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Following packed houses for Sherla Clomes, Taproot’s Improv team is back with their new show, Sportsball! Using audience suggestions, they’ll improvise the glory days of an underdog sports team in a 1-hour long-form improv show that heads into the wide world of sports.

WHEN: October 11, 12, 18 & 19, 2019 at 7:30 PM
WHERE: Taproot Theatre Company’s Isaac Studio Theatre, 212 N 85th St
LENGTH: 1 hour
AGE REC: Recommended for ages 12+ and for all the 12s and 12 wannabes.
TICKETS: $10 TTC Subscribers/25 & Under; $15 General Admission

PhinneyWood is full of wonderful people and great places that we all wish we knew more about. Resident Kevin Kozel periodically digs deeper to let us know more in a column we like to call … Hi Neighbor!

These days it seems we’re all looking for ways to relax, heal, or unplug. It’s getting harder and harder to find ways to escape without the possibility of being interrupted. Why not take a float? While floating has been growing in popularity over the past few years, it’s actually a concept that has been around for quite some time. Having experienced it myself, I can attest to the soothing escape it can create, but there are multiple benefits that the activity can offer.

Andrew Loppnow, one of the co-owners of Float Seattle, recently opened a new location in PhinneyWood. I recently caught up with Andrew to ask him some questions about floating, what it can do for you, and what to expect from his latest location.

Kevin Kozel (KK): You just opened a new location on 85th Avenue, but you’re also the owner of all Float Seattle locations now, is that right?

Andrew Loppnow (AL): Yes, my business partner Dean and I are operating owners. We work shifts at all three of our studios on top of all of our duties behind the scenes. I’ve worked for Float Seattle for almost five years and Dean was a member for a while. The two of us had an opportunity to take over the business from the founder last year, so we found a way to make it happen. We’ve had a busy year learning the ropes and making lots of improvements along the way. It’s a lot of hard work running these float centers, but we love what we do!

KK: And how many locations are there now?

AL: The first one started in Greenlake in 2012. There is a second in Bellevue which opened in 2015. This Greenwood location is the third one. We recently took over a previous float business that was in this spot. It’s our biggest float center with six tanks. The others have four.

KK: It’s certainly the biggest site I’ve seen.

AL: Its size opens up a lot of possibilities for us. While floating is our main focus, we also host community events once a month. For example, we just offered a gong meditation here a few weeks ago and are beginning to offer team-building workshops and other things. We aim to be a wellness hub for the Seattle community, promoting and educating people on anything related to meditation, pain management, stress relief, etc.  We’re really excited about what where we’re at, but also what Float Seattle can become. Floating by itself is amazing, but we look forward to offering more and more value through these other offerings.

KK: So tell us more about the experience of floating.

AL: Sure. There are many shapes and size of float tanks, but the experience is generally always the same. There is about 10 inches of water with 1,000 pounds of Epson salt, which is what allows you to float effortlessly in the water on your back. It’s heated to body temperature. The pods have a light and the ability to play music, however we recommend turning off the light and floating in silence. There are really two components; the salt allows negating of gravity and has a natural anti-inflammatory effect which relieves pressure on your joints and muscles, and there is the reduction of sensory inputs created by the skin-temperature water and the lack of light and sound which creates the relaxing environment.

Our bodies spend so much energy processing the world with every waking minute. It’s incredible what can happen when you take most of that away! The experience essentially hits the reset button on your nervous system. It’s very effective in reducing stress, aches and pains, and just providing a space for relaxed introspection and meditation. It’s definitely strange at first, but many people find it to be one of the most relaxing experiences they’ve ever had. 

KK: How do you prepare your clients for their first float?

AL: We give you a very thorough walkthrough on your first visit and make sure we go over the common questions and fears that people might have. That’s something I think we do a really good job of. It’s really important to set people up so they aren’t thinking about all of the things that could keep them from relaxing. We aren’t going to just throw you in a tank and forget about you.

Each guest has a private room with a tank and a shower, and you’ll shower before and after the float session. We provide everything that you’ll need. The session itself is an hour, but you should allow 90 minutes for the whole experience for showering and taking a moment to drink some tea on the couch after your float.

KK: Having floated myself, do you explain that it can take a few floats before your body start to accept it?

AL: Yes, it really takes two or three times for someone to really get comfortable with floating, get over the novelty aspects, and start to understand how it might help them in their life. It’s important to be forward with the educational component and make it less of a sales pitch. If you really want to decide if it’s for you or not, then you really owe it yourself to experience it three times to see what it can do for you. One float is certainly relaxing and interesting, but the benefits really do compound with multiple sessions.

KK: What plans do you have available for people looking to give floating a try?

AL: We have lots of options, but the introductory rate is $39 (regularly $69). We also offer a three-pack for $135. For our standard memberships it’s $54 per month. That gets you one float and then all additional floats are $35. You max out at $229 per month, so once you reach that all additional floats are free. We also offer floating Happy Hour Monday through Thursday until 3 pm at the $39 introductory rate for all floats. The membership can also be used at any of our three locations and is super flexible in regard to cancellations and pausing.

To get signed up for your first float, or for more information on the activity of floating, you can stop by Float Seattle at 111 NW 85th Street or visit their website at www.floatseattle.com.

Any person, place, or thing you want to know more about in our neighborhood? Feel free to drop us a line or leave a comment and we’ll look into making it a future feature on Hi Neighbor!

The PNA Village is an essential and unique neighborhood program that makes it easier for people to stay in their own homes as they grow older, and is officially expanding beyond Greenwood and Phinney to Wallingford and Fremont. The Village connects members with volunteers for transportation, minor home repairs, social connections, gardening, and much more.

To learn more about the Village and this expansion, you are invited to a breakfast and Q&A at the Wallingford Senior Center. Current Village members and volunteers will provide breakfast and will host a fun and interactive group Q&A at the end.

Thursday October 10, 9:30 – 11:30am
Please RSVP to Village@phinneycenter.org or 206-789-1217.

Babyface Skincare and Beauty started in Phinney Ridge 10 years ago in a little suite hidden high above Greenwood Ave, but has recently joined forces with Ceres Salon and moved down from their aerie into a storefront location. You may have noticed some activity over the past several months at the corner of 71st and Greenwood as the salon underwent a total remodel.

There are now two treatment rooms for facials, massage, lash extensions and many other beauty and wellness treatments. Their goal is to provide advanced and innovative treatments with skilled technicians in a cozy neighborhood setting, and strive to promote community building and getting to know their neighbors.

In that spirit and to celebrate this big change, owner Eva Robbins is throwing a party for the community next Friday. You are invited to stop by on your way through the PhinneyWood Art Walk on October 11th  from 6-9pm.  There will appetizers and drinks as well as 15% off a number of skincare products.

Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) has announced that Green Tech Excavation will handle the addition to Greenwood Park, located between 87th and 89th on Fremont Ave N. The work began on September 30th and will be completed in early 2020.

SPR purchased the 0.1-acre site at 8805 Fremont Ave. N in 2013 to provide more open space for the growing neighborhood and to expand the existing Greenwood Park. Funding for this park project is provided by the Seattle Park District, approved by voters in 2014.

The new parcel, surrounded by Greenwood Park, reflects input from the community and has a “game” theme with a ping pong table, corn hole, 4-square, hopscotch, and tether ball. The sport court will be striped for pickleball and will remain open during construction. The project also features a wood arbor connection to the pea patch, a hillside slide into the play area, a picnic area with BBQ, and skate elements. The project incorporates accessibility features in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

For more information or to view the park plan please visit http://www.seattle.gov/parks/about-us/current-projects/greenwood-park-addition. For questions about the project please contact Katie Bang at katie.bang@seattle.gov or 206-684-9268.

In August, local service provider Mary’s Place, became a part of the Greenwood neighborhood when they moved their warehouse from downtown Seattle into the former Safeway building on Greenwood Avenue. The building is owned by Washington Holdings and will be developed in 1-2 years.

Mary’s Place has been providing shelter and services for women and families experiencing homelessness in King County for more than 20 years – bringing moms, dads, and children inside to safety and hope, assisting with housing, employment, and wellness needs, and helping them move back into stable housing. Mary’s Place currently operates nine emergency family shelters from Burien to Kenmore that provide 600 beds each night, and a drop-in women’s day center in downtown Seattle that serves two meals a day and provides hygiene and other resources for more than 150 women each day.

The organization has grown tremendously over the last several years. In 2018 they provided nearly 180,000 overnight stays, served almost 360,000 meals, welcomed in 1,308 children, and helped 650 families find stable housing.

Our new neighbor would love to welcome you as a part of their community, and there are several opportunities to get involved. If you are interested in volunteering at any of the shelters, you can learn more and sign up at www.marysplaceseattle.org. Volunteer needs include kitchen help, donation sorting, cleaning and maintenance, translation services, youth activities like homework help, movie night, hosting birthday parties, and more. As Mary’s Place Executive Director Marty Hartman says, “whatever you like to do with your friends and family, our kids and families would like to do!”

According to StopBullying.gov, a website of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), in a national study “49% of children in grades 4-12 reported being bullied by other students at school at least once” and “30.8% reported bullying others.” Taproot Theatre is determined to improve these statistics by touring innovative productions that confront issues like diversity, forming friendships and bullying prevention and to provide resources which encourage conversation amongst students and adults alike.

There are two shows this Saturday at the Ballard Elks:

3pm – Team Player Mode. A play for elementary (K-5) age children about bullying prevention and accepting differences.
5pm – The Social Networth. A play for middle and high school students (6-12) about cyber bullying, body image, and personal responsibility in social settings.

Ballard Elks Lodge, 6411 Seaview Ave NW
Saturday, October 5th – 3pm and 5pm
FREE, with donations accepted for Taproot’s financial assistance program

Story and photo by Roxanne Kenison

After a series of unexpected obstacles last Saturday on their way to the Leavenworth Autumn Leaf Festival, the Ballard High School Marching band literally stepped off the bus and into the parade to claim recognition as the best of 19 bands in the parade – and to also win first place in their division.

That they managed to perform at all—and so well—is a testament to the group’s discipline, teamwork, and pluck. Scheduled to leave Seattle by 8:30 a.m. for the Noon parade in Leavenworth, the 150-plus member band got a late start when a mixup resulted in their buses being delayed by an hour. An early fall snowstorm in the mountain pass slowed traffic, and the parade was already underway by the time the band arrived in Leavenworth.

To streamline proceedings, band members had put on their uniforms in-transit, and even availed themselves of the buses’ lavatories, anticipating no chance for a restroom break after their nearly 3-hour journey.

Director of Bands Michael James and parent chaperones directed the buses to parking as close as possible to the parade assembly area, and band members collected their instruments and fell immediately into formation. They literally marched away from the buses and into the parade with no stopping or pausing, to applause and cheers of onlookers.

“If we don’t win anything, that’s fine,” declared Mr. James after the band completed the parade route. “If we do win something, that’s fine too. I’m just glad we got here.” On being awarded first place, Mr. James proudly held up the trophy, and band members whooped, hollered, and squealed with excitement.

The Autumn Leaf Festival parade is the first performance of the year for the marching band, following after-school rehearsals and a weekend intensive Band Camp at the beginning of the school year.

The Seattle Police Department would like to invite Phinney Ridge, Greenwood, and Green Lake community members to a residential burglary prevention class. Attendees will learn about current burglary trends in their area, how to secure their homes to reduce the likelihood of a burglary, and what to do if they have been a victim of a burglary.

The class will be instructed by the North Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator, the local Community Police Officer, and a Burglary Detective.

Please RSVP to mary.amberg@seattle.gov, or just come on by.

Residential Burglary Prevention Class
Thursday October 3, 7 – 9pm
Phinney Center Room 2, 6532 Phinney Ave N.