This Week in Ballard


Well, apart from the snow in March….brrrrrr…Ballard is getting ready for spring.


Oh, who are we kidding here?  This is nuts.  It’s March, and we had snow on the ground over the last weekend. This is almost too much to bear!  How do we get along.   Basically, we drink…heavily.  OK, just kidding….about the heavy part.  But we do drink. Where you might ask. Well, it would be bad form to just sit at home in our skivvies drinking wine.

So we put clothes over our skivvies, walk about a block down to Ballard avenue to Portalis. 


Portalis Wine Shop & Wine Bar
5205 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA

This is a very cute little wine bar where they are very friendly, and where we’re getting entirely too friendly with the staff….like Gina here. A Terrace girl herself for those of you playing from home.


Just don’t expect Karin to share those profiteroles dipped in chocolate.  Sure we’ll be heading home to the Terrace house at the end of July. But one of the things we’ll miss…a lot…is the wine bar on the corner….and the coffee shop across the street….the dry cleaner out the back door….Ballard Blossom….Ship and Sip…and about 50 great restaurants all in walking distance.   We’re going to miss this all…a lot.  But we have learned a lot about city living…and one thing that is very clear is that you need to live right in the middle of all this for it to pay off.   I don’t mean up the hill 8 blocks.  If we sold in Terrace and bought in Loyal Heights we’d get higher mortgage, smaller house, smaller yard, higher taxes, and we’d lose all the great remodeling that we did.  What’s more…..even just 8 blocks up hill is too far to walk, so you’re going to have to drive down into this parking mess for pizza or the Sunday market.  You don’t win unless you really are in walking distance.

So good to know.  But we’re not ready to sell the Terrace House and move here yet.  Jared and Lynn might want to come back and rent the house again.  We’d do it all over.  Christian might fall in love, get married, have babies, and need a place for a family.  Again, I sense a switch.  So it’s too soon to downsize just yet….but it is lingering out there.

clip_image006But in the mean time we live in the condo….cooking up a storm when we get the chance.  (Though I hate the glass electric cook top).

Karin has some of her jewelry tools down from the house for a visit.  There’s one sure sign we’re starting to age, we need more magnification.


And I’m not picking on Karin for needing magnification (ok, I’m picking on her a little…I mean really look at that one big eye) as I need my glasses to read and cook these days.  Otherwise I can’t read the recipes.

What else, Oh yes, I’ve had my grandfather’s old southern gentleman’s hat cleaned, blocked, and rebuilt to fit me.  I found the only real working men’s hatmaker in Seattle, and he did the job for my on this hat and on another old one of mine that had a dried and shrunken sweat band.  Both are now back in action and looking fine.  Of course, even in Ballard….I have lots of hat choices.  You all know me.  I just don’t feel dressed without the right hat.


And when you have a classy hat where should you go?  Well, how about Jazz Alley in Seattle.  If you imagine what a real “night club” looks like, with food, a bar, and a small stage where classy little combos play….that’s just about it.   Karin and I went to see Manhattan Transfer last Friday night.

Dimitriou's Jazz Alley  I’ve been a fan of this group since I was a teenager in the 70’s and they had a summer replacement series on CBS.  They are about the best vocalise group in the business, and I can highly recommend you see them any time you get the chance.   The food was great, the wine was delicious, and the jazz was pure gold. 

More from Ballard later in the spring.  When it finally does warm up, we’re going sailing!

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