Monday, October 20, 2014
While we were away...
It's been a long time since we last did a blog posting, as regular readers of Madison Park Blogger are no doubt well aware. We've been in the Great Southwest enjoying some excellent vibes, as well as a lot of hot, dry, and sunny weather. But now we're back; and it's about time to get everyone updated on what's been happening in the old neighborhood---as well as what's upcoming.
First off, one of the two new restaurants slated to debut in September did manage to get the doors open, as anticipated, in a nicely refurbished space formerly the haunt of Mad Pizza on Madison St. We're of course speaking of Bella Viet Cafe, which we just saw described by one local food blog as a "pho parlor." Though that's certainly not a derogatory term, it hardly does justice to the wider menu that owner Tani Phan (that's her in the photo above) and her business partner, Elena Vo, have created here in the Park. As a result of our own personal experience at Bella Viet, bolstered by the positive anecdotal responses of other patrons (as well as excellent reviews on both Urban Spoon and Yelp) this new eatery is clearly an outstanding addition to the neighborhood. (Did we mention that they do take out?)
The second restaurant that coulda woulda opened in September (but didn't, due to construction delays) is the Beach House Bar & Grill, occupying space vacated by Madison Park Conservatory, near the foot of Madison on 43rd Avenue. We have it on good authority (that would be co-owner Maria Eng) that this Friday is finally going to be the big opening. The menu has been posted (you can find it here), and reservations are being accepted by phone (206-294-3842). We expect to post some photos of the revamped interior space of the Beach House on Thursday, after we get a quick tour.
And speaking of things that were supposed to happen but didn't, the fabled SR-510 "Ramps to Nowhere" were slated to get a visit from the wrecking crews last weekend to begin their demolition (those notorious Arboretum ramps are shown in the photo above, marked by the big "X" at the bottom as well as the "X" immediately above). The Seattle Times just reported (well, three hours ago), that the contractor has delayed the project in order to concentrate on other demolition work related to the bridge. That's surprising, since there was supposed to be some ceremony marking the occasion last Saturday. No reports on whether that happened or not. Anyway, for those who may have missed it, Times columnist Danny Westneat had a cute piece on the eventual tear down of the infamous ramps (which you can find here).
And while we're on the subject, let us again remind readers that the Ramps to Somewhere (a turn of phrase that we just coined) will also eventually be coming down. We're referring of course to the Arboretum's freeway ramps that lead to and from 520. If you've missed that fact after all this time, you must be a new reader to the blog (the story can be found here).
Okay, enough time on what did happen and what didn't happen while we were not reporting. Here are a couple of events upcoming:
Tree Walk: Here's what our friend, Mary Henry, has to say on that subject: "On Saturday, October 25th Steve Lorton, former Northwest editor of the Sunset Magazine, and Rolland Hiebert, horticulturist at City People's Garden Store, will lead the third Tree Walk in Madison Park sponsored by the Madison Park Community Council. The walk will begin at Park Shore, 1600 43rd Avenue East and tread new avenues. Starting at 10 am and lasting about 90 minutes, the walk will head north and explore streets north of Madison. One of the exotic plants to be seen is a Trumpet Vine twined around a light pole. Previous walkers have found that pencils and pads prove valuable for noting certain plants, flowers and trees. Steve is most knowledgeable about all and in addition is a formidable and enchanting story-teller. The walk is free to the public but donations may be made to the Madison Park Community Council, a 501C3 organization."
Trick or Treating: The annual happening, sponsored by the Madison Park Business Association, will occur this year from 4 until 6 pm on Halloween, October 31. This is a kids' event, by the way.