Anthony Bourdain spotted in Ballard

bourdainFirst, there was Rachael Ray at Volterra. Now My Ballard reader Heather sent us this email about another celebrity chef sighting:

“Anthony Bourdain was in a cream-colored Mini convertible with another gentleman parked outside La Carta de Oaxaca at around 3 p.m. today. He posed for a photo with some girls inside who ran outside to see him, then got back in the car and drove away. He was sitting outside for a bit, according to the girls, but no one was sure if he was eating lunch.”

The Travel Channel host (“No Reservations”) and author (“Kitchen Confidential”) is appearing tonight (Saturday) at the Paramount with Mario Batali, the “bad boys of cuisine.”

Locks to be closed Monday morning

The Ballard Locks will be closed to boaters for much of Monday morning and possibly on Tuesday.

The Army Corps of Engineers is sending divers down to check on the “Adult Salmon Exclusion Structure” that was installed last year to prevent Chinook salmon from getting snagged in the locks’ water system. Both the large lock and small lock will be closed from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Monday morning and again on Tuesday, if needed. The only exception will be for emergency vessels.

Ballard bear captured in Everett

Wildlife officials captured a small black bear in Everett on Friday, and now they say it’s likely the same bear that scurried through Ballard last week. The 180-pound bear was shot in the rear end with a tranquilizer dart while napping just north of Everett, and he’ll be relocated back into the wilderness. We’ve made one final update to our bear tracking map below. Quite the journey:

View Bear sightings in Ballard in a larger map

Buffalo Exchange to open in June

Buffalo Exchange has announced that they’ll be open in less than a month.

The eclectic buy-sell-trade clothing shop is taking over a 2,500 square foot space on Market Street where SuperCuts and the Tux Shop used to be. “Buffalo Exchange is unique because clothing and accessories are bought, sold and traded directly with store customers. Used clothes can be traded for any item in the store, including jewelry and brand new clothing,” according to the press release. The store plans to open on June 20th.

AK-47 seized at Golden Gardens

Seattle Police say a drunk driver ran into two parked cars at Golden Gardens just before midnight last night. When witnesses called 911, they said they saw the driver run from the scene with a rifle and hide it in the bushes. When officers arrived, they said they took two suspects into custody — the 17-year-old driver and a 20-year-old passenger — and discovered a fully-loaded AK-47 assault rifle nearby. Police say they also discovered an illegal “butterfly” knife in the passenger’s possession. (Thanks HL for posting it in the forum!)

New tool for Ballard football

When spring football practice starts on Monday, Ballard High School football coach John Bowers has a new tool for the team: an aerial camera.

With just one win last year, Coach Bowers hopes showing film will help the team. This new $5,000 stand will hoist a camera 31 feet up in the air, providing a bird’s eye view of practices and games. The plan, according to the videographer Mike Willis, is to shoot practices a couple days a week and show the film during that week. The game footage will be shown the following week.

Up until now, someone would stand outside the fence on 67th and shoot the field, which didn’t work very well, Coach Bowers tells us. He also says that most other teams in the league use one of these camera stands.

Reminder: The Parents Night Out wine tasting event and silent auction to raise money for new uniforms is June 13th.

Get ready for the Whittier Rummage Sale

The Whittier Rummage Sale is scheduled for next Saturday, June 6th, to raise money for the elementary school. And they need your help.

(We didn’t take the photo, but we couldn’t resist posting it!) Here’s the info:

Whether you’re an avid garage-sale shopper on the lookout for great deals or someone interested in selling your wares to a whole new market, the Whittier Rummage Sale is the place to be. Whittier Elementary is hosting a community rummage sale on Saturday, June 6th from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm at the school (1320 NW 75th St).

Aside from attending the Rummage Sale, Whittier Elementary welcomes neighborhood participation in the event. There are a few ways the community can get involved. If you have items in good condition that you would like to get rid of but you’re not interested in staffing your own sale, you can donate them to Whittier Elementary and they will be sold at the Whittier Wildcat store at the event. Items should be between $5-$100 in value and should be in good condition with no stains, tears, or items with missing or broken pieces. All proceeds from sales will go to Whittier Elementary. To donate items, please contact For a minimum $20 donation to Whittier Elementary, you can reserve your own space at the sale to sell your own items to the hundreds of people attending this event. Contact Jim Forsher if you’re interested in reserving a space at the sale.

Crown Hill QFC to close

The Crown Hill QFC on 15th Ave. near 85th St. is closing at the end of its lease.

QFC spokeswoman Kristin Maas tells us the lease is up the end of August, but they’re working to extend it for a few months.

The extension would keep a QFC in Ballard until the new 42,000 square-foot store at “Ballard on the Park” on 24th Ave. opens this fall. And for neighbors to the north, the QFC on Holman Road will remain open. Maas says that employees at the Crown Hill store will have the option to move to the new store if they’re interested, or possibly to another store closer to where they live.

Archie McPhee’s closes, Maritime’s expands

Updated: After ten years in the neighborhood, Archie McPhee closed its doors for the last time in Ballard on Thursday evening.

They’ve worked for weeks moving a bazillion little quirky toys to their new Wallingford location. Thursday they gave away a bunch of doodads that were left over from the move. They’ll reopen at their new 45th and Stone Way location at 9 a.m. on Monday.

The new boat shop, Maritime’s Marine Centers, which recently replaced Jacobsen’s Marine will be expanding into the Archie McPhee space at the beginning of June. (Thanks Arne for the tip!)

Ballard named one of country’s best neighborhoods

This is no surprise to us, but Men’s Journal names Ballard one of America’s best neighborhoods in the West. They write,

“Despite a decade of buzz, Ballard still feels unspoiled. The same dive bars host the same music; the tasty ex-brothel pizza joint still has tables open. And it’s still got plenty of adventure: 16,000 square feet of climbing at Stone Gardens, and Olympic or Mount Baker national forest, each less than 70 miles away.”

The Dogpatch neighborhood in San Francisco, Reno, NV and Portland’s Mount Tabor district are a few of the other areas to be named. (Thanks Kady!)