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.
Some places you might like to go in Wallingford:
- 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.
- 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 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 P-Patch (not pea patch) garden on the south end of Meridian Park. It's small, but fun to look through, see what people are growing.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wallingford Library is the local branch of the library.
- 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. The original Food Giant flashes by in the opening credits of the film "Singles".
- 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 - two screens in two buildings separated by a pizza joint
- Other small 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
- 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.
Major bus lines passing through Wallingford are the 16 (travels between downtown and the Northgate transit center), and the 44 (travels bewteen the U District and Ballard). Both buses arrive frequently and regularly.
There's a street in Wallingford called Woodland Park Avenue N. As you might expect, it goes to Woodland Park. Something interesting about the street: 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. Story has it that long ago, it was a major road, and they didn't have pavement, or something like that. So it's all red brick.
Wallingford has/had a small neighborhood paper; I don't know if it's in circulation any more.