🏙️ Is Seattle ‘dying’?

🏙️ Is Seattle ‘dying’?

(📸: Eric Keto)


☝️ It means, “We have a winner.” In Norwegian! After tallying up the votes for the last story in our neighborhood spotlight series on Ballard, this question from Ian King came out on top:

Why did Ballard become identified with Scandinavian residents? What brought them to Ballard in the first place?

Ian, who lived in Ballard in the late ’70s and early ’80s, told us he’s long been interested in the neighborhood’s cultural origins. Back in the day, he had to dig a ditch to install power at the house he was living in — a project that drew the curiosity of many a passerby.

“It was a very social kind of place in the sense that people would just walk around and talk to each other,” Ian remembers.

And much of that conversation had a Scandinavian flair to it. Sometimes it was the rounded o’s (“Oooo you live in Ballard, ya sure you betcha”); other times it was a casual mention of the old country that suddenly became relevant to the topic at hand.

Although Ian no longer lives in Ballard, he still wonders what drew his Scandinavian neighbors to this particular part of town. So we’re going to spend the next week or so poking around for answers — stay tuned!

Want to dig in on Ballard in the meantime? Check out our two-minute clip with 94-year-old Louis Larsen, a lifelong Ballardite, from the super iconic Sloop Tavern.

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Several singles + dozens of matchmakers = a fun, unpredictable night. Want to snag a seat to Modern Love, our live dating game show, on Thursday, for free? Join The Evergrey as a member for just $10 a month today to unlock big discounts on all our events, plus the that burst of local pride that comes from supporting your fave local newsletter. 💕


Big thanks to Erin from Indi Chocolate and Tom from Noble Oak Bourbon for perking up our palates at our Chocolate and Bourbon night last Friday. Check out our Instagram story for a peek at the bourbon flavor wheel and other highlights. Plus…

🕹️ Join us for Toys Through Time trivia night next Tuesday! This free event is all about past toys like that Polly Pocket you used to have, or those Lincoln Logs in your basement, or that epic action figure you never opened up — all to benefit local nonprofit School’s Out Washington. (South Lake Union)

🔬 What’s going on inside that gut of yours? In partnership with the Pacific Science Center, we bring you What Can Your Stomach Stomach next Thursday with Dr. Alexandra Kazaks — a look at all those microbes and what they do inside your body. (Queen Anne)

👏 Hear from an awesome group of local innovators, join fun workshops, and toast the ways we’re all shaping our city at our big Seattle Catalysts event on April 4, produced with Vulcan. (Downtown)

Want to unlock big discounts at Evergrey events? Support The Evergrey with a membership.


Is Seattle ‘dying’? It’s not every day a local news documentary gets everyone talking. But that’s where we are after KOMO News aired “Seattle is Dying,” a one-hour report that makes the case that Seattle is “rotting from within,” as reporter Eric Johnson puts it, because we’re not doing enough to confront one particularly debilitating issue — homelessness.

The doc spends time with neighbors and business owners who are fed up with two big things: a lack of strong policing, and a kind of collective shrug at the tent encampments and debris around the city.

Ashley Archibald of street paper Real Change saw crassness in the way our homeless neighbors were depicted. Others, like The Stranger’s Charles Mudede, saw an unfair criminalization of poverty. The debate gets at a long-running local struggle between compassion and enforcement. And it’s not letting up anytime soon.

“Seattle is dying because we’ve sensationalized a problem instead of addressing it with humanity,” tweeted Tammy Morales, a community organizer who’s running for City Council this year.

“The program isn’t about demonizing those who struggle with addiction and homelessness,” Eric says in a tweeted trailer. “Instead, we asked the question, ‘Why aren’t we doing more? Why don’t we have the courage to intervene in lives that are, in the face of a grave sickness, reeling out of control?'”

Watched the documentary and have some strong opinions about it? Hit reply and send us a note. This is a crucial conversation at the heart of our city, and we want to help advance it.

In other news…

Cyclists are supposed to stop for pedestrians on crosswalks… but that might be news to some cyclists. (KUOW)

A cherry important date: Seattle’s cherry blossoms should be in peak bloom around March 30 at the University of Washington Quad and some other choice spots. (KING 5, Reddit)

With 132,000 titles and loads of fans, our beloved Scarecrow Video in Ravenna isn’t so much a last-gasp video store, says NYT, as a “cultural warehouse.” (The New York Times)

Lake Union looks real nice from the living room, and that’s why some folks in Capitol Hill fought the big planned “upzone” that passed yesterday, allowing for taller buildings in parts of 27 neighborhoods. (The Seattle Times, Crosscut)


Things to do


🏆 Thursday, March 28: Root for local small business owners as they compete for thousands of dollars at InnoVentures (Columbia City)

Want to see your event listed here? Hit reply or email [email protected] to chat about a promotional partnership.



🐟 Say “Happy birthday, Ivar!” at any iconic Ivar’s restaurant to unlock cheap eats (All over)

⛰️ Visit state parks for free on their 105th birthday (All over)

😷 Brush up on your disaster first-aid skills (Capitol Hill)

🎨 Check out work by indigenous Latinx artists (Capitol Hill)


✊ Learn about the labor movements that shook Seattle 100 years ago (University District)

🎨 Reclaim your brain with a meditation at the Frye Art Museum (First Hill)

🍴 Eat your fill at this cook’s feast with Brave Horse and FareStart (South Lake Union)

☕ Learn the ins and outs of tea at our Sharing Passions event (Downtown)

👑 Rule a whole new world at Disney trivia (Capitol Hill)


💘 Get flirty at The Evergrey’s live dating game show (South Lake Union)

🗣️ Hear stories from your neighbors about times they’ve surprised themselves (Capitol Hill)

💃 Watch “edgy” modern dance at Beer and Ballet (Queen Anne)

💄 Go all out for community drag bingo (Georgetown)


🍺 Sample craft beers from around Seattle at Pacific Science Center (Queen Anne)

🎶 Watch young musicians rock out at the Moore (Downtown)

🗣 Hear about issues facing our local Muslim community (Redmond)

🌳 Build your own succulent garden (Edmonds)


☕️ Welcome spring with a tea party and Duwamish Tribal Chairwoman Cecile Hansen (West Seattle)

🍿 Catch some flicks at the Seattle Jewish Film Festival — through April 7 (All over)

🍻 Try beers from 40 state brewers cheers at the Washington Cask Beer Festival (Queen Anne)

🖥 Nerd out over vintage computers — through Sunday (SoDo)

🎆 Get colorful at this Holi celebration with the whole fam (Bellevue)


💋 Allons-y to French Fest at Seattle Center (Queen Anne)

💦 Go wild at the Moisture Festival — through April 7 (All over)

📲 Debate whether technology will save us… or not (Central District)

🏢 Climb the tallest building in Seattle for a cause (Downtown)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag #theevergrey on Instagram.

Is an event sold out? Hit reply to let us know and we’ll update the listing in the next newsletter.


…but Monday broke records with that high of 75 degrees. Not that we wouldn’t love you if, say, you only got to 65 degrees today. We just thought we’d bring it up. You know. Just FYI. 🙂

Have a good one, all.

— The Evergrey

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