Sunday, April 27, 2008

Full Throttle Bottles Grand Opening Party

I accidentally crashed the Full Throttle Bottles grand opening party last night.

A couple of neighbors joined us for dinner at Jules Maes, then we all walked over to Full Throttle Bottles afterward to pick out a bottle of wine or some weird beer or yummy cider or whatever.



And Erika told us they were about to have their grand opening party and that we should stick around. So we did.

There were hors d'oeuvres and music in the back room.


The Field Roast people were cooking up some sweet (at left) and spicy (at right) hot links.



I talked to LaDele from Friends of Georgetown History about her latest postcard find and one of the Field Roast partners about her naturopath business in that Georgetown space where the CPA psychic used to be.

We admired John Bennett's jukebox collection.


I especially enjoyed the German chocolate-y cake and the Black Cherry Cream Soda. Thanks, Erika (and kilt dude whose name I can't remember because I am lame), and good luck to you guys with your beautiful little store.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Saigon Nine / Tan Tuu Quan

I was mistaken when I wrote that the Tan Tuu Quan people were just changing the name of the restaurant to Saigon Nine. There really are new owners.

The new folks:

License Information:
Entity Name: LEE N NGUYEN
License Type: Washington State Business
Entity Type: Sole Proprietor
UBI: 602101081

Location Address:
SEATTLE, WA, 98108-1501

Mailing Address:
1215 S MAIN ST
SEATTLE, WA, 98144-2030

Licenses Held at this location:
Tobacco Product Retailer Active 02/28/2009 02/29/2008
Cigarette Retailer Active 02/28/2009 02/29/2008

Governing People:

Registered Trade Names:

The old ones:

License Information:
Entity Name: P & H RESTAURANT, LLC
License Type: Washington State Business
Entity Type: Limited Liability Company
UBI: 602336835

Location Address:
SEATTLE, WA, 98108-1501

Mailing Address:
SEATTLE, WA, 98108-1501

Licenses Held at this location:
Tobacco Product Retailer Active 10/31/2008 09/08/2005
Cigarette Retailer Active 10/31/2008 11/13/2003
Spirits/Beer/Wine Service Hold 10/31/2008 01/10/2005

Governing People:

Registered Trade Names:

Amie from the North Beacon Hill Council had this to say about the Good Neighbor Agreement that's being worked out:

The scoop on the GNA - there hasn't been much done. We posted it on the agenda and sent it out to this list was after the first contact with the city attorney. He, on his own, met with the new owners (I don't think the council board new about it before the meeting). The second meeting hasn't happened yet. There has not been a GNA drafted yet, I think he is still working on it. They are actually pretty generic, we have one with the new owners of the Shell station. Basically they say they will welcome police into their establishment, not hinder investigations, call police when they see suspicious or illegal activity, paint over graffiti immediately, keep the area clean, follow all the laws including not serve liquor after 2am and not server minors, etc. All things you would think wouldn't need to be written down, but provides some ammunition if the place becomes a nuisance since it is tied to their liquor license. It is near impossible to revoke a license once granted.

If you would like to still submit suggestions or be more involved, you can email me or John McGoodwin, city attorney (I don't have his email, you can probably find it on the city website). He can't make the GNA unreasonable (like make them remodel the place, or even put in big windows). First impressions are that the new owners will do a better job than the current owners at being good neighbors. They used to have a restaurant in rainier ave, but lease ended. That place didn't have a liquor license though.

I did find the city attorney's e-mail address on the website. Here it is, if you want to bug him:

John McGoodwin
(206) 233-2020

I Think I Am Going to Cry Now

An excerpt of some personal writing from Debbie Bonilla, the Beacon Hill woman who was murdered by her husband on Friday night. She wrote these words just two months ago:

I have been sober for 4 ½ months. It is nothing short of a miracle. It has been difficult, incredibly difficult, but then again so has the rest of it. I have such a long way to go, and I have no doubt that I am my own worst enemy. But I have glimpsed another way, and I long to see more. I have felt genuine happiness, and I want to feel more. I have come this far, and I want more.

If you'd like to remember Debbie, her family is accepting donations for an education find for her five children -- you can find the information through the link above.

I posted the link to the P-I article earlier; here's the Times story.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Georgetown Pharmacy Building to Be Sold?

There's been some talk that some of the renters in the Miller Building -- the motorcycle guy, the Georgetown Pharmacy, Urban Press, and Griffin -- may have some tougher times ahead of them. Apparently one of the other renters is in the process of purchasing the building, and they're not saying a lot about wanting to try to keep the current tenants in place.

I haven't looked into any of this myself, but I don't doubt the source. And it seems so very likely. While I love the old Georgetown Pharmacy (and once planned to buy something there but it wasn't open yet), every time I pass by it, I'm amazed that it's still with us.

The motorcycle place:


Georgetown Pharmacy:



Some Beacon Hill Resources

Right before I left on vacation, I complained about how the old Tan Tuu Quan restaurant at Beacon and Columbian was pretending like it was becoming a whole new place, when it seems the same owners are just changing the name and applying for a liquor license.

I also complained that the North Beacon Hill Council (who do a lot of great work, are really nice people, etc., etc.) didn't write to the neighborhood mailing list to solicit input on the Good Neighbors Agreement that they were proposing to the bar owners. They always tell the mailing list who's scheduled to speak at their upcoming meetings, but they don't always let us all know what they're actually working on.

Anyway. One of the comments I got was a gorgeous rant about how scummy this whole intersection is. It's so much better than anything I've ever written here -- please go read it.

I loved the part about how the Fou Lee employees used to force her (and disabled vets and kids as well) off the sidewalk and into the incredibly busy oncoming traffic when she was pushing her 6-month-old baby around in a stroller, just so they could make room on the sidewalk for patrons to park their cars. (So very Mid Beacon Hill!)

I also loved this part of her comment: "The barber shop is funny. From what my husband can tell it’s a bunch of old men drinking booze, talking and thumbing through Playboys. Why not?"

But the best part, was, of course: "HUMAN FECES IN THE BROKEN DRIERS."

The author apologized for ranting, but I want to thank her for telling the truth. The intersection of Beacon and Columbian is shitty (literally) -- there's no reason we should pretend otherwise. I'm excited that the North Beacon Hill Council is working on a GNA with the place that's changing its name; I just wish they'd sought out more input on it. Maybe we could have suggested that they clean up the "trash, dog crap, and human waste" that collects in the bus shelter out front.

Anyway, then a neighbor from the slightly cleaner north end of the neighborhood posted a list of Beacon Hill resources, many of which I've added to the left column of this website. Thanks, DG, for this list -- as the awesome ranter said, it's a good start:

South Beacon Hill Council Web Page

North Beacon Hill Council Webpage

Sign Up for North Beacon Hill email list

Beacon Alliance of Neighbors Web Page

Sign up for BAN email

Beacon Hill Stuff

1. It's Not All Bad Here.

A week ago, a contributor to the neighborhood mailing list took the time to list some of the reasons he's proud to live on Beacon Hill. It gets a little desperate at the end ("talk of ... an annual pancake breakfast"), but I salute the effort.

I'll take a minute to remind us of a few other things going on in our
neighborhood. We have a huge park renovation underway at Jefferson
Park, that many folks are continuing to work on to make sure we get
the first class park we deserve. We have one of the most in demand
elementary schools in the district, Beacon Hill International. Maple
Elementary School has a nationally recognized principal. Kimball
Elementary has kids from all over on its waiting list. We have about
a year and a half till the light rail station is up and running, a
dedicated group of folks is wading through the city bureaucracy to
ensure a public planning process around the station development.
Those folks, BH Pedestrians have already gotten the city to agree to
repave S. Lander Street as a "Festival Street," which prioritizes
pedestrians and will be able to be closed for public events. We have
two shiny, new, successful businesses, Culinary Communion and Buggy.
The Red Apple is better than its ever been. There are stewardship
groups at Jose Rizal Park. Lewis Park, at Cheasty Greenbelt and into
the NE Greenbelt. There is talk of a "Beacon Ramble" music night and
annual pancake breakfast. We have the Beacon Hill Festival and
Triangle Park Pinata Party.

2. Cinco de Mayo Festival on May 3, 4-9 pm, Jefferson Community Center

After that guy's mail, another neighbor chimed in with an announcement for this event:

Another great Beacon Hill activity is Cinco de Mayo! Join us right here on
the hill for traditional tacos, a Latino fashion show, live entertainment, a
health and social services fair, local vendors, and children's activities.
This year, we're expecting hundreds of families, so we're moving from El
Centro to the Jefferson Community Center to better accommodate everyone.
Please join us! Come with a hungry belly and bring your family and friends
to celebrate with us.

El Centro de la Raza's 3rd Annual Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Saturday, May 3, 2008
4 - 9 p.m.
Jefferson Community Center
3801 Beacon Ave. S.

3. Beacon Hill Garden Tour in Trouble?

Last year, some hard-working Beacon Hill gardeners organized a beautiful neighborhood garden tour.


Looks like this year the organizers are having trouble finding the help they need to pull it off again. Someone on the mailing list put out a call for help. I don't want to post her address here, but if you mail me, I'll get you in touch with her. I would love to see this happen again this year -- I didn't make it to all the gardens last time.

Here's her message:

We have had a garden tour on Beacon Hill for the last 14 or so years. Until last year the south end was a part of the Georgetown Garden Walk and Art Tour. Last year we ventured out on our own to include the north end as well for the first annual Beacon Hill 'Check out our Bloomers' Tour. At this time, we don't have enough people for the planning committee or gardens for our 2nd annual garden tour.

If you would be interested in having your garden on tour or helping with planning, please let me know!!

The focus of our tour has always been community building and neighborhood development, not how wonderful your garden is. Our guests are most impressed with what 'ordinary' people have done with their yards, so do consider joining us...If we have enough organizers and gardens, we will proceed!!

4. Theater on Beacon Hill

A play is being performed at Art's (Arts?) on Beacon Hill. I don't know anything about this, but here is the ticket info.

5. Agenda for Public Safety Meeting on April 27 at 2 pm at the Library

Craig Thompson has published an agenda for the public safety meeting this Sunday at the Beacon Hill Library:

1. Block watch networking.
2. Alcohol Impact Area update (you can get a form to track empties you find on the BAN list home page - we have a year's worth of data now, too, plus there have been meetings with City personnel around this issue in recent months).
3. Homeless encampments on the hill - City's new policy.
4. Graffiti and trash solutions.
5. Being safe in public areas.

This is intended to be an open meeting, not about any one group on the hill, but about how we can make each other safe. It's going to be more informal than the block watch summit of last summer, which didn't give us time to talk to each other. Mark Solomon, Crime Prevention Coordinator from the South Precinct, is on vacation, but he asked me to encourage all interested folks to attend. Capt. Liggins from the South Precinct may attend, depending on if he is scheduled to be the available precinct captain for the weekend and, of course, the demands of his duty.

6. Litlnemo's Beacon Hill Crime Map Gets More Markers

After a rash of crime reports to the mailing list, Litlnemo started a map of all the incidents. Unfortunately, there have been some additions in the last week or so.

7. Catalina Vel-DuRay Posts More House Photos

Last but not least, the Dan Langdon site now contains new photos of the most fabulous house on Beacon Hill. Read about it here.

Beacon Hill Man Charged with 2nd-Degree Murder

From the P-I website:

A Seattle man has been charged with second-degree murder, accused of repeatedly stabbing his wife with a 13-inch barbecue fork in front of their two young children Friday.

In filing the charges against Juan Carlos Bonilla, 33, King County Prosecutor Daniel Satterberg added an aggravating factor -- that the slaying was committed as an act of domestic violence.

Debra Lynn Bonilla, 38, suffered at least a dozen stab wounds, including one to her heart, in the attack at her Beacon Hill home. Despite the efforts of the staff at Harborview Medical Center, she died several hours after the attack. She had five children, three from a previous marriage.


Bonilla has a violent history of assaulting his wife, according to court documents.

In 2001, when the couple lived in Alaska, Bonilla allegedly beat his then-pregnant wife so badly, he broke her nose. He also allegedly threatened to stab her to death.

In 2003 in Minnesota, Bonilla was arrested for assaulting his wife, but it was unclear if he was convicted. Just last year, Seattle police arrested him again for assaulting her.

Debra Bonilla sought a protection order that day, writing in her petition that her husband threatened to kill her if she cheated on him and constantly believed she was unfaithful. ... [But she told a friend] that "the protection order was basically unenforceable because Juan Carlos would always come back and force his way into the house."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Chuck's Garden

When I told Chuck B., the San Francisco garden/neighborhood blogger who inspired me to start this blog, that we were coming to the Bay Area for a few days and wanted to meet up with him, he insisted that we stay with him and his boyfriend at their exquisitely remodeled house in Bernal Heights. When I tried to resist, he told me that San Francisco hotels are infested with bedbugs and that I really did need to stay with them. So we did. They were excellent hosts, and my only regret about our stay is that everything about my own house and garden seems so totally wrong now. Anyway...

I spent yesterday morning tooling around Chuck's "My Back 40 (Feet)" garden, thinking I would be the envy of the entire American garden blogging community when I posted these photos proving I had been there. (And I am so unworthy of the honor that I can't even identify most of these plants, even though he told me their names a dozen times each.)






















After the garden tour, Chuck, who must have been quite sick of us by then, agreed to cart us around the city and take us to the airport.

First we went to the Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens, where he knew the staff by name.




I'm tempted to try to grow Gunnera, but I don't think we have a good place for it -- our yard is too hot and sunny and windy.



The Julia Phelps Ceanothus is a few weeks ahead of ours in Seattle.


Then Chuck took us to Valencia/Mission, where he took a ton of photos and I just shot some street art.






Thanks for everything, Chuck and Guy!

From Beacon Hill to Bernal Heights

I've been in the Bay Area the last few days.

As soon as we got into town we checked out the Lee Friedlander exhibit at SF MOMA, which inspired me to start shooting street scenes with my point-and-shoot right after we got out of the museum.


I'm now too pregnant to zip up my coat.



An example of facadism. I'm glad they kept the front-facing wall of this building, even if the inside no longer exists.


Friday night we stayed with friends in Oakland, and Saturday we were passed off to our Fairfax friends for lunch, then to garden blogger Chuck B. from Bernal Heights, San Francisco, who drove us down to Santa Cruz on Sunday.

We went to the marine center at his alma mater, UC Santa Cruz.



And then to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. See the Twinkie stand on the left?


They ooze white filling. So gross.


One of the many rides I did not go on.


My husband and our wonderful host (far left and far right, respectively) checked out some of the rides while I waited.









Chuck's garden deserves its own post, so that's it for now.