Small Biz: Mezzanine Records & Vintage

5In one of downtown Ballard’s oldest buildings on Market Street is a cozy vintage shop, a just south of the intersection of 20th Ave. NW and Market Street. If you walk up a
4few steps, you’ll find Mezzanine Records and Vintage, which feels similar to browsing a friend’s oversized, well-appointed closet. A 1940’s mustard yellow dress with multi-striped skirt hangs near prints from past eras, a beaded cardigan from the 1950’s, men’s classic polished boots and hats, vintage tumblers, a colorful scarf, kitchenware, decorative jewelry made from Italian mosaic, and plenty of vinyl records.

This small business just celebrated its one-year anniversary this week. Karl Zwick and Buffy Ritt, who own the shop, both share a love of vintage clothing, and in Buffy’s words, “We also love shopping together.” They had previously rented a space for three years in Fremont Vintage, an antique vintage mall. 6A woman tries on a long dress that looks “Art Deco” in style. A guy peruses the albums in the other room. Visitors chat with the owners about the shop, and life in general. “Our goal is not to be restricted to any one style”, Karl says. “This is a highly-inclusive store; all people are welcome.” They keep their prices in the affordable range, too. 9Karl, who has been collecting and trading vinyl since the 1980’s, also has 30 years of experience buying men’s & women’s vintage clothing. Opening a store in the heart of Ballard was “an intersection of good timing and the right place”. He always tries to pay attention to what people wear, and listens to “fill in the blanks” for what’s needed. “It’s a learning process,” he says. 11


A dress from Mezzanine Records and Vintage

Buffy has previously worked in different fields, including massage therapy and
photography, among others, feeling very lucky to enjoy their current business. “We wanted our store to be a place that we [she and Karl] would want to shop,” she mentioned. “I feel good, excited about coming in to work each day.”


Owners Karl and Buffy

5418 20th Ave. NW (words above the doorway read “5416 1/2”)
Hours: check their Yelp page for updates, but usually afternoons and evenings
Phone #: 206.789.6269

Who Painted That?


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.


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


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

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.”


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

Baking Up Something Sweet! Hood Famous Bakeshop Puts Down Roots In Ballard


Well known and loved pop-up Hood Famous Bakeshop is laying down roots at last, right in the heart of Ballard!

You may remember Hood Famous first gaining local fame and somewhat of a cult following after appearing with the Food & Sh*t pop-up series (which was co-founded by HFB’s owner Chera Amlag) with a routinely stunning rotating dessert course.

Hood Famous made a fabulous impression with it’s delicious and inventive desserts, drawing heavy inspiration from Filipino, Hawaiian and Asian flavors.



While they have built their reputation on their not-of-this-world fabulous Ube cheesecake (just try and walk past that glorious purple color and not NEED a piece), they have expanded their menu to include even more exotic combinations like Coconut Pandan, Mango Calamansi, and White Chocolate Guava, much to the delight of patrons.

Amlag’s ability to blend the distinctive flavors of East and West so delicately and precisely is a testament not only to her skill and talent but also illustrates an obvious passion for food and culture.

Their new Ballard home will be a to-go only spot, with no seating space offered. However, in addition to grab-and-go goodies, Hood Famous will still be making items to order, taking catering orders and crafting luscious treats for selected retailers and restaurants in the greater Seattle area and Bellevue.

Hood Famous offers something truly unique and spectacular if you’re in the market for something sweet or just want to try something new.

Be sure to check them out when they have their grand opening this Saturday, October 8th, and see what all the buzz is about!

Hood Famous' violet hued Ube Cheesecake at Kraken Congee

Hood Famous Bakeshop 2325½ NW Market St,
(206) 486-6429

Open Thursday-Friday 12 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Get Your Oompah On! Ballard Oktoberfest


If you’re into local craft brews, pretzels, and German oompah band music, check out this weekend’s 2nd Annual Oktoberfest in Ballard. According to The Ballard News, on Saturday, Sept. 17th, four local breweries will be hosting this mini event in a fun way, providing at least one Oktoberfest variety beer and a food truck at each location.

Leading a procession of impromptu participants from one brewery/taproom to another will be The Oompah Machine, a travelling oompah band, who were first assembled last year during the first Ballard Oktoberfest. They will lead a procession between the four breweries, which are only 2-3 blocks apart, for those who’d like to continue with the revelry. The traipsing between places starts at Reuben’s Brews at 2 pm, and then continues to Stoup Brewing (3 pm), Lucky Envelope Brewing (4 pm), and then on to Populuxe Brewing (5 pm).

The event is sponsored again this year by Verity Credit Union, who will be providing free pretzel necklaces! And commemorative steins will be available for sale at each location.

For more brew and kinship on a larger scale (and in a nearby neighborhood), check out the Fremont Oktoberfest the following weekend: Sept. 23, 24, and 25.

Annual Hot Chocolate Run Headed Our Way!

2016_HC_SEA_CourseMap_Small-791x1024Get ready to sprint your way to sweet sips!

Time to lace up those running shoes and sign up for the annual Hot Chocolate 15/5k run! This fun and festive event will be held on Sunday, March 6th and is fun for seasoned runners and first-timers who aren’t afraid of a challenge!

The 5k begins bright and early at 6:45a.m. and the 15k starts at 7:55a.m. Participants can expect a fun, well organized and challenging race through the heart of beautiful Downtown Seattle (hills and all!), a fabulous SWAG bag to take home and, of course, delicious chocolate!

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend your Sunday while getting a great workout, consider signing up for this once-a-year event. The challenge is worth it to get to the Post Race Party where runners will enjoy music, a family friendly environment and a ‘finisher’s mug’ filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and delightfully dippable treats. Don’t sweat the calories, you will have earned this chocolate indulgence!

The Hot Chocolate Run isn’t just a great way to spend a day off. The Hot Chocolate Run is partnered with Ronald McDonald House Charities, helping to provide a home-away-from-home for children and the families of children being treated at Seattle Children’s’ Hospital, at little to no cost to the families. A portion of the proceeds from signing up for this race will go to this outstanding cause, helping to make a real difference in our community.

Not ready to lace up and race? That’s fine! But be aware, this race will take place in Downtown Seattle and along many main roads and thoroughfares, so you will want to plan ahead for any travel on that day. Take a look at the map (above) to see the route and read the chart below for a street closure timeline, to help you plan your day.



Street Closure



Side of Road

Closure Time

Anticipated Opening

2nd Ave Thomas St Broad St Whole Road 6:15AM 9:10AM
Broad St 2nd Ave Elliott Ave Westbound 6:15AM 9:15AM
Elliott Ave Broad St SR-99 NB On-Ramp SB One Lane 6:15AM 9:20AM
Elliott Ave SR-99 NB On-Ramp Western Ave Whole Road 6:20AM 9:20AM
Western Ave Elliott Ave Spring St Whole Road 6:20AM 9:40AM
SR-99 Bell St John St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
SR-99 Western Ave John St SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Aurora Ave Denny Way 45th St NB Lanes 6:15AM 11:15AM
Aurora Ave 38th St Denny Way SB Lanes 6:15AM 10:25AM
Harrison St Aurora Ave Dexter Ave Whole Road 6:25AM 11:15AM
Dexter Ave Harrison St Mercer St SB One Lane 6:25AM 11:15AM
Mercer St Dexter Ave 5th Ave East Bound Lanes 6:25AM 11:20AM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave SB Lanes 3:00AM 12:00PM
5th Ave Mercer St Thomas Ave NB Lanes 6:25AM 11:25AM

“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.

New Gastropub Graces Ballard This October

Ethan Stowell is opening a new gastropub in Ballard come October. Named Bramling Cross the venture will unsurprisingly feature upscale beer with gourmet food. We say unsurprisingly because the restaurant is named after a type of hop, so beer, and fancy beer at that, will be the focus here.

The gastropub will feature 8 taps of local beer and a large variety bottles and cans. Stowell feels that with so many well respected microbreweries in Fremont and Ballard, beer is becoming an upscale thing; might as well pair some upscale food with it.

According to Eater, Michael Giffrod, chef from Stowell’s How to Cook a Wolf will be “serving up Stowell-caliber fried oysters, hot wings, foie gras, Wagyu culotte steak, grilled chicken, house-made sausages, and more in shared plates.”

Bramling Cross will at 5205 Ballard Ave, taking over the old Portalis space (which moved to 6754 15th Ave NW)

12th Annual Sustainable Ballard Festival Is This Saturday!


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.



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



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)



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.



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.


Tonight is Game Night at the Ballard Library!

Tonight, it’s time to turn off the tube and have some fun playing some board games with your neighbors. From 6 – 8pm, the Ballard Library will host a game night for all ages, so the whole family can join in on the fun.

Board games will include Blokus, Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Jenga, Scrambled States of America and more. You are welcome bring your favorite board game to share!

Ballard Library 5614 22nd Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (206) 684-4089

17th of May Festival Happening This Weekend in Ballard!


It’s that time of year again! This Sunday, May 17th the streets of Ballard will fill with as many as 25,000 spectators and Norway enthusiast to celebrate Norway’s Constitution Day. The parade will feature more than 100 groups, including marching bands, Norwegian-American lodges, drill teams, classic cars and so much more.

The party kicks off with a dance party on Saturday night, May 16th, held at Ballard Elks (6411 Seaview Ave NW) from 8:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. $10 at the door, snacks provided as well as a no-host bar.

Sunday, the daylong annual Nordic party will go from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is sure to be a really great day in the name of Norway! See below for the schedule of events.



10 AM – 5 PM

Intersection of Market St., Leary Ave., and 22nd Ave.

Join emcee and musician Lori Ann Reinhall at Bergen Place stage for an incredible musical line-up featuring a number of acts with Nordic flair!

10:00 Opening Festivities with honored guests:
10:10 Invocation with Prof. Rolf Grankvist, Trondheim
10:15 National Anthem – Combined Norwegian Choruses
10:30 Norwegian Ladies Chorus of Seattle
11:00 Norwegian Male Chorus of Seattle
11:30 Traditional Dance with Leikarringen and Fiddler Bill Boyd
12:00 Matt Jorgensen Jazz Trio
1:00 Accordion favorites with Karl-Ivar Petersson
1:30 Barne Jam with Mäd Fiddlu
2:00 Children’s Dance with Barneleikarringen
2:30 Sing-along with Lori Ann Reinhall & Pianist Aaron Otheim
3:00 Traditional Fiddling with Seattle Lilla Spelmaslag
3:30 Skandia Kapell Folk Ensemble

NOON – 2:30 PM

Grab some traditional Norwegian grub with Leif Erikson’s Grand Marshal and Honorary Marshals!
Address: 2245 NW 57th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-783-1274



10 AM – 3 PM
Nordic Heritage Museum
Children can enjoy easy craft projects at the Nordic Heritage Museum. The crafts are free and children must be accompanied by an adult.
Address: 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-789-5707


10 AM – 4 PM
Nordic Heritage Museum
Free Museum admission all day! Enjoy Scandinavian food and beverages available for purchase.
Address: 3014 NW 67th St, Seattle WA
Phone: 206-789-5707


4 – 6 PM 

Come early to save your spot! This year’s featured emcees are local radio personalities Tim Hunter & MJ McDermott.