Thursday, April 25, 2013

South Park and Marra Farm

My gardening guru gal pal and I visited Marra Farm today and took a 7.3 mile walk in the South Park neighborhood.

This neighborhood is located on Seattle's southern border and my map made it appear as if the northern ends of 8th and 10th Avenues S (around S Barton Street) were in Seattle but the southern ends (north of S 96th Street) were not. We did not spot any indication that we were leaving or re-entering Seattle.

Marra Farm was bright and inviting on this sunny morning...
... and I particularly enjoyed the children's garden which is tended by children from Concord Elementary, the local school.

Marra Farm, with four acres of historic preserved farmland, has an interesting history and an interesting present, be sure to follow the link and read about it.

The neighborhood we walked today lies between 509 and 99 and we could hear traffic noise but it wasn't so loud that we couldn't hear birds chirping.

We saw what was probably a well-maintained older farm house surrounded by newer development as well as newer homes built almost up against 99 and 509.

Along the way, we spotted a windmill,
some beautiful gardens,
quiet streets,
tidy homes located right next to industrial sites
and a bear!

This was one worthwhile walk.

Monday, April 22, 2013

North Beacon Hill and Mount Baker

Today's 5.7 mile walk was a real mixed bag of land use. I walked streets in the Beacon Hill and Mount Baker neighborhoods near the intersection of Rainier and Martin Luther King Avenues S.

Rainier Avenue is a busy commercial strip with lots of fast food restaurants, Rite Aid, a QFC, large Work Source, U Haul and Lowe's (with lots of day-laborers lined up outside) facilities, Mutual Fish Company and Remo Borracchini's Bakery and Mediterranean Market.
It is also the home of the Mount Baker Light Rail Station. This is where the train leaves the tunnel and starts to run above ground.

I saw a parking lot in back of the station and incorrectly assumed that it was a park and ride lot - it was a pay-to-park Diamond lot.

I spotted a large construction site in front of the station and again, incorrectly, assumed that it was a park and ride structure under construction. It wasn't; it was Artspace, commercial space with 57 low income artist studio/dwelling units above (no parking proposed).

The Metro Mount Baker Transit Center is just across Rainier at this location so, I guess, planners assumed that everyone is walking, biking or taking the bus to the light rail. Follow the Artspace link above and read that "One of the goals of the project is to jumpstart the transformation of the Mt. Baker neighborhood from a car-oriented environment — Rainier Avenue is now a busy four-lane thoroughfare — into an “urban village” whose residents choose walking, biking or riding mass transit over cars."

Near Franklin High School and the intersection of Rainier and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, there is an elaborate overpass.

West of Rainier, I spotted a few older homes

and a greenbelt with a staircase.

Along Martin Luther King Jr.Way, I saw people out working in what looked like a terraced P-Patch

and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park.

East of Martin Luther King Jr Way, I saw some nice looking public housing,

College Street Mini Park,

Mount Baker Village, lovingly maintained, community owned and operated affordable apartments

and some tidy streets of single family homes with lovely gardens.

I saw a little bit of almost everything on today's walk.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

North Admiral West Seattle

This sunny spring day brought me back to West Seattle and the North Admiral neighborhood. This was a lovely residential area in which to take an 8.1 mile walk. I filled in streets I had not already walked between California and 53rd Avenue SW from SW Admiral to Andover.

This is primarily a residential area with a commercial strip along California. The commerce was largely services (medical, dental, alternative medicine, lawyers, architects, hair and nail salons and a few food places - including a PCC) rather than the shops further south on California that encourage browsing.

I did pass two churches (the Episcopal Church of John the Baptist and West Side Presbyterian) and two schools (Madison Middle School and West Seattle High School).

I climbed a few staircases (one near Schmitz Park which borders this area) and enjoyed some great views.

Along the way, I passed a notice of proposed land use action to knock down two small buildings on California and replace them with a 30 unit - three story structure,

the Blackboard Bistro, the Swinery,

Nantes Park (a France Sister City Park),

the Leaping Dog Darwin Branch of the Little Free Library,

Thunder Road Guitars, a German Pub named Prost! west Seattle,

lovely homes and gardens

and parking strips where trees had recently been planted.

Another great walk in another great Seattle neighborhood.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Genesee West Seattle

After recent industrial area walks, today's 10.3 mile walk through the Genesee neighborhood of West Seattle was a welcome change. I walked streets between 35th and 46th Avenues SW from SW Andover to SW Alaska Streets.

California Avenue has lots of shops and restaurants while Fauntleroy Way SW has dry cleaners, automotive services and a Trader Joe's.

The streets surrounding the intersection of California and Alaska are referred to as the Junction. The nearby area appears to be the social and commercial hub of West Seattle and has a friendly feel.

I spotted a number of murals,

construction, lots of new, large, mixed-use buildings, townhouses

and apartment buildings.

A block or two removed from California, I passed some lovely homes and gardens.

This area is home to the West Seattle Senior Center, Twilight Artist Collective, Hiawatha Community Center and Dakota Place Park,

the Antique Mall of West Seattle, West Seattle Eagles Aerie and Auxiliary No. 2643, Seattle Fish Company, Shoofly Pie Company, West Seattle Bowl and Buddha Ruksa Restaurant.

There are quite a few churches, in pretty close proximity to each other. They include Holy Rosary Catholic Church (plus K-8 School and Parish Center),

Eastridge Church,

Hope Lutheran Church Church (plus Preschool and Seattle Lutheran High School),

Faith Lutheran Church,

West Seattle Christian Church (plus its Ginomai Artist Community),

West Seattle Baptist Church,

Later Day Saints Church

and Tibbetts United Methodist Church.

Along the way, I spotted a water tower,

lots of of alleys, a free parking lot for shoppers at the Junction, some lovely homes and creative and colorful landscaping.

It was great to be back walking in a residential neighborhood with a charming business district. I even stopped to browse in a few shops and used book stores.