Friday, April 30, 2010

South Renton Spring

Two-toned Spring wonder right on Williams. This lovely Dogwood tree sports two colors of blooms, and some of the biggest that I have seen on any similar tree around. Just too pretty not to sit up and take notice of, don't you think?

Ah come, come quickly, spring!
come and lift us towards our culmination, we myriads;
we who have never flowered, like patient cactuses.
Come and lift us to our end, to blossom, bring us to our summer
we who are winter-weary in the winter of the of the world.
from Craving for Spring by DH Lawrence
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Birthday Blessings from the coffee crowd

Happy Birthday to Mike
- your presence adds a dimension to our daily life that we all treasure

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Free comics for everyone

May 1st has lots of connotations and celebrations - but I bet you never counted on Free Comic Book Day being part of the spring day fun. Saturday at noon, the newly renamed business on South Third Street, The Comic Hut (formerly known to us as The Comic Den) will host a grand opening and participate in the national giving away of comics, along with door prizes and a special sale of backstock.

This is a sneak preview of some of those free comics we will be looking forward to picking up this weekend. Limit of two per person - bring a friend, get different issues and then swap. That's the plan here at The Picaroon.

This year's commemorative Free Comic Day shirt. Here's hoping that is one of those sweet door prizes.

Howard Wheatley, owner, has created a great new home for his comics after a 5 alarm fire nearly a year ago shook his shop in a smoking death grip. By this weekend, there will be a new wood sign hanging outside the establishment and fresh window designs up front. The Comic Den rises from the ashes to become The Comic Hut and our town keeps one more independent store that sets our downtown so far apart from the norm.

Saturday, May 1st noon-6pm National Free Comic Book Day
free comics, door prizes, fun

The Comic Hut
Comics and Collectibles
822 S. Third Street Renton ,WA 98057

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tutmania returns - Ahhh those 70's memories

King Tut returns to Seattle and the love of the boy King will begin all over again. In 1978, this exhibit was the exhibit of the year and families lined up outside the building the Seattle Art Museum erected for the occasion in the wee hours of the night to be able to get in and see the incredible gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun and other rare artifacts that the world had never seen assembled together before. Our family went - and we can still remember the trip and the wonderment.

This year the Pacific Science Center will host the return of the Egyptian boy king after some remodeling to their Seattle Center site, and a whole new generation will be able to see the wonders of a world gone by. The golden mask that became the symbol of the 70's exhibit will not be there (it is deemed to fragile to travel), but the artifacts that come this time have doubled and show the whole family of Nefertiti, Ahkenaten and Tutankhamun, including items from King Tut's grandmother Tjuya. Here is a great link to an article on what to expect. The exhibit will begin May 24 and runs for seven months with ticket prices around $26-35 bucks. New information will be revealed in the next couple of weeks about the true connections in this royal family that interbred to keep their royal throne. I'm gettin' excited already.

Now, today I ran into someone who somehow had never seen Steve Martin do his King Tut skit - unbelievable. Everyone needs to be reminded of this great talent from his SNL days... luv ya Steve...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Fame - Denied

Fame denied, or maybe let's just say Liberty Cafe almost had a well deserved moment of recognition beyond the realm of merely Renton (where, of course, Mike and his coffee have a fabulous following as we Rentonites well know).

National Public Radio's international broadcast entitled, Marketplace, came in and spent a good hour interviewing Mike Moskowitz the other day at the Liberty Cafe, which got the regular crowd all a twitter. Unfortunately, the only shred left of that discourse was one line in this on the air magazine that deals with business and finance in the international market -

"We arrived in downtown Renton -- southeast from Capitol Hill -- and headed for the Liberty Cafe on 3rd Street."

Darn - so close to letting the rest of the nation and beyond know what a cool coffee haunt we have here in our midst. But we all know, and for today, I guess that will just have to be enough.
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Saturday, April 24, 2010

World Peace is possible

When mail carrier, Diane, is found petting and cooing over a Pit Bull/French Bull Dog being trained by Mary Headrick, you know that World Peace may indeed be possible.

This amazing thought inspired by Michael, who uttered the title for this blog posting when he saw this gathering take place.

Happiness is in the little things sometimes
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Friday, April 23, 2010

Cedar River's Floating Body

Helicopter circling in the sky, fire engine blaring and police cars all lit up in blue - this past hour at the Cedar River near Williams St. A dead body was seen floating in the water by some walkers on the river trail and pulled out onto the lawn in front of the Renton Senior Activity Center.

A young man who was one of the four initial people to see the corpse in the water, said that the body was short in stature (5'4" to 5'5"), short darkish hair and wearing a gray shirt and black puffy jacket and could not say whether it was female or male. The body was stiff though, when pulled from the river.

Three homeless men, concerned that it might be someone they knew, were assured by Renton Police that it wasn't a friend or acquaintance. This is news about Renton that will make the TV screen tonight in our homes, so hopefully we will be able to get the rest of the story.

UPDATE: Seems that the body was that of Gerald "Jerry" Selden, missing since last night - here is a link

Further Update: Here is the link from yesterday asking for help in locating the missing Vietnam Vet, Jerry

My prayers go out to the family that lost Jerry, and I am sorry this turned out to be him

Thursday, April 22, 2010

New Shop needs a miracle

Thrift store meets swap meet and a place to feed the homeless out of the back - that was Dawn Finn's dream when she opened her store at 210B Wells Ave.S. not too long ago. Dawn and an old friend were partners in the store, but at the last hour, literally, it became a one woman show. Dawn has been struggling to realize her dream ever since.

To say it's been hard is an understatement. A third party that was savvy to the ways of Swap Meets also quit on Dawn and her husband lost his job this month. Someone came on to help at the store, but wrote scriptures on the store walls and then went off to join the carnival (really, I didn't just make that up). Dawn just was not getting any breaks.

The good news is that Renton, being the great town that it is, reached out to help. Charles of St. Charles Place Antiques and Restoration just down the street has given Dawn several display cabinets to use and sell at her store. Deb of Girlfriend's Antiques, Gifts and Floral on S. Third has lent a hand. Everyone I know was trying to drop by unneeded items to donate to the cause. But it might in the end just not be enough.

Dawn needs a miracle by this Sunday to help her pull through - a new partner. The owner of the building is not making this any easier on her and she just needs some assistance to help get over the hump.

Everyday the shop is looking better, shaping up and filling out. If you can help - give Dawn a call today. She's waiting and keeping the hope alive.

Dawn Finn
Finn Thrift & Swap 210B Wells Ave. S.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Redhouse reacquainted

The Redhouse is one of those fine places to dine in our town, and we should be thankful that it has weathered this bad economic storm that has taken a few of our other dining hot spots away. Frank Lucarelli has for been at the helm of the kitchen for over a year, and his food is a force to be reckoned with - YUM. The night I went there his homemade Torta (read pizza rustica) was one of the specials. I would go back for this dish in a heartbeat. On a night when the sun is pretending to shine, the outdoor deck awaits you.

Under the sure hand of Jeff Andrew, The Redhouse has not only a great kitchen, but a very fine wine selection by the glass or bottle and a treasure trove of beer. In fact, a whole room dedicated to just beer. You need not be dining there to go and purchase a bottle of something good.

For the last nine years, Aleana McMurray has been living and breathing her love of good wine and good beer, four of those years at The Redhouse. I love heading for her table and asking for her input on what I should be drinking (and eating). Aleana deserves a nod of recognition for a job well done. Gene - I love your restaurant. If I wasn't so budget constrained, you would see me around a lot more often.

The Redhouse
410 Burnett Ave.S.

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Poker runs in Renton

Poker runners ran throughout the downtown of Renton this past Saturday for the annual Spring Festival and Poker Run. Dave of Cedar Chest Antiques on S.Third St. was dealing out the cards from his deck in style. Like a man who dresses for the occasion.

Dacia Hanson of The Old Renton Book Exchange on Wells Ave.S. might be the newest arrival to the DTR, but her store had the best poker paraphernalia and hats in town. If you have not made your way into this wonderful haven of books, make it a priority soon. Dacia has the best book exchange policy to be found and the stacks are growing by the day, making it a much fre

Cedar Chest Antiques
916 South Third Street
(425) 271 - 0511

Old Renton Book Exchange
227 Wells Ave. South

425.430.BOOK / 425.430.2665

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Exene of the band "X" plays Renton

Tomorrow is Record Store Day across the land. Tyrannosaurus Records welcomes Exene Cervenka of the popular LA punk band of the 70's, X , for a concert that is free for all ages. Exene is poet, vocalist, musician, artist etc. and on a tour throughout the West Coast, bringing music to the people at her own expense. Copies of her latest album, Somewhere Gone, will be on sale as well as some special X Band vinyls that curious minds will have to turn up to see the treasures unearthed. This is Exene's first solo album in almost 10 years, so you should hot foot it down.
Exene announced last year that she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but refused to let that get in the way of completing her tour. Gutsy, talented lady. She played last night at Easy Street in Queen Anne, having kicked off her tour on April 7th. Here is a link to a music video recently released featuring her exhubby, Viggo Mortensen( I can't help it =he's yummy!) and a great interview from late Fall.

Nic Sullivanof TRex Records, recommends you start showing up at 1 pm. Nic has been bringing some amazing talent to Renton as of late, and The Picaroon apologizes for not having posted more about his amazing commitment to bringing music to our zip code.

UPDATE: Here's Exene performing in Renton today and word is she may make it back our way this Fall. How lucky can we get??

Tyrannosaurus Records
914 S. Third St. in the DTR
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Spring Festival and a run at Poker

Renton is blooming.
Spring has sprung and this Saturday we celebrate it at the Piazza with a festival and some low key poker playing. The Renton Poker Run is a great way to see the sights in Downtown Renton, acquaint yourself with some of the newer additions to the neighborhood and maybe win a prize. There are 34 businesses participating this year - visit them all, get your best poker hand together and maybe you'll get lucky.

Tulips at Liberty Park.

Rather just slowly sip your coffee and shop? Spring Festival also means Farmers Market, arts n' crafts vendors, music, kids activities, just general fun. This is when the Piazza is the way it ought to be more often- full of people and in use.

The look of spring in North Renton.

Personally, I am on the prowl for flower bouquets at the festival and hoping that my favorite snack vendors make an appearance. Mad money well spent, I say.

Text Color
Veteran's War Memorial in the DTR

Spring Festival and Poker Run
Renton Downtown Piazza
S. Third St. and Burnett Ave.S.
Saturday, April 17th 12noon - 5pm

Poker Run
Sign up at booth in the Piazza - $1 donation or canned food to benefit Renton Salvation Army
Visit all participating businesses, get a poker card from each and try to get the best hand.
12noon - 4pm
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

When you don't know what to wear

It all began with Liberty Cafe's first year anniversary and a caricature of Mike Moskowitz, one of the cafe owners, drawn by the tat artist, Tor from next door at Ancient Arts Tattoos. This cool piece of artwork that Tor just tossed off one day (his mad art skills just work that way) had been hanging on the bulletin board for some time already when a plan began to be hatched.

Ron Hughes, Liberty Cafe regular, had the idea to have a small run of T-Shirts made bearing Mike's image. Sarah Caldwell at Black Anchor T-Shirts and Printing, whom The Picaroon introduced ya'll to here, did the honors and a small posse of caffeine induced Rentonites descended on the cafe en mass March 13th to surprise Mr. Mike.

Mike was surprised. Now a couple dozen of his happiest cup o' joe regulars can be seen around town with a small copy of him emblazoned on their chests. Mike is, as we speak, making plans to insure that Ron Hughes' birthday is just as memorable.

Bill Provin, lovingly referred to as "Farmer Bill" by some, sporting the T.

Sue Rider in her pink version, of course.

Sue Hughes wears her caffeine colors proudly.

Don't mess with Mary Clymer, she is a total Team Mike supporter.

The T-Shirts are available by order at Liberty Cafe for a reasonable $15. Sarah of Black Anchor Printing is very preganant, so be patient with the time frame. These are like a special DTR phenomenom, which is what makes it all the cooler to request one.

Liberty Cafe
926 S. Third Street
(425) 235 - 1400

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The next best thing to a car

Biking season is upon us once again. On those Spring days where the sun is shining and the breeze not so brisk as to blow you over, it's time to think of training for the days when the weather bodes well and the clothing becomes shorter.

Ron and Maggie will be embarking on some wheeled adventures, maybe even blogging about them. Recommendation for you lovely folks? Get those cup holders for your bikes that GHY Bikeshop sells. Coffee and biking never looked so good.

Speaking of bikeshops, on S. Third Street is the great GHY Bikes with a really lovely supply of Electra Bikes, like the Townie line. Test driving one of these babies is way fun. This is the bike that my friend took for a spin last year, and it went home with her. FUN.

AJ, the owner of GHY Bikes, will put you in the driver's seat of something good. Or fix up the one you have sitting around at home, so you can start hitting the Cedar River Trail - or own little workout haunt. Read the bikeshop's blog and get some inspiration.

Personally, I love to ride with a book and a skein of yarn or two, waiting for the perfect patch of green, inviting grass to appear and plop! down I go.

Bikes like these Townies also make a statement - and look great in any decor or setting. My friend uses her bike in a variety of ways.

What plans do you have for your bike this season?

GHY Bikes
909 S. Third Street, Renton WA

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