Getting to Know Your Neighbors in Seattle

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Tonight is National Night Out!

That means many Seattle neighborhoods will close residential streets and host festive block parties, all in the name of taking a stand against crime and building stronger communities (August 9, 6-9pm). After all, you don't have much of a community if you don't know (or like) your neighbors.

Visit the city’s handy online map to find the celebration nearest you.

If this is the first time you are meeting your Seattle neighbors—and trust us, you aren't alone—read the following friendly advice before you go:

1. Don't make direct eye contact right away. Consider greeting and petting their dog first to show you pose no threat. If no animals are present when you encounter a neighbor, quickly point to a nearby plant and ask if they know if it’s a succulent or not.

2. Remember that Seattleites respond well to superiority. Talk about how you only subscribe to organic food delivery services that use exclusively electric cars; and how you only care to see Sigur Ros in Oslo.

3. Look cheerfully confused when anyone utters the words "reality TV," "fast food" or "Walmart," as if you’re hearing a new word for the very first time.

4. Dress down. Way down. Think: a faded t-shirt you’ve had since middle school, or substituting a purse with a reusable grocery bag.

5. Relationships in Seattle require collateral. Never let someone leave the conversation empty-handed. Give them your self-designed business card for your new start-up, a flyer for your next concert or, better yet, ask them to join a mailing list or sign a petition.

6. Quote at least one article you read that day via Facebook. Preface each reference with an assurance that you barely check Facebook anymore these days. Punctuate with: “I just don’t get Twitter.”

7. Be prepared to discuss a city project that you know incites widespread grumpiness. A few interchangeable options: 1) That construction on X street is never going to be finished. 2) When are they going to fix X street? 3) I hate that they're changing X. Seattle doesn't have any character left.

8. Don’t be a jerk: bring something to share, such as homemade banana bread or a bag of fresh compost.


With additional writing by Jessica Day