4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter

1 Store to Adore

1 Store to Adore

14 Carrot Cafe in Eastlake

Hungry for an informal and delicious brunch, but you’ve already enjoyed most breakfast places between Wallingford and Wedgwood? Jaunt across the University Bridge to explore the Eastlake breakfast joint 14 Carrot Cafe.

14 CARROT CAFE, this season’s Store to Adore, bucks the trend of social media and relies instead on word-of-mouth and neighborhood newsletters like Eastlake News and this here 4 to Explore.org. When we asked why they have no website, they said, “We are super old school, so we have little online presence. We just serve anything you can possibly imagine for breakfast.” Well said, When you have anything you can possibly imagine, who need’s an online menu?!

Written on their actual menu is some of their story: “The 14 Carrot Cafe nests in the historical Hines Public Market building on the Eastside of Lake Union.”  With so much being demolished in Seattle by new real estate developments, our need to appreciate and preserve the city’s history is becoming more urgent. 14 Carrot Cafe says, “Enjoy an organic breakfast and lunch with a side of Seattle history.” 

14 Carrot Café opened 41 years ago in 1977 when the new Seattle Mariners first played in the new Kingdome, George Lucas blew our minds with the first Star Wars film (yes, I know it’s Episode IV) and the top songs included Rod Stewart’s “Tonight’s the Night” and Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life.”

As the brighter spring weather encourages more exploration, head down to Eastlake for a family brunch at 14 Carrot Café:

  • LOCATION: 2305 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle, WA 98102
  • HOURS: Mon-Fri 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Sat/Sun 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

But don’t take our word for it, CLICK HERE to check out their reviews on YELP!

Northeast Seattle breakfast places featured by 4toExplore.org over the past 5 years:

If you eat donuts for breakfast, you could also include Top Pot in Wedgwood. Or, if you count spicy “breakfast pizza” as breakfast, there’s Mioposto in Bryant.

But we want to hear from you, so please let us know your favorite breakfast place in Northeast Seattle. Contact our family at alex@4toExplore.org

NEIGHBORHOOD: The 14 Carrot Cafe is located next to the Eastlake Zoo Tavern. Other Eastlake stores featured by 4toExplore include Pazzo’s Pizza 2307 Eastlake Ave E.

Sadly, the beloved Louisa’s Cafe/Bakery/Bar, which operated for 20 years, closed. Echoing the burdens small businesses face in neighborhoods throughout Seattle — including higher taxes and disruption from street projects — the owner of Louisa’s told the Seattle Times, “The business just couldn’t support the costs to continue”. The final entry on Yelp said, “Louisa’s will be missed. And its closure was a shock to the immediate neighborhood.” The new eatery in that space is The Otter Bar & Burger.

To explore more of the Eastlake neighborhood, checkout the Eastlake Community Council website or Facebook page.

Because Eastlake is sandwiched between lovely Lake Union and I-5, the quality of life for existing residents and businesses is often put at risk by short-sighted city “planning” that allows over-development without adequate transit and parking.

1 Store to Adore

Bulldog News on The Ave

When it’s cold outside on The Ave and you need a cozy escape with news and coffee, there’s no more informative sanctuary than BULLDOG NEWS, your neighborhood “Newsstand of the World.”

Founded 35 years ago in 1983 when Ronald Reagan was in his first term as President and the Seattle Seahawks entered the football playoffs for the first time, Bulldog News quickly became an anchor retail store in the U District.

During the dark months of Jan / Feb / March, explore this season’s illuminating “Store to Adore” Bulldog News in the U District.

  • LOCATION: 4208 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105 (the Ave)
  • HOURS: Mon-Fri 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.  Sat/Sun 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As described more eloquently on Bulldog’s website, “Our stores create an open and welcoming environment…By providing a comprehensive selection of periodicals and a gathering place for coffee and conversation, Bulldog News encourages a convening of perspectives…When the public space is illuminated by our shared values, we become visible to one another as individuals, rather than potential antagonists or allies. We also gain both the opportunity and the obligation to be our best selves. This is why we ask you to help make Bulldog News the place where your neighborhood meets the world.”

If the weather is too yucky to venture outside at all, Bulldog News is still there for you.   You can order your favorite publications online from them – even just single issues  – by CLICKING HERE.

As many of you know, The Ave in the U District is under assault by City Hall’s narrow-minded obsession with upzones, fueled by profit-motivated developers and landowners who donate to political campaigns. While it makes sense to increase density around the forthcoming light rail station (scheduled for 2021 on Brooklyn Ave), it does not make sense to destroy the funky charms of The Ave by knocking down existing buildings or jacking up rents on small businesses (to pay for higher property taxes caused by the upzones). City Hall should protect, not destroy. City Hall should listen, not dictate. City Hall should embrace, not displace.

Unfortunately, City Hall is bulldozing ahead with the worst aspects of the backroom “H.A.L.A.” deal hatched by disgraced former Mayor Ed Murray, rather than collaborating with communities. City Hall is in full propaganda mode, encouraging lobbyists to demonize existing residents who raise legitimate concerns.

Fortunately, communities are fighting back. Small businesses formed “Save the Ave” which funded a study by former City Council President Peter Steinbrueck. For his presentation to City Council, CLICK HERE (and scroll to item #8). For the entire 40-page report, CLICK HERE. Based on the key findings, City Hall should NOT upzone the buildings fronting both sides of The Ave (University Way NE): 

  • 90% of the small businesses on The Ave rent their space from the landowner.
  • 65% of small businesses on The Ave are women or minority owned.
  • 56% have been operating on The Ave for more than 10 years.
  • The top concern of the business owners: “rent is high/increasing” and “gentrification”.
  • Only 22% have a positive view of the proposed upzone.

Disturbingly, The Ave is in the hands of City Councilmember Rob Johnson who never met an upzone he didn’t like. For more about concerns over Rob Johnson’s land use schemes, CLICK HERE.

NEIGHBORHOOD: See the “Fun to Enjoy” article in this 4 to Explore newsletter for more info on the funky U District. In short, you can spend an entire day exploring the U District, starting your morning with espresso at Bulldog News and ending it with beer & pizza at Big Time Brewery. To Save the Ave, contact info@bigtimebrewery.com and write all 9 of your City Councilmembers at council@seattle.gov .

1 Store to Adore

S.P.A.C.E. Radio 101.FM for Northeast Seattle

Okay, a radio station is not a “store.” But, with all of the crass commercialism that comes with the holiday season, isn’t it refreshing to know there’s a place on the radio dial where you can enjoy commercial-free music all the time — programmed locally here in Northeast Seattle?

This holiday season, explore the newest radio station: 101.1 FM S.P.A.C.E. RADIO.

MUSIC: The songs they play are soulful, fun, and interesting. And no commercials!  For example, there is a show called “The Roots Roundup” which “brings you a mix of Americana, traditional country, rockabilly old and new. Live in studio performances too. Monday night 7:00 PM”

This is the Holiday issue of 4toExplore so, if you are craving Christmas music all of the time, tune into Warm 106.9 FM, which was playing Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, and Harry Connick, Jr. when I grabbed their website link.

For a recent and comprehensive article on community radio in Seattle, CLICK HERE. It features not only 101.1 FM serving Northeast Seattle by broadcasting from Magnuson Park, but also 96.9 FM “Earth On-the-Air” radio (KODX) broadcasting from the University District, and 103.7 FM that can be heard in Fremont / Wallingford.

To stay in tune with SPACE 101.1 FM, it’s best to Like/Follow their Facebook page, where they post more frequently than on Twitter or their website.

As described more eloquently on their website, “Four years ago, Sand Point Arts and Cultural Exchange (SPACE) was issued a construction permit from the FCC to start a low-power FM [LPFM] radio station. SPACE 101.1 began its testing in late September 2017 and is now one of Seattle’s newest stations, built for the community and broadcasting out of Magnuson Park.”

Lower Power FM radio “stations operate on the energy of a 100-watt light bulb yet due to a great antenna placement, SPACE 101.1 has a large broadcast range… SPACE’s priority is to build community by connecting the park’s many stakeholders and visitors through creative and community based programming.”

But the antenna of the radio station is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg for S.P.A.C.E. headquartered in Building 30 at Magnuson Park. We at 4toExplore.org have featured their engaging, year-round art exhibits.

NEIGHBORHOOD: To learn more about Magnuson Park, visit the official website of City of Seattle’s Parks & Rec Dep and attend the Magnuson Park Advisory Committee on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 6:00 p.m. in the Building 30 conference room.  There is so much important activity at this huge former naval air station, including soccer leagues, the new Waldorf High School, the Tennis Center, theatrical performances, the Friends of the Sand Point Magnuson Park Historic District, and the new large apartment project from Mercy Housing on Sand Point Way (Building 9).

1 Store to Adore

Audubon Nature Shop in Wedgwood

As cooler air breezes through Northeast Seattle, you may notice flocks of birds migrating South (wishing you could join them), while other birds gather sticks to fortify nests. Winter is Coming. (We could insert a “Three Eyed Raven” joke here, but we don’t think many of our readers watch “Game of Thrones“).

Curious about which local birds are staying and which are going? Explore all of the answers in this season’s “Store to Adore”: SEATTLE AUDUBON NATURE SHOP.

Occupying a quaint building tucked away off 35th Ave NE (just below NE 82nd Street) in the Wedgwood neighborhood, the Seattle Audubon Nature Shop is filled with books and binoculars and, most importantly, knowledgeable staff whose love of birds contagious.

As they say more eloquently on Seattle Audubon’s website, “The Seattle Audubon Nature Shop is your complete source for bird- and nature-related merchandise, providing essential funding through its profits for the activities and programs of Seattle Audubon.” And here’s the mission statement: “Seattle Audubon leads a local community in appreciating, understanding, and protecting birds and their natural habitats.”

You don’t need to be an avid bird watcher to adore this store, just fly in and browse. From here you can walk North to the other winners of our “Store to Adore” contest at the Wedgwood Community Council Picnic: Cafe Javasti, Fiddler’s InnWedgwood Broiler, and Wedgwood Ale House.

But don’t take our word for it; check out their reviews on YELP.

  • LOCATION: 8050 35th Ave NE 98115
  • HOURS: Mon thru Sat 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • To shop Seattle Audubon online: CLICK HERE.

LEARNING:  Seattle Audubon sponsors a lecture for beginning birders called “10 Gateway Birds of Seattle and How to Find Them.” Next lecture is Monday, October 23rd at 7:00 p.m. at Phinney Neighborhood Center. For details, CLICK HERE.

EVENTS:  For other events, such as “The Bird Ball” fundraiser on October 21, CLICK HERE.

ORIGIN:  It’s named after John James Audubon (1785-1851) an ornithologist and painter who first published The Birds of America in 1827. The first statewide Audubon Society was formed in Massachusetts in 1896. The National Audubon Society formed in 1905. And, to answer your next history question, Alfred Hitchcock’s film “The Birds” was released in 1963.

SERIOUSLY: Just when you thought you could escape a “Store to Adore” article without a downer: City Hall’s reckless policy to fuel unfettered real estate development is rapidly endangering our city’s “Tree Canopy,” which is — you guessed it — bad for birds. Endangering our city’s long-cherished, hard-earned tree canopy is worse for many other reasons, including The Environment that politicians say they want to protect. Learn more about the issue by CLICKING HEREHEREHERE, and pages 85-88 of HERE.  For an example of the destruction being repeated all over our city, read the Seattle Times article about City Hall refusing to help a North Seattle neighborhood save a precious 100-year old cedar tree from a developer’s ax: CLICK HERE. The root of the problem: City Hall needs to reign in real estate developers from chopping down trees in order to Build, Baby, Build.

NEIGHBORHOOD:  To explore more of Wedgwood, subscribe to Wedgwood View and the Wedgwood Echo.  We have featured a lot of cool stuff in Wedgwood, including Wedgwood Arts Festival (every July), Veraci Pizza, and the Wedgwood Ale House.  4 to Explore is in Wedgwood a lot (it’s where our P.O. Box is located) so, for the latest on the neighborhood, be sure to “like” 4 to Explore on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. You can also attend the Wedgwood Community Council monthly meetings.

1 Store to Adore

Blue Star Cafe and Pub in Wallingford

Alienated by the uppity chic restaurants serving high-falutin foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce? Yearning to go “Old School” at a friendly neighborhood joint with no pretension? Hungry for grub you can afford to adore without a high-tech salary?

This season’s “Store to Adore” is BLUE STAR CAFE & PUB in the Wallingford neighborhood.

As the local owners say more eloquently on their website, “Blue Star is Seattle’s perfect Wallingford restaurant spot to meet, eat, and be social. Enjoy our easy casual dining experience and find what you love to eat amongst our large menu selections ‘featuring fresh local ingredients and scratch recipes’…Our pub favorites just happen to compliment any dish ~ all-time famous Bloody Marys, fresh squeezed OJ mimosas, 22 rotating local beers on tap, Washington wines, and the bartender’s seasonal concoctions. We have a passion for feeding Seattle everyday ~ since 1975.”

But don’t take our word for it; check out their reviews on YELP.

Blue Star is best known for its breakfast and drinks, rather than their lunch/dinner foods. Our daughter was pleased to see Mac & Cheese on the kid’s menu.

  • LOCATION: 4512 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA 98103
    Next to another Store to Adore, the zany Archie McPhee.
  • HOURS: Mon thru Fri 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sat/Sun 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Happy Hour: every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Breakfast until 2:30 p.m. every day!
  • For their menus: CLICK HERE.

Happy Hour every day from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Breakfast until 2:30 p.m. every day!

For a recent write-up by neighborhood blog Wallyhood, CLICK HERE.

Wallingford, led by the Wallingford Community Council, has reluctantly (but admirably) become Ground Zero in North Seattle for challenging the City Hall “Establishment” of for-profit developers and ideological interest groups that wrap themselves in fake progressive and inclusive talking points, but abuse local government power and money to steamroll existing residents for their own narrow objectives. Is it because Wallingford voted overwhelmingly for McGinn and Maddux rather than Ed Murray and Rob Johnson? So order that Manny’s or Mimosa at Blue Star and stick it to The Man!

NEIGHBORHOOD:  To explore more of Wallingford, subscribe to their blog Wallyhood and attend meetings of the Wallingford Community Council and Wallingford Chamber of Commerce.

MORE: In previous issues of “4 to Explore,” we highlighted other gems of Wallingford including the Wallingford Wurst Festival (Septembers), Wide World Travel Store (now closed), Chutney’s Bistro (Indian cuisine), Archie McPhee toy store, and Ro Ro’s barbecue.  If the vanilla ice cream at Blue Star is not enough, walk a few blocks East on NE 45th Street for ice cream at Molly Moon’s or gelato at Fainting Goat. Also, be sure to visit the Wallingford Farmer’s Market this summer.

1 Store to Adore

Gargoyles Statuary

Did you know that “Seattle’s source of gargoyles and gothic statuary” is here in Northeast Seattle? When we visited this magically cozy store on the Ave, the owner Gayle Nowicki was beaming positive energy, helping customers find what they needed — from gargoyle statues to otherworldly lamps, incense, paintings, and postcards. She made sure I knew they host funky art shows periodically in the back of their store, such as the “Spooked Hearts” art show (featured earlier on our Facebook page).

This season’s “Store to Adore” is GARGOYLES STATUARY on The Ave in the U District neighborhood.

As they say more eloquently on their website, “Gargoyles Statuary offers images and accoutrements rooted in antiquity and imagination — unseen things brought to light, to beautify, serve and protect — sacred, profane, whimsical or wicked, always with an eye to excellence.”

What are Gargoyles and why should we care? Gargoyles are protectors in both practical and mystical ways. Medieval architects often designed them as fantastical rain gutters to divert rain water away from buildings, thereby delaying deterioration. The good condition of Notre Dame in Paris, for example, is thanks in part to the many hollowed-out gargoyles jutting from the walls of the cherished building’s exterior. They may look scary, but many believe they serve as loyal guardians of your home, place of worship, or other important building. Therefore, their scary expressions are meant to scare away evil forces!

But don’t take our word for it: check out their glowing reviews on YELP.

  • LOCATION: 4550 University Way NE (“The Ave), Seattle, WA 98105
    Across the street from the Starbucks on The Ave, near NE 47th Street. Look for the single story building with an historic facade.
  • HOURS: Open 7 days a week from 12:00 noon to 7:00 p.m.

For a Q&A with the owner on Crave, CLICK HERE.

Gargoyles is featured on the “Only In Seattle” website, which is ironic because that initiative to “support” local, small businesses is run by our City’s Office of Economic Development — the same city government whose reckless upzones incentivize landlords to raise rents through the roof or sell out to for-profit developers, who then tear down buildings to make room for luxury studios and chain stores. Since they cannot rely on their own city officials to advocate for them (or even to represent them), perhaps the Stores to Adore and the naturally occurring affordable housing at risk in the U District will soon resort to installing gargoyles to ward off those destructive forces.

NEIGHBORHOOD: Learn more about the U District. Stroll through Farmers Market Saturday mornings. Engage the many groups: University District Community Council, the U District Partnership (formerly the Chamber of Commerce), and the City / University Community Advisory Committee (CUCAC). Fill up at the diverse eateries from Chaco Canyon Organic Cafe to the Portage Bay Cafe. Adore stores like The Trading Musician to Artist & Craftsman Supply as well as the Henry Museum and Burke Museum.

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