What Are You Thankful For, West Seattle?

by Lori Hinton

On a bright, crisp fall day, stroll the streets of The Junction and you’ll find West Seattlelites are eager to share their sunny dispositions. Ask them what they’re thankful for, and many will smile and tell you they are just happy to be here.

“I am thankful for the smell of the saltwater in the air on the way into work, “beams Katie Barnhardt of Northwest Art & Frame.

 

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Local bike rider Ed Lebel says, “I’m thankful that my dad was raised here so I was too.” Lebel loves to ride what he calls the “tour de West Seattle” around the beach.

 

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“I am thankful for Lincoln Park and all the natural spaces in West Seattle,” smiles resident Maija Wade. “We have two kids and we love it here!”

 

But on top of being thankful for our amazing nature with beaches, parks, and recreational opportunities galore, West Seattle has something more: Heart.

“I was born and raised in West Seattle, and I’m thankful that I can spend time with my family here,” says Kori Ball. “It’s like a small town within a big city. Everyone knows each other.”

And while West Seattle is full of proud multigenerational families, you don’t have to be a Westside native to feel the love.

“We moved here from the East Coast to be closer to my beautiful grandson,” says Caper’s Kassie Hennessey. “I live and work in The Junction and coming to work here feels like family. Customers come in and reminisce, and they’re like family too. I am thankful to feel a part of something like I do here, it makes me giddy.”

Fellow employee Joey Shearer-Harvey agrees. “We moved here from L.A. and my kids and I call it Mayberry. I am also thankful that everything is right here in The Junction. In L.A., I could never walk to the post office, then the grocery store, and go shopping on my way home.”

Working where you live and living where you work is huge. A two-block commute is definitely something to be thankful for.

 

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“I’m thankful that I live AND work here in The Junction,” says Wolfgang Ratzlaff of Easy Street Records. “That, and I work at THE coolest place in West Seattle, maybe in the whole city!”

 

It’s a community that supports its neighbors. Sure it’s got your neighborhood pub. But it also has your best friend’s coffee shop, your uncle’s 90-year-old delicatessen, and your dog’s favorite treat stop—where the entire staff knows him by name.

 

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“I am thankful for West Seattle and The Junction specifically,” smiles Will Valentine as he pets Squish the cat at Next to Nature. “I love to work here with these cats knowing we are taking care of them while introducing them to families who can adopt them.”

 

It’s people and places like this that make the popular “I heart West Seattle” bumper sticker ring true for so many.

So this year, when you reflect on what you’re grateful for, join your neighbors to give thanks for living (and, for some, living and working) in a community with heart.