Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Adding a little Fall color

Although we have blue skies above, the crispness in the air tells it all. Time to brace for the onslaught of Fall.

I personally love to embrace the colors of the season and sprinkle them about the home front. Cugini Florists is a place I love to indulge in on occasion when looking for a special new "something" to add to the scheme of decorations. The shop is such a colorful joy to visit and each year the buyers treat us to a plethora of new goodies that I never see anywhere else.

This potted plant has a little birdie nesting amongst the foliage.

Every season you should stop in at this Renton institution on our main drag of South Third Street. A visual treat each and everytime. The inclusion of the Native American Indian statues was a welcome sight - not everyone has ancestry that includes a pilgrim, if you know what I mean...

Cugini Florists
413 South Third Street
Renton, WA 98057
(425) 255 - 3900 (800) 733 3901

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Breakfast Beyond your zip code

During the week here in Renton, finding a new breakfast place to grab an a.m. nosh is a bit of a challenge. Oh, you know that I love a weekend trip to Tommy's, Rubattinos, and my new crush, A Terrible Beauty for their brunch fare. But sometimes, I get a hankering to go further afield and try something new. Enter the praiseworthy destination - Geraldine's Counter in Columbia City.

First off, at this time of year while the skies are still shining so blue - the ride up Rainier Ave. from Renton is just an eyeful of gorgeous sights. The road winds around the edge of Lake Washington with it's lovely views, and the pace is easy and not the least stressful.

Columbia City is one of those neighborhoods that is slowly rebuilding itself and keeping the old buildings and friendly neighborhood charm while they do. Geraldine's Counter, at the corner S. Edmunds and Rainier Ave. S., is right in the hubbub of Columbia City, with a florist shop and bakery across the way - both of which The Picaroon has shopped and eaten at with great relish.

Bill Provin/Rentonite at large

The interior of this historic building has bright, modern colored walls, but old style linoleum flooring and exposed brick walls. It opens at 7am for the early birds and has a nice, strong coffee brewing for you upon arrival. Along with some omelets and scrambles is their much talked about french toast and breakfast casserole, which is what our table indulged in, happily paying the dollar extra to have the largest and fluffiest buttermilk biscuit served up alongside.

Street parking in the neighborhood is not difficult to find if you circle the block, and that will put you in the mind to wander a bit more off the beaten track to discover other hidden restaurant and coffee shop treasures on the side streets of this little burg.

This was just a ray of sunshine place to eat and a great way to begin your morning. Highly recommend it folks - when venturing outside the zip code.

Geraldine's Counter Restaurant
4872 Rainier Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 723-2080

Monday, September 28, 2009

What I saw on Wells Street

The guy that has no fear of heights or where he puts his ladder up was back again this morning, stretching and a drilling on the second floor of the Louisa Building, currently under major remodel that will take the building's look back a few decades. So far, lovely work - though I am missing the 1950's mint tile facade and the all over "cool" color scheme that came with it. Sigh.

The Harries Building is now laid low and the deconstruction moves to the basement floor today as the work crew, who initially thought this would go down quickly, put in yet another day of dismantling a piece of downtown Renton's history.

The First Savings and Loan Building, on the other hand, is going up quite fast and every day brings a new layer of readiness. Needless to say foot traffic on this stretch of block sucks. You can't walk on either side and safely make your way to South Third. Sometimes you encounter dirty looks as you try bravely to navigate your way through the pavement obstacle course.

That is why it is best to travel in crowds and hold hands - the traffic will notice you far quicker and give way with alacrity (one hopes, anyways). Besides, when was the last time you had a walking buddy to share the sights and sounds of your stroll with?
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Wedding Revelries at A Terrible Beauty in Renton

Wedding Revelries for Jenna and Pat, new owners of A Terrible Beauty Irish Pub were celebrated this past weekend - thanks for sharing your wedded bliss with us, happy couple! Just about the time when the opportunity to own the establishment on Williams Ave.S. was coming up for Jenna Shannon Garvey, so was the romance that had flitted and flirted in the back of these two fated friend's minds. Jenna and Pat Michael O'Brien have known one another for years, Pat an ace of a chef and Jenna the uber capable barkeep, etc. but never thought either was interested in the other "that way". But sometimes in life, when it rains, it pours. Love, life, new work and that ever illusive element of happiness seem to be showing up in the new pub owners lives in spades.

The crowd of well wishers gathered upstairs in the pub's upper floor that is rather like a large walkway suspended in air over the pub's main floor, repleted with stripper pole area that the little tykes took over that evening as their play domain( yep, kids are allowed now up until 9pm). The wedding couple, though married quietly with just family around them on Sept. 12th, donned their wedding attire for the festivities. Willie Dzul, chef and often the author of my favorite brunch edibles on weekends alongside owner Pat himself, made a huge spread replete with a watermelon shaped into a peacock with fruit spears as tail feathers. I finally got to try some of the pub's mac n' cheese - dangerously good.

After toasting with champagne and eating cake from The Picaroon's family's favorite bakery, Borracchini's on Rainier, the music started in. There were 4-6 music talents slated for the evening, and as with all the incredible talent that A Terrible Beauty has been booking lately (2-3 times a week featuring bands), the cover was FREE. While we were partying up above, the pub was running as usual just below us and things were starting to heat up.If you would like to get on the text message list with Jenna, she will hit you up at least twice a week with the music lineup.

For The Picaroon, this is still the best brunch happening in Renton ( the soda bread alongside the omelets and/or eggs benedict with the killer hollandaise sauce gets me every time!). Great place for an after work beer - the offering is not slouchy, and I love the fact that this is now officially a family hang as well.

If any of you were worried when this establishment changed hands, again, that it would be just "same old same old" on this corner of Williams and Second St. S., you were dead wrong. Jenna and Pat are part of the community already through actions and spirit, and they mean to make a play for your attention and participation. Give them some - it is well deserved.

ps thank god they had a professional photographer there that evening - cuz we did not do any great justice to the bride's awesome dress or her crystal clear converse shoes (read "glass slipper" here) with Irish green laces.

A Terrible Beauty
201 Williams Ave. South
(424) 227-3396

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A look at our town

Can you believe this is Fall, folks?! Blue, blue skies and sunshine - though a nice little nip has finally entered the air. Shots of our illustrious historic downtown. Taken from the Veteran's Memorial at Main and South Third looking down the main drag. Gorgeous.
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Museum Day - go see for free

Do you have plans
today?, Well, include this - Admission is free today at the Renton History Museum as they participate in the Smithsonian's Magazine's Museum Day.

Renton History Museum
235 Mill Ave S
Renton, WA 98057-2133
(425) 255-2330

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hanging out on third

Dave just chilling and putting his feet up after getting a work out at the Skate Park in Liberty Park. Did you know that Renton's Skate Park is incredibly cool, and though sometimes getting a bad rap, is truly unique hang in the area.

Mary Clymer, owner of Happy Delusions store on South Third, out with her niece, Gabriella.

Brandie, one of every one's favorite baristas, drinking some go go juice and relaxing.
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Friday, September 25, 2009

The Picaroon gets flowers

Deb of Girlfriend's Antiques, Gifts and Floral's Mother, Ila Bender, thought it so nice that I talked about her daughter's hand in the business of flower arrangements, that she went and picked a bunch of posies from her garden and put them in this snazzy mug for me. You can see where Deb gets her love of color and flowers from - and her big heart.
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Jupiter - an orbit of words

Jupiter Graydon/son of Mike Moskowitz and Susie Graydon
Big Picture HighSchool


We are unique and bold and strange. Our species is fascinating indeed. Ours is of infinite and unknown potential. We may never believe in or even understand the fact that we have such grand potential. We can become so many things... We could be massive or tiny, reasonable or insane, brilliant or stupid, passive or corrupt
Men are amazing. We can be more forgiving than angels... or we can be more twisted and horrible than demons.

We are born as canvases for our actions to paint upon.

We die as works of art.

Jupiter participated in this year's Writers in the Schools Program - A Program of Seattle Arts and Lectures.
The above prose was written by Jupiter and selected for inclusion in the book shown above. Jupiter is one of those amazing people that one gets to meet and know in Renton. Quite the young man already. It doesn't take kids long to sprout wings and start flying on their own.

Wake Up in the Brightness is an anthology of students writings, both prose and poems,from the Puget Sound area. Ages second grade to last year high schoolers participate. Writers-in-residence worked with the kids ( a whopping 5,000) and from these submitted writings, the best and the finest were chosen and published. Two days ago there was an evening performance where the students were able to share their works in person (and launch themselves publicly). Follow the above link for further details and purchase ability. Or just wander into the Liberty Cafe where Mike has the book on view.

Congratulations, Jupiter. Well done.

Battling for good prices and combating flu germs

We have had our discussion on this blog before about where to thrift and donate when you want your dollars and your donations to make the biggest dent. Salvation Army ranks up there highly. This Saturday they will be have their second Half Off Sale (everything except the mattresses) in this month, and this is a sale you thrifters shouldn't miss. I really appreciate the fact that the store is providing free sanitizing gel to ward off the flu and reminding people to get their flu shots (and to remind a friend to get one as well). It is just that touch of kindness that makes you want to donate when the trucks are there and the doors for donations are open (call ahead if you want to make a trip to give over your goodies - they don't accept donations all the time).

While the selection here is not as large as my previous favorite haunt, Value Village, or as well maintained, there are gems to be found here, and find them I do. Value Village has become far too overpriced for my blood ( when you could buy it new at Ross for less, there is something wrong). I am happy to report that I can stay within the zip code and still get my cheap shopping jollies on.

Salvation Army
422 S 3rd St, Renton, WA
(425) 255-0171
‎ ‎
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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Oktoberfest continues in the DTR

Men in Leiderhosen? Well. ladies and gents, it Oktoberfest time and this traditional garb from Germany can sometimes be seen on some avid beer goers of the season, or just those with a good sense of humor and (hopefully) a great pair of legs.

Today, at The Met you can experience your own little Oktoberfest - replete with Brats and Beer for a mere $10. It promises beer tasting and men in those leather leiderhosen shorts - here's hoping the weather still holds out nice for the guys this evening from 5 pm till 8 pm. Wouldn't want them getting too cold or knock kneed now.

Regular Glen and owner of the Met, Mike.

One exciting part of the evening's line-up will be local brewer, Big Al's Oktoberfest Beer on tap at The Met. As you can see, besides your espresso and wine needs, The Met also has 4 rotating taps of lovely beer. Big Al Brewery takes off today for the Great American Beer Festival in Colorado for their first time. Big Al (whose business is in White Center but lives in Renton) will be entering 9 of his beers and is just thrilled to be attending. Good Luck AL - and in the meantime, come in and try some of his seasonal beer.

The Met Coffee and Wine Bar
232 Burnett Ave S # 232
Renton, WA 98057-2107
(425) 687-7989
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Foreshadow of Fall

You know me - bright green house, pumpkins on the nearby ground basking in the noon day sun and a couple of inviting chairs - gotta take a photo. North Renton in the Indian Summer - wasn't yesterday simply amazing!?
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Storytime and squirrels

Storytime at the Renton Public Library is on - and Mira Schlegel is proudly sporting her storytime badge today. Ms. Lynar reported on this library happening over at her blog right here, and I just was loving the synchronicity of the squirrel theme over here at The Picaroon. Today's stories centered around this furry creature, much to all the kids delight and of course, to mine.

This squirrel visited my window ledge (the window that was open and without a screen, mind you) just this week. The ceramic squirrel was a gift because of the antics I got up to this past March with yet another squirrel.....

as seen here. Fall and it's attendant silliness is most certainly here folks. Make way for the bluster which is Autumn.
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When you need a little pick-me-up

Unique and sweet - this coffee pot full of floral charm was created to show a bride-to-be what could be done with the color scheme she chose for her wedding plus a little ingenuity. I know you know that I love Deb at Girlfriend's Antiques, Gifts and Floral - but I can't help myself. Deb's sister does estate sales, so there in no stopping the influx of cool things that come through the door in the way of stock. And Deb has a great eye for color and incredibly reasonable costing when it comes to floral arrangements. She has done like three weddings in the last 2 weeks - all with lovely results. If you have a need of floral assistance - from wedding to funeral, and any happy occasion in between, really, Deb is your gal.

920 South Third Street

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