Excitement is the word I use to explain how I felt when I learned about the part of Seattle my then future husband owned a house in and what made it special. First I learned about the train (light rail called Orca) that was someday going to be running near it. After having lived in NYC for approximately seven years prior I knew the beauty of life without needing a car and to live a few short blocks from a station makes it possible. In New York I lived about three blocks from the Franklin Avenue subway station, and have fond and not so fond memories of taking the train to and from school/work/grocery store and I’m happy to say that the good well outweigh the bad.
When I take a walk outside, be it to the train, to a local coffee shop or even Starbucks I get the same experiences I did in Times Square of hearing a plethora of different languages I can’t come close to naming. Living like this really emphasizes my passion to be a citizen of the world, to respect other cultures, beliefs, and most of all every other living person.
Seattle has an annual “Night Out” when neighbors come out of their homes to say hello and get to know each other and to see all the children who were a rainbow of colors happily playing with bubbles really cemented the good feelings I have about raising my two daughters here because I am confident that they will not be able to help but learn about other cultures and really to be immersed on some levels when they go to their friends houses and that sort of thing.
One thing that is very disappointing however is how few people who from outside of my neighborhood seem to be willing to venture into this part of town! At one point I was asked “Will I be safe there?” when they were asking me for directions. Another time I was asked “Isn’t it dangerous there?” when telling someone we could meet at my place and that it was only a few blocks from the train station. I personally believe that anyone who is looking to hurt or rob somebody is rare and that graffiti is self expression.
Personally I feel like it is more safe here than many other places, because everyone is so exposed to all of our differences that we can’t help but be sensitive to them. I have not ever felt discriminated against and if anything it makes me realize how segmented the various parts of Brooklyn are where there are different neighborhoods that are one or another culture/ethnicity and anyone from another is looked at with suspicion. Here it seems just about everyone is different and while I don’t always get a smile (usually just not always!) I don’t feel like I’m unwelcome and certainly not in danger. I have neighbors who are attorneys, teachers, foster parents, mechanics specializing in car stereos and hydraulics, contractors and of course techies and bloggers just like my husband and myself.http://columbiacity.komonews.com/content/census-bureau-98118-most-diverse-zip-code-us