NIMBY? Maybe. (Part Two)

Two months ago, a homeless camp opened up to 100 residents just two blocks from where I live. Since then, I have been taking note of how my community is changing. Some of these events may or may not be the result of the new encampment (either directly or indirectly) – this is just what I’ve seen firsthand.

February 21: Mayor Ed Murray announces that the location of the third homeless camp will be in Rainier Valley, exactly 2 blocks south of my apartment. Read the Seattle Times article here.

March 6: Someone has fastened large hand-drawn letters to the chain link fence that spell out “WELCOME NEIGHBORS.” Several days later, the wind and rain have removed most of the letters.

March 8: Driving home from work, I see the first person of the tent city – a person sitting at a folding table under a large white tent at the entrance.

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NIMBY? Maybe. (Part One)

On February 21st, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced that Rainier Valley would be the location of the third tent city encampment to accommodate the fallout from the Great Nickelsville Diaspora, after the first two Ballard and Interbay locations opened in November 2015. The Low Income Housing Institute received a permit to set up 12 small houses and 33 tents on an empty lot on Martin Luther King, Jr. Way South near the the Othello Light Rail station.

Many of the residents are pushing back against this new neighborhood feature, saying that they had no input in the location of the homeless camp, and that it will negatively impact the nearby schools and parks. I live just two blocks north of this new tent city, so I get front-row seats to how the influx of homeless will change the Rainier Valley landscape.

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Hometown Heroes of Seattle (Part Two)

“Who are Seattle’s hometown heroes? In many ways they are just like you and me. They walk the same city streets, with grand visions and dreams etched in their minds. They put on their shoes one at a time, then inspire us with their giant strides.”

These words adorn a bronze plaque in downtown Seattle, on the side of the flagship Nordstrom store. Growing up in the area, I’ve passed it many times, as well as the footprints of these “giant strides” from iconic Seattle entrepreneurs, politicians and artists – many of whom, like Olympian Apolo Ohno and baseball star Ken Griffey Jr., are pretty well known to people outside the Pacific Northwest. But as someone who has lived in Seattle for nearly my entire life (minus 7 years or so), there were some hometown heroes that even I hadn’t heard of!

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Hometown Heroes of Seattle (Part One)

“Who are Seattle’s hometown heroes? In many ways they are just like you and me. They walk the same city streets, with grand visions and dreams etched in their minds. They put on their shoes one at a time, then inspire us with their giant strides.”

These words adorn a bronze plaque in downtown Seattle, on the side of the flagship Nordstrom store. Growing up in the area, I’ve passed it many times, as well as the footprints of these “giant strides” from iconic Seattle entrepreneurs, politicians and artists – many of whom, like Olympian Apolo Ohno and baseball star Ken Griffey Jr., are pretty well known to people outside the Pacific Northwest. But as someone who has lived in Seattle for nearly my entire life (minus 7 years or so), there were some hometown heroes that even I hadn’t heard of!

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Vocabulary: The Etched City, by K.J. Bishop

Good vocabulary has always impressed me. In college, my roommates and I would play a game: over the course of the semester, we kept a collection of any unfamiliar words that we came across in our studies. When finals season came around, we would choose 6-8 really exceptional vocabulary words, and post them and their definitions on the wall in the kitchen where we write all our exam papers. The goal was to use as many words as possible per essay (properly, of course). I can still look over my senior thesis and pick out which words were that semester’s “house vocab” words.

But I noticed that I don’t do that anymore; my vocabulary is stagnating. My current read, The Etched City, has some fantastic vocab words in it. Here are some of my favorites so far:

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I’m Going to Party Like it’s 1999

Recently, I stumbled across an old Facebook post from May that said: “New apartment doesn’t have internet yet. Call or text like a regular human being during the evenings.” Well, eight months later and my apartment still doesn’t have internet. And that’s okay. I’m not using this as an excuse why I haven’t updated in a while. I still use the internet every day, mostly for work. But there is no more daily Netflix in my life, no mindless surfing the web or drunken Amazon impulse buys. I don’t think I’m better or more “authentic” than others. I just think the responses I get from people when they find out says a lot about our always-connected culture, especially in the tech Mecca of Seattle.

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2015 Reading Challenge: July and August

Here it is! The final installment of ridiculous haiku book reviews to chronicle my epic reading quest. I wasn’t able to write up each of the 52 books because sometimes I like to leave my house, but I am looking forward to reading what I want at my own pace. It’s not so bad when I first started my reading list, but as I continued to cross books off my list, it got harder and harder to have specific books lined up. I’m planning a conclusion post about what I learned and timely coincidences to neatly sum up everything, so stay tuned for that.

Without further ado, I present the last set of haiku I will ever post publicly (if you’re lucky):

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