What's up w West Seattle?

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    Why do some west seattle people say racist things like calling delridge neighborhood “ghetto”, or saying it’s “dangerous” or telling people “you don’t want to live there”, (newsflash: crime rates are higher in MANY other non ethnicly mixed neighborhoods), or saying it’s “not really part of west seattle” other racist things includes black person asks to join a local garden club and white person blows them off saying in a hesitant voice “well… there’s a 2 year waiting list” “it’s private” which black person can’t help but think that they’re being racist and they don’t want “your kind” in our club. what garden club has a waiting list??? that makes no sense. This behavior was shocking coming from a young person in their 20s. other racist W Seattle things include Pagliacci Pizza not delivering to “certain” neighborhoods clearly blocks away while they gladly deliver to neighborhoods much further away. The ignorance in this area seems rampant, why not just treat people as people. Why put such an emphasis on segregating neighborhoods and in common conversations referring to certain neighborhoods as ghettos etc. Why are certain people in larger numbers than in Seattle proper so intolerant of ethnic people in common conversations and everyday situations. Why are some people in West Seattle so unwelcoming? It’s sad. Where are the cool non racist people? Where do they hang? Are there any over here?


    HMC Rich

    I am wondering if this thread will survive the editors. There are a few topics that are not allowed. Accusations of racism is usually deleted.

    I sincerely hope that someday race will be a footnote in history books. I try to view people as individuals, not necessarily as groups. I am not perfect by any means.

    There are tons of great people but you have to give us more information. Are you younger, older, outgoing, quiet, what income level, happy, sad, nice, macho, straight, gay etc.?

    Or just a person trying to do the best they can each day like most of us.

    What exactly do you want?



    Hi, LLLL.

    Thanks for your post. We have worked really hard in WSB discussions to refute the incorrect and inaccurate stereotypes some cling to regarding eastern West Seattle. Crime, for example, happens everywhere. Both of last year’s West Seattle murders happened west of California SW. And in all contexts (though a few commenters have tried vehemently to disagree), on WSB, West Seattle is ALL of West Seattle – from the Duwamish shores to Elliott Bay to open Puget Sound on the west, to the city limits on the south. And in the southeast, that means all the way to Nickelsville, to Myers Way …

    Not to try to refute any of what you write about … I am white and have only experienced racism while living as a teenager in a city (Honolulu) where my ethnicity was in the minority, so I can’t pretend to have any firsthand idea what it is like here. But there were two things I wanted to react to:

    There is only one local garden club that I know of, and they send us meeting announcements every month all but begging for members of the public to come participate. In fact, they’re meeting tomorrow. It’s on our calendar:


    Second, regarding Pagliacci: We wrote about that here years ago. It’s not a race thing. They draw a line that has still after all these years advanced only as far as Holden – it used to be Brandon – and that cuts off a whole lot of the peninsula, period, regardless of residents’ ethnicity or economics. I live in one of the neighborhoods they won’t deliver to. While we’re not rich and don’t have an even remotely fancy house, we are across the street from expensive view properties on two sides. No Pagliacci for them either. (While the neighborhood is not entirely white, of the people I’ve met, I’d call it 90 percent.) The company insists they couldn’t get pizzas to this neighborhood in deliverably hot condition … only 1 1/2 miles away … seems silly since we’ve done it ourselves many times, but oh well, we just call Zeeks (WSB sponsor), which has a wide delivery area, Pagliacci’s loss.

    Tracy (WSB editor)

    P.S. to Rich: That is an inaccurate description of our policy. Racism itself is not necessarily off-limits as a discussion topic – if it avoids any blanket (racist) description of any ethnicity, any gender, any (other birth trait here) as having a particular negative quality, for example, or something else offensive.



    As a Delridge resident, I have just learned to ignore the disparaging comments. The reality of living here is that we really like it and because of that have made our home here for over a decade. We are raising our kids here. We feel safe. We love all the greenspace and parks. Every time we think we might want to move to a “nicer” area, it honestly doesn’t add up for us. The only thing I would wish for currently is more restaurants close by (walking distance), but since we are about 5 minutes from either Junction by car, it isn’t really an issue. There are people for whom this area will always be the “ghetto”, but the reality for those of us living here, is that it really isn’t anything like that. The people who say that clearly have no idea what a real ghetto is like. We have our challenges, but much less than a lot of people out there. BTW: Pagliacci’s has definitely lost a lot of business from this household over the years. Zeke’s usually fills the gap for us as well or any of the other pizza places who pretty much all deliver to us.


    HMC Rich

    Dear WSB, Thank You for clarifying my misstatement.



    I don’t think of Delridge as the ghetto. The word “ghetto” refers most accurately to income rather than race, although the two often go hand in hand – but not necessarily so. Cottage Grove was tops on my list when I was house hunting a couple of years ago. I ended up in Arbor Heights, mainly because I bought the smallest, cheapest house in the entire neighborhood. And Pagliacci won’t deliver to Arbor Heights, either.

    Sometimes accusations of racism can be racist in and of themselves. Racism exists, certainly, and should be addressed openly and honestly. But making blanket accusations often serves only to fan the flames.



    if this is a ghetto.. i am proud to live in it.

    i feel blessed to live where i have equal access to the junctions and White Center.



    Nowadays it’s cool to be “ghetto.”

    Anyone here ever watch MTV? Ghetto is where the money is.



    I really hate the way the word “ghetto” is used these days, as a description of people instead of a place. It’s a weirdly used and loaded term, which is usually more reflective of the person using it than the thing they are describing.

    FWIW, I just bought my first home in Delridge after living in a junction-area apartment for five years. I could not be more excited to move into my new ‘hood. I didn’t grow up in West Seattle, so I’m blissfully unaware of whatever history may have led people to think this is an undesirable area. Cottage Grove here we come!




    over the age of 60

    being ghetto somehow loses it’s appeal

    what is appealing is our neighborhood

    all you have to do is take a walk here to understand why



    Is the garden club being referred to perhaps the Delridge P-Patch? That does have a two plus year wait list, as does every other P-Patch in the city. A lot of people get confused by this, not understanding that while the patches are community gardens and anyone can volunteer and help with the “community” plots that donate all of the food to the Food Bank, the individual plots are “rented” and it can take a good chunk of time to move up the wait list.

    I loved my apartment on Delridge (Pearl’s crapes were only a few blocks away, so fun) and only moved because at the time, I relied completely on metro and it was just too hard to get to my job on the Junction. It was not uncommon to get sideways glances or have people outright ask if I felt “safe” living there. I get the same thing now when I tell people I am planning on moving to the Greenwood area. I just always replied that the one time I have ever had violence perpetuated towards me, I was sitting at a bus stop in front of what had to be a million dollar home in Magnolia – Needless to say, regardless of the neighborhood, always keep a vigilant eye out. Frankly, the illegal activity we saw out in the alleyways is the exact same activity that often goes on behind closed doors in my current neighborhood (next door neighbors teenager just got in big trouble for running a “pharmacy” out of the garage).



    Thistlemist, I get the same thing when I tell people I live near White Center.

    The one time I’ve been physically attacked while living in Seattle, it was downtown in broad daylight, at a bus stop (and not the one on 3rd that people are always going on about, either).

    Pagliacci pretty much lost my business when I moved to Highland Park. Their loss–I go to Proletariat now.

    Being white, I know that I often don’t notice racism unless it’s pretty blatant–been called on that by friends more than once. I have noticed that Seattle is pretty chilly friendliness-wise overall, though of course that’s not the same thing.


    sb in ws

    I live on Highland PK Wy and lived on Delridge for a while and I love this area. Lots of diversity. I am used to diversity living in San Jose, CA all my life. Some areas in SF and San Jose are ‘scarier’ than HP or WC that’s for sure.



    Ghetto would be a step up for my family. We live in the projects (Highpoint.)

    Seriously, though, this thread got me thinking about safety. The SPD does a marvelous job in West Seattle. They aggressively pursue criminal activity, and that makes all of West Seattle a relatively safe place to be.



    There is no such thing as the ghetto in Seattle.



    There are a lot of assumptions about your “status” depending on where you live. I have lived here for 30+ years and have seen DRASTIC changes in neighborhoods that are still thought of the same as 30 years ago. I would LOVE to live in the Delridge neighborhood! I live in North Admiral but I am not rolling in the dough! And my personal opinion about pizza is Papa Murphy’s 5 dollar deals are better than said pizza places $20+ pizza with the same ingredients. Olympic (or Olympia?? Sorry!!) Pizza is AWESOME!!!! Right there on Delridge! Bottom Line(s): Don’t take it personally and don’t make assumptions. :)



    WorldCitizen: truth.



    For the purpose of clarification, a ghetto is any homogeneous neighborhood or community representing primarily a single race, religion, ethnic, or socio-economic group. While most primary definitions I see refer to densly populated homogeneous communities primarily consisting of a depressed socio-economic underclass, it is not the exclusive definition of the term.

    I realize this nuance is more than what some care to consider. Sorry.

    Delridge AND White Center by definition are far too diverse to be considered ghettoes.



    @Thistlemist, I am surprised that anyone would consider Greenwood an unsafe neighborhood. I lived there for over 20 years. Realistically, it is a much safer neighborhood then South Delridge or White Center (and pricey).

    Though the OP, speaks directly about racism. I would argue that the issues with White Center (or to broaden the discussion South Beacon Hill, Holly Park, Rainier Valley etc) is that there is a large amount of crime (property, thefts and assaults). As WSB posted crime is everywhere. However in minority communities (especially those with immigrant populations) crime is vastly under reported. In part because of the stigma of being associated as someone who interacts with the police. The residents also might have fears regarding their immigration status, their grasp of english or may have come from a country where police could not be trusted. These community issues exacerbate actual crime and lead to the feeling that you don’t feel safe in your own community at night. Police use crime statistics to set staffing levels and under reported crime has a net affect on the community at large.



    That reminds me of something a friend of mine who owns an apartment building in the ID said, EdSane. Many of his tenants are recent arrivals from parts of the world where calling the police just draws unwanted attention. He’s been working to encourage them to call SPD when they see something, and it’s brought good results.



    When I lived in Boston, there were some pretty diverse ghetto areas. Plenty of Hispanics in the ‘black ghetto’, and Caucasians from all over in the ‘white ghetto’ areas. The defining character was more about being dangerous to outsiders.

    Totally agree with WorldCitizen’s #15 – Seattle has nothing that would qualify as ‘ghetto’ or even particularly dangerous.



    Interesting. I have never heard my ‘hood referred to as the “ghetto”. I don’t consider myself terribly worldly, but Delridge is certainly nicer than parts of other cities I have seen.

    That said, I’m under no illusion that I live in a particularly safe neighborhood. I would never walk around outside at night and I would never let my children walk or play unsupervised anywhere outside of our fenced back yard.

    We do like living here. We have quickly outgrown our home since buying it 3 1/2 yrs ago and would rather re-model than move. Being close to the bridge and the best school in WS (in our humble opinion) and having good neighbors is highly valuable to our family. If you are looking for it, you will see there is a good amount of pride in North Delridge residents. They are a cool bunch of folks.



    Pagliacci’s lost my business 15 years ago when they refused to deliver to us because we lived a few blocks south of Morgan. I have not ordered pizza from them since. Never again.



    I live in Highland Park too, just for less than a year now, and I love it and I love W. Seattle. My friends sometimes ask if I feel safe there, and you know, I really do! The worst that’s happened since I moved in was a really loud all-night teenager party last summer; one girl puked on my lawn, and the music was loud, and the cops were called three times…but it was just the once (I heard that the lady whose daughter had the party was evicted).

    Other than that, I’ve had no home intrusions, no car break-ins, not even rude looks from passers-by. Lots of fast drivers up and down Highland Park Way, but meh – it’s just noise to me (I do keep my kitty indoors though).

    So I recently heard from a friend who lives in the Greenwood area; SHE is having a ton of crime around her neighborhood. Seems like it’s gotten worse and worse up there. Meanwhile, I paid much less for a much nicer house than I would have in N. Seattle and it turns out I got the better deal, I think.

    I LOVE Proletariat pizza, haven’t had any problems getting Amante to deliver (highly recommend the “Gorgonzola Guru” there!) and I actually LIKE White Center! I like the great restaurant selection, the easy access, the fact that I always manage to find parking, and I never feel unsafe or threatened, even as a single white woman.

    I hope to stay in W. Seattle for years to come, and I believe that it’s only getting better, and sooner or later the rest of Seattle will reconsider its opinions.



    I like White Center too.

    I consider the best thing about our westwood location the incredibly easy access to White Center and Burien and all the junctions and Georgetown and downtown and even beyond via hwy 99 or I-5. oh… and Westwood :)

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