Neighborly night! West Seattle block parties celebrate Night Out 2012

August 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm | In Crime, Neighborhoods, Safety, West Seattle news | 26 Comments

6:00 PM: We’re on the road to check out Night Out parties around West Seattle – thanks in advance to everybody who e-mailed to say we’re welcome to stop by, and to everybody who shares a photo from theirs! Coverage to come.

6:12 PM: We’re stopping first in Westwood, where Aaron sent the invite. Above, a makeshift barricade that seemed synergistic with the just-ended strike. Or maybe just the best thing handy. Driving to this neighborhood, we passed five closed side streets in a row – everybody’s having a block party! More than 1,300 registered, says SPD. Here’s the early turnout on Aaron’s block:

Before leaving WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy, we loaned our neighborhood block party the tent we usually take to street fairs. The neighbors are bringing the fun stuff, like Bob with his authentic 1962 World’s Fair souvenir glass:

Our block’s been pretty quiet this year, despite bordering a two-arterial intersection. It’s been almost two years since the wrong-way hit-run crash.

6:30 PM UPDATE: Next stop, the block party in the Hansen View neighborhood, where West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network leaders Karen Berge and Deb Greer reside. And their neighborhood is signing up more neighbors for Block Watch, along with, of course, the block party repast:

6:51 PM UPDATE: From there, we veered over to Howie‘s neighborhood just uphill and west of Avalon/Genesee, where it’s a Hawaiian theme tonight:

They had the most creative flyer we’ve seen – we’ll have to add a link later. Baby Olivia was the youngest partier on hand:

Howie told us that Pagliacci Pizza had come by with three free pizzas. We then got a text saying they’re randomly picking Night Out parties to drop by with freebies – so maybe you’ll see them at yours!

7:04 PM UPDATE: Just south of Gatewood Elementary School, The Whale Trail‘s Donna Sandstrom invited us to stop by her block party. So you won’t be surprised to see what the kids are working on:

The inflatable orca made it into the group shot, too:

To the east of there, on the west-facing slope of Gatewood Hill, Cathy and neighbors had flags for decor – our group shot includes a few of them:

We’re told neighbor Fred decided to put them up. This party also had multiple grills going:

Next stops, Fairmount Springs and Seaview, before we zig-zag south again.

7:25 PM UPDATE: We’re taking neighborhood group shots when we can – here’s Alison‘s block party in Seaview:

And in Fairmount Springs – maybe more like east Morgan Junction – Jennifer and neighbors:

If you use Twitter, while the national hashtag tonight is #NNO, the local one is #seattlenightout. We’re tweeting along the way too.

7:38 PM UPDATE: Let’s call Kate‘s neighborhood east Gatewood, a couple blocks west of Fire Station 37:

And speaking of the Seattle Fire Department, we’re a few blocks east of Westwood Village now and a fire engine has just shown up – SFD and SPD are both making rounds tonight, to block parties that registered in advance on the official police page. Here’s Engine 11 from Station 11 with Amanda and neighbors:

(Minutes later, Engine 11 had to rush off on a call!)

Next party photo came to us via text (thank you!) – same number you text or call 24/7 if there’s breaking news, 206-293-6302:

The text just said that was a block party on 28th SW.

8:10 PM UPDATE: Another photo via text – the kids on 56th SW, Genesee Hill area, are enjoying a bouncy house at their block party:

When that came in, we were in Highland Park, 13th and Cambridge, where Lisa and neighbors gathered:

From there, west to Arbor Heights, where we stopped by JoDean‘s neighborhood – she’s a Block Watch captain and hosted the “Living Room Conversation” event with police that we covered back in March:

By the way, have you noticed the clouds tonight?

8:34 PM UPDATE: Just checked out a party south of The Junction (east of the California SW Rite-Aid), to say hi to Fiona and neighbors:

Meantime, from North Admiral, Erik shared photos from a block party on Palm:

They got a fire-engine visit, too:

By the way, we have also been by a couple that appear to have broken up early – since it’s mostly cloudy tonight, it’s darker than some past Night Outs have been by the last half hour.

8:46 PM UPDATE: That said, we’re now at 48th and Dawson, a few blocks west of the previous stop, where they’ve got a band!

This was probably the biggest party we stopped at all night – and these neighbors are proud of a past WSB group shot, too – Christopher Boffoli photographed them during a previous Night Out and that photo wound up on the SPD Night Out home page!

Very organized group – the dots here track which neighbors were on hand:

(added) From that same party, Nick later shared this photo of the neighborhood kids’ bike parade:

9 PM UPDATE: We wrapped up with a stop at Pagliacci in The Junction to check in on their pizza giveaway, mentioned earlier. Totals: 8 parties, $500 worth of pizza. Here’s the kitchen crew – who were almost too busy to stop for a pic:

Next, we’re adding the photos shared with us from parties we didn’t get to or didn’t know about. Here are the kids at a Belvidere block party:

That photo is courtesy of Sara, who says, “The kids loved having a closed street to play on.” Next, to Pigeon Point, where Pete Spalding (below right) shared photos, including this one of him with mayor/police liaison Harry Bailey (left) and SPD Capt. Joe Kessler, former SW Precinct commander, now the department’s Ethics and Professional Responsibility captain:

Chalk art graced the Pigeon Point party’s asphalt – visible in this photo of visiting Engine 36 from North Delridge:

Here’s a party in a park: Nine families who live just east of Hiawatha gathered there for Night Out:

Thanks to Sarah for the photo. It’s a night for so many to celebrate neighborhood pride; Maureen in the 9000 block of 13th SW in Highland Park wrote, “We have such an awesome block!” as she shared this picture:

Here’s Mark‘s block in Gatewood:

And Claire‘s neighborhood, block-partying in Seaview:

Night Out – originally National Night Out Against Crime – is in its third decade around the country (read its history here). The neighbors who know each other will watch out for each other, so the concept goes, and that ultimately means stronger, safer neighborhoods. If yours isn’t part of a Block Watch yet, you can find out here how to get one started.

26 Comments

  1. Nothing like driving down a back street to your home and running into a lawn chair in the middle of the road with a little sign on it….hidden behind the divider in the road.

    I appreciate the neighborhood sentiment and festivity, but it really is dangerous because it’s not visible to traffic.

    Comment by Ron Merlin — 7:23 pm August 7, 2012 #

  2. Would’ve been nice to be invited to the block watch party. Our block captain chose to exclude people. Some neighbors aren’t very neighborly and they wonder why they need to form a block watch in the first place.

    Comment by block watch questioner — 8:56 pm August 7, 2012 #

  3. aww man my block didnt have a party how come we’re lame neighbors huh?

    Comment by sophista-tiki — 9:19 pm August 7, 2012 #

  4. On a little cheerier note, did anyone notice the huge double rotor (Army perhaps) helicopter that appeared to be flying very slowly in a northerly direction? It almost looked they were just out for a joy ride. About 8 – 8:30 or so.

    Comment by kevin — 9:37 pm August 7, 2012 #

  5. WSB, thanks for traveling around to so many parties!

    Comment by happy — 9:40 pm August 7, 2012 #

  6. Yes. I mentioned it on Twitter, even. We were southwest of The Junction at the time … don’t think it was a Night Out flyby, though.

    Comment by WSB — 9:47 pm August 7, 2012 #

  7. Thanks to Willie at Pagliacci’s Pizza for bringing the 3400 block of Walnut SW three pizzas!

    Comment by Wendy — 9:52 pm August 7, 2012 #

  8. I drove from Madison towards 35th along Charleston and was amazed at the number of blocks that took part. I think I counted almost 5.

    Comment by LyndaB — 10:40 pm August 7, 2012 #

  9. We had a most pleasurable potluck this evening on the 7500 block of 16th Ave SW! I’d been worried since I delivered the invites late. Lots of folks showed up and hung out for a fine feast and lively chat. Thanks to all! We even had “visitor John” from a couple blocks away. Thanks John!

    Comment by DM — 11:04 pm August 7, 2012 #

  10. again this year, this is pretty much my least favorite story; get to see photos of all the fun parties that we couldn’t go to because we were not invited and didn’t even know where they were located; just makes me feel bad
    ~
    I’ve asked in past years if there could be a map or list of block parties open to all, for those many of us who live on blocks where we cannot have a party; maybe next year?
    ~
    I love our community, and it makes me feel sad to be left out
    ~
    at least the westseattleblog team got to have fun going to all the parties

    Comment by Diane — 11:47 pm August 7, 2012 #

  11. Diane – The point of this is to show neighbors getting together. There is no central organization that makes these happen – if you want to have a block party, organize a block party! Or an apartment building party. Or whatever. Doesn’t have to be in the street; we’ve seen them on the sidewalk, in the yard, in a parking space … If you have a neighbor, you have a neighborhood, and anybody can say “OK, we’re having a party.” They are totally grass-roots events. They also aren’t ever meant to be “open to anyone who drops by” type parties – it’s specifically about specific neighborhoods gathering once a year, if they don’t do it more often, to build in-neighborhood strength, so that they know each other’s faces, names, addresses, and keep watching out for each other. Some we’ve seen have a handful of people, some have 100+. And for what it’s worth, SPD did have a map of those who chose to have their parties listed publicly, right on the Night Out page we linked here frequently. We didn’t use that map ourselves – every year we mention somewhere that if folks don’t mind if we stop by to take their photo, please let us know.
    .
    As for us having fun, well, we chose to do this as a living, and we love our work, and we do enjoy meeting people (or seeing people we know from previous story coverage), and we appreciate their willingness to be photographed, but it’s also a very hectic night – we left the house at 6 pm and had stopped at I believe 15 parties by 8:50 pm, from 32nd/Genesee in the northeast to Arbor Heights in the SW. Patrick drives, I navigate, I pull the photos off the camera card between stops, stay in the car and type and publish and tweet etc., and off we hurtle to the next one. Took a break for a late dinner afterward, and now I’m adding the photos that were kindly shared by those whose parties we didn’t get to or didn’t know about. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:24 am August 8, 2012 #

  12. This is the first year our organizer actually sent out flyers, but every year we get together. You don’t need a formal invite to show up!

    For those of you who think you weren’t invited, your neighbors are probably wondering why you never join in.

    Comment by Westseattleperson — 7:00 am August 8, 2012 #

  13. I just want to say thanks again to Pagliacci for stopping by our block party with free Pizza’s! What a nice surprise! This was in the Stevens and 44th area.

    Block Watch Questioner…I’m sorry your block watch captain(s) didn’t invite all the neighbors. That is not good BWC behavior. I would suggest you speak with them and see what the issue is. Maybe you can work with them to plan it next year so everyone is included. Everyone on your block should have contact information for everyone else. If this hasn’t happened maybe that is something you can do so that everyone will know what is going on. Just a thought. Don’t give up, try to change the situation.

    We saw the helicopter fly over our party too and we all waved! Thanks again to all my wonderful neighbors for coming to the party!

    Comment by Jennifer — 7:53 am August 8, 2012 #

  14. Most of us feel honored to have you out and about. I hope this motivates those who felt “uninvited” to organize a get together and open the door for some neighborly love.

    Comment by atram — 8:18 am August 8, 2012 #

  15. Thanks to all who participated in the 1st Night Out in the 5900 block of 39th Ave SW. There was a great turnout. It was so nice to meet our neighbors and share some wonderful food. We’re looking forward to making this an annual event on our block.

    Comment by Jspiff — 8:30 am August 8, 2012 #

  16. Oh hello to my old (I mean _former_ not like you’re old or anything) Arbor Heights neighbors! I’m so glad to see the Night Out continuing and JoDean, thank you so much for being a Block Watch captain and bringing the neighbors together!

    Comment by MargL — 8:52 am August 8, 2012 #

  17. Wow TR! Sounds like a busy work night for you! Thank you so much for all you do to keep us in the know about all things West Seattle! We appreciate you very much!

    Comment by April — 8:58 am August 8, 2012 #

  18. Thanks for the great picture Patrick, it was nice having you come by, we appreciate it!

    Comment by Junction Mom — 11:18 am August 8, 2012 #

  19. The block watch captain only put flyers on the houses she wanted to invite. Very clear that she shouldn’t be in charge of this event or block watch. Her helper also went door to door to talk to people and skipped the same houses.

    Comment by block watch questioner — 11:58 am August 8, 2012 #

  20. Looks like this years national night out block parties were a success! It was our pleasure donating pies to 8 Block parties this year, sorry if we missed your block but there is always next year! Thanks patrick for posting our pic, and a special thanks to all of the West seattleites for ordering seattle’s best pizza!

    Comment by Josh GM WSPagliacci — 1:02 pm August 8, 2012 #

  21. Walk out your door with a bowl of salad or a pack of hot dogs, wander on over to the grill and join your neighbors. I’ll bet you $20 they’re not going to send you packing and tell you you’re not invited. I have to say that with such an Eeyore attitude as some folks have expressed I’d be reluctant to invite them as well – that’s probably why I’m NOT a blockwatch captain, merely a grateful participant.

    Comment by 2 Much Whine — 1:05 pm August 8, 2012 #

  22. Our neighborhood has had block parties for more than 35 years. They’re not always on the official night out. We try hard to include everyone within about a 3 block radius but it started out smaller than that. We use email and flyers but still sometimes miss a few. We had a wonderful gathering last night and would encourage those who were left out in other locales to organize one. You don’t have to wait til next year!

    Comment by Norma — 1:46 pm August 8, 2012 #

  23. TR, thanks for articulating why some block party organizers might not encourage all comers to their annual event. As a BW Captain and organizer of a pretty large event, we struggle with how to keep the focus on the neighborhood while also being inclusive of those on neighboring blocks that don’t have their own parties. We “resolve” this issue by formally inviting nearly everyone within our BW area (75 households), and then extending some additional invitations to those friends from the other blocks. These additional folks are typically people who walk through our neighborhood all year long and have gotten to know many of us over time. I mentioned that we invite nearly everyone within our formal BW area; the one or two households that we don’t formally invite are either overtly intimidating or blatantly disrespectful to the neighborhood and/or their nearby neighbors. Everyone else, regardless of politics or lifestyle gets invited. As much as people whose blocks are inactive may want to join in parties like ours, most in our neighborhood want to reconnect with friends in a setting that is conducive to sharing stories about what’s been happening in the neighborhood and in their lives. If strangers arrived with food and a smile, we would probably welcome them to our event, but it would change the discussion.

    Comment by homedk — 6:56 pm August 8, 2012 #

  24. On a different note, are there any apt bldgs in WS that participated this year? The last couple years I’ve been mulling this over (as an apartment dweller). We don’t seem to have any block parties within the surrounding few blocks… I’d like to hear from others who might have organized sometihng in an area that has both apartment buildings and single home families. Maybe it is something I could start.

    Comment by KMK — 8:16 pm August 8, 2012 #

  25. My feeling about it: If it’s the ” ‘Night Out’ Event Night”, all are welcome. Our event is small so we don’t block off the street and we don’t exclude anyone. Last night there were a number of cars that slowed way down to behold our boisterous feast. They were greeted by many welcoming hand waves. Perhaps some of those drivers will show up next August. We especially loved the big Chevy with the pirate flags. He drove by twice.

    Comment by DM — 9:09 pm August 8, 2012 #

  26. I’m usually working at home on block party nights, but put out sidewalk chalk and jars of bubbles for folks to enjoy. Lets people know there is someone here even if I don’t join the potluck.

    Comment by Gina — 9:17 pm August 8, 2012 #

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