Today the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and beckoned me to come out and take pictures of the fall colors. I’ve been watching the trees with anticipation, particularly these ones on North Third Street in Renton. We also took a short stroll on the riverwalk next to the Cedar River and captured our unique over-the-river library. Enjoy!
Archive for Downtown Renton
Spending money at local small businesses keeps more of your money here. For every $100 spent at a small business, about $45 remains in the community, versus $13 spent at a big box or chain store. You CAN make a difference in your community today!
When I think of Enumclaw, I think of the King County Fair. As a child I attended each year. I remember eating fun fair food, seeing out of the ordinary things like rodeo and rides, hearing concerts, and entering my own creations to be judged. The fair created life long fond memories and positive associations with the city of Enumclaw.
As we were conducting our “Fixing Renton’s Future” series, one of the things we heard from those who care about Renton was the desire to beautify and enliven our Downtown core. Events create memories. Having fantastic events that bring people to downtown Renton is of great importance to the beautification of Renton.
Two great places to be involved are through the “downtown events committee” and Piazza Renton. A sub-committee of the downtown committee through the Renton Chamber of Commerce, the downtown events committee creates events to bring more people into our downtown area, and particularly to the businesses there. They organize, promote, and host the Downtown Poker Run during the Spring Festival in May, the Halloween party in October, and the Santa House in December. They usually meet the fourth Tuesday of each month at 8:30 am at the Chamber of Commerce. This month, however, they will be meeting on Thursday, August 29th at 8:30 am. Contact Amy Farnham at firstname.lastname@example.org for any more questions.
The Piazza Renton is a group of volunteers that brings special events certain times of the year to the Piazza park in downtown Renton, such as the Spring Festival in May (coinciding with the Downtown Poker Run), the Fall Harvest Festival, and the Holiday Tree Lighting in December. They also provide volunteers for the Farmer’s Market, and the Return to Renton car show. Piazza Renton meets every third Friday morning at 8:30 am at McLendon’s Hardware in Renton. Contact Brian Larson at email@example.com for more info.
Do you enjoy the events downtown? Which ones? What would you do differently? Would you add to an event? Create a new event?
If these questions inspire your creativity, or otherwise tickle your organizational/administrative spot, there is a place for you to be involved! Whenever we visit these groups, members express openness to new ideas, and a desire to attract more volunteers to the planning and creation of downtown e vents. In order for for downtown events to draw all kinds of people, all kinds of people need to be represented when they are planned. Please thoughtfully consider being involved in one or both of these groups. Downtown Renton needs you!
There are times in life where winning is a sub-optimal outcome, because it means a worthy party loses. There are also times when one win leads to another win, which leads to a big win-fest around the room. Local Rewards cards, sold as a fundraiser, is one of those things. Small businesses benefit, an important charity benefits, and our local economy benefits. Triple Win!!!
Danielle Gould, owner of Little Quadoo Children’s Consignment, is partnering with RelyLocal Renton, Skyway, Newcastle, to benefit Clare Beckett Guild, a non-profit that covers uncompensated care for Children’s Hospital of Seattle. She is selling the cards at $15 each at her store at 601-A S 3rd St, Renton, WA 98057. A special fundraiser Sidewalk and Bake Sale to benefit the Clare Beckett Guild will be held this Saturday, July 20th, 2013, from 11am-5pm at Little Quadoo Consignment.
Children’s Hospital provides about $100,000,000.00 per year in uncompensated care. The Clare Beckett Guild, founded by two mothers whose children received care at Children’s Hospital, helps to offset some of those costs. Their mission is to see that every child who needs care at Children’s can receive it, regardless of ability to pay.
Local Rewards cards allow you to receive special cardholder-only discounts at your favorite independent, locally owned businesses. For instance, you can use your Local Rewards card to save at Little Quadoo Children’s Consignment, which offers a 20% discount on Wednesdays to Local Rewards cardholders. New Local Rewards offers and discounts at businesses around Renton are being added all the time. In time, your Local Rewards card will only get better!
See http://www.relyonrenton.com/rewards for more information about Local Rewards.
Great New Website with Renton Photographs!
Local photographer, Lana Blinderman, recreated her website with two galleries of architectural photographs throughout Renton. Using images of urban decay and architectural styles from the past, Lana weaves a tale of Renton’s history into the present time. Lana’s business name, Ex Factory Creative “is a tribute to [her] love of industrial buildings and to the years [she] spent working in the field of trade and logistics, where ex factory is a shipping term.” Her goal, she says is “to document the beauty of cities and industry.” You can find her galleries at: http://www.lanablinderman.com/a-walk-in-renton-2012/ and http://www.lanablinderman.com/139/
Here’s a little report on the Rely On Renton Family Fair. In case you missed it, it was awesome! Thirty-four local businesses and nonprofits came together to share their vision for families in our community. It was a chance for families with kids to see what kinds of services are being offered right in their backyard. It was also a great opportunity for small businesses to get some face-to-face contact with people that might not find them otherwise. Win-win!
We had lots of businesses with things that kids love, like RylieCakes, serving up their gluten-free brownies and cookies!
Many of the booths hosted activities for kids. Blossoming Hill Montessori, for instance, made catapults from rubber bands and popsicle sticks. Their projectiles? Neon colored pompoms, of course!
Our favorite children’s entertainer, caspar babypants, played to a captivated audience. His silly songs appeal to a wide audience. This is what one grandma had to say about his performance…
“I’M IN LOVE WITH CASPER BABY PANTS! IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I DANCED AND CLAPPED AND SANG ALONG WITH A BUNCH OF KIDS. WHAT GRREAT FUN! IT SHOULD BE REQUIRED OF ALL SENIORS. IT MAKES YOUR HEART SING!”
We had other acts on our stage as well, from dancing, to martial arts, to product demos. One highlight of the day was when CryOut stepped up to the stage and brought in a little dubstep to downtown Renton! Way to step it up Renton!!!
The crowd loved CryOut’s addictive urban beats and positive message!
The best part for me was to see families flocking to downtown Renton, and even the TRANSIT CENTER (what what?) to a fresh, lively, vibrant,family event. Moments like these help us as residents of Renton to balance our concerns for safety of the downtown area with a greater understanding of the potential for good and positive experiences in these beautiful spaces.
Think about this for a minute: If you can dream it, it can happen. If you never dream it, how can it ever come about? Change starts with imagination. Positive change starts with imagination AND faith enough to carry through to the end.
Rely On Renton Family Fair Joins Annual Downtown Spring Celebrations
By Amanda Liddle
May 2, 2013
Renton, WA– Adding an event to the 11th Annual Renton Spring Festival and Downtown Poker Run, Rely On Renton community campaign managers, Ian & Amanda Liddle, are hosting a family resource fair for Renton-area families on May 11, 2013 from noon to 5pm. The event will take place in the Pavilion Event Center, at 233 Burnett Ave. S, adjacent to the Piazza. Popular children’s entertainer, Caspar Babypants, aka Chris Ballew of the Presidents of the United States of America, will be headlining the event stage, joined by other acts such as dance, martial arts, music, and jump rope. There will also be food trucks, door prizes, and free gifts to the first 400 families who register.
“We created this event because we heard families complain that there is no central location to find resources for kids in Renton. That’s why we’re bringing all these people together under one roof for the day!” says Ian Liddle. “The response has been nearly overwhelming; we knew it would be a great event, but we certainly didn’t expect to fill up all our exhibitor spots in the first year.” The event will feature nearly forty small businesses and non-profits from the Renton area that are resources for families with kids ages 2-14. All ages are welcome. The event is free of charge to attendees.
Piazza Renton will hold its 11th annual Spring Festival in Piazza park in downtown Renton at 3rd and Burnett. This arts and crafts show will feature over 50 vendors showcasing handcrafted goods including jewelry, clothing, items for children, furniture, cosmetics, food, and housewares. The festival is run by a team of volunteers from Piazza Renton, the group that spearheads volunteer efforts for many downtown events, including the Farmers Market, Return to Renton Car Show, the Fall Harvest Festival, and the annual tree lighting.
The Downtown Events Committee is organizing the annual Poker Run—a family-friendly activity that gets participants blitzing through downtown Renton: participating businesses hand out random playing cards to players, with the possibility of winning prizes with the best 5-card hands. There is a suggested donation of $1 or a canned food item for the Salvation Army Food Bank.
For more information, please contact:
Ian & Amanda Liddle
Rely On Renton
rushing, speeding, polluting
always moving, looking ahead
the beautiful, the fragile, the distinctive
collection of small growing things
slow down, stop, look around
the beautiful, the fragile, the elements of place
can grow again once we begin
to acknowledge them
I regularly ask Renton residents that I meet, “Have you been to downtown Renton?” The most common response is “Downtown? There’s a downtown Renton?” (a variation of this is, “Downtown? You mean the Landing?”)
My answer to you, my confused fellow Rentonians (Rentonites? Rentonistas?) is as follows:
To those of you who have not experienced downtown Renton, and wonder whether or not there is such a thing, you are missing out. South Third and surrounding vicinity, is smack in the middle of the historic district of Renton. If you want to taste Renton’s unique flavor of community, this is the place. Legends abound about prohibition-era subterranean tunnel networks beneath the city, underground jail cells, ghosts, and scandal.
Chat up the friendly, genuine merchants that characterize this area and you will find many that have lived here since childhood. If you ask them to tell you stories of cruising the “Renton Loop,” they’ll probably tell you Renton could have been the inspiration for “American Graffiti”: glamorous tales of girls, cars, speed, and run-ins with the law. They will blush and tell you that it was a time long ago, and they have long since settled down, but you can still see a mischievous adolescent twinkling in their eye.
I’m just going to come out and say it: I love The Landing. I do! It’s convenient, clean, and attractive. It feels safe. There are several beautiful indie stores in The Landing, and a few anchor chain stores. I can get things at the The Landing that I can’t buy at independent shops, without leaving Renton. That being said, The Landing will never be downtown. It doesn’t look like Renton because it isn’t Renton. It’s history is short and foreign. It attracts ubiquitous chains that no roots. Thousands of other cities have outdoor malls just like it.
Downtown Renton is ripe to be discovered. It is full of hidden treasures: passionate young people, sharp-witted old people, food and wine, fresh and aged things, all overlooked. If we want Renton to be a place where people come…stay…stop… we must have a vibrant downtown scene. If we want a vibrant downtown scene, we need to choose to spend there: spend time, money, and effort. We must care about downtown.
Without care, our city center will quickly become a placeless space: a void through which people commute. Shop local. Dine local. Play local. Enjoy life local. If not you, then who?
For a list of independent downtown businesses, visit our “locals only” directory!
For Valentine’s Day, Ian and I decided to take to Downtown Renton to see what kinds of adventures we could have.
First we stopped over at Garland Jewelers to get me a pretty little piece of jewelry. We made it at 5:45pm (which for us means getting off work early). They were closed, so we took silly pictures in front of their store. Don’t you love the quaint mosaic tile floor with their name on it
Next we walked until we found something open: Old Renton Book Exchange! I love books of all kinds, and particularly children’s books. We stopped in to see what we could see. Dacia, the owner, had some great recommendations for us. This is how the conversation went:
Me: “What do you have with pretty illustrations?”
Dacia: “How pretty is pretty?”
Me: “I don’t know, pretty.”
Based on her recommendation I found a new book of a French fairy tales with illustrations from Edmund Dulac. Monsieur Dulac’s illustrations are what I would call “pretty”. We also bought the next book that the Old Renton Book Exchange book club is reading. I hope we can read it before Wednesday when they meet again!
After leaving the bookstore with hugs and well-wishes, we stopped over at Renton Flower Shop where Ian had cleverly called ahead and ordered me roses. Don’t they look lovely? They smelled so lovely too! Thanks Ian!
The arrangement was an aromatic delight to carry down the street as we walked toward our dinner destination. On the way I noticed this sign in the window of Uncle Mo’s Snappy Inn. Funny the things you notice when you walk as opposed to drive.
We arrived momentarily at our dinner destination: Red House Beer & Wine Shoppe and Tapas Bar. We had peeked at the Valentine menu. Our mouths watered with anticipation.
Ian had the venison special, which had a fruity balsamic reduction, and came with garlic turnip mashed potatoes and sauteed spicy greens. I had the Filet Mignon Oscar with Dungeness & Rock Crab Meat, Asparagus Caper Hollandaise Sauce over Garlic Turnip Mashed Potatoes. My steak was fork-tender, and the sauce delectable. I didn’t lick my plate. That’s not to say I didn’t want to.
After dinner we drove up to the Highlands to get a little something for Ian. We stopped in at 4th Street Wine and Spirits for some Scotch. Here’s a happy Ian with his treat. Actually we both love Scotch, and buying from this independent liquor store, so this gift is a win-win-win!
Our final stop was at Sweet Decadence Chocolates in Newcastle*. Like business smarties, they were open until 10pm on Valentine’s Day! Even in the late evening, Sweet Decadence had a wide selection of handmade chocolates and caramels. We chose a half-pound of truffles, which were carefully placed in a white box and tied with a red ribbon.
*For the record, we are not exclusive to Renton. We love Newcastle and businesses in Newcastle too! Ian and I both grew up there. Ian’s dad, Stuart Liddle, was among the first city council members when Newcastle incorporated as a city.