When you think Wallingford, think 45th Street and the Woodland Park Zoo (at its northwest corner). Lots of pedestrian activity in the residential areas and along 45th, giving this neighboorhood a homey, friendly feel.
It's something like a liberal college town (say, the University District), but a bit older in feel. You see some students around, but not many—mostly, people are living established lives. Many young families are moving in and housing is in high demand, making prices quite high. I didn't hear much about crime while living here. It probably exists, but I was never aware of any of it. Reasonably high cat-to-house ratio. It's one of the great centers for old Craftsman bungalows in Seattle.
the 45th Street Clinic - SUPER-hospitable health clinic - they go out of their way to see low-income patients, in particular. They have a homeless youth program as well. If you don't have any money, you can come here and get the help you need.
Wallingford Library is the local branch of the library.
Parks and Gardens
Woodland Park, the Woodland Park Zoo, and the Woodland Park Rose Garden - all on the northwest corner of Wallingford. There are free peace concerts in Woodland Park on Sundays in the summer, and sometimes you'll find a samba band practicing. Lots of wild rabbits in Woodland park too, but don't feed them please, as their population is already out of control.
Wallingford Playfield, with a large playground and even larger fields, due south of the 45th street clinic, just before the elementary school - some days, they have water in the wading pool - ice cream trucks also make the rounds.
Meridian Park, 4649 Sunnyside Ave N. Has fields, a basketball hoop, and a kid's play area. Lots of apple trees too, if you're here in September. Volleyball and frisbee groups meet here.
- Good Shepherd P-Patch (Not pea patch! P stands for Picardo, the owner of a farm in Wedgwood that he donated to the city to become the first P-Patch.) garden on the south end of Meridian Park. It's small, but fun to look through, see what people are growing.
- Good Shepherd Center, adjacent to Meridian Park. An old center for "wayward girls", it is now a building that houses a school, senior center, many nonprofit organizations, and artist lofts.
- Seattle Tilth, one of the nonprofits in the Good Shepherd Center, has a demonstration edible garden in Meridian Park.
Wallingford QFC supermarket - most notable for the large "WALLINGFORD" letters atop the store, and major nearby bus access. Until the mid-1990s it was an independent supermarket called FOOD GIANT. When QFC took over, they took down the sign, but there was a bunch of unrest about it. So the owners rearranged the old letters and added a few new ones.
Wallingford Center, across the street. It's an old schoolhouse that has been converted into shops with apartments above. There's currently a controversy between the tenants and the building owner, whose rates are high. Several favorite neighborhood stores have closed down here in recent years.
Guild 45th Theater - Classic theater built in 1919, with two screens in two buildings separated by a pizza joint
Julia's, 4401 Wallingford Ave N. Great food, and the Wallingford Bakery, right next door, makes some of the best cakes in Seattle at a reasonable price!
Tweedy and Popp Hardware Store - great little old hardware store, knowledgable folks. They put up a huge lit sign of the year number every new years' and change the number with the new year.
Other businesses along 45th, the main drag in Wallingford:
- Children's consignment store, right down the street from the QFC - parents, this is where you want to be.
- Comic store, on the East end, before 45th street hits I-5.
- Dick's Drive-In - hamburgers, as usual, also on the East end.
- Golden Oldies Records, on 45th just a few blocks west of I-5. My goodness, they don't still sell vinyl 45s, do they?
- The Asteroid Cafe - awesome Italian food, very strange appearance from the outside, though. There's a gigantic "meteor" on top of the otherwise normal-looking building. Inside, it's cramped but lively, and the staff are friendly. A plate will cost you $20-$30 and it'll be excellent.
- Sushi - there are a LOT of sushi places in Wallingford - they're all good
- Moon Temple - Chinese restaurant and lounge across the street from the Guild 45th
- Teahouse Kuan Yin at 1911 N. 45th St—Expensive but excellent tea. A quiet place to hang out for awhile.
- Bottleworks - Fabulous beer store, specializing in Belgian beer. Fancy chocolate, too.
- Wallingford Wurst Festival
- Wallingford Garden Tour
- Seattle Tilth Plant Sale - first weekend in May
- Seattle Tilth Harvest Fair - mid-September
- Peace Concerts - in Woodland Park
Major bus lines passing through Wallingford are the 16 (travels between downtown and the Northgate transit center), the 26 (travels between Greenlake, through downtown and turns into the 42) and the 44 (travels between the U District and Ballard). The buses arrive frequently and regularly.
There's a street in Wallingford called Woodland Park Avenue N. If you look at it on the edge in the right places, you can see where the road has worn thin, and you can see red brick beneath it. That is, there is old red brick beneath the road. In the early days of Seattle, many roads were paved with brick or cobblestones instead of pavement.
Wallingford has/had a small neighborhood paper; I don't know if it's in circulation any more.
The original Food Giant flashes by in the opening credits of the film "Singles".
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