South Seattle: You Could Do Better


So, I hear that we Seattle bloggers have been too nice. We can’t control where the bluebird of happiness lands, but I thought I’d bust out a downer to meet the schadenfreude quotient. Basically, I reviewed a house in my area and abandoned the post because I thought I sounded too dejected, and then the house sold. Maybe dredging up the review might neutralize some of my cheerful posts? I’ve removed specific details regarding location and the house to protect people’s feelings and investments. Here goes:

… As I drove down this street looking for the listing, I can honestly say, I began to feel a touch depressed about reviewing some of these houses in my neighborhood.

The feeling only intensified when I parked my car in front of yet another derelict vehicle with three flat tires, and stepped over a healthy dusting of trash and dead car batteries to get to the sidewalk. There’s nothing like the crunch of broken glass under your sneakers. I caught a glimpse of the neighbor across the street silently staring me down from his front window, and when I turned to look, he disappeared behind an old ratty curtain held together with duct tape. A sad three-legged dog hopped by in the alley. I wish I were kidding. If I lived on this block, I’d need therapy.

I do try to put an unbiased eye on things, because I feel like our searches for the “perfect” house can be colored by completely irrational desires and expectations. There is a lot that can be done with drywall and a flexible outlook. Not everything has to be nice to be good, and in this territory, I have to root for the underdog houses. However, standing on this block, my generosity faltered a bit. I mean, come on, everybody. Do you want siding on your house or not? Decide, and then apply that decision to your whole house. Are those tires holdin’ your lawn down? Did you know that the city tows away abandoned wrecks for free? How about recycling all those beer cans on your roof? Or, wow, was that shed on fire at some point? …

My neighborhood has definite ups and downs. The good thing is that it is never too sterile and uppity, and I truly love living here. Despite the rough edges, it can be quite uniquely beautiful. The great benefits outweigh the problems, and you honestly have to move to this area to understand. The bad thing is finding yourself standing in a whirlwind of trash, looking at an overpriced beater of a house with broken windows and trying to think of something new to say. There are a limited number of ways to rephrase, “Buy this if you’re insane.” So, forgive me for being a little giddy when I come across a listing with some promise. For every positive or middling review that I write, you’d better believe there were five that didn’t even warrant me slowing down the car. Um, yeah! Move to South Seattle! Way to go, team!