Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Urbanian Ramble

I know I know I know... It’s the city. Get over it.
I live in urbania. Renton, Washington. I’m like 12 to 13 miles from downtown Seattle, depending on the route I take. Since Seattle is the center of our Puget Sound megalopolis, work often takes me to the city.
Albeit many of you live in more populous areas than I, regardless, I’m having my own little private Seattle moment about parking and related things this morning...
Okay... It’s a little bit of a rant.
I drive a 2007 Ford Explorer. I love this truck. It’s the best vehicle I’ve ever owned. It’s not too big, gets okay gas mileage, it’s in great shape, not too many miles (under 100k) and this one’s paid for!
Of all the miles I drive around the area and across this beautiful State of Washington, accept for 2, the only dings and minor scuffs it has are all from parking garages in the city.
Around these parts I’m not the only one that has a similar sized truck or SUV. In fact, many are larger. It’s a Northwest thing I guess. Like an urbanites mythical connection to the great outdoors and the wilderness from whence we came and conquered.
I didn’t buy one because I watch a lot of emotionally branded masculine lifestyle commercials. Nor do I need a tribal bond with the rugged suburban outdoorsy types who hoist and haul and dump huge loads of stuff by the ton.
Urbanian Ramble, Parking in Seattle. Seagull sitting on a parking sign.
Mine is an Eddie Bauer model, 'the gentleman’s truck'. :O) It’s the perfect size for car pooling with coworkers, clients and family, and I need easy accessible room for my briefcase, laptop, projector, tripods, a portable projection screen and a few boxes of printed handouts and odds and ends like powerstrips etc... Always prepared!
Anyway, I’m 5’ 4” and my Napoleon complex has been in remission for many years. I just like sitting up higher where I can see better. I can’t tell you how many times that saved my bacon driving the freeways around here on a rainy day. But I digress.
I have a theory... The newer the building, the smaller the parking spaces. I’ve lost count of the times I pulled into a parking garage and the only 2 or 3 stalls left are so small and situated I can’t navigate my way in. Or, if I can, there’s no room to open the driver door and with high back bucket seats (and not being in my 20’s anymore) there’s no option to crawl through to the back and exit via the tailgate. I tried. It ain’t possible.
So, time is allotted for prowling in hopes that someone will soon leave one of the very few unreserved larger stalls. Fortunately and most of the time I make out just fine. I have a special connection. Whenever I enter a parking garage I immediately start talking to the Parking Angel. I learned that one years ago from my Auntie Marjorie.
Meanwhile, I do contemplate a 2nd smaller car and the possibleness of an angel for dings.
Originally posted on the Activerain Real Estate Network. Urbanian Ramble

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Melrose Grill...

Back in 1901 an Englishman, Ben Atkinson, after a successful run in the Alaska Yukon gold fields, came to Renton, Washington and built the Melrose Hotel. It was a three story, sixty room hotel complete with saloon, billiards room, and a cafe in old downtown Renton, Washington. The Melrose was a favorite watering hole for locals, mostly coal miners and brick factory workers back in the day.

The place caught fire in 1928 and destroyed the hotel rooms, the two top floors. The first floor was salvaged and restored, in fact the original bar is still there. According to the registry, it is officially the oldest historic building still in use in Renton, WA.



Many familiar old Renton families have owned this building from one time or another through the years including the Dobson’s, Nattucici’s, Bertozzi’s, and the Barei’s. I remember this place as a kid back in the early 1970's. The tavern was then owned by local heavy weight boxing champion, Boone Kirkman.

In 1997 Armondo Pavone, Tim and Kimberly Searing, and Charles and Beverly Keeslar purchased the building and created the Melrose Grill in 2002.



This intimate little neighborhood steakhouse is still thriving and a jewel of Renton cuisine. It seats only 84 (and 10 at the bar) so you’ll want to make reservations. I’ve eaten here many times and it is consistently a great experience and meal.

I love walking into this place! Like time travel, you’re immediately transported to an era of good old fashioned small town charm and graciousness with a very Italian flavor. It’s one of a kind, not a chain. It’s a wonderful authentic old place in Renton that serves up the best steak in town.

This is the place I tell my good friends about and anyone who’s visiting the area that asks me, “Where’s the best place to eat here if you want a really good steak and/or several other over the top PacNW options like seafood.”

The Melrose Grill, Renton, Washington.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Lupines and Buttercups

Lupines and buttercups are blooming in Federal Way, Washington, May 26, 2014.
Thinking some warm thoughts on a wet rainy day... Spring time in Federal Way, Washington at the Weyerhaeuser HQ in a field of blooming Lupines with buttercups.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Meet the Twins...

After finishing up our clock hour class, Mobile Communications Workshop, I'm headed back to my car at the University Village, Seattle when I ran into these two. Goober that I am sometimes, as I was walking up to them to say hello and take a photo. As often I do, I hit video record on the way... Sometimes accidents turn out okay!

#uvillage #seattle #mobilecomcamp #Ravenna #UW #udistrict

Monday, September 1, 2014

It's Back to School Time!

One of the most important things to remember this coming week and throughout the school year is,

“If you’re gonna be late. You’re gonna be late.”

Most of the K12 schools in the Puget Sound Region start the 2014 - 2015 school year this next week, the first week of September after Labor Day. I have to admit I dread it. Why? Traffic.

Dear citizens, neighbors and students who drive...
Don’t be surprised next week when you see a lot of school buses on the roads. Those quieter summer mornings are over with and getting out of your neighborhoods to get to work is going to take you a little bit longer. Drive careful, there will be a lot of little one’s by the side of the road with a parent, big brother, sister or neighbor walking to the bus stop. Slow down...

There will also be a lot of older kids without escort and if you know kids a few of them will be goofing off and not paying attention to the traffic. High Schooler’s, some of you will catch the bus, but many of you will be driving.

Please remember there is no ‘faster’  way to drive to school without putting yourself and everyone around you in peril.

School bus in Orting, Washington with Mt Rainier in the background.

The area colleges start the 2014 Fall Quarter anywhere from September 2nd through October 1st. Many of you live in the suburbs because you’re at home or because rent is a lot cheaper outside the city. You’ll be driving to town on the freeways during the commute. Please please please be patient. Most of the commuters headed into the city for work know the routine. Cooperation and courtesy will win the day and make it better for everyone.

You will not get to school on time by constantly weaving from lane to lane and trying to pass every single car in front of you. The only thing you will accomplish is slowing the entire commute down and now everyone is going to be late. Seriously, it’s pretty much pick a lane and stay in it. If you haven’t noticed all lanes go faster than the one you’re in, then they don’t.

After decades of commuting I can tell you no matter what lane you are in or how many cars and trucks you pass, we’re all going to get to that exit at about the exact same time, give or take a car or two.

Lastly, make sure you have enough gas. I know you drive a compact car that gets good mileage and your calculations give you pretty good odds you just might make it all the way to school and back, you’re using the wrong math.

You can’t factor gas consumption based on the manufacturers estimated highway mileage. The commute EATS GAS!

Be safe, learn a lot, have fun and don't forget, "If you’re gonna be late, you’re gonna be late."

It's back to school time was originally published on Activerain.com