Recently we asked a group of Seattle natives something that readers Emily Neitzel and Elyse Gordon told us they wanted to know:
“How can newcomers best respect the city’s character?”
Our group of natives gave some good tips: Get to know iconic businesses. Attend civic events. Find a way to give back. Stay curious. And above all, listen.
“One of the best things that transplants could do is not — even inadvertently — not be dismissive to things that may have an emotional tie to native Seattleites,” said Casey McNerthney.
Casey then tells a pretty revealing story about an old, well-loved restaurant called the Dog House, and a comment a friend who’s new to the city made about the building it was in. We’re not going to spoil it, though. Best hear Casey tell it himself.
>> Watch the full video for more tips and perspectives, then go to our Facebook page and share out: What’s one place in Seattle you’ve fallen in love with — whether you’ve been here forever or just a couple months?
And before we forget — a note on the word “native” from one of our interviewees:
“Even as someone who was born here, I think the only people who can truly claim native status are descendants of the Duwamish and Suquamish and Nisqually and Snoqualmie people. So I kind of try and veer away a little bit from that term because it’s like pretty much all of us who are not indigenous are on occupied land,” said Cynthia Brothers, who runs Vanishing Seattle. Cynthia refers to herself as a “native,” she said, “with a little ‘n’.”
Thanks to our sponsor, Seattle CityClub, for helping us have these conversations. Go check out their Seattle Civic Health Index for more on how we’re coming together. Thanks, too, to Casey, Royce Yuen, Anthony Shoecraft, Kjerstin Wood, Knute Berger, E.C. Parker, and Minda Brusse for sharing their thoughts. And also to James Andrews and Anika Anand for producing the video.