Working class immigrant neighborhoods of Seattle
March 21, 2010 1:24 PM   Subscribe

What Seattle neighborhood is like Brooklyn's Sunset Park?

I am moving to Seattle for about a year and wanted to find a neighborhood like my current Brooklyn neighborhood. I live in Sunset Park. People mistake it for being dicey and dangerous, but it's just a working class neighborhood with a large latin american immigrant population. Very few hipsters like Williamsburg or annoying mother types like Park Slope. I suppose all its other benefits (close to good trains, amazing park, everything I need is within walking distance) might not apply to Seattle, but it would be great if it also had things like that too. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation around Seattle, WA (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You want areas colloquially known as "the south end" and a few others.

West Seattle
The International District
First Hill / Leschi
White Center
Rainier Beach

Lots of Asian, black and black immigrant (e.g. Somalian, Ethiopian) neighborhoods here. There is not a tremendous amount of Latino-dominated neighborhoods in Seattle proper, though. Those areas are largely in the suburbs and exurbs.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:43 PM on March 21, 2010

You want North Beacon Hill, which I think beats most of the neighborhoods CPB listed. Even though I might be biased, it really does!

Few hipsters: check. It's definitely a working-class sort of place. The hipsters can be found north on Capitol Hill or, now, just southwest of us in Georgetown.

Annoying mother types: I don't think we have those; I've never noticed them.

Close to good trains: Oh, hell yeah. Get a place near Beacon Hill Station. (There is only one light rail line so far. More are being built. Our line goes through North Beacon between Downtown and the airport, and is verrrrry useful if you live on Beacon Hill.)

Amazing park: Jefferson Park on the hill is big and is currently being redone to make it better (they have been putting lids on the reservoirs that used to take up much of the park space, and adding new park features.

Everything you need is within walking distance: Depends on what you need, I guess. Here on North Beacon we can walk to a lot of things we need, though there are a few things that are notably missing. However, with the new train, many of the things we can't get on the Hill are now a few steps and a short train ride away. My car-driving has dropped precipitously since the train opened in July.

I'm not sure if you were looking for a Latino neighborhood or just an immigrant one, but Beacon Hill works a bit for both. It has been an Asian neighborhood for a long time, but has been getting more and more Latino over the last decade (the Red Apple grocery used to have a whole aisle of Asian food and just a little bit of Latino; this has been gradually reversing since we moved here in 1996). El Centro de la Raza, a non-profit organization that describes itself as "a voice and a hub for Seattle and Martin Luther King, Jr. County’s Latino community as we advocate on behalf of our people and work to achieve social justice," is right here in North Beacon and has a strong presence in the community. (They are teaching how to make tamales this weekend, and selling the tamales produced in the class... yum!)

If you want to get a vibe for the neighborhood, you might check out the Beacon Hill Blog, which is the local newsblog for Beacon Hill. (Disclaimer: I am one of the editors.)

One thing to remember is that Greater Beacon Hill is huge. It's about 5 miles from the north end of the Hill to the south end. So not all parts of Beacon Hill are created equal. Many parts of South Beacon were not built up until well-after WWII and so those parts are rather suburban even though they are in the city. North Beacon was mostly built up in the early 20th century and has a very different feel from South Beacon.

However, if you live in the part of South Beacon that is near the Othello Station, you can probably get a lot of the same characteristics that North Beacon has, with train access, etc.
posted by litlnemo at 2:26 PM on March 21, 2010 [2 favorites]

I would second the part of Beacon Hill near Beacon Hill station.
posted by grouse at 2:47 PM on March 21, 2010

I concur -- Beacon Hill is indeed a good candidate for this question. In my mind, I grouped it all with the "south end" moniker, but forgot the name of this particular neighborhood. Borracchini's Bakery is great.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:21 PM on March 21, 2010

Yeah, Beacon Hill is a lot like Sunset Park. Maybe a little nicer.
posted by zvs at 5:46 PM on March 21, 2010

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