Clean up and hot competition at the Eastlake Bouledrome

Next Tuesday is Bastille Day and what better way to acknowledge French independence than with a community work party to clean up the Eastlake Bouledrome for the season?

A group of neighbors gathered Friday evening at the Bouledrome, located in the street end park at Fairview East where East Louisa would intersect (if only Louisa went through). It was a great chance to help the neighborhood and find out a little history of the park and the Bouledrome (and learn how to play petanque).

Linda Furney, Carsten Stinn and their son, Enzo (Teamenzo), were instrumental (with the help of many neighbors) in getting the project done in 2006. According to a blog post from Teamenzo in 2007, it took about six months of working with various City departments and local businesses to create the Bouledrome and petanque court.

The site had previously been parking for a dock and boat repair business. When the business was closed and the dock replaced by houseboats, the street end became available for development. Teamenzo and other neighbors sprang into action to make the park and petanque court a reality.

Dirt for the court came from Safeco Field. The special clay soil used on the pitcher’s mound is rotated every two months, Carsten said, and he was able to get some for free. Granite curb stones removed from Pioneer Square were obtained from the city and form the edges of the court. Linda wrote the explanation of petanque that is on a plaque next to the court.

I’m not going to go into all the details of how you play petanque, mainly because I don’t know them. You can read more about the game on the Petanque America web site (they also sell equipment).

It’s the French variation on the Italian game of “bocci.” In brief, the small orange ball you’ll see in the photos is called the “piglet.” The idea is to roll the large silver balls as close to the piglet as possible. Beyond that, you’re going to have to ask Linda and Carsten.

Helping out with the clean up party Friday were Teamenzo (Linda, Carsten and Enzo), Marsh and Sue Bugge, Canek Gordillo and Kate Milenba, Tim Ahlers and yours truly.

The Bouledrome is always looking for new players and for people willing to help out. One concern is getting enough water to plants around the court. If you’d like to help out or play, wander down in the evenings and there’s likely someone around who can show you the game or talk to you about volunteering. 

Check the Petanque America web site for more information, including more photos and a story about the Eastlake Bouledrome.