Samena Club News
September 28, 2023
Great news! After two weeks of prep work including draining and preparing our outdoor pools and deck, noise abatement prep work, and some initial pavement sawing, the major demolition phase is scheduled to begin on Tuesday 10/3. This will be the loudest, most disruptive phase of the project.
During this phase, pool deck removal and drainage excavation work are scheduled to happen concurrently and should take about 2 weeks. After this 2-week period, piling installation is scheduled to begin, wrapping up by about 10/27.
Although we’re starting late our contractors are going to expedite the work and target a finish date in mid-December.
August 14, 2023
Dear Samena Members,
As a reminder, the Outdoor Pool and Wading Pool will close September 5 for our remodel.
During this time, we have arranged for Samena Members to have free access to the following (please note that your Samena check-in scan card will be required):
- Phantom Lake Club: Lap Swim during 5-9am on Monday – Friday
- Bellevue Aquatic Center: Drop-ins (please follow the link for their Pool Schedule)
Please note that construction equipment will impact our parking lot, so please arrive early for any programming. Street parking in the neighborhood may be necessary at times.
February 28, 2023
Share This Joy!
By Allison A. Coleman
As Black History Month 2023 ends, I want to thank you all for taking the time to read this series. I went back and forth on what I wanted my ending note to be and what I kept coming back to is the joy I’ve found being a part of Samena’s community. February marked my 7th year working at Samena and over the course of that time I’ve watched this community grow in more ways than one. As new families join and some of our longtime members leave, coworkers go off to new adventures and new ones become a part of the team, what remains consistent is the welcoming environment. We all have a unique story and perspective we bring to this community. We all are trying our best to survive this thing called life. We all have common ground that we are seeking, a place of belonging, safety, and comfort. It’s nice to have a space of peace where what we seek can be found.
The pandemic awakened a lot of us to the trials of communities in the world around us and stretched our empathy. Some of us continued the hard work fighting for equality and justice, while some were beginning their allyship. For a lot of my kinfolk and me, we chose to be radical in our pursuit of justness. I personally decided I would no longer be silent about the disproportionate treatment of my community. Speaking up and speaking out can be terrifying but silence has the weight of my worst fears. I’d rather face giants than those terrors.
I began sharing stories about my family and friends and listening to stories from my peers. Handing these words and sharing these truths became my rebellion. My conversations became more meaningful and ended with more resolutions. My advocacy for myself and loved ones became so intentional I no longer was apprehensive of who didn’t like what I had to say. I wasn’t the only one experiencing this awakening and change. I see my coworkers and friends that look like me advocating for their right to live in a world that doesn’t put them at the back of the line. We all are living loudly and boldly as the melanin in our skin.
James Baldwin said, “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a state of rage.” Reality is to live in constant fight or flight is a shock to the nervous system. It can become isolating and tiresome to constantly feel like you must prove your worth. It’s at places like Samena where I can find rest. Places I know I am free to be me and be accepted. I’m so grateful to have found this community and I am excited to continue to do the work so those after me can call this their safe place as well. If you take anything from my words, please take the joy of kindness and how it cost absolutely nothing give it or receive it. If you are a part of Samena’s community, I encourage you to listen to stories of your fellow members/guests and share yours. Strengthen our community with genuine relationships. Show our kids how to honor our pasts, respect our present and speak life into our future.
February 20, 2023
There’s Joy on My Plate
By Allison A. Coleman
(Allison’s Great-Great Grandma Evelyne, known to feed the whole neighborhood)
I don’t know about you, but for me nothing brings me more joy than a great meal. Whether it’s dining alone or gathering with loved ones, nothing beats a meal that leaves you craving it again and again. Sometimes it’s the flavors that linger on our palette, other times it’s an experience that resonates so heavily with us we desire to relive it again and again. In the South we eat comfort food almost daily. Tables filled with biscuits piled high, green beans your aunties spent all morning snapping and gossiping over, enough mashed potatoes to feed the whole neighborhood with just as much gravy made from scratch. We call it Soul Food, the recipes passed down from generation after generation that carry stories of survival, love, and resilience.
If you’ve never had Soul Food and you’re looking for a way to support the Black community beyond just Black history month, dining at some local Black owned eateries is a great way to do so! One of my favorite Soul Food dishes is gumbo. Living in the greater Seattle area I can appreciate the gumbo-esque feel of the city. Rich in culture, diversity, and history, you don’t have to travel too far to find delicious Soul Food.
Here are some places to check out and please comment below your favorite Black owned eateries, sharing is caring!
Fat’s Chicken and Waffles located at 2726 E Cherry St., Seattle, WA. Fat’s is serving up southern cuisine with the flavors of New Orleans. Not only is the food amazing but they also feature art by local Seattle artists. It’s a great place to gather with friends and family.
Seattle Cinnamon Roll Co. located at 13410 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA. If you frequent Woodinville for its shopping and dining options, you may have driven right past Seattle Cinnamon Roll Co. While it’s a small brick and mortar drive thru, make no mistake they are cooking up huge flavor. Their cinnamon rolls are made fresh daily and go fast! Treat yourself to something sweet and delicious!
Communion located at 2350 E Union St., Seattle, WA. When you go to Communion’s website it greets you with “I am home.” Renowned Chef Kristi Brown style of cooking is so great she’s being spoken about all over the country. People are travelling near and far to taste her culinary expertise. While reservations may go fast, Communion definitely is worth the hype and wait. Their mission is to create an inviting space and Black culinary experience. Combining Soul Food and Asian influenced dishes you can find items like jambalaya or pho. If you go try my favorite the vegan Creole Fried Rice.
February 13, 2023
Finding Joy on Any Given Sunday
By Allison A. Coleman
The week after a Super Bowl is one of my favorite times. So many conversations buzzing about epic commercials, big stage production performances and gladiator worthy players who left it all on the field. To witness folks still reeling from quality time spent with friends and family eating the best of the best comfort food is sheer joy. While my views on football organizations have become complicated over the years, I still love that on any given Sunday players show up and show out.
I grew up watching football with my dad, a Cowboys fan. Loving that team is still to this day a lifestyle for my father. Most girls had posters of bands on their walls, and I had Neon Deon Sanders on mine. Thinking back on how passionate my dad was on game day, how he had zero care of the outside world, how he was free to be as expressive and emotional as he wanted to be without someone fearing him or mistaking his animated devotion for anything other than a man with a love for the game…those memories of safety are priceless.
Maybe that feeling of security is why I played football on tar with the boys. Much to my mother’s disapproval at the sight of constant bloody knees. I could have been seeking that assurance in the outside world that it was ok to be me. Strong, athletic, excited, and emotional. My football dreams died quickly when I was told I couldn’t play on the teams with the boys. As I look at my knees today, my physical wounds are long healed. I have the battle scars to prove I was there but the mental scar of being denied a fair shot still stings a little.
My conversation after this year’s Super Bowl will be different. There were so many Black firsts to honor. For the first time we witnessed 2 Black quarterbacks lead their team. Assistant sports performance coach Autumn Lockwood will go down in history as the first African American female coach to be on the sidelines for the big game. Off the field history has been made as well with Nicole Lynn being the first Black woman agent to represent a player in the Super Bowl. Let us not forget about Rihanna, while she’s not the first Black woman to take the stage, she’s the first Afro Caribbean to do so. All these accomplishments make younger me excited and inspired how these women were able to make careers out of love for the game and I’m joyous to see Black men be able to play and live without fear for a moment.
Join me in the Facebook comments section and please share your favorite moments from Super Bowl LVII that brought you joy!
February 8, 2023
Black Joy Is Now
As we all should know by now, February is Black History Month. While traditionally we see stories of great Black and African American revolutionaries of the past, such as Rosa Parks, Dr. Martin Luther King, or Harriet Tubman. I pose that we also devote as much time to learning about current history in the making and “Black Joy.” I heard a sermon once, and I’m paraphrasing it here, but the gist was if you’re stuck in the trenches of negativity what if you poured so much positivity in, it flooded the negative out? That is kind of the approach of Black Joy.
Our social media, news, and timelines are steadily filled with stories of devastation in Black communities.
So much so it becomes normal to witness tragedy and death before our eyes. I’m in no way saying we can be so toxically positive that only speaking about the good would eradicate the bad. I am proposing that we consciously make an effort to flood our minds with Black excellence, Black firsts, good Black news, and Black joy, in hopes that we can change the way the world views the Black community and finally accepts us in our common humanity.
So please join me throughout the month of February for a series titled “Black Joy Is Now.” I hope you learn something along the way, share with your core groups, and tap into uplifting conversations.
— Allison A. Coleman
“Black joy is about affirming one’s beautiful life. Black joy rejects the pathology of racism. Black joy is being fully human. Black joy is pride. Black joy is self-love. Black joy is shining bright. Black joy is living your best life despite living in a racist world setup against your very being.”
— Cal State Fullerton African American studies professor