News Blog for Seattle's Maple Leaf Neighborhood


Results of the non-comprehensive Maple Leaf Life survey at the Summer Social (plus more pictures!)

July 31st, 2014 by Mike


We got ’em. We like ’em.

(Actually, raccoons seem to have gotten a few of them. Nonetheless, we like keeping them. Alive. A lot.)

That was a standout result of our completely unscientific survey at the Summer Social on what interests our  Maple Leaf neighbors.

The Maple Leaf Life high-tech, interactive, hands-on survey tool.

The blog’s WordPress software provides a list of the most popular “tags” we use on posts. It looks like this:

But those are the tags WE put on the posts.

We wanted to find out what YOU thought. More or less.

It appears, besides chickens, a lot of you want to know about crime. (Except for those who don’t. But nobody checked that box – possibly because we forgot to create it. But you could have written it in….)

We also forgot to make a box specifically for prowled or stolen cars – the most common crime in Maple Leaf and Seattle as a whole.

Here’s what we got, though:

We were a little surprised at the interest in transit – which might have been a write-in. But we enjoy generally good bus service – remembering that the Northgate transit area and mall rank highest in juvenile petty crime in the city.

We also like dogs (and the Maple Leaf Dog Oasis!)

Cats, too. We’re big on finding lost pets and getting them home.

We post frequently on weather – in part because we’re like that and in part because there’s a Davis Vantage Pro2 on the roof of Maple Leaf Life South, so, why not?

More people were interested in snow, though.

With that report out of the way, here’s some more photos from Wednesday’s night’s Summer Social. (Click on “more” to go there.)

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Announcing Best Maple Leaf Garden contest winner

August 14th, 2013 by master

At the Maple Leaf Summer Ice Cream Social, we attracted plenty of attention with our Best Maple Leaf Garden contest, although we started out with just one entry from Gayle Holm at 8241 15th Ave. N.E., which won hands-down by you, our voters:

However, the Fairy Garden on Northeast 97th Street came in at a close second after it was submitted at the start of the Summer Social, which took place July 31 at Olympic View Elementary:

We also received a number of even later entries in the form of addresses posted to our contest board:

We’ve since taken photos of those late entries and included them below: [Read more →]

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Come help build the new Maple Leaf playground on April 6th, 7th

March 14th, 2013 by Mike

The playground this morning. The zip line runs between the two red arches.

In a couple of weeks it will be time to haul out the work gloves and come help build parts of the new Maple Leaf playground.

Or call it by its new name: the Maple Leaf Family Terrace. Complete with a  zip line!

The city is currently working on various pieces of play equipment at the terrace, but neighbors will have the opportunity to help construct two structures (seen at right) and put plants in the ground.

No tools are required, and local businesses will be providing lunch, but bring a beverage.

The dates are Saturday, April 6th, with both morning and afternoon signups, and Sunday April 7th if work remains to be done.

For more information visit the  Maple Leaf Community Council’s “build” page. And the online signup to volunteer is here.

The last time we looked the new Maple Leaf Reservoir Park – and Family Terrace – was to open this fall. (Update: Family Terrace to open for summer! See Donna’s comment, below. Donna chairs the community council committee on the park.)

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Come to the Summer Social – and take back your photo from last summer’s festival!

July 25th, 2012 by Mike

With this year’s Maple Leaf Summer Ice Cream Social only an hour away, we have an offer for the neighborhood.

At last year’s Summer Social, we used an instant camera to take pictures of dozens of neighbors who came by our table. You then wrote on the photos why you love Maple Leaf.

This year, we’re giving those photos back. Come by our table and pick up your photo from a summer ago.

You can write on the poster (pictured above) why you love Maple Leaf, or you can comment below.

See you in an hour!

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Come to the Summer Social – and take back your photo from last summer's festival!

July 25th, 2012 by Mike

With this year’s Maple Leaf Summer Ice Cream Social only an hour away, we have an offer for the neighborhood.

At last year’s Summer Social, we used an instant camera to take pictures of dozens of neighbors who came by our table. You then wrote on the photos why you love Maple Leaf.

This year, we’re giving those photos back. Come by our table and pick up your photo from a summer ago.

You can write on the poster (pictured above) why you love Maple Leaf, or you can comment below.

See you in an hour!

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Maple Leaf Summer Social just a week away!

July 18th, 2012 by master

Photo from the 2011 Summer Social courtesy Dane Doerflinger Photography.

It’s nearly time again for our neighborhood’s biggest event of the year: the Maple Leaf Summer Ice Cream Social.

From 6:30-8:30 p.m. next Wednesday, July 25, you’re invited to come out to the Maple Leaf Playground at 1020 N.E. 82nd St. to meet your neighbors and learn more about your local businesses and other organizations.

And, as the name implies, there will also be plenty of free ice cream, donated again by Pete Brulla of Peaks Frozen Custard.

Music will be provided by Carl Heller with Tumbuka.

Be sure to stop by the Maple Leaf Life booth and introduce yourselves, too!

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Updated: Join us for an underground tour inside the new Maple Leaf Reservoir

November 23rd, 2011 by Mike

Update 3 p.m.: Wow! We’ve had time to do a rough count – we had more than 100 requests before 8 a.m. By 2 p.m. we were north of 400 people who wanted to take the tour. And requests are still coming in. (Please stop now. We are for sure full.)

Here’s the good news: We’ve been talking all day with Seattle Public Utilities about whether we can expand this tour, either on Dec. 10 or at a later date. The answer appears to be yes – but it’s a guarded yes, as it’s tough to figure it out with Thanksgiving weekend looming.

So here’s our plan. We’re going to put all the requests we have in hand onto a spreadsheet. As we promised at 6:45 this morning, we’ll prioritize the first 100 folks who emailed us. We’ll let those people know that they are on the list by return email.

We’ll enter all the remaining responses, too – in order of when we got them. (We’ll try to sort out those of you who put your request in the comments below.) If we can expand, we’ll notify you, but it will probably be the middle of next week before we have details. We might have to recruit a few of you to help with the logistics.

Again, thanks for your support, for the neighborhood and Maple Leaf Life.

Update 9 a.m.: What a response! Requests for reservations are coming in faster than we can count them. Over 60 emails in the last two hours. I suspect we’re starting a waiting list. We’ll get back to folks, but it might take a bit. -Mike

Construction of the Maple Leaf Reservoir is almost complete. Courtesy Seattle Public Utilities.

It’s been well over a year since reader Greg Howard emailed us this question about construction at the Maple Leaf Reservoir:

“Has there been any discussion with the city to allow tours of the underground reservoir once it is completed? I personally find the project quite fascinating and it seems like it would be a once- in-a- lifetime opportunity to see it before it is put in use.”

We now have an answer. Yes.

Seattle Public Utilities and Maple Leaf Life are organizing a tour, for our readers and neighbors, inside the reservoir – perhaps Seattle’s biggest construction project – before it’s flooded.

The date is Saturday, Dec. 10. The time: 10 a.m. to noon.

The tour is limited to the first 100 people who respond by email to this invitation. There is no charge.

That Saturday we’ll take groups of 25 people at a time down inside the reservoir. Each tour will take about a half-hour. Inside, the project manager will describe the project and answer questions.

Bring rain gear and flashlights. (It’s not wet underground, but it might well be raining while waiting. There are lights underground, but we don’t want to risk a power outage. It is possible that really rotten weather might force us to postpone.)

There are long stairs with 48 steps going down beneath the covered lid. Wear sturdy walking shoes. It’s not possible to fit strollers or wheelchairs inside.

To register for the tour, send an email to “” Tell us how many people you’d like to bring, and what time you’d like to come. The tour options are 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., and 11:30 a.m.

We’ll get back to you with details. First come, first served. And thanks for supporting your neighborhood, and Maple Leaf Life.

Underground at the Beacon Hill Reservoir, after it was covered, before it was flooded. Courtesy Seattle Public Utilities.

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Curbed and Eater sites have expanded to Seattle

April 28th, 2011 by master

Have you checked of the new-to-Seattle Curbed and Eater websites yet?

Curbed first launched in 2004 in New York, and soon its snarky style of covering real estate and neighborhoods caught on in other metropolitan cities, and led to the mouth-watering Eater sites.

Naturally, some of us have been waiting for years for Curbed and Eater to finally reach Seattle. But now the waiting is over, after both sites launched last week.

We’re proud to say that Maple Leaf Life already has gotten plenty of link love from both, including Eater posts linking to the Cinco de Mayo party at COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria and the much-anticipated opening of Flying Squirrel Pizza Co.

Even Curbed has found postworthy news in sleepy Maple Leaf, with links to planning a meeting for the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park’s Family Terrace and Meg Stockbridge’s resignation from the Maple Leaf Community Council Executive Board.

We’ll try to keep an eye on both sites for any references to the neighborhood, but please let us know if we miss anything.

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About advertising on Maple Leaf Life

March 9th, 2011 by Mike

A few months ago we had a reader wonder, in response to a post about Northgate Mall, “is this a paid advertisement?”

Mai Ling responded, “absolutely not.” And she is absolutely correct.

Although Maple Leaf Life is published online, both of us have old-line journalism values and ethics. We don’t trade news coverage for advertising. Ever.

We also don’t accept gifts of any kind from people or businesses involved in our news coverage.

That said, we do need advertisers – they are what pays the bills. We want them to advertise with us as a trusted local business because we’re a good value for them. And we believe readers would want to support our advertisers.

With our one-year anniversary just behind us, traffic at Maple Leaf Life is approaching a thousand page views every day (we attracted  25,000 page views in December, from over 8,000 unique users). And well over a thousand people follow us on social media — we have right at 500 Facebook users, and 650 followers on Twitter.

The North Seattle network of sites that we’re a part of — Next Door Media — draws 1.2 million page views per month, from 236,000 unique users.

This month we’ll be sending local businesses an offer to advertise with us (pdf) including, for no additional charge, online discount coupons through North Seattle Guide that are promoted through social media.The big selling point there is the money stays with our local businesses and customers, unlike mega-sites like Groupon that take as much as 50 percent. More details about advertising can be found here, and there’s a coupon FAQ  here.

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Red Tricycle praises Maple Leaf Playground for kids

February 20th, 2011 by Mike

The Seattle site of Red Tricycle (“Your Local Playtime Authority”) has a writeup on the Maple Leaf Playground – and loves it.

In the piece  Explore: Maple Leaf Red Tricycle extols the merits of the playground. “No soggy wood chips here—brilliantly layered gravel simply drains the raindrops and keeps kiddos dry if they take a tumble.”


Not everyone has such a high opinion. Last spring Marc Phillips, then the president of the Maple Leaf Community Council, called it “Maple Leaf’s expansive, aging dustbowl.”

Adding to the desolation is the gravel base (no woodchips here) making this the hands down filthiest of North Seattle parks.

Phillips did note that with the opening of the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park next year, the playground will be updated.

The Red Tricycle piece also calls out Cloud City Coffee, Beadworld, the Northwest Puppet Center, Cafe Piccolo (which, contrary to Red Tricycle, doesn’t serve lunch) and the Maple Leaf Grill. Oh, and – “for current news and events…restaurant reviews, ratings” and more – Maple Leaf Life!

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