Daily news blog for Seattle's University District neighborhood

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MugShot Monday #4- 24/7 Love at Cafe De L’Amour

August 25th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Welcome to MugShot Monday: a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafe’s

The timing isn’t ideal. I lost a bet and now I am on a month long coffee cleanse. However, MugShot Monday must continue, and besides, it gives me an opportunity to sample other beverage items besides coffee.

Work in Progress, Cafe de L'amour is just getting started

I walked south down the ‘Ave’ on another hot day not knowing where I would end up. While scanning both sides of the street for signs of coffee I walked right past Cafe de L’amour. They are in the middle of a soft-opening so they haven’t quite nailed down their storefront. I backed-up, went in and chatted up the barista who was happy to tell me about the cafe’s future to come.

For one, Cafe De L’Amour is planning to be a 24/7 business. That means if you are cramming for a final or a deadline, or you are having that insomnia again, this is a destination you will want to know about.

Secondly, Cafe De L’Amour is hoping to connect with the art and music community by participating in the U-district Art Walk, hosting an open-mike and having other music acts put on shows. So if you are looking for a place to try out a new song or put some art up, give them a call!

James the Manager: Talk to him about getting a show or hanging your art!

I ordered an Earl Gray tea and sat down with James the manager to learn what he envisions for the cafe.

He told me that for now they are serving a Somalian French Roast(he wasn’t sure of the brand). They haven’t sourced a local baker yet, but he said that he hopes they will be able to carry some local brands and support local Famers Market sellers such as NuFlour, a gluten free bakery. James also added that Somali Owner Ahmed Ali will be installing a kitchen in the back so they can offer samosas and other menu items round the clock. The goal is for 24/7 hours of operation starting September 20, and until then they are open until 2 AM.

This cafe has a lot of space, brand new super comfortable seating and lot of potential. I really hope they are able to incorporate a local vibe through art, music and their menu offerings. In my opinion, having an independent coffee house in Seattle means supporting local coffee roasters, bakers, tea brewers and the like. I went ahead and put in my own personal requests for a Chai I hope they choose to carry. I encourage you to go down there and offer them some ideas too!

James seemed to be super excited to have this clean slate to work with. It’ll be great to see how he is able to bring it all together!

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Fold The Flock: A Weekend of Remembering the Passenger Pigeon this Labor Day

August 19th, 2014 by Nico Lund

The Burke marks the 100-year anniversary of the extinction of the Passenger pigeon, once the most populous bird in North America, on Sept. 1. with Fold the Flock.

Join the Burke in folding origami passenger pigeons this Labor Day Weekend. Image courtesy of the Lost Bird Project.

Fold the Flock Flies on Saturday, Aug. 30 – Monday, Sept. 1, 10 AM – 5 PM Included with museum admission; FREE for Burke members or with UW ID

Meet Martha, the last survivor of the species who passed away in the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914. To commemorate this anniversary, the Burke Museum will offer a special suite of activities during Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, August 30 – Monday, September 1, in partnership with the Lost Bird Project.

Visitors can participate in a world-wide initiative called “Fold the Flock” by making origami Passenger pigeons. Fold the Flock aims to symbolically recreate the astounding size of former Passenger pigeon flocks by facilitating the creation of one million paper birds. Birds folded at the museum throughout the weekend will be displayed and the final total will be registered on the Fold the Flock website.

In a rare viewing opportunity, the Burke will display its Passenger pigeon specimen, one of the 1,532 specimens left on earth.

A one-hour, award-winning documentary, The “Lost Bird Project” will be shown Saturday, Sunday, and Monday at 11 a.m.

Visitors will also be invited to reflect on the history of this once abundant species, and share their own thoughts about species or places they want to protect.

Those who want to participate from home can download a template here and record their contribution at foldtheflock.org.

Participants are encouraged to share photos of their creations on social media: #burkeflock #foldtheflock.

The Passenger Pigeons Story

At the time of European arrival in America, Passenger pigeons accounted for up to forty percent of the land birds of North America, and probably represented the largest population of a species of bird the earth has ever known.  They flew in vast flocks, numbering in the billions, sometimes eclipsing the sun from noon until nightfall. Flying sixty miles an hour, they migrated across their geographic range, which stretched from the northeastern and mid-western states and into Canada to the southern states. The sound from the flapping of billions of wings was deafening.

In the 19th Century, as American’s urban population grew and the demand for wild meat increased, thousands of men became full-time pigeon hunters. In addition to being hunted for food and sport, habitat loss was an important factor in the extinction of the Passenger pigeon.  As the population spread rapidly across the country, the bird’s habitat, low-lying areas of nut and beech trees, was converted into farmland.

In the span of fifty years, the Passenger pigeon became nearly extinct. On March 24, 1900, a boy in Pike County, Ohio shot the last recorded wild Passenger pigeon. In 1914, under the watchful eyes of her keepers, the last captive Passenger pigeon, Martha, died in her cage at the Cincinnati Zoo.

About the Lost Bird Project

The Lost Bird Project recognizes the tragedy of modern extinction by immortalizing North American birds that have been driven to extinction.  Artist Todd McGrain has created bronze memorial sculpture dedicated to the Passenger pigeon, the Carolina parakeet, the Labrador duck, the great auk, and the Heath hen. These sculptures are placed at locations directly related to each bird’s decline.

In response to this centennial anniversary of the Passenger pigeon’s extinction, the Lost Bird Project created Fold the Flock—The Passenger pigeon Origami Project. The Fold the Flock initiative is based on the belief that origami is a perfect activity to engage creatively with and celebrate the history of the Passenger pigeon. No individual alone could symbolically recreate the vast flocks of Passenger pigeons that once flew over this continent. The scale and scope of Fold the Flock requires a large number of people of all ages to succeed.  It is an endeavor that asks parents, teachers, friends and family, young and old to gather together, think about our natural heritage, and assist each other in learning to fold an origami Passenger pigeon.

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MugShot Monday #3-Ringing the Cowbell for Sound Coffee & Morsel

August 18th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Welcome to MugShot Monday: a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafe’s

Have you Been Meaning to Stop in at Sound Coffee and Morsel Cafe? Did you Hear a Cowbell Ring Out and Wonder Why? Does the Idea of Bacon Jam do Anything For You? Doesn’t A Biscuit Sound Perfect Right About Now?

Entrance to Biscuit Heaven

I had been hearing about Morsel for a while now and was curious about what it had to offer. So, as I biked  down University Avenue in search of the next coffee spot, I was excited that it was going to be my next stop!

It was a hot morning and quickly moving its way to an 80 degree day. I wasn’t sure if hot coffee and a biscuit was going to hit the spot, but in the name of MugShot Monday, I dared to partake. I stepped into Morsel and was immediately greeted by 2014 U.S. Latte Art 3rd place winner Kyle Dols who had a contagiously spirited smile and immediately got me up to speed on all things biscuit.

Based on what Dols said was the most popular menu item, I ordered a “Spanish Fly” ($6.75) with the Rosemary/basil biscuit-of-the-day, and my usual double tall Americano ($2.75).

As I was waiting for my Biscuit to arrive Dols prepared me a sample of their housemade soda. He created a blackberry, rosemary and vanilla just for me! It paired perfectly with my biscuit and was a nice refresher as it was really getting sweaty at my booth! My biscuit arrived looking glorious, albeit a little tall for my eating geometry, but once I figured out how to consume it I was in a biscuit heaven that I didn’t even know existed. Consisting of proscuitto, fried egg, manchego, arugula, and mama lil’s pepper aioli, this beauty (pictured below) ended up hitting the spot in a big way!

Morsel has a lively environment, good music, great staff and just a few house rules!

  • Enjoy the comfortable first-come-first-serve seating, but please order first before sitting down
  • Free wi-fi, but don’t be that lame person taking up a four top to yourself — share your table if you’re gunna be on your computer!
  • Bus your own dishes!
  • Don’t forget to ask about the Bacon Jam!
  • And hit the Cowbell on your way out!
  • Serving Veltons Coffee from Everett Wa. This Americano was perfectly poured, smooth and sweet!

    The Spanish Fly and sample of housemade soda

    On their website, Owner Kekow Chin-Hidano says that “Our customers are awesome, they like our food and they like us…and we like them. I really couldn’t ask for better customers.”

    I found this to be a truly delightful cafe to spend some time. I look forward to visiting in the colder months when some comfort food will really be just the thing! And for those of you on the West side, Morsel now has a Ballard location called the Morsel and Bean that I hear has a drive-thru!

    Cowbell is for Awesome!

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Outdoor Movie at Magnuson Park Tonight

August 14th, 2014 by Nico Lund

It’s still summer, albeit the weather is a little cooler right now.

But enjoy the fact that there are still plenty of fun outdoor events happening in our neck of the woods. Outdoor Movies at Magnusun Park is ready to entertain you and your whole family.

In their fourth season, Seattle outdoor cinema at Magnuson Park is pleased to announce Pitch Perfect as tonights show.  Events run weekly at 7 pm on Thursdays evenings from July 10 – Aug. 28, 2014.

Free Movie (or $5 if you arrive for pre-show entertainment), Free Parking, Pet and Kid Friendly, Contests and Food Trucks! Sounds like a fun Night!

Just bring your low back lawn chairs or blankets, friends, family, dogs and money for fun and food.

There are Still Three More Showtimes on their Schedule:

Thur. August, 14: Pitch Perfect
Entertainment: The Cabiri plus movie trivia
Food Trucks: Caramia’s Sweetie Treaties, Kettle Corn, Raney Brothers BBQ, Contigo, Wicked Pies

Thur. August 21: The Little Mermaid
Entertainment: The Cabiri plus movie trivia
Food Trucks: Caramia’s Sweetie Treaties, Kettle Corn, Raney Brothers BBQ, Contigo, Wicked Pies

Thur. August 28: Ghostbusters
Entertainment: The Cabiri plus movie trivia
Food Trucks: Caramia’s Sweetie Treaties, Kettle Corn, Raney Brothers BBQ, Contigo, Wicked Pies

2014 Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park is Presented by Seattle Children’s.
Magnuson Park – 7400 Sand Point Way NE., Seattle, WA

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Help Kickstart a New Beginning for Scarecrow Video as a Non-Profit!

August 13th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Scarecrow Video Is Evolving Their Business Model for the Future by Creating a Non-Profit Organization to Preserve the Past.

Calling all cinephiles! Help Scarecrow Video reach it’s goal of $100,000 on Kickstarter.

As you know, Scarecrow Video has been a valuable resource for all-things-film since 1983. As the invention of streaming has cut into the movie rental business, Scarecrow Video has been fighting to stay afloat!

Scarecrow isn’t and has never been just your average video rental place. It has been an indispensable business that prides itself on its support of the community, independent film and rare out of print titles. The staff not only has a passion for the history of film, but a powerful devotion to keeping what Scarecrow Video has become alive and thriving! With the help of their fiscal sponsor, the Grand Illusion Cinema, devoted staff have come together to create this Kickstarter campaign.

For the love of all-things-film, and our very own treasury of history, I know you will want to help support their effort!

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MugShot Monday #2-Fat Ducks Bakery and Deli

August 12th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Welcome to MugShot Monday(on Tuesday this week!): a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafe’s

This Fancy Duck is enjoying her Double Tall Americano

Okay, Okay, I know…only two weeks into the weekly series and I’m already behind schedule. I can explain!!! But first, let me introduce you to Fat Ducks Deli and Bakery located on the north end of University Ave.

You will more-often-than-not be greeted by owner Jaclyn Roth who not only makes a good Americano, but will also offer you a pillow if you’ve by chance just recently thrown your back out and are noticeably gimping around the cafe.

I stopped in on Monday, but I failed to note the closure dates(hence my posts’ tardiness) Roth was on a trip in New York to, among some other things, purchase the amazing pastrami that she imports regularly from Brooklyn.

Roth comes from an east coast family that ran a deli bakery, and that is where she honed in her amazing baking skills. From rugelach to her creatively named cookies and sweets, Roth is baking away what must be all the hours in a day!

But since you need to eat a meal before dessert, her menu includes a vast assortment of sandwiches, soups, bagels (from Blazing Bagels) and more. This is the part where you take a bite into the Lucky Duck ($8.95), where you will taste that delicious pastrami, or if you’re a traditionalist like myself, you’ll order the Lox Duck($7.50) which is the classic bagel with lox, capers, etc. Whatever you order, give Jaclyn a little time to make it perfect. Good things come to those who wait! Trust me,  it will hit the spot!

With free wi-fi, a nice seating area in the back, some outdoor seating, Fat Ducks is a great spot to ‘waddle’ to for a coffee and a treat, lunch or an afternoon snack.

For more information, or to find out about her catering options, check out the Fat Ducks website.

Al, Ryan and Kyle (left to right) are regulars at Fat Ducks. They recommend the Corned beef. They were happy to rave about Jaclyn and Fat Ducks Bakery and Deli!

PCP cookies...don't worry, they're safe to eat!

LSD bars, I bought one for my 12 year old daughter; she loved it!

Everyone could use a little THC every once in a while!

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MugShot Monday #1: a caffeine inspired journey to uncover University Ave’s Cafe’s

August 4th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Welcome to MugShot Monday: Where we journey south down University Ave. and uncover the many faces of our own U-district’s cafe culture.

It’s no secret that this blogger loves Herkimer Cafe located at the north end of University Ave. I’ve been a regular here for over three years and have gotten to know many of the long time employee as well as some long time patrons. So, it’s a perfect location to begin my tour of local University Avenue Cafe’s.

Barista Kyle saying goodbye to their ol’ Synesso

Owner Kara Macdonald, who has been in the Seattle coffee business 18 years, runs a tight ship and hires a crew of loyal barista’s that I can rely on for a smile, a friendly word and a perfectly poured Americano. But Don’t just take my word for it. “Their Coffee is absolutely tops,” says longtime regular Michael who lives nearby and walks over. Furthermore, I was happily surprised to hear that on Thursday, they are unveiling a new espresso machine that will somehow make my Americano taste even better!

Moving from a Synesso machine that has done them years of good, all the Herkimer locations have been receiving brand new La Marzocco Strata EP’s that were designed with the coffee connoisseur in mind. With suggestions from longtime roaster and Co-Owner of Herkimer, Scott Richardson, the new machine offers different pressure profiles so that each shot highlights the coffee to its fullest flavor. For example, for an espresso, the pressure starts off slow to warm the coffee first for a less harsh shot.

All in all, Herkimer on University Ave. is a quiet spot close to Cowen Park that delivers quality coffee and a perfect atmosphere for your study, sketchbook’n and working needs. Their Barista’s usually have great music playing that is conducive to their customers moods as well as comfortable outdoor seating if you need a breath of fresh air.

Regular Michael with his Double Soy Latte and the Monday Paper

If you have a good story about Herkimer on the Ave. We would love to hear about it in the comments!

5611 University Way NE
Seattle, Washington 98105
Phone: 206.525.5070
Hours: 7am-6pm Everyday

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Still Looking to Entertain ‘Bored’ kids this Summer?

July 30th, 2014 by Nico Lund

From Kindergarden to High School, summertime offers kids a lot of unscheduled time. Unfortunately, living in an urban environment might mean kids will spend a lot of time at home, looking at a screen and complaining that they’re bored.

There are some great local places that offer some great outdoorsy, arty and social opportunities for kids of all ages.

The YMCA: Their Summer Camps offer kids the opportunity to grow through exploring the outdoors, building self-confidence and independence, learning core values, developing life skills and being actively engaged.

Seattle Tilth: From digging up bugs, planting flowers to gardening basics and more, Seattle Tilth offers a bounty of fun summer activities to youngsters and teens.

Greenlake Community Center et al.: There are so many classes, camps and fun things to do through the Seattle Parks and Recreation! Check out their catalogue of stuff to choose from for kids who need something to do.

Most camps offer some sort of tuition assistance, so if you are tight in the pocket book, make sure you ask about special offers, or scholarships! Don’t be shy, that’s what they’re for. But if that is not available there are also some DIY options.

To keep summer Fun and Free, you could also get together with some other parents and switch off day’s having kids over and create your own camps. All you need are a few craft projects, hiking destinations, even swimsuits and a hose! There are a kazillion ideas on sites like Pinterest for crafting with kids. With a little surfing, you could find more than you could throw a camper at!

So, the main thing here is, put the screens away, get the kids outside, or at least enjoying the summer as screen free as possible. You might even find it gets you off the couch and into the day too!

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Discover Dinosaurs, a 2000-year-old sandal and the First Coffee Mug in Your Own Backyard!

July 17th, 2014 by Nico Lund

Of course, when I say Backyard, I mean our collective backyard here in the University District!

Photo credit: Richard Brown Photography Object ID: Cat. No 1-2177 Gift of Lucille Christ

Have you ever wondered what actually goes on behind the scenes at a place like our own Burke Museum? Filled with over 15 millions things amassed over the past 129 years, there are some surprising stories to tell about those amazing objects!

Imagine That: Surprising Stories and Amazing Objects reveals a new side to the Burke by uncovering some of the most fascinating, intriguing and rare objects in its collection.

Visitors will be able to view objects from all of the museum’s collections—on display together for the first time. They will learn about how researchers from Washington state and around the world have been using Burke collections to answer pressing questions for the past 129 years—and the exciting possibilities collections can unlock in the future.

So if you have been wondering why museums have all these things –where do they come from — and what are they used for?  Visit the Burke Museum between April 12  and October 26. This Remarkable exhibit will reveal some surprising stories to many complex questions.

Highlights include:

Volcanic ash in a Chianti bottle
A 2,000-year-old sandal that’s still in style
Fossils that can predict the future
Seattle’s first coffee mug

The Burke Museum is located on the University of Washington campus, at the corner of NE 45th St. and 17th Ave. NE. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm daily, and until 8 pm on first Thursdays. Admission: $10 general, $8 senior, $7.50 student/ youth. Admission is free to children four and under, Burke members, UW students, faculty, and staff. Admission is free to the public on the first Thursday of each month. Prorated parking fees are $15 and partially refundable upon exit if paid in cash. Call 206-543-5590 or visit www.burkemuseum.org. The Burke Museum is an American Alliance of Museums-accredited museum and a Smithsonian Affiliate. To request disability accommodation, contact the Disability Services Office at: 206.543.6450 (voice), 206.543.6452 (TTY), 206.685.7264 (fax), or email at dso@u.washington.edu. The University of Washington makes every effort to honor disability accommodation requests. Requests can be responded to most effectively if received as far in advance of the event as possible, preferably at least 10 days.

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Romance, Thrill and Suspense at the University District Library Branch Tonight

July 14th, 2014 by Nico Lund

HITCHCOCK BY THE DECADE: ‘NOTORIOUS’ (part two in a six part series)

When: Monday, July 14, 2014, 6 – 7:45 p.m.
Where: Seattle Public Library University Branch Meeting Room
This is an event for Adults

Come down to the University district Branch and enjoy watching Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant star in “Notorious,” This 1946 romantic thriller by Hitchcock is about an American woman recruited to infiltrate a Nazi group in post-war Brazil.

‘Notorious’ was famous at the time as having “the longest kiss in the history of the movies.” Additionally, because of its jarring depictions of weapons of mass destruction, Hitchcock claimed he was shadowed by the government after its release.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Country: USA
Language: English
Year: 1946
Length: 101 minutes
Rating: Approved
(Films released prior to 1968 were rated either “Approved” or “Not Approved.”)

For more Information: University Branch 206-684-4063 or Ask a Librarian
Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.

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