Friday, October 17, 2008


Friday, 17 October

I was greatly saddened yesterday to learn of the demise of not one but two of my favorite establishments in the town of Monroe.

Years ago I made so many stops on training rides at the Fiddler's Bluff coffee shop that the baristas would have my order started before I even spoke. I bought a framed piece of art there once, done in chalk, by a local artist; since I was on my bike, I couldn't take it with me, and the shop owners eventually delivered it to my doorstep (32 miles away). It was hard for them to compete in the baked goods department with the Sky Valley Bakery across the street, but they were a local source for Fidalgo Bay coffee, and in their heyday, Fiddler's Bluff was a perfect stop on a 65-mile ride.

Just a few years ago, the Wicked Baking Company opened out on the west edge of town in an old yellow house. Their cinnamon rolls were to die for. It was many visits before I could forgo one of those in order to try something else. It was (as far as I could tell) a women-owned and operated business. All the pastries were amazing, and they did wedding cakes and bread too. My sources tell me the building is now a BBQ joint. So sad.

Another sad demise yesterday was the demolition of yet another perfectly nice house on Riviera Place in northeast Seattle. Odds are that it will be replaced by a garish, ugly, 3-story box with no redeeming features that stretches from one property line to the other. Is this progress, or just greed?

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