Tag Archives: flickr

Helmet-Cam Video Part 2: I-90 Bridge

jputnam’s at it again, taking weirdly engaging helmet-cam videos of the bike paths around Mercer Island. Here he is riding over the I-90 bike bridge from Mercer Island.

The middle of this video is a little less interesting than jputnam’s last helmet-cam video, mostly because the path is straight and you don’t get the exciting feeling of being about to fall off your bike. But when it gets hard to commute in the winter, this is a good way to remind yourself how much fun it is.

Credit: jputnam on flickr.

Helmet-Cam Footage of Mercer Island Bike Path

Found this video from jputnam on Flickr of someone riding across the MI bike trail with a helmet cam on. It’s surprisingly exciting to watch– I found myself swaying from side to side trying to balance the bike that I was not actually on.  Watch it- contrary to what I’d expected, it’s gripping. Seriously.

For those of you who’ve read about bike commuting but have yet to try it, here’s a virtual taste.

I think the sound is the best part.

Will A Farmers’ Market Make Mercer Island More Like Capitol Hill and Fremont?

Of course we want a farmers market on Mercer Island. Lots of places have them- there are 37 in King County, according to the citizen’s group organizing ours.

But I can’t help but wonder: if we get a market, like Capitol Hill, Fremont, and Ballard, will Mercer Island become more like those neighborhoods?

Will we erect a statue of a famous communist and host a naked Solstice parade like Fremont?

Lenin at home in Fremont, WA.

Will we begin loitering and looking for local singles scenes?

Will someone start an MI-ku blog in the spirit of Hillku?
Life on the M-I
Is not defined by the edge
But by the middle.

Will we drink better coffee?

Espresso vivace coffee, courtesy Flickr.

Will we get a radical street fest like Ballard?

Honk Fest West in Ballard, courtesy Flickr.

Who knows what the future will hold. Personally, I hope it holds fresh vegetables and delicious jams, come whatever else may.

Amazon Fresh, Don’t Leave Us to the Mercy of Mercer Island Grocery Stores

Photo credit: Flickr.

A friend noted that the Amazon Fresh pickup station in Kirkland was shuttered one day a few weeks ago. In this letter The Fresh confirms that its pickup stations are discontinued:

“In order to meet the considerable demands of the expansion of the home-delivery portion of our business, we are shifting our team’s efforts to focus on this area. As a result, starting on 15 February 2008, we will no longer be offering the AmazonFresh Pick-up service.”

Amazon Fresh’s home page says:

“Pre-Dawn, Doorstep, and Attended delivery options are available for neighborhoods in the following zip codes: 98004, 98005*, 98006*, 98007, 98008, 98033, 98039, 98040, 98102, 98109, 98112*, 98116, 98118*, 98119, 98122*, 98126, 98136, 98144*. (*Limited coverage)”

The best Mercer Island grocery store
Not discontinued. Photo credit: Flickr.

Don’t leave the 98040, Fresh! We’ll be stuck with the Mercer Island QFCs, doomed to the irony of standing in line longer to pay more for groceries.

Let me take a break from begging to note other news for addicts like us:

  • The letter hints at more local and organic products, nice since there’s no farmers market on Mercer Island.
  • Totes now nest, which is handy if like us you forget to put them out a couple of times and end up with seven of the suckers. In case the concept is difficult, Amazon Fresh includes a helpful diagram (credit: Amazon Fresh site): How the Totes Stack

Full disclosure: a friend works at Amazon Fresh, but that’s not the source of my devotion. I was skeptical until I tried the service.

Amazon Fresh TotesTotes, we’ll leave you out for pickup, but come back soon.

Photo credit: Flickr.

Hunted by an Owl

The other day I was out running on West Mercer Way. It was about 5 pm, and getting dark. Something heavy tangled itself in my hair. I thought it had fallen from a tree. But then it fell up, not down, and I saw a bird fly on ahead of me. A crow, I thought, with bad aim and a very short life expectancy, given its flying habits.

The bird alighted on a branch, and I got closer and saw it was an owl.

Not the owl that attacked me. Not the owl that attacked me. Photo credit: Flickr.

I stared at him. He stared back. It’s a strange feeling to be hunted. I said, “Boo!” He looked at me, swiveled his head around, and then back. I said “Boo!” again, mostly to re-establish my position in the food chain. He stared.

I started to run again, and as I did he took off behind me. I ducked. It wasn’t quite fear, but I didn’t want a bird in my hair. I decided to go straight home. I wanted to turn around and see if he was following me, but I worried that he’d get my eyes.

Later, a friend suggested that the owl might not have been hunting; he may have been building a nest, and thought my hair would be useful. Somehow, that didn’t make me feel promoted in the owl worldview.

Wildlife is to be respected, though I hadn’t anticipated needing to respect it on West Mercer Way. Bonus lesson for runners: run during the day.

But Luckily There’s a Bridge

Almost exactly a month ago my fiancé and I moved to Mercer Island. We were looking for a place where we could have a yard, but in or close to the city. He was moving from Woodinville, and would miss all that Woodinville represents: horses, big yards, a low walk score. I was moving from Capitol Hill and would miss being able to walk everywhere, and culture.

Anyway, we were stuck. We couldn’t afford a real yard in the city, and neither one of us wanted an Eastside Mansion– not our style. Suddenly we realized Mercer Island was not just a great bike route.


This photo is from the MI Flickr pool.

Then my fiancé’s friend, who was raised in the area, started warning us off the place: It’s full of snobby people. It’s different from the rest of Seattle. Your kids will grow up to be horrible people.

We’d like to have kids, and we don’t want them to be horrible people. We briefly considered reconsidering. But the commute is great, and our earnest money was down. We were in.

Stepford wife

I imagined a place full of Stepford Wives, which was difficult because I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. Anyway, we wondered if we would be shunned by our neighbors. Or worse, we would be welcome but, over time, become horrible people ourselves.

But it can’t be that bad, right? Both of us know a few people here, and they’re nice folks. Even a hip college student from work lives here- with his family. And a nice lady even gave me a ride from the North shopping center when I had to get home for a delivery and discovered that the little Metro buses don’t go down the island in the middle of the day.


At least it’s not the Marina of Seattle- that’s Belltown.

So we moved in. And I looked for a blog about Mercer Island, like the great blogs in Capitol Hill and West Seattle. I found Richard Sprague’s blog, which I like, and which covers a lot of local happenings.

But I craved more, more, more about Mercer Island, and started this blog. Not that I’m promising I will bring so much more. I’ll write about what I see, and I hope some of you will help me out by writing comments and letting me know what else is going on. Ok, to be honest, I’m hoping I won’t have to do much work. But this is a special island, and something must be going on here.