Mid South Hill Neighborhood

from SPOKANE LIVING
by Karen Dunlap

......Four blocks west (of Rosauer's & Joe's) is a coffee spot with as different persona as it's possible to imagine. Still small, but cozy and hip, the Rocket Bakeryat 14th and Adams sits on the same block as AMEND MUSIC CENTER, a neighborhood fixture and a hub of activity for the community. In addition to selling music, repairing instruments and doing a brisk business in rental instruments for local bands and orchestras, especially at the elementary and middle school level, AMEND'S is known for support of disabled musicians, to whom it provides adapted instruments. Robin Amend's grandfather lost an arm in a lumbermill accident, and his framed patent certificate for a device that makes one handed piano playing possible, plus a number of amazing photos of the device in use, are on display at the store. Anyone who played in a high school marching band ought ot make a visit to AMEND'S; the collection of old uniforms on display is really something.

There are also music lesson rooms in the store, and an afternoon visit to the area gives a hint of future symphony members working their way through scales on saxophone, trumpet, flute and clarinet. In the studios in the back of the building, more musical options abound, with lesson rooms for Kinermusik, guitar, piano and drums. Tino Jimenez teaches a children's cooking and music combo while he plays the accordion. Spokane musical treasure Kelly Bogan has a studio in the basement, wher he and his associates teach guitar, piano and banjo in a space that would make any garage band aspirers feel right at home. Bogan, whose studio is accessible by stairs through the Rocket Bakery or through the ballet studio, Ballet Classique, at the back of the building. AMEND'S donates part of the space to the Spokane Youth Symphony for its library and music materials.

Rocket Bakery's location in this neighborhood arts hub is not accidental; Robin Amend tells a story of a visit to Seattle 11 years ago, where he and his son, Paul, were amazed by the phenomenon of coffe shops squeezed into every conceivable space. "We can do better than that," they thought, and turned the small, L-shaped space that resulted from adding privacy walls to the ballet studio into a terrific neighborhood java joint. Neighborhood regulars, including musicians and the many parents whose kids are aspiring musicians, find the shop a cozy and welcoming place of respite on any busy day.......