Jump Into Fall with a Harvest Party, Porsches, and Pumpkins

It's time, people. Back-to-school season is in full swing and a cool fall breeze is in the air.  We just did "senior pics" with my youngest this evening (sniff, sniff) after recently road-tripping our other two kiddos back down to college.  Pretty soon we'll be packing away our Aperol (just as the shortage is over?!) and ordering up pumpkin lattes.  Costco has shamelessly dragged their Christmas gear onto the floor already.  I will desperately hold on to every last shred of summer and sunshine but realize we need to talk about these kinds of things now....  

Logo Design Contest for Pumpkins in the Park

Are you a talented and dynamic artist that can help design the next "Pumpkins in the Park" logo? The winning design will be featured on Kirkland Downtown Association's social media channels, on Pumpkins in the Park merchandise, and will get a special feature in their newsletter.

The winner will also receive complimentary merchandise with the winning design. Deadline for submission: Friday, Sep 9th (5:00 pm PST).  Submit here

 All Porsche Grand Display 9/11

On Sunday, September 11, the Pacific Northwest Region of the Porsche Club of America will be holding their 10th annual All Porsche Grand Display on the top, uncovered section of the 2000 garage at Carillon Point. This event showcases all things Porsche and is open to the public at $10 per adult (free to those under 15). Doors open at 9:00am, with the show concluding around 2:30pm.  There will be jazz playing all day.  For more information, visit the online event page here.

Harvest Party at Kirkland Urban 9/16

On Friday, September 16 from 4-6 p.m., Kirkland Urban is hosting a Harvest Party to celebrate the arrival of the fall season! Kirkland Urban is inviting Eastside kids and families to come by, enjoy the last weekend of summer and get into the autumn spirit. 

The main feature is the “Instagram-able” Harvest installation designed by Top Knotch Events. Event attendees are encouraged to take photos in front of this backdrop and post, tagging Kirkland Urban! Additionally, there will be several environmentally focused events. Seattle-based beekeeping educator, Alvéole, will be hosting a live bee workshop for all guests to show off the resident beehives at the Kirkland Urban Plaza. Plant with KU, an initiative sponsored by Forest Nation, will also be offering Blue Spruce starter kits for attendees to bring home. For every tree kit planted, Forest Nation will plant additional trees in a developing country.  

For the kiddos, Hoopla Face Painting will join the fun by providing glitter tattoos and face painting. There will also be kid-friendly games in the plaza and treats provided by local businesses.  

This event is free and open to the public, brought to you by Kirkland Urban in partnership with Top Knotch Events.          

Kirkland Urban is an inclusive and accessible open-air shopping center. To support children and adults of all abilities, sensory-sensitive toolkits will be available onsite during all Kirkland Urban events. Toolkits include noise-canceling headphones, sensory/fidget toys, earplugs and an identifier sticker/badge and can be picked up upon arrival. This event is free and open to the public. 
 

And don't forget... Fall Harvest Festival Series at Salt & Straw-check out these seasonal flavors!!!         

  

 


Mike Warga Found

Heartbroken about this sad outcome in the search for Mike Warga. Sharing this letter from his family….

 

Family and Friends,

We are sad to let you know that Michael Warga, our beloved husband,son, father, grandfather and friend, passed away this weekend. Mike took a casual walk in Kirkland mid-Saturday morning. When he did not return home, his family and friends spent the next several days searching for him. Unfortunately, his body was found Tuesday morning off the shore of Kiwanis Park in the City of Kirkland.

Mike led a rich and full life. He was kind, hardworking and full of joy. He was loved by all. We will have more information later, but we wanted to thank everyone who shared their concerns, sent their love, and participated in the efforts to find Mike. We cannot express how much we appreciate these acts of kindness, which shows how much this community loves him.

We will love and miss him forever. He will always be in our hearts.

Love,The Warga family

 


Kirklandy Stuff

1.The Kirkland Downtown Association is putting on a free Open House event to give attendees the opportunity to step inside the Visitor Center and learn about how it can be a resource for the community and visitors (did you even know we have a Visitor Center?!). It's right on Central Way at 400 Urban Plaza Ste 135 (next to Restore).  Pop in and say hello on July 11th or July 18th from 4-6pm for light beverages, snacks, and bundtinis! You know I love a bundtini (lemon!)

2."National Night Out" is August 2nd, and is a national campaign designed to enhance the relationship between communities and first responders while promoting crime prevention, neighborhood camaraderie, and police-community partnerships. Sounds like a fun excuse to plan a block party ! If you would like to request City Council, police, corrections, and/or firefighters at your block party on private property, fill out the National Night Out First Responder Request Form. Members of City Council and first responders from the Kirkland Police and Fire Departments attend community events between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Events that include a road closure require a permit. To request a road closure, submit a National Night Out Block Party Permit Application. Block party fees will be waived for National Night Out events held on August 2, 2022. And ..remember the recent "KPD Guns for Gift Cards Exchange?" The KPD received 91 guns (including three AR-15 types, 32 handguns, 47 rifle/shotguns) and had 45 participants to which they distributed $11,375 in gift cards.  Nice work KPD! Hopefully you get lots of invites to block parties.

3.The City of Kirkland just launched an online community survey to help gauge community attitudes about the quality of life in Kirkland, satisfaction with city services, and priorities for the future.  All Kirkland community members are encouraged to take the online 2022 survey, whether they live, work, learn, or visit Kirkland.  This happens every two years, and results will be presented to the City Council in upcoming months. They use this survey to gauge community feedback and also help with the fall's 23-24 budget adoption. The survey is open until 12pm on July 20th.  Be sure to give your feedback in the survey here: www.kirklandwa.gov/communitysurvey.  


Behind Google's Doors in Kirkland Urban

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I was lucky enough to score an invite to tour Google's 'officially open' Phase 1 on the Kirkland Urban Campus.  Check out these photos that hopefully help demystify what is behind the doors of that fancy new building.  Not only did I witness an incredible sustainability-focused build and unmatched creativity on each floor, but I also hobnobbed (ie; shuffled around on the opposite side of the same big room where they had no idea I was there) with Governor Jay Inslee,  Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, Mayor Penny Sweet, local reps, and Google CEO Sundar Pichai who all praised Google's leadership, innovation, community partnerships, philanthropy, and investment in our region. Google plans to invest $100 M in WA state in 2022. Boom!
Google22airlineottoman  Google22Airlinefloor  <--the wall of playing cards  Google22AirlinefloorGoogle22airlineottoman                      Google22Airlinefloor

    
Facilities manager Frederico Olmedo walked me around the Central Building which I entered on the second floor of Kirkland Urban (near Evergreens). He has been working on this project for 4 years, and clearly, it is a labor of love with a laser focus on the details.  Each floor of the building has a different WA State theme.  On the 7th floor, the fishing industry is represented with a bright orange fishing net across the ceiling in central spaces.  There's also a full sound studio, so if you want to go jam on a guitar or sing in a soundproof room, why wouldn't you?  The 6th floor was a nod to the shipping industry and UPS, where you find 'brown' barcodes next to doorways and stacked moving blankets as chair ottomans.  My favorite was the 5th floor which recognizes flight/Boeing with a sitting area that feels like a retro airport lounge, and another room whose wallpaper is made completely out of real old playing cards that used to be handed out by airlines during flights, complete with an airline roller cart full of board games.  There's also an in-flight mini-theatre that can be utilized for games or movies.  On the 4th floor, you'll find a nod to REI/tourism/nature and the outdoors with backpacks on the walls in their stocked self-serve mini cafe where you can grab a handful of snacks before bringing your pooch to hang out at the doggie lounge with indoor and outdoor patio spaces. This would be an awesome #doglife.  


Google22BigroomGoogle22Airlinefloor   Google22Airlinefloor <-- furry friends welcome at work

I think I need to work here. It just feels like a fun place to be, especially once the office fills up with people again. But I'd never get anything done, I'd just eat free snacks and play with everyone's dogs all day while dreaming of being in a 1978 airport lounge.  And then after work, I'd be a fixture at the QFC bar and eat too many Plantiful Acai Bowls.  It could be problematic on second thought. But good news if you're looking...turns out you can job search Google roles out of Kirkland, WA and there appear to be  1104 open jobs here.  They currently have 7200 full-time employees in the Puget Sound region

The North Google Building is also complete and hosts wellness and fitness centers, but I didn't get to stroll that side of campus.  The South building is expected to open in 2023, and the East tower in 2025, which will bring the total of these four buildings of Google office space to 760,000 square feet.  But they aren't stopping there, Google is proceeding with development and design planning for its additional planned campus on the former site of the Lee Johnson Chevrolet dealership, whose acquisition deal is expected to close in phases over the next several years.  Kudos to Google for pushing the envelope in both coolness and investment in our city, all while being on track for LEED Gold Certification in sustainability. 

 


Trending in Houghton

The hot topics this week seem to be trending in Houghton, starting with the tragic closure of Menchie's Froyo in Houghton Plaza.  They wrote a farewell note on Facebook and encouraged us all to come in one last time before they close this Thursday (open 11-8 each day until then).  I hope they have my fave coconut flavor and the little dark chocolate chips this week. 

A little further up the street, we have the controversial La Quinta Inn being purchased by King County and turned into permanent supportive housing.  Our City Manager, Kurt Triplett, has issued a letter to clarify the city's intent, which is to be a good neighbor in the continuum of care for people experiencing homelessness. There is also a page with more details about the project here.  And some colorful community debate in public forums along with a little protest planned for Weds.            

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And if all of that stresses you out and you'd prefer to focus on some fun....families on the Eastside (and beyond) are invited to celebrate the Lunar New Year at Kirkland Urban!
Friday, Feb. 11 from 6-8 p.m, come by the Kirkland Urban Plaza to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.

This FREE Lunar New Year celebration will feature:

  • Lion and dragon dances at 6, 7 and 7:30 p.m., performed by Mak Fai Lion Dance
  • A traditional Vietnamese Fan dance at 6:30 p.m.
  • A whimsical lantern display designed by Top Knotch Events
  • Calligraphy by Mak Fai Lion Dance
  • The Year of the Tiger surprise ball giveaways by Wheelhouse promotions
  • Special moments captured by Passion In Movement Videography and Dakota Elizabeth

 


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

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Winners! Congrats to Monique K and Joyce W for commenting on recent social media posts and being selected as the winners of a 2022 'Kirkland Sunsets' desktop calendar created by...me.  I know, dreams do come true.  And...Chicken!  Yeon's Chicken is now OPEN at 214 Central Way where Lynn's Bistro former (next door) location used to be.  I was on a walk, so didn't have a chance to eat there yet, but when I popped my head in they were anxiously awaiting some hungry customers.  It looks super casual/simple/clean and their menu has photos that I find super helpful in my decision-making.  There are a variety of dumplings, rice cakes, noodle dishes, sides, and of course chicken (always wings and drumettes w/different preparations except for the boneless chicken dish) $10-20. Lunch boxes are $16-18 and you can even grab a beer ($6) or glass of wine ($5). I've seen a few Yeon's Chicken fans on social media already so go check them out. Also on Door Dash. Report back here! 425-242-0333, 11am-9pm each day, closed on Sunday.

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Sunshine and Vaccinated People

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Springtime is starting to look and feel a bit more normal as people get vaccinated and the sun shows up.  The forecast says 81 degrees by Wednesday!  "Evenings on Park Lane" have already started which closes the west end of Park Lane to vehicles nightly from 6-11 pm to increase foot traffic and allow for more outdoor capacity for businesses.  This program will run through October 1st.  In addition to this walkable downtown fun, our beloved Wednesday Market kicks off on June 2nd from 3-7 pm at Marina Park. You can check out this year's vendors here as you get ready to support our local farmers and artisans as we leave our houses again as we used to in 2019. 

Another buzzzzzzz-worthy topic would be the bees from urban beekeeping company  Alvéole that are taking up residence at Kirkland Urban.  Upon installation on the roof of the Kirkland Urban North Building, the bees will pollinate the flora that surrounds Urban and at the end of the summer, and  Alvéole will harvest the honey and share it will share it with our community.  Pretty sweet, huh?

Alesia RainierGarage

A stroll down Central Way is always full of discovery too.  One of Bassline's old spaces appears to be getting ready for a jewelry and gift boutique called Alesia that is sustainable, inclusive, vegan, and animal friendly.  Who doesn't love a meatless bracelet?  Rainier Garage Door has vacated a few doors down and moved to 12708 Northup Way.

And for my last little gem of the day, it's not technically Kirkland but a close neighbor in Kenmore.... The Lodge at St. Edwards Park is open and people are starting to chatter about it.  Have you been yet? Do tell. 

 


The Village's VIRTUAL Hween Costume Contest

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I thought you'd enjoy this photo of me from Halloween 2013.  It's one of my faves because nobody recognized me and my kids were crying and running, confused to hear my voice but not seeing me in that face at all.  This year, there's a big contest in classic 2020 VIRTUAL style and yes, there are prizes..$50 gift cards to some of your favorite spots!  So get your silly, scary, crazy, hilarious costumes on at HOME this year and participate in the The Village at Totem Lake's 'Spooktacular' Virtual Halloween Costume Contest.  All family members- parents, kids, pets, are encourage to get decked out and enter.  Instructions are on their Insta Page. Snap and share a photo between Oct 19-30th and use the hashtag #TotemLakeHalloween and stay tuned for the winners to be announced on Oct 31st in the following categories:

Costume Categories:

  1. Best Princess or Superhero (prize: $50 gift card to one of The Village’s eateries)
  2. Best Make-up (prize: $50 Ulta Beauty gift card)
  3. Best Pet Costume (prize: $50 All The Best Pet Care gift card)
  4. Best Nails (prize: $50 Anthony Vince’ Nail Spa gift card)
  5. Judge’s Choice (prize: $50 gift card of winner’s choice at one of the stores above)

I'll be looking forward to your creativity!

  

 


BeLocal Kirkland and Farewell to Hector's

BeLocal

Would you like to help new Kirklanders discover some of your favorite local spots?  Why not share the love?  BeLocal Kirkland is a new resource that is compiling information about great businesses to help people that have just moved here find their (your) favorite places.  It relies on locals' input to create a 'best of the best' list on things like healthcare providers, home services, parks, restaurants, etc. Give your valuable input here before Sept 30th to be entered in a contest to win a basket of local goodies valued at $400.

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And speaking of Kirkland faves, our beloved Hector's is having their final day on 9/27 (this Sunday!) after 45 years with us.  My favorite meal there is the Protein Power-  a burger patty with eggs, spinach and mushrooms on top. So good.  Rumor has it they could be re-opening at The Raw Bar's former location sometime in the future, but that is still unconfirmed, so better get in for your last meal and strong drink at this legendary spot while you can. Thanks for all of the good times, Hector's, you will be missed!


Kirkland's Seniors Cruise the Blvd

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The graduating class of 2020 has definitely had some special end of year moments robbed of them due to the Coronavirus restrictions.  But on Thursday evening, the rains stopped and the sun shone down on hundreds of smiling capped and gowned teenagers from Lake Washington High School, Juanita High School, Eastside Prep, Emerson and the International School.  A giant 'unofficial' parade of cars honked, shrieked, danced and  let loose down the Lake St/Lake WA Blvd in Kirkland as parents and socially distanced bystanders clapped and cheered them on from the street.  For those 45 minutes, life even felt a little bit 'normal' as kids got to see each other and feel the love and support of their friends, family and community.  Finally, a celebration!  I don't have a senior, but I still found myself holding back a few tears of pride for this amazing group of teens. 

Perhaps this grass-roots effort just started a new Kirkland tradition.  LW parent, Kristen Estes, helped the group of moms that put this effort together and commented, "We are so thankful to the Kirkland community for helping us celebrate the Class of 2020 during these unique times.  it was fun to see everyone come together and make this a special event for the graduating class of 2020."  Perhaps years from now Kirkland grads will read about COVID-19 in their history books and go charging out the door for their annual community graduation 'senior cruise' through our city remembering how it all started. I hope so. 

You've got this Class of 2020.  Congrats!