News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Entries from January 2011

Have great neighbors? Share your stories

January 31st, 2011 by master

When we moved to Wallingford in 2003, we were struck by how friendly, welcoming and helpful our neighbors were. Over the years, we’ve shared food, tools, childcare, vehicles, emotional support and even medical diagnoses (thanks again, David, for recognizing appendicitis when the doc didn’t!). We’ve heard these stories from so many Wallingfordians, and now’s the time to share those tales with the rest of the city.

Annual Night Out neighbor gatherings are popular in Wallingford.

Next Saturday, February 12, is Seattle’s 17th annual Neighbor Appreciation Day, and the Department of Neighborhoods wants you to share your stories:

Do you have a great neighbor or neighbors? What makes them special? Why is your street the best place to live? Why do you love your neighborhood?

In celebration of Seattle’s 17th annual Neighbor Appreciation Day, Seattle Department of Neighborhoods invites you to tell us a story about what makes your neighbors or neighborhood so extraordinary. It’s easy to share. Just go to to post your story and to enjoy stories that others have shared.

Neighbor Appreciation Day is Seattle’s annual day to reach out to neighbors, create new bonds, and express thanks to those who help make your neighborhood a great place to live. Hundreds of people across Seattle will come together on February 12 (and the week of) to celebrate.

Visit this site to learn more about Neighbor Appreciation Day. There you will find ideas, tools, e-greeting cards (including one that a Hamilton Middle School student created), and a listing of events.

Of course, feel free to share your “great neighbor” story here too.

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U District's Shoe Zoo going out of business

January 30th, 2011 by master

This story originally appeared on our sister site U District Daily. We know this business has many fans in Wallingford.

We just received the following email from the owner of the Shoe Zoo near U Village letting us know the store is going out of business. A sale on all remaining merchandise started today.  The Shoe Zoo is located at 2920 NE Blakeley.

Well, it is with a very heavy heart, that after 23 years of taking care of the best customers I could ask for, I must announce, that starting today, we will begin our last sale ever – our going out of business sale. This was a very tough decision to make, but one that had to be made. I can’t give an exact date of how long we will be here, but I must sell everything in the store. You name it, it’s for sale. I will start by making all merchandise 30% off. Hopefully, you can help me get the word out. Please tell everyone you know, who has kids, the news. I would really appreciate it. If this store has made a difference for your families over the years, please come in and pick up a few pair of shoes. Please be sure to use any credits, or gift certificates as soon as possible.

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Homeless number drops in One Night Count

January 28th, 2011 by master

Last night, between the hours of 2 and 5 a.m., volunteers fanned out across King County for the 31st annual “One Night Count” of unsheltered homeless people, including those in Wallingford and neighboring areas.

One Night Count organizers released information this morning about last night’s count:

Seattle/King County Coalition for the Homeless (SKCCH) Director Alison Eisinger announced early this morning that the number of people counted outside in King County is down 11% compared to last year’s count. Volunteer teams working through the night counted 2,442 people living on the streets of King County. The people were of every age, race and gender. Some were huddled in doorways, some sleeping in cars, camped in parking lots, or sheltered in makeshift campsites.

The One Night Count of People who are Homeless is conducted each January to produce a snapshot of the total number of unsheltered individuals on the streets of King County.

Beginning at 2:00 am Friday morning, 886 volunteers in 137 teams counted the people sleeping outdoors in King County. The volunteers were organized through ten area headquarters. Counters returned to historical and new count areas in Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland, Woodinville, Shoreline, Kenmore Bothell, Seattle, White Center, Federal Way, Kent, Renton and Auburn. The 2011 One Night Count also collected information from select hospitals about emergency room usage, and from Metro night owl buses operating throughout the county. The numbers released today are understood to represent the minimum number of unsheltered people on this single night.

Capitol Hill Housing’s Joshua Okrent said earlier this week that areas in Wallingford and across North Seattle were included in the count. We know that many of the homeless in this area live in vehicles and asked Okrent about how they’re counted. He said, “We make an effort to count people living in their cars, and we certainly consider them homeless. When we see a car being used as a shelter we estimate 2 per vehicle unless it is clear that a different number of people are living there.”

Okrent couldn’t mention specific count areas where volunteers count, he said, because they want to keep the numbers as accurate as possible. “Letting people know the count sites ahead of time can alter the numbers by both encouraging people to stay out on a night that they would otherwise have found shelter, OR causing them to leave an area entirely as they are afraid of being seen and counted,” Okrent said.

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Change to 16 bus route coming Feb. 5

January 28th, 2011 by master

Starting next Saturday, Feb. 5, King County Metro Transit is making changes to about two dozen bus routes that pass through downtown Seattle. The changes, Metro says, are designed to keep people moving during the long-term construction along the Seattle waterfront and SODO area.

Riders of the 16 bus, which runs through Wallingford, will leave downtown Seattle from a new bus stop at the Colman Ferry Dock on Alaskan Way south of Marion Street.

Metro is also introducing color coding for the myriad routes that travel along 3rd Avenue downtown. See more about this here; click on “Major changes to 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Avenue bus service in downtown Seattle,” then click “Third Avenue.” The route will serve the blue/green northbound bus stops on 3rd Ave north of Pine St and south of James, Madison and Union streets.

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A peek inside Tangletown’s new 56th Street Market

January 27th, 2011 by master

Amy Duncan at our sister site My Green Lake visited 56th Street Market yesterday afternoon and posted this report.

The market opened its doors at 11:30 a.m. and, by the time I visited at 2:30 p.m., had already been visited by many curious neighbors.

Here’s a look at what is already available in the market.  Coming soon are magazines and newspapers (The New York Times, The Seattle Times, USA TODAY, and The Wall Street Journal), Bob’s Red Mill products, local produce, and Sunrise greeting cards.

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Wallingford's Asian restaurants among "Best"

January 26th, 2011 by master

Seattle Met magazine’s February issue focuses on “Best Asian Restaurants,” a category well represented in Wallingford.

These are the cuisines in which Wallingford restaurants were deemed among the best. Should you ever wish to leave Wallingford’s boundaries, read about Seattle’s other best Asian restaurants on the Seattle Met site.


Their menu is a cosmopolitan globetrotter, but Joule chef-owners Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi infuse the food with signature Korean flavors—deep, dark, and dank as a Wallingford basement, with spicy pings of chili pepper running interference against funk overload.

Who’s here The whole dang neighborhood likes to cheer up inside this noisy, butter-hued cafe. Make a reservation.

Don’t miss The kooky kimchi remixes—pear, shiitake, kohlrabi—and the BBQ board where a grilled version of the fermented cabbage serves as crunchy vegetal counterpoint to sweet chili sausage and silken short ribs.

Pssst Yang and Chirchi are now having fun with their food in Fremont, too: Pan-Asian street food joint Revel opened on North 36th Street this December.

Joule, 1913 N 45th St, Wallingford, 206-632-1913;


The story behind this brand new place is as good as the satay: Two college buddies backpack through Southeast Asia and develop an addiction to Malaysian street food. With the help of a Malay auntie, they recreate the scene—bright red walls graffitied with local lingo—and their favorite dishes, all under $10: curry puffs, roti canai, red curry, and the best satay in Seattle—crispy and juicy with homemade peanut sauce.

Who’s here Expats and scruffy backpackers reliving their days spent sucking down satay and Singha beer in a Kuala Lumpur alley.

Don’t miss The curry puffs—both the owners’ top pick and ours.

Pssst There are only a handful of tables, so consider grabbing takeout or getting a stool at the counter.

Satay, 1711 N 45th St, Wallingford, 206-547-0597;


Warm and sweet as the inside of a yam, Kisaku offers the deep skill of sushi craftsman Ryuichi Nakano along with the sort of neighborhood hospitality that welcomes toddlers to the sushi bar. With shy grace Nakano-san presents an unusual diversity of seasonal delicacies—cod sperm sacs, green sea urchin—along with more usual suspects, then under-charges for them.

Who’s here Must be neighbors, because street parking in this Tangletown tangle is near nonexistent.

Don’t miss Sitting at the bar to enjoy Nakano-san’s selection in the form of chef’s choice omakase. Non–sushi eaters should order the mackerel in syrupy miso sauce, a revelation.

Pssst Nakano-san (@kisakusushi) tweets his daily fresh sheet!

Kisaku, 2101 N 55th St, Ste 100, Wallingford, 206-545-9050;

Phad Thai (see sidebar)

The ornate Thai facade on 45th in Wallingford houses May Restaurant and Lounge, an inconsistent Thai restaurant with two mitigating claims to fame: a gently lovely filigreed-teak interior, and a phad Thai presentation to leave for dead every other pretender in town. Servers bring the noodles to your table wrapped in banana leaves, along with condiment dishes of sugar, peanuts, and chilies so you can season to your taste, then scatter the whole with a flourish of banana blossoms. Aside from being the prettiest rendition of the most ubiquitous Asian dish in Seattle, we’ll call it the tastiest, alive with all the right tarts and savories and sours and not a hint of that cloying ketchuppy tang we’ve come to expect.

May Restaurant and Lounge, 1612 N 45th St, Wallingford, 206-675-0037;

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School news: playground safety, buses, jazz

January 26th, 2011 by master

Ongoing: Our sister site My Green Lake reported last week that a student was hit by a car outside the Green Lake Elementary School playground, which is unfenced between the play structure and the nearby street (see image below). The Stranger picked up the story yesterday and added details about more fencing that’s supposed to go into place.

Thursday, January 27: Hamilton International Middle School’s school tour for incoming families will be from 6 to 7 p.m.; from 7:30 to 9 p.m. the school jazz bands and choral jazz ensemble will play in the Commons.

On the other side of Aurora, B.F. Day Elementary (3921 Linden Ave. N.) will host its open house and family dinner from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday, January 28: A between-semesters day off for Seattle Public School students.

Thursday, February 3: The Seattle Public Schools has scheduled this community meeting at Hamilton Middle School (1610 N. 41st St.) for families to provide feedback on proposed changes in the Seattle Public Schools Transportation Plan for the 2011-12 school year.

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QFC parking lot theft; seen this stuff?

January 25th, 2011 by master

Jessica wrote to let us know that some items were stolen yesterday around 11:00 a.m. from her car, which was parked in QFC’s lot west of Wallingford Ave.:

What was stolen was a brown leather bag containing a slew of client and construction papers and building permits, three checkbooks, asthma drugs, client keys, and personal infomation.  If you hear anything, or see any of this documentation floating around the neighborhood could you please let me know.

My guess is the person was looking for a wallet, cash, or credit card (which was not in the bag) and probably ditched the leather bag and its contents somewhere in the neighborhood.

Jessica asks that anyone who finds these items contact her at jessclayton [at] She called the police, but they said they were too busy at the time to take a report.

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Nearby: parking rates, marijuana, "Quixote"

January 25th, 2011 by master

Green Lake
House fire in east Green Lake

All are welcome to join new Green Lake gardening guild

Free preview of Seattle Opera’s ‘Don Quixote’ at the Green Lake Library

Fremont Parking Rates On The Rise

Woodsky’s Now Open For Business In Fremont

Azzurri Vino Bar Closes Its Doors

Follow The White Rabbit…

Medical marijuana dispensaries open in Ballard

Cafe Reiki to open soon in Ballard

Dolly Parton night at Conor Byrne

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Oscar-nominated films playing in Wallingford

January 25th, 2011 by master

Before you woke up the nominees for the 83rd Academy Awards were announced. If you look at this list and think, “Wow, I haven’t seen any of these movies,” fear not — two of the top films are playing right here in Wallingford.

The neighborhood’s only theater, the Guild 45th, is now showing “The King’s Speech,” starring Colin Firth, and “Black Swan,” starring Natalie Portman. Both films were nominated for Best Picture, and their lead actors have a chance at the golden statuette.

Our news partner The Seattle Times describes “The King’s Speech” as “Tom Hooper’s splendid historical drama about how the future King George VI (Colin Firth) struggled to overcome his speech impediment. It’s old-fashioned filmmaking at its best.”

The Times calls “Black Swan” “[Director] Darren Aronofsky’s mesmerizing ballet movie that’s so majestically lurid it almost creates its own genre; a backstage melodrama set in a dark hall of mirrors.”

Here are trailers for both movies:

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