Spud's New Mural with a Purpose

I was lucky enough to meet a talented local teen named Austin Picinich last summer when he had his own booth at Kirkland's Summerfest.  This young man is unstoppable with his amazing art that he pairs with community-focused and sustainability-centric messages.  Austin's next project is painting a 62-foot exterior wall mural on the side of SPUD Fish & Chips in Juanita to raise awareness for salmon in Juanita Creek. Austin is working with Urban Artworks to host a Community Paint Day this spring.  And, yes, that means you will be able to volunteer and get involved to help make his magic happen.  There will also be a plaque about salmon and the history of Juanita Creek.

In case your inner elf self would like to help support this project, Austin is also raising funds to help cover the cost of paint, permits, brushes, and other associated material costs.  He's a little more than halfway to his goal! Check out his pictures of the upcoming mural we will soon all be able to enjoy.  I'll let you know when they need volunteers this spring!

AustinPicinich  AustinPicinich (digital draft in progress)


Eclectic6Sal     Eclectic6Sal 

Too many things are opening and I can't keep up! Ack!  Cloud Food Court, Hola House, Sasquatch Strength, Alesia, and  Natural Wine are all OPEN. I need the downpours (and holidays) to stop so I can go meander around downtown without getting drenched and check these spots out. I did pop in and say hello to Sal, the manager at "Eclectic" at 3 Lake St, whose sign is not quite up yet, where Crush's Kirkland storefront used to be.

Eclectic4   Eclectic6Sal
There are so many colors, it was really fun to take photos!  This new shop has handmade products from Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and India so everything is handmade and unique.  There are colorful painted ceramic lead-free bowls ($17/ea or 3 for $45, photo) that are safe for eating and handwashing. You'll also discover mosaic lamps in a variety of sizes and colors($100-1200) which remind me of my Grandma's house and her fancy Tiffany-style lamp.  Sal can help you sort through the various colors and styles of handmade rugs too ($1-5K).  He's already noticed how friendly people are here, so don't forget to spread your holiday cheer here too!

Kirkland Greens

First and foremost, thank you festive holiday people of Kirkland!  It feels like everyone is on their game early this year with sparkly lights everywhere and it makes me smile.  This week I plan to pause and be thankful for about 150 things before I glue myself to the Cyber Monday deals.  But a little planning ahead never hurt anyone either, especially if you are sharing your good cheer.  I've heard a few people clammering for Christmas trees already...

KiwanisFlyer small Final (1) KiwanisIMG_5489 (photo cred: Kirkland Kiwanis)

The ever-famous 2021 Kiwanis of Kirkland Christmas Tree sale will be open the day after Thanksgiving (11/26) in the Juanita Beach Park parking lot.  You will find trees from 3-12 feet ($55-190) in addition to wreaths, garland, and See's Candy.  Hours are every day 10 am-7 pm but  CLOSED on Weds. they'll be open until 12/24 or until the trees are gone.  Proceeds support the Club, the Kirkland Kiwanis Foundation, and local children's charities.  This is one of their biggest fundraisers of the year, and the trees always go fast, so get there early for the best selection. Want to help volunteer with set-up? What a fun way to stay warm outside and be a good citizen.

Green Trips and  SLK Logo
Besides trees, there's another kind of 'green' effort launching in Kirkland! It's called Kirkland Green Trip, to promote shopping locally while encouraging alternative transportation. Parking may not be our strong-suit in downtown, but fabulous shops and a family/friendly community certainly are.  There will be weekly prizes awarded during the month of December if you simply take a selfie of yourself shopping locally and your green mode of transportation. Learn how to submit your entry here. #shoplocalkirkland

And a quick glimpse into some holiday events for this upcoming weekend...

  • Sat 11/27 1-3 pm and Sun 11/28 1-3 there will be carolers at The Village at Totem Lake
  • Sat 11/27 11 am-2 pm families can check out Kirkland Urban's "snow globe" to meet and get a photo taken with Santa (safely seated behind a plexiglass barrier). There will also be crafts and a holiday0-themed selfie station. This event continues each Saturday leading up to Christmas.
  • Santa's mailbox will be up in front of the downtown Bank of America and in Kirkland Urban from Thanksgiving thru 12/18.  Santa writes back!  Get your requests in early (Santa is not immune to supply chain issues!)
  • Nightly holiday tree lighting at 5pm for all of December in Marina Park.

I have more to share. But I need to go welcome my college kids home and buy brussel sprouts and egg nog (to go with the Fireball) and things like that right now. Enjoy your Thanksgiving, Kirkland! I am thankful to have you as part of our community. xo


Diamonds and Departures

I've lived in Kirkland since 1998 and Vince from Lake Street Diamond (106 Lake St) is one of a handful of merchants that I remember being around since my Day 1 as a steadfast and reliable community member.  But after 37 years of helping locals design and select beautiful jewelry pieces, it is time for some well-deserved rest.  He was reminiscing that when he opened in 1984, Kirkland was a sleepy little town even though, he chuckles, "there was no parking then either."   

LakeStDiamondRetirementSale LakeStDiamondGiftBag

Our beloved Vince and his wife Lu are throwing a giant retirement sale with up to 70% off to clear out their merchandise before they close their doors in mid-January.  And I know you love things that sparkle (or someone that does!), so hurry on in for the best selection and wish them well in their next phase of life.  Not surprisingly, I was canvassing each case, and there's both casual and fancy along with a variety of price points for some early holiday shopping.  I may or may not have purchased something depending on who is reading this ;-)  

Bartell Drugs Opens on Central Way


I will sleep better at night knowing there is a convenient location in downtown Kirkland (312 Central Way) where I can grab a charcuterie plate, a greeting card, a prescription, lipgloss, band-aids,a flu shot, and a bottle of vodka all in one stop. Bartell Drugs , owned by Rite Aid, has been a local family business and is now in its 131st year in the Seattle area.  They pride themselves on knowing their customers and being a trusted wellness destination to the communities they serve.  To celebrate their official opening day this Saturday 11/13 from 7 am-12 pm, they will have gift basket giveaways, caricature drawings (always entertaining!),  and the first 200 customers in the door will receive a limited edition coffee mug with a surprise $5-250 gift card inside. 

Bartelllowaisles   Bartelllowaisles  Bartelllowaisles

At the ribbon cutting on Monday, my OCD tendencies were satiated by all of Bartell's straight lines and beautifully fully stocked shelves.  I felt I had found my people.  It's also handy that there is a line of sight over the tops of the aisles to easily orient yourself and find your next item easily.   They love partnering with local vendors, so you will see many familiar brands that you already enjoy like Beecher's cheese and hellooooo Theo Chocolate, free with an in-store purchase of $10 or more 11/13. Don't forget there is also a photo center AND a key maker machine, which I need every-so-often and never remember where I have seen them when I actually need one. Filing this info away in my foggy for later. 

Remember there is some street parking and also underground parking (entrance on Central Way), in addition to delivery services or curbside pickup.  Store hours are Mon-Fri 7am-10pm and Sat/Sun 7am-9pm.  And since I know you are curious, yes, the apartments above are open and people are already moved in. Grab your raincoat and go give them a warm welcome on Saturday so you can get some swag and mess up all of their straight lined shelves. 


Everybody Fan Tang Tonight

(*this post has been edited)
Have you been to Fan Tang Asian Café in Houghton next to Met Market yet? The Northwest-inspired Hunan style food is really fresh and delicious. You can chat and ask questions of a friendly helper at the counter, or there are also digital kiosks where you can self-order (similar to Shake Shack).   Photos on the electronic menu really help a girl out.  I went with the ginger chicken noodle bowl ($13.25) and it made me super happy on a cold rainy day (photo below)


There's plenty of seating in their modern dining room, and I was glad to see a good handful of other locals had already discovered this little hotspot of generational family recipes.  And friends have been raving to me about the food they tried, the depth of flavors in the soup, and also the customer service when the owner goes out of his way to make sure you are happy with your selection.  Add this to your list!

Tues-Sunday 11 am-8:30 pm. 10615 NE 68th St, 425-298-4597, info@fantang.com 

 FanTangDigitalmenu FanTangFood FanTangdiningroom

Making Magic Happen in our Parks

Has anyone else been wondering what's been going on at David Brink park and its waterfront construction? This shoreline renovation is slated to be done in January of 2022 with the goal of increasing accessibility and making improvements to the pier and shoreline that the fish and Mother Earth will appreciate. The project overview and timeline are here. 

Kirkland Parks is trying to rally our citizens to participate in a survey so they can take into account your recreation wishes for the community.  This is an opportunity to give your feedback.  The survey says it takes "10 minutes" but I am calling BS on the time estimate. But....that shouldn't matter if this is something you care about, good feedback takes a little thought and time.  The survey is here and available in multiple languages until it closes on Nov 11th. There are some fun ideas on there!


Get your Tricks & Treats Ready

Time for a sugar buzz! Get your spooky selves ready for Saturday October 30th, because it is going to be the perfect little kid Halloween pre-funk day.  Start off with strolling your kids in costume down for Pumpkins in the (Marina) Park where there will be carnival games, vendors, sweet treats, a dog costume contest, and professional pumpkin carving.   Then participating downtown merchants will welcome trick-or-treaters at 1pm.  

If your festive stamina is in its prime, keep on rolling down to the amazing Treat Street at Kirkland Urban from 3-7pm. This free family-friendly event includes:

  • Kid-friendly games and treats provided by local Kirkland businesses, a giant candy shoot and larger than life, light-up Halloween character displays. 
  • Balloon and glitter artists, a popcorn station and a pumpkin craft, courtesy of Clown Buggie Entertainment
  • Enchanting acrobatic performances by costumed characters from Down to Earth Aerials
  • Family-friendly Halloween tunes provided by DJ Carlos Valencia from Energia Events
  • Complimentary festive light up toys provided by Wheelhouse Promotions & Events
  • An “Instagram-able” fall/harvest installation, designed by Top Knotch Events, Twinkle Treesand Seattle Giant Letters. 

Kirkland Urban is an inclusive and accessible open-air shopping center, and to support children and adults of all abilities, sensory sensitive toolkits will be available onsite during this event, as well as all future Kirkland Urban events. These toolkits include noise-canceling headphones, sensory/fidget toys, earplugs, and an identifier sticker/badge. Sensory-sensitive toolkits can be picked up upon arrival.  

That's a pretty solid warm-up for Halloween! Have a scary- good time.