Archive for the ‘memos’ Category

City Neighborhood Blogging

English Breakfast at Voxx by culinaryfool [flickr] via our group pool [#]

The Seattle P-I, along with City Club, hosted a panel tonight on neighborhood blogging. Panelists included Tracy Record of West Seattle Blog, Cory Bergman of MyBallard, Amber Campbell of Rainier Valley Post, Scott Schaefer of B-Town Blog, and Heather McLeland-Wieser with the Seattle Public Library’s Shelftalk.

Moderator Monica Guzman of the The Big Blog asked the panelists a number of questions involving how they generated readership, moderated comments, used advertising, worked with the local media, and how local blogs have been able to cover local neighborhood issues in ways that traditional media is unable to cover.

Many of the panelists shared different stories about how their blogs are engaging their community. Campbell mentioned that Rainier Valley Post was recently able to contribute to a fund for the funeral of a local child that was killed in their neighborhood through PayPal donations, and Record shared her passion for the pets section of West Seattle Blog. The amount of information available through these local (and sometimes hyperlocal) blogs is amazing, and many of the bloggers, like Record, Bergman and Campbell have devoted a lot of hours and lost sleep to their neighborhoods.

As Record mentioned, neighborhood or place-blogging has become a kind of ‘calling’ for some Seattleites. If you’re out and about on the Internet, be sure to check out your local blogs- a lot of them are doing some really amazing things in their communities, and if there’s not one in your neighborhood, there probably will be soon (or hey, you could start one yourself- many panelists stayed afterwards to lead a workshop on creating your own blog). Happy reading- and be sure to mention any neighborhood blogs you think are worth reading in our comments- the more, the merrier!

PAX 2008: Saturday

Gaming Squad, courtesy of Sparky

Lessons Learned at PAX 2008:

1. The lines are long. Really long. (Unless you’re trying to use the women’s restroom). Know what you want to do ahead of time, and don’t try to get into Gabe and Tycho’s Make-A-Strip Panel 10 minutes before it’s scheduled to start.
2. The Console Freeplay rooms aren’t nearly as cool as the PC Freeplay rooms (pictured above) and take about twice as long to get into.
3. Don’t skip the Omeganaut competition, because you might get to see Gabe, Tycho, Khoo and Kara from Penny Arcade playing Journey songs on Rock Band.
4. Make sure to get bacon salt, among all the other swag.
5. I really suck at video games, unlike certain other bloggers.
6. If you’re riding the bus home, get on at 3rd and Virginia, before all the Bumbershoot people flood in!
7. The sumo beanbag mats are the best idea anyone’s ever come up with for PAX.

Seattle Fits, Eventually

Planet SeattleX, courtesy of Bonacheladas

The New York Times had an excellent article yesterday about what life is like for newcomers in the Big Apple. So much of it seemed applicable to more than just Manhattan, though, that I thought I would share it.

After you move to Seattle, at some point, you realize it either is or isn’t working for you. If it isn’t working for you, you spend a whole lot of time talking about the Seattle Freeze, comparing Seattle to your former place of residence, and complaining about the weather. And we’ve all done it a time or two.

Eventually, though, I think those who truly become Seattleites discover that it’s kind of nice that people don’t talk to you on the bus; the rain feels pretty refreshing after 73-degree heat; and suddenly, somehow you’ve become a coffee snob.

So, guys, what did it for you? When did you suddenly discover Seattle was a fit for you (or not, as the case may be)?

Exploring Seattle: Killing Off Seattle Landmarks

Last Day for Espresso Vivace, courtesy of HonuPhoto

With Ryan’s report on Asteroid Cafe closing, I realized that somehow, in the short time I’ve been here I’ve managed to make it to nearly every notable spot that’s been closed down or demolished a grand total of once.

On that list:

1. Crocodile– Shortly after moving here in February of last year, my friend’s band came through town and played at the Crocodile. It didn’t close until December, but I only managed to get there once. And I really meant to go to the I Heart Rummage show. I know it’s moved on to Chop Suey, but it seems to me like the Crocodile was the perfect location for it.

2. Bimbo’s Bitchin’ Burrito Kitchen- First Iteration– A pair of friends took us to Bimbo’s in spring of 2007. I loved it- the kitschy decorations, the fun stuff under the tables, and so much pink! It was fabulous. But its entire block was demolished, and while it managed to move in elsewhere on Capitol Hill, it just hasn’t been the same. I miss the old one that wasn’t decorated entirely in Mexican wrestling decor…

3. The Sunset Bowl– It’s all in the post, but I only got there once for a friend’s mid-winter party before it closed down in the spring.

4. The aforementioned Asteroid Cafe. Again, it’s in the post, but I never did make it back for that romantic date (well, guess I’ve got two weeks).

5. The Vivace at Cal Anderson Park. A good friend took me there for a cup of coffee this spring, not more than a month before they closed. I found out the hard way, by trying to take my parents to the loveliest coffee shop in the city while they were visiting in mid-July and walking up to boarded doors and windows. It was incredibly sad to lose that location, particularly to lose it so soon after discovering it.

So, I’m kind of feeling like the Typhoid Mary of Seattle businesses these days. The time between visit and closing seems to get shorter and shorter, in addition. But one of my fellow Metbloggers suggested that instead of being sad about my anti-Midas touch, I use my powers for good and not evil. With great power comes great responsibility and all.

So, Metblog readers, what businesses do you really want to see move on and be replaced by condos and light rail? I’ll be happy to go visit them, and keep you updated on their impending demise immediately following.

Seattle’s Green Bike Project

Bike Shorts, Denim Skirt, Tatoos, courtesy of Seattle Daily Photo

In an effort to reduce drive-alone commuting, King County teamed up with REI and the Cascade Bicycle Club to encourage biking to work by offering 200 free bikes to participants who meet the requirements of their pledges.

The program, which is offered through businesses to employees (and which employers had to sign up for by August 4th), allows commuters who reduce their drive-alone commutes by 60 percent to earn ownership of an REI Novara bike or a free bike tune-up. In addition, Cascade Bicycle Club is providing safety training and bike mentors.

Thus far, the program seems to be going well, which isn’t surprising considering how bike-friendly Seattle is, and the upward trend of gas prices over the last year.

“We have had an enormous response!” said Susan Whitmore, Commute Trip Reduction Services Training Specialist. “We currently have nearly 250 participants registered.”

The brand-new project was funded by a grant from the Washington State Department of Transportation, and may continue in future years if additional grant funding is secured. For more information about how to get yourself or your employer involved, see the Green Bike Project web page.

Happy Birthday!

One last birthday post, to note that it’s not only Seattle Metblogs’ birthday, but also our fearless leader Josh‘s birthday, too. Happy Birthday, Josh!

Metblogs Turns 4, courtesy of Beth

scavenger hunting on the hub

Want an iPod shuffle? Have a camera, some spare time, and knowledge of the city? If so, zip over to “the `hub'” for this week’s scavenger hunt. Unlike last time, where the winner was the first one to reply, the winner will be the person who gets the most photos by next Tuesday. Happy hunting, do Seattle proud! [hub.metblogs]

metblogs happy happy tonight

classic tiger cute overload []

One last reminder that we’ll be at McLeod Residence from 6 to 9 pm tonight for happy hour. Since it’s our 4th birthday, we’ll have a Dora the Explorer sheet cake and maybe some party games and favors to keep ourselves entertained. And just to stay competitive with that other blog happy hour taking place in another arty bar with the promise of free books, I’ll fill my bag with review copies of CDs of unknown quality that will be yours for the taking. Hope to see you tonight!

reminder: metblogs happy hour tomorrow

Hey beloved readers: just a reminder that we’ll be at McLeod Residence from 6 to 9 pm tomorrow for happy hour. It’s our 4th birthday and you’ve been a big part of make this site a fun digression; so we’d very much enjoy it if you stopped in to say hello.


scavenging for tunes on the hub

I confess that the appearance of a link to a magickal playground called “the Hub” at the top of these pages left me at least marginally bewildered by the opportunity to dive into yet another social networking site, even if it was one populated almost entirely by friends of Metblogs. What sort of playground would it turn out to be? One with swingsets and seesaws? One with four-square games or dodgeball matches? Today, though, the game is a scavenger hunt with twenty-five dollars worth of iTunes at the end of the rainbow.

Looking at the list of what you need to find with your camera [hub.metblogs], I have a feeling that some of you could wrap this up on a single intersection. Get out there, snap away, and report back!

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