Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Holiday Thievery at the Spot

The BGG found out that this weekend while everyone was frolicking in the snow, thieves broke into The Lockspot and walked away with their ATM. Yes, right out the front door before Seattle's Finest arrived.

We haven't heard anyone else report this brazen crime, so we thought we'd let you know that not only is Ballard now riddled with street fighting thugs and stabby car dwellers it seems to be a target for good ole Holiday Snow Time B&E.

Happy Christmas Everyone! And stay safe.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Austin Cantina to Close for Xmas...Maybe Forever

Austin In Trouble

This just in - Austin Cantina is considering closing down after they take a two week break starting December 21st! The recession is hitting neighborhood restaurants hard.

Here's what Jefe had to say about the situation:

No Bailout for Austin Cantina

Austin Cantina will be serving dinner only the week of December 16 through December 20, 2008, and then will be closing for 2 weeks to determine if there is enough interest, business, and reserve cash to re-open for business on January 6th. Between being a new restaurant next door to a multi-year construction project, having the sidewalk closed on both sides of 24th Av, and the stock market crash in September, which led to the second largest drop in sales we’ve experienced, followed by monthly decreases in total sales and guests through the door, it is uncertain that we’ll be able to serve guests in our current configuration in the coming year.

We’ve been very fortunate to have a solid base of neighborhood regulars, positive press, and Texan ex-pats who came in to eat, but our peak summer business did not last long enough and did not create enough of a cushion to carry us through a slow, cold, dark winter. The dramatic drop in sales has us asking if there is any way that this business could succeed in this space, at this time. We’ll spend 2 weeks introspectively considering that question, and determine if there is any way to survive and thrive on NW 24th.

Friday, October 31, 2008

C'Mon Ride the Train, It's The Choo Choo, Come Ride It

Oh, I guess you can't really ride this train. But check out that cute engineer on the front. Smokin' Hat!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cantina Like It

5 Snacks for $5 at Austin Cantina and Your Precious Snowflake Can Eat for Free

This just in from Jefe at Austin Cantina. He's featuring kids eat free with paid adult diners on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the month of November.

For those of you who without offspring, enjoy his $5 "Munchie" menu which includes Texas Shepherd's Pie and 4 regular menu items (not sure which ones) at the ambiguous time of "after dinner rush" every night.

There are also some late night happy booze specials like wine and classic margaritas for $5 after 8 or 9.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Too Bad You Missed It.

Sally O'Malley Would Be So Proud

Things We Like.

Spotted on the street outside of the cig store on 24th. We were laughing so hard we nearly peed our pants.

"I call this outfit my Desert Rose. Cause it features the Camel Toes."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Designs for Suset Bowl location

The next design-review meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m., Monday in the library of Ballard High School, 1418 NW 65th St.

This BGG isnt sure how she feels about this building going up. This is my actual neighborhood, and I worry about construction, parking, pedistrians, and having the 6 story building block the sun.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Wheel See You There

Waterwheel - They Have a Mural and Cafe Seating Now

Just wanted to keep you up to date on some of Ballard's neighborhood haunts. The owners added a mural this summer and recently completed their deck.

This almost makes up for the lack of stall doors in the woman's restroom. Side note to the owners of the Waterwheel and Ohana: shower curtains for doors on a bathroom stall are kinda gross.

See you at the Wheel!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Hope? Nope.

Political posters are getting pretty creative these days. A tipster sent us the one on the left. It's almost as creative as our favorite 86 Nickles at right.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hippies In Ballard

Ballard Sunday Markets...Festivals...Street Fair

Check out Sustainable Ballard festival today until 5 p.m. It's pretty awesome and well organized for a hippie fest. We got a free light bulb. Oh, and we 'heart' them because of their bike rack contest.

There was a guy dressed up in plastic bags demonstrating how many bags Seattle uses each day/month/year. It was pretty funny.

We are particularly fond of the Eat Local Now people, too. Go check it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Aaaarrrrrrrrhh Ya Ready For Talk Like A Pirate Day?

Aye, Mateys!!

We at BGG started International Talk Like a Pirate Day off by making ourselves a nice piece of Pirate Toast.

What? You don't have a Pirate Toast Maker? Well, we recommend you go to AAAAAAARRRRRRchie McFee in Ballard before it walks the plank.

They do have a quite impressive collection of Pirate-y Stuff.

Go forth, ye landlubbering sea wenches and trolls and speak ye like a Pirate!! A Pint of Rum usually helps with our Pirate Tongue.

Monday, September 15, 2008

GoodBye Archie McPhee!

Looks like this one is true.

They lost their lease.

It's a sad day for Ballard.

Monday, September 8, 2008

This is Not a Joke!

Hamster Derby
Ladies and Gents! Children of the Neighborhood!

The BGG was at Petco today buying food for the pets that run our household when we saw a sign advertising what may be perhaps the most exciting thing to happen north of 85th since we were at The Crown Hill Pub and witnessed table toppling bar fight. We are not kidding.

It's the Hamster Ball Derby!

How do you get your Hamsters ready for the Hamster Ball Derby? We picked up an information card and see that there is an advised training schedule for the hamsters. Evidently, ideal training for our hamster (if we actually had one) involves 15 minutes of supervised ball work every other day with two days rest in a row each week.

Look at this little guy!

Hamster Derby
Hamster Derby

I did notice on the sign that gerbils, mice and rats can participate in the derby but they must be in appropriate size balls! (Okay, we just wanted to say balls and gerbils in the same sentence.) And you have to bring your own ball. God, we wish we had a hamster.


...and I was here first, Mr. Columbus.

If you haven't been down to see Leif Erickson on his new pedestal at the marina, now is the time. He's looking pretty good these days!

And if you wanted to help out his marketing, preservation and promotional campaign you can contact LEIF directly via email at

Who is LEIF?

According to their web site, "LEIF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the study, education, and promotion of Leif Erikson as the first recorded European to come to America, and of Scandinavian culture and connections between Scandinavians and Americans."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Is there a Cat Stuck in That Tree?

Seattle Fire at Work on Saturday

Here kitty kitty kitty....oh, wait. No cat in the tree. Guess we're just practicing our ladder skills at Sunset Hill Park.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ballard Sip & Ship - It's the Sh*t

Some of the BGG found ourselves in need of some shipping this weekend. Although we used to ship all kinds of stuff around the country and are very experienced at mailing, we recently learned a few things about shipping boxes that we did not know! Being benevolently kind, we thought we would share our experience with you in case you ever need to mail a box in Ballard.

1. The United States Post Office will not take a box that has any bar codes or bar code stickers. Even if the bar codes are for other shipping companies like UPS or FedEx. Crossing out the bar codes with a Sharpie isn't good enough, you will have to scratch, peel and scrape the stickers off. This is especially annoying if you are trying to do it after you have lugged a heavy box to the P.O. and are at the counter and the person at the counter offers no assistance or suggestions other than, "You can't ship that box."

2. The United States Post Office will not take boxes that were originally used to ship wine, beer or alcohol. So, if you get a free box from the liquor store, FORGET IT! They will not let you ship it. Even if, like with the bar codes, you cross off all mentions of booze from the outside of the box. You can get around this by taking your box home, wrapping it in brown paper, taping it up and re-addressing it. Just treat that liquor box like porn and wrap it up in a discreet brown jacket. Because the government is really serious about booze and porn.

3. The U.S.P.S no longer offers free tape, free shipping labels, good customer service or a competitive business model. But hey, it's your government at work.

4. If you want to take a box to Ballard Sip and Ship, which happens to be Open Every Day (unlike our friends at the U.S.P.S) they will let you know the fastest or cheapest way for your package to be delivered. They'll ship UPS, FedEx, DHL or USPS. Really, why would you go anywhere else? And the people who work there are friendly, helpful, cute and nice. Oh, and you can get coffee and great Ballard Gear while you're there.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tractor going out of business? Uh - No.

So this Gossip Girl is on a conference call for work, and one of my business associates said "I hear the Tractor Tavern is going out of business. Their lease it up" I asked where he got this information, and he mentioned his friend owns one of the nice "tea" houses in Ballard.

Could this be true?

Update from The BGG, Our Comments and from the Tractor.

BGG didn't believe this one for a minute. Our comments upon reading this one:

I'm sure Dan will renew the lease...what do those teetotalers know anyway?! I mean, don't leases come up for renewal all the time?

Grant said...

The Tractor's lease is up, and they are being required to comply with the Nightclub Fire Sprinkler Law (an enormous out-of-pocket expense), but the owner of the Tractor is in negotiations with the building owners for a new lease. It might not look good, but I don't think they are throwing in the towel quite yet. Well, as of a couple of weeks ago.

(I work for a fire protection contractor and have been working with the Tractor to negotiate the fire sprinkler installation)

Greg from the Tractor sets the record straight...

hey there this is greg at the tractor. not sure who your totally
unreliable source is about us going out of biz but they have not a
single clue about anything over here. our lease is good for the next 9
years, sprinklers are on the way in and biz is better then it has been
in years. if you have any other questions you know where to find us. thanks

Thanks Greg for telling it like it is! Seriously, we smelled BS on this one. Those people over at the "tea shop" should just stick to what they know best. Drinking Tea and Teetotaling. And by the way, why are there so many stupid Tea shops in Ballard? And why do they think one is nicer than the other?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I Got Souped at the Smoke Shop

Couple of notes about things we love...

Soup and Tee-shirts.

The Smoke Shop has new tee-shirts for sale. Including the blue one pictured at right. Wear it loud and proud to let everyone know you were so loaded that the bartender at this fisherman's dive bar gave you a big bowl of free hot soup. Mmmm. Soup.

Weddings and The 80's.

Some chick sent us pictures of some crazy Lynnwood wedding party they met at the Smoke Shop this weekend. The story is that the bride and bridesmaids headed to the Smoke Shop after the wedding and the groom hit the Casino. They were decked out in what can only be described as the best of 80's prom dresses. Check out the sparkly red number on Miss Pink Pumps over there ->

We think it was actually a Bachelorette Party. But we're just sayin' that so no one from Lynnwood gets mad at us. Especially those nice guys at the bar talking to the lovely bride. Or her husband.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Hairy mean Hamburger Harry's

Things we like:

Look at this plate! Yummy delicious thin panko-like coated onion rings. Generous slice of smoked gouda on the delicious BBQ-a-riffic chicken burger. Delight.

Things we don't like:

Bars and restaurants who cheap out and play the radio as dining entertainment and ambient music. Seriously, I do NOT want to listen to commercials blasting while I eat. Especially commercials on channels like Jack FM and KISW. Please. It's the 21st century. Get an iPod like everyone else or get a juke box or just subscribe to those cable radio stations.

Other than that, Harry's Hamburgers were pretty darn good. Although I didn't notice a seafood burger. Alas, we'll just have to make our own. Oh, and as we predicted, they have all you can eat fries. At least they're not steak fries.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Singing for Cash on Ballard Ave

Nose to Nose

This guy sang a beautiful version of (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay last night on Ballard Ave. We always appreciate street musicians who will sing for their bread. And really, he had a wonderful voice. We know it looks like he's yelling but he wasn't.

You never know what you'll find after midnight on Ballard Avenue! Here's to kicking it old school.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Police activity at US Bank last night

Last night this BGG was minding her own business, when cops came blazing through the US bank parking lot with guns drawn. They circled the building, then left.

Very perplexing, and a bit disconcerting......anyone know what happened?

#15 over and out.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Paseo to Open on Tuesday

The menus are posted on the walls and a brief encounter recently with some workers informed us that Paseo will open on Tuesday.

The bread, the pork, the is all coming. While I morn the loss of Gordo's there is something reassuring about the fact the building was not torn down for another condominium.

Let's all support Paseo and their new efforts on Shilshole. Opening Tuesday!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sundays at the Stepping Stone

Things We Like
So we haven't posted much lately for a number of reasons. Namely, we're all grown-ups and have real jobs which require us to travel and we haven't been in town much this summer because we've been on the road. Or else we wouldn't be able to afford to live in the newly expensive Ballard. Regardless, we were able to get out and about this weekend and found a gem you really should know about!

Step on in to the Stepping Stone on Sundays for Record Night. Hello! They weren't open on Sundays before but Hotty McHotface bartender wanted to work Sundays so their hook is Album Night. Bring in some Vinyl and they will play it! Fun. And if anyone thinks it sucks, they can buy you a beer and yank the album. It is hands down a great way to share albums and enjoy some the hyper-local Northwest scene. They're located at 5903 24th Ave NW near the Cig Shop, Java Bean and Austin Cantina.

In case you didn't know, the tavern's concept is sustainable and local which extends from their beer and wine to their decor. The Stepping Stone offers free peanuts in the shell and if that won't get you in there, then we don't want to know you. Really, you had me at vinyl but the free peanuts sealed the deal.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Olsen's Scandinavian Foods Not to Close?

Concerned readers have contacted us about an earlier story that Olsen's Scandinavian Foods was to close at the end of the month. At the time that was the case; there was rumor and speculation that someone was maybe going to buy the store but financing was iffy.

If you have the new story we would love to hear it. I want to keep Olsen's alive and thriving.

Thanks again.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Olsen's Scandinavian Foods to close

Olsen's Scandinavian Foods is scheduled to close at the end of the month. Another Ballard institution lost.

Try to stop in before it closes; I will be stopping by tonight to try to find out more information.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hello Sushi, This Is Ballard.

We have been waiting all our life for your call.....Moshi Moshi means Hello.

Yes, here is the scoop. Moshi Moshi is opening up in the new building being built on Ballard Ave in November. The Sushi restaurant's opening date has been delayed by the pesky builders but we are sure the wait will be worth it.

The talent behind the new restaurant is Bricco della Regina Anna owner/chef and "hot hot hot" Ballard resident Kevin Erickson. Word on the street is that he has lured some VERY PRESTIGIOUS sushi chefs away from their current places of employ to grace the sushi bar. Actually, this is a fact, but we were too drunk at the time we heard who they were to remember their names. Future apologies to said chefs and to our fearless readers. We promise to drink less and write down more in the future. (We are fond of empty promises.)

Atmosphere, food and talent are guaranteed to be perfection at Moshi Moshi. We are so excited we could nearly pee our pants in anticipation but we will probably have to suffer through days and days of wanting, desire and panting lust until Moshi Moshi finally opens. Here's raising a Saki Bomb to the wait. It will be worth it. Nothing will be lost in translation.

Buy These Shirts B*tch

We were shopping at the Ballard Sunday Market and saw the tee-shirt booth for the Ballard Ave Allstars. Quite frankly, they rock and you should buy them. Here is my favorite pictured at left.

The shirts are super soft and have really fun/punny neighborhood designs. Like the ode to the Sloop (hate that place, but that's another story for another time) that says "Slooper Hero." You really have to be a hero to drink a Sloopersized beer. And have strong arms. Good thing Ballard Ave Allstars make muscle tees!

You can order their shirts online at their Web site or probably catch them at the market. The husband and wife duo who sell them are young and hip. Just like you crusty old farts reading this blog wish you were.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Actually, We're Getting Two New Sushi Places

We found out last night that the high end Sushi joint we've been talking about for a while is now scheduled to open in November, but it's not the one that's being opened up in the DiVino spot! The building that will house hot young Upper Queen Anne restaurateur's latest venture is just down the street, the one under construction next to Cugini. (Sorry Ballardite, you don't have it right and neither do you MyBallard....I'll let you know who it is as soon as I get the okay to go public with names.)

The BGG also found out about Shiku yesterday but decided not to plug them since we are particularly fond of the hot young QA chef and his current joint. Really, if we can be picky, and I think we can, we'd rather not publicize his competitors. So, while we have been starved for sushi in this hood for a while, it looks like we're going to see some serious competition.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Livin' La Vida La Isla

The BGG grabbed a drink and some snacks at La Isla this weekend and sat outside on their patio. Although we had dined there before and sat inside, this was a new experience for us which was quite fun and noteworthy because of the following reasons.

1. They have a kick ass Happy Hour! How we missed this one, we don't know, but we thought we should let you know. They host two daily from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. to Midnight. Half Price Appetizers!

2. Their Mojito is fabulous. And Monday through Saturday during second Happy Hour they are only 2 dollars. Yes, TWO DOLLARS.

3. We were able to watch the poor schmucks driving back from Golden Gardens and laugh as they were stuck at the Intersection of Torture (24th and Market) waiting to get the heck out of Ballard. Sorry! Only 4 cars can make it through each green light. Too bad you weren't walking or drinking Mojitos or Cuba Libres with us.

4. A tricked out hydraulic-ly enhanced orange car rolled by fully cranked up on one side. Awesome! Not something you normally see in ole Ballard. Maybe they'll give us a ride one day. A girl can dream, right?

5. They have domino nights sometimes. Smack the bone down!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Support your ballard shoe store!

This Gossip Girl received this email the other day.
I love re-soul, so count me in!

This is a test of the RE-SOUL broadcast system... announcing our first ever "secret password" sale.
From June 25th though July 4th, if you mention the secret password "RE-SOUL ROCKS!" you will receive 25% off your purchase of almost anything in stock at re-souL. **
The secret password expires July 4th, 2008!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Manning's & Denny's

Manning's aka Denny's is now gone, with the brisk movements of the mechanical the building was leveled in a little over an hour. There are some pictures and video on our friend's blog at This is not a rant, nor is it gossip but once again a feeling of disappointment as the character of Ballard is being swallowed up by cookie cutter Starbutecture. Denny's served a purpose in Ballard, it was affordable (especially true for the senior population in Ballard), had parking, and open 24hrs. It also was a familiar building to everyone in the city. The gateway to Ballard. Who ever would have thought that an old Denny's would create such a stir, but it didn't matter if you were from Crown Hill, Beacon Hill, or Medina you know the Denny's on 15th & Market.
The Benaroya's will now build a new building on this land where up until 7am a googie masterpiece stood. I hope they will try to build something that serves as a landmark to everyone visiting Ballard. I hope they think about the importance of this gateway piece of land they now will develop, and not provide us with another beige box.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Design the Perfect Rack

We're not talking about the after school project of those dorks in Weird Science, but about Sustainable Ballard's contest to design a winning bicycle rack. There's hope for all of you budding designers who couldn't make it on Project Runway, Trading Spaces or Design Star.

The design contest team is hosting a pretty cool contest to solicit designs for a new type of bike rack - even some that will take up a parking space! Portland is doing it, so we'd better jump on that band wagon. Winning rack designs will be constructed by local metal artists. We just wanted to say Winning Rack again.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Individual jumps from NOMA roof.

I heard this evening that a gentleman between the ages of 45-50 jumped from the roof of NOMA this morning. This is a true tragedy. I was informed that he was taken to Harborview.

Does anyone have any additional information?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Breaking" News - Truck drives into side of bus

At approximately 5:35 this evening, a truck pulled out of the Lock Vista parking lot on 56th and into the side of the Metro 17 Express, originally hitting just behind the forward doors as can be seen in the photo and scraping along the side as the bus came to a complete stop. Initial indications are that no one was injured since the bus was barely moving at the time, a lucky break for the many people standing during the ride who could easily have been knocked off balance.
This gossip girl witnessed the accident from inside the bus, where it sounded like the front end of the white truck was being shaved off the completely. The driver of the pickup was overheard saying something about his brakes having issues.
Judging from previous damage to his vehicle, this might not be the first time these issues have come up. I'm sure there will be an investigation by Metro, but I would not anticipate any blame being directed towards the bus driver. In addition to passengers, another Metro driver witnessed the incident from across the parking lot and was quickly at the scene. We'll keep you updated if we hear further information. For now we're just glad that everyone was alright.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Curtains for Zayda Buddy's?

We heard a rumor that Zayda Buddy's will be closing it's doors soon. Is Ballard not willing to shell out for swilly Midwest beer and greasy hot dish? Or is it just a smear campaign by neighboring restaurateurs?

Update: According to an intrepid reader, someone there told them that no, they aren't shutting down. Well, in this case, it really is just another neighborhood land owner/restaurateur bad mouthing them. Boo! Shame on him. Sounds like this dish was not so delish if you get my drift.

We also heard that Monkey Bridge has been closed recently at odd times like 6 p.m. on Thursday. What's up with that?

Update: And the MB is fine, so go get some Pho!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Best Gossip of the Week! The Sun Was Spotted in Ballard

If you missed it look out your window. This BGG was on the porch of the OP tonight and low and behold the sun appeared. Cherish it Ballard! It could be another two weeks until it appears again.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sushi in September

Confidential whispers have confirmed that the hot new sushi joint going in on Ballard Ave is scheduled to be opening in September. We're ready now since it already feels like fall. We know who is opening it, the proposed name and more salacious details but we're not telling....yet.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sex and The Bay

Is it just me or does the Majestic Bay play children's movies nearly exclusively? Yes, there are lots of kids and families in Ballard, but come on. In the spirit of full disclosure while we regularly see nearly every movie they show including the kid's movies, we were just hoping they would be playing Sex and The City. Oh, well. The Ballard Gossip Girls will have to leave the hood to catch this summer treat.

I don't think it's just me: They are currently showing Narnia, Indiana Jones and Kung Fu Panda. Kid's Movie Trifecta.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Seabreeze Blows Out

Seabreeze is shut down and a new restaurant appears to be opening up there. We were sad to realize the family that ran Seabreeze/Il Forno/La Romantico closed up shop but hopefully they'll keep cooking in another location. It's the same Italian family who had the Italian restaurant where Matador is located now.

The signs are already up for Hamburger Harry's and they've applied for a liquor license. It looks like they're also trying to figure out menus or pricing since an array of area burger restaurant menus were under study on a table in the front. We're interested in seeing what they do with this place. My only advice is that they should apply now for patio seating and create some storefront interest. And we hope they serve strong drinks!

Update from the comments: Good call John, we're not really lacking in the burger department.

"Let's see. Zesto's, Lunchbox Laboratory, Scooters, King's, Gordo's, Zak's. And, on the borders, Red Mill and Dick's. That's not counting the fast food spots, or places which just have a darn good burger (Bad Albert's, Jolly Roger, Mike's, Ballard Brothers). It's a classic business plan 'Look at all the burger restaurants! Burger's must be incredibly popular, so lets open our own!' "

In our humble opinion, the scariest menu on the table was one from Red Robin. We hope they're not planning "all you can eat crappy steak fries" as a hook. I'm also really curious about the concept based on their graphics - casual dining with tuxedo-level burgers. Oh, wait, I've been there. It's Hubert Keller's Burger Bar. Will they offer a $90 Kobe burger with foie gras and truffles, too?

Just a thought here - but no one in Ballard has yet to nail a good seafood burger - sorry Ballard Bros. A good halibut burger or a fish cake style burger would be a nice twist.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Denny's To Be Demolished - Final Answer

It's lights out for the Denny's Building and a blow to historic architecture. The development company that bought the company ended up winning this fight by proving they couldn't make a return on their $12.5 million investment if they had to incorporate the old wooden structure.

The Times had a nice quote from Ballard resident Eugenia Woo who said, "All the money Benaroya has spent to fight the landmark designation could have gone toward restoring the restaurant and that by now 'we all could be drinking martinis at a swank bar.' " Now that's an opinion we could get behind.

We at BGG would just like to say that we think this building should have been saved! For God's Sake How Many Times Do You Have To Tell Someone To Turn Left At The Ballard Denny's Before It Becomes A Neighborhood Landmark?! In addition to that, we are Scandinavian and love Mid-Century Modern. We were firmly in the court that this building fit the bill for historic preservation.

However, before we start weeping gently in our Eames chair prone with arms grasping our Herman Miller coffee table for support, we would first like to remind voters that this building was sold in the first place because of the already-started Monorail project. It was only subsequently sold to the Benaroya development company when the Monorail project failed a fourth vote AFTER the city had started buying neighborhood property. Not to kick a dead horse here, but if we had just voted down the monorail the first time or had actually built the frickin' thing, we would not be in this position. The city would have torn down the Denny's and replaced it with a modern - albeit probably ugly- monorail train station and ushered our hood into the 21st century. Would anyone have put up a fight at that point? I don't really think so but we may have just been fighting the city to save the old Denny's in that case. I can only guess that the battle would have lasted much longer and wasted more of our tax dollars. Bah! Next time, let's not plod along like we're reliving the stupid sub-plot from the movie Singles.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Syttende Mai Alert Alert Alert!

Important Parade Announcement!
The time for the Syttende Mai Parade on Saturday has been changed. It's now starting at 4 p.m. This should give you plenty of time to get in line on 24th or Market Street to watch. Get there early and find a place with a good view. It will be a battle of the bar patios. Where will the Nordic crowd hang out? Olsen's? Hazlewood? Boobie Obsessed Copper Gate? Matador?!

Calling All Scandi-gay-vians!

Ballard's biggest day of the year is this Saturday - the Norwegian Constitution Day Parade Extravaganza also known as Syttende Mai. The parade is on a Saturday this year - exotic - and will be earlier than normal at 3 p.m. It's one of the biggest and best parades in the world. Really.

We were TOTALLY SURPRISED to see there's an event at BalMar incorporating our local gay scene and the Nords! They came up with the BEST party names ever. Syttende Gay. So good.

We've been watching the Ballard parade for years and have yet to see they type of marchers that you might see in the Pride Parade. You know, gyrating Divas, cross dressing nuns, mustachioed guys in ass-less chaps. Although now that we think of it, the motorcycle cops who ride in formation at the beginning of the parade sport some of the best mustaches we have ever seen. Full bushy Magnum P.I. triumphs. Hmmm. Maybe we'll see some new floats or marchers in the parade this year.

Read all about Syttende Gay on their site. They'll also be celebrating at Purr on Capital Hill if that happens to be your hood.

Monday, May 12, 2008

What Do Hezzlewood and Hazlewood Have In Common?

Well, one is a speedo-wearing civil rights defender and the other is a bar in Ballard. Okay, they really do not have much in common, but this story about a Florida guy who is suing over his right to wear a speedo is hilarious. And his name is Bob Hezzlewood. The sherrif recently ticketed Mr. Hezzlewood for trespass and kicked him off the beach. Obviously, he was too sexy for that beach.

You can watch the story online here.

Perhaps Hazlewood should hold a speedo party to support Mr. Hezzlewood's right to sport that sexy banana hammock. I'd get behind that party!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Fuzz at Ballard Mandarin

Last night when we were driving home from work, there were no less than 5 cop cars outside of the Ballard Mandarin (too many to even capture with my camera phone). We snapped a picture out of curiosity but as we went by we are now guessing that it may have been some sort of domestic violence dispute as they were interviewing a man and a woman separately. However, we can't recall seeing this many cars at an incident that wasn't bigger news.

Is something strange going on at this place or was it just a case of wrong place/wrong time? We'll let you know if we find out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

KEXP Loves Ballard

Those hotties at KEXP are coming to Ballard on Friday. Evidently, more people who live in Ballard pledged money for the station in their last pledge drive. Memebers will get discounts that day as well.

You can see John in the Morning broadcasting live from Verite and then catch Cheryl Waters and Kevin Cole at Sonic Boom later in the day. KEXP DJs will be broadcasting from a bunch of bars that night as well. Check out their site for the specifics.

We know we will be out and about checking out the festivities.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Sorry Kids, We Left Town

We couldn't take the snow any more, so we used our March Madness winnings to get the hell out of dodge. We'll be back later this week and catch you up on all the stuff you need to know. For the latest in non-neighborhood related sassiness, check Fark.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Dine Out Tonight!

Tonight is Dine OUT night in Seattle and there a few places in Ballard participating.

Austin Cantina
Hattie's Hat
King's Hardware
Le Gourmand & Sambar
Madame K's
Pasta Bella Ristorante
Wild Mountain Café

Go get your grub on for a good cause. 30% of all proceeds benefit Lifelong AIDS Alliance and the fight against HIV and AIDS in the Puget Sound region.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Sunset Bowl Auction Today

Well I am sure we will be seeing the wrecking ball soon. Sunset Bowl and all our memories will be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Maybe I will try to get over there during my lunch hour to see what I can find.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Snowy Hell in Ballard

I took this picture from from inside my cozy car to point out the SNOW falling and piling up on the windshield. WTF?! It's April 18th! It's not supposed to be snowing.

Not much to gossip about on this one, except that it didn't seem to keep the bar hoppers away from Ballard.

I don't know what we did to deserve this, but this weather sucks. We are going snowboarding tomorrow now. The seasons are so messed up we might as well live in New Zealand.

Oh, yeah, and we have a new site design. We hope you like it.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Golden City Closed for "Repairs"

According to a handwritten sign on the red door, the Old and Shitty is closed for what they are calling "repairs". We're very curious what this means - will they update the place? Are they going to finally get a latch on the stall in the women's bathroom? Finally close that back door to the alley? Switch out the plantation era paintings? Slap some paint on the old gal? God forbid they make any changes to one of the best juke boxes in Seattle.

We will have to check in on Tommy and see what he's done with the place when it opens back up. If you hear anything, let us know. We have to admit we haven't been here much since our favorite dive bartender, GIB left and went to the Bit. We'll be sure to drop by and see if any of it's super scary charm is still there. And by super scary, I mean really scared-for-your-life scary. The clientèle is a bit rough if you get my drift.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Seaview Avenue Blocked: 1:50AM

This BGG couldn't get through Seaview Avenue tonight on her way home. A police blockade at 34th and Seaview kept my cab driver from getting through. At least six police cars and an ambulance were already on the scene. Sirens were heard in the background. We pray for all those involved. Hope to hear more about what happened in the AM. Drive safe everyone.

If you know...let us know. The SPD wouldn't tell me anything.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Last Call- Goodbye Sunset Bowl, Goodbye Market Street Grill

Ballard is changing. We know this, but it is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to two Ballard businesses this weekend.

The lanes will go quiet at our beloved Sunset Bowl, the lounge will go dark, and another institution will be lost to the developers. For over 50 years the Sunset Bowl has been a place my family has enjoyed. My grandmother was on a league there in the late 50's and continued to bowl at the Sunset regularly as long as she could. My dad took me there when I was a little kid for birthday parties, it was a place to hangout in high school, and I rediscovered the Sunset after I returned from college and found one of my best friends in the bar singing Karaoke. I have so many great memories of the Sunset. I don't know if they still cash checks for you at the desk, but they would before and I always got a great story about my uncle out of the cashier. It truly is a piece of my history in Ballard. Goodbye Sunset. I will miss you.

The other business that will close this weekend is The Market Street Grill. The Market Street Grill was ahead of its time for Ballard. It opened long before the first of the new condos were being built, and probably could have held on longer if all the residences were full. Johnny was a great host, always cheerful and friendly. The food varied, I have had some great meals, and some not so great but at least they were trying something different. We read on the My Ballard blog that it was only closing for a few days, but that wasn't what we saw on the sign last night.

I hope you will try to stop in and say goodbye. Please share your memories. Thank you.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Gifted....My new favorite Ballard store

After a delicious dinner at La Carta de Oaxaca with my mom we stumbled upon the store Gifted. Now I have seen it before, but never went in. Well, now I am hooked. It has everything from bobble head garden gnomes, to unique t-shirts. This store is great. Check it out when looking for that crazy gift for a friend!

5427 Ballard Avenue NW Seattle, WA 98107

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Best Dive Bar in Ballard and we forgot the Waterwheel!

I can't believe I was part of coming up with the names of the bars and taverns in our recent poll and forgot to include the Waterwheel. My apologies to the fantastic staff and patrons of one of the BGG's favorite watering holes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Thank you Kansas!

In case you had doubts about Gossip Girl's ability to pick a winning bracket, we would just like to let everyone know we WON our pool. Thank you. Thank you very much.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cheers to the Ember Room!

Ballard has spoken and The Ember Room at the Smoke Shop is the best dive bar in Ballard. Darleen, Colleen, and the ladies have been serving up some of the finest cocktails in Ballard for years. We need to cherish this little bit of old Ballard that manages to hold on while newer, hipper bars with drinks that cost twice/three times as much spring up all around it; and they sell cigarettes! Take our and your neighbors advice and stop-in and let them know the Ballard Gossip Girls sent ya.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Dante's to the Rescue

Last night my beau and I were rockin' hard to the Black Keys in SoDo. Hunger had set in strong after dancing, drinking, and what not....but we were Ballardites in a foreign land. It became clear on the ride home accross the Ballard Bridge that a quick stop on Old Ballard Ave was in order. I love Ballard Ave post-midnight because most of the 30-something crowd that does NOT live in Ballard heads back home to their babysitters and/or condo. We parked right in front of Hattie's and had two of the best butterflied and cream-cheesed hot dogs ever. Thanks, Dante.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Chai House Changes Hands

The rumors are indeed true - Mr. Spot's Chai House is changing owners. We wondered what would happen to the chai brewing business. Luckily, one of our neighborhood readers emailed Jessica and sent us this update on the beloved Chai House.

Yes, I have sold the retail division, the chai house. The new owners are a father and son team, and their mission is to keep the chai house as it is and build upon the success of the last ten years. They will be fixing it up, probably get some new furniture, things like that. They are friends with the Top Pot donut company, so look for some yummy Top Pot donuts soon!!

I am still the chai maker, and have opened wholesale brewery in the Greenwood area. We will still be brewing all the chai for the city from our lovely new headquarters!

Enjoy the new owners at the Chai House and feel free to introduce yourself to them! They are very excited to be a part of the neighborhood!

Jessica Vidican-Neisius
Morning Glory Chai

Be sure to check out the changes and keep this awesome spot in business (pun intended...)! Gossip Girl is very glad that we can still get Morning Glory Chai because it's the closest we will get to an exotic vacation in a while.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

New Restaurant?

What hot young Queen Anne restaurateur was seen yesterday morning scoping out the building site on Ballard Aveneue with a suit-type person? We know, but we're not telling (yet)! Further investigation reveals that plans are under way to open a high end sushi joint in the new space. Hooray!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Check Your Receipts

A recent trip to Matador with a fellow BGGer proved to be a bit more expensive for this Ballard Gossip Girl than expected. After having a light meal and a refreshing beverage we decided to split our check, giving the bartender 2 credit cards. We both signed and left a generous tip. That was that. So, you can imagine my shock when I checked my bank statement a couple days later and saw not only my charge from Matador, but also the one that should have been charged to my fellow BGGer. Instead of running both our cards, they ran mine twice! Apparently this is not the first time this has happened either. Several sources close to BGG have had similar experiences at Matador. Have you had a similar experience? Chime in.

Ballard Avenue to become walking street?

Rumors are circulating through Ballard that the City is considering making Ballard Avenue a walking street and alternate route to the bike path: up one street from Shilshole Avenue. As I learn more I will let you know.