Monthly Archives: April 2010

Opening Day is Saturday; watch out for bridge closures

The Opening Day of boating season is Saturday (tomorrow). That means both the University and Montlake bridges will be open (not passable to vehicles) more than usual.

The Montlake Bridge will be totally closed to traffic from 10 a.m. to approximately 4 p.m. The University Bridge won’t totally close but there will be more boat traffic than usual heading through Portage Bay so be ready for more delays getting across the bridge. And, when that happens, traffic frequently backs up onto the northern end of Eastlake Ave.

The crew races in the Montlake Cut are from 10:20 to 11:40 a.m. The parade of boats begins at noon and always seems to last forever.

For a complete schedule of events, see the Seattle Yacht Club’s page

For more on Opening Day (including a story on amphibious cars that will be in the parade) check out the Seattle Times’ story.

‘The Off Hours’ film crew hard at work at the Zoo

The cast and crew for the independent film “The Off Hours” are hard at work filming scenes inside the Eastlake Zoo.

The film is set in a small, truck-stop town outside Seattle and tells the story of people who have drifted there and find their situation is far from what they had hoped for in life. The Zoo is playing the part of the local watering hole where some of the characters gather.

Megan Griffiths, a veteran of the Seattle independent film community, wrote and is directing the film.

Howard Brown and Lief Frederick of the Zoo are both playing extras in the film.

“We’re sitting at the bar,” Lief joked. “I’ve had practice!”

Lief says the production arrived about 6:30 a.m. and was scheduled to be done by 4 p.m., at which time the bar will reopen. But, things were running a little late, he said, so they might not make the 4 p.m. opening. They’ll be on roughly the same schedule on Monday, he says.

The production was on a short break in the noon hour as they set up for a scene featuring a band.

For more on “The Off Hours,” see our previous post. The film’s website has more details on the cast, crew and plot (and they’re looking for supporters).

Eastlake Zoo closed Sunday and Monday for starring role in new film

Walt from the Eastlake Zoo reports that the popular tavern will be closed Sunday and Monday due to filming for a new feature film, “The Off Hours.” 

The film is a independent local production written and directed by Megan Griffiths, a veteran of the Seattle independent film community. Lynn Shelton, who won an 2010 Film Independent Spirit Award for her Seattle-based feature, “Humpday,” is acting in the film and serving as a consulting producer.

The “Off Hours” website has this to say about the film’s plot:

“The Off Hours” tells the story of three residents of a small, truck-stop town — Francine, a young waitress; Stu, an alcoholic diner owner; and Oliver, a passing short-haul truck driver. Working the night shift at a diner alongside the highway, Francine and Stu have drifted far away from where they thought their lives would take them. Oliver, a former banker new to driving semis, stops for coffee in the midst of one of his routes, and his appreciation for the road he travels introduces into the diner a new and unfamiliar sense of optimism.

Not sure what role the Zoo is playing in the film but Walt says there will be lots of action outside the bar. Might be worth taking a look.

Listed among the sponsors and supporters on the film’s website is Grand Central Bakery.

For more on the film, see the attached PDF.

Walt notes this isn’t the Zoo’s first brush with cinematic fame. The tavern was also featured in “American Heart,” a gritty 1992 film starring Jeff Bridges.

Historian Paul Dorpat to speak at free Eastlake meeting April 28

Historian and former Eastlake resident Paul Dorpat will be speaking and showing photos on Eastlake’s history at a free public meeting 6:30-9 p.m. this coming Wednesday, April 28, at the Tyee Yacht Club, 3229 Fairview Ave. E.

Refreshments will be served by Ravishing Radish Catering ($5 donation suggested).

Dorpat has published numerous books on Seattle’s history. He also writes the popular “Now and Then” column in the Sunday Seattle Times where he compares historic photos with contemporary views of the same scene, unearthing historical nuggets in the process.

Dorpat will offer his unique views on Eastlake’s history and will share photos from his own collection. The Eastlake Community Council, the event sponsor, will be showing some of their historic images. Those attending are encouraged to bring their own photos or clippings to share. (The ECC welcomes donations or loans to its archive of historic photos or documents.)

Paul Dorpat has a blog (doesn’t everyone?). You’ll find blog posts there and links to his other writings, as well as books for sale.

Writing in the current issue of the ECC’s Newsletter, Chris Leman has this capsule of Eastlake’s history:

Originally a forest loved by its Native American population, Eastlake was logged by the white settlers, who brought farmland and orchards. With bicycle trails and streetcars in the 1890s, it became one of the City’s oldest neighborhoods. In the 1910s the Lake Washington Ship Canal brought seagoing ships and marine industry, the University Bridge brought cars and trucks, and Boeing brought seaplanes. Interstate 5, completed in 1962, displaced many homes and businesses and set Eastlake physically apart. Now City zoning changes pose the greatest question for the future.

T-shirt silk screener Mike Barbano at the Zoo on Thursday

Eastlake resident, businessman and t-shirt silk-screen artist Mike Barbano will be showing off his silk screening work at the Eastlake Zoo, 2301 Eastlake Ave. E., on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m.

Barbano runs Oxford Screen Printing out of his Eastlake home. According to Walt from the Zoo, Barbano has been doing silk screening for over 10 years for businesses, individuals and organizations.

He’ll have his silk-screening equipment at the Zoo for the event and will be demonstrating how it works. Buy a pitcher of beer ($13) between 5 and 8 p.m. and you’ll also receive a free t-shirt with a vintage Eastlake Zoo design.

First look at Eastlake July 4 traffic plans

Click to see a larger version.

For a while, it looked like we might not have to plan for the Fourth of July fireworks on Lake Union.

But, thanks to Dave Ross and a lot of generous local businesses, the annual celebration will be on. And with it comes the annual day-of traffic restrictions in Eastlake.

Office Mark Wong of the Seattle Police Department’s East Precinct gave us an early look at traffic plans for this year. The SPD’s plans are subject to change, of course, but for now they look very similar to last year’s (see attached map).

The only major difference at this point is on E. Newton. Last year, police restricted traffic at Fairview and Eastlake on Newton and also at Yale Place E. near Azteca. This year, Office Wong says, they’ll drop the Yale Place station and instead have officers restricting access along Newton at Fairview, Minor, Yale and Eastlake.

There won’t be any parking along much of Eastlake Avenue on July 4. During the day, the area west of Eastlake will have limited access. Officers will be checking with anyone wanting to drive in to that area to make sure they have a place to park. Car access to that area will be cut off a couple of hours before the show starts.

After the show, police traffic barricades move to the eastern side of Eastlake Avenue. Lynn Street becomes a one-way heading east. And the Roanoke and Boylston freeway ramps, which were closed before the show, will be reopened.

Fears last year of massive crowds coming to see the Lake Union show since it was the only game in town failed to materialize. My informal survey of traffic control found it to be working fairly well both before and after the show.

What did you think? Any suggestions or ideas? I know the SPD is very interested in hearing what Eastlake has to say about this event. Post your comments below.

We’ll have more coverage of July 4 plans as the date draws near.

Our video of last year’s July 4 in Eastlake is below:


Starting about 2:30 AM this morning, I felt from Franklin Avenue a shaking — perhaps more a mechanical vibration — that continued for hours.  It faded into the rising freeway noise as dawn approached.   Another neighbor mentioned something similar a couple days ago.  Anyone else sense an early morning sustained mechanical vibrations?

Accident on Boylston Avenue has been cleared

The car accident that blocked Boylston Avenue southbound between Boston and Newton in the 10 p.m. hour has been cleared.

A neighbor who talked to Seattle Police say they told him the driver was blinded by the lights of oncoming cars and swerved into two parked cars. Our Neighborlogs news comrade jseattle says it didn’t appear that the driver was injured.

Thanks to reader jb for providing details.

We’re a year old! Happy birthday to Eastlake Ave.

The date slipped past me a couple of weeks ago: the Eastlake Ave. blog turned 1 year old on April 3! Happy birthday!

Who knew when we put up that first post that we’d still be here a year later? And who knew how appreciative Eastlake folks would be of the blog and it’s coverage of the neighborhood?

Personally, the last year has been one of the best ever. This is the third time I’ve lived in Eastlake (since 2000 on this round). I’ve been on a houseboat, in an apartment with roommates and now in a condo on Franklin. I lived here but I didn’t really know the neighborhood.

The blog changed all of that.

I’ve learned more about Eastlake in the last year, and met more people who live here, than I did in the many years before. I’m proud to call many of you “friends.”

Eastlake may be one of Seattle’s smallest neighborhoods but it has the best neighbors and biggest spirit in the city. Anyone who thinks Seattle is aloof and unfriendly should move to Eastlake and spend some time getting to know the place. There’s a real sense of community here that is inspiring and touching.

The blog wouldn’t happen without all the great people who help to write and report it (anyone is welcome to conribute), who send me tips and information, and those who say thanks. I’d name people but I don’t want to leave anyone out and you all know who you are. Thanks!

As I tell people, this is the third time I’ve lived in Eastlake and this time I think it’s going to stick! Onward!