Seattle has been our family roots now for two generations.
My father and I were both born in Seattle. My grandfather lived in Seattle and enjoyed a career as a carpenter building a number of homes in the Ballard and Phinney Ridge neighborhoods in the 1920’s. My father was born at home, one of six children. I was born at the former Northgate Mall hospital 39 years later. My father’s career as a United Methodist minister led my family from Seattle to various small town Washington communities. I've lived in Lynden, Ritzville, Colville and Spokane. My childhood memories are of growing up in these towns and making annual visits to our relative and friends in Seattle, Hood Canal and on Whidbey Island. I always enjoyed our visits to Seattle and was captivated with its scenic beauty and wealth of cultural opportunities. I knew growing up that I'd live in Seattle as an adult.
…my favorite running path still begins and end in Seattle's best place: the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle
My college career consisted of one year back east at Hobart College and then three years at the University of Washington culminating in a BA in History in 1980. I enjoyed two semesters of study abroad in Europe. The first was an art history program in Italy. In this program I spent time in Venice, Florence and Rome. My second semester abroad was a history program in London.
Following some time living abroad in Spain, and then back in the states in Texas, I returned to Seattle in 1984 and have been a full time Seattle resident since. In February of 1985 I met my life partner, Michael. Twenty some years later, and six remodels later, and after 20 full years living either in the Central Area or on Capitol Hill, we moved north. We are now 8 miles north of where the center of our lives used to be. It's a shock. The draw was an absolutely amazing house (well it amazes us) with a yard that's just shy of 10,000 square feet. The house "wowed" both of us instantly and Michael saw 10,000 square feet of landscaping fantasies and was "there" before we left the house the first time. (Michael's previous gardening opportunities all took place the roof of a 1910 apartment building we renovated; he missed soil that wasn't in pots.)
So now we're renovating a classic 1956 mid-century modern home in the Matthews Beach area. It is short block from an entrance to the Burke-Gilman Trail and, once you're on the trail, the beach is just a short walk away. One of us is down there daily with Inga, our seven year old Weimareiner, also known as the light of our lives. This radical shift in location and home style preferences evolved out of repeated visits to Palm Springs, California over a span of about eight years. Time in the desert led to a new appreciation of the architecture and design of the 1950s. Eventually we bought a vacation home in Palm Springs to enjoy sunny retreats from our light deprived Seattle winters. In short order we became swept up in the national trend celebrating all things mid-century. In retrospect it seems inevitable that our newfound respect for mid-century homes there would lead to us to either build a contemporary home there or find a period 1950s home to renovate in Seattle.
Our lives would not be complete without our two 15 year old cats, brother and sister cats, Calvin and Claire.
I'm in touch with Seattle's real estate (literally) on a daily basis in more ways than one. I touch it with my feet: I run. Though I live a block from one of the best running trails in the world, my favorite running path still begins and end in Seattle’s best place: the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. My 7 mile route ambles down Western Avenue to Seattle’s waterfront and then along Elliott Avenue and through Myrtle Edward Park. On clear mornings the views of Elliott Bay, the Olympic Mountains and Mt. Rainier are stunning. These views, and the sights and smells of the market and sea water along the way, serve as a constant reminder of why I love this city as much as I do. Each day I'm reminded of why I live here and I understand better why my clients want to live here as well.
As I leave the park my route loops back towards downtown along Elliott again, then up Mercer Street and through lower Queen Anne. I detour through the center of the Seattle Center and connect to Fifth Avenue all the way to Westlake Mall and then back to the center of the market. It is fascinating to witness the pace of change and development within the downtown corridor and the terrific improvements to the waterfront district and park. I see the wide range of condominiums, apartments, offices and businesses that have sprung up. Some of these projects are spectacular and some of them are merely mediocre. I am excited by the pace of change however, even more so after when I think of the many years of neglect this section of Seattle experienced. Now more and more people are choosing to live downtown and enjoy these new amenities which are close at hand. Though I live elsewhere now, my time downtown connects me to other lifestyles and housing options.
My philosophy of urban living is that we all need to step up and do everything that we can to make our city work. Having a stake hold in our city means raising one’s voice and speaking out. However complex or basic the issues are, whether it's affordable housing, mass transit or simply dog parks in the city, the more people who are involved the better it is for responsible, accountable government. Investing in real estate and creating a home here in Seattle is the first step to take. I want to help people take that step.