Friday cat: Bert

photo by Ballard Avenue

Named for the British philosopher Bertrand Russell, Bert, a British Shorthair of impeccable breeding and reserve, is rarely caught on camera. And when you do, the pics look like hack paparazzi shots.

Loituma Polka

They're from Finland, so they fall within the Scandinavia-to-Newfoundland-to-Ballard worldview of this little corner of the web. The song is apparently a huge hit, with versions and re-mixes to be found all over the 'net. But I like this original version. It's fresh and fun and they are all so adorable.

Sleepin' in the sun

Goose @ 24th Ave dock
photo by Ballard Avenue

How's he gonna get his day's work done? Well, since his day's work is pooping all over the 24th Avenue dock I figure he'll find some time for that before nightfall.

The Most Desirable Place

Ballard station sign
photo by Ballard Avenue

Well, at one time this was a pretty hot spot. Ballard had its own station on the Great Northern (now BNSF) Railway line. Passenger trains would stop here and freights would roll by all day long. But the passenger trains stopped stopping and the station building was moved nearby to serve as someone's home. All we have now is a metal building for railway stuff and this sign. There was once talk of building a commuter rail station just up the line from here, but as always, it's Ballard's fate to pay for things—in this case a useless commuter transit agency—that it gets no benefit from.

Big train comin'

freight train salmon bay drawbridge
photo by Ballard Avenue

Another view of the Salmon Bay drawbridge, this time from the old Ballard station site just north of the bridge. The bridge's counterweight, the large concrete slab hanging over the rails, looks particularly menacing. The BNSF Railway lines east to Chicago and north to Vancouver, BC, both use the bridge and it's busy all day long.

Friday cat: That 31st Avenue cat again

31st Ave cat again 2
photo by Ballard Avenue

He was the perfect cat.

The First Day of Spring

It's the first day of spring and of course that makes us think of accordions and Paris.


Multi-family housing
photo by Ballard Avenue

Our city's mania over multi-family housing is for the birds.

Seattle's Green Lake

Seattle's Green Lake.jpg
photo from Arcadia Publishing

Book Description:
Discovered in 1855, Green Lake has been an essential feature within Seattle’s distinctive juxtaposition of landscape architecture and urban expansion, providing recreation and community focus for the last 150 years. Named after the persistent algae bloom that still occurs, the lake is a valuable natural landmark at the center of a neighborhood in transition, and its past is threaded with tenacious organizations and ambitious individuals. From its first homesteader, Erhart “Green Lake John” Saifried, to the vision of the Olmsted brothers, from Guy Phinney’s menagerie to the triumph and tragedy of Helene Madison, from ice-skating to the Aqua Follies, this broad collection of vintage images illustrates a bygone era and provides a unique perspective on community values and ecological struggle.
Author Bio: In this new volume, author and resident Brittany Wright has culled more than 200 historic and rarely seen images from the archives of the University of Washington and the Museum of History and Industry, as well as from private local collections. Together these images and the informative text that accompanies them pay tribute to a singular neighborhood in the heart of the city.
Brittany is a pal of ours. Despite that, she's worked hard and put together this lovely little book about one of Seattle's jewels. It's hot off the presses, and our Ballard readers can pick up a copy at Epilogue Books (2001 NW Market St.) Come Monday the 19th at 6:30 pm and you can meet her own charming self in person. She'll even autograph your copy!

Friday cat: Figure 8s

31st Ave cat again
photo by Ballard Avenue

We met this orange cat over on 31st Avenue. He looked so much like Scruffy! He even did figure 8s around your ankles just like Scruffy did. One of his grandsons, perhaps? At any rate, this cat will never know just how close he came to being catnapped.

Wee Little Pirates on the attack again

Wee Little Pirates and the blue boat
photo by Ballard Avenue

Having failed to land the big one, we see the Wee Little Pirates turn their attention to the wee little boat with the blue sail. Aye, the sea's a rough neighborhood, indeed.

BMW pickup truck

BMW pickup
photo by Ballard Avenue

Why not?


photo by Ballard Avenue

Shown here with the handiest size comparision device I could find is my new iPod nano. For you tech-heads it's the 2GB version. Small and cheap, just how I like my electronic devices. They'll all soon be obsolete anyway. But for the time being, I'm totally hooked on podcasts such as CBC Radio's Newfoundland and Labrador This Week, Riddim Cast with Itation Sound, and The Brass Figlagee.

The Best Job in the World

The best job in the world
photo by Ballard Avenue

We've seen this bridge before, but it's enough of a Ballard landmark it deserves another post. It seems to me that the bridgetender's job would be the best job in the world. You report to work, inspect your bridge, then settle down with a good book. When a train comes along, you lower the bridge. Wave to the engineer. Watch the train go by to make sure there's nothing wrong with it. Raise the bridge. Watch the boats go by underneath. Repeat as necessary. What's not to like?

I'm sure that the bridgetenders would have all sorts of stories about perfidious railroad management and obnoxious engineers who blow their horns as they pass by your bridgetender's shack and boaters who forget to wait until the bridge is up. Whatever. Every job has its drawbacks. But this one still looks pretty good.

Pecking order

Birds on wires
photo by Ballard Avenue

The starlings may squat on the wires but the gull owns the pole.

Golden Gardens beach and bathhouse

photo by Ballard Avenue

It was a perfect Saturday afternoon down at Golden Gardens.

Friday cat: Goldie

photo by Ballard Avenue

Goldie makes a big deal out of ignoring the string toy.