February 27th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

via silver platters and queenanneview.com

  • First went Borders; then Swerve at First and Pine; then Easy Street Records on Mercer and Queen Anne Avenue. Now, the Silver Platters music superstore in the east lower Queen Anne district is going away. This leaves the shrunken CD selection at Barnes & Noble as the last music store in greater downtown. Silver Platters will move in June to 2930 1st Ave. S., across from Sears and near the future basketball arena.
  • It’s the end of another no-nonsense neighborhood eatery, Claire’s Pantry in Lake City.
  • Erica Barnett at Publicola believes Mercer Islanders don’t deserve endless privilege, such as the privilege of not paying future I-90 tolls.
  • Downtown merchants believe adding a kiddie play area to Westlake Park will make the retail core seem friendlier to (white upscale) families.
  • Dikla Tuchman at local site Jew-Ish offers a loving tribute to the pioneer comics artist Will Eisner, best known as the creator of The Spirit (he wasn’t responsible for the lousy movie version).
  • MOHAI has many boxes of Sonics memorabilia, including championship banners, just waiting to be transferred to a new Seattle NBA team.
  • There are huge cost overruns and design flaws on the new 520 bridge’s pontoons. Yes, I included that because I love to say the word “pontoons.”
  • There’s a newly revised waterfront park scheme. It’s better than the one originally devised by the hi-priced NYC architects. But to me it’s still too devoted to world-classness, not enough to being useful to people who live here.
  • Matt Hale, beaten a year ago by still-unidentified thugs after his shift as a Belltown condo doorman, is “still struggling.”
  • Hanford nuke-waste leaks could be as high as 1,000 gallons a year.
  • Could the making of new pinball game machines finally be on the rise?
  • Lost among all the gripes about host Seth McFarlane’s rude unfunniness, there was another controversy at the Oscars (née the Academy Awards, a name totally unuttered at this last ceremony). Rhythm & Hues, which produced the computer animation seen in the multi-award-winning Life of Pi, is bankrupt and laid off  over 200 staffers. It couldn’t compete against subsidized overseas studios. When Pi visual-effects director Bill Westenhofer gave his acceptance speech he tried to mention this, but his mic was promptly cut off when he did.
  • In less prestigious protest campaigns, some people are really upset that McDonald’s has phased out Chicken Selects, perhaps the only truly food-like thing on its regular menu.
  • James Howard Kuntsler says the “era of the giant chain stores” is over. He thinks it will lead to a resurgence of mom n’ pop retail. I see it as more like the ultimate triumph of Internet “e-tail.”

2 Responses  
  • KerikM writes:
    February 28th, 20138:56 amat

    If the designers of the new bridge use enough care in color selection, they could have Pantone pontoons.
    There is another “random” but serious thing going on that I think you might want to blog about. As you might know, the King County Library System has taken over all the non-Seattle libraries in the county, when cities voted to annex into it. Here in Renton, that vote was real close, and then KCLS announced that it was not only going to move our library out of its much-loved and unique location athwart the Cedar River, but that the new building would be 30% smaller.
    We patrons were outraged, got up enough signatures for a ballot and voted 3 to 1 to keep it where it is. Which would have been fine except that just about a week back, KCLS unfurled a plan to redo the existing building 30% or so smaller, replacing library space with patios. We’ve already got enough patios, and the gist of the matter is that KCLS is not listening to its patrons, though we have up to now made our needs loud and clear. Other towns are getting new libraries, but they are getting bigger ones than what they had. It makes no sense for Renton to get a smaller one–we are still growing, last I checked.
    I’m going to be out of town for the weekend, but there are some people you can get in touch with–Beth Asher and David Keyes; start by Googling and hope they get their website back up soon. I will provide any more info I have as it becomes available. Other sources, the Renton Reporter and Renton Patch. Anyway, something is rotten in the heart of KCLS, and it needs to be exposed. You could do a good job on this with even one post. [Yes, we are going after other media…]

  • ArtFart writes:
    February 28th, 201312:23 pmat

    As longtime residents of northeast Seattle, we could certainly see the end coming for Claire’s. We ate there a few months after the Petosa family sold it and never again went back–the prices had jumped and the quality and portion sizes had undergone an almost shocking change for the worse. The owner of the building (who we know–he was our son’s Scoutmaster) used to tell us he wanted the restaurant to stay regardless of what he did with the rest of the property because he and his wife liked to eat there. I suspect they were put off by the new regime as much as we were.

    As to the Italian Spaghetti House…that’s a huge loss, both to the community and to us personally. My bride to be and I ate there on many a date, they were the go-to place for take-out pizza and their food (for the prices) was uniformly great. Since they were nearly next door to Frank Colacurcio’s Talents West office (and not far down Lake City Way from Rick’s) it’s hard to avoid speculating on whether there was some sort of association, familial or otherwise, that got them into trouble. This is particularly true considering that the “offical” reason they gave for closing was that they couldn’t obtain a hard-booze license–and now the property is home to a mega-liquor store.

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