Adam L. Weintraub
Last year, in the Mount Baker neighborhood, a young woman with a blond ponytail knocked on her neighbor's door and asked if she could hide inside. A man in a white Cadillac was chasing her with a gun, she said.

The neighbors offered to call the police. She ran away, and the neighbors dialed 911.

Police came and found the woman hiding in nearby bushes--the cops recognized her as a resident of the house down the street, one that's caused a lot of problems in recent years. This rowdy house is a holdout from a time when Mount Baker was vastly different.

Twenty years ago, scenes like this were common in Mount Baker, a South Seattle neighborhood, between Lake Washington and Rainier Avenue. In the 1970s and '80s, homeowners barred their windows; many houses were abandoned, and others were centers of drugs and prostitution.

But the neighborhood has changed. Middle-class families live in well-kept homes with bright gardens. Most abandoned houses have been renovated and sold.

But the small house where the ponytailed woman lived hasn't cleaned up its act, the neighbors say. The property, currently valued at $192,000 has been owned by the same family since 1979. The Stranger was unable to contact the owner for this story--his phone number is unlisted, and no one responded to a knock on the door.

Neighbors call the house a hotbed of drug sales and prostitution--they say men come and go frequently. One girl lived in a car in the driveway last winter, says a woman who lives down the street.

Officer Rick Nelson, recently assigned to the neighborhood, says the police don't have much evidence regarding the house. (The police are currently processing The Stranger's request for incident reports).

"All you have to do is drive by slowly," one neighbor says, incredulous that the police can't turn up any evidence. "They will run right out [and solicit]."

amy@thestranger.com