Hello. I live there. I mean here. Anyway, I live in the “bad” part of town and I love it…I’m far more comfortable here than in the “good” part of town which is so well-manicured as to resemble the set of The Stepford Wives (I refer here to Greenwood.) I rented here for, oh, 7 years and now I own, which is because of God and an organization called HomeSight…the market here is virtually impenetrable. I am seriously below the standard poverty level and now my mortgage is $605. For a house. I mean, damn. I have friends who just bought a house in New Holly a little south of me who got cut a great deal by the city. There are still units/houses there, too. You have to income-qualify, though. For renters, it is a landlord’s market. There is an organization called the Tenant’s Union who might be able to help; they also provide legal aid for renters.
I live in the most ethnically diverse neighborhood I have ever SEEN…and I’ve lived in Amsterdam, Paris, NYC, Minneapolis, Tampa, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lake Charles, Bennington, etc., etc. I’m a few blocks away from a VietNamese supermarket (K-Mart-sized) and I live among Cambodians, Southeast Asians, Ethiopians, Morrocans, Somalians, Laotian, Thai, native Hawaiian, Tongan, Samoan, African-American, Mexican, Native American, and so on. As a honky, I am in the minority. Now, I’ve got nothing against honkies. Some of my friends are honkies. But, I like this.
There is a serious color-line dividing North and South Seattle. I have a friend who teaches at the U of W and lives in the Wedgewood neighborhood. He went in on a house (renting) with friends and got a pretty good deal. That’s up north. The housing market here iis far more open to the idea of people sharing rent or even mortgage; this is due to the high cost, I think. People have to get creative.
I believe the hippest neighborhood is Georgetown. THat’s the latest refuge for artists. Long ago it was Fremont, but Fremont is way too chichi now. Also, Pioneer Square is too touristy now and the landlords priced the artists out of their lofts. Georgetown has cheap rent if you look for it. It looks real working class but in a funky dilapidated way.
I know a great pho place on Capitol Hill: Pho Than Brothers. All they serve is pho and cream puffs. It’s $3-$4 for a gigantic bowl plus 3 cream puffs on the side. It sounds weird, but it’s the best comfort food I’ve found in Seattle; Nellie’s Place on First Hill runs a close second.