Saturday, August 8, 2009

Too many "closures"

Today we took a trip to Ballard, a district of Seattle which used to be, according to Jey-hu, very charming and prosperous. Our mission was to go to Ballard Camera to get our cameras cleaned for the trip to Florida. When we arrived, the store was plastered with signs, "Store for Lease," and "Building for Sale" and a small flyer on the front door that said, "You can find us on-line now. We closed out this store on June 30."
Darnitall... and across the street a "used" books store was featuring a "Going Out of Business" sale until the end of next week. And two doors down from that was another empty building with signs in its windows suggesting it could use new tenants. We had lunch at Lombardi's, a delicious resbite, as we waited for the cameras to be cleaned at CameraTechs just down the street from the former objective. The fellows in there were extraordinarily helpful, got the job done in the one-hour window they promised and - it was reasonable. Of course we will go back to them.

Not far from them is the old Carnegie Free Public Library building which has been converted into an upscale restaurant, but even they were selling office space to lease. To learn more about this historical building - finished in 1906 - go to this history site. Apparently the "Ballard Chain Gain" did the landscaping, "under the watchful eyes of the police." The current landscaping of the old building is appealing and we promised ourselves that if it's open when we get back from Florida, we'll go and see how their dinners are. As we headed back to our car, across the street, I saw "The Matador," which suggests from their signage that they might be a sort of "cow-house" or perhaps feature Spanish food... another possible adventure here.
Couldn't miss the bookstore's sale and found a
couple of treasures there... but I was struck by the shelf with business books on it... read through the titles and see if you saw the irony that I did in one of them.

So, it was off to find my favorite bread bakery in Sandpoint Village and after that Jey-hu drove me through Lake City to show me where his 'ancestral home' was - it used to be where a bank now is, and he grimly remarked that the actual foundation was probably under the garbage container. He grew up in a two-bedroom house where he noted, "I used to get hot and cold hot chocolate..." telling the story of one rather chilly morning when the spoon in his hot chocolate was solidly inserted and
he went to his mother and asked, holding the spoon and the "hot" chocolate on it in his hand, if he could get it warmed up... His father was a naturopathic and chiropractic doctor back then and had his practice in the old justice of the peace office.

This picture of someone stopping to "smell the flowers," sort of touched me on this greyish day... only in color because in all respects it was a pleasant time with Jey-hu who has been working very hard from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day this past week so it's been a challenge to share much time together.


  1. Loving all your travels and your delighful descriptions of these charming places. I enjoy your photos and so I am learning more, about this Oh! so interesting country of yours.
    I loved seeing your flower border in the previous post, now looking so pretty and colourful.This is truly a charming blog.
    Thank you Sandy

  2. Thank you, Susie, for being the most vocal and appreciative reader!!

  3. Unfortunately, the Ballard Avenue blogmeister hasn't posted since January; he says that the neighborhood was founded by Scandanavian (Norwegian, esp., if I remember correctly...)