Housing Jul 31, 2018 at 8:45 am

Stories of This City's Idiosyncratic Living Spaces



Pretty sure the Lenin statue was made in the USSR


In the late 80's, I lived in a house at Denny and Boylston. It had a gravel yard that the landlord rented out for parking, a basement that was only accessible from the street, turquoise appliances in the kitchen, and a powder room with black fixtures.

Being the Bright Young Things we were, we liked to go see bands (well, my housemates did. I just went along to be social) and we often had after hours parties there, where all sorts of musicians and hipsters would end up crashing.

It was right next door to a women's health center that performed abortions, and which got frequent protesters, and a fair amount of TV coverage. People would be out front screaming at each other, and we'd be there in the background, drinking beer and mugging for the camera.

Junkies would squat in the basement, and strangers would come up and try the front door. It's amazing the place didn't burn down or we weren't killed.

Good times.....


In the '80s, I lived in a studio apartment a block east of Harborview in a building that was primarily a women's domestic violence shelter. Only the top floor units were rentals. Many of the women staying there thought the entire building was a shelter, so they'd hang out in the halls and stairwells in their underwear and let their kids run around everywhere. Every once in a while, I'd come home and have to edge past an angry boyfriend or husband, shouting up at the windows or pounding on the door. There was an empty lot behind the building, and in the summer, I could hear sex workers and their customers in the abandoned cars back there. I slept on a futon on the floor and at night, as soon as I turned off the light, I could hear a small stampede of mice coming out from below the furnace and running toward the kitchen. My rent was $240 a month.


@1: "Assembled", not made. It was cut into three pieces to be shipped to the US and reassembled in Fremont.


In the late 80s, I lived in an attic space over a detached garage in the U District. I had to climb a ladder to get to it. One night a stray cat had her kittens at the base of my ladder and I couldn't climb down in the morning because she would hiss and spit and try to scratch me. Eventually she got friendlier and the nice folks in the main house (a bunch of bohemian u-districters and a Rajneesh guy in purple pajamas) looked out for her and I think they even found homes for the kittens.


15 -16 years old. Hitchhiked all over Washington, Oregon and. California. Did migrant work on farms. Slept in an abandoned house on the edge of a potato farm, where old timey wall paper was miraculously still up. Swallows whipped through the house, skunks lived under it. At night, the wind would blow,and it sounded like people screaming. It made for a long day after trying to sleep through that, getting up before sunrise, working til sunset.
I also slept under a bridge for a time in Okanagon, and on the edge of small lake in Northern California where I fed a deer hotdogs.


For many years, my strategy for affording Capitol Hill rents was to sleep in the dining room. My first Capitol Hill apartment was the La Salle in 1995, where my roommate and I shared a one-bedroom for the at-the-time extraordinary amount of $600 a month. I had the closet-free bedroom, he got the dining room plus the walk-in closet off the hallway, then after six months we switched (and switched back in short order). Then we graduated to a 2-bedroom with an additional roommate at the Arcadia, where I took the dining room because it was fully enclosable with pocket doors and I was the biggest night owl. It was fabulous: light and bright and bigger than the bedrooms (although not at all soundproof). A few years ago, I moved into my bff's dining room for what I thought would be a few months but ended up being almost three years because it was pretty sweet deal for both of us.


I live in an RV under the freeway bridge in Green Lake...good times....good times.


Wasn't it the "new" Vogue that was across the street from the Value Village (which had been REI)?

The "old" Vogue was in Belltown, right?


true but now it is all the "old" vogue ;P


wait REI? you mean down by el Corazon ? no the og vogue was in belltown then it moved to cap hill across from the VV which now is where grims and all that stip of hell is...


I used to live in Wilum Pugmire's walk in closet for a couple years.


@2 I lived in that same house in the early 80's! The landlord didn't rent the drive way out then and the mini basement room was stuffed too full for squatters. I made every visitor check out that cool bathroom! My mom had the back bedroom upstairs, I had the small one in front as well as the second living room, her best friend Ray and his boyfriend Mike had the master downstairs. We turned the middle area upstairs into a coffee room and it had that great view! That was my favorite place and it still makes me sad when I walk by and see the ugly building that replaced it.

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