Seattle Outsider Musings

Book Review
Lost Seattle, by Rob Ketcherside
$18.95 – Available at Third Place Books (Lake Forest), and Village Books (Bellingham)

It’s a stark, albeit appropriate title for a book about an American city that was founded in 1851, relatively late in our country’s history.  In this glossy 144-page coffee table book, author Ron Ketcherside captures the essence of the rise and fall (by fire), and rise again of the then current-day regional metropolis known as Seattle.  Although this book focuses on architectural treasures either lost to the wrecking ball or natural disaster, nowhere is the name Chief Sealth mentioned, the Duwamish tribal leader for whom the city was named–an unfortunate omission for a book that describes itself as one intended to illuminate the heritage of Seattle…
That being said, the book’s pages will be eye candy for the historically-inclined, featuring many previously unpublished archival images of architectural treasures that have either been lost, altered or repurposed over the years.
Of particular interest to this reviewer is the book’s chapter entitled “Luna Park – Disassembled 1913”. (Every Lost Seattle chapter subject title features a descriptive tag line such as Closed, Condemned, Relocated, Toppled, Burned and [happily] Returned, followed by the year of its respective downfall).  The 800-pound gorilla in the room here is either Ketcherside’s less-than-thorough research or, worse yet, his intentional white-wash of the rather sordid back story of Luna Park’s short-lived history.  Uh hum; had something to do with fire.  Twice…
In any case, the spirit of the amusement park proudly lives on in the form of West Seattle’s beloved Luna Park Cafe, a veritable shrine to Luna Park’s bygone glory days.  [An added benefit is dining there, especially for Sunday breakfast where the bartender pours very generous sized Mimosas–not to mention the eclectic people watching atmosphere–make the visit well worth making].

Mark Your Calendar

Owners of Ballard's Delancey are donating their restaurant space for the "Cook Your Heart Out" book sale May 3 and 4.

Owners of Ballard’s Delancey are donating their restaurant space for the “Cook Your Heart Out” book sale May 3 and 4.

Getting back to the subject of books, cookbooks, that is, you won’t want to miss the Friends of the Seattle Public Library’s upcoming “Cook Your Heart Out” book sale held May 3 and 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the compact, temporarily repurposed Delancey restaurant, located at 1415 NW 70th Street in Ballard.  Almost 2,000 donated books will be up for grabs, with prices starting at $2.00.  In a recent interview with Friends of Seattle Library book-sale director Alice Springer, Seattle Times food writer Rebekah Denn learned that some of the cookbook collectors who have donated beloved collections to the organization’s sales in the past have left with tears in their eyes at letting go, adding “When people drop off books they are trying to find a good home for them.”  Somebody get me a hanky, quick!

 


It’s time to get in touch with your inner outdoor-gardener self!  Whether you fall into the category of serious peony freak, or beginner just wanting to start a backyard vegetable garden, there’s a plethora of upcoming local gardening events the weekend of May 2-4 that should appeal to everyone with a throbbing green thumb.
Among them:

–  The Second Annual Seattle Luoyang Peony Festival: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Seattle Chinese Gardens, 6000 16th Ave. SW.  (For the uninitiated, Luoyang being the famed peony capital of China).  Admission is free; donations welcome, so says KING-TV’s “Gardening with Ciscoe” host and Seattle Times columnist Ciscoe Morris.  Go to http://www.seattlechinesegarden.org for further information.


–  King County Master Gardener Plant Sale: 
8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, May 3, and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Sunday, May 4 at the Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st Street, Seattle.  Preview party, 5:30 -8 p.m. Friday, May 2 ($40 admission for appetizers, wine and first pick of the plants).  Go to mgfkc.org for further information.

Happy reading and happy gardening to all!

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