John Gallen moves on
According to The Attic's Mark Long, "Johnny" Gallen began his several-decade career at Bert's in 1966, with a job sweeping floors. When the store's linoleum was replaced with carpet the following year, Gallen moved on to other duties, ultimately assuming responsibility as Bert's "flower guy." In his twenty-year role of flower buyer and plant expert at the store, he was well known to a couple generations of flower lovers and gardeners throughout the neighborhood.
After "retiring" from Bert's in 2006, Gallen continued to be seen in Madison Park, where he had been a longtime resident. Gallen recently moved to Aurora, Colorado to live near his family, reports Long, who believes that Johnny's departure represents "another passing of the torch" in the neighborhood. Long, who arrived at The Attic in 1989, remembers only Tina's on Madison, Madison Park Jewelers, Madison Park Hardware, Scoop du Jour, Anne Marie Lingerie, Choppers, the Red Onion, and Salon in the Park as other Madison Park businesses that were in operation then and which are still here today. Oh, and of course, Bert's Red Apple itself.
Ready for an Italian Renaissance?
Anyone wandering past the new Cafe Parco over the last fews weeks couldn't help but notice that things are happening there, both on the outside and the inside of the former Madison Park Cafe space. Chef/proprietor Celinda Norton and her crew (consisting primarily of family members) are working away madly in the hope of getting the doors open at the new neighborhood eatery within the next week or so (perhaps October 10).
Those interested in seeing what's going on inside can check out Cafe Parco's blog to view some interior construction photos. In a recent email to Chef Celinda fans, son Nic reports that the restaurant's menus have been posted online (see them here) and mentions that there has been something of a snafu in getting the liquor license approved (hopefully a problem that's resolvable before opening, but maybe not, he warns).
By the way, we have an "exclusive" interview with Chef Celinda that we will be posting at about the time of Cafe Parco's opening. Stay tuned.
New benches become official
Though Madison Park Blogger crassly overlooked a little side-ceremony that took place during Madison Park Art Walk last month, we're rectifying the oversight. The new stone benches next to the Bank of America parking lot were officially inaugurated with speeches and a ribbon cutting on Art Walk's opening night. Doing the honors (twice, since the cameraman was asleep at the switch) were these two photogenic girls, who performed their roles with energy and grace. We failed in our reportorial role in getting their names, unfortunately. But didn't we perhaps see those two in the Kid's parade last July?
The long-in-the-making bench-installation project was a joint effort of neighborhood volunteers, the Madison Park Business Association, and Bank of America.
Hey, you can't please everyone!
The benches in McNae Triangle Park, in front of Bing's, were considerably spruced up this summer when volunteers pressure washed and repainted them in a burst of civic do-goodness (do-gooderism?). Anyway, we understand that a lot of work went into the refurbishment; and we're told a lot of thought went into the choice of colors. Theses efforts, we're sure, have been appreciated by users and passers-by alike.
It just figures, however, that the new color combination for the benches (orange and green) would not get a thumbs-up from everyone in the Park. Do we ever agree about anything? Someone (we know who, but won't say) scrawled a you've-got-to-be-kidding-me message on a waste receptacle near the benches, apparently appalled over the shade of orange used (or maybe it was simply a complaint about the color orange in the first place). In any event the message was quickly erased by someone who evidently thought that the real travesty was the graffiti.
This and that
We've noticed what we think is an interesting convergence of two groups which are each planning to descend upon the general area this Sunday, October 9. One of the get-togethers is the monthly "meet and greet" at Tully's of the Seattle & Puget Sound Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Group; and the other is the Meditative Tree Walk for International Peace in the Arboretum of the Seattle Druid Meetup Group.
Seen on a bumpersticker on a truck parked in Madison Park:
Stop Organized Crime: Don't Re-elect Anyone!
[Thanks to David Hutchins for the photo of the refurbished park benches in front of Bing's.]