Text From South Lake Union

What About the Children?

Text From South Lake Union

Kelly O

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It's summer and there are no children in South Lake Union. And there are no children because there is nothing for them to do. The local city park has some strange and dangerous equipment like a mini zip line and a spinning top thing. I think there might be lawn darts available for rent.

Since SLU is billed as Seattle's most exciting neighborhood, I guess that children aren't part of that excitement.

But it's not really built for childless adults, either. There aren't any playgrounds for single folks because the bars are so overstuffed with Amazon employees that it feels like you've walked into a staff meeting. Well, I guess that means it's a great neighborhood if you're an unmarried Amazon worker. But do you really want to date coworkers?

Where is the live music? Where are the street performers? Where are the old men sitting in lawn chairs? Where is the dancing?

Seattle's exciting new neighborhood is a great place to work, to enjoy a meal or drink, and then to leave. recommended


Comments (40) RSS

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OutInBumF 1
Got that right, Sherman! What a cold, torn up and sterile place it is. Seem to be lots of condos going up above office space, but where are the people and how will they live? Nearest grocery store is Whole Foods on Denny- not exactly walking distance from SLU....sigh.
Posted by OutInBumF on July 19, 2012 at 1:01 AM · Report this
SLU feels like more of a fancy industrial park than a neighborhood.
Posted by outoftowner on July 19, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
tike0vitz 3
@1 Then get a bike.
Posted by tike0vitz on July 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
It's true, there are not a tons of children (or regular humans) at that park yet, but I think (hope) it will grow to attract more people in general. Although it depends on when you go. I dragon boat down there regularly and see all kinds of people there all the time (including children). I love walking around and hanging out at the park. Kids love these fountains you can play in:… and there were actually several kids there that day playing in the fountains, we just didn't capture them in shots we took.
I hope the new MOHAI cafe (supposed to open later this year) is good and will serve good coffee and foods. I think having a little cafe there on the park grounds will help draw more people, including old men in lawn chairs and street performers maybe.
Posted by Libby Blue on July 19, 2012 at 2:05 PM · Report this
PS: Mr. Alexie, please come dragon boating with us sometime :)…
Posted by Libby Blue on July 19, 2012 at 2:09 PM · Report this
@5, the Dragon Boat Festival's pretty damn fun. My sis dragged me to the one in Blahvue a couple years ago, and I'm delighted to see it's at Lake Union where it belongs this year!
Posted by gloomy gus on July 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM · Report this
normally not a fan

obvious topic is obvious

c- in insightful

why live somewhere and then whine about it bi-weekly in the paper?
Posted by Swearengen on July 19, 2012 at 3:32 PM · Report this
@3 I think it's fair to say that a grocery store should be in walking distance in a big city. Regardless, having a bike in Seattle makes the city so much more accessible.
Posted by mhulot on July 19, 2012 at 3:36 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 9
There's no density of living space there. It's all about businesses and offices.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on July 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this
Sooooo, you're actually LAMENTING the fact that people no longer refer to SLU as "The Herpes Triangle"?
Posted by COMTE on July 19, 2012 at 3:41 PM · Report this
The gravel parking lot park, without the parking. Talk about grim. I don't get it.
Posted by Let's just cover it in gravel and call it a park! on July 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 12
Build some K-12 schools and there might be.

Hey, at least there's a farmer's market.
Posted by Will in Seattle on July 19, 2012 at 3:44 PM · Report this
Maybe because no children live there? And there are no neighborhood schools for the children to attend?

Neighborhoods don't just sprout up overnight. It takes time and work.
Posted by bigyaz on July 19, 2012 at 3:45 PM · Report this
Nearest grocery store is Whole Foods on Denny- not exactly walking distance from SLU....sigh.

Denny Way is the south boundary of SLU, and Whole Foods is right on it. Eminently walkable from much of SLU.
Posted by bigyaz on July 19, 2012 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 15
@7 Grow up.
Posted by Sir Vic on July 19, 2012 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Cato the Younger Younger 16
The upside is you don't have to deal with any trophy toddlers. I mean we could make this an adult paradise
Posted by Cato the Younger Younger on July 19, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
Mittens Schrodinger 17
Whole Foods is 6 blocks from the lake. How is that not walkable?
Posted by Mittens Schrodinger on July 19, 2012 at 4:05 PM · Report this
I'm just disappointed that playgrounds for adults = bars. What a lameass, so-called civilization.
Posted by stating the obvious on July 19, 2012 at 4:22 PM · Report this
Supreme Ruler Of The Universe 19
Where are the guys in Madras plaid shorts and black socks playing bocce ball?
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe on July 19, 2012 at 4:27 PM · Report this

As is the QFC at 5th & Mercer.
Posted by COMTE on July 19, 2012 at 4:33 PM · Report this
I like SLU park in theory, but I don't take my 2 year old there because of the goose poop. It makes that park unusable for us, even though the little dude would love to run around in the gravel, up the berms and all over the place. It's a great place to ride his balance bike, too. In my experience, on days when the spray park is going, there are more geese found bathing in the water than actual children.

I also happen to like Counterbalance Park, which does not suffer from an infestation of geese.
Posted by Geez, geese on July 19, 2012 at 4:36 PM · Report this
There's a big playground at Harrison and Minor.
Posted by Hey, wait a minute on July 19, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
That expanse of gravel crisscrossed with sidewalks is a wasteland. Why on earth would you want to sit on a brightly colored uncomfortable chair surrounded by crushed rock? If you wanted to attract people, why not put in a skate board park, or an outdoor gym, or playground equipment, or a stage for impromptu concerts? Is that space set aside for a future farmer's market? What is the plan?
Posted by IslandGuy on July 19, 2012 at 4:39 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 24
Strange. Whenever I'm there on a sunny day I see kids playing in the fountain. Plus there's the toy boat pond. And last time I was there Jimmy John's was handing out free sandwiches*.

The trees will grow in eventually, as will the character.

* This had nothing to do with anything. Except free sandwiches: yay!
Posted by Matt the Engineer on July 19, 2012 at 4:41 PM · Report this
Add some street skating elements and get rid of some of that gravel and then you could have people complaining about how they can't get any peace and quiet! Win - win for skateboarders and NIMBY's!
Posted by Time Bomb on July 19, 2012 at 5:05 PM · Report this
Speaking of community, Sherman I know you are a big Sonics fan; could you please write something for The Stranger talking about the value of the Sonics to the fabric of Seattle and fans everywhere? Goldy has been covering the arena issue, but he has zero love for the Sonics. It would be great, considering the arguments going on around the city, to hear from a passionate fan.
Posted by Slog Tipper David on July 19, 2012 at 5:22 PM · Report this
SLU is a business district. Business districts are meant to be places for work, not places for fun. I'm ok with having a neighborhood in the heart of the city dedicated to commerce rather than the latest trendy cupcake shops.
Posted by matt! on July 19, 2012 at 5:53 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 28
One of today's newspapers had a photo of someone's toddler playing in the outdoor play fountain at that park. And what Matt the E. said: model sailboat rentals for kids or adults every weekend.
Posted by Dr_Awesome on July 19, 2012 at 5:58 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 29
Yayyy, gravel park!
Posted by Ipso Facto on July 19, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this
that park is the most fucking gorgeous thing in the city of seattle. yes, gravel.
Posted by SweetDarkLord on July 19, 2012 at 9:41 PM · Report this
@8 There are 6 blocks between the shoreline and Whole Foods. How is that not walkable?
Posted by Penn L. T. Rex on July 19, 2012 at 10:28 PM · Report this
I'm with @21. It's like a fucking mine field. Clean up all that goose shit and more people will come. My kid loves playing with the model wooden boats in the pond when we do get down there. But last time even the concrete was covered in shit.
Posted by magdaddy on July 19, 2012 at 10:57 PM · Report this
Geeze, when I moved here 4 years ago SLU was nothing more than a bunch of old warehouses. Now it's being developed. Give it time. It's impressive how much was done in 4 years in a down economy. Plus if the techies where up in Capital Hill The Stranger would run piece after piece about how the techies are ruining capital hill.
Posted by j2patter on July 19, 2012 at 11:37 PM · Report this
Typical Seattle. Oh well, I guess Lake Union wasn't worth a damn anyway.
Posted by Mister G on July 19, 2012 at 11:41 PM · Report this
McJulie 35
@2: so right. I work just to the south of that neighborhood and go up Westlake sometimes and I could swear I was in Kirkland or something.

The play-in fountains are cool, but all that gravel and goose shit just doesn't make for a nice park.
Posted by McJulie on July 20, 2012 at 7:48 AM · Report this
Womyn2me 36
Children are unnecessary at that park. Clearly, there a fuck ton other parks where children go. Let them go there.
Posted by Womyn2me http://http:\\ on July 20, 2012 at 8:14 AM · Report this
Why do your crotch fruit have to be fucking EVERYWHERE?! Why can't there be just one little place where adults can just BE without your screaming brats running around out of control? You human copiers have everywhere else in the fucking city, but if you see one tiny little corner without a ChuckyCheeze you go all victimey on us.
Posted by montex on July 20, 2012 at 7:46 PM · Report this
Are there any restrooms down there, except restrooms in bars? When moms bring kids, moms think logistics.
Posted by RonK, Seattle on July 21, 2012 at 2:27 PM · Report this
@38: The only restrooms I'm aware of are the two inside of the Center for Wooden Boats office. Also, there are several porta potties on the south side of the MOHAI building. I assume there will be real public restrooms available at MOHAI once they open.

@6: Hope you come check it out!
Posted by Libby Blue on July 23, 2012 at 1:20 PM · Report this
I used to be an old man in a lawn chair, playing guitar, in South Lake Union. Until real estate went up, and they kicked out (most) of the low-income people. Not to mention tearing down the house I used to live in.
Posted by BallardBoy on July 24, 2012 at 5:29 PM · Report this

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