Thursday, May 27, 2010

Lady Liberty Cupcakes

What could be more patriotic than a vanilla cupcake with red, white and blue butter cream frosting? These special Memorial Day treats will be available through Monday, certain to bring a smile and smacking of lips to anyone lucky enough to score one.

Cupcake Queen, Crystal Roberts, is at it again. Never one to let a holiday go by without some new cupcake delight, The Picaroon is always ready and available for photo taking and general customer quality control. You wouldn't have it any other way, now would you? Cuz I am certain I wouldn't.

Common Ground Cupcakes and Coffee
900 South Third St.(425) 235 - 1717
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Making the memorial memorable

Memorial Day Monday - the official start of the summer season and the commemoration of all those who have helped and are helping to serve and protect our country. During these last few years, the war our country is in has been a bone of contention. Regardless of your views on our country's involvement overseas, the one thing we should all hold fast to is our unreserved support of the troops that risk life and limb and the families that wait for their safe return with baited breath and a prayer.

Ken and his team of workmates were out in force the other day tidying up the Veteran's Memorial Park on the corner of Main and South Third for the ceremony on Monday.
George and Dale were on loan from the Cedar River Parks Dept. to help get the park looking spiffy. Thanks guys - it was looking just lovely.

Dave was helping put a coat of black paint around the edge of the plaques listing the names of all those who have served our country through military service.

This holiday comes around and we forget why we have time off, what the meaning or spirit of the day is all about. What better way than to come together with other members of the community to take a moment and appreciate the efforts to preserve our right to live in the relative peace that America has been blessed with for many a year. Then take a poppy or flag to the grave of a family member that proudly served in a war on lands so far from home. We are all so fortunate that our days can begin without the threat of bombs or gunfire from invading troops. My brother lived in a generation that did not have to go to war - I can't imagine what it would be like waiting to hear if he was going to be one of the lucky souls to make it back.

Memorial Day Service
Veteran's Memorial Park
corner of Main and South Third Street
(523 South Third St)
Monday 2 pm - 3 pm

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Monday, May 17, 2010

Hot Glass

When Uptown Glassworks in Downtown Renton got a financial reprieve late last year and continued to be a part of the art scene of our town, we all got lucky. Not every place you live will have such a creative hive of hot glass activity. You can just pop through the front door on any given day and see art being made - and being made extremely well.

Chris Heilman helps run the workshop area of Uptown Glassworks and won't hesitate to recount where his latest work had been purchased and sent. Uri Geller (remember the guy who could bend spoons with his mind?) has most recently become the proud owner of one of Chris' museum quality pieces, and there are more stories like that. When Renton's sister city in Japan sent a delegation over to visit, their trip highlight was an afternoon spent with Chris Heilman and a piece of his work accompanied them home to Nishiwaki.

Classes are taught by Chris and Uptown Glass works, if this sounds like a calling for anyone of you. Last year through a grant provided by the City Arts of Renton, 10-12 people were able to sign up for free and come experience the wonder of a making glass bowl. Chris hopes to apply for the grant this year as well - it seems he was the author of the idea.

Chris's work has been seen and acknowledged by many . How fortunate we are that genius is so close at hand. Just another reason why Renton is so cool.

Uptown Glassworks
230 Main Ave. S.
425 228-1849

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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Music and Craft Magic in the DTR tonite!

Mary Clymer in front of Harambe on South Third Street
UnDisCovEred - the Music and Craft Show in Downtown Renton begins today at 2 pm TODAY in the most excellent of all spaces - Harambe. The brain child of Nich Sullivan of Tyrannosaurus Records and Mary Clymer of Happy Delusions, and Spotlight Dance, this is a great way to spend this Saturday.

Matt Topping, who works at Harambe with those great after school programs, is helping the wonderfulness get on it's way today.

Crafters, like Kim Mazier with her funky and fun earrings, will be one of many stalls full of handmade goodies that you can shop. It's FREE to get in until 5pm today folks, so stop on by!! Once the music begins, you will be asked to get a ticket if you are not already holding one - but with the line-up, you'll want to keep hanging out.

Nich Sullivan of Tyrannosaurus Records and Bob Anderson
Featuring: Cock and Swan
Sweet Secrets
See Me River (with local rocker, Kerry Zettel)

Spotlight Dance Company will perform throughout the music program, and local Caffeine King, Mike Moskowitz, will be bringing the espresso to keep us all going.

This is a benefit for Childhood Cancer Sucks, so turn out and help rock the house til 11pm

316 S. Third Street

in the heart of Renton
2 pm til 11 pm/ $12 tickets for music after 5

PS Only our cool Renton folk could find such a great organization to give the monies from the event to - local, created a year ago, the Childhood Cancer Sucks foundation is run on volunteerism and dollars earned at events just like this.

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Gunfire in North Renton - Yikes!

POP POP POP - then add about 4 more gunshots - that was what the residents of North First Street and North Riverside Drive heard yesterday afternoon just a few minutes before 3 pm. Gorgeous day, and blue sunny skies marred by a group of young teenagers, about 15 in number, who erupted into an argument on the street that skirts the river and decided to settle things with a gun.

The Renton Police Dept and Crime Prevention were hot on the trail for the kids that took off in a run and flew down the alleys and back ways of North Renton. A friend of mine came out an hour later to find that her car windshield had a bullet hole - much to her surprise. The policeman that came took the bullet out of the back seat where it was lodged and let her hold it for a minute before scouting around the street for more spent bullets in the street. My friend was informed that the gunman, a 17 year old, was being held in Juvey (Juvenile Delinquent and Juvenile Justice). Not sure if the rest of the kids were picked up or found, but I really don't want to start my summer months with this type of shit in my neighborhood.

Looking since yesterday at the Internet for any word of this occurrence, and apparently no one was hurt (thank god! there could have been any number of people I know out near the river that day enjoying the awesome weather) because there is not one word about it to be found. My contact at the Police Department is out til Monday, but in the meantime people - call in the suspicious behavior and don't let the good people of Renton have anything but the safest of neighborhoods to grow, thrive and live in.
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Friday, May 7, 2010

Warped Toys

Welcome the World of Warped Toys as envisioned by local Renton artist, Kristi Hand. Happy Delusions, the indie craft store on South Third in Renton, had it's windows taken over by an amazing set of paintings, watercolors and toy creations this morn. And the world will never look quite the same again - thank god!

The reception is tonight, Friday, beginning at 7pm and is in cahoots with the First Friday Block Party and art showing that is happening next door at Liberty Cafe with Mary Clymer's Fun Felt Forest.

Irreverent? Wickedly humorous? Absolutely! Kristi has talent and spunk all rolled into one.

You may remember these small Pez dispensers that Kristi has taken over and made into the smallest of canvases for her detailed artwork. I love them.
There is a window full of Kristi's deft hand at painting that is not to be missed as well. I couldn't help myself - the toys were so captivating and demanded to be shot.

Greet and Meet the artists tonight - but if you miss the evening's fun, the work will be up for the entire month of May.

Happy Delusions
924 South 3rd Street
Renton, WA 98057-2734
(425) 255-6078

Cupcakes any Mom will LUV

People who love their Moms don't make Moms cook on Mother's Day. Chocolate Lavender Cupcakes with lavender infused buttercream frosting sounds like a great way to make the lady who brought you into this world happy this weekend. These tasty morsels are on sale until they sell out - for this weekend only. Special flavor just for the holiday, presented to us by Crystal Roberts, the undisputed Cupcake Queen of Renton (for anyone at The Landing who wants to know...)

Common Ground always has such a good window painter on call for all the holidays - brings a smile to my face everytime a new one goes up. Thanks for keeping up the holiday spirit for us.

Common Ground Cupcakes and Coffee
900 South Third St.(425) 235 - 1717

Open Mother's Day

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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Felt Forest Friends

First Friday Block Party season will be kicked off with Mary Clymer as the month's resident artist at Liberty Cafe starting this Friday. Channeling her favorite theme of trees and mushrooms, Mary's playful felt art wonders feature woodland friends and snippets of color enhanced nature. The show is entitled Fun Felt Forest.

Mary works from her interior inspiration. No patterns are drawn and the work is sewn without pins, so there is a very organic nature to her process. Mary loves how forgiving and cheap felt is to work with and has been amazed at what she has been able to create when allowing the felt to take over her living room for the last three weeks.

Not too long ago, Mary entered a contest for Pabst Blue Ribbon where she created a latch hook hanging that was selected to hang in the halls of the PBR headquarters back east. This spout of recognition created a little fire in Mary's creative belly, and she has been moving forward with her crafty self ever since.

Happy Delusions, the indie craft store that Mary owns and operates on South Third Street in what she has helped coin the "DTR" (aka Downtown Renton, y'all), kept Mary from some of her personal creative outlets for awhile. Now she is feeling really happy and at home with her chosen medium and having the show and deadline looming has helped bring her work into being.

Trucker hats with cute felt bling as well as headbands will also be available at the show. Some of the pieces that are to be hung are part of personal collections that are on loan for the show, but their are some recently created pictures that could go home with any of you.

The artist in her element

NellieLynn's Cheesecakes will be there with slices of cheesecake and wine, DJ Phil Anthony will be spinning some tunes - it is the place to be this Friday evening.

First Friday Block Party starts this Friday, May 7th at about 7pm

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

Monday, May 3, 2010


Jack Hamann courtesy of his website
The Renton History Museum has the most entertaining way of learning about history - attend one of their free speaker programs. Tomorrow night at 5pm, Jack Hamann, author of the award winning book "On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of WWII" will present the story of the 1944 riot at local Fort Lawton that resulted in dozens of African American soldiers being unfairly imprisoned for the murder of Italian POW Guglielmo Olivotto. The longest court martial of that war and the 28 men sent to prison were only exonerated three short years ago. If that isn't an interesting footnote in Washington history, I don't know what is. The program is free and you should consider heading over there after work.

Fort Lawton photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Fort Lawton was opened in 1900 and at least 20,000 troops passed through it's doors during WWII, where the fort was used as a POW camp for Germans and a stopping place for Italians en route to Hawaii for imprisonment.

Toni Douglas and Barbara Collander
2010 also marks the 100 year anniversary of Women Suffrage. A mere century ago, many women from pioneers to the more settled midwestern and east coast women's vote activists worked together to get ballots in the hands of the female population in Washington state. We forget that not every woman had the exact same vision or method for achieving this goal. May's Vote, a play written and acted by Barbara Collander and Toni Douglas, was presented last month at the Renton History Museum. The tale of the flamboyant May Arkwright Hutton of Spokane and the prim and proper Emma Smith DeVoe was both funny and moving as the audience recalled the struggle for women to be accepted as citizens with a voice.

Our local museum is a treasure, and I wish more folks would come to know it as I have since my return to Renton a short couple of years ago. History is full of stories that bear repeating, and there are lots of them that need to be heard.

Jack Hamann, Speaking Truth to Power: Modern Lessons from Historic Injustice
Tuesday May 4th at 5:00 pm

Free even appropriate for teenage audiences and up

Renton History Museum
235 Mill Ave.South 425-255-2330
Renton, WA 98057

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Plant a Pancake

84 years later, and McLendon's is still a family owned and run local hardware store serving an annual free pancake breakfast to kick off another year of business and the beginning of planting season. Up and adam early and you'll get a tummy full of carbs and protein to help fuel your day out in the garden.

The lines are long, but the pancake grill is fast and before you know it, you are feasting on a couple of flapjacks, 2 links of sausage, oj and hot coffee. Did I happen to mention that it was free?

Just in case you get the hungries before you make it to the head of the line, there is a cookie stop where you can seek sugar nourishment.

The smell that wafts over from the huge serving dishes full of breakfast goodies is wonderful. Everything is just hot off the grill and fresh, fresh, fresh.
That is a full head of steam rising from what was to become my plate. It was good, in case you were wondering.

This little guy just camped out in the cart, scarfing down as many sausage as were available.

This is probably the biggest store day for McLendon's the whole year, except for Mother's Day weekend when those fuschia hanging baskets just fly out the doors.

The Picaroon had a cart full of flowers and plants to plant, and all save one made it into the ground or pot this afternoon.

Happy 84th McLendon's!

McLendon's Hardware
440 Rainier Ave S
Renton, WA 98057-2401
(425) 235-3555
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