Mercer Island Events & Organizations Guide

Mercer Island is the most populated island in Washington State.  But what is more important for res

Fall Home Maitenance Tips

With summer winding down it’s time to start a to-do list for fall maintenance on your house. Y

Happy 4th of July!

It’s a quietly bright day in Seattle after days of blazing golden sunshine.  We are back to o

Edy Kizaki

Strolling in Old Town Ballard

May 29, 2013 in Ballard, Seattle Lifestyle

OldTown12Early evening, still light, quiet tree-lined streets in Old Town Ballard hold a still promise of the dinner hour.  Lights from the restaurants, pubs, and wine cafes glow over wooden tables set artfully on old wooden floors, windows gleam with un-looked for bits and pieces of the past, and reflect trees, leaves, branches, telephone poles, passing couples strolling toward their favorite Old Town cafe.  It’s about OldTown13friends, conversation, a timeless walk letting the soft evening light and the greenery and old brick and wood surfaces sink in below the level of daily life to the place we keep those special moments.

The Seattle folks living in Ballard think of themselves more as Ballardites than Seattleites.  It is an urban village with so much character and charm and arguably some of the best restaurants, drinking places, and shops in the city, that people rarely need to go anywhere else to eat, go to the movies, shop, ride their OldTown01bikes, or go out for live music and socializing.  Even the Tuesday after Memorial Day a rusty girl’s voice drifts out over a guitar rift from an open door, couples sit over starkly elegant drinks at Bitterroot, and the Noble Fir is as usual absolutely packed with couples at tables with white clothes.

What could one possible want that is not here?  There is even a new hotel (Hotel Ballard) on Ballard Ave, giving the Ballard Inn (always my favorite with the air of docks and yesteryear) some competition and OldTown08worth staying at no matter where in the city your destination lies.

The Ballard Inn lists some of the best things to do, and I strongly recommend you allow plenty of time to enjoy yourself in this, perhaps the best Seattle destination to unwind and live timelessly, for however long you are here.  (For information on Ballard real estate and homes and condos for sale in Ballard please OldBallardclick here to go to my blog on the current Ballard market, or for an in-depth look at a superb Gelato spot on Ballard Ave, check out my blog on D’Ambrosio Gelato.)








Edy Kizaki

Ballard Old Town Gelato

May 29, 2013 in Ballard, Coffeehouses

Gelateria01 Gelateria05 Gelateria06 A couple of hours to fill on a quiet evening right after Memorial Day.  It’s a serious holiday with a lot of remembrance and giving thanks for those who have gone before, sacrificed, left us so much.  Now in the aftermath of that day of contemplation and an almost dreamy looking back quality, what could be better than to head to Old Ballard.  Ballard Ave seems nothing so much as a street cloaked in 100 years of brick and old wood history.  The shops and restaurants are in premium space, so only the best prevail, and perhaps like New York, San Francisco, or some premier European cities, Ballard is most enjoyable because it is so very much itself.  Granted it may be smaller than some of its illustrious cousins mentioned above, but there is so much per square foot that you will never see it all in one day and you will never tire of it.  Most people that live nearby possessively treasure the Ballard Sunday Market and the surrounding Gelateria05old brick and wood buildings with their gold leaf signed windows and the leafy reflections that seem to cast shadows of the past onto our day.  Mornings the streets are quiet but many arrive in search of the bountiful brunch spreads that the local eateries are renowned for.  Afternoon brings shoppers and fresh diners.  And toward evening, the dinner hour begins with popular happy hours that tempt.  And after dinner the drinking, live music, and socializing brings a lively, swirling crowd.

In among all these lovely choices for treats, we knew exactly where we were headed.  My son wanted to go to D’Ambrosio Gelato which he’d been gazing at from the sidewalk last Sunday while at the Farmer’s Market.  “Mom, there’s a new gelato shop, we should try it!” I didn’t have the heart to tell him it wasn’t new, it has in fact been there several years, because at 11 he’s just starting to notice so much and why not let him be a discoverer in his own right.  We parked about seven blocks away but no worries, every foot of the stroll was worthwhile as there is so much to see and experience.  When we got there, the friendly young man behind the counter offered us tastes before we committed ourselves to a flavor or two.  I tried Caramello al Sale (salted caramel) at my son’s recommendation, and found it rich and creamy and rewarding, and then tried the Variegato Amarena (kirsch cherry) and loved it.  I settled on a cup (small, to be as noble as possible) of cherry and lemonatta, a wonderful duo.  Daniel chose the salted caramel and an orange cream.  The server made an art piece of the mix of the two flavors.  We got a fresh cannoli to take home to Dad, with a choice of filling of either traditional cream or (D’Ambrosia’s theme) pistachio cream, filled while we watched.


You are invited to taste before you make your flavor choices.Sitting in the window, slowing enjoying the creamy treat while watching the blue light in the street and the people passing, we were in no hurry to go anywhere else at all.  As each couple or group came in and ordered, laughing and joking with the young man serving, the remarkable simple pleasure of the moment seemed to permiate the whole cafe and we stayed quite a while just watching the light change and hearing the murmur of voices as people spent some very quiet and somehow dreamy moments together.  I’d like to keep that moment alive in my soul as the week goes forward, but it is great to know that living here in Ballard, it is quite easy to find our way back anytime we have the impulse to visit and taste the wide variety we have yet to enjoy! (For some insight on the Ballard real estate market this month and to look at some Ballard homes for sale, please go to my Ballard Real Estate Now blog.)

Edy Kizaki

March in Seattle 2013

March 1, 2013 in Seattle This Month

Crocus2Everybody keeps saying it’s already spring!  I know the little purple crocus blossoms are coming up on our lawn at the base of the huge maple tree with the swing in it.  And the sun is bright!  Looking out the window you’d think it was short-sleave weather but there’s still a chill bite when you go out.  That crocus1translates to 46 degrees for you numbers guys.  Down vest weather, I’d say, with a bright colored shirt!  (Wear bright pink or orange in Seattle and everyone will tell you how much they like your clothes… look at the street and practically everyone is wearing gray, black, or some subdued tone, it’s funny!)


Seattle Asian Art Museum Family Saturdays
March 2, SAAM in Volunteer Park (families are free, 10-5) craft activities, and Kidflicks 11-2

Rose Care from Seattle Rose Society
March 2, noon-3 in Woodland Park Zoo Rose Garden

Kent Kids’ Art Day
March 2, 10-4 Kent Commons
Crafts and performance by Bill Harley, children’s entertainer

Dr. Seuss’ Birthday Celebration (*kids!)
March 3, Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park (3:30 p.m)
also Pottery Barn at U Village (
also Parkplace Books in Kirkland (3 p.m., free)

Sewing & Stitchery Expo
March 1 – 3, Puyallup Fair & Events Center

Northwest Women’s Show
March 1 – 3, CenturyLink Field Event Center

Polar Science Weekend (*kids!)
March 1 – 3 Sat & Sun, Pacific Science Center

Penn Cove Mussel Festival
March 2 – 3, Downtown Coupeville

Winthrop Balloon Roundup
March 1 – 3, Downtown Winthrop & the Winthrop Inn

Seattle Dances
Saturday, March 2, Fremont Studios, Seattle

First Thursday Art in Occidental Park
Thursday March 7

RAGS Wearable Art Show and Sale
Thursday, March 7, Fife WA

Talk of the Town Dinner Parties to Benefit Town Hall
Thursday evening, March 7

Young Playwrights’ Festival at ACT
March 7 – 9
ACT – A Contemporary Theater, Seattle

SAM Remix event (tickets online sold out, limited number at door)
March 8

Seattle Spring International Gem and Jewelry Show
March 8 – 10, Seattle Center

Steampunk Exhibition Ball
March 9, 2013,

Dino Day (*kids!)
Sunday March 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, Burke Museum, Seattle

Early Masters Show at SAM (think Rembrant) ends!!!!! go now!!!!
Ends March 10

Spring Forward
March 10 (Sunday night) turn your clocks forward 1 hour
at midnight it becomes 1 a.m.

Spring Craft and Antique Show
March 14 – 16, Northwest WA Fair and Events Center, Lynden

Penumbra Beer Bash
March 16, 4 p.m. to midnight (Saturday at King’s Hall)

Driftwood Show and Glass Float Roundup
March 16 – 17, Gray’s Harbor at Grayland Community Hall

Irish Festival
March 16 – 17, Seattle Center
Don’t miss the annual St. Paddy’s Day parade!

American Girl Fashion Show 2013 (to benefit Children’s Hospital)
March 16 – 17, Bellevue Hilton (5 show choices)

aia Seattle Tour of Architects
March  23 -24

Spring Best of the Northwest Art and Fine Craft Show
March 23 – 24, Smith Cove Cruise Terminal, Seattle

Olympic BirdFest
March 30 – April 1, Sequim

Mount Baker Rock and Gem Club GEM & MINTERAL Show
March 30 – 31, Bloedel-Donovan Park, Bellingham

Sandhill Crane Festival
April 5-7, Othello

Note on Good Times:

The Washington Trails Association is dedicated to expanding and improving our state’s hiking and biking trails.  Every year volunteers execute hundreds of projects that make our state a better place to be.  Go meet some people worth knowing and enjoy yourself while making a difference!

The Nature Conservancy, active around the world, has Northwest trips.  These include one-day events which can be about managing various types of “invasive vegetation.”  Meet new people and get involved or bring some friends and make it a party…or both!