Olympic Manor Christmas Lights

If you’re a lover of all things Christmas, including the best light displays in town, look no further-Ballard’s Olympic Manor is where you can find them.  The community creates excessive displays in the month of December as many around Seattle take a walking or driving tour along the streets every year.  Pictured to the left are a few of the outrageous homes in all of their light bulb glory.  The Olympic Manor community is actually encouraged to decorate as part of their homeowners association rules.  Many begin the tour at Northwest 85th Street and 23rd Avenue Northwest and make their way through the neighborhood.  This is a great place to take your family this holiday season, so bundle up and take a stroll by these magical homes.

Lunchbox Laboratory Moves to South Lake Union

Lunchbox Laboratory, is hailed for serving up some of the best and most unique burgers in Seattle since its opening in 2008. The Ballard-based experimental eatery serves anything from American comfort food like tuna casseroles and fried foods, to specialty burgers made with tender-loving trial and error. The man behind the grill is chef Scott Simpson, who also created the Blue Onion Bistro. At the lab, Simpson serves up memorable beef, turkey, lamb and dork (a mix of duck and pork) burgers with a wide variety of toppings and sides. Their current small, retro location in Ballard at 7302.5 15th Avenue N.W., has a chalkboard menu; diners formulate their burgers from a number of columns choosing thier preferred meat, cheese, condiments and toppings. That same pick-your-burger chalkboard is soon to be hanging on a different wall come January. John Schmidt, the owner of Southlake Grill, has partnered with Simpson to open Lunchbox Laboratory’s new location in Lake Union where the Grill currently sits. At 1253 Thomas Street, the new Lunchbox Laboratory will have two levels and nearly 5,000 sf to amaze customers with its creations. Just as the square-footage, the menu will be expanding as well, incorporating dishes that were served at Blue Onion Bistro. The restaurant is set to open January 24th. Sadly, Ballard will have to say farewell to the one-of-a-kind burger joint and head to South Lake Union if they want another taste. SLU residents get ready-something good is coming your way!

Streetlight Problems in Ballard

Apparently, the Seattle City Light streetlight scare has yet to cease. News broke that a second animal was shocked on Thanksgiving Day. On 85th Street in the Greenwood community of Ballard, a dog was shocked but suffered no fatal injuries. The dog’s owner reported the incident Wednesday, and after investigating, crews found the post was emitting 120 volts, a dangerously high amount. This incident is one of many reported in the Seattle area, as others have occurred in Queen Anne, West Seattle, and Capitol Hill. Seattle City Light is currently conducting a city-wide investigation of nearly 20,000 lights.

My Favorite Christmas House in Seattle

Christmas House

Christmas House

This house would make Clark Griswold green (like a Christmas tree) with envy if he ever visited Ballard.  Every holiday season I make it a point to go by my favorite Christmas decorated house in Seattle.  Before I do, I actually worry that the Ballard area house won’t be decorate: that they moved away, that they are getting too old, or they are just too tired to do all that work for one more year.  But every year, when I turn right from NW 85th Street and head north on 8th Avenue NW I can see the glow from the house almost 4 blocks away.  I can almost see the electric meter spinning out of control as a drive up to the house.  How the grid can take the power needed to light up this house – I will never know.

To the owners, I can only say thank you for decorating your house in Christmas lights every year.  It truly is my favorite Christmas house in Seattle.

And to everyone else, don’t just look at the pictures, drive by.

I did see a for sale sign by the house, but I am hoping it was for the neighbor’s house.  Because next Christmas, I want to come back and see it again.

Christmas Ships

Every year, Argosy Cruises runs it’s annual Greater Seattle Christmas Ship festival, featuring a holiday cruise that sails to over 45 waterfront communities in the Puget Sound Area .  The long running tradition (over 61 years) features holiday music from an on-board choir, full decor and a meal option.  Aboard the ship, passengers enjoy the sites of the season from the water.  On-shore, many community members gather in anticipation of the Christmas ship’s arrival to see the beautiful sights.   They are visiting many Seattle neighborhoods this Holiday Season.  If you’re in Ballard, see the ships this Sunday, December 12th at Carkeek Park from 6:00-6:20 pm and in Blue Ridge from 6:30-6:50 pm.  Wednesday, December 15th the ships will also be visiting the Locks from 8:10-8:30 pm and Golden Garden Parks from 9:05-9:25 pm.  Head down early to get the best parking options.  Don’t miss out on this long-standing tradition and see the Christmas Ships this holiday season!  Follow the link to see a full schedule of stops and tickets.

Ballard Art Walk – Saturday (Dec 11th) 6-9PM: An Excuse to See New Bar

Ballard Art Walk is this Saturday from 6 – 9 PM.  We will be there this weekend taking pictures so look for those next week.  Click here to see the Ballard Art Walk Map.

Ballard Ave

Ballard Ave - Junction Bldg

Also, there is a new bar opening up on Old Ballard Avenue, I believe tonight (Thursday).  It is in The Junction Building (the triangle building) across from the Tractor at the corner of Ballard Ave and 20th: 5200 Ballard Avenue.  This is located near several of the Art Walk stops: Senor Moose, Earthues, Conor Byrne, and Cugini Cafe.  I am going to use the Art Walk as an excuse to stop by and check out the new Ballard Ave establishment!

2010 Winter Beer Festival

Hale’s Palladium, located on Ballard’s Leary Way, is hosting the 2010 Winter Beer Festival this weekend, Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th. The Winter Beer Festival, brought to you by the Washington Beer Commission, will feature seasonal beers from over 30 local breweries. The Commission represents all Washington breweries and has done so since the Summer of 2007. Keep warm in this winter air by tasting a variety of beers including specials from Elliot Bay Brewing, Chuckanut Brewery in Bellingham, and Flyers Brewery in Oak Harbor, just to name a few. Wash down what you’re eating which will include treats from Theo Chocolate and grub from Hale’s Ales Brewery and Pub. Tickets are $23/person in advance and $25 at the door. Admission includes a tasting cup and six 5 oz. tastes. If you’re paying at the door, make sure to bring some cash! Extra tokens are $1.50/piece. Act quickly, because advance sales end tomorrow morning at 5:00 am. Please visit the official site for more details. Happy drinking!