Seattle Funding Precinct – Liaison Attorneys

When there is a public safety issue or a chronic neighbor nuisance, it’s not always most efficient or effective to call 911. Sometimes, it’s best to go through a precinct-liaison program. Up until now, Seattle budget cutbacks have prevented funding to such programs.  According to a Seattle Times article, the Seattle City Council has restored funding to allow four attorney liaisons in  Seattle’s five police precincts.

For the Ballard area, your precinct liaison attorney is Jana Jorgensen. Starting in mid-February, you can contact her as a resource to solve neighborhood issues, like nuisance properties, feuding neighbors, and gang activity. Additionally, she lives in the North precinct, so she has a vested interest in the public safety issues of Ballard and the surrounding neighborhoods. With a precinct liaison attorney, it increases the police capabilities, using legal means to solve community issues. You can contact her at 206-684-7765 for your community needs, starting mid-February. To view the precinct-liaison attorneys in the other precincts of Seattle or for more information, please visit the Seattle Times article.

Amber Den to Open in Ballard in February

Amber Den is opening in Ballard in February. Located at 1556 N.W. 56th St., the Amber Den will focus on serving fine wine, craft beer, and Mediterranean small plates in a comfortable atmosphere. Owner Nick Simonton is hoping to allow people to appreciate fine foods while in a relaxed atmosphere. For more info, please visit its website, Facebook, or Twitter.

In my opinion, this is a fantastic idea for a Ballard restaurant. In a city where we wear gortex to the nicest Seattle restaurants, Amber Den epitomizes the personality of Seattleites. I’m excited to see this place open up in my neighborhood and can’t wait to try it out. It’s also in a nice, developing area of Ballard that currently has a lot of open spaces. Neighboring spaces will be important to Amber Den’s success, as a way to draw people away from Ballard Avenue and toward this location. To see the open spaces, view them here.

Courtesy of Ewing & Clark


Ballard Bank Approved for New Building

Ballard Hjarta IIThe DPD has approved plans to replace the Ballard building at 2020 NW Market, home of the Washington Federal Savings and Loan Building. The new Washington Federal Savings and Loan Building in Ballard will keep the same address, but designs show a 9,000 sq.ft structure with parking for 13-14 cars. EHS Design describes the early structure designs as “a new old building” and that it will be a “nice backdrop to the Carnegie [Library].”

For more information, please view the report here. If you would like to submit a design appeal, it must be received by January 26th, 2012.

Ballard’s Going Down Under: Kangaroo & Kiwi Pub Moving to Ballard

Great news, Ballardites! Ballard is getting a little dose of Southern Hemisphere action, as the Kangaroo & Kiwi Pub has plans to move to Ballard in April. According to the Ballard News Tribune, the Kangaroo & Kiwi Pub will occupy the ground floor of the Old Carnegie Library, filling the 3,000 sq. ft space with a restaurant, wine cellar, and even a backyard patio.

This is an excellent fit for Ballard. I’ve been to the Kangaroo & Kiwi Pub in Green Lake and enjoyed the tone. It has the “down undah'” vibe without being kitschy. If you’re looking for a place that plays Phil Collins non-stop and has fighting kangaroos, this isn’t the place. Instead, it honors the culture with Australian and New Zealand cuisine, like lamb sandwiches and vegemite! It also offers import beer options beyond Foster’s, and plays rugby, cricket, and football matches on the TV.

As mentioned in an earlier blog, Ballard is turning into a 21+ version of the EPCOT World Showcase. I can’t wait to check this place out in April!

Warm Up at La Carta de Oaxaca in Ballard

Yesterday, in the middle of the 2012 Seattle Snowpocalypse, I realized that I was almost out of food, and I was STARVING. Not wanting to slowly wither away as the storm worsened, I headed in the direction where I could feed my hunger – not towards the grocery store, but towards Ballard Ave. As I used my inner strength to push me towards the street, I noticed hardly anything was open! The Tractor? Closed. Hattie’s Hat? Closed. The People’s Pub? Closed. My stomach growled.

As my eyesight blurred, my friend spotted a snowman, wearing a sombrero. Was it a mirage? I inched closer and saw a beacon of light; the snowman belonged to La Carta de Oaxaca, and the restaurant was OPEN and there were actually tables available! I have been meaning to try La Carta de Oaxaca for months, but every time I walk by, it is completely packed. So, you know it must be good. After warming up with La Carta de Oaxaca’s food, I found out it is one of the best restaurants in Ballard.

First off, the food is incredible. I ordered the mole enchilada, which arrived with a fried egg, showcasing how authentic La Carta de Oaxaca is. I bit into it and I could feel my taste buds smile. It came on a smaller plate, so I thought it wouldn’t be enough food; I left the restaurant stuffed! My friend ordered molotes, potatoes and beef sausage wrapped in fried homemade tortillas. Those were filling and incredible; you can always tell when something is homemade too. Muy bueno. My other friend ordered posole, a pork and hominy stew. That was also delicious. La Carta de Oaxaca also boasts a salsa bar, which is apparently very common in California. It’s fantastic to have salsa made out of fresh veggies for your meal. It’s 10x better than the Azteca salsa, which comes from who knows where.

Along with being delicious, La Carta de Oaxaca runs an honest business. As we were sitting down and removing our many layers of coats, a $100 bill flew out of my pocket and I didn’t notice. An employee picked it up and asked if it was mine. He definitely got a big tip due to his honesty!

La Carta de Oaxaca is a great place to go to warm up in the winter or to cool down in the summer. The food is incredible and the service is amazing. It’s a bit pricey but worth every penny. It’s a fantastic place! It is packed for a reason, but it certainly isn’t something to be missed.


Free Ballard: Not from Seattle’s Snow

Free Ballard! After this weekend’s snowstorm,  Ballard doesn’t need to be freed from the snow. While snow hit neighborhoods across Seattle, Ballard received a mere dusting of “corn” snow by Monday morning. Here’s a picture I took before I left for work this morning.

There isn’t even enough to make a snowball. However, I would still advise people to walk and drive with caution. The roads can be slick and icy, as it is cold.

While I was receiving invitations on Sunday to join snowball fights in Ravenna, Ballard looked like this:

Ballardites, how did you fare in the first Seattle snowfall of the season? How does it look now? Leave your comments or pictures here.

One Way to Deal With a Ringing Cell Phone: Stopping the Symphony

Ringing cell phones happen everywhere, including at New York Philharmonic performance. Last Tuesday, a patron’s cell phone rang in the middle of a Mahler piece. According to the Associated Press, the conductor completely stopped the orchestra from playing until the patron had silenced his cell phone.

How embarrassing for the patron. However, something must be done about these ringing cell phones. It has become a nuisance. While embarrassment is bad, it certainly isn’t as bad as being choked for not silencing a cell phone.

Ballardites, you may recall a news story at the end of November where a man was choked by a patron at the Majestic Bay Theatre, because the victim’s cell phone was on and disturbing the movie.  That is certainly one way to handle this ridiculous nuisance.


Beloved Ballard Burger Place Closes

According to Seattle Weekly via MyBallard, Zesto’s Burger & Fish House is closed. The beloved retro restaurant at 6416 15th Ave NW will be replaced by RoRo BBQ and Burgers, a local Seattle chain.

I had a chance to stop by Zesto’s in December before it closed. I had no idea it was going to close. However, it makes sense, as the service and quality weren’t quite what it used to be in earlier years. Although it is sad that a restaurant is closing after 63 years, I’m glad it is being replaced by a local Seattle restaurant. I personally love BBQ and have only heard good things about RoRo’s.

Ballard Starbucks Moving to Lombardi Space

On the prime corner of 22nd Ave NW and NW Market St, the old Lombardi’s space will be vacant no more. According to, Starbucks has announced plans to move its current store a few spaces down to the larger, vacant space. The larger Starbucks is expected to open in June. In its expansion, Starbucks is aiming to reflect the Seattle mentality and work in as many recycled and reused elements as possible.

I’m grateful Starbucks is moving to a larger storefront. The current location is small and doesn’t offer much in the terms of seating. With a larger Starbucks, there will be more than enough room to seat, meet, study, and more. It’ll have room to transform into a coffee house, Viennese style. Either way, I cannot wait to check it out. I’m also eager for the opening of Ballard Coffee Works right across the street.



Indulge your Inner Scandinavian at the Nordic International Film Festival

Yar, Ballard vikings. There’s a way to indulge your Scandinavian selves this weekend. The Nordic Lights Film Festival is happening from tonight to Sunday. You have the opportunity to see 9 feature-length films and a package of short films from January 6th – January 8th. If you see all of them, you might find yourself craving lingonberries, running out of butter, and wanting to shop at IKEA.

So, what can you expect at the 3rd annual NLFF? Unfortunately, no Ingmar Bergman. But, there is a slew of fantastic Scandinavian directors out there, so don’t fret. The Oscar and Golden Globe-winning Denmark movie, “In a Better World,” will be playing. Additionally, “When the Pepper Blossoms” will be presented at the festival; it is about Swedish emigration to Brazil at the turn of the century. Visit the NLFF website to see the full list of movies playing this weekend.

Price-wise, it’s $10 for each individual screening. Or you can purchase a festival pass for $50. There’s also a few discounts. Go here for more info. All films will be shown in SIFF cinema at the Film Center. I repeat – the Nordic Lights Film Festival is NOT being shown in lil’ Scandinavian, Ballard, which would be the rational location. In case you don’t know, the SIFF Cinema Film Center is located in the Seattle Center’s Northwest Rooms, between the Key Arena and the Seattle Repertory Theatre.