Queen Anne Avenue doesn’t have as many community umbrellas in its stands as it did when the umbrellas were unveiled three weeks ago.
The umbrellas were a community project created by Hossein Soleymani, manager at Homestreet Bank, and eight local merchant sponsors.
On a sunny Friday, Jan. 24, there were only two umbrellas in 16 stands along the street; 14 stands were completely empty. Soleymani agrees, it seems like umbrellas are disappearing. He assumed one or two would go missing or end up in someone’s car on accident, but Soleymani thought that would happen over the course of months or a year. Now, he wants to get the message out to the community to return the umbrellas that were purchased for everyone.
“A lot of time, energy and money has gone into this project for everyone to use,” he said.
The eight merchants who sponsored the 100 umbrellas and 24 stands spent approximately $800 each to provide the service to the community.
Soleymani is hoping the people who may have mistakenly taken the umbrellas home will remember to bring them back to the stands. One of the umbrellas’ attributes seems to work against them: the quality. Soleymani bought high-quality umbrellas so they would last for a long time, but now he thinks that may have made them a tempting item to take home.
“One hundred is all we have,” Soleymani said. “We don’t have other supplies, so I’m hoping they bring them back.”
Soleymani is optimistic people will remember the umbrellas they accidently took and return them. Until then, he doesn’t plan to order any more of the costly umbrellas until at least the next rainy season. When that time comes, he is worried the same thing will happen again and the umbrellas will vanish from the shopping district.
“There’s always that worry in the back of my mind, but knowing the Queen Anne community, as always, they pleasantly surprise everybody,” he said.
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