.  If that wasn't reason enough, I also noticed that there's happy hour Mon-Thurs from 3-5pm.  I wish there was something like this downtown, but hidden in East of Market is kind of nice too- easy parking! People are clearly onto the greatness here-check out my (1) before noon and (2) after noon  photos.

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Speaking of improvements, the Asian Wok is long overdue for some.  But keep an eye out- the bartender bought the place and is making some changes (goodbye faded purple awnings!) including changing the restaurant over to American fare. Right now just the bar is open while they work on the restaurant side. They still pour a strong drink for a fair price- Steve and I walked out of there with a $14 tab for the two of us.

And you should also know that there's good news for tea time in Kirkland.  The Heathman Hotel has seen such success with their new afternoon tea, that they have decided to extend it indefinitely!  They have a beautiful presentation box of teas (photo) to choose from.  I gave them each a sniff and went for the 'Green Tea Passion," which was lovely in my very own pot with all of the accompaniments. And what better place to sip tea than the lobby of this great hotel where you feel relaxed, fancy, included and secluded all at the same time. ~j

Alanya & Ariana Open in Kirkland

They kind of sound like twin sisters, right?  

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You'll be glad to know that last week's date night was not as boring as the week before (when we were making lists).  Nope- this time we were Mr. & Mrs. Worldwide and skipped from Turkey to Afghanistan in one evening.  We started at the new Alanya Cafe at 1 Lake Street.  This is the small corner space in the center of town where Bella Bambini used to be.  A friendly Turkish couple Eylem and Ozcan Sarlbas greeted us and recommended we try a Turkish coffee.  It's a small espresso with a unique sweet chocolate-like flavor and slightly gritty texture.  Completely delicious.  I only had a sip and let Steve finish because he can handle his caffeine better than I.

Ozcan was formerly a chef at Microsoft and the two of them have always loved Kirkland, especially spending time here in the summers.  Their cafe also offers salads, sandwiches and snacks.  We split a marinated shrimp/avocado salad which was quite refreshing with orange slices and a citrus dressing.  And a generous size for only $8.25.  You will also find organic breads and Ozcan's homemade baklava- try it with ice cream!

Alanya has a handful of small tables, designed for people to stop by all day- chat, nibble, have fun and meander on. They're hoping to be that corner hub in town with the door always open and friendly faces dropping in often. Go say hi and definitely try the coffee.  Hours are now 8am-8:30pm everyday. 425-739-4747

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After our Alanya salad, we strolled down to Ariana for a few entrees.  Ariana is the new 'authentic Afghan cuisine' at 21 Central Way on Feb 5th, 2014.  Upon entry, it's still the old familiar dark wood and heavy decor that it's been for years.  Nostalgia made me want to order a martini and a big steak.  Reality presented a menu filled with ethnic choices such as qabuli palau (seasoned rice, lamb, carrot/raisins/almonds), borani badenjan (fried eggplant w/yogurt sauce), and mantu (dumpling pasta filled w/onion and seasoned ground beef) to name a few.  It's very helpful that all of the descriptions are in english and priced range from $5 (apps/dessert) to $16.  Since we don't eat palan or chalan (rices) or afghan naan, I feel like we ended up missing out on some key components of the food from this region.  The staff was super friendly and glad to work with us.  I had a lamb teka kabob and Steve a kubida kabob (2 skewers ground beef)- both were deliciously seasoned and perfectly cooked.  Instead of rice they brought us a green salad to share (little did they know we just shared a salad at Alanya..).  I got the feeling the family is very hands-on in the business.  Our waitress was very accommodating and a bit embarrassed when her cute little cousin came to join her at our table.  There was a team approach to the service, and when I asked the young waiter with floppy hair and deep brown eyes what was in the tarkari soup he told me that "it's yellow..............with some herbs." If he wasn't so adorable I may have laughed aloud, but his smile made his answer ok for all of us.

Our dinner was very reasonable.  We got out for under $40 with tip (drinking hot tea).  They also do a buffet lunch from 11-2:30 daily and have lots of yelp comments already (4 1/2 stars).  Dine in/take out/catering 11am-9:30pm. 425-576-9832.  Post your comments here if you have tried it and have an experience to share.  


Inga Carlson Turns 104. Yes, really. 104.

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On Wednesday February 19th, Inga Carlson celebrated her 104th birthday at the Columbia Athletic Club pool with her 'aqua aerobics' friends.  You know you are awesome if you are 104 and still have aqua aerobics friends! "She used to take those classes three times a week until she was 100," says her friend Rozann Cherry.  And she played golf until she was 98.  And didn't give up her car until she was 97  ( I may have been behind her on the 405 a few times?). This lady is a spitfire! I want to be Inga Carlson someday.

Inga lived most of her life in Redmond growing up on an 84 acres farm near Novelty Hill.  She was a teacher for 15 yrs and also a principal of two elementary schools before she moved to NYC with her architect husband, Carl, in 1947.  After her husband passed away, she returned to the Northwest and moved to Juanita in Kirkland.  One time, there was a fire in her condo building, and a fireman carried her down to safety.  Then she made him go back in to her place for her purse.  Ha-Gotta love Inga! She currently resides in a small adult family home in Redmond.  

When Inga was asked if she ever thought she would live long enough to see a black president, she shared that the only president she ever saw in person was Calvin Coolidge outside a building she was in.  That was in the early 20's.  Amazing! Inga doesn't admit to knowing what the secret to a long life is, but her friends all say it's because she never had kids.   LOL, I guess I may be in trouble.  Power to ya, Inga! ~j

A Naked Cow & Coyote?

Alright Kirklanders- I think this is a no-brainer, but I need your opinion to validate my sanity.  And your COMMENTS at the end of this post (not in my inbox, pls!) so your voice can be heard.  

It has come to my attention that the attire of our cow and coyote in the center of downtown is in question. SomeBODY is very unhappy that our art sculptures are treated with such inhumanity at every holiday.  Red scarves at Valentine's, or rallied up in Seahawks gear for the big Superbowl game, or Easter baskets and bonnets in the springtime -it's all a flurry of turmoil and the Cultural Art Commission is holding a meeting on Weds 2/19 at 4pm in the Rose Hill Room (City Hall) to decide what kinds of rules/regulations they need to adopt to address this issue.  

I am not kidding here people.  There is a city meeting to discuss the dress code for our beloved cow and coyote, whom I am pretty sure would freeze without the hand-sewn treasures that adoring citizens wrap onto them in good-natured fun on their own time.  This whimsical display, in my opinion, represents Kirkland and who we are- we are a community that is artsy, smart, generous, outdoorsy, unique, clever, respectful, humorous, appreciative and tightly knit.  I look forward to turning onto Central Way to see what those two are wearing and my kids point and chuckle as if the cow and coyote are their old friends.  I'm pretty sure I see them smile back at us, too.  Don't suck the smiles out of our everyday lives! ~j  


Sotheby's : Art, Wine, Real Estate

Sotheby's International Real Estate
office in the heart of downtown Kirkland (15 Lake St) will be wrapping up their build-out and is poised to open on March 1st. Sotheby's has over 650 offices and is the 2nd most highly viewed real estate website in the world.  This location will be more than just a global network of real estate buyers and sellers, they will also be offering art and wine (aaaah, they know us too well...).  It is a zoning requirement that they have a retail component, so what a great idea to partner with local winery, DeLille Cellars (their second tasting room).  They will also be selling art and featuring artist Josee Nadeau this March, whose impressionistic style is a favorite of stars like Clint Eastwood and Pierce Brosnan.  She has trained and been recognized all over the world.  

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The Sotheby's office will have a "classic contemporary" feel, says founding broker Brad Vancour.  There will be lots of glass, concrete and high open ceilings. Here are some pics (above) from when I walked through a couple weeks ago.  Expect lots of wine and art events that help welcome people in the door- the big roll-up garage doors, that is.  Brad said they liked Kirkland because of the foot traffic and they have designed this office to be a place where you can come in and have some wine, look at some art and learn about local, or global, real estate in this "lifestyle showroom." More info in this press release. 425-658-5300. 

Paisley Cupboard Says Goodbye

After 20 years in Kirkland, the Paisley Cupboard at 141 Park Lane is closing its doors.  There's still time to go by and say farewell and shop their sale with huge discounts on all accessories, furniture and art.  

That's another empty storefront- maybe someone will see all of your ideas from my post last week? Love all the creativity.  Now we need someone at the city to do some recruiting for our little downtown...

Grand Openings Today

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Green E Juice
 (across from the Heathman Hotel, hope nobody was sleeping then) had a bright and loud Chinese New Year show for their "Grand Opening" party today. Mayor Amy Walen was there along with many onlookers and future patrons of the all-organice juice bar (I hear their soups are delicious too!).  Here's my previous post. What a fun way to make yourself known.  



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Urban Coffee Lounge
 just opened a location in the new Slater 116 in Totem Lake- the opening party today was hopping w/people! As you probably know, their coffee hotspot in Juanita Village is always full so they decided to give you more of what you love- their awesome Stumptown Coffee and hip northwest atmosphere.  All of the design and metal work was done by owners Alicia & Jeff Miner ( photo). 

What Would You Hope for in Downtown Kirkland?

Has this ever happened to you....

There's a babysitter at the house with the kids. You go out to dinner with your husband/wife and by the time you finish it's too late to catch a movie in Kirkland, because the last one starts at 7:10 for some ridiculous reason.  You don't want any more food or drinks or coffee.  Most of the shops are closed. But it's barely 8pm and if you go home not only are you L-A-M-E, but the kids are still awake.  ACK! So you start dreaming up things to do.  Like driving up and down the main streets of downtown Kirkland and making a list of all the places that are vacant and trying to remember the names of them all. C'mon...you don't do that??

Here goes:

  • 24 Hour Fitness
  • TGIF
  • PC Repair Place in KPP
  • Chinese/Thai place behind Pancake House
  • Six Tables
  • Crab Cracker
  • Bella Tesori  they just put up the "Alanya Cafe" sign yesterday! (photo)--the OPEN sign is lit up! Anyone been in there yet? --------->   IMG_7100
  • Top Shelf/Tavernelli
  • Thin Pan
  • CeFiore
  • (why is there plastic on all the windows at Tully's??)
  • Qdoba
  • Piroshsky Place I can never remember the name of
  • Chalet Cadeau
  • Beadworld
  • Foot Massage place by Vovina
  • K-Town
  • SpaKrista

Seeing how long and diverse this list is makes me wonder- what DO we need?  What would you like to see in some of these empty spaces?  We must do more than drink coffee and get our hair cut, right?  Please comment.  I'm not judging, just want a smattering of ideas and hopefully there will be some entrepeneurs out there listening to us..........