Archie McPhee's annual Halloween blood drive is today, noon to 6. They vant your blood! Call to make an appointment: 206.297.0240.
After you've donated, you could get your energy back up with espresso at Cafe Fiore or dinner at the new Zayda Buddy's Pizza --- both in the refurbished historic building at 5405 Leary Avenue NW, across from the massive condo construction project.
Cafe Fiore is my favorite place to meet clients; Zayda Buddy's "pizza" identity is a bit puzzling to me, because much of their menu is comfort food (the Weekly dubbed it "enlightened cafeteria"). We had hot sandwiches there Wednesday, and my dining companion said their grilled cheesed -- puffy toasted bread, just oozing with melted Velveeta, is the best grilled cheese she's ever had. The Reuben sandwich was headed in the right direction, but not East Coast enough for me. But it's a friendly place, and I'll be back to try their thin-crust "Minnesota-style" pizza.
On the Ballard shopping front, I'm hearing about The Sneakery, a new shoe store on 65th, near Cafe Bambino. Anyone been there yet?
Finally, some news from slightly outside of the Ballard area: The wonderful Gypsy Trader Consignment, which had two incarnations on N 45th St. and two on Stone Way North, is closing. My informant tells me that a pool table has moved in, to be followed by other pub trappings.