Monthly Archives: May 2011

Weekend street closures will impact Eastlake: I-5 ramps, UDistrict Street Fair

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: SDOT reports that the I-5 ramps at Mercer reopened at 5 a.m. Monday morning. The next scheduled closure of the ramps is June 17-20.


UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first edited. Details of Metro bus rerouting have been confirmed.

Here comes the weekend and with it two street closures that will impact travel from Eastlake to other parts of town:

I-5 ramps at Mercer: The ramps will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday as work continues on the Mercer Corridor Project. Mercer will be closed from Westlake to Fairview, including access from Mercer to southbound Fairview that had been kept open during previous closures. Fairview will be closed for several blocks in the vicinity of Mercer.

Metro will be rerouting buses off Fairview and onto Eastlake for the duration of the closure. During the closure, Linda Thielke at Metro says that the reroutes would go until 5 a.m. Monday morning even if the ramps reopen early.

You can find out more about the project, including maps on alternate routes for this weekend, at the Mercer Corridor Project’s website. The next closure is June 17-20.

University District Street Fair: The annual street fair is on in the University District this weekend. University Way will be closed between N.E. 50th and N.E. Campus Parkway on both Saturday and Sunday. Side streets on that route will also be closed. Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Eastlake weekly police reports: Vehicle thefts, car prowls abound

Seattle Police reports for Eastlake this week include several vehicle thefts and car prowls:

  • May 10: Vehicle theft, 2000 block of Franklin Ave. E., 3 p.m.
  • May 10: Vehicle theft, 2000 block of Eastlake Ave. E., 7 p.m.
  • May 12: Car prowl, E. Lynn and Eastlake E., 11 a.m.
  • May 12: Theft, 2700 block of Fairview Ave. E., 4:45 p.m.
  • May 13: Car prowl, 2800 block of Boyer Ave. E., 7:04 a.m.
  • May 13: Theft, car prowl, 2300 block of Fairview Ave. E., 6:30 p.m.
  • May 14: Theft, auto accessories, 2000 block of Boylston E., 10:45 a.m.
  • May 15: Auto accident, Boylston E. and E. Roanoke, 2:31 p.m.

To see the complete map, go to

Eastlake weekly police reports: Vehicle thefts, accidents top the list

The week’s police reports for Eastlake include vehicle thefts and accidents top:

  • May 3: Motor vehicle accident, Eastlake and Fuhrman, 10:07 p.m.
  • May 4: Burglary, residential, forced, 2000 block of Minor Ave. E., 2:15 a.m.
  • May 4: Trespass, 2300 block of Eastlake Ave., 3:28 a.m.
  • May 5: Threats, 1500 block of Fairview Ave. E., 1:45 p.m.
  • May 5: Assault with a gun, 2300 block of Eastlake, 8:37 p.m.
  • May 5: Vehicle theft, 2900 block of Fuhrman, 9:30 p.m.
  • May 6: Vehicle theft, 2200 block of Minor Ave. E., 8 p.m.
  • May 7: Motor vehicle accident, Yale E. and E. Boston, 1:05 p.m.

See the complete map at

Traffic warning: Opening Day activities Saturday will cause bridge delays

Traffic both on land and in the water for Opening Day festivities on Saturday will mean delays for Eastlake residents trying to use the University and Montlake bridges.

Opening Day marks the beginning of Seattle’s boating season. Events on Saturday (May 7) include the boat parade and crew races in the Montlake Cut. Crew races begin at 10:20 a.m. and the parade is at noon.

Expect delays on the University Bridge due to extra openings. And as for the Montlake Bridge: I wouldn’t even try to drive through there until late afternoon.

Montlake exit ramps from 520 will be closed from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Seattle Yacht Club has a complete list of Opening Day events.

More Opening Day coverage can be found at Three Sheets Northwest.

Mercer Street I-5 ramps will be closed again this weekend

Brace yourselves for another weekend of I-5 ramp closures at Mercer Street.

The closures are to allow work on the Mercer Corridor Project that will, once it’s complete, untangle the decades-old Mercer Mess.

The ramps will be closed from 11 p.m. Friday (May 6) through 5 a.m. Monday (May 9). The ramps opened 36 hours early during a similar closure last month, so keep your fingers crossed.

The closures affect not just the ramps but also a stretch of Fairview where it approaches and crosses Mercer.

During last month’s closure Metro redirected Routes 70, 71, 72, 73 and 83 off of Fairview and onto Eastlake Ave. E. between Mercer and Galer northbound and between Galer and Thomas southbound. I haven’t received officlal word of their plans this weekend but presumably will be something similar. Buses will only stop at posted stops on Eastlake Ave. E. For more information on Metro service go to or call 206-553-5000.

The Seattle Department of Transportation says they have taken steps to smooth traffic flow (more signs, more officers directing traffic, adjustments to signals) after last month’s closures. Traffic was busier than usual through South Lake Union during that closure.

The city’s Department of Transportation has links to maps of alternate routes for drivers, bikers and pedestrians on its closure web page. For more information on the Mercer Corridor Project, go to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s web page.

Another closure of the ramps is set for the weekend of May 20-23.

Eastlake librarian and poet is finalist in Seattle Times contest

UPDATE: This post has been changed since it was first published. The name of the school Jenkins works at has been corrected.

Susan Jenkins, an Eastlake resident, is one of 15 finalists in the first Seattle Times Poetry Contest.

Jenkins is a school librarian at Pinehurst K-8 and lives on an Eastlake houseboat. She and the other finalists will be reading their poems at the Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., starting at 7 p.m. on Monday. The event is free.

The Times will publish the winning poems on Sunday. Jenkins says: “I hope it is I.”

Jenkins’ poem celebrates the joys of living in Eastlake’s houseboat community:

Rocking and Rolling in Eastlake
Rocking and swaying to the ripples 
Moving down the channel,
Our floating home dips and tips
Into Lake Union like a rubber ducky
Floating down a river.
Neighbors salute each other across fenced roof top decks.
Chatting over clinking wine glasses and cool breezes,
Watching the sunset together, celebrating a universal event.
Residents exchange the daily pleasantries of waterside living
As they stroll down the creaking, wooden path to home sweet home, 
Nestling into their cozy floating doll houses to enjoy the evening.
Memories of broken water pipes, damage from huge waves, 
Or the nocturnal rambles of masked mammals, melt away as they gaze
Upon the rocking rooftops of the floating village before them.

Read more about the Times contest here.

Little Water Cantina, Eastlake’s newest restaurant, opens Thursday

It couldn’t be more appropriate: Little Water Cantina, Eastlake’s newest restaurant, will open on Cinco de Mayo (Thursday, May 5).

Pretty good timing for a restaurant featuring modern Mexican food.

Owners Shannon and Laura Wilkinson have been planning their restaurant for years and building in the space at 2865 Eastlake Ave. E. since September. When I stopped by Sunday to take a look, both admitted they were tired from all of the hard work of construction and planning but excited to be opening and letting the public in to see what they’ve created.

“We want to know what people think of the space and the food,” Laura said. They served dinner to 100 friends and family on Saturday evening and everything went well, she added.

Shannon is the chef. He’s a Washington native (Vancouver) who went to New York to work in the restaurant business there. He was culinary producer for “Top Chef” and consulting chef to Brooklyn’s Henry Public restaurant.

He’s always loved Mexican food, has traveled a lot in Mexico and wanted to do his own take on the cuisine, such as a milk-braised turkey leg enchilada with a white hazelnut mole and cider-vanilla braised pork tacos. There will also be some traditional favorites, like carne asada and shrimp mojo de ajo.

Joining Shannon in the kitchen as sous chef will be Cameo Roberts, who recently worked with Kathy Casey Food Studios and worked five years with Mexican cuisine star Rick Bayless at his Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants. She’s also traveled, cooked and eaten her way around Mexico.

The restaurant has street-level space in the Eastlake 2851 apartment building (and parking in the garage below). Floor-to-ceiling glass doors open onto a 2,200 square foot deck with a made-for-the-Fourth-of-July view of Gas Works Park and Lake Union. The bar is illuminated by seven antique gramophone horns used as light fixtures. And the lounge features a fireplace and a wall made of 800 recycled, illuminated tequila bottles.

The restaurant anticipates achieving LEED Platinum certification for its green initiatives in areas from water usage to composting.

Hours at Little Water Cantina will be 4 to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays through Sundays. They’ll begin Saturday and Sunday brunch service this summer with lunch after that, they say. And, they’re working on a late-night menu.

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