Swinery shut down?

The Devouring sEATtle blog hosted by the P-I reports that the The Swinery, the cured meat operation recently started at Culinary Communion, has been shut down. Indeed, the Swinery website has been wiped. (See it as it was in the Google cache.)

The word is that it was shut down by the health department in some sort of retaliation for an underground restaurant project called “Gypsy“.

Let’s hope this is just a speed bump and not a dead end for delectable locally cured meats.

Further details in the original “Swinery shutdown” post at Devouring sEATtle.

Thanks for the tip, Anita!

Beacon Hill past and present: Streetcar tracks on Beacon Avenue

Looking north on Beacon Avenue, just south of South Stevens Street, in March 1934. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item 8675.
Looking north on Beacon Avenue, just south of South Stevens Street, in March 1934. Courtesy of the Seattle Municipal Archives, item 8675.

The same intersection, late afternoon in January 2009.
The same intersection, late afternoon in January 2009.

As Seattle begins to build new streetcar lines, it saddens me to think of all the streetcar lines we once had that were later ripped out in favor of buses. In the 1934 picture here, we see streetcar track work on Beacon Avenue, just south of Stevens. The site is still clearly recognizable today; particularly noticeable in both pictures are the brick apartment/retail building on the left (now home to Yoga on Beacon), the sign marking then Texaco/now Valero, and the white house just beyond the gas station.

The trolley wires overhead in the new photograph mark the last remaining vestige of our streetcar: the electric trolley buses that replaced it.

School closures finalized; AAA to close, Van Asselt to move

Photo by Jason Walsh.
Photo by Jason Walsh.
As expected, the ax has fallen. Last night the Seattle School Board approved Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson’s proposed school and program closures, amid an angry and rowdy crowd of parents and students. The direct effects to Beacon Hill are that the African American Academy program and the Van Asselt building will close at the end of this school year, and the Van Asselt program will move to the Academy’s building, about a mile south on Beacon Avenue. Other buildings to close at the end of the year are Genesee Hill, Mann, T.T. Minor, and “Old Hay,” and programs to be discontinued are Meany, Cooper, Summit K-12, and T.T. Minor.

There are a lot of strong opinions about the closures, and it seems that very few are happy (except, perhaps, the Arbor Heights and Alternative School #1 communities, who dodged the closure bullet earlier in this process). The heavy impact of the closure plan on Central and Southeast Seattle, as well as the impact on minority and low-income children, is fairly obvious; and the expulsion of James Bible, president of the local branch of the NAACP, from last night’s School Board meeting certainly doesn’t contribute to any sense of fairness in the way the District has dealt with the situation. If a lot of South Seattle families feel betrayed by the District today, it’s hardly a surprise.

A couple of opinions from the local blogs: Dick Lilly concludes on Crosscut that “the experience may all add up to distrust of the superintendent, and that would be a slide downhill from the hopes with which she was welcomed two years ago”; Scott at the Central District News suggests “maybe some day we’ll get some school leaders who put education first and fight to fund it right, and shut down schools in other people’s neighborhoods only as a very last resort.”

Beacon Bits: a new home, bad neighbors, and a local school

Candice would rather not hear a barking dog at all hours. Photo by Ordinary Guy.
Candice would rather not hear a barking dog at all hours. Photo by Ordinary Guy.
Mike Lewis at the Under the Needle blog has an update about Deb Manuma, the single mom who was nearly evicted from her Beacon Hill home through no fault of her own when her landlord neglected to pay his mortgage. Manuma now has a new home in Skyway, though she still lives near Beacon Avenue — Seattle P-I

Beacon Hillian Candice is having neighbor problems — noise, inconsiderate parking, a barking dog, you name it. She says, “we just want it to stop and we don’t know what to do.” Can you provide any advice?Beacon Hill Blog Forums

Community educator Gayle Johnson suggests the African-American Academy on Beacon Hill should not close and cites WASL results to back it up — Seattle Times

Beacon Hill resident honored for raising awareness of WWII internments

In March 1942, a P-I photographer captured a photograph of a bewildered, apprehensive, and yet determined-looking Japanese mother, holding her baby girl while waiting, guarded by soldiers with bayonets and guns. They waited for a ferry that would take her from her Bainbridge Island home to Seattle, where she, her family, and the rest of Bainbridge Island’s 227 Japanese-Americans would board a train car to the Manzanar War Relocation Center, an internment camp in California. The photograph became a classic image of the wartime internment of Japanese-Americans.

The mother in the photograph, Fumiko Hayashida, just celebrated her 98th birthday, and lives here on Beacon Hill. On Saturday, the Japanese American Citizens League honored her for raising awareness about the internment.

In 2006, Hayashida testified before the United States House of Representatives in support of the proposed Bainbridge Island Nidoto Nai Yoni memorial at the former Eagledale Ferry Dock. The law establishing the memorial as part of the national park system was signed by President Bush last May.

You can read interviews with Fumiko Hayashida here, and here (with part 2 here).

Chef Bobby Moore of Barking Frog at Culinary Communion tonight at 6:30

Thinking about tonight’s dinner? You might be interested in this announcement which was forwarded to us earlier today. I’m posting it in its entirety so I can get this online for you as soon as possible, since I wasn’t here to post it earlier:

Dear Foodies:

Tonight: “Surf and Turf” is a classic combination of flavors but what happens when seafood and meat are in the adept hands of one of our favorite local chefs? Find out when you join us for a purely delicious meal from renowned local chef Bobby Moore of Barking Frog. Succulent, sweet Dungeness crab is in his lineup as well as tender and flavorful Kurobuta pork. Though our mothers tried to raise us here at Vagabond with polite table manners, we can’t guarantee she’ll be proud as we gather around for this menu…

  • Warm Dungeness Crab Salad
    Roasted Apple, Braised Leeks, Apple Cider Gastrique, Candied Walnuts
  • Braised Kurobuta Pork Shank
    Controne Beans, Swinery Bacon, Laccinato Kale
  • Artisan Cheese
    Oregon Blue Cheese Souffle, Fig Jam, Marcona Almonds

Invite friends and neighbors to join you to celebrate winter’s delicious bounty at its best and receive recipes to re-create the feast at home. Vagabond is the best deal in town especially this month!

Chef Bobby’s Vagabond dinner takes place tonight at 6:30pm and will be held at the CC House at Beacon Hill. Cost for our Vagabond demonstration class is $45 per person. Wines by the glass can be purchased at the event. Register now!

Thanks and see you soon!
The Culinary Communion Team

Culinary Communion, LLC
2524 Beacon Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98144

Dining out can help support Maple Elementary

Orient Express restaurant on an icy night in December. Photo by Wendi.
Orient Express restaurant on an icy night in December. Photo by Wendi.
If you eat at Orient Express (the old Andy’s Diner on Fourth Avenue South) on Thursday, February 12, the restaurant will donate 20% of your food bill to the Maple Elementary School PTSA. The money will be used to help fund fourth and fifth grade camp next fall.

We reviewed the Orient Express in November, and found the food to be excellent. With the economy the way it is now, this probably isn’t the easiest time to be opening a new restaurant, so by visiting the Express on February 12, you can both help a Beacon Hill elementary school and contribute to a new local restaurant’s success.

The Orient Express is located at 2963 4th Ave South in Sodo, and they serve Chinese and Thai food in vintage rail cars, including one once used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Beacon Bits: Gangsters, groups, and… gangs

Portrait by artist Joey Nix, from his show at the Art Primo Showroom.
Portrait by artist Joey Nix, from his show at the Art Primo Showroom.

Another year, another big I-5 repair project

In February, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will begin replacing and repairing pavement on I-5 between the Boeing Access Road and the Snohomish County line. This pavement was mostly installed in the mid-1960s, and was designed to have a 20-year lifespan. You can do the math.

According to WSDOT, we can expect up to 14 weekends of closures and more than 100 nights of closures, lasting into late summer. The closures will affect one direction of the freeway each time and reduce I-5 down to just one or two through lanes.

WSDOT has been given a noise variance from the city of Seattle for night work, and they expect that noise and vibration from the construction will affect those living and working within 500 feet of the freeway.

An outreach meeting has been scheduled for WSDOT to discuss the project with the affected neighbors, and those within 500 feet of the freeway will also be receiving flyers with information about the project. The meeting is scheduled for February 3, at 7:00 pm, Quarters 1, PacMed, at the northwest corner of 14th Avenue South and South Judkins Street.