Giant cow goes through the Locks

You don’t see this every day. It pains us to post this because it’s a publicity stunt, but it was a particularly effective one, to say the least.

Bessie the giant inflatable Holstein cow cruised through the Locks and the Ship Canal, generating lots of “earned media” for the Dairy Farmers of Washington. After all, why buy advertising when you can get blog posts like this for free?

But it was a sight. Lucas even made this video:

And Bessie even cruised Elliott Bay, pushed by a tug:

Don’t you want to drink more milk?

Ballard’s Joel featured on Eric’s Heroes

You may have seen Joel Abel around town, helping out at Bop Street Records (above), hanging out at Hattie’s Hat or tasting cupcakes at Cupcake Royale.

“Joel is a part of Ballard, Ballard is Joel. He’s just synonymous with Ballard,” says Emily Scully, who works at Cupcake Royale.

KOMO TV’s Eric Johnson followed Joel around Ballard for his weekly “Eric’s Heroes” segment, and it’s a good one. Without further ado, here’s the clip:

(Top photo from KOMO News)

Story about a Norwegian flag in Greenwood is heard around the world

A few days ago, the Seattle Times got a hot tip. A Greenwood resident said she saw “a Confederate flag flying in front of a house” at N 92nd St. and Palatine Ave. N.

Times reporter Erik Lacitis checked it out, and…

“That’s a Norwegian flag,” said the Norwegian-American man who lives there. “It’s been up there since the start of the Olympics.”

Oops. Unlike the file photo we’re showing in this story, the flag was hanging down on the pole, untouched by the wind.

To her credit, the woman who sent the Times the tip admitted her error and revealed her name, best-selling author Rebecca Morris. But now she’s the subject of stories around the world.

The Times story blew up on social media, and it’s been picked up by the Daily Mail (which believe it or not, is the world’s most popular “news” site) as well as TIME, Sports Illustrated, Breitbart, Russia Today and even the Norwegian channel TV 2.

Not everyone thought it was funny — including some who pointed out it’s not illegal to fly a Confederate flag — so the Seattle Times had to close its comments on the story due to the volume of messages that violated its terms of service. A quick look at Morris’ Facebook page shows a few angry comments, as well.

But one Norwegian resident took it all in stride in a message posted on Facebook.

“The flags are very alike,” he said. “Everyone can do this mistake.”

The story still sits on the top of Seattle Times’ list of most read stories.

Photos of a snowy Ballard

Ballard woke up to a beautiful snowy Sunday. Here are some photos from My Ballard readers as well as neighbors on Instagram…
“A beautiful winter wonderland,” wrote Holly, who sent us this photo of her two-year old enjoying the snow.

Snow-covered trees with the farmer’s market in the distance.

A look across the Ballard Locks at Magnolia.

Jamie sent us this photo: great day for the kids to enjoy the snow.

Parents and kids broke out the sleds.

Enough snow for a big snowman! Photo from Courtney.

And an even bigger snow bunny, spotted somewhere in Ballard.

Movie shoot in Sunset Hill?

Updated: We’re starting to piece together some details that might point to a “50 Shades of Grey” movie shoot. Over in Northgate, a “50 Shades” film crew is shooting on the ramp to southbound I-5, according to WSDOT. There were reports earlier this week about a similar shoot in downtown Seattle. And the movie poster (below) features a home with a Seattle view.
Earlier: My Ballard reader John said it looks like a movie shoot is underway along 32nd Ave. in Sunset Hill, so we went to take a look. There are several production trucks parked near 85th St., and this “Barbarian Cine” truck is parked in the driveway of one of the big homes overlooking the water.
A quick search reveals that “Barbarian Cine” is a local company that provides lighting services, often for film shoots. There’s also a long line of “no parking” signs, which are designated for 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. today. We did not see, however, trailers typically used for talent.
While Sunset Hill has a short history of film shoots — remember when we saw Robin Williams in 2008? — this could be just a big party in preparation stages.
If you have details, let us know in comments below…

(Thanks John for the tip!)

Chicken found crossing 8th Ave NW

Updated: While walking the dog around Whittier Heights we saw “LOST CHICKEN!” signs stapled to light posts and called the owner. Fingers crossed that this is their missing chicken! The chicken and owner have been reunited!

Earlier:Kiva tells us that her mom saw a chicken trying to cross the road – seriously – on 8th Avenue NW near the corner of NW 73rd Street today.

If it’s yours, please email Kiva at

Louie’s land for sale, restaurant not closing

Another large chunk of land is for sale in Ballard. @nearzySEA via Twitter brought this Craigslist real estate posting for a “Ballard Restaurant Building” to our attention.

With a picture of Louie’s Cuisine of China, the listing highlights two parcels of land, plus a 9,477 square foot building. One parcel is where the restaurant is, the second is across the street which is currently used as the restaurant’s overflow parking lot. Asking price $3,750,000. We spoke with an employee at Louie’s who tells us they are selling the land and building, but are not closing their restaurant.

A Ballard love story, circa 1892

Love before Twitter, texting or email was a lot different. Instead of the instant gratification of an immediate response, love birds in the 1890s would have to wait days or weeks to hear back from someone.

Here is a love story that ends right here in Ballard published in The Sun on October 13, 1892:

A Husband and Wife Reunited After a Search of Five Years
From the St. Louis Globe-Democrat

SEATTLE. Wash. Oct, 8—A romance in real life has just come to light in Ballard, and the ending is a happy one. Five years ago, Mr. and Mrs. H. G. Baker lived on a farm about twenty miles south of Bismarck, Dak. They had been in the country but a few years and spoke English imperfectly. They were thrifty and had a fine place and were fairly prosperous. The country did not suit them, however, and Mr. Baker started for California to look for a new home, intending to send for his wife as soon as he found one. Before leaving he made arrangements by which she could dispose of their property without delay. He had been gone but a few weeks when Mrs. Baker received a letter one day from a friend that Mr. Baker had died in California. Mrs. Baker, believing this story, at once sold the farm and stock, and with several thousand dollars came to Washington to make her home. She finally located at Ballard.

Mr. Baker wrote to his wife about the very time she was on her way west. After the usual delay the letter was returned with the indorsement: “Removed: present address not known.” A letter to the Postmaster brought him the explanation that his wife, believing him to be dead, had sold out and moved away, no one known whither. Mr. Baker could speak but very little English and had made no acquaintances to whom she could tell her plans. All the neighbors knew was that she had sold the place and gone away with the children; and they all felt sorry for her because she mourned so for the death of her husband. Then, and for five long years thereafter, Mr. Baker began and continued his search for his wife and children, whom he at last has just discovered at Ballard. He was greatly handicapped in his search by his imperfect knowledge of the English language and his ignorance of the ways of doing business in this country.

A year ago Mr. Baker in his wanderings came to Ballard from Snohomish, where he had been following a clue t o his wife’s whereabouts, for he had by this time assured himself that she had come to this State and was living on Puget Sound somewhere. He dined at a hotel almost within speaking distance of his wife and children, never once dreaming they were so near.
A short time ago Mrs. Baker sent a picture of herself and children to Mr. Baker’s parents in the old country. They sent word to their son, and he at once hastened to the side of his lost wife, and a joyful reunion took place. Mr. and Mrs. Baker are a prepossessing couple and now live in a cosey little home on the east side of Ballard. They have an interesting family of three bright boys, aged 6, 8, and 10 years. The last time Mr. Baker saw his youngest boy he was an infant nursing in his mother’s arms, and when he saw him here he was wheeling a barrow of wood for his mother. Mr. Baker’s face beamed with happiness over the fortunate ending of his wanderings as be told his story to a reporter last night

You can see the actual clipping of this story here (.jpg). (Thank you Cristin for finding this and transcribing!)