As-it-happened coverage: 2010 Night Out around West Seattle

(This report features photos posted as we “toured” – report #2 coming up with more!)

6:07 PM: Let the block parties begin! We’re hitting the road for Night Out 2010 around West Seattle, stopping by some of the parties that folks were kind enough to let us know about. For starters – the setup above is for at the party closest to WSB HQ in Upper Fauntleroy. If we don’t get to yours or you didn’t answer the request for invites, we’re also thrilled to have a photo of what you’re up to – here are all the ways to send it in.

6:27 PM: We’re heading from Fairmount to Hansen’s View, neighborhoods on either side of Providence Mount St. Vincent. Above, a quick shot of the group gathering in Fairmount Community Association leader Sharonn Meeks‘ backyard. Next, we’re stopping at the HQ of the West Seattle Blockwatch Captains Network‘s founders.

6:38 PM: At left in the photo above, with name tags etc., is the always-organized Karen Berge from the WSBCN – co-blockwatch captain for Hansen’s View, south of The Mount. Next, we head into Gatewood.

(next photo added later)

6:53 PM: Actually that one turned out to be more like Morgan Junction. Thanks to Brooks for the invite. They’re expecting a fire-engine visit sometime later – police and fire units do often make the rounds on Night Out! And that group had a couple examples (we’ll add more pix from our travels later – in a hurry and on the go, we’re defaulting to the cameraphone photos we snap first) of true fun in the street: kids scooting and tricycling without risk – great to have that one night a year! Off now a few blocks south. But first – a photo in from a big party southwest of The Junction – Dave shares this photo of neighbors Obie and Rosinia:

(added later) Dave also caught the live neighborhood concert – with a Nirvana cover:

7:09 PM: Just left a party in Gatewood – thanks to Sue for inviting us. There we found a longtime WSB sponsor – John Moore from Northwest Insurance Group (and most recently, the tipster who let us know about the smash-and-grab at The Swinery that turned out to be toward the start of the smash-and-grab “pattern”):

Next stop – Seaview.

7:27 PM: In Seaview, blockwatch captain Melody told us that Erma – with the white hair, background right – is the neighborhood’s original blockwatch captain. She also told us we’d just missed a visit by Community Police Team Officer Kevin McDaniel, who apparently is the only one making West Seattle Night Out visits tonight because of a big case elsewhere in the city that is keeping everyone busier than usual. We’re now en route to Arbor Heights – with a photo to add from Fauntleroy:

Thanks to Fauntleroy Community Association president Bruce Butterfield for sharing the pic! They’re gathering on SW Henderson, between 45th SW and Fauntleroy Way. 7:51 PM: The Arbor Heights party we just visited is the first one since 1996 in a neighborhood near Hillcrest Presbyterian Church. They had a great barbecue going:

Now we’re in Highland Park, 8600 block of 12th SW – thanks to Christie for the invite here. (We have crews in the north and east too and will incorporate their photos in a second report later.) Photo (added afterward):

8:15 PM: We’re moved to North Delridge. We’re checking out the 25th/Findlay party (photo added):

And just before arrival, got this 26th/Juneau shot from Betsy Hoffmeister:

That’s Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Benjamin Kinlow on the right.

8:26 PM: From the aforementioned 25th/Findlay party (thanks to Sabrina for permission to stop by) – the impromptu sound system they’re using for tunes – iPod, speaker and mixer:

Speaking of music, our next stop is a South Admiral party that’s one of several tonight reported to have bands. But first, the sun’s already set – Chas Redmond sent this photo from outside The Hall at Fauntleroy (not a Night Out party there, instead, the Citizens Advisory Group meeting regarding the Murray Basin Combined Sewer Overflow control project – yes, it’s not ALL about Night Out tonight):

8:49 PM: From the 3700 block of 42nd SW – where the band 4 Outta 5 just finished playing for a big crowd before we arrived after sunset:

(better photo substituted for earlier cameraphone pic)
We’re now checking out two parties in the Fairmount Springs/north-of-Morgan-Junction area – one to which we were invited, another we spotted while parking, which seems to have a police officer visiting.

8:57 PM: We’ve seen a LOT of kids tonight – including babies as little as 2 weeks old. The one we got in this photo (south of Graham, west of Fauntleroy) wasn’t quite that young – but mugged for the camera quite nicely – with Southwest Precinct Lt. Ron Smith alongside:

(added) Across Graham from there, this is the alley party @zeitgeist33 tweeted about. The sign was a nice touch:

The “official” Night Out window of time is running out – though we know a couple parties were planning outdoor movies around 9:30 – meantime, we’ll definitely have another Night Out report later, with some non-cameraphone imagery, not just from our tour, but also from photojournalists Christopher Boffoli (who toured The Junction and points west) and Cliff DesPeaux (who made a couple stops in northeast WS), and from a few e-mailed/tweeted scenes we haven’t published yet. Thanks to everyone who shared word of their parties!

34 Replies to "As-it-happened coverage: 2010 Night Out around West Seattle"

  • JTK August 3, 2010 (7:32 pm)

    The music from one of the night out parties sounds like a BAD karaoke gig! It is southwest of the junction. It sounds like children screaming into microphones…. when will it stop?!?!?!?!…

  • Beachmaster August 3, 2010 (8:29 pm)

    Hey – this is all nice, but it really sucks when the neighborhood doesn’t get along, plays politics etc and doesn’t even bother to invite all the inhabitants on the block. I can name at least 3 families excluded because the block watch commindant (sp) doesn’t talk to them ever.

  • S5 August 3, 2010 (8:55 pm)

    Just curious – do these parties have to obtain permits to have outdoor bands and music for their events tonight? Or are they waived due to the nature of the gatherings?

    • WSB August 3, 2010 (9:05 pm)

      You don’t have to have a special permit to for example have a band play in your front yard, as long as you follow noise code – so there wouldn’t be one required to have music, recorded or otherwise, for one of these event. People did need to register with SPD to get official permission to close the road. – TR

  • S5 August 3, 2010 (9:09 pm)

    Interesting. Thanks for the info TR.

  • westseattlegrl August 3, 2010 (9:25 pm)

    what’s going on with the kid in the 4th picture?

  • charlabob August 3, 2010 (9:30 pm)

    Good grief — we’re complaining about music at 7:32 p.m.?

    OTOH, excluding some neighbors seems a bit out of character for the event. Last year’s organizers on our street left leaflets in everyone’s door and tried to talk to them personally. This year no one had time to do the organizing but I’m sure we will again next year. Among other things, we had a great time!

  • Ann August 3, 2010 (9:31 pm)

    I know the person in charge of ours just never bothers to send invites. People are just supposed to show up.

    Jeez West Seattle has a lot of whiners.

  • Genessee neighbor August 3, 2010 (9:49 pm)

    Looks like many neighborhoods have fun together and make living in the city fun. Sadly, our neighborhood is not that friendly. A few families here and there but that’s about it.

    • WSB August 3, 2010 (9:54 pm)

      Genesee neighbor – there’s always hope. As noted at the very start of this, our neighborhood organized one – first time in a long time. It is a very pleasant neighborhood in which we’ve lived for 17 years but it’s never been particularly chummy – the houses are not the front-porch type, unlike some of the streets in North Admiral, for example, so you don’t see the neighbors a lot – yet for tonight, somebody was thoughtful enough to say hey, let’s have a party – We heard from several people elsewhere tonight (at least one of which is mentioned in the story) who had parties for the first time in more than a decade – TR

  • S5 August 3, 2010 (9:49 pm)

    NOT whining. My question was asked out of pure interest. I’m thinking about having a friend who’s a singer perform a house show on my deck to raise funds for the Gulf oil crisis.

  • Dawson August 3, 2010 (9:49 pm)

    I drove all the way in from Moses Lake to attend the party southwest of the junction. That’s how good of group of neighbors they are

  • Wet August 3, 2010 (10:00 pm)

    Genesee neighbor
    We welcome anyone to our block party at Ercolini Park, we invite all the streets around it. You can always create the party atmosphere, it has to start somewhere.
    Thanks WSB for going around and taking photos. It was great to see how many folks are involved every years. Seems like it is getting bigger and bigger. West Seattle should have a goal for 50% of blocks having parties!! What do you say West Seattle up for the challenge!

    • WSB August 3, 2010 (10:08 pm)

      It was heartening to see – and we haven’t put up all the pix yet – I’m working on report #2 with LOTS more. What a night!

  • Ann August 3, 2010 (10:08 pm)

    We had a few families on our street on Genessee Hill. A couple people joined us just by walking around from other streets.

    I wouldn’t say our street is that chummy either, but I do really enjoy chatting this once a year with the people who show up!

  • flowerpetal August 3, 2010 (10:28 pm)

    WE had our first party tonight and had a better turnout then many expected. I have the “master list” of neighbors names and contact information collected tonight. I will be distributing copies to attendees and those who couldn’t attend. Good food, kid friendly, giant marshmallows to roast, and Johnny Cash and Teresa Brewer on the CD player. It was a good community building event.

  • mitch August 3, 2010 (10:38 pm)

    What a night indeed! Only 5 people showed up at ours so I can’t wait to see more pix of folks with nothing in common standing around in the middle of the street making painful small talk. Thank you SPD! What a night indeed.

  • EyeLiveInWS August 3, 2010 (10:55 pm)

    I am glad to hear there are neighborhoods that aren’t like the Admiral/Belvidere area. Too stuffy, too worried about what the Jones’s are up to, and I don’t care to have small-talk with most of them.

  • Christie August 3, 2010 (11:10 pm)

    Thanks to Patrick for taking a few pictures of our event in Highland park – it was a great 3 street/block radius turnout – we too signed up new people to our block watch list – great turnout from a great group of neighbors.

  • Baba August 3, 2010 (11:16 pm)

    I want to thank fellow WS bloggers, at first I thought there was something wrong with just me for not being invited to my blocks 3 family bash…

  • Drury August 4, 2010 (1:53 am)

    We had 35 people show up on 15th Ave SW (between Holden and Webster). It took a while to build, but it wound up being a glorious mix of folks: familiar neighbors, new neighbors (who have serious cuisine chops…Eritrian…I as in heaven)) and members of a soccer team. AND, a cab pulled up in front of my house where the potluck was taking place. A man jumped out of it and said his daughter lived across the street from our potluck. We dismissed that and demanded that he join us for dinner. He plopped his luggage down and obeyed. He stayed for a couple hours. Some enchanted evening.

  • Al August 4, 2010 (8:32 am)

    So fun! I had to run a couple errands and I got to bicycle (slowly) through the various parties. Such nice people all around.

  • Sue August 4, 2010 (10:14 am)

    I’ve always felt a bit left out during this annual event – I live on an arterial which can’t be closed (understandably) to participate. Feels wrong to just show up at a neighborhood event when you don’t know anyone. Maybe in the future some streets that organize events can consider inviting people who live on a neighboring arterial to join them, since they can’t have their own event?

  • Steph in WS August 4, 2010 (11:39 am)

    I would love to do this some time but live on busy Highland pk between Portland and Kenyon. No place to close a street. Not sure where the closest party would be for my area. Anyone know?

  • Ryan B. August 4, 2010 (12:56 pm)

    Sue – Our block is on Fauntleroy, so since we couldn’t close it down, we held the party in the alley. This was our first time doing something as a block and we had over 15 neighbors come together who otherwise have never really talked with each other. Food, drinks, music and community. What a great time!

    WSB – Thank you for responding to our little “Tweet Up” and hanging out with us for a bit.

  • HolyKow August 4, 2010 (1:56 pm)


    Kid in 4th pic is on Mamas hip in a side sling, not falling to his doom! Sling was black too so you cannot see it.

    What a great night out. From a member of the seattle symphony coming out to serenade us with his violin to new neighbors at their first gathering to old friends hanging out…just a great opportunity to be out with good people.

    Thanks to the blog for stoppin’ by!!!


  • westseattlegrl August 4, 2010 (3:28 pm)

    hahaha…okay…i was like “AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT NOTICED THE KID FALLING?!?!”

    thanks for the verification.

  • Beachmaster August 4, 2010 (7:52 pm)

    Ours gave flyers to a select group and excluded others on purpose. And this is fair and I should stop whining?

  • MargL August 4, 2010 (8:32 pm)

    We’re on 34th but I invited some of our ‘backyard’ neighbors on 35th (try closing -that- down for a nite!) as well as few other folks not actually -on- our block. I should hope that if nearby neighbors see a potluck party being held in the middle of the street specifically for the purposes of connecting neighbors that they’d feel welcome to come to the party, too!

  • Sybil August 4, 2010 (10:17 pm)

    Ours was fantastic. I tried to organize the block for the first time in over a decade. Not many people showed up, but the ones who did were so wonderful. The kids loved playing in the street, too! They formed an impromptu parade and we had to drag our girls in at sundown– way past their bedtime.

    It was really nice to meet a neighbor who lives a couple of blocks away in Youngstown, too!

    Unfortunately the “street closed” sign did little to deter our neighbors from driving down the street, anyways. Did anyone else have this problem?

  • Gina August 4, 2010 (10:43 pm)

    I noticed in our neighborhood that recycling bins were rolled out, and long ladder placed on top of the bins, with the street closed sign hung from the ladder. It was easy for those that needed to move a car through to roll the bins to one side, but it deterred the bat out of hell drivers that want to skip the lights on California and speed down 45th.

  • EyeOnNW August 4, 2010 (11:03 pm)

    Are renters allowed to participate in these block parties? I recently moved to Alaska Junction and saw a few people huddled together in the middle of 45th Avenue. I walked around the periphery with my dog and tried to make eye contact, but it didn’t look like they wanted any interlopers there. My old neighborhood on the East Coast (in a troubled city, no less) went all out to invite everyone and make passersby feel welcome. I guess I’ll have to wait until I can afford a $600,000 house in the ‘hood.

  • sam August 5, 2010 (8:47 am)

    we had a wonderful time. in our neighborhood, we had a marching band that paraded in between the 3 block parties in the vicinity- they were wonderful. tuba, flute, drums, a girl marching with marionettes. then the fire truck visited and that was definitely a highlight of the evening.

    as far as not being invited, or not knowing where a block party was … I would suggest next time just walking the area near your house until you find one and then start talking to people, they are your neighbors! at ours, whenever people walked by, we said hello, we tried to wave people over to join in. some did, and some didn’t. one guy was riding by on his bike, we got him to stop long enough to eat something and put on a nametag before he biked the rest of the way home. that is what the purpose of this event was, neighbors reaching out to neighbors. if you didn’t get a flyer or an email, find the closest one, stick around and meet new people.

  • Jason August 5, 2010 (10:17 am)

    @EyeLiveinWS — just stop by any future parties in the Admiral area, and say hello. There were at least 4 great parties between Charleston/Hanford and 42nd/40th on Tuesday night, all well-attended by people of all ages. Passers-by were regularly waved-in to hang out. I used to live down by 36th & Hinds, and we regularly had parties there.
    Sure, there are “stuffy” folks *everywhere* who just want to be left alone and peer out their windows and call the city/police to deal with issues rather than just (gasp) TALKING to their neighbors. The point of events like this (an extension of Block Watch) is to encourage people to get out and meet your neighbors. What’s wrong with that?

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