It all started with a conversation. A digital conversation, that is. Who knew that nextdoor.com was the hotbed of local discussion, but it is Seattle – and in this tech-centered city, it only seems right. The conversation was about suspicious activity right around the corner from my house, and it brought up a gaping hole in the North Seattle community – effective police presence.
I started to think more as I got up the next morning, put on my shoes, walked down the pothole-filled alley and onto the street – because there’s no sidewalk – to Lake City Way where I would take a crowded bus downtown to work. My thoughts led me to look up more information about these seemingly normal services that were just lacking from the North Seattle that I have come to love.
North Seattle was annexed from unincorporated King County in the mid 20th century through several different acquisitions. It was largely communities that didn’t have a strong central presence and just needed a local government to represent them. But, as is typical of annexations like North Seattle’s, it wasn’t quite what it was cracked up to be. Sidewalks were ignored. Representation on the City Council was nonexistent. Services were low. It was largely a bedroom community for people who wanted to live cheaper but still live close enough to downtown Seattle.
But this doesn’t define the North Seattle that I know. Neighbors watch out for each other. They engage in spirited debate. People go out to places like Elliott Bay, Cloud City Coffee, Roosevelt Ale House, Naked City Brewery, Diva Espresso, Thornton Place, and more. They commune with friends for Seahawks games. Or maybe I’m just describing my life…
But there’s something about the North Seattle community. Though we lack centralized organization, fair representation on boards and committees, and adequate services like Ballard or Queen Anne have, this is an amazing community.
So walk with me down the small gravel patch on the side of the road as I meet business owners, community leaders, and update you on the happenings of North Seattle. And maybe, just maybe, through our community here, we can show the rest of Seattle what they’re missing.
Thank you for doing this, Nate. A labor of love. How can I help?