With just a minute to go till 5 pm, one last visitor went into the city’s Neighborhood Service Center in The Junction, which then closed quietly, permanently.
We dropped by about 10 till 5 to see what was happening in its final moments.
The customer-service rep didn’t want us to take his photo. He’s one of the people losing his job because of the midyear budget cut that shut the center down, less than a year after passionate lobbying by neighborhood advocates saved from a previous budget ax.
At 4:50: “I didn’t know this place was closing down,” a woman said, aloud but to herself, in the lobby’s corner.
4:52, another woman walked in: “Where’s the nearest pay phone?” The customer-service rep told her she could use the phone on the wall right outside his window.
4:55, another woman came in to pay a bill. Maybe two.
Another employee entered the lobby. Maybe we can photograph you closing the door one last time? we ask. He pointed out the door is power-assisted and closes automatically. So much for the potentially poignant shot; the NSC – “linking city government to Seattle’s neighborhoods,” as its webpage says – was just going to unlink one neighborhood without fanfare. As of tomorrow, you can transact city business in the one remaining NSC on the peninsula, in Delridge, north of the library.