Monday, April 14, 2014

Getting caught up

Graffiti epidemic angers property owners

Many neighborhood businesses and a few residential properties were hit by tagging "artists" on Thursday or Friday last week.  The above example, one of the worst, is at the bus stop next to Madison Park Hardware on 42nd near E. Madison St.  Among the neighborhood icons tagged were the cute red phone box in front of the former Best Buds shop and the not-so-cute "Black Hole of Madison Park" (Constance Gillespie's building next to the Bank of America).

Those who have experienced vandalism may report it using the Seattle Police's CORP (Community Online Reporting Program), but no one should expect much of a police investigation of this kind of criminal activity. That's just the way it is.

Another neighborhood business to exit

Ann Marie Lingerie (4000 E. Madison St.) is closing up shop later this month, at least at its current location.  Store manager Felicia Klabo tells us that Ann Marie may ultimately move to another physical location, but for the time being it's going to be exclusively an online merchant. The store is having a 50-75%-off moving sale, so those looking for the latest Hanky Panky nightwear or Prima Donna underwires should rush right down.

If you are among those who bemoan the loss of Madison Park's retail core, this closing is no doubt particularly sad.  Ann Marie has been one of the very few neighborhood clothing stores to survive (The Original Children's Shop being the only other). The store has been a neighborhood fixture for many years, but the current ownership of Nathalie Scandiuzzi began in 2011.

At the other end of "The Village," however, a new establishment opened during the last month, at 1928 43rd Avenue E.  City Sweats is another neighborhood spa, this one offering "Far Infrared Sauna Treatment, massages, Himalayan salt scrubs, Lymphatic Drainage and a full tonics bar menu."  Oh, and "chromotherapy."

Meanwhile, interior construction work is now underway at the old Mad Pizza location on E. Madison St. next to Scoop du Jour.  We see that "Vophan Restaurant & Catering LLC" has applied for a beer and wine permit for this location, but there's no official confirmation yet that this new entity is going to be providing the neighborhood with sushi. Nevertheless, it's a pretty strong rumor.  Further down the street, however, no work seems to be underway at the former Best Buds location, rumored to be the site of a future taco stand.

Finally, there's the HomeStreet Bank branch, still building away more than a year after the bank first took the space on.  As we understand the story, the hundred-year-old building turned out not to be in very good condition, requiring a lot of work that was not initially anticipated. As you can see (above), there's much to do before the branch can open sometime later this year.

Madison Park home wins prestigious award

A recently constructed "passive house" at 4211 E. Lee Street in Washington Park has won an American Institute of Architects National Housing Award. The award was established to recognize "the best in housing design and promote the importance of good housing as a necessity of life, a sanctuary for the human spirit and a valuable national resource."

The house uses 90% less energy for heating and cooling than is typical of conventionally built structures. NK Architects designed the home, which was constructed by Cascade Built.

Easter egg hunt this Saturday

Madison Park (the City park, that is) will be the scene of a mad scramble for easter eggs this Saturday.  The hunt will begin at 3:30 and continue until all the eggs are found or the parents get bored. There will be a "bunny petting lounge" and a "little ones hunt" as well.  Let's hope for sun.

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