Tonight, we hitched up our baby trailer to the bike, buckled in Baby Z and heading out on a tour of Seattle Night Out block parties tonight and found Wallingford as welcoming a neighborhood as you can imagine. We toured a total of 11, count them 11 block parties, and were offered food, drink and good conversation at each. The worst part was tearing ourselves away from each party to get to the next. We didn’t take notes or anything, but here are some highlights:
Michael (Burke between 43rd and 44th) said that when they bought they house they live in five years ago, the previous owners invited them to the Night Out to the meet the neighbors, and it was a sort of cotillion. When asked to model the gown he must surely have worn down the steps, he demurred.
Amy at 51st and 1st organized her block by odd and even side of the street (odd number provided side dishes, even main courses; odd provided the recycling bins, even the trash bins; not sure who provided the keg, but we were grateful regardless: cycling is hard work).
The folks at Eastern below 50th had separate grills: regular and gluten-free.
54th between Meridian and Wallingford had sprinklers set up in the street for the kids.
1st Ave NE below 42nd went late into the evening, and we had some great chats with Diane Horswill (the SPD’s Crime Prevention Coordinator for Wallingford and environs) about some of the behind-the-scenes action of the police department in our neighborhood. Among other things, we learned that Diane’s department is responsible for organizing the Seattle Night Out, and their jobs are at risk due to budget cuts. They’re sustained by federal stimulus money at the moment, but that is scheduled to be reallocated by next year, leave the Crime Prevention program and its Seattle Night Out project at risk. We also learned that if you have an empty glass on that street, it won’t stay empty for long.
All in all, a great evening. Everybody we spoke to remarked how they wished this happened more often. It should.
If you’ve got stories or pictures from your block party, please feel free to share below.