Being Thankful, Then Shop Local

Happy Thanksgiving, Kirkland!!

After the turkey coma has worn off and the last slice of pumpkin pie is gone,it's time to get to shopping. We know you'll be clicking away on Black Friday while watching the Apple Cup, but then on Saturday, THAT's the day.  The one where you re-emerge from your house, breathe in some fresh PNW winter air and head to your favorite little shops for "Small Business Saturday' on 11/26.  This is how you keep your credit card warm...the downtown merchants will all be open until 8pm or later.  So show the locals your love and enjoy great customer service while giving back to your community.  Some shops will have giving trees and also offer special promotions throughout the season. 

Also on Sat 11/26 you can preview the Kirkland Art Center's Holiday Art Market 11am-6pm. Shop for unique handmade gifts created by local artists.  This fabulous market will run from 11/26- 12/24, Tues-Sat 11-6 and Sun 12-5.

Don't forget about WINTERFEST!  The same Sat 11/26 (I told you to rest up for this day!) there will be holiday caroling, shopping, family activities and Santa in Peter Kirk Park from 3-6:30.  Watch the tree-lighting at 5pm. Then on Sunday you can rest again.....

......Until Google does their holiday lighting on 12/2 from 4:30-6 (lights on at 5:30). Arrive early to check out the life-sized people snow globe.


Clap   Kudos Korner--

Congrats to Barbie Collins Young! She was recently promoted to Executive Director of the Kirkland Downtown Association, which 'magically' puts together many of these amazing local events in partnership with our businesses and citizens/volunteers.  We appreciate you Barbie! 

Kirkland's Oktoberfest Planning Committee just announced they are donating $17K in proceeds to local charities.  Not only is this a super fun event but it also gives back to the community in which it lives.  Here are the charities doing a happy dance right now: American Cancer Society, Eastside Timebank, Imagine Housing, Kirkland Downtown Association, MEOW Cat Rescue, Rotary Club of Kirkland Downtown, and Sibling House.

Policey Things

New Police Chief Announced

Congratulations to our former Kirkland Police Dept Operations Captain, Cherie Harris,  who was recently announced as our new Police Chief.  It makes me smile to have a woman at the helm.  Harris has 23 years of law enforcement experience and  was chosen through a national selection process that included interview panels with key city and police department staff, police chiefs from neighboring cities, the City Council, and the community.  As Chief, Harris will oversee the 99 sworn and 36 support personnel who serve in the  Administrative, Operations, and Professional Standards divisions.  Kudos to your Chief Harris, thanks for keeping us safe and organized.  


Teach Your Kids to Dial 9-1-1: Kirkland Library 4/12 at 11:30am

Every day 5,000 calls are made locally to 9-1-1. Many residents, especially kids, don’t know how and when to call.

King County 911 is bringing these skills to Kirkland kids with Emery the Emergency Penguin storybook tour, a new program aimed at teaching local preschoolers the how, when and where of dialing 9-1-1.  This FREE tour will be making its way to 13 libraries across King County throughout the month of April, and the next stop will be at King County Library System’s Kirkland Branch Tuesday, April 12th    from 11:30-12.  They should have me teaching this class.  I call 911 all the time.  Well not ALL the time, but let's just say I'm not scared to call if I see something that doesn't look right and I dial those numbers a couple times a year. They tell me they appreciate it, although they may roll their eyes when they see my number pop up on caller ID. 

Here are some examples I've had....  Just witnessed a car accident. CALL. Crazy guy strung out on drugs riding his bike down the street and yelling obscenities at everyone he passes. CALL.   A truck carrying open cargo is spilling all over a major roadway. CALL.  Car full of teenagers without seat belts speeding down the 405 in a convertible while sitting on the top of the back seats w beer cans in hand.  CALL (you're welcome parents).  Neighbors house alarm going off and I can't reach them. CALL.  Solicitors that give me the creeps/make me uncomfortable and don't have a permit. CALL. I also discuss with my kids what does or doesn't warrant a call- when in doubt, CALL.  They can help you decide the severity of your situation and how to remedy it. 







Happy Anniversary, Kirkland Weblog!

I was rummaging through some papers the other day and stumbled upon the fact that the Kirkland Blog recently had a TEN YEAR anniversary. Isn't that kind of nuts?! It is to me.  Have we known each other that long-- you and me?? I had to sit down, take a deep breath and ponder my life and collect my thoughts, but yes, it's true, it's been 10 years. 

Sara's bday 027 <-- Here we are in all of our 2006 glory. I know you're jealous of my bangs.

  Tango2015 (5) 2016: Now we hide behind sunglasses. Steve, please please will you write a blog post for us? For old time's sake?

People often ask how long I've been doing this blog gig and how it started.  So an anniversary seems like a good time to tell the story. Steve and I have lived in Kirkland since 1998 and we've always loved socializing, shopping and eating here. Everyone is just a special kind of AWESOME. So by 2006, we had 2 three year old's and a one year old, so we were a little frazzled perhaps, but clearly still had a love of our community and oddly enough, time to pick up this side hobby.  

All of the truly cool ideas are always Steve's.  Out of nowhere he asked me--"why don't we start a blog about Kirkland?"  (blogging was a sort of new-ish back then)  " We already do everything in Kirkland.  We should just share our experiences with others," said young Steve. "We could take turns writing posts." < Insert canned laughter here.>  Steve wrote about 8 posts and now you have to read my ramblings every week.  What started on a whim then began to snowball.   More followers, more hits/day, friends were asking what we were posting and what was new around town.  And there you have it, the Kirkland Weblog was born.  

A lot has happened in ten years-- real estate has gone up ( then down then up again), businesses have changed over, we annexed, parking spots have disappeared, development is surging and  my laugh lines have deepened.... but the love for Kirkland and all that makes it create that feeling that warms my heart from the inside, has gone unchanged.  So thanks for sticking with me, Kirklanders.  I love hanging out with you.

The best anniversary gift you could give us would be spreading the word.  Tell your fun friends to subscribe in the top left corner here.  Speaking of fun, let's play a game....REMEMBER WHEN.  I'll start...remember when....

-the Grape Choice was where the Heathman stands today?  I think Larry Springer was mayor then.

-Wilde Rover opened? I think it was 2006- was brand new when this blog started. 

-the Bath Bar was on Park Lane? I can almost smell it right now.

-there was a Santa Store on Kirkland Ave, and the owner would carve them in the front window

-I went to EVERY gym in Kirkland and reported back w/ a review. Great butt kicker.

-they moved Heritage Hall from east of Market to its current location at the bottom of Market St.

-Bead Hut, Calabria, River Rock, Crab Cracker, Unique Plus, Life is Good, Trenditions, MuShoe, Olive You, Ravenna, Six Tables, uBrDo...


What do you remember?????????????????????????????????????????????

Things You (maybe) Didn't Know


Such as...

NorthwestMarlene (photo credit: NWU)

A Northwest University student took first place at the World Universities Debating Championships in Greece.  Kudos to Marlene Pierce for the big win.  I promise to never get in an argument with her.  Good news is now I know who to consult for advice on debating household chores with my children.

KirklandRotaryDonation (photo credit: Rotary Club of Kirkland)
The Rotary Club of Kirkland and its Foundation recently supported the World Bicycle Relief with a $5000 donation.  WBR supports citizens of developing countries gain increased mobility giving access to education, health care, employment, and basic necessities.  Many recipients are  young women with only their own feet for transportation.  Way to think globally, Rotary of Kirkland.

GoogleInsleeNest (photo credit: Google)
Governor Inslee and Congresswoman DelBene were in town to celebrate Google's expansion here that doubled its size to 375,000 square feet and spans four buildings. The Kirkland campus is home to engineering teams working on high profile Google products such as Hangouts, Cloud, Chrome and Ads.  The new space has features such as a human-size nest and skylight, hideaway ‘cave’ areas, offices, cafe and micro-kitchens, living roof deck, dog-friendly offices, cooking classes, and crepe-making room.  And of course they already had fitness, massage centers and a climbing wall.  I'm sending my application in right now because it just sounds fun to work there.  Maybe I can make their crepes or clean the nest.   Never mind that makes it sounds just like home.  But it is cool that Google is innovating for the planet and also for their employees and community- thanks for leading the way!

Meet Anne Hess with Kirkland Living Magazine

Kirkland Living Magazine, a free monthly N2 Publication that hits the mailboxes of about 1700 residents in the Market/Moss Bay/Lakeview, Norkirk/East of Market neighborhoods, has a new publisher.  After two years of charming us all, Heidi Hawkins has made a dash for the sunnier skies of San Diego, and left the magazine in the very capable hands of Anne Hess. Kirkland, meet Anne (photo).  Doesn't she kind of look like Sally Field?  Anne was originally going to cover a Seattle territory, but when this one opened up, she jumped at the chance to cover Kirkland.  

KirklandLivingCoverNov2015 <--this month's issue

Kirkland Living is all about community.  The content is powered by residents who write, photograph and advertise each month.  It's about sharing local content that may highlight human interest stories,  a featured home, a pet or a Young Achiever.  Anne is excited to focus on the youth in our community, so if you know any young writers, email her at [email protected]. I also love how this publication partners with local restaurants and businesses to host free events (even for kids!) that promote sharing and community among neighbors.   I think Anne will feel right at home here.   


Lucia Hosts Star-Studded "The Bachelor" Viewing Parties

JasonMollyAre you a fan of ABC's hit reality show "The Bachelor?"  Then you should scratch the pj's and ice cream plans you have for viewing the premiere on Monday Jan 5th  on your couch, and give yourself a much-deserved 2015 upgrade to Mike Halter's hip Lucia restaurant at Kirkland Park Place, where the it will be showing on all screens and two former Bachelor couples will be on hand to mingle with you.  From the looks of it, we've got one Maple Valley contestant this season, so you have another WA resident to root for.

That's right- we've got some locals that have been on the reality show, fell in love and are still around to talk about it.   And they will be on there to answer questions every Monday at the Lucia viewings from 8-10pm this season.   Expect a special Bachelor cocktail menu, food, and fun contests to keep you on your toes. 

Jason and Molly Mesnick (wedding photo- how cute can ya be??!) are Kirklanders that met on the 13th season of The Bachelor and have been married for almost five years and have an adorable daughter, Riley (1) together, in addition to Jason's superstar son, Tyler (9).  Jason is now in residential real estate with the Northwest Real Estate Group. Molly is a talk show host for 106.1 Kiss FM in the morning.

Chris Siegfried and Desiree Hartsock,
who live in Seattle currently (she is from CA, he from OR),  met on Season 9 of "The Bachelorette" and are preparing for their January 2015 wedding.  Chris is a mortgage banker for Home Street Bank and Desiree is a bridal stylist, conveniently enough. ;-)

Call Lucia for reservations to get in on the excitement of the new Bachelor season with Chris Soules and to celebrate our own local reality stars, Jason, Molly, Chris and Desiree, and meet them first hand.  This party continues every Monday from 8-10 for 10 weeks starting Jan 5th.  425-889-0200.



Louie de Coton: Technical Clothing for your Pooch

LouiedeCoton (8)   LouiedeCoton (1)

I am SO not a dog person.  Sorry.  Not sure where this went askew.  I grew up with dogs and loved them, but something changed as an adult, in my Type A brain, that can't fathom adding another layer of slobber, hair, wet paws, and poop to my life.  Maybe I'm just lazy.  Because I do realize, that for many people a pet can open up your heart and change your life. 

Local resident Fay Andersson's dog came into her world at exactly the right time.  In 2011, she was in a life-changing accident that left her in excruciating pain and depressed.  To cheer up, she got a white fluffy Maltese puppy and named him Louie de Coton or "Louie" for short.   Louie went everywhere with her.  He healed her pain, alleviated her sadness, and even became designated as an emotional 'service dog' by her doctor so she could bring him everywhere with her.   Even pilates! Louie changed her life.  

But little Louie got cold easily. So Faye began designing technical dog clothes for him.  She has searched everywhere to find the finest high-quality, high-performance materials to create fashionable clothes for small dogs.  She was looking for things that weren't bulky but provided warmth in a light-weight fabric. You are North-westerners...think Gore-Tex/Northface/Patagonia styles.  Her other priority was finding safe/environmental free/made in the USA materials and doing her manufacturing locally.  There are rain jackets, fleeces, and even lined messenger bags for your little pooches.  Why should humans be the only ones spoiled by awesome weather-proof clothing when your dogs are chilly too?

Louie de Coton products can be found online or at BooBoo Barkery in Kirkland.  Prices range from $27-75. Louie has since passed on, but his legacy lives through Faye and her passion for designing high-end clothes for little dogs.  ~j



Inga Carlson Turns 104. Yes, really. 104.

Inga   IngaCarlson104

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  


X Factor's Phillip Lomax: Last summer performance at Lucia on Aug 21st

Let's rally a monster crowd of fans for local star, Phillip Lomax, this Weds Aug 21st from 9:30-midnight at Lucia in Kirkland Park Place.  Phillip was a finalist on X Factor 2011 and made his mark as a young crooner wearing a fedora and singing Sinatra's "Fly Me to the Moon" for his audition.  I didn't watch the show, but I checked the videos and can tell he's a charmer with a contagious smile and serenading voice that you won't want to miss for his last summer performance. Joining Phillip will be Eric Robert on the keyboard and Maurice Bailey on drums. There's no cover charge, but tips are welcome. Always great food and drink at Lucia- make a night of it!