Free Music Tutoring Coming This Fall At Madrona K-8

Molly SwensonResearch continues to show that kids who play instruments and know how to read music do better academically, but for many kids, buying an instrument and paying for expensive private music lessons simply aren’t options. But this fall Madrona K-8 and Seattle Music Partners are teaming up to offer free after school music tutoring to 4th and 5th graders. Seattle Music Partners pairs kids from Central Area elementary schools with tutors who range from high school students to professional musicians, and also provide free loaner instruments when needed. Students from Madrona K-8 often go on to attend Garfield High School, which has a nationally renowned music program, so music education at Madrona is geared toward preparing students for a potential continuation of their music studies there.

But the school and its new full-time music teacher Stephan Childers need your help to ensure they have enough instruments and supplies to extend the program’s benefits to all students who want to participate. They have set up a fundraising page on SwopBoard, which accepts cash donations as well as allowing people to list items for sale with 100 percent of the proceeds going toward the fundraising effort. Funds raised will be used to buy recorders, sheet music, headphones, mp3 downloads, and instruments. Also, if you have an instrument that is collecting dust and you’d like to donate it, you may drop it off at the school anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. They are accepting flutes, alto saxophones, trombones, trumpets, bass clarinets, tubas, euphoniums, and French horns. So, visit the fundraising site, help Madrona fill up its instrument closet and get ready for a music-filled fall!

 

 

“The Comedy Of Errors” At Madrona Playfield This Saturday

bard

The GreenStage theater company is bringing its Backyard Bard series to Madrona Playfield this Saturday with its rendition of Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors.’ While GreenStage produces full-length plays through its Shakespeare in the Park series, the Backyard Bard productions are Shakespeare classics pared down to 45 minutes and feature just four actors.

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with Shakespeare, or with theater in general, this is a great opportunity to get your feet wet and enjoy the theater in your own neighborhood. Pack your blanket, your picnic basket, and your imagination, and let the actors transport you to the ancient Grecian city of Ephesus, where ‘The Comedy’ is set.

GreenStage, now in its 26th season of performing Shakespeare, aims to bring high-quality theater to the public for free, using public parks as their backdrops. After this season, they will have earned the rare distinction of having performed every play in Shakespeare’s catalog. This Saturday’s show begins at 7:00 p.m. at the playfield (34th and Spring) and is free, though GreenStage is grateful for any donations.

If you are interested in other Shakespeare in the Park productions, visit GreenStage’s website for a full schedule!

 

Madrona Business Spotlight: Switchback Travel

switchbackSwitchback Travel occupies a quiet corner on 34th Avenue and Pike Street in Madrona, but visit the travel company’s website and find yourself among fjords in Norway, glacier-blue lakes in Patagonia, and looking out over jaw-dropping vistas from the peaks of the North Cascades in our own backyard. An underlying theme of adventure threads throughout Switchback’s catalogue of detailed travel guides, focusing on where to hike, ski, climb and more in locations as varied as the well-tracked American West to Tierra del Fuego in the southernmost reaches of Argentina. Not only that, but the site’s extensive selection of product and gear reviews ensure you’ll know which tents will keep you dry, which shoes will hold up on your trek, and which camera to capture it all with.

Switchback founder David Wilkinson set out to create an online destination for travel guides that don’t follow the traditional guidebook formula, and prioritizes quality and length of content over quantity. “We aim for articles that are longer than the norm, have writing that is more polished, and are written by people that truly are experts in the field. Instead of publishing articles as fast as we can, we try to make sure they are written and designed the right way,” Wilkinson wrote in an e-mail. For example, readers can follow contributor and accomplished climber Chris Kalman up and down the peaks of the Andes in the Cochamó Valley in Chile through his three-part journal, or read about photographer Cody Duncan’s personal journey to the Lofoten Islands in Norway.

The site is easy to navigate and every page brings one stunning photograph after another, which was part of Switchback’s design strategy. Wilkinson says, “I was always someone who grabbed a travel guidebook and went straight for the photographs in the middle, so photography and good user experience both were big priorities.” There is also only one ad per page, which is a refreshing departure from travel sites running endless ads for car rentals and hotels.

Although the site, which was founded in 2011, now has a global reach (a third of its readers are in Europe), Wilkinson says he is enjoying the office’s tucked away location in Madrona. The neighborhood was the first place he visited in Seattle, and he says “There is a lot more in terms of business here than most people realize, with start-ups, design studios, small businesses, etc. Madrona is a vibrant community and I’m happy to be a part of it.” So, give the Switchback crew a wave when you’re in the neighborhood, and visit the site for endless travel inspiration!

Madrona Neighborhood Garage Sale Is Tomorrow!

Get out your best walking shoes and prepare to hunt for treasures at the 25 homes participating in the Madrona Neighborhood Garage Sale tomorrow, June 28. Sellers are offering everything from art supplies and iPads to strollers and antiques, so there is sure to be something for everyone. You can pick up a map of participating homes at Cupcake Royale on 34th and Spring before you start, or download one here and print your own. The map also includes a short description of what each home is selling and what time they’ll be starting,  Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, this is a great opportunity to socialize with your neighbors and get some exercise. See you all tomorrow!

map2

Madrona Farmhouse Style Craftsman: $848,000

Madrona home kk

This beautiful farmhouse-style home in Madrona is now available! Exuding polished charm and character, this home is perched privately and quietly off the street, with views of Lake Washington and the Cascades. Features of the home include an open layout, warm oak flooring, and optimal natural light. The dining room has French doors that open out to the backyard deck, and the bright spacious kitchen is equipped with a large pantry and wall of windows opening to the serene gardens. This 3 bedroom home has 1 full bath upstairs, and a fully finished lower level with bonus space and 3/4 bath and laundry. The master bedroom has beautiful territorial and lake views,  making this a truly fabulous Madrona neighborhood home. If you’re interested in this or other neighborhood homes, please contact me today!

Status: For Sale
Bed/Bath: 3/1.75
Price: $848,000

Leschi and Madrona Real Estate: Mixed Signals?

There are mixed signals in King County with average sales price up and average list price down but is the same true for Leschi and Madrona real estate?  According to the Northwest Multiple Listing Service (NWMLS), the average residential list price in King County is down from May 2013, while the average sales price has increased. The average residential list price last month was $792,925, down from $813,502 in May of 2013, while the average closed sales price was $541,294 up from $501,145 in 2013. There were 3,789 new residential listings that hit the market in May 2014 compared to 3,521 in 2013.  This recent uptick in inventory may be one of the factors causing the average asking price to decrease, but Madrona and Leschi does not seem to support this theory…

When looking at Central Seattle, the area that includes not only Madrona and Leschi real estate but homes for sale from Montlake, Madison Park, Madison Valley and Capitol Hill, the number of active residential listings are down from last May from 150 to 140 this May. As in the rest of King County, the average list price is also down from $1,746,083 to $1,609,493, but unlike King County the average sales price is also down in the area: dropping $975,857 to $784,780. Looking deeper in the numbers, last May was a exceptionally strong month for luxury home sales in Central Seattle.  Six homes sold in May 2013 for over $2,500,000 while there was zero sales for over $2,500,000 in May 2014.  Last May’s sales in Central Seattle are even more impressive considering there were only 17 sales over $2,500,000 for the entire year and six of them were in May.

Madrona Real Estate

Looking more specifically at Leschi and Madrona real estate, this year’s market seems to be gaining some momentum especially in the luxury market.  For example, in May Ewing & Clark Real Estate represented the seller in the highest sale in the combined Madrona & Leschi area for 2014.  The Madrona home pictured above sold for $1,625,000 this May which is one of the three sales since April for over $1,500,000 (2 in Madrona, 1 in Leschi).  Previously, there were no sales over that amount for the year.  Following are the statistics for the 2014 through the first five months:

Madrona

Leschi

Total Sales

23

25

Average List Price

$775,031

$695,788

Average Sales Price

$776,147

$685,837

Average Sales Price/List Price

101%

99%

Average Days on Market

40

87

If you are interested in seeing what is available in Leschi and Madrona, then click the link to see the available homes for sale or contact me for more information on the Leschi and Madrona real estate market.

Statistics in blog were gathered from the NWMLS, but the: Statistics not compiled or published by the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Leschi Art Walk Is Tomorrow June 14!

leschi

Leschi welcomes summer tomorrow with art, live music and children’s activities at its 3rd annual Leschi Art Walk, taking place on Lakeside Avenue between Yesler Way and Lake Washington Boulevard. Enjoy music from a jazz trio on the stage at Leschi Park and check out work from local artists including watercolors, jewelry, leather bags, glass art, and the vibrant, French-impressionist-inspired paintings of Seattle artist Art Messer.

The event runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., giving you plenty of opportunity to work the Art Walk in to your Saturday plans. There couldn’t be a much more picturesque location for an art walk than the Leschi business district sitting right on the shore of Lake Washington, so come down and spend time with your neighbors and support our local artists. There will be kids activities, as well, so bring the whole family!

Also, click here for more info on Leschi-area artists!

Leschi Community Council Meeting Tomorrow, June 4

leschi

For those of you who may live closer to Leschi, join the Leschi Community Council at its monthly meeting tomorrow, June 4 at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Area Senior Center to discuss neighborhood issues. Here’s the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting:

  • Susan Chang, a geotechnical engineer for the Seattle Department of Transportation will discuss the Seattle Landslide Study and what is known about the Leschi hillside in relation to landslides.
  • Seattle Public Utilities will give an update on the sewage overflow project happening at the south marina in August.
  • Leschi Star Awards

In addition, there is a neighborhood work party at the Leschi Natural Area this Saturday, June 7 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Meet at 36th and Terrace rain or shine. Gloves and lunch will be provided for all participants!

A Bottlehouse Birthday and Farewell To Wilridge’s Barrel

bottlehouse

Madrona’s Bottlehouse, which recently earned the distinction of being voted one of Seattle’s best patios, is holding a series of pop-up events this summer, starting with a celebration of its fourth birthday this Saturday, June 7. Whether you’re a beer or wine fan, Bottlehouse has something for every drinker’s palate, with a good selection of both northwest and European wines and a rotating cast of beers on tap and by the bottle. And what would wine be without its accompanying cheese? Dedicated cheesemongers are on hand to help you pick the perfect fromage, along with greens, toasts and sandwiches, to pair with your drink. For its birthday bash from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. this Saturday, they’ll be offering food and drink specials and DJ Deegan will provide the musical soundtrack to the night.

Wilridge Madrona

When you visit the Bottlehouse, take a last look at the signature wine barrel that has long sat in the front yard of neighboring Wilridge Winery, as the barrel will be officially retired after the winery’s “Bye to the Barrel” party on Sunday, June 22.

The European-made 1,000-gallon barrel, rescued from winery owner Paul Beveridge’s friends’ property near Palo Alto, Calif., has been empty throughout its residence in Madrona, which has played a part in its deterioration over the years. Hot summers caused the staves (the wooden strips that make up the body of the barrel) to dry out and shrink, in turn loosening the metal hoops that keep them in place. Moss and fungus growing inside are contributing to its collapse, and the time has finally come for it to be removed for good. Beveridge said in an e-mail to members of the community council that he is hoping to preserve the portion of the barrel that includes the hand-painted Wilridge logo and display it somewhere in the winery.

Come say your fond farewells and get one last photo with the barrel while enjoying special barrel wine tastings beginning at 3:00 p.m. on the 22nd. 34th Avenue just won’t be the same!