Have “Coffee With Everything” at Café Con Todo

Coffee and Dance, the perfect match!                            Image via Cafe Con Todo’s Instagram (@cafecontodoseattle)

Cafe Con Todo, literally translates to “Coffee with everything”- Now there’s a message we can really get behind!

In a city where Coffee is almost more essential than water to daily life, good coffee shops are paramount, and Café Con Todo more than fits the bill.

Located in Fremont, mere blocks from Ballard in the area known as ‘Frelard’, Café Con Todo is nestled between a hot yoga studio and the dance studio to which it is attached (Salsa Con Todo, or SCT), making it oh-so perfectly Seattle and a fabulous addition to the neighborhood.

Image courtesy of  Mariah Whiteman, Cafe Con Todo

Café Con Todo has been a labor of love for the owner and the dance family from SCT behind him, taking nearly 2 years to get up and running, and it shows. There is very obviously a lot of thought and care that has been put into every corner of the room and every shot of espresso. The positive energy is palpable- the place just *feels* good.

The space is beautiful- open and bright, with plenty of natural light from over-sized windows and skylights in the ceiling. The café doubles as dance studio space, regularly hosting classes after business hours and on weekends, and bares the same beautifully polished wood floors and floor to ceiling mirrors along one wall that you would imagine in such a space, matching the look next-door at SCT (they are joined by a set of French doors making both spaces easily accessible to one another). Depending on the time of day, expect to see dance students milling about, getting their caffeine fix before class, or a beer afterwards.

Cafe Con Todo’s bright and beautiful interior                         Image courtesy of Mariah Whiteman, Cafe Con Todo

Serving local favorites Slate Coffee, Dry Sparkling soda, a variety of teas, and more, Café Con Todo is serious about quality and originality.  Try a unique twist on a blended drink with their signature Greek Frappe, created as an homage to the creamy yet light concoctions the owner grew up with in Greece.  If you’re not in the mood for caffeine, wet your whistle and get a different type of buzz with a glass of wine, a beer or kombucha, both of which are available on tap.

Left image via Cafe Con Todo’s Instagram (@cafecontodoseattle), Right image courtesy of Mariah Whiteman, Cafe Con Todo

The food menu is focused more on savory with a sprinkling sweet, currently offering a selection of pastries and a few gluten free goodies from Flying Apron Bakery. Their intent is to expand the selection of treats, add sandwiches and savory waffles as well as gluten/dairy free and vegan friendly options to the menu shortly.

Having just opened the first week of April, they are still getting their feet wet and their name out there, but it’s already clear that Café Con Todo is one of the good ones and is poised to become a neighborhood favorite. After all, who doesn’t love supporting a local small business, a damn fine cup of coffee and good vibes?

Stop in and check them out Monday-Friday* 7 AM – 6 PM and get your fix, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram (@cafecontodoseattle) for updates and the latest on their development!

*Weekend hours dependent upon studio events and will be updated on social media.

Café Con Todo
Located in Fremont, right next to Salsa Con Todo at
213 N 36th St
Seattle, Washington 98103-8610
(206) 412-3301

Image via Cafe Con Todo’s Instagram (@cafecontodoseattle)

Seattle Restaurant Week Is Back And Better Than Ever!

Today marks the start of the tastiest week of the season- the triumphant return of Seattle Restaurant Week!

We here in Seattle are so blessed with an abundance of fabulous dining options, ranging from simple and inexpensive to exotic, lavish and extraordinary, which usually doesn’t come too cheap. Seattle Restaurant Week is an opportunity for people to explore many incredible restaurants they may not normally spring for by offering fabulous deals you won’t want to miss out on.

Every Sunday through Thursday from April 2nd to April 19th, over 165 restaurants across the city will be offering up $33 three-course dinners, with many also offering $18 two-course lunches as well. These restaurants range in price, type of cuisine and location, giving you tons of options to choose from, in every department!

To maximize your SRW experience, check out a list of participating restaurants here (click on the name of the restaurants to see their location and view their SRW exclusive menu) and be sure to check out The Seattle Times lists of best overall value, best ambiance, neighborhood favorites and SRW newcomers.

If you are going to explore SRW (which we highly recommend you do!), remember to be patient, make reservations and tip your servers well! While SRW is a great opportunity for diners, restaurants do tend to get swamped, and the nicer and more understanding we are as patrons, the better the experience for everyone!

Now, go out and get a healthy dose of YUM, before it’s too late!

Irish Eyes Are Smiling! Seattle Center’s Festal presents the 2018 Irish Festival

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to celebrate the beauty and depth of the Irish culture, and Seattle Center’s Festal is gearing up to do just that!

Head to Seattle Center on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th and find a serious taste of the Emerald Isle right here in the heart of in the Emerald City. Festal’s Irish Festival will bring to life a multifaceted, in-depth adventure through Ireland, its history and traditions, no passport necessary.

Enjoy a fun and fascinating exploration of Irish cultural heritage, past and present, through visual arts, live performance, games, activities, and of course, food! Explore the market place featuring Irish handicrafts, live Irish music and that famous and oh-so-impressive Irish step dancing.

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Find out by tracing your own roots in geology workshops (yes! That’s at the festival!), and learn a bit of the Celtic language while you’re at it. The festival also promises Irish movies and short films, cultural exhibits and live demonstrations and maybe even a few Irish celebrities!

 

Festal is a series of multi-cultural events presented by and at the Seattle Center each year. Now in its 21st year, Festal continues to shine a light on the beauty and majesty of cultures across the globe by showcasing their rich and complex traditions, histories, art, music, dance, food and much more. Festal’s Irish Festival is presented in partnership with the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle.

 

Whether you’re looking to learn more about your own heritage, wanting to learn more about Ireland and its culture in general, or you’re simply tired of leprechauns and green beer and looking for a more authentic experience, Festal’s Irish Festival is sure to be a fun and fabulous way to spend your St. Patty’s Day weekend.

Seattle Center Festál
Irish Festival
March 17-18, 2018
Armory Main Level
http://www.irishclub.org

Say Välkommen To The Holiday Season At Yulefest!

Ready or not, it’s officially the holiday season.

The music has started, the decorations are going up, and each night, another house is lit up in the most festive of colors. If you ARE ready for some good ol’ fashioned Holiday cheer (so, basically unless you’re Scrooge?), head down to the Nordic Heritage Museum’s Annual Yulefest this Saturday and Sunday, November 18th and 19th!

Yulefest features all things Scandinavian and all things holiday, making it the perfect event to get in that ’God Jul’ (Merry Christmas) spirit!

 

Enjoy traditional Nordic-inspired items from many different vendors, plenty of delicious Scandinavian sweet and savory treats at the Nordic Cafe (even get some to go for later!) and traditional and contemporary Nordic music and dance will be performed on three different stages.

Kids are encouraged to have fun and get crafty with plenty of kid-oriented crafts,  a raffle and the opportunity to meet the man we all want a visit from in December, Santa Claus (or, Julenissen in Norwegian, Jultomten in Swedish)!

Grown-ups are also encouraged to have plenty of fun and toast the season in the Valhalla Beer Garden (which will be nice and toasty warm!) with a tasty beverage including the Nordic-fav hot mulled wine, glögg. Skål (cheers!) to that!  

This year, Yulefest celebrates its 40th year of bringing Scandinavian holiday fun and flair to our community, and it will be the last Yulefest celebrated at the Nordic Heritage Museum’s current location, before they move on to bigger and better things for 2018.

Yulefest is a wonderful celebration of culture, the holidays and community. If you’re ready for some serious holiday spirit, good food, fun music and maybe even some holiday shopping, Yulefest is the place to be!

God Jul!

Sustainable Ballard Fest

The Bubble Man entertains a crowd at the Sustainable Ballard Festival.

The 14th annual Sustainable Ballard Festival takes place on September 9th in downtown Ballard, from 11 am to 4 pm.  The Sustainable Ballard organization works to promote sustainability: environmentally, socially, and personally. They work to foster neighborhood community and connectivity. This is done through this yearly festival, hosting meaningful movies, sharing resources (like tools or books), coming together to knit items for the homeless, gardening/food and urban livestock education, and volunteering, among other things. Anything that positively increases our interconnectivity, especially in a future no longer based on oil.

So expect more family-friendly, community-building activities and vendors at this event. The festival takes place at Ballard Commons Park (the skate park at 5701 22nd Ave NW) that Saturday, and the first 200 people to arrive at the Chinook Book table (11 am) will receive their 2018 book full of coupons & sustainable resources, courtesy of Town & Country Ballard Market. Check out the extended list of things to do at their website or Facebook page below:

http://www.sustainableballard.org/festival https://www.facebook.com/SustainableBallard

 

Help Ballard Bring Home The Curbed Cup!

We Ballardites know that we’re lucky enough to live in the BEST neighborhood in Seattle, right? Well, now’s our chance to let the whole city know!

The 2016 Curbed Cup is up for grabs and it’s down to us, Vs Columbia City. That’s right, we have made it all the way to the final round!

Now, it’s time to bring it home.  With 5 (yes, F-I-V-E) days to vote for Ballard, and a community of crazy-proud inhabitants, it would be a cinch to take the title. That is, THE title, the whole shebang, The Curbed Cup.

Head over to Curbed Seattle to cast your vote (or click here and skip the extra typing) for our ‘hood before midnight tonight for it to count.

And don’t just stop there, share the link with your friends! Text, them, email them, bribe them into casting their vote, whatever you have to do, get others to join so we can come out on top!

The title is within our grasp, so close we can taste it, let’s not let it slip away! We all know Ballard is where it’s at, let’s make sure everyone else does too! 

Christmas Ships Are Coming To Town!

If you’ve never done it before, the Christmas Ships are a Northwest tradition worth checking out!

The Argosy Cruise Christmas Ship Festival is an annual Pacific Northwest tradition, going strong since 1949. Each year, the Argosy Christmas Ship, adorned with twinkle lights and Holiday cheer, sets sail from a different port around the greater Seattle area. On board the Christmas Ship,  a local choir serenades passengers  with a 20-minute performance of beloved Christmas Carols.

The Carols are broadcast to the entire community through a state of the art speaker system, so if you can’t be on the ship, you can still enjoy the Christmas magic from a distance. Folks from all around the neighborhood gather on the shore to behold the glimmering lights of the beautifully decorated ship and to hear the Carols being sung on board. It’s a great opportunity for a bonfire and mug of cocoa with the kids!

There are multiple opportunities to see or be a part of the Christmas Ship, at over 65 different waterfront locations in the greater Seattle area.  Each Lead Boat has tons of fun going on board, like

* Choir performance on board

* Santa Claus reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas”

* Ho, Ho, Ho Contest and other holiday activities

* Holiday Gift Shop on board

* Kids holiday craft area and activities

* Full-service bar and snacks available for purchase

Argosy generously donates a portion of all tickets sold to the Seattle Time’s Fund For The Needy, so your purchase of a ticket goes to help those in need, right here at home.

The Christmas Ships Festival is a beloved tradition around here for a reason. Be sure to experience it for yourself this year!

For more information, click here.

Who Painted That?

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henry’s mural on the Sloop Tavern at NW 54th & Market Street, Ballard (Photo: Alethea Myers)

If you live in or frequent Ballard often, you may have seen exterior walls filled with brightly-colored, whimsical creatures and wondered, “Who painted that?” In many cases, the answer is the prolific muralist/ artist Ryan Henry Ward, who signs his work simply “henry”. His outdoor canvases adorn buildings in Ballard, Fremont, West Seattle, Crown Hill, and beyond.

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Raccoon with banjo on Value Village’s store, 8532 15th Ave NW in Crown Hill (Photo: Alethea Myers)   His pink walruses on Axis Automotive building, Ballard (now demolished). (Walruses photo courtesy of seattlemurals.org)

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West Seattle home’s sea life at 3425 39th Ave SW. (Image courtesy of seattlecurbed.com)

Although henry has been artistic all his life, he painted his first mural only 8 years ago when a bar owner who admired his work asked him to cover up graffiti on the side of his building. A Ballard News-Tribune article drew more attention to his work. After a career as a social worker, the Puget Sound Business Journal mentioned henry ran a successful landscaping business with his brother. He had to stop, due to a spinal injury.

At last count, Ryan Henry Ward has painted around 200 murals since 2008 on different business buildings & homes: automotive, thrift store, children’s nursery, taverns, among others, and now works on commission. One of his mythical creatures, a sasquatch, is sandwiched on a fence between the Sip ‘n Ship store and Golden Beetle Restaurant, a ½ block east of 20th Ave. NW on Market Street in Ballard. His work has had a positive influence on the Sip ‘N Ship, according to Matt Beavers, the shipping manager for the past year. “We have people from all over who notice the mural first and it touches them in a way, from the heart”, he said. “Because once they see it, they’re drawn into the store.”

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Sasquatch (and bird pal) between Sip ‘n Ship and Golden Beetle on Market St., Ballard (Photo: Alethea Myers)

“Safe Seattle” Meeting Tonight

safetyfirstIn a city as beautiful as Seattle, it’s easy to forget some ugly truths that linger beneath the surface.

A local group calling themselves “Safe Seattle” is having a meeting tonight, bringing to the forefront the growing public safety issues facing the city and calling the city’s inhabitants to action.

This meeting was organized by Cindy Pierce, a resident of Magnolia,  to shine a light on and address the growing problem of drug dealing and use, theft, illegal encampments and other public safety problems that are increasingly impacting residents and business owners in various areas of the city such as Ballard, Queen Anne and Magnolia, to name a few.  The goal of the meeting is to bring together residents of the community to talk about and demand action in regards to these issues, which, some say are reaching crisis level.

The meeting is expected to earn a potentially big turnout, due in large part to the response it’s had on social media. The meeting will include representatives from city hall and people from different neighborhoods throughout the city speaking on the issue.

The meeting will be held tonight, January 6th, from 6:30-8:30 PM at United Church of Christ in Magnolia 3555 W McGraw St.

12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival Is This Saturday!

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This Saturday is the 12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival from 11am-5pm at the Ballard Commons Park. This FREE family-friendly event is packed with some great activities, workshops, and great hands-on games. Join the Garden Party – make a mad hat and sample some of Ballard’s tastiest teas & sweets in the Taste of Ballard Tea Garden. There will also be a chance to win-prizes, listen to live music on the solar-powered main stage, enter to win an electric bike, learn new ways to upcycle, help make fresh cider and hang with some pretty neat farm animals.

This is a great opportunity to learn together, get inspired, and discover new ways to live more lightly on the earth. Also, this event has partnered with Seattle Summer Parkways and will be the base-camp of a 7 mile loop which will feature activities at a variety of stops along the way.

Here is a list and time frames of some of the great activities happening.

 

MUSIC STAGE:

11:00 AM: Ricky Gene Powell

12:15 PM: Hot Cider String Band

1:30 PM: Sustainable Brain: BrainDance for Everybody!

2:00 PM: Ped and Pet Parade Starts

2:30 PM: Charlie and the Rays

3:45 PM: Steven Curtis

4:45 PM: Raffle Drawing

 

MOVEMENT ZONE:

10:30 AM: Yoga with Ballard Health Club

11:45 AM: Qigong with Embrace The Moon

1:00 PM: BUBBLE MAN (Kids & Kidults Program)

2:15 PM: Tijiquan (Tai Chi) with Embrace The Moon

3:30 PM: Zumba with Ballard Health Club

Ongoing: Z-Ultimate Self Defense (Periodic 10 minute demos throughout the day)

 

LEARNING STATION:

11:00 AM: Chinook Book Giveway
Thanks to a generous donation from Swansons Nursery, the first 120 people to visit this station will receive a free 2016 Chinook Book (print edition)! Please no queue before 10 am.

12:30 PM: Bringing Nature to Neighborhoods
Mary Fleck, Seattle Green Spaces Coalition
Learn about opportunities for bringing nature to neighborhoods through open spaces in Seattle.

12:50 PM: Benefits of Going Solar and Living Green
Aimee Carpenter, SolTerra
We will ask a few volunteers from the audience to participate in a demonstration, followed by a short talk on the benefits of going solar and living green.

1:10 PM: Energy and Water Saving Strategies
Leah Missik, Built Green
We will give a short talk on which energy and water saving strategies in the home have the greatest impact, so you can know where to concentrate your environmental efforts!

1:30 PM: Why Choose an Electric Bike?
Heidi Schlesinger, Seattle Electric Bike
What’s new in the electric bike world, including the health benefits, and our best answer to the question, Why choose an electric bike over a conventional bike?

1:50 PM: Climate Change and Initiative 732
Ben Silesky, Carbon Washington
We will explain the policy basics of Carbon Washington’s I-732 ballot initiative for a revenue neutral carbon tax, our political strategy, a campaign update and how everyone can get involved. We will then pass around boards to sign the initiative and volunteer.

2:20 PM: Bike Insurance
Sean Kuhlmeyer, Emerald City Bike Lawyer
Sean Kuhlmeyer, the bike lawyer, will be giving his famous and popular, but brief, talk about bicycle insurance, and how to make sure that you are protected if you get hurt in a bike crash. If you are a cyclist you need to know this information!

2:40 PM: Solar Impact
Chris Horne, Sunergy Systems
How many barrels of oil will be saved if your home converts to solar?

3:00 PM: Sustainability Within: Chinese Medicine Can Help The World
Avigail Cohen, Ballard Acupuncture Center
Chinese medicine is built on the natural sustainability that exists within the body. Learn about how your body systems parallel The Earth’s natural checks and balances, and learn how Acupuncture promotes an internal harmony that allows us to relate to the world in a more sustainable and harmonious way.

3:20 PM: Mastering Milking a Goat
Lacia Lynne Bailey, Ravenna Ridge Metro Milkers
Well, not really “master” it in this short demo but you’ll learn the basics of technique, equipment, sanitation and process, plus the all important after-milking ritual. Led by Lacia Lynne Bailey, breeder of Seattle’s only finished dairy goat champions since 2008 on her urban farm, Ravenna Ridge Metro Milkers.

3:40 PM: Shipping Container becomes ADU
Michael Vacirca, Lastingnest, Inc.
We are turning a shipping container into ADU (accessory dwelling unit).  Learn about the permitting process and details of this very affordable building method and how it could be used to create affordable housing.

 

SKATEBOWL: SKATE CLINICS

Come learn to skateboard at the Sustainable Ballard Festival!  Skate Like a Girl will be running four 30-minute co-ed clinics for FREE during the festival, as well as providing boards and protective gear. All ages and all abilities encouraged!   Be sure to register early — each clinic is limited to ten participants.  Skate Like a Girl will also be hosting demonstrations throughout the day. Don’t miss it!

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Register for clinics, free skate at park
12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: Clinic #1
12:30 PM – 1:15 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #2
1:15 PM – 1:45 PM: Clinic #2
1:45 PM – 2:30 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #3
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM: Clinic #3
3:00 PM – 3:30 PM: Gear return, free skate and demo in bowl; last call for Clinic #4
3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Clinic #4
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Gear return, free skate

Note:  Lesson spots will be given away if participant does not show five minutes after the clinic start time. Late entries may be allowed or not, up to the discretion of clinic leads. Demos are in free skate / jam format with no formal programming.