The tip came from a Bellevue friend a few months ago. “Oh you’re in Mercer Island? I’m so jealous! My favorite pizza place just moved there!” It’s Tuscan Stone Pizza, the one that used to be on the corner of Bellevue way and NE 4th St. Now it’s parked at 2885 78th Ave SE, just west of the QFC in North Island.
Since moving to the Island, my husband and I have lamented the absence of a few things on Mercer Island: Trader Joe’s. An Indian restaurant. Great pizza. for me, this ranks up there with the opening of Freshy’s, and almost as high as the farmers’ market.
My criteria? Just the pizza. It’s good. Not to knock Moe’s or Sahara, but their pizza is good post-game pizza, perfect when volume is required. Zaw is nice, but you still gotta cook it. Tuscan Stone is the best. Call ‘em from work, pick it up and eat when you get home.
It’s also fun to go into the pizza tent. The folks are quite nice, and it’s warm.
Stop by and check it out. We got the cheese and a veggie pesto. Mmmmmmm…. might see you there tomorrow.
Thanks to commenter Barbara Halliday, who let me know about a project to renovate our library and the response by a group of concerned citizens. Before I get into any specifics, why don’t you judge for yourself. Here’s the Library today:
And this is the Library tomorrow?
Source: Presentation from public meeting on 1/7/2104.
A few of the major differences:
- The skylight is gone. Why would you ever take out a skylight?
- There are many fewer books. Libraries serve many functions, but the serendipity of walking around and browsing books is an important one, especially for younger readers.
- The Library may be closed for up to a year to complete the project.
- The new design is marked by the loss of a feeling of warmth.
To that latter point, the response of the citizens’ group struck me: “The issue with furniture and finishes is not darker wood, but having a warm, and friendly home-like atmosphere, not a bright, very light atmosphere similar to airport terminals.”
I moved here about 6 years ago now. I was– and am– pleased at what a comfortable and attractive library we have. It’s got great windows and nice spaces for sitting. It’s not the biggest library, but it’s got stacks of books, like a library should.
I agree with the citizens’ group that this overhaul is not only not necessary, it’s out of character and will leave us with a worse library. The group advocates that we meet current shortcomings, in particular Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements, with a reconfiguration that stays in character with Mercer Island. It’s at least worth looking at.
Last April voters rejected a school bond to replace buildings and buy new land for a 4th elementary school. There’s a new, scaled-back bond and levy on the ballot.
Mercer Island schools are overcrowded and some of the facilities are outdated. One of this community’s strongest values is education and voting for the bond and levy is a good way to show that. If the need itself doesn’t convince you, consider that federal funds don’t come close to paying for education.
And if you really don’t care about education at all, just vote for your home value. There’s a strong correlation between quality of public schools and home prices. The data shows correlation, not causality, but maybe we shouldn’t test that.
WHAT WOULD THE BOND PAY FOR?
First, a new elementary school to ease overcrowding in the three existing schools. There would be 14 new classrooms and new common space at the middle school. And the high school would get 10 new classrooms and science labs. Here are the proposed classrooms and labs at MIHS:
WHAT WOULD THE LEVY PAY FOR?
General maintenance and 26% of the operating budget of the schools.
WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY?
The Fox says get out and vote, already! I mean mail your ballots so that they are postmarked by Feb. 11.
Most houses don’t have a website. Mine doesn’t. But The Coval House does. It’s an old homestead on 5 acres near Luther Burbank Park. According to the site, “There are four enduring qualities that the Covals held in highest regard: a passion for natural materials, an honesty and excellence in workmanship, a reverence for the past, and a desire for the understated.”
Photo from the Coval House website.
The Mercer Island Reporter has reported that the home, orchard, and rest of the grounds will go under for 18 homes after the owners failed to sell it. The Reporter included the plans and did a nice job of being objective.
Luckily, I don’t have to be objective. It’s a damn shame that a beautifully built and maintained house is going to go down. This isn’t about density or affordability. It’s about losing a distinctive piece of Seattle history to mega mansions. Look at the plat plan in the Reporter article– the homes are on top of each other.
If you went to the Mohia’s Celluloid Seattle exhibit, you saw a lot of before-and-after of great theaters in Seattle. Some are heartbreaking, like this one:
Photo from Mohai’s Celluloid Seattle.
To me this project is our equivalent of knocking down a theater house for a noodle joint in a strip mall.
Unfortunately, right now a rant is all I got. Except an appeal to the planning commission at their Jan 15 meeting: don’t let this happen.
Hope you just enjoyed a nice Thanksgiving at home and not out shopping!. It was bad enough when Friday, Saturday and Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend became about shopping, but staffing shifts on Thanksgiving is pretty low.
End of rant. If you are planning to shop sometime this weekend, think about Mercer Island stores. But I’d encourage you to skip Friday and shop local on Saturday.
This is by far the best shopping on Mercer Island, Aside from books, games and kid toys, there are also some jewelry and other craft items. I usually do a bunch of my holiday shopping here.
Terra Bella has a bunch of candles and home items,
and they just opened a holiday shop next door:
Stopsky’s has a bunch of tasty food items for the foodie in your life.
As well as pastries:
And if you do go off-Island, consider where with this handy post on shopping neighborhoods near the MI.
Did I miss any? Add your favorite MI shop in the comments.
On Sunday the Mercer Island Farmers Market did its special pre-Thanksgiving holiday market. A beautiful day for it:
There were some new booths, including arts and crafts with nice gift ideas.
And some good food. In addition to the pizza and the veggie quesadillas that they usually have, Skillet made an appearance:
Want to make it out to another one? You’ll have to wait til spring. Follow the Mercer Island Farmers Market website or Facebook page. By the way, they are applying for beer and wine tasting license. Should be some great new vendors next year.
Yesterday was the ribbon-cutting on the new dragon at Deane Children’s park.
Here’s the ribbon cutting:
The old dragon was much-loved but 50 years old. The celebration included an interview with the artist, Kenton Pies, also the artist of the original dragon:
The music lady Nancy Stewart was there with a new song for the occasion:
Lots of folks turned out, and the kids knew what to do at the playground.
More on the project, including photos of building this dragon and the original dragon, on the Mercer Island Parks website.