Night Out

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.

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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.

photo 2.JPGKeystone and 54th had one of the largest crowds we saw, and as we left, we saw a young man dragging over amplifiers for the band. (Also, someone baked homemade pies. Yum!)

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.

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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.

  1. kerrizor said,

    Hadn’t heard a peep about it until the street started getting blocked off. Wandered over to talk to the neighbors but no one was interested in doing more than watching their kids play in the street. *shrug* We’re not a particularly neighborly block, apparently.

    Wed, August 4 at 12:17 am
  2. Helen said,

    Eastern Ave. had gluten-free cookies and gluten-free grilling. A lovely mix of young and old, from a 90-year-old gentleman to infants in arms, student renters, families, newcomers, old-timers, one Chaplain, former Texans, a super-soaker, sidewalk chalk and killer Tiramisu. We *heart* block parties!

    Wed, August 4 at 12:42 am
  3. Kelley said,

    2nd Ave NE between 47th & 50th: Great potluck, 20 or so people hanging out noshing and chatting til 8:30pm (see Jordan, I told you they’d come!) while the kids rode scooters and skateboards up and down the streets (a couple of adults tried out the skateboards too :-). Such a great bunch of folks, great way to meet new neighbors.

    Thu, August 5 at 8:19 am
  4. entropy's bitch said,

    Keystone and 54th has a wonderful block and a wonderful person who takes the initiative to get it done. This year, she put up signs and people came from all 4 blocks surrounding the area. The music was excellent, and it was awesome. Lots of kids, some puppies, and good food. Thanks, neighbors!

    Thu, August 5 at 12:09 pm
  5. Ffej said,

    We’re very lucky to have Diane Horswill as our local SPD Neighborhood coordinator.

    I’ve been a block watch captain in Wallingford, on and off, for ~20 years, and she has always made an extra effort to keep us updated on local crime statistics and things to watch out for (e.g., increases in car prowls, etc.) — even when the city’s budget for neighborhood communication / block watch support has dwindled to near non-existence.

    It is appreciated — thank you, Diane!

    Thu, August 5 at 12:39 pm

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