Grocery Store Saturation

Our ol’ neighborhood of West Seattle has had plenty of excitement in the grocery store department lately. This month we had the re-opening of the newly completely remodeled PCC as well as the long awaited opening of Whole Foods. Not to be left in the dust, Metropolitan Market has been doing a major remodel to keep up with the new competition.

Yesterday, I visited PCC yesterday and today I checked out Whole Foods and it’s interesting what our grocery stores have and don’t have. I do plan on revisiting and writing a more in-depth post – however, I thought I’d share my first impressions on our current grocery stores in West Seattle. Before we proceed, please know I’m a total foodie, I love to cook and enjoy my wine…and sadly, I am a grocery store snob. I am a long time shopper at Met Market which started when we lived less than a block away from the store and I would just buy enough groceries for that day or what ever we could carry, and walk home. When writing these reviews, I’m probably comparing everything to my long time favorite store.

Let’s start with parking lots. When I went to PCC yesterday (before 5pm) I was surprised at how tight the parking lot is (I’m not a fan of Thriftway’s parking lot either). First impressions of the store – it’s beautiful. I suddenly understood why Metropolitan Market probably felt they had to remodel with this one-two punch coming to West Seattle. The produce is beautiful. Meat department looks great and the to go dishes look fantastic… I need to go back and check them out. I was happy to find Nancy’s non-fat Greek yogurt. The wine department is lacking a little and a bit unorganized. It has a somewhat limited selection of groceries. I probably need to learn how to shop at PCC.

Whole Foods has an underground parking lot that will be especially popular on rainy days. Like PCC, it’s a beautiful, open and airy store. I was surprised at how big the health care section was and that they actually had blankets/throws, slippers, tops, etc. for sale. This section (health/beauty/clothing) took up a significant part of the store. The produce was beautiful and Amazon Prime members receive additional incentives for shopping here. I was able to find Gochugaru for a spicy Korean dish I’m making tonight (which I could not find at PCC or Met Market). I needed some assistance finding horseradish – which I have to say, the customer service was excellent. I could not find maraschino cherries for an Old Fashioned…or any maraschino cherries. Whole Foods has a great looking meat/seafood department and so many “to go” dishes to check out on a future visit. On the elevator back to the covered parking lot, I complimented a woman on her glasses and she asked me what I thought of store and I told her I’m surprised what it had and what it didn’t. She agreed and said other Whole Foods stores have a much larger grocery department than this store which surprised her because of how larger this store is.

From Whole Foods, today I went to Thriftway because I was in search of maraschino cherries – which they had a great selection of. Thriftway is great. I know this probably sounds weird – but I don’t like the parking lot. It’s a bit cramped with the design. Thriftway overall is a solid grocery store. It may not have the new flash that the other three stores have, but overall, it has a wide selection of groceries (probably better than Whole Foods or PCC) and they tend to have better prices. There have been a few items that I’ve been surprised to find priced better at Met Market than Thriftway. Thriftway also has a nice kitchen shop, like Met Market. I don’t think PCC or Whole Foods have kitchen supply departments that compare. Thriftway also has a better liquor and wine department than PCC or Whole Foods.

Metropolitan Market…boy you’ve been putting your long time, loyal clients through some hoops with the remodel…but after visiting Whole Foods and PCC, I understand this move. During the remodel I was kind of put back by how much it seemed MM was trying to be PCC and WH with adding the bulk food bins and bringing back (with an oomph) cosmetics. It’s been hard for a lot of regulars going through the transition and having things move or no longer be available but it all makes sense to me now. Met Market has a great produce and meat department. Hubby has always loved the Cubano and the Rueben is really good too! They have been branching out into so many various “to go” foods that I have not had a chance to try them all out. The kitchen shop is a local resource – especially since J.F. Henry has closed.

I recently started checking out Trader Joes… pretty much because friends of ours buy addictive chocolate covered raisins from there. Since going to TJ’s I’ve started checking out a few other items and I have a new found appreciation for this store too…but I prefer the other stores for produce and meats.

QFC and Safeway… I just don’t find myself shopping there often. The Safeway on Admiral is nicer and you can find some great deals there. Hubby says the liquor guy at Safeway on Admiral is very knowledgeable, funny and very customer service oriented.

Of course I love the West Seattle Farmers Market… just the whole neighborhood experience is worth walking through it on Sundays. I have a hard time buying store bought salad and I’m a little bummed when it’s out of season.

I do plan to write an updated post after I check out the new stores again… I’ll try to include some pics too!

Bottom line, the addition of the new grocery stores means that they are competing for our business. I’m noticing some lower prices at the high priced stores and coupons being sent in the mail… a win for consumers, at least for now.

What are your favorite West Seattle Grocery Stores?

Possible Water Spout on Puget Sound

Yesterday one of our neighbors captured video of what looks like the beginnings of a water spout off the shores of Alki Point.

Video credit: Barb Howell

Other neighbors contacted us as well inquiring about the water wind wonder on Puget Sound. We don’t have any meteorologist in our household…but this certainly looks spouty to me!

Water Response off of Beach Drive and “This is Just a Drill”

You may be hearing helicopters and seeing large emergency responses happening on Puget Sound.

Ferry with emergency response including helicopters.

Drills are taking place along the Seattle waterfront today including an active shooter on a Washington State ferry. KOMO News has video of it here.

It just so happens there was an actual emergency response off of Beach Drive when someone called in for what appeared to be a paddle-board without a person. In fact, the board is tied up to a buoy and the owners are safe and sound… it didn’t take long at all to get a major response with the timing of the drill.

Prowler off of Beach Drive on Jacobsen Road

Update: Here’s another photo provided by the home owner showing two prowlers.

At 5:18 am this morning, a neighbor’s Ring (video system) caught a potential prowler appearing search for hidden keys to gain access to the home just off Beach Drive on Jacobsen Road.

Shirt says “Jones”

You can view the video here. If you recognize this person, please call 9-1-1.

Emma Schmitz Seawall Project Meeting

The intrepid reporter, Scupper, and I attended the meeting tonight. We lived streamed the meeting, as much as our internet connection would allow, on Facebook. For those of you not on Facebook, you can check out the video here.

Overall I thought the meeting went well. It was a nice turnout of neighbors despite no wine or cheese being served 😉 Seriously, great questions were asked and provided.

Garrett Farrell invites you to contact him directly with any questions or concerns:

Phone:(206) 233-7921
Email:Garrett.Farrell@seattle.gov

The Seattle Parks Department will continue to update their website: http://www.seattle.gov/parks/find/parks/emma-schmitz-memorial-overlook

Attempted Break In on Beach Drive

From Nextdoor.com, printed with permission:

“We had the police in our yard this morning at 4:40 am. We live on the 6000 block of Beach Drive. They arrested a man was coming out of our beach house. Evidently he had been trying to break in to several houses north of us and one had a ring doorbell. That provided a picture of the dude. The scary part was that he had a 10 inch butcher knife. We have a ring doorbell, but I think we are going to invest in more surveillance equipment!”

Back in late April, neighbors on 4700 block of Beach Drive found a man walking along the private bulkhead coming from the south (quite a ways from public beach access) with a full back pack. This was also reported to the police.

Stay safe, Neighbors!

Back at the Beach Drive Speed Bumps

Measuring the Beach Drive “cushions”.

A crew from the City of Seattle are out this morning measuring the newly reinstalled speed bumps along the 4700 block of Beach Drive. I tried to talk to one of the gentlemen who seemed to be supervising, however he was less than chatty. He told me the group is there to measure “tolerances”. As I was not able to pry another word out of him, I’m assuming this was to see if if the humps can be raised higher while allowing emergency vehicles to “tolerate” the bumps.

I told him that the neighbors would really like to see more done on this stretch of Beach Drive as it’s often difficult to cross the street and unsafe with how some drivers use it as a freeway to and from Alki. I pretty much just received a blank stare. Maybe next time I’ll bring them coffee. 😉

A few days ago, KOMO4 news addressed the speed cushions and how the neighborhood is less than impressed with the effectiveness. It’s my guess that their coverage is what dragged the City back to the bumps.

Bumps, humps or cushions, it doesn’t matter to me what the term is, we need more done to stop the speeding and the passing that is constantly taking place in our neighborhood. Two nights ago, while walking our dogs, a neighbor and I witnessed two cars passing two cars flying north on Beach Drive. If someone would have been trying to cross the street, they would have had nowhere to run to get out of the way.

I hope that it doesn’t take a serious accident to have the City take real action to make Beach Drive a safer road for all of us. I don’t think that raising the cushions an inch is going to help deter the speeders – especially when they just scoot to the center of the road where the slope is lower (as it’s intentionally designed for emergency vehicles).

Is it time for our neighborhood to create a community organization to address issues like this?

Ahhh…. the Traffic Calming Speed Bumps

The long awaited speed bumps are being installed along Beach Drive between SW Angeline and Beach Drive Terrace SW.

We can all take a deep breath and relax with total faith knowing that these traffic calming improvements are going to slow down the speeders.

 

Or will they? They don’t appear to be enough to slow down a Suburu appearing to go the speed limit prior to flying over the bumps. So why are the bumps so minute?

Beach Drive is considered a main road and the new asphalt bumps are apparently as high as they are allowed for emergency vehicles.

We’ll see if the speed bumps provides Beach Drive any calm with the increased summer time speedy cruisers.

Just another day in the park

There was an emergency call out yesterday afternoon at Me Kwa Mooks Park. Scupper and I decided to check it out and discovered that a young man had a seizure. The response was significant with a fire ladder truck, police and a “paddy wagon” due to the type of call that required at least seven to respond.

We didn’t know what to expect as we approached the park. The park and all along Beach Drive is busier with the warmer weather and there are more people who are camping along the street. Scupper and I said nothing as we approached the scene passing people who were completely enjoying their Sunday afternoon picnicking with friends, reading their books and soaking in the sun.

When we reached the scene, a young man was laying motionless on the park lawn near the sidewalk. The police and firemen were around him. We were told that he “suffered a seizure”.

Everyone enjoying the park seemed oblivious by the flashing lights of the emergency vehicles parked along the park.  Scupper and I starting walking back home as an ambulance headed back toward the park.

It wasn’t until we got home that we talked about how surreal the whole seen was. Have we become so used to extreme things happening, whether it’s crime, reckless drivers, homelessness, drugs OD’s or mental health issues that we’re completely unfazed? Were people in the park just trying to mind their own business or is this just another day in the park?

P.S. After getting back home, while we were taking the garbage out to the curb, we could hear someone screaming obscenities from the park for several minutes. No gun shots…thankfully!

 

City Pre-Summer Patrol

Hubby, aka the Intrepid Reporter Scupper, and I were on a walk tonight as I was trying to tell him about how the City of Seattle has decided to increase police patrols in seven neighborhoods for pre-summer… and ALKI is not one of them!

As we are walking home, we see a red Ford Mustang flying south down Beach Drive passing another car. We continue our walk to find a bicyclist who was hit by a glass bottle tossed by the window of the Mustang. She reported this to the police.

I am stunned that Seattle would not include Alki on the list of places to patrol pre-summer and I am even more stunned that Seattle would select neighborhoods.  Why not increase Patrol everywhere?