Monday, September 24, 2007

Bread Crumbs: Random Bits

I want to send a gentle "boo hiss" to all the lounges, wine bars, coffee shops and other venues who go through the bother of putting fairly nice websites up on the Internet and then never bother to update the calendar section (I won't name names but you know who you are.) Some haven't updated for maybe a few weeks or months, and one not since March. When I put together the little music calendar you see on the left (and printed in the newspaper on Saturdays), I gather most of my info from the web, and it's frustrating to run into outdated info all the time. I can't be the only person looking at your site, wondering who's playing at your joint. Also, if I call to get info, I talk to employees who have no idea who's playing next week and act like they have no way of finding out. I leave messages for management that are never returned. C'mon folks, it's free! Don't y'all want people to know what wonderful talent you have lined up at your venue?

I take back my earlier comments re: the slowness of Thai Bamboo construction on 4th street. Suddenly, the place is coming together in fast fashion with a big swoopy, Thai style roof capping things off. Judging by the interiors of their Spokane locations (which can be viewed at their website ), the place should be fully over-the-top with Thailand kitsch. I simply cannot wait, and I plan on being there opening night in October if I can possibly swing it. On a related note, I coulda swore I heard last spring that a second Thai place would be opening for business in Cd'A, but I haven't heard a peep since. Anyone?

Every time a new pizza joint opens in this town I think "does this town really need another pizza joint?" Apparently so, because they seem to pop up all the time. I've yet to try some of the more recent local entries into the scene like Sahara Pizza on Gov't Way (their menu is odd and impressive - apple slices and mango on pizza?) or Pizza Schmizza in Riverstone, which gets cleverness points for the name but I've heard their food isn't that great. Opening next week near Costco is Nick and Willy's Pizza, whose shtick seems to be the uniqueness of their homemade quality dough and fresh organic ingredients (they claim not to even have a freezer in the kitchen). You can do take-and-bake or have them cook it there, but I couldn't figure out from their website if they'll have an in-house dining area or not. I will be checking these places out soon for a pizza-themed Get Out column.

Meanwhile, I gotta give a shout out to the underdog: Bob's Pizza Plus. Everyone forgets about this place until I remind them it's the pizza place located in the Silver Lake Mall. Their huge slices and stuffed calzones are simple but fantastic. Few places in town sell pizza by the slice, and for a single person like me who doesn't want a whole huge pizza, it's a nice option to have.

Ever since the ill-fated "Battle of the Bands" at The Rock Joint parking lot a few weeks ago, the neighbors that abut the back of the lot have been nothing less than unhinged and ridiculous. During the daytime weekend concert, they repeatedly called police complaining about the noise. Police arrived only to find that the Rock Joint had full permits, signed by Mayor Ron himself, and there was nothing they could do. Hayden noise ordinances don't kick in until 9 p.m., and the 2 day event was scheduled from 12-5 p.m. I was there and granted, some of the bands made an awful noise (even to these fairly experimental ears), but there were only a handful of folks even in attendance and nobody was getting wild or doing anything at all to warrant ill will from local residents.

Since then, I hear that three or four separate neighbors behind the RJ lot have been doing everything in their power to get the place shut down for good. They sit in the evening with doors and windows wide open, and anytime anyone on the back patio of the RJ makes so much as a peep, they call the police repeatedly and complain. Even after shutting down the patio, neighbors called police to complain that the music INSIDE the bar was too loud. Police admitted to RJ owners that the neighbors were being quite silly and overly torturous on purpose, but issued them a ticket anyway for disturbing the peace. Not for the noise, but for the mere fact that they were being called out to the place by the neighbors so many times a night, and it was keeping them from attending to more important matters. Not cool.

A big "boo hiss" to these busybody folks! When you bought your property you knew it was a stones throw from commercially zoned Hayden Avenue. The owners of the bar were nice enough to let you know over a year ago exactly what kind of happenings would soon occur there and you were super nice about everything then. They've even gone out of their way to close the outside patio to keep noise levels down for you, but still you persist on calling police and trying to get the place shuttered, all over a little afternoon noise one weekend. Generally, the staff and clientèle of this great establishment have been respectful and well-behaved, and you all seem to want to ruin a good thing for everyone just for the sake of revenge. Really, loosen up and get a life folks!

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