A Note from the Editor

Our Neighborhoods, Ourselves

By Katherine Koberg January 3, 2009 Published in the May 2008 issue of Seattle Met

IF SEATTLE LIVES UP to its reputation as a constellation of neighborhoods with distinct character, where we live reveals a lot about who we are. Along the Pike/Pine corridor the tats and tongue-studs crowd caffeinates and club hops while, over on I-405, rush-hour gridlocks buff blondes in the insulated comfort of their SUVs. Or so we guess. To help Seattle Met readers match their identities to their best place to live, we devised a personality profile of 95 neighborhoods to test our superficial assumptions against real information.

As you peruse the stats, you’ll find that yes, Capitol Hill dwellers drive Japanese cars, own cats but not their homes, donate to the Democrats, have few kids but easy access to scads of Seattle Met Picks, this magazine’s favorite bars and restaurants. And out in Maple Valley, people drive American cars, own twice as many dogs as cats, have more kids but far fewer destination restaurants, and support Republicans three times as much as Democrats.

Before you read any further, a warning: We accept no responsibility for any ensuing crises of identity. Maybe I’m projecting, but of the 10 places I’ve called home in Seattle (one dorm room and three U District rentals as a student, two Capitol Hill multiplexes in my 20s, three Queen Anne houses as a single professional), my most recent move, to Interbay as a married woman with stepchildren, threatened to unravel my sense of self. Interbay is technically part of Magnolia, a neighborhood that conjures up images of Republicans in grand mansions on the bluff. That would not be me. But according to our research, demographically speaking, I fit right in. Juliette Guilbert faced a similar challenge to identity. As the former Bellevueite writes in this issue, she fled the suburbs for bigger and more exciting cities only to return and feel far more at home in Lynnwood than she ever imaginedpossible—for surprising reasons.

So whether you are looking to buy, sell, or hold onto a home, our annual real estate issue points out the city’s blessed variety of housing options, for every age, lifestyle, and personality. Whoever you are, you are where you live.

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