Being a Seattle native and grandchild of Seattle immigrant pioneers with roots that go back to the Pike Place Market and the Yukon Gold Rush, I have seen a lot of changes happen to my beloved Seattle and its surrounding areas. I grew up in what was, and still is, the middle of town- Capitol Hill and Montlake neighborhoods. The change in that neighborhood between then and now is a good example of how our city has changed.
My parents were typical of the middle class folks who lived pay check to pay check and still managed to buy a charming post World War One Dutch Colonial home for a few thousand dollars in the 1950s. The neighborhood was comprised of small business owners, Boeing workers and teachers that either owned or rented their homes. We rarely ventured further North than Northgate or further South than Rainer Avenue or an occasional trip to SeaTac Airport. The 1970s brought a bit of decline to both neighborhoods as the Boeing bust took its toll. Capitol Hill had a lot of large homes that suddenly had groups of young people living communal style. During this period I moved to Bainbridge Island where I stayed for 15 years. I remember well people asking me how I could stand the “long” half hour commute by Ferry to downtown Seattle.
Well, that was then and this is now. My old neighborhoods are considered upscale with home prices at one million and above. Many homes have half million dollar and up remodels with designer kitchens and bathrooms. I live in North Seattle in a modest bungalow that is way above the median home price because of its location near the upcoming light rail and upscale grocery stores and proximity to I-5. A lot of folk like me have had to come to terms with being forced to move further North or South in order to afford the rental and housing prices.
I still love my beautiful city dearly; no one was more happy than me to see the snow return to the mountains this year. However, I am frustrated as many of you are with transportation issues. Getting around from one end of Seattle to the other requires a lot of patience these days. I am glad the city is bursting with vitality, but I still resent not being able to find parking on the streets downtown anymore. I consider this my birth right.
I know, get over it!
Dianne Trani Brown
Koss Property Management