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What Ballard Looks Like During the Coronavirus Pandemic

What Ballard Looks Like During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Ballard is the neighborhood where I live in Northwest Seattle, Washington that was a sleepy little Scandinavian neighborhood when I moved in. It’s gone through many changes over the past few decades that have made it a destination for Seattleites and for tourists from all over the country and the world. It’s where people go to drink, because there are many great bars and restaurants, plus the world famous Tractor Tavern music venue.

I took a walk through Ballard last weekend to see how the coronavirus shutdown has changed it.

Ballard was a bustling neighborhood with many thriving locally owned businesses, but now they are all hurting because of the severe economic slowdown brought on by the social distancing required to stop the spread of the highly contagious, deadly coronavirus. I can only hope the pandemic soon wanes and that Ballard, Seattle, Washington, and the rest of America and the world can get back to normal. I want all of these businesses to survive, but I don’t think all of them can without some huge help from the state and federal government, and from all the locals pitching in to buy what they can from them when they can.

The Great Recession was about “Too Big to Fail”. This recession is going to be all about “Too Small to Fail”.

Update: While drafting this post last night, I was listening to The Roadhouse with Greg Vandy, the best weekly radio show on KEXP. During his show Greg informed us listeners about You Don’t Bother Me: A Fundraiser For Ballard Ave Music Venues put together by Seattle band, The Cupholders.

This compilation is a fundraiser for the staff of the Ballard Avenue music venues that have been forced to shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bartenders, sound technicians & door attendants at Conor Byrne Pub, Hotel Albatross, The Sunset Tavern & The Tractor Tavern are our family and make sure that we as musicians have a place to play as well as build and sustain our community.

To celebrate these noble warriors, all the artists on this compilation have recorded their own version of Casey Ruff’s song “You Don’t Bother Me” a song celebrating friendships, good times and hangovers made on Ballard Avenue

Facebook page here.

Also, there are links in the photo captions to most all of the businesses in the photo gallery, but you’ll need to scroll over the words to see them. Try it!

Are you really cool, Mac Dude?

Are you really cool, Mac Dude?

So, you think that you are cool cuz you own a MacBook Pro? Well, there is a lot more to cool than just owning the right machine, you gotta look the part.

The folks over at Life Clever will help with that. They’ll even tell you where to shop and the total look will only set you back about $160.00. And since you just laid out over $2,500 on your laptop, this makes more than just fashion sense.

Patti Smith Tickets

Patti Smith Tickets

I was on Craig’s List and noticed that there were 11 listings for people who are desperate for tickets here are some highlights from some of the listings:

-It’s my husbands birthday and he is a HUGE Patti Smith fan. Will pay $50 a piece.

-I’ll pay handsomely for 1 or 2 tickets for the show on the 11th

-I know there’s an extra one out there for me…I will spend whatever it takes!

This one is a little scary…

20’s grad student and huge Patti fan is desperate for one ticket. Will pay face value, plus perform personal favors for seller: back rub, foot massage, personal service, you name it! Please email or call ***-***-****

It just so happens that I find myself with 4 extra tickets. As my desires are driven more by money than the ‘personal favors’ of strangers, I have decided to post my own ad. Clickhere to see my listing. It is for 4 tickets for $400. I know it is a lot of money, but there were only 250 tickets available and it is sold out.

So far, I have received one offer to purchase a single ticket for $50.

And then this afternoon, this email came to me.

From: h******
Subject: For Sale: Patti Smith (4 Tickets) – $400
Date: November 9, 2005 12:38:56 PM PST
To: [email protected]

Jerk, scalping Patti tickets, what an ananthema of everything Patti is

Hmmm. A Navy guy telling me about what Patti Smith is all about.

I should have just ignored this, but I couldn’t. So, here was my response:

From: [email protected]
Subject: Re: For Sale: Patti Smith (4 Tickets) – $400
Date: November 9, 2005 1:20:14 PM PST
To: h******

Mr. H*****-

I am sorry you feel that way.

I am not a ticket scalper, but instead found myself with extra tickets. As there appears to be a shortage of tickets, the inherent value of the tickets has increased.

I have been to several Patti Smith concerts and she likes to speak her mind in between songs. I have never heard her complain about an individual making a profit from selling an item for more than it cost to acquire.

But I have heard her mention more than once her opinion of war, the U.S. involvement in killing innocent people in the Middle East, and the military in general. So I do believe you may have a misunderstanding as to what Patti Smith is all about.

Good day to you.


PS- If you already have a ticket, I hope you enjoy the show. It will be awesome.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, he replied with:

Blah Blah blah, I spent 3 hours getting to the Crocodile cafe, to be told they had sold out just earlier. And now we see people who just “happen” to have tickets availabe for 4 time face value. Innocent as Bush.

I can now understand his frustration. On top of it all, I will probably be selling these at face value to some friends.