Sunday, May 29, 2011

Your Sunday Squirrel

For many weeks now, I've featured only rightside-up squirrels. Well, that changes this week. The tough thing about photographing an upside-down squirrel is that they don't stay that way for very long at all. And if you get anywhere near them, they'll just go to the other side of the tree. Fortunately, this guy held still just long enough. In conclusion, squirrels are difficult.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Castle's Mystery Scaffold

A few weeks ago, some burly guys showed up in a truck and assembled the scaffold pictured above. It was kind of a big deal. But that was it. Since then, no one has been by to do any work of any kind. And there it stands, just being tall and blue. The end. For now.

Showbiz Is Neat!

It may not look like much, but this is a notice that they're going to be filming a real showbiz film right here at the Rivoli. Actually, it's down in the noisy and depraved See Sound Lounge, but it's still in the building. The Rivoli's run-ins with movie glamour are few but notable. The Alan Rudolph feature Trouble in Mind was filmed here owing to the nicely customized apartments and presumably low fees they had to pay. I mean, it was 1985 and half the building's units were uninhabitable. But you couldn't tell it from watching the movie. I don't remember much about it other than it's set in some kind of mythical American fascist society and that Divine gets killed in it. Oh, and Lori Singer takes lots of baths.

This feature is called Safety Not Guaranteed. One of my waggish neighbors is correct; it's not the greatest title in the world. But it does star the lovely Kristen Bell, the very funny Aubrey Plaza (from Parks and Recreation) and Mary Lynn Rajskub, who was about the only character on 24 besides Kiefer Sutherland who didn't get killed or go insane. It's unknown whether any of these folks will be in this scene. The mighty imdb tells me nothing else about this effort, except that it's partly produced by the Duplass brothers who brought you the enjoyable Cyrus and the past SIFF feature, Baghead, which I actually saw. It wasn't bad at all.

Let's wish all of these showbiz people luck. They're better than us.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Your Sunday Squirrel

And here you are! I spent so much time this week making my rocket video that I'm not sure what to say about Mr. Squirrel here. Well, except maybe that he was really good at climbing trees and eating peanuts.

The Dope on Dope Burger

I ran into somebody who works/worked at Dope Burger. He said that yes, there was a fire and that Dope Burger got the worst of it and will be closed for some time. There was a comment in my previous post saying basically the same thing. Based on our conversation, the fire started at DB. It also damaged Lava Lounge, but unlike DB, LL is still open. Like Wasabi, DB might just turn out to look like something from Scarface. But this might be from a part of the film before Tony gets rich.

And for the record, Dope Burger is still a really bad name.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

After Hours

Hey, I made a music video! This is a tune I wrote last year, but it took me a while to find the vintage space footage. If you're looking for some, go to It's a gold mine, baby! Anyhow, thanks to iMovie, schlubs like me can now make music videos like this. Please enjoy!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Your Sunday Squirrel

Either the squirrels are getting quicker or my camera's getting slower. I swear, this little guy was constantly getting up on his hind legs and looking at me plaintively, but my camera failed to capture the event, like, the first 15 times it happened. It was entirely too slow. Instead of waiting for it again, I opted to take as many pictures as fast as I could and hope that I would get something worth keeping. Well, I got this and nothing else. The squirrel got several peanuts for his patience.

The Latest Photos from the Front... the war on the McGuire:

It looks like the metal monsters are finally beginning to win.

Cheese Fest '11!

It's still going on for the next few hours down at the Market. I went earlier today. It was raining really hard, which worked very well to thin out the crowds. I ended up buying eight different kinds of cheese, including some wasabi gouda. Yum! Sorry for the lack of pictures. Everything was so soggy that there seemed no point in taking one. If you've got a few minutes, you can grab a quick snack.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Et Tu, Dope Burger?

It also appears to be curtains for Dope Burger at 2nd & Bell. The former Noodle Ranch suddenly changed its format last fall and became a burger joint. I never went there and never heard anything good or bad about it. I guess that was part of the problem. Another problem was the name. Who wants a burger made out of dope? Not I, sweet people, not I for sure. I can understand the switchover to burgers, what with the competition from the Kushibar and Buddha (now defunct, as well), but Noodle Ranch was a neighborhood institution known for its yummy chow and terrible service. It chugged along for years, but quickly folded after the big change. There's a moral to this story: noodles do not equal burgers and vice-versa.

Things are not looking good for poor 2nd Avenue.

The End of the V-Bar??

It appears that my across-the-street neighbors, the V-Bar have given up. They've done business without a liquor license since October. That's been fine with me, as it drew a very wild and noisy crowd throughout the week. Of course, all that culminated in the murder of poor Steve Sok last June right out front. I slept through the whole thing. Anyhow, I've gone there a lot since October as their pho is very tasty. Or should I say was very tasty? But all this time, they've been waiting for their liquor license to be reinstated. According to this article, that's not gonna happen. I guess they've just given up. That's too bad. I'm sorry to see them go. I tried my best to go there at least once a week - sometimes more often. I guess it's too much to hope that it becomes Seattle's best sushi restaurant once again.

Now That's Some Destruction!

Well, the demolition of the McGuire's parking garage has been progressing at a snail's pace, but it seems to have picked up quite a bit over the last few days. Here's what it looked like yesterday:

Pardon the lousy trees getting in the way and all. But as you can see, it's almost all gone. The main tower will take weeks, even months to bring down. As one reader noted in a previous post, the poor folks living close by are in for many, many months of noise from this project and the subsequent reconstruction of the building. With the housing/apartment market as it is, I'm not sure whether they're planning to build something else there immediately or not. I mean, look at the lot where the former Speakeasy stood. Granted, it's a smaller parcel of land, but it's been vacant for 10 years now. So the McGuire's lot may just lay fallow for a couple of years while its owners rehearse the proper way to build a building. This time no screwups, guys. Thanks.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A New Place!

This is down at 1st & Cedar in the new crazy-people building. I'm officially excited. If there's one thing Belltown can't have enough of, it's diners. And delis. OK, two things. But there's CJ's right across the street, so they might be in pretty significant competition for the weekend breakfast crowd. Otherwise, I call it a bold move. It looks like they're still about a month from opening, but I'll save my nickels and dimes and pay a visit once they're up and running.

Well, It's About Time!

As many of you have noticed, the Wasabi Bistro has been under renovation for, like, centuries. Seriously, it's been closed for almost a year. I don't know whether it was problems with funding or design differences or what, but it was out of the game for a long time. Well, it's open again with a rather stunning new look. Look:

OK, you can't see the interior very well, but take my word for it, the place totally looks like a set from Scarface. All you need is Al Pacino running around with a machine gun, screaming "Say hello to my little friend!" and the effect is complete.

Welcome back, Wasabi. It's nice to see you again.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Your Sunday Squirrel

Last week, I was surrounded by another horde of hungry squirrels as I sat on a bench at Denny Park. And this fellow is one of them - a squirrel, not a bench, obviously. They all really made my day.


Last week this cop told me that they were gonna take down the McGuire's garage in a day. Well, here it is many days later and there's still a garage. Observe:

It's like one-third gone. OK, so it's gonna take some time. But that doesn't excuse the cop from lying to me. At this rate, the garage won't be done for another two weeks. OK, so even though the cop lied to me, it should be pretty cool to witness the big tower come down. That's gonna take some time.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Your Sunday Squirrel

I'm quite pressed for time today, but I hope you enjoy this fellow. He was quite cooperative. And hungry.