When my own children were younger, one of my favorite things was to take them to storytime. They've grown out of it, but I've still managed to keep going every once in awhile, by taking friend's children with me. Maybe it's just because I like a good reason to go to the Bravern, but Little Bookworms is my favorite. It's free, from 11-12, every Wednesday, on the second level of building two at the Bravern, by the fireplace. There's always something delicious from Trophy Cupcakes, and for the month of June, there are organic snacks from Happy Baby, as well as free valet parking (just let then know you're attending storytime). Wandering around the shops, admiring the the beautiful architecture and landscaping is always a special treat.For more information on Little Bookworms, click here.
The Sophia Way is the only homeless shelter for single women on the eastside. It opened in December of 2008 and has helped hundreds of women during that time. The shelter, which currently houses ten women, has been at capacity, with a waiting list, since day one. Most of the women who come to the shelter have been chronically homeless for more than a year.
I attended a luncheon today at St Luke's Lutheran church, which will soon be the new home of Sophia's Shelter. The entire ground floor of the church, 6,000 sq. ft., will house twenty private cubicles, effectively doubling the size of the current shelter.
Another reason for celebration today, was the completion of Holly House, a housing community for six women. This was a collaborative effort between The Sophia Way and many other generous community volunteers. The Holly House, in addition to Rosco House and several private subsidized apartments around the eastside, are a way that The Sophia Way helps women leave the shelter for permanent housing. That transition is coupled with mentoring and long term financial support to help women gain independence.
We were treated to the music of local musician Sonny Byers. Wow, he's very good.There are many ways to get involved with this needed and worthy program, through both finances and time given. They are currently raising money for their new shelter. One way to grow your gift is to donate on June 23, through The Seattle Foundation's, Give Big event, which gives matching funds to favorite Seattle area charities on that day. Another way to get involved is to volunteer. There ways to do this are listed on the website. I've been involved with the companion program since January and I love it. Even if you don't live on the eastside, or if this particular program isn't for you, I encourage everyone to find some way to give back to their community. I found out about The Sophia Way by searching for it on the internet, then e-mailing the director and asking how I could get involved. If you want to share a similar program, located around the Seattle metro area, please contact me. I would love to compile a list and post it here at Postcards from Seattle.
My daughter and I drove over the bridge and into the city for lunch today. Right in the heart of the city is my favorite place to be. There's a certain charm here, a vibrancy, that isn't replicated in the suburbs. I'm energized when I spend time here. We ended up at a wonderful spot for lunch though, called Beecher's, where we had the "world's best" mac & cheese. Even Oprah says it's the world's best, and I believe she's right on this one. Although, I do think it would be kind of fun to test that opinion. While we ate our lunch, we watched the cheese being made. The skies in Seattle may indeed be gray for much of the year, but there are some colorful people. I love street musicians.And I loved these colorful paintings on the walls of the coffee shop we stopped in.I heart Seattle.
One of my favorite things about living in the Seattle area is the abundance of public parks! After eight months of living here, there are still many that we haven't explored. After dinner the other night, we did something fun as a family. I did a search for parks on the GPS and found dozens within a three mile radius that we had never visited. Other than the names of the parks, we knew nothing about where we were headed. We just picked them at random and drove to them. The word, "beach" seemed to sway our decisions though, since each park we visited had that word in the name. It felt like an adventure, not having any idea what we would find. We only made it to two that night, because they were both so fun that we stayed for quite some time at each. Which means, that we can do this again soon. There are still many more to explore. Below, is Houghton Beach, which we visit often. We love the sand and the lively atmposphere. Though it does seem to have a lot of milfoil, so it's not the best for swimming. Below, is our favorite eastside playground, at Grass Lawn park. The only thing it's missing is a beach, but we love it anyway.
This Saturday we visited Smith Tower in Seattle. It first opened in 1914 and was, at that point, the fourth tallest building in the world. It remained the tallest building west of the Mississippi for almost fifty years. Today, the 42 floor building is dwarfed by neighboring skyscrapers. But in my opinion, it's still one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. The decor is an elegant art deco style. The name, Smith tower, comes from Lyman Cornelius Smith, of typewriter fame, who commissioned the building for publicity. The attention to detail, from floor to ceiling, was incredible. 6 of the 7 elevators remaining in the building are still powered by their original DC motors, ran by uniformed operators.It is only seven dollars to ride up to Chineese room and observation deck on the 35th floor. A great bargain in comparison to the Space Needle's 18 dollar fee. I then used Groupon to get half off that price. We've been using Groupon and Living Social for quite a few good deals lately- and I do not get any benefit from sayng that. I'm just passing along something I've found useful. The Chineese room is beautiful. The furniture and art panels were gifts to Mr. Smith, from the Empress of China, given in 1907. The chair you see above, is said to be over 300 years old. Below, is a view of the ceiling. And the view from the observation deck..........beautiful, even on a cloudy day. And another nice view....two cute Seattle guys.