5/24/22: SMELLS LIKE $$$
May 23rd, 2022 by Clark Humphrey

Cobain guitar sells for millions to an NFL team owner; Schick Shadel Hospital to close; Amazon’s reportedly cutting back on warehouse space; an anniversary wake for the Cafe Racer shooting victims. 

Sep 9th, 2021 by Clark Humphrey

A Tacoma park’s old storybook statues are up for auction; Cafe Racer’s ready for its re-re-reopening; Microsoft’s keeping office workers at home for ‘the foreseeable future’; and, yes, there’s that grim anniversary.

Jun 7th, 2021 by Clark Humphrey

Cafe Racer’s fourth opening will be at a second site; federal, state vaccination stats differ; could the Canadian border finally, partly, reopen?; a double-anniversary and new-project announcement.

Jul 14th, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

Erica C. Barnett’s unflinching addiction/recovery story; Cafe Racer’s third closing; what police defunding advocates want isn’t what Durkan says they want; Rudyard Kipling views the Great Seattle Fire’s aftermath.

Jan 30th, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

The Pacific Science Center’s laser shows are run by real live artists (imagine!); the state ramps up its coronavirus response; a leaked memo sheds info on Blaine border detainments; Amazon’s now worth $1 trillion (in stock value) and has almost 800,000 global workers.

1/24/20: AFTERMATH
Jan 23rd, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

Reactions to Wednesday night’s shooting; A McKinsey report parses the local homelessness crisis; UW president tells the Davos conference about coming out; security hired for Swedish nurses’-strike replacements.

Jan 22nd, 2020 by Clark Humphrey

Anti-Marxist spray paint at St. Mark’s; another stupid shooting, this time in the heart of downtown at the evening commute; coronavirus-fueled face-mask buying frenzy; Tacoma doesn’t like Sea-Tac promoted as SEA.

11/28/27: RACER REDUX
Nov 27th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

In your Tuesday news: a local landmark comes back from the dead (again); the city’s new homeless-grants plan cuts SHARE; Mayor Durkan takes charge with a personal PR blitz.

10/17/17: THE FINAL LAP?
Oct 17th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

As wintery weather sets in, MISCmedia MAIL’s topics include Cafe Racer’s possible last days; mining vs. salmon in Alaska; Amazon taking most of the ex-Bon Marché building; and the high cost of cheap stuff.

5/31/17: NOT SO ‘CRUDDY’
May 31st, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Wednesday’s MISCmedia MAIL starts with a great honor for one of my fave cartoonist/novelist/playwrights. It goes on to mention the “dirty” aspect of cleaning up Lake Washington; big-big plans for the UW; the apparent end to one of our era’s most famous couples; and five years after the Cafe Racer slayings (so many senseless slayings ago).

Mar 14th, 2017 by Clark Humphrey

Café Racer, a vital part of many Seattle scenes and subcultures, is for sale and could go away without a buyer. Who’ll be the saving patron of such a key institution? While you search your bank accounts, read about the latest developments in the Daniel Ramirez case; a woman-friendly version of a “co-working space;” a crime survivor who doesn’t want to be the poster child for an anti-trans “bathroom bill;” and whether Gonzaga basketball’s singlehandedly keeping Spokane alive.

MISCmedia MAIL for 11/4/16:
Nov 3rd, 2016 by Clark Humphrey

Café Racer, a longtime friend of MISCmedia and a pivotal aspect of multiple local communities, needs help to survive right now. The rest of our work this day concerns the centennial of the Northwest’s bloodiest worker-rights event; the overheated Vancouver real-estate market’s crash; the usual scads of weekend stuff-2-do; and a non-religious college finally sheds its “Missionaries” team name.

Jun 2nd, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

joshua trujillo, seattlepi.com

  • There was a remembrance in Cowen Park marking one year since the Cafe Racer tragedy.
  • Unlike some of the “radicals” fighting against low wages at fast-food joints, I actually patronize fast-food joints. And I want the fine people who prepare my meals to be properly compensated for the fine work they do.
  • The FBI investigated the song “Louie Louie” for two whole years, only to find a simple love lyric made unintelligible.
  • Will legal pot in our society lead, invariably, to corporate pot?
  • To Microsoft’s regret, it just can’t get people to say “Let’s Bing it.”
  • Our ol’ pal Gillian Gaar reports the “Welcome to Aberdeen: Come As You Are” sign might come down.
  • Who, besides “out o’ sight, out o’ mind” NIMBYs, benefits from the suburbanization of poverty?
  • A Cheerios commercial features a nice interracial family. The usual dorks and trolls respond as you’d predict.
  • Lawrence Lessig would like a Democratic Party that’s less beholden to corporate funders.
  • Texas: future Democratic stronghold?
  • Some people will miss making fun of Michelle Bachmann. I won’t.
  • The Chicago Sun-Times, once billed as “Chicago’s Picture Newspaper,” is firing all its photographers.
  • No, Ms. magazine, the 10 most important things American women could not do before the 1970s wold probably really include more important things than “read Ms. magazine.”
  • Istanbul was Constantinople. Now it’s a battleground of democracy vs. shady dealmaking.
  • WikiLeaks dude Julian Assange sees today’s Google as an increasingly reactionary gang of government-butt kissers.
  • Let’s close with a haunting look at a run down (but still open!) tourist site, the Flintstones theme park in Arizona.


May 30th, 2013 by Clark Humphrey

Most of you know about the horrors inflicted on May 30, 2012.

About the crazed disgruntled customer who strode into Café Racer and shot five people, four of them fatally.

Who then got on a bus to downtown, where he killed a woman to steal her car.

Who then drove to West Seattle, where he killed himself as police closed in on him.

For a lot of people around the Seattle music, art, and nightlife scenes, it was a day of shock and devastation.

For me, it was just the start of the worst two weeks of my life.


While all the mourning was going on around me, I had a little birthday, gave one of my semiannual Costco Vanishing Seattle book signings, and visited the Georgetown Carnival. Racer owner Kurt Geissel was at the latter, essentially showing concerned friends that he was surviving.

It was there that I got the cell call from my brother.

My mother had gone into the hospital, for what would be the last time.

Two buses and two hours later, I was in Everett.

She had stayed un-sedated long enough for me to arrive and pay my respects, along with seven or eight of her closest friends.

An hour after that, she agreed to take the morphine.

She passed on 54 hours later.

She had always been there for me.

Now I was truly on my own.

It was, and continues to be, a struggle.

Only now am I beginning to get something of a life back together, thanks to the help of many of the same people who kept one another together after the Racer tragedy.

Jul 25th, 2012 by Clark Humphrey

Cafe Racer was first opened by Kurt Geissel and then business partner Staci Dinehart in 2003, originally as the Lucky Dog Espresso.

First with Dinehart and then with longtime manager Ben Dean, Geissel built it into a place that was everything to many people—a coffeehouse, diner, bar, dual art-exhibition space (both permanent and rotating exhibits), eclectic live music venue, and gathering place for both Ravenna/Roosevelt area locals and for several citywide subcultures.

Geissel kept his outside day job all that time, pouring everything the cafe made back into it. It made the front page of the Sunday New York Times arts section for its Sunday all-ages improv-music shows, the “Racer Sessions.”

Some of the other people most responsible for Racer’s rise have included:

  • Marlow Harris and Jo David (longtime arts-scene figures who curate the permanent exhibit of unfortunate amateur painting, the Official Bad Art Museum of Art),
  • Jim Woodring (creator of the acclaimed graphic-novel series Frank; he led drawing classes at the cafe and cofounded its cartoonists’ peer group Friends of the Nib),
  • Andrew Swanson (cofounder of the Racer Sessions),
  • Leonard Meuse (the cafe’s chef, who kept a varied comfort food menu going in a too-small kitchen space), and
  • Drew Keriakedes, aka Shmootzi the Clod (the round-earringed veteran of the local alt-circus and performance art scenes; he booked most of the musical acts at the cafe, and led its Thursday house band God’s Favorite Beefcake).

As you all know, Meuse and Keriakedes were at the cafe the morning of May 30, when a mentally unstable former customer came in and started shooting. He killed Keriakedes and three other people, and shot Meuse. He fled, shot and killed a woman outside Town Hall, took her car, and was finally found by police in West Seattle, where he fatally shot himself.

Geissel has said he was actually making more money with Racer closed, thanks to insurance. But friends and loyal customers pretty much demanded he reopen. After take a couple of weeks off to get his own head together, he and a crew of volunteers cleaned up and repainted the place and installed a new bar.

Reopening day was all hugs and smiles and closure. There seemed to be a collective sense, not of “normalcy” but of triumph. Meuse was working. Woodring was on hand.

So was Geissel, hauling in fresh supplies of hamburger buns and Tater Tots.

He’s said that not reopening would be letting “the bad” win. Bringing Cafe Racer back, he’s also said, was a process fed by “the tremendous love” expressed by everyone who’s frequented it.

(Cross-posted with City Living.)

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