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I've shopped at the Red Apple on Beacon since Sound Transit's Columbia City Station and the Beacon Hill Station opened in 2009. Before that, I lived in the Central District and shopped at the Red Apple on 23rd Avenue and South Jackson Street. The former supermarket is across from the Beacon Hill Station, and has a character defined by the area's Latino and Asian residents. Black Americans defined the latter store until the day Paul Allen closed it. (His company bought the property last year, and plans to develop it into apartments and businesses that will attract lots of wealthy white people.)

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Because a number of the people who worked for many years at the CD's Red Apple were recently transferred to the one on Beacon Hill, it has become, for me, a richly textured place. A part of Seattle's black history has been crammed into the Beacon Hill store, which is about half the size of the one that's now closed, ghostly, and waiting to be demolished.

There are also other changes at the Beacon Hill Red Apple, two of which might be related to the demographic changes in its neighborhood. One, I have noticed more whites are shopping at the grocery, and, two, dogs are now seen going up and down the aisles with their masters.

Are these developments connected? It's not unusual to see dogs in supermarkets in predominantly white and wealthy neighborhoods—indeed, the QFC on Broadway and Pike Street is practically a dog park. But it was unusual to see them in the Red Apple on Beacon Hill—a largely Asian neighborhood—and I can't recall ever seeing any at the Red Apple in the CD—a former black neighborhood. It is curious that at the very moment Beacon Hill is gentrifying, there has been a noticeable increase of people with service animals—and these hounds must not be pets, otherwise their law-abiding owners would leave them outside on a leash or locked in a car. Some service animals are even carried by humans, and so they must be trained to guide people with barks.

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