Community Post

Central District takes full advantage of Night Out

It seemed like every street between Union and Cherry was blocked off for a night out party, and staring at the event map put together before last night was quite daunting. But each party I visited last night was as unique and popular as the last; CD definitely capitalized on this great opportunity.

There was a lot of food, a few fire truck showings, and even live music down on 18th Ave. A few gatherings had name tags for quick meet and greets, and all had at least a little wine. Check out the pictures and find your block party.

(Photo: Lucas Anderson/

(Photo: Lucas Anderson/

(Photo: Lucas Anderson/

(Photo: Lucas Anderson/

(Photo: Lucas Anderson/

(Photo: Lucas Anderson/


0 thoughts on “Central District takes full advantage of Night Out

  1. My fiance and I went to our local block party (at 25th and fir) met a ton of people we had never met in the two years of living here, put names to faces for others, ate a really great mix of food, had a raffle (we both won something!!) and watched tons of children flock over when the fire truck showed up!!
    It was a really great eveing!

  2. Thanks to Central District News for helping us know where our block parties were and for documenting them. You are a great neighborhood resource!

  3. We had a great gathering in the 900 block of 26th, and were glad to welcome neighbors from our surrounding blocks. Kids and dogs played, we snacked and chatted, an SPD officer came by to visit…

    We had plans to show “Be Kind, Rewind” but had some issues with the projector bulb, so weren’t entirely successful. It seems a lot of block were showing outdoor movies this year. I’d love to hear what people showed, how it worked, and if there’s interest in organizing a central district outdoor movie night. Anyone?

  4. We’ve been in the neighborhood for 6 yrs and do not feel the love. Community means more than just worrying about where the new fire station may be located, having fun, and “bbqing”…how can you enjoy that when there are neighbors needing food, clothes, help with their yards and cleaning….And what about the aging people within our community who needs our help and no one, I mean no one….other than us (as far as I can tell) are concerned about taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Hmmmm….community?

  5. “Neighbor” that is – to your comment above.

    First off, I disagree fully that you can’t enjoy life while other people need your help. I’d point to the Spring Street P-Patch as Exhibit A. There’s a project that is donating food to a local food bank, providing space for youth to garden…and serving as an awesome neighborhood focal point, all at once. To me, that’s absolutely the best thing – to be able to have fun *and* help others all at the same time.

    And I would add – I think it’s somewhat arrogant to assume that no one around you cares about neighbors who need help. The response to Matt Durham’s death alone should tell you that many people in the neighborhood reading this site are ready and willing to help out neighbors in need. Perhaps the bigger challenge is connecting those who need help with those who would like to help?

  6. My deepest regards to the Durham family and friends. Losing a loved one is definitely a heart-aching and devastating event/experience.

    Now, let me state again what I wrote before… ”There’s more to being neighborly than just ‘fun’”…which implies and I think for most rational people is explicit that that means “in addition to.” So have “Fun”, but don’t forget that there are hundreds of other individuals within our “Community” who may not “bbq in the same circles,” but who are –most importantly- human beings who do need more than just a “p-patch” donation to the local food bank because they may be unable to make it out of their homes to reach the food bank. Oh, and they may not have a telephone to “Call” a friend or the local food bank to even request delivery. Just slowly walk/drive by 101-25th Avenue (corner of Yesler), open your eyes, look at the property on the Northwest corner, think about the 87-year-old man who lives there alone and you may get an idea of what I am talking about.

    Good point: Perhaps the bigger challenge is connecting those who need help with those who would like to help?
    Maybe the CD community could establish a program, such as the one implemented years ago within the Phinney Ridge neighborhood that actively searches out neighbors in need and exchange services to help others while developing relationships [read] Diers, Jim, Neighbor Power: Building Community the Seattle Way, University of Washington Press, 2004. Meaning, YES, someone(s) may need to go “door-to-door” and talk with individuals whom they have passed on the streets numerous times without ‘eye contact’ and acknowledging their neighbors/community member’s presence by a simple smile or nod hello. Community/neighborly?

    Remember, a community – like many things – is only as good as it’s weakest member. Do you just leave the vulnerable to continue into marginality, meagerness and fragility or do you go beyond p-patches, bbq’s, and youth gardening to get to the “root” of the causes. Sometimes that does not include “fun”…

  7. This conversation has been very thought provoking. I found that in the last two years where our block has hosted the block party for the surrounding blocks, it was great to renew acquaintance and meet new neighbors. And we do have a lot of new neighbors.. Children became friendly. They had not known about each other due to different schools, day care, summer day camp, etc.

    The block party is only a moment in a neighborly relationship. Notably, a number of neighbors, especially those who rent, did not come. We have one family that has been here for a long time. They make a point of meeting all the new people, and supplied the bouncy house for the party. If you need anything, or to know what is up on the block, it’s likely best to go over to their house and ask.

    But, Seattle doesn’t seem like the blocks of my childhood, or even the experience in neighborhoods in other cities I have lived in. People seem really busy and very private. The interactions happen because people are walking their dogs or doing yard work, or even some walk their children.

    As a curious, caring and interested person, it bothers me that I still do not know some of the people on my block. I know it won’t happen by chance. Sometimes it’s the matter of having an excuse. I do go around as a PCO, and have had opportunity to get to know neighbors better that way. We also have, not only a yahoo group, but a phone list for our little area. This makes me think that a reason to knock on doors could be that we want to have everyone’s phone number in case there is a reason for neighbors to communicate. Of course, these things take time. People might want to chat or they might not.

    But, I hope being interested enough to get to know people is a good start. And, finding a reason to just go knock on that door. If we had a way to collect information about resources for folks, then I would want to make that available.

    One program I keep hearing about is weatherization help for homes. i just can’t seem to get the information on that. With some of our older neighbors’ homes needing a bit of TLC, I really wish we could get that resource in our community.

  8. My apologies for taking so long to respond…got caught up in summer travels….

    Dear KT,

    Thanks for your positive and constructive response. I am glad that you found the dialogue thought provoking. That is one thing that I strive for when taking time to make comments, suggestions, or critique.

    I like the concept of the block party being a “moment” in a neighborly relationship. How insightful, as being neighborly is, as I see it, an ongoing, daily, almost hourly activity and commitment.

    I echo the sentiment that Seattle’s neighborhood’s, and ours in particularly as it continues to change and grow, are not similar to those in which I lived as a child/adolescence and even others I’ve visited or lived during my adulthood in other cities. It would be nice to figure out how to make those adjustments to facilitate inclusiveness and warmth within our community. Maybe instituting an “eye contact and smile at your neighbor mandate”. ha.

    I agree that knocking on doors as outreach to update the yahoo group and phone list would encourage more of a community feel. We were here for probably three years before we realized there was a yahoo group that we were not on – and we had been to the “block party” and “Christmas gathering” activities, for example.

    Whether or not people want to chat, moving into a neighborhood and having awareness of one’s surroundings require acknowledgment of other human beings’ presence… And that could provide Protection and Assistance in a time of need. It should not take emergencies, or fear..whether that’s fear of a fire station removing homes to relocate as a reason to knock on a neighbor’s door to sign a petition to “help me save my home” plea….or of the gangs and thugs in the area who are now tagging (MS13…one of the most notorious gangs in America growing as a part of our neighborhood/community) before we take the time to say “hello, I’m your neighbor, let me know if there’s anything I can help you with and I hope you will do the same for me.”

    I love people and love having friends in the neighborhood that I live in. It must be a reciprocal desire, and just going to a block party does not develop relationships, it just introduces you to those who have been walking by you and not speaking, so that now you’ll know their names when they continue to look straight in front of them without eye contact and acknowledgment.

    The weatherization of homes, particularly for elderly and disabled, is a wonderful program that can be implemented within our neighborhood. I think that I may know of a few places/agencies that may have that information. I will take time and do some research.

    Thanks again to you KT for your positive and constructive comments. And thank you John for your time.