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

Madrona Neighbor Awards 2018

The 5 recipients of the 2018 Neighbor Awards.   Photo: Madrona Community Council

On February 10th, Seattle celebrated Neighbor Day, a day set aside for kind acts toward neighbors and strangers. Some of Madrona’s residents take being a good neighbor in the community to a higher level, spreading their goodwill and works throughout the year, or over a series of years. In the spirit of this, Madrona Community Council recognizes these worthy individuals and organizations each year by handing out Neighbor Appreciation Awards. Madrona School also honored some of their local stars on award night, too.

Madrona Community Council recently posted the names of this year’s recipients, as well as why they received their award. Read more at the link below:


Free Solar Educational Workshop

Interested in finding out the benefits of powering your home with solar? A free, educational workshop is taking place at Garfield Community Center in the nearby Central District on Thursday, February 8th. It will cover different aspects of implementing and using this affordable form of energy.

Evan Leonard, Vice President of Artisan Electric with 8 years experience in the solar industry, also worked previously as an environmental educator in Japan and has spearheaded environmental causes for the past 10 years. He will be leading the workshop for homeowners from 6-7:30 pm, and will cover many commonsense topics as well as handle any questions from attendees. Topics likely to be covered:

  • how solar energy and panels work
  • how solar actually thrives in gloomy Western Washington
  • financial aspects including federal and state incentives + ROI + a breakdown of cost + different ways to finance
  • how solar works with various types of roofing
  • battery back-up systems and powering your home in an outage or disaster
  • go into depth concerning realistic costs and help the attendees get a realistic view of potential they may have for solar

Artisan Electric is a local solar contractor based in Georgetown. Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union, who often partners with them, has a 0% down financing plan that some homeowners may be eligible for. They are providing free pizza and refreshments at the event.

For more information, check out the workshop Facebook page:

Event held at:
Garfield Community Center
2323 East Cherry Street
Seattle, WA  98122

Coffee, Community, & a Cut

Squirrel Chops’ logo

Located near the corner of 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, Squirrel Chops inhabits one of the street-level business spaces in a newer mixed-use building. Follow the overhead woodcut sign with the squirrel drinking coffee inside for a fresh drink or a fresh haircut. The interior is painted in black and interspersed with natural wood slab and steel surfaces, with unshielded warm bulbs throughout. The music inside varies according to who’s working: country, cool Latin grooves, strong female singers, more.

Entry to Squirrel Chops and the building location at 23rd and E. Union Street

Sharon Blyth-Moss and Shirley Henderson, joined in life and in business, run the shop together. They started this to combine their love of coffee and hair with a sense of community. Sharon, who was acknowledged as “Best British Hairstylist” by Seattle Metropolitan magazine in 2009, currently handles all hair styling, although this may change in the future with a salon reorganization to allow for more hair stylists (potentially with barista skills). The hours Squirrel Chops is open may be extending in the future as well, most likely when the new building construction across the street is completed.

Sharon Blyth-Moss at work.

Their cuts & cafe clientele are extremely varied, according to Sharon, including long-term salon clients, “a lot of strong females”, construction workers, LGBTQ peers, and the “wonderful daily regular” who live across the street in the tiny home encampment. People in the surrounding neighborhood, frustrated with worsening traffic in Seattle, seem now to more frequently seek out places nearby, such as this one.

Over the past year, part of their dream has been realized, as Squirrel Chops has become a community hub. On a daily basis, people form new friendships through conversations, pass around the NY Times crossword puzzle to contribute a word, discuss politics, or find a table to work on their novel or studies.  Blyth-Moss and Henderson recently held a poster-making party here for those who planned to participate in January’s Women’s March. They offered $1 drip coffee for those who marched on Martin Luther King Day. In March, they’re hosting a book release party for one of their regulars who wrote part of her book on the premises. Shirley once contributed her own banjo for an impromptu music jam! Stuff happens here.

Squirrel Chops offers pastries, fine coffee or tea, different toasties (British/Australian hot sandwich pockets), tacos, wine, beer, sake, Bloody Marys and Mimosas. And haircuts. And good conversation.

Choices, choices.

NW Boychoir features Madrona students

The NW Boychoir.  Photo: Ben VanHouten

The Northwest Boychoir proudly presents its 39th annual A Festival of Lessons & Carols concert series, featuring eight regional performances in December. These holiday concerts showcase the 90-member combined chorus of the Northwest Boychoir and Vocalpoint! Seattle.

Three members of the Northwest Boychoir live in or near Madrona:
Gabriel Sharp, 14 (8th grader at The Northwest School)
Xander Uyttendaele, 16 (11th grader at Lakeside School)
Leo Winkler, 12 (6th grader at The Northwest School)

Photo: Ben VanHouten

Patterned after the Christmas Eve observance at King’s College in Cambridge, England, A Festival of Lessons & Carols has become a holiday tradition for thousands of families in the Puget Sound region. This classical performance consists of nine holiday readings, each followed by a traditional carol performed by the choir, and another carol sung by the choir and audience.

A Festival of Lessons & Carols concerts are open to the public, and will run December 9-22, 2017 at various venues throughout the Puget Sound Region. Concerts have reserved seating.

For Advanced Tickets and More Information: or (206) 524-3234. These concerts often draw sold-out audiences. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged.

Maria Johnson, Executive Director
Joseph Crnko, Music Director

Sat. Dec. 9, 7:30 pm
Trinity Lutheran Church
6215 196th Street SW, Lynnwood
Reserved seating

Sun. Dec. 10, 7:00 pm
Emmanuel Episcopal Church
4400 86th Ave SE, Mercer Island
Reserved seating

Sat. Dec. 16, 7:30 pm
Saint Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Avenue East, Seattle
Reserved seating

Sun. Dec. 17, 7:00 pm
Holy Rosary Church
4210 SW Genesee Street, Seattle
Reserved seating

Tues. Dec. 19, 7:30 pm
Saint Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Avenue East, Seattle
Reserved seating

Wed. Dec. 20, 7:30 pm
Saint Mark’s Cathedral
1245 10th Avenue East, Seattle
Reserved seating

Thurs. Dec. 21, 7:30 pm
St. Alphonsus Church
5816 15th Avenue NW, Seattle
Reserved seating

Special Event
Friday, Dec. 22, 7:30 pm
Benaroya Hall
S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium
Presented by the Seattle Symphony with Northwest Sinfonia
200 University Street, Seattle
Reserved seating
Tickets through Seattle Symphony:
206.215.4747 or

For Sale: Madison Valley Home

This fabulous Madison Valley town home offers great location, views, finishes, & value! The slate floor entry is spacious enough to accommodate an entry bench and table for keys, mail, etc. A three-quarter bath, a generous bedroom, and a sunny office are also on this level. Sliding doors unite the office to the 280 sf patio great for entertaining or a little fresh-air quiet time on a summer day.

The 2nd level of this home serves as the primary living space and has freshly refinished cherry floors throughout. Kitchen is equipped with stainless appliances. The windows on this level each provide a beautiful outlook: west facing windows from the kitchen look out to mature Japanese Maple and garden area, a large picture window over the built-in bench in dining room adds a tree-house back drop, and the living area is surrounded by airy views of Cascade Range with the lush, age-old trees of Washington Park in the foreground. A gas fireplace surrounded by built-ins for your library or treasures provides great ambiance & warmth during the winter months. A powder room is conveniently located on this level as well.

Vaulted ceilings and bright white walls along with the views of Lake Washington, Bellevue skyline, Cascades, and green Seattle canopy make for a heavenly master bedroom on the 3rd floor of this home. A connecting full bath with jetted tub, walk-in closet, and separate closet for full size washer/dryer complete this room. The 3rd bedroom, also with vaulted ceilings, has bright, western exposure and a large closet. This room shares the large bathroom on this floor and can access through 2nd door off the hallway.

The amazing central location is walking distance to parks, groceries, multiple coffee shops and fine eateries, quick bus to downtown, close to Lake Washington beaches, and easy access to I-5, 520, and I-90. This low maintenance, ready to move in home will buy you time in your schedule for doing the things you enjoy!

For more information contact Ewing and Clark or Kristine Losh directly.

There will be an open house this Saturday, September 9th, from 1 pm – 4pm. 

Central Affordable Housing & Business Development

A year ago, Vulcan Real Estate bought six acres at 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street for $30.9 million in the Central District of Seattle. Five years earlier, another realty company, which sold to Vulcan, paid $12.5 million less. Currently, a Red Apple grocery store sits on this site, which will be replaced with two 7-story buildings separated by a public walkway and an additional one-level retail space. The first floor on the two, larger buildings will be for retail, with 530 apartments above and a multi-tiered 500+ parking garage below.

Renderings of Future Vulcan Building. Image: Vulcan Real Estate and Studio 216

Increased gentrification of our city has some concerned, and the Central District area is no exception. In the 1960s, this neighborhood was 70% African-American, according to a Seattle Times article; a year ago, it was down to 20%. In part due to sharply rising housing costs, there has been a call for more affordable housing in the Central District, and keeping or attracting African-American-owned businesses to the neighborhood. Concerning affordable housing, one-fifth of Vulcan’s new site will include rental units offered at a reduced amount (65-85% median income), which in turn provides Vulcan with a tax credit.

Other Central District plans are underway to increase affordable housing and business opportunities farther north along 23rd Avenue South as well. The Midtown Center at 23rd and East Union Street was purchased by a partnership for a combination of profit, retaining some of the center’s current character, and to build 125 affordable living units within the 500-unit complex. This developer might also receive a tax credit, not unlike Vulcan, and be able to build more floors on the building. And the former Liberty Bank location at nearby 24th and Union will be the site for a new 6-story, mixed-use building with up to 115 affordable housing units and commercial spaces that focus on attracting local business, especially African-American.

Madrona Mayfair Block Party 2017 Is On The Way!

Talk about blinked and you missed it!

March is already gone and April is in full swing.Before you know it, it will be May, and better yet, time again for Madrona’s annual Mayfair Block Party!

This year, Mayfair will be on Saturday, May 13th, and it’s shaping up to be a fabulous time for the whole family.

As all Madronaites know, Mayfair is our beautiful community’s yearly celebration of Spring with plenty of fun and games with our neighbors.

In 2017, Mayfair is celebrating 41 years of bringing the community together with festive fun, and it looks to be the best Mayfair yet!

The fun starts with the parade line up, starting at Al Larkins Park bright and early at 9:15 a.m., with the parade kicking off at 9:30 a.m. Led by Seattle Firefighters and beloved Charles the Clown, the parade will head to the Playfield, and Charles will put on a great, goofy show everyone is sure to love, at 10:00 a.m. at the Shelterhouse. Don’t slither off after the clownery, because the Reptile Man will be there will plenty of scaly friends at 10:30 a.m.

The whole morning will be packed with activities for the kiddos to have a ball, such as face-painting, bouncy houses, pony rides and much more. Get a balloon animal made, arrange Pots for Tots at Cambium’s booth, or just mix and mingle with other families from right here in Madrona! Learn about goings on in the community such as the Madrona School Playground Revitalization project, visit the Seattle Public Library booth explore all the things the people and businesses in Madrona have to offer.

Of course, all that fun builds up an appetite, so there will be plenty of tasty food to satisfy almost any craving. Indulge in some yummy, fresh spun cotton candy from Madrona Grace or light and airy freshly-popped popcorn from Epiphany Parish. Be sure to peruse the selection of baked goodies, grab a hot dog, and don’t miss the perineal favorite, Imperial Mixup from St. Clouds Restaurant. 

The morning’s events will conclude with a delightful concert from Recess Monkey in the park, the whole family is sure to love.

Mayfair is a Madrona tradition and a community favorite for so many reasons and is brought to us by Madrona Community Council which funds the events through sponsorship, donations, and lots of hard work. The array of enjoyable activities, booths and treats are made possible by generous and fantastic local sponsors including Ewing & Clark, Rock Paper Scissors, Molly Moon’s, Harvard Avenue Preschool, Lakeview Kids Dentistry, Cambium, Riolo Orthodontics, SRG Partnership, St. Clouds Restaurant, Girlie Press and Becky Gelder Designs.

Mayfair is the best way to welcome Spring in Madrona, and It takes plenty of volunteers to make this beloved event happen. If you would like to volunteer, please contact volunteer coordinator Rob Ward at

Be sure to join the fun on May 13th and make Madrona’s Mayfair a tradition in your family…if it isn’t already!

Film Comes To Life In “Film Is Dead” Exhibit

In the midst of the digital age, many are astounded that film still even exists. Everyone has digital film and video capabilities, and film Is very expensive, so, why bother right?

While that may have been what you thought once upon a time, your mind will be forever changed once you see the brilliant art made on and with film by artist Jennifer West at her Seattle Art Museum installation “Film Is Dead”.

In this revolutionarily inventive show, West uses 70mm, 35mm and 16mm analog film strips to create beautiful and visually compelling works of art. She treats the film with common household items including food coloring, nail polish, coffee, vinegar, bleach and more to create patterns and unplanned but stunning effects by eroding the films emulsion, staining it and letting the film take one whatever characters it might.

West’s SAM exhibit features film strips and remnants that have been treated and manipulated by the artist in this way, hung from the ceiling, and spanning almost the entire length of the gallery.

In addition to the physical installation at SAM, West has taken many of these works and digitized them to create a film that explores the differences and relationship between the analog and digital qualities of the film medium, creating another layer to this thought provoking artistic experiment.

Jennifer West is a Los Angeles based artist with some history in the Seattle. West received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Evergreen State College in Olympia before returning to her home state of California to earn her Masters in Fine Arts from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena.

West’s works have been displayed in various solo and group exhibitions across the country and the world including Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Lisa Cooley Gallery, New York, NY, Yuz Museum, Shanghai, China, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR and many more.

Her love affair with film dates back more than ten years and she boasts a very interesting and varied portfolio of works including photographic and video works using different and rare types of film and film techniques, light play, performance and her unique film quilts and magic lantern works. West’s style and aesthetic are likely different from any you’ve seen before, exploring and challenging the differences between modern digital photographic art and classic analog film techniques. Her style simultaneously evokes nostalgic feelings and encapsulates a modern and almost futuristic aesthetic, and over all seems to challenge films obsoleteness and the digital waves supremacy.

If you share a love of visual arts, interesting techniques, the fusion of arts and science or simply subscribe to the thought that everything old is new again, “Film Is Dead” is a show worth seeing, if for no other reason than to see something beautiful before it’s gone.






Exhibit on display through SUN MAY 7 2017



Taste Seattle History: Seattle’s Best Steaks At Daniel’s Broiler

Daniels Broiler, situated on the shores of Lake Union, has been a Seattle landmark of fine dining for what seems like forever. With its sweeping views of Lake Union, Queen Anne and Gasworks Park in addition to its incredible menu of USDA prime steaks and chops, all prepared impeccably, Daniel’s has always been the go-to venue for holiday and celebratory meals, fine craft cocktails and some of the best steaks you’ll ever enjoy.

Recently, people have been up in arms as rumors swirled regarding the possible closing of Daniel’s Lake Union location, due to Vulcan Real Estate’s plans to redevelop the pier on which it sits. Those fears were somewhat put to rest this week when the Seattle Times reported that Daniel’s on Lake Union will not close, but will merely move to a nearby location, still along the shores of South Lake Union. It seems fabulous steaks and sweeping Lake Union vistas will remain on Daniel’s menu for years to come, and we’ll drink to that!

Over the years, Daniel’s Broiler has become a local fine dining legend in the Seattle area, synonymous with delicious, high-end meals, superb craft cocktails, incredible views and live music, outstanding service and a seemingly never ending parade of Seattle’s most interesting and beautiful people to be found on any given night, enjoying a bite or a sip. However, many of us who have grown up in the Seattle area, (particularly those of us under a certain age) know very little of the famed steakhouse’s origins.

Daniel’s has been owned and operated by The Schwartz Brothers Restaurant group since 1981, and has changed very little since its beginnings at the Leschi Marina in 1980, but it’s true roots go much deeper than that. Daniel’s Broiler was started by a man named, well, Daniel, believe it or not. Daniel Jack Sandal, to be specific.

Daniel Sandal, a born and bred Seattleite, grew up in The Emerald City’s Wallingford neighborhood, graduated from the now closed Lincoln High School, and got his start in the food industry at the World-Famous Pike Place Market. Daniel’s Grandfather, Dan Zido, founded “Dan’s Better Meats” in Pike Place Market in 1910, and it was there, (in a space at the market that is now known as the home of Italian favorite, Il Bistro) that Daniel began his love affair with meat, as a third-generation butcher.

Eventually the butcher shop moved upstairs in the market, to where you will now find “Don and Joe’s Meats” (unsurprisingly, Don and Joe are related to Dan, and have kept the family tradition of quality cuts alive in Pike Place). Dan took over the family business when his father retired and decided to expand their wholesale business drastically, with their meats soon being featured at Seattle’s finest restaurant, including Canlis, The Fairmont Olympic Hotel, The Space Needle and plenty more. He also started a daily-delivered, fresh-ground meat patty service for local favorite burger joint, Dick’s Drive-In, helping to make those burgers we all know and love so darn scrumptious.

In the Early 1970’s, Dan began his foray into the restaurant world as a restaurateur himself, co-founding Benjamin’s with partner Arnold Shain. The success of Benjamin’s fueled Dan and Arnold to continue on in the restaurant game, with the opening of The Gasworks Restaurant, but eventually, they parted ways as partners.

In 1980, at the ripe, young age of 40, Daniel decided it was time to start his own place, a place for steaks and chops so terrific, people would fall in love, and that they did. The vision for the original Daniels Broiler was to be Dan’s own take on the fine dining he had grown up with in Seattle, drawing heavy inspiration from places like Canlis, but staying true to the steakhouse theme with top quality steaks and chops consistently available and prepared perfectly.

Daniel’s was a sort of experiment for Dan, as he had only ever opened and operated restaurants with partners prior to Daniel’s Broiler. He was once quoted as saying “I wanted to see if I could do it, I did it on my own so I didn’t have to deal with other’s dreams and problems and wouldn’t be at anyone else’s mercy.” And do it, he did. Daniel’s Broiler became a success from the very beginning, in its original home, located on the glistening shores of Lake Washington in the Leschi Marina.  At the time, this was a convenient location for Mercer Island and Bellevue residents, until they closed the I-90 entrance and exit on the east side of the tunnels when the second bridge was built.  Today, the original Daniel’s location serves the Mount Baker, Leschi, Madrona, Washington Park, Madison Park and Denny Blaine neighborhoods and a slew of long-time customers. 

Since being purchased by the Schwartz Brothers in late 1981, they have made very few changes to Dan Sandal’s original concept for the restaurant. The Schwartz Brothers did expand the Daniel’s brand to include locations in Bellevue (opening in 1989) and the location we all know and love, on the shores of Lake Union (since 1999), where Dan and Arnold’s first venture, Benjamin’s, once lived.

Dan Sandal passed away in 2012, but left behind a much loved and delicious legacy in Daniel’s Broiler. While many people find success in the Seattle restaurant scene, few reach the iconic status of Daniel’s Broiler, nor do they stand the test of time, untarnished and as beloved as ever the way Daniel’s has.

Daniel’s Broiler has been a Seattle staple for over 35 years, in 3 different locations, and it doesn’t appear that that will be changing anytime soon. While the Lake Union location may be moved slightly to make way for the inevitable growth and changes of a bustling city, it’s good to know it won’t be going far.