Magnolia Bridge slowly falling apart

It seems our bridge is in shambles. Built in 1929, Seattle’s Magnolia Bridge has ferns growing in patches on the bottom, and spots of rough roadway. According to this article by KIRO 7 Eyewitness News, the “…Bridge, which is used by thousands of people every day, is in a sorry state….parts of it shake from passing traffic, and there are large chucks of concrete under the bridge that appear to have fallen from the structure. A net is installed beneath the Magnolia Bridge over an entrance to the Port of Seattle’s cruise ship terminal. It appears to be there to catch concrete pieces, but the city has no record of who installed it or when.”

The city inspects the bridge twice a year and maintains that the bridge is still safe for use.

Watch out for the door knocker

We got this tip from an MV reader:

There is a guy around late 20s early 30s wearing an orange coat knocking on doors claiming “he is scanning the neighborhood letting people know that there have been car break ins in the area and to make sure I lock my doors”! Seems kinda shady to me and is giving obvious advice, not sure if that is his true intent or if he is seeing who is home when and planning other things. He is on 30 th ave w heading north towards raye at 530pm on the 26th of feb! Just beware!

Has anyone else seen him or had any strange experiences?

Blaine to honor beloved teacher Karen Helweil Tuesday

Blaine families and neighbors are invited to join the administration, teachers, students and PTA for the dedication of two outdoor tables for the courtyard in remembrance of teacher and friend, Karen Helweil, who passed away in 2011.  Music from students and a few words from those close to her will be followed by light snacks and refreshments in the main entry way to school.  Families and staff, past and present are also welcome!
The dedication will take place Tuesday, March 5th at 4:00pm in Catharine Blaine’s Main Entrance/Courtyard.

New eatery to open soon in old Rudy’s location

By reporter Steven Smalley

Construction continues at the restaurant location previously occupied by Rudy’s Place at 34th Avenue West and West Emerson Street, with workers laboring furiously both inside and outside the structure. Inquiries to the Magnolia Voice tips hotline prompted some questions of our own to the proprietor of the soon-to-be Italian venue with a new moniker, The Villa.

“The restaurant is going to open by the end of March or first of April,” reveals Stefan Petrov, owner, chef, and graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Art here in Seattle.

“Final touches take time,” says Petrov, who also operates his other restaurant, Verona Pizza, which will stay open in Burien.

The latest restaurant will hold nearly 40 people, plus more in the bar, and will offer an American-infused Italian menu with entrees averaging $16.

Petrov promises dinners at first, which will include plenty of Northwest seafood. Lunches and breakfast could be introduced later, although still in the planning stages, with tentative notions for a bakery and coffee shop as well. Weekend brunch will be served nearly all day Saturday and Sunday. “We are keeping our options open,” he says.

Bistro-style dining will highlight a casual atmosphere, sans white linen tablecloths, notes Petrov. “Families are welcome,” says the man who has two children of his own. “The bar is separated from the restaurant and will be nothing like the previous (incarnation),” he assures.

Chef Petrov says he will spend most of his time in the kitchen concentrating on food quality during the initial launch, although look for him to run all aspects of the operation.

Originally from Bulgaria, Petrov came here in 1999 and lives with his wife in Queen Anne.

Blaine parents, the auction is around the corner- have you gotten your tickets?

(From Catharine Blaine PTA)

Get your fedoras and flapper dresses ready, because the Blaine PTA is hosting a Speakeasy Soiree! This secret, underground party is sure to be the cat’s meow, and with the law crackin’ down on the bootleggin’ you’ll want to make sure you’re not followed to our new, hot local location! Get ready to party like it’s 1923, Blaine parents!  Once you’ve found the secret entrance, spend the night with your fellow parents enjoying heavy appetizers, tasty libations (including a full, no-host premium bar), live music, a fun photo booth, dancing and more.  But remember not to be too loud as a cop raid could happen at any moment. The jail house is no place to spend the most happenin’ night of the year!  Plus, we’ve snuck in all of  your favorite Blaine fundraising activities to reach our $200,000 annual goal (currently we are at $116,000) — a live auction featuring the beloved classroom projects made by our kids and the two priceless VIP parking spots at school, an overnight at the school, teacher experience and party sign-up lists, and our ever-popular Fund-an-Item (stay tuned for details on what we’re raising the paddle for this year!). Plus, there are likely to be a few surprises for you guys and dolls too!

When: Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 7:00 PM
Where: Batch 206, just at the bottom of the Magnolia Bridge, past the light to the right, under the covered parking
Tickets: Guys and dolls can gain entrance to this secret speakeasy for $50 each

Magnolia artists wanted for Summerfest poster contest

Will you answer the call?  The 2013 Magnolia Summerfest Poster Contest is officially underway.  Winning artwork will be used for the Official 2013 Magnolia Summerfest poster that appears all over the community and on the front of the official Summerfest program.  To enter, create an original work of art and submit to the Poster Contest Committee at by May 1, 2013.  Submission guidelines (from the Summerfest Website):

1) all work must be original and created by the person submitting the work. 2) please include you name, contact information, and all pertinent information about the submission. 3) images must be 2-dimensional and may be any media including oil, paint, photography, etc. 4 artwork should be in a portrait orientation (rather than landscape) in order to be used in the poster format. 5) If chosen, Magnolia Summerfest reserves the right to use the image in the official Summerfest poster, the official Summerfest program and other promotional materials related to 2013 Magnolia Summerfest. 6) The poster Contest winner will be entitled to a free 10×10 booth at the Magnolia Summerfest, August 2nd & 3rd.

Click here for more information.

Several bicycles stolen last night from apartment building

Someone (or a group of someones) helped themselves to a bunch of bikes last night.  We received this email from an anonymous tipster:

Sometime last night someone got into (our) secured garage on 21st ave w and Thorndyke and stole several bicycles. This required breaking cable and U-shaped metal locks. Due to the remote location of the building and where the bikes are held this had to be well thought out (let alone a truck to move all of them). There are security cameras and I am sure management is investigating, but there is no further word.

Please call 911 if you have any information.


Where are all the homes for sale?

(This is a sponsored story written by John Madrid, Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate).

“A house, a house, my kingdom for a house”. If you are in the market for a new home you can probably empathize with Shakespeare’s King Richard III.  Single-family homes, townhomes, and even condos are all in short supply throughout most the city.


For Magnolia and Queen Anne there is just a 1.5 month supply of single-family home inventory which is definitely favoring home sellers with the result that homes are really hard to come by.  We will continue to see more pre-inspections, multiple offers, and bidding wars on the fewer listings hitting the market.


Why the shortage of homes for sale?  First, some home owners simply can’t sell since they have negative equity (they owe more than their home would sell for). Second, are home owners who can’t find a new home to upsize or downsize into that would allow them to put their existing home on the market.  Third is that some home owners are either unaware of the improved market for sellers or they are content to stay in their current home rather than over extend themselves. Fourth, are owners betting on continued prices gains over the coming months and years. A final factor has been the significant slowdown in new construction, up until last year, that typically helps alleviate the demand for more housing stock.

In addition to a reduced supply, demand has picked up with the influx of new hires (Amazon, Microsoft, etc). There is also a general belief that home prices and interest rates have only one direction to move and that is up.   Many renters have concluded that, with big jumps in rent, buying a home may be the wiser long term investment especially if they are able to lock in these historically low interest rates.

Home prices will continue to rise until there is more of supply/demand equilibrium.  If you are looking for a home there are a couple potential silver linings over the coming weeks and months. First, is that we are entering the historically seasonal high point for new inventory. Second, is that interest rates aren’t expected to move significantly upward until the end of the year at the earliest.




More stats on other Seattle neighborhoods can be found at


Tip:  The fewer contingences (i.e. finance, inspection) a home buyer has, the more attractive they are to a home seller, especially in multiple offer situations.    Believe it or not, buyer “love letters” to sellers can swing things into a buyer’s favor, just don’t overdo it.


John Madrid is a Managing Broker with John L. Scott Real Estate – University Village and is a 2005-2012 Seattle Magazine “Five Star” Agent. His clients include both home buyers and sellers. He can be reached at 206-498-1880, or


Statistics are deemed reliable but are not guaranteed.  All information should be verified to the users own satisfaction.





Serendipity wins free performance from Seattle Symphony musicians

The Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization ( SSOPO) has picked a winner for its” Musical New Year Concert Contest” after a month-long Facebook competition. Our own Serendipity Café, has won a free concert by a duet of symphony musicians on Friday, March 15 at 7:30 p.m.

“We’re humbled to be part of such a welcoming community and are looking forward to giving back,” said Tim Hale, chair of the SSOPO. “It’s a great opportunity to thank the community and to bring our music to those who may not have yet experienced it.”

Symphony musicians Elisa Barston, principal second violinist, and Efe Baltcigil, principal cellist, will perform a Beethoven duo and chamber music at the complimentary concert. It turns out, Barston is from our ‘hood.  She says, “I’ve been taking my daughter to Serendipity for sweet treats for years and am thrilled that it won our concert contest. I am looking forward to performing for my fellow Magnolia residents.” Bassist Jennifer Godfrey is also a Magnolia resident, “Serendipity Café has created a great atmosphere for families. It’s businesses like Serendipity that make Magnolia a great place to live and one of the reasons a number of symphony musicians call this neighborhood home.”

Serendipity Café can hold 60 visitors on a first-come, first-served basis for the concert. For more information about Serendipity Cafe, click here. For more information about the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization, click here.


Brand-new wood-fired pizza truck on Elliott

An MV reader writes

A neighbor of mine who is a master chef just branched out for the first time and started his own thing… a food truck down on Elliott near the Starbucks. It’s called “Seattle Wood Fired Pizza” and is basically a wood fired oven on wheels that kicks out super delicious thin crust pizza super fast. He just opened up a couple weeks ago…In any case, being that AJ lives here in Magnolia and his new gig is more or less in Interbay I figured it might be worth mentioning or at least worthy of putting up in the restaurant section. For those who want something fast, priced well and nearby or for those who love pizza this is a pretty big coup!


We tried the veggie pizza this afternoon and it was fast and delicious.  My kids loved it.  We will be back!

Click here for their FB page