Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shopping "flavor" on Wells Ave.

Tienda Mi Familia is like the little Latin American provisions store that you keep meaning to try, but are missing out on - until now. Maria, who is far more friendly than her sober photo implies, has been operating her store for two years come April 11th. This is a store you should put into your rotation for your Mexican meal fixins. Beans, tamale wraps, sauces, seasonings, spices - and bakery items in the front case. I personally am fond of the beautiful pinatas for sale and the fresh tamales that you can pick up when too lazy to cook, but know that someone else did. Come summer, there is a case full of tropical flavored popsicles. They even have a metal press to make your tortillas from scratch. Invite me over when that happens.

Tienda Mi Familia 216 Wells Ave. S. (425) 793 - 7272
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Need help around the house?

When you have seen the last butt crack you can suffer but still need help with your plumbing woes - call (425) MAN -GINA. Manginas are multi-talented. While listening to your boyfriend/husband's lame attempt at a date, they are fixing the sink that he left on the floor in pieces from last weekend's "fix it" job. Mangina's compliment you on your choice of wall color and know how to paint the trim. Don't subject yourself to hiring outside of the gene pool any longer - call the girl's best friend, your local Mangina.
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Monday, March 30, 2009

Wanna buy our post office?

When you move into a new neighborhood - a common selling point is being close to the public conveniences - park, school, library, post office. As Renton vies to be ahead of the curve, we may be endangering our original downtown area. I would say that the loss of our downtown post office constitutes as a step in that direction.

This recent scuttlebutt comes to me from a reliable source. The Downtown and Cascade branches of the post office are up for sale, with plans to create a center postal hub in the Highlands. Keep in mind that the brick building you see above, while not originally built as a post office, has been paid off for many years now and been serving the public for at least the last 50. Moving all the carriers up the hill will add an additional 45 minutes onto their work commute - that's extra mileage, so extra fuel costs, extra time for the carriers, so overtime - and a longer commute to just begin the day for many carriers. Oh fun. Now, how is this going to cut costs?

Our downtown post office is always in use - hard to find it when there isn't a line ( they in fact don't have enough staff to man the place), and provides P.O. boxes for many in the area, besides all of the basics services that we rely upon. In a day and age when "snail mail" is not used as often as it was in yesteryear, we still all have a need to send packages, buy stamps and pick up our mail.

I personally walk every week to the post office - I know of many others who do as well. God forbid if you don't have a car or the means to hike it up to the Highlands. I am not sure how that is going to work out for so many people that I know. Elderly people, people who don't drive, people who believe that a "downtown" means having a post office. In some towns in the Midwest, having a post office made you a town.

Apparently, we don't have much say in this matter. Sort of a done deal. Hear tell they went through something similar down Tacoma way and the citizens petitioned and had their say to keep the post office where it was - right in the heart of a community that still needs its services and wants to keep the beat of the unique community we still have (for now) strong.

Art + Squirrel = the saga continues

"The road giveth, the road taketh away... may golden acorns await you in the maples of heaven." Lovely squirrel rendition, there, Mr. Noble Profession. Brother Squirrel continues to inspire us, more in his passing then ever before. Hallelujah, Brother!
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Pretty in Pink

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bite of Renton

Tomorrow, from 4 pm to 7 , is the downtown Bite of Renton. This event is in cahoots with the Renton Historical Museum's exhibit about food in America, Key Ingredients, and the tickets are sold exclusively right there. Nine downtown establishments are involved - it is a little walking tour of our own eateries. Tickets are $20 - and if you liked Roving Renton, you should like this too - only, you supply your own liquor this time!

Fellow blogger, Miss Lynar did a nice article on it here, as did Sue at the Feathered nest, here.
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Yummy Yoggi - the new Renton desert

As of yesterday, Downtown Renton just became yummier. Yoggi Frozen Yogurt is open and serving some mighty fine nonfat, healthy (full of live and active cultures/ probiotics for the body) yogurt and smoothies. Fresh fruit toppings laid right out where you can drool over them, as well as a few of those "not on my diet, but oh well" goodies like Captain Crunch and dark chocolate chips.

It does not even need to be summer for you to walk in and enjoy this sister establishment of Pho Hoa on S. Third Street. John, the owner pictured above, has been wanting to get some yummy yogurt in our city for awhile - and believe you me, he has the goods. Free samples are flowing while they try to get the word out - so stop on by. Pho Hoa is connected through a doorway, so you can even eat your noodles first, planning to leave room for your "afters." WiFi is also available, so you can settle in for a minute and relax.

Pho Hoa has been a part of our downtown scene for 5 years already. How sweet it is to see them grow!

Yoggi Frozen Yogurt 801 S. Third Street (425) 204-9991 Don't forget to get your yogurt punch card started right away!
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Recently on the River...

Spring - preparation time - getting ready to send our best out into the world - best efforts in a fresh new beginning.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Art ain't dead, just the squirrel

Dearly Departed Brother Squirrel is inspiring the renegade artist within. I have no idea who the author of the canvas is, maybe that will remain a Renton Rumor that never sees the light of day. Roadkill, comic relief - call it what you may - but I am laughing my ass off here!
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PS if you are new to this storyline, just scroll down - you'll get the gist of it soon enough!

Dearly Departed

I have a story - the story of a poor, drunken squirrel who met his demise on the streets of Renton. You might have remembered my earlier posting about him - alcohol was probably the cause - a common answer to many worries when dealing with our present times, but so dangerous for some - like our friend.

Our brother has been with us now, on the sidewalk where we all live, for a few days now. People remark on him - go out of their way to include a visitation to his above ground gravesite and pay their condolences. You may be sad upon reading this, not so much for the long gone squirrel, but for the many Rentonites that consider this an outing and topic of interest

What I am at a loss for words about is why the drunken corpse of a squirrel can be befriended and beloved in our downtown community, but that the wonderful Knit Up that beautifully graced a tree on S. Third Street had to be taken down in less than a day of it's existence.

You can weigh in on this if you want - art is in the eyes of the beholder - and roadkill is looking pretty spiffy today in his hand knit scarf!

What's on Tap

Tapestry Saloon has got a fabulous ambiance that is only made better by the fact that you can get your drink on in a variety of manners. Josh Bauer, bartender with flair, can make you a great mixed drink, recommend a wine, or my personal favorite - offer you a fresh brew on tap. Sunday's are now Poker Night, begins at 4 pm - buy in is $20 - closed to just Poker, people, and should be on your roster for fun this weekend. Now, onto the important stuff:

Tap List:
Leavenworth Blind Pig Dunkelweise
Left Hand Milk
Stone Pale ALe
Fishtail Organic IPA
Lazy Boy Hefeweisen\Moose Drool
Rogue Double Dead Guy (Whatt!?! - head over to get some of this!)

Tapestry Saloon will also soon be hosting a Brewer's Night with Lazy Boy Brewers- I'll keep ya posted.
Tapestry Saloon (425) 572 - 5931 Corner of Main/ S. Third Street
Wed. - Fri. 5pm til Close, Sundays during brunch - except for the Poker guys!
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It's starts with you, it starts with me

I got the heads up about this from my friend, SteveO at http://imthefizzlefry.blogspot.com
Check out what he's doing - he's always a good read.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Would you like some great coffee with that referral?

Chef Thierry comes to town for the Renton Historical Museum's Key Ingredients - America by Food. He and Tom Douglas broadcast from the museum their KIRO radio show about, what else, food. But first, "the chef with the hat" as Thierry is fondly known as, needs sustenance. He goes and has what he professes to be, an excellent cup of espresso at Jet City. Debbie Natelson, owner and the person who brought espresso to Renton 17 years ago (how's that for a bit of Renton food trivia!) fills him in on where to go for the good burger Thierry is jonesing for - our own Dog and Pony Alehouse and Grill. Chef Thierry then goes on the air and tells everyone listening what a great meal he had at Jay and Kristen's establishment on Park Ave. The "Survive and Thrive in 2009", Kevin Hoult of SBDC 's baby, Renton referral plan right in action! Props to Deb for keeping it local! For all of you out there - Jet City is still pouring some great coffee - all handpulled shots of streaming brown caffeine - and can serve you up a presser pot of coffee for any event you may have planned. Don't think Tully's - are they even local, guys? Don't break the chain - keep this bond of "Keeping it Renton, Keeping it Real" alive and well!!

Jet City Espresso Corner of 2nd and Main (425) 235 - 1529
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While over at the Landing...

"I wanna give people a taste of food that they remember having had in their mouths before" - enter Chef CJ Houk, lover of food and travel, fluent Vietnamese speaker and the driving force in the kitchen at the Landing's new Papaya.

The restaurant is as local as you can get- restaurateur Gene Sens, of Redhouse/Blossom fame, is the owner. Chef CJ hails from studies at Renton Vo Tech. The kitchen staff includes Chef CJ's own apprentice that he brought with him, interns from Youth Service - a work program for youth at risk, and CJ's Mom, who helps in the kitchen. "It's about giving back" and Chef CJ isn't just going to stop here - plans are to have a nonprofit cooking school started as well.

The atmosphere is good and inviting (everyone greets you upon arrival) and right across the street from the Regal Cinema . The food is lovely - well presented, uber fresh and very satisfying. The prices are very easy on the pocketbook - hovering around $7.95 per entree, they have a kids menu, beer and wine selection and a range of choices from Vietnamese baguette sandwiches that come served with yam fries, to Pho noodles, to lovely bowls of vermicelli noodle salads topped with chicken, pork, salmon and more.

Chef CJ treated me to a helping of his Chocolate Ravioli with the Mango/Pomegranate sauce. I am still smacking my lips over that taste in my mouth - a food memory I don't want to forget.

Papaya Vietnamese Cafe - The Landing - Across from Regal Cinema Theater
830 N. 10th Street
(425) 917-1447

Look, I also found the UPS Store...
Finally some of the spaces are filling up at The Landing. There were lots of workmen making busy sounding noises there and some store fronts seem to be getting ready for (hopefully) some "opening" action.
UPS 720 N. 10th St. (425) 235 - 7447
Mon.8-7, Tues- Fri. 8:30 -6:30 pm, Sat.10-5, Closed Sun.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Hair today, gone tomorrow

It doesn't matter what is happening with your income, a girl needs to have her hair needs attended to on the regular. It is that necessary expenditure - our boost in self confidence that helps us weather the uncertainties of life with a little more savoir faire. You don't have to go very far to find some of the nicest gals with the moderate priced services right here in downtown. Sharon Martin has had Shear Delight for 15 years now and has a very steady clientele. Stephanie Hilfer is my go-to gal when it comes to my tresses, and I have a lot! Cut/color/facials/waxing/perms . Appointments preferred, but walk-ins welcome.

Sharon's Shear Delight 334 wells Ave. S. Suite A (425) 227 - 8057
Tues - Fri. 10 am - 8 pm
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Alleyway Art

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New Moon in Aries

Eyes turning around
to see life through sacred eyes
the wise one within

This photo and verse come from my dear friend, Molly Hall - all the way over there in Savannah, Georgia. Tonite's new moon is in Aries - a time of recreating with intelligence during a time of upheavals. Just paraphrasing from Molly's writings - which you can access at http://astrology.about.com
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


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Time to get your party apron pressed

Tomorrow night from 5 - 7 pm, the members of the Renton Historical Museum will be getting together for an evening of Key Ingredients - the new museum exhibit and hopefully come clad in their favorite kitchen attire - the apron. Hey, these little cloth beauties that once were a part of any woman's wardrobe are making a come back. Sometimes referred to as the "hostess apron", aprons often were as important as the pretty outfit being worn and as such, finely constructed. Others were larger; meant to cover the entire front of the body and more utilitarian. Any good chef will agree to that - and that means that this is an equal gender opportunity where apron wearing is concerned, so no one has an excuse not to dig on out of a drawer for tomorrow night. Historically, aprons have been handmade and showcased a form of stitchery, smocking, embroidery or ruffles. Not unlike samplers, they showed the owners skill set and fashion inclinations. Wonder what your apron's gonna look like?

Renton Historical Museum 235 Mill Avenue South (425) 255 - 2330
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Go Green in your shopping routine

The Salvation Army has gotten back to their previous habit of posting monthly calendars of their sales promotions for the month and including it with your bill of sale. I have mine hanging on the fridge and use it as an excuse to take a walk in that direction every couple of days. Today was "Manager's Special" which turned out to be 50% off all clothing. Now, Salvation Army has some reasonably priced clothing - so take another 50% off and you have got yourself a deal. This store also has a very nice selection of furniture - I have purchased a few choice items for my home here - and tomorrow is 50% off furniture, so go shopping. Seniors and Military get a 15% discount everyday. $.85 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to the needy.
While I am happy that there are concerned consumers who like to shop and donate where the most effort and finances are returned to those in need, I am personally a fair opportunity "thrifter" - I shop everywhere. My mission with these posts about "thrifting" is to get people to think about buying secondhand instead of new for a change and to encourage donating rather than dumping and adding to our landfills. If you are a family newly on the "edge" where finances are concerned - you can find all your family needs at thrift stores - really.

The Salvation Army Thrift Store 4222 S. 3rd St. (425)255-0171
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PS Check out the chalkboard at the entrance - it always has some specials listed!

Alcholism hurts everyone

You may think this is in poor taste - so avert your eyes, or move along or something - but I found this on my daily walk about town today, and now maybe someone came along before me and set this little diorama up for viewing, but ,well, I just couldn't help taking a shot of it. Really - is it so bad in Renton that this is what the squirrels are left with?
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Mrs. Smith goes to Washington

Today, Victoria Goetz heads off to the other Washington to meet with the movers and shakers, wielding her influence on behalf of the Renton Community Health Center, of which she is on the board, in the hopes of protecting things like Basic Health Care. Victoria is informed, impassioned and purpose driven - she deserves all of our best wishes, as she works on behalf of so many who need to have medical help and don't have employers who provide it or the income to pay for the coverage themselves. Times are tough, money might be taken away from programs to just balance the government's working budget, and trips to the ER might become de riguer for more and more folks. I can't even begin to speak on behalf of all that Victoria will stand for on her trip to D.C. - but I am so glad that we all have such an inspiring and intelligent person who cares to do so for us.
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Monday, March 23, 2009

Harder times call for thrifty measures

Today is .99 cent Monday at our local Value Village (commonly referred to as "V V's" or using a cool french accent and saying the name of the store). Let me be clear if you are a newbie to this; only a certain color of tag, like orange today, is on sale, and this tag system is in constant rotation. Next week it might be green or purple. If you go thrifting there often enough you can kind of predict which color has been around long enough to go on sale. It starts with the tag of choice going to 50% off from Thursday through Sunday, with Monday hitting the less than a buck status.
Thrifting is a great way to go green, to save some money, save the environment, be eclectic and unique in your fashion statement and treasure hunt for unexpected cool stuff. Problem is - you could get too much stuff. Solution is - you go home and fill the same size bag of stuff you just brought in and donate it back.

Value Village 1222 Bronson Way N. #200 (425) 255 - 5637
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