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SEATTLE HAS THE BLUES!

North Bend Blues Walk

This is a good thing!

I’ll bet when we say, “name a blues town,” you think of Chicago, Memphis, New Orleans, or maybe, even New York City.

I’ll challenge any blues lover to expand their ideas of what makes a good blues town and look a little closer to home!  What caught our attention was a web spotting of the North Bend Blues Walk happening in late April in the little town on the way to the Mountain.  That prompted a further search, and low and behold, what turned up was a full on, year-round calendar of local blues events, blues concerts, blues joints, and even blues radio, right here in Puget Sound. When they wrote the TV theme song “The Bluest Skies You’ve Ever Seen Are In Seattle” we know they weren’t lauding the cloud cover… it was the music they were talking about.  So if any of you are curious about blues to-dos in Puget Sound, let us point you to a few places where you can get the both the down-low and the lowdown on the blues.

  • The Feedback Lounge, West Seattle http://www.feedbacklounge.net
  • Highway 99 Blues Club, Downtown Seattle http://www.highwayninetynine.com
  • Washington Blues Society, http://wablues.org
  • KPLU 88.5 Blues Time Machine, http://www.kplu.org/term/blues-time-machine
  • The Triple Door, Downtown Seattle, http://www.thetripledoor.net/event-search.aspx?genre=10
  • North Bend Blues Walk, April 26, http://northbendblueswalk.com/

FREMONT SUNDAY STREET MARKET

Every Sunday | 10AM-5PM

www.fremontmarket.com

Fremont Sunday Market

Now that the spring weather and longer days are encouraging more time outdoors, the action is picking up at one of Seattle’s all-year street events.

The Fremont Sunday Street Market is a melange of street foods, local artisan and crafts people, with a touch of flea market tossed in.

Each Sunday happy crowds cruise 34th in lower Fremont in search or bargains, bites or treasures.  Rarely are they disappointed.  The smiles, the casual atmosphere and the amazing creativity shown by the vendors have made this a favorite weekend adventure for many Seattleites since the market’s founding in 1990.

Scour the street booths and neighboring markets for antiques, collectables, tools, music, vintage and new fashion.  Add to this the variety of boutiques and bistros that line Fremont’s main streets, and you have a day to remember.

 

PROPOSITION 1 FOR METRO TRANSIT

APRIL 22 SPECIAL ELECTION

Proposition 1 For Metro Transit

State budget cuts to transportation funding have prompted a ballot measure to consider future funding for King County Metro Transit, as the only avenue remaining to preserve bus service. If you or your office mates use the bus, Rapid Ride or other Metro service to get around town, now would be a good time to do your homework to be prepared to vote on this ballot measure April 22.

The measure proposed would generate approximately $130 million in revenue per year to support continuing service. The revenue sources will be:

  • A $60 annual vehicle tab fee.
  • A 0.1% increase in sales tax, expiring after 10 years.

This would raise enough money to sustain Metro’s current level of service and address some maintenance needs for city streets and King County roads. Sixty percent of the funds would go to Metro for service and buses. Forty percent would support road projects.

“The transit reductions staring down Metro will place an estimated additional 30,000 cars on our roadways and also put our state at a competitive disadvantage,” said Downtown Seattle Association President & CEO Kate Joncas.

If you are a registered voter in King County, expect ballots for this April 22 Special Election in your mailbox. Inform yourself, and vote!

For more information:

King County Website: http://www.your.kingcounty.gov/elections2/contests/measureinfo.aspx?cid=47942&eid=1260

Seattle Times Website:

http://www.seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2023173643_busdebatexml.html

TOP POT HAND-FORGED DOUGHNUTS COMING TO POST ALLEY!

Top_Pot_Doughnuts

Anyone commuting by ferry, working in the Financial District or Pioneer Square is going to love this! Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts will be opening early spring of 2014 on the second level of The Post, a new luxury apartment building located across Post Alley from The Colman Building.  The store will open onto the pedestrian overpass, linking the ferry terminal to First Avenue. The new store doughnut mecca will also be accessible from Western Avenue, Post Alley or Marion Street.

What started as a little storefront dispenser of sweet, round goodness on Seattle’s Capitol Hill has grown to 14 outlets with more on the way, including a planned store in Dallas, Texas.

The Post location will carry 38 varieties of doughnuts, pastries, sandwiches, ice cream, and, of course, coffee.  Patrons will enjoy the addition of a pour-over coffee bar featuring single-origin coffees.

http://www.toppotdoughnuts.com

TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS

tulip-festival

April 1 – 30

A favorite springtime getaway for folks around Puget Sound is the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. This year the festivities will take place April 1-30. At this time of year the fertile Skagit Valley bursts to life in a rainbow of vivid colors as millions of tulips come into bloom.

This is a self-guided driving tour, so you can enjoy the sights at your leisure while touring hundreds of acres of blooms.  This is also the perfect bike outing, as the tulip area is flat as pancake and laced with smooth asphalt roads.  An interactive Festival Map with GPS coordinates is available at http://www.tulipfestival.org/map/interactive. The festival’s Facebook page is also a great source of updates.

All month long events—from gallery shows, to concerts to volkswalks and fun runs—are planned to create opportunities for more people to enjoy the blooms.

The nearby city of Mount Vernon joins in the fun with special events and well-known local bistros and shops welcoming tulip fans.  Last year, the festival was enjoyed by visitors from all 50 states and 82 foreign countries. 
This year consider adding your crowd to the list.

http://www.tulipfestival.org/site

HAVE YOU TRIED RAPID RIDE?

Rapid Ride

Many years ago, traffic planners around the country talked a lot about “rubber tired rapid transit.” The idea was to use transit buses on dedicated routes with regular schedules, just like a commuter train or streetcar.  Now some three decades later, Seattle is enjoying its own iteration of this idea, known as “Rapid Ride.” Rapid Ride now has four major routes, taking travelers north, south, east and west on high traffic routes. The buses come at regular intervals, so you never have an unpredictable wait, and the stops are strategically placed to pick up a maximum number of riders with a minimum number of stops.

On my first ride, I enjoyed the speed and convenience of getting from the far reaches of West Seattle to the heart of downtown Seattle in mere minutes and in reasonable comfort.  Most of the Rapid Ride stops are well marked, have their own weather covers, and are served with readers that show the arrival time of the next bus.  On my second trip, I zipped in from Ballard after a long walk through town. Again, quick and reliable. My next adventure will be from downtown to Bellevue.  For anyone working in the downtown core, the new Rapid Ride service adds commuting convenience at a far lower cost than a personal vehicle.

Check out the routes and features at http://metro.kingcounty.gov/travel-options/bus/rapidride/

TUNNEL VISION

Tunnel Vision

Standing here at the beginning of 2014 we are tempted to look down and wonder where Bertha, our R-99 tunnel boring machine, is? Is she making progress? Is she stuck (again)? We suggest it’s time to start looking up and looking toward the future, because this giant project is not just about the tunnel, but about reshaping Seattle and its connection to our waterfront. As soon as the tunnel is up and running the Alaska Way Viaduct will come down, and soon after that the new Seattle Waterfront Promenade Park will start taking shape.

Picture a landscaped parkway connecting Pier 70 on the north with Pioneer Square and the Stadium District to the south. The Promenade will connect downtown Seattle to the bustling waterfront and bring a renewal of this vital connection, great resource and attractions.

waterfrontseattle.org

CAN YOU MAKE IT TO MILEPOST 31?

Milepost Thirty-One
Want to know more about Boring Bertha, the tunnel, or what will happen with the Alaska Way Viaduct? Visit your Colman Building neighbor Milepost 31, an award-winning information center highlighting the culture that shaped Pioneer Square. Get an insider’s look at the SR 99 Tunnel Project and more. A combination of history, artifacts, interactive exhibits and a well-informed staff can help you better understand your Pioneer Square surroundings.

And best of all, it’s free!

FREE

211 First Ave. S., Seattle
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday (closed on state holidays)
Open ‘til 8 p.m. during the Pioneer Square Art Walk (First Thursdays)


wsdot.wa.gov/Projects/Viaduct/Milepost31

HOW TO PARK BY PHONE

Pay By Phone SeattleFor years, many of us have “parked by ear.” That’s not such good idea! Now, thanks to the City of Seattle, we can park by phone, a much better idea. Better yet, forget the PHONE part and use Pay by Phone to Park by App on your Smartphone!

Here’s information from the City of Seattle on how Pay by Phone can be put to work for you:

  • Call 1-888-515-7275, or go to paybyphone.com or download the free app. Sign up and follow directions to register your cars with a credit card.
  • Park, then look for the Location Number on a nearby pay by phone parking sign or at the closest pay station on your side of the street.
  • Use your App to enter the Location Number,  choose your vehicle license plate number, desired length of stay, and make your payment.

PaybyPhone works in many Seattle private lots and garages, and in 180 cities in North America and Europe. PayByPhone adds a $0.35 fee per transaction.

www.seattle.gov/transportation/parking/byphone.htm

A TASTE OF LITTLE ITALY

Cafe Bengodi Seattle

Sometime great things come in small packages. This is one of them. Café Bengodi in Pioneer Square has an authentic Manhattan Little Italy vibe. Small. Sometimes crazy.

And a very tasty menu attracts a crowd of regulars, as well as Pioneer Square tourists. Pastas, risotto, veal, salads and some great inexpensive Italian red wines.

700 1st Ave.
(between Cherry St. & Columbia St.)
Seattle, WA 98104

Mon-Sun 11 am – 10 pm