I don’t know if this site gathered any “regular” readers in its short life, but if you’re out there you’re probably thinking I must be dead. Well I’m not, and neither is the site, though it’s a long way from what I’d call “vibrant”.
The thing is, Seattlehound was meant to run in two phases. The second and most exciting phase hasn’t happened yet, and that’s when I move to Seattle and start using this site as my everyday blog about what’s going on in my life and around town. But the job hunt has not been going as well as expected, and I’m still in Nevada, so that phase of Seattlehound is still a ways out. If you have the patience, subscribe to my RSS and hold out for that day.
But the first phase of Seattlehound was supposed to be an experiment in long-distance placeblogging. I would try to write a vibrant and interesting blog about a city that’s far far away. And for a while it worked, I have 9 months of archives that show I was really in the groove for a while. But always Seattlehound was at the bottom of my list of priorities, and as time went on there were other things that were just more important. Mykids, my work, my otherwebsites. Seattlehound eventually became little more than a Twitter account and a languishing website. And that’s where we are today.
We welcome TheSunbreak.com to the internet. It’s a new site for Seattle, covering news and culture stories from around the city. In an interview with TechFlash, publisher Michael van Baker (formerly of Seattlest) says they’re patterning themselves after the Talk of the Town section of The New Yorker. They’re also on Twitter, @thesunbreak, and on Flickr. So we wish them luck! Seattle sure seems to be the hot place to start a new blog these days!
My Ballard points to the city’s Surplus Warehouse, where they are selling used street signs from all over town. There is a PDF listing all the signs that are available, over 200 streets in all. Most of the signs sell for $5, for a “below average” condition sign, or you can shell out $10 for “average”.
So if you’ve ever wanted that street sign from the street where you grew up, or even where you live now, head over there and see if it’s on the list.
Imagine you’re tooling around the bottom of Elliot Bay in your private submarine, and you’ve got a hankering for some piping hot clam chowder. But where to go to get some? All of a sudden, out of the murk and surrounded by swimming sharks, you see a large sign for Ivar’s Acres of Clams, and their 75¢ bowl of chowder. Excellent! You change your heading for Pier 54 and start digging your pockets for change.
This apparently was a scene envisioned by Ivar Haglund as happening in the not-too-distant future, and so in his unremitting genius he actually set billboards for his seafood restaurant on the bottom of the bay. Ivar died in 1985, but in his papers he left a map showing where the beacons were located, and Paul Dorpat in his research came across this fantastically whimsical find. It seemed just crazy enough to be true, and so a dive team was sent down to the bottom to scout out one of the locations on the map. And what do you know, they actually found one!
This is like something out of a quirky movie, billboards at the bottom of the sea advertising restaurants to passing aquanauts. But then again, Ivar himself, from what I’ve heard of him, was like a character out of a quirky movie, a living cartoon who promoted himself and his businesses in every weird way he could think of. I’m not at all surprised that he had this idea, or that he actually went through with it. And it’s great that it’s been uncovered after all these years, one more little surprise nugget he left behind to delight future generations.
It seems so foolish now that all the streetcars were put out of business seventy years ago, when now we’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars to put rail back. Makes you wonder what things would have been like if the rails were there all along. CDN put together a map of all the streetcar routes that used to crisscross First Hill and Capitol Hill. A complete map, as of 1941, can be seen on Flickr.
Amnesia is something that we see in movies and TV so often that we start to forget that it’s a real thing. But it’s happened again, with a man who stumbled out of Discovery Park and flagged a bus, remembering very little about his life. Researchers on the internet were able to discover his name, Edward Lighthart, and piece together a few more tidbits from his life, but I’m sure that’s very little comfort to him. Imagine not being able to remember anything about your past, and then being told who you are but the name has no more familiarity to you than that of a stranger.
Maybe he’ll stick around for a while. There are worse places to wake up than Seattle, after all.
According to his grandmother, the boy was put to bed earlier that evening and the grandparents went to watch a movie. The boy then crawled out of his bedroom window, on the ground floor, and wandered three blocks from home before anyone noticed him. Meanwhile, when the grandparents finished their movie they went to check on him, finding him gone and the window open.
The P-I said last month that it was going to start launching neighborhood blogs as part of its online offerings, in essence going into head-to-head competition against neighborhood bloggers that are already out there. Well the first of these has launched, In Queen Anne. It looks like it just started today, and only has four entries so far, but it’s very much in the spirit of other neighborhood blogs. And one of the best things is that they tried to give the site its own branding separate from the P-I; it has a different look and feel than its parent site, and there aren’t any links to other P-I stories cluttering it up, just a discrete brought to you by seattlepi.com up in the corner. But they didn’t give it its own URL, they made it a subdirectory: http://blog.seattlepi.com/inqueenanne. And they have ads – lots of big ads. But that makes sense too, because the P-I is doing this to raise the amount of ad inventory they have available and bring in more revenue. I don’t see any ads from Queen Anne businesses though, and I’d say they should send their sales people out knocking on doors to fix that. They do have a list of writers that actually live in Queen Anne, so it looks like they’re trying to do the right thing. We’ll have to keep an eye on it, and also wait to see what other neighborhood blogs they launch.