4 to Explore: A Northeast Neighborhoods Newsletter

1 Store to Adore

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.
  • BROWSE ONLINE: CLICK HERE.

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.

1 Store to Adore

Fireworks Gallery in U Village

“I enjoy getting giggles from customers,” says the “Chief Firecracker” of this season’s Store to Adore. “Practical objects with a playful edge” is how the longtime owner Michele Manasse describes her fun, eclectic store near the frog fountain in U Village. Where else can you get a “Hillary Clinton Action Figure,” “X-Ray Knee Socks,” and an iPhone case adorned with great white sharks?

This season’s “Store to Adore” is FIREWORKS GALLERY in U Village.

It’s as if Archie McPhees in Wallingford collided with Pottery Barn.

Fireworks won “Best Gift Store in Seattle” for four years in a row, thanks to people voting for KING 5’s “Best of Western Washington.” According to its website:  “From its modest beginnings featuring the work of a dozen talented local artists, Fireworks has since grown to feature products from over 300 nationally and internationally acclaimed artisans and studios, gaining notice as a leading gift retailer as well as a leading, woman-owned business in the Puget Sound area.”

The medium is not as important as its ability to be functional and entertaining, says Michele, whose store of fun, unusual, and surprisingly practical merchandise embodies its motto Celebrating Art in Life.

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

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

If you’ve got little ones with you, Fireworks is located near the central U Village playground.

4 to Explore” has featured many other Stores to Adore in U Village including:

During the dark, rainy months, U Village is a pleasant diversion with its 120 stores (though we still miss Barnes & Noble!)

1 Store to Adore

Persepolis Grill

Adventurous enough to sip a yogurt drink popular in ancient Persia more than a 1,000 years ago? Hungry for hearty kabob dishes cooked to tender perfection? Eager to enjoy authentic Iranian food right here in Northeast Seattle? Travel no farther than PERSEPOLIS GRILL in the University District, just a block south of Cowen Park.

Persepolis” was a capital city of the Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire (now Iran). Founded by “Cyrus the Great,” it thrived for 220 years — close to the age of our young United States! (Yes, of course, I had to look this up on Wikipedia; do I look like an ancient history scholar?) For captivating photos of the amazing architecture of Persepolis, CLICK HERE.

Okay — back to this Store to Adore. How yummy is it? One of our son’s best friends cajoles his family to travel all the way from Mount Baker to enjoy lunch and dinner at Persepolis, his favorite restaurant. If an 11-year old loves it, we had to try it — and we loved it, too.

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

  • LOCATION: 5517 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105, just one block south of Cowen Park.
  • HOURS: Tues through Sunday 12:00 noon to 10:00 p.m. (closed Mondays)
  • RESERVATIONS? Yes, by phone.
  • MENU: Click Here.

Persepolis serves Halal meat (permissible according to Islamic law). To learn more about Halal meat, CLICK HERE. The Baklava may be too strong for some, so we’ll sample the saffron ice cream next time for dessert!

Bring the kids and combine it with a trip to nearby Cowen Park, Cowen Park Grocery, or the Saturday Farmers Market in the U District.

For more info on this Store to Adore, check out their rockin’ video by CLICKIN’ HERE.

For other Northeast Seattle restaurants serving kabobs, explore:

Sadly, the “upzones” of Northeast Seattle being pushed by City Hall and for-profit developers may jeopardize many Stores to Adore as landowners increase rents or sell-out to speculators. The rallying cry should be Impact Fees before Upzones!” so that for-profit developers and investors pay their fair share of growth and help to build schools, sidewalks, and fire stations. Despite speeches from City Hall about “equity,” their pro-developer policies incentivize demolition and displacement which reduce economic and cultural diversity.  Will Stores to Adore like Persepolis survive the rent increases and leave in their wake vacant space or lifeless chain stores? In her seminal work “The Death and Life of Great American Cities,” Jane Jacobs demonstrates that it is Diversity rather than mere Density that fosters community vitality.

For news about neighbors speaking out against the profit-fueled upzone, CLICK HERE (VIDEO) and HERE (article).

Get our free "4 to Explore" newsletter delivered to your inbox every month. Click Here to Subscribe