Is this the new look and feel of Ballard?

We stopped in at the Lock & Keel this weekend with some friends and got a chance to see a newer side of Ballard. I recall from only 10 years ago what a sleepy little town feel the downtown area had before all of the newer development happened. That, and all the old Ballard jokes.  Granted, I like the new stuff too but going out can be a dodgy experience.

Anyhow, we were playing pool and having a beer all the while surveying the very eclectic crowd within the bar. There were lots of tattoos and piercings – which is not a big deal nowadays and is actually standard attire for the 20-something set. I have to say that “Scott from Kent” was certainly airing a lot of testosterone with a lot of that in the form of screaming like a Marine out on his first leave since making it through bootcamp. And he looked like a Marine. Then we had “Andy” who was a soft spoken Sacramento transplant (got here 2 years ago) lamenting the (usual) lack of friendliness of Seattle-ites as he hadn’t made hardly any friends or contacts in those two years since he’d moved here.  He was certainly doing his best to become a buddy to all of us (we had about 7 of us together) and we did enjoy playing pool with him we just weren’t about to invite him over to someone’s house late at night after having met only 2 hours earlier.

Then there was the bearded salt-and-pepper haired middle-aged attorney in the flannel button down shirt whose gut hung out the bottom of his layered t-shirt. We found out that he defends child molesters for a living and he was more than happy (unfortunately for us) to share some of his stories about work. Apparently he missed the facial and body language cues that would have clued him in to how disgusted we were by his chosen line of work. We kept trying to get away from him but he just kept coming around. Creepy.

While the venue is big enough to hold a lot of folks and the beer is good you have to keep an eye out on who wants your attention in this bar.  Next time I’m going to Volterra or some other place for the higher end version of Ballard that I like better.

Introduction, The CanterHole and other reasons you shouldn't live near a bar

Howdy folks, I’ll be guest blogging here for a while. Like Dustin said, I’m the co-creator of I’m not much for introductions, so I’ll jump right in.

Since Washington’s smoking ban went into effect, I have been happily wearing my nice-ish clothes to bars and generally enjoying the dank, non-smoky smells of the bars near my house. I tell you this because if you live near a bar or are considering buying a place near one, you might soon be savoring the sweet smell (and noise) of smokers hanging out at the door. In densely populated Capitol Hill, the complaints have already begun, as supra-bar apartment dwellers have found that just enough air gets through the cracks in their windows for them to reconsider their hip living quarters. The Stranger reports:

Maybe a case can be made for the enforcement of the laughable 25-foot rule that comes with the smoking ban. Just ask those on the first floor of the apartment building above Canterbury Ale & Eats on 15th Avenue. On Friday night they felt like a chimney for the pack of smokers who gathered outside the bar’s entrance. The Seattle police told one apartment dweller that they weren’t enforcing the 25-foot rule but that the public health department was. Naturally, the health department said the police were enforcing it. Which is it? In practice, none of the above.

I will definitely keep this in mind when I next move. If it’s bad in the middle of December, imagine smoke sneaking into your sealed condo at 7 P.M. on a 90-degree summer day.

On a side note, I went to check out the “smoke-free” Canterbury last night (it wasn’t after 9:30) and met the “Rosa Parks of smoking.” I guess I have no idea what a hard life smokers live.