Scenes from the Ballard Summer Field Day

After a gray, drizzly and windy start to the day, the sun decided to come out for the Ballard Summer Field Day put on by GroundswellNW.

It looked like kids and adults were having a great time playing many of the games.

Hula hoops were set out.

A nine “hole” beanbag golf course was set up.

And a game to see who could fill up a bucket the fastest by running and squeezing water out of a sponge.

The cupcake walk was popular.

Everyone wanted the sweet treat.

QFC provided picnic dinners for people.

Ballard Greenways group to lead bike tour Sunday

A group of Ballardites is working to bring Neighborhood Greenways to Ballard. (Read more about Neighborhood Greenways here.)

On Sunday, the newly-formed group called “Ballard Greenways” will be leading a bike tour around Ballard to possible Greenway locations. “The goal of this ride is to start reaching out to the community to promote the concept of the Greenways, build enthusiasm and gain feedback on suggested routes,” Jennifer Litowski with Ballard Greenways tells us. “Plus, of course, to have some fun on a summer afternoon!”

The ride will depart from the Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW) at 2:30 p.m., head east on NW 57th/58th, north on 6th Ave NW, west on NW 75th St., south on 17th Ave NW and then west on NW 57th St to finish up back at the Library (3.8 miles). “These are streets that would provide critical safe access to the heart of downtown Ballard and already have a lot of the key traffic calming features in place,” Litowski says. The ride is timed so cyclists will end just in time for the Ballard Field Day that starts at 4 p.m. at Ballard Commons Park.

Get more information on Ballard Greenways on their Facebook page.

Artist captures Old Ballard on canvas

On an afternoon stroll in Old Ballard, we discovered artist Matt Bazemore at work, painting the historic Harlow’s building at 20th and Ballard Ave. NW.

Bazemore’s works span the Seattle area, from the Paramount Theater to the Five Spot on Queen Anne, but Old Ballard is his favorite to capture. “I like to paint the old avenue. Capture some vanishing Americana is sort of the mission,” he tells us. “A lot of the 1900s is still here.” Bazemore has painted several Old Ballard buildings — along with the Bell Tower — in different seasons of the year.

Until Sunday night, Bazemore’s art is on display at The Scoop at Walt’s in Ballard (6408 32nd Ave NW), and you can see a slide show on his website.

A taste of Chicago coming to Ballard

Push aside the lutefisk and lefse – a new Chicago-style eatery is getting ready to open in Ballard.

Benito’s Chicago Eatery is the brainchild of classically-trained chef and former Chicagoan, Benjamin Kulikowski. He says his restaurant will serve the big three Chicago foods – Italian beef, deep-dish pizza & hot dogs. He will also have a chalkboard menu with rotating dishes.

The new restaurant is located at 6201 15th Ave NW, in the same building as Three Girls Bakery and Ballard Barber Shop. The space used to house The Mailbox in Ballard, which had low ceilings and fluorescent lighting. Kulikowski and carpenter Dakota are completely transforming the space, turning to famous Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright for inspiration. They’ve opened up the ceiling and found exposed beams in terrific condition. One of them is even signed with an unreadable signature dated Wednesday, August 19th, 1928.

Benito’s will serve locally-sourced foods as well as beer and wine. They plan to open in September.

Students create artwork for Sunset Hill bus shelter

As part of Metro’s Bus Shelter Mural Program, artwork from Salmon Bay School students is now part of a Sunset Hill bus stop.

A “Totally biased Salmon Bay parent” emailed us to say that her son’s third grade class studied orcas this past year and what they learned is now artwork for the bus shelter at NW 85th Street and 32nd Ave NW.

“They were able to take all the stuff they learned and put it to good use, as well as their skills at working together collaboratively when they got to create panels for this bus stop!” the parent writes. “There are panels about habitat, how we can help, how orcas hunt, orca body parts, orca behavior… I think it looks awesome.”

Linda Theilke with Metro Transit says the mural painted by the students was installed earlier this month.

Get ready for Seafair fly-overs

The Blue Angels are coming to town next week for Seafair and there’s a special military show next Wednesday over Elliott Bay.

The Blue Angels as seen from Queen Anne in 2010

August 1: 8:10 a.m. Blue Angel no. 7 aircraft arrives
August 1: 12 and 1:30-3 p.m. Blue Angel no. 7 conducts media flights
August 2: Blue Angel team arrival along with other air show aircraft
August 3: 12 p.m. Blue Angel media flights
1:45-2:30 military aircraft fly over the Parade of Ships on Elliott Bay
August 4: Air show practice flights:
10 a.m.-12 p.m.
1:20 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
August 5: Air show practice flights:
1:30 p.m.- 3 p.m.
August 6: Air show performance: 1:30-3 p.m.
August 7: Air show performance: 1:30-3 p.m.
August 9: Mid-morning, Blue Angel team will depart

The military aircraft fly-over on Wednesday includes EA Prowlers, P3 Orion’s, and Harrier jets – all known to be loud and flying low.

Night Out Against Crime next week

It’s hard to believe that next Tuesday is the second of August, but it’s true! That means it’s the annual Night Out Against Crime, when neighbors across the country gather in block parties to heighten awareness for crime prevention.

Neighbors at 70th and 28th celebrated their 18th annual block party in 2010.

Here in Ballard, many roads will be closed down and neighbors will spill into the streets, pulling out our barbecues and enjoying each others’ company.

Once again this year we’ll put together a map of the different block party locations.

View Night Out Against Crime 2011 in a larger map
Let us know in comments below if your block is holding a get together – please be sure to include cross streets. Or you can email us at

Volunteers looking for Sunday projects

Volunteers through the new Ballard Church are ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work. This Sunday, about 20 people are available from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for various service projects at people’s homes or in the neighborhood. “They can help clean, paint, move heavy stuff, move peoples house, load trucks, yard work, mowing, weeding, edging . . . whatever people need help with,” Paul Diaz with Ballard Church tells us. “It’s totally free and it’s just to make a difference in our community and help make the world a better place.”

“Also, this is not just a one time deal, but it would be great for people to know that in the future if they have needs then just e-mail us and let us know and we will see if we can pull together a team of volunteers to help,” Diaz says.

If you have a project for the group, email

Kids get a new look at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club

Some pretty excited pre-schoolers are home this evening with colorful faces.

Teri Tate, a grandmother of two kids at the Ballard Boys & Girls Club, came in to paint the kids’ faces. She is visiting her grandkids from Idaho and decided to pay the kids a visit.

The ecstatic girls and boys got to pick a design out of Tate’s book – butterflies, spiders, eagles and more – and Tate carefully painted them.

A symphony of sounds for the sunset

Seattle composer Nat Evans has created a piece of work specifically for sunset at Carkeek Park on Saturday evening. The 23-minute piece fuses nature, music, community, and subjectivity of experience, he says. It’s an interesting concept – go to his website and download the music onto your ipod/mp3 player ahead of time then get to the beach by 8:30 p.m. At 8:37 p.m., exactly 10 minutes before sunset, Evans will give the cue to press play and participants will sit back and observe while listening.

“The music, a piece entitled Assemblage, is a mix of new and pre-existing compositions that have been arranged to best compliment the changing of light at the pivotal moment of Sunset,” Evans tells us.

It looks as if Mother Nature might cooperate. The forecast calls for sunshine with temps in the upper 70s.

He is also doing this in other parts of the country, including Chicago on August 4th, Indianapolis on August 7th and New York on August 21st.