Thursday, September 6, 2012

South Park

A desire to visit the Stockbox Grocery took a curious crony and me to South Park.

Having read a few articles about this store, I really wanted to visit and was happy to have an opportunity to chat with the young women who started this business. It started as an MBA project to plan a business which addresses a social need. Its goal is to give people in underserved areas access to good quality food. It reminded me of the corner stores of my youth (and of the Ballard Corners Park with its loving history of local corner stores). I wish a store like this were on a corner near me. I bought fresh tomatoes, peppers, avacado, cactus leaves and Marra Farm beans that were so good, I never even got to cook them because I ate them raw.

The store is located at 14th Avenue S and S Cloverdale Street about a block from the South Park Bridge which is currently being replaced and is due to reopen in 2013.

14th Avenue is mostly commercial with colorful storefronts.

The neighborhood abuts a Boeing facility and is still home to a number of Boeing employees. I noted that the Metrology Lab is located here and later learned that metrology is the science of measurement.

The neighborhood appears to have a significant Hispanic population and this was reflected in the murals we spotted (like this one on the Consejo Youth and Family Services building),

the restaurants, the taco truck where we had a tasty lunch, the signs we saw for the upcoming Fiestas Patrias (which according to the Sea Mar website "...reminds us that the spirit of freedom is indomitable and helps maintain a bond between Latinos in the Northwest and their home countries throughout the Americas",

Cesar Chavez Village,

Cesar Chavez Park,

the free Bible Literature stand offering Spanish and English material

and the tiles we saw in the sidewalk along 14th

and at a corner where the City of Seattle ends and unincorporated King County begins. The South Park neighborhood is inside the city's southern limits. There must be some reasons why this boundary zigs and zags so erratically but I have no idea what they are.

This area is home to Sea Mar Community Health Services (which has a large presence in the area),

the South Park Community Center whose lovely grounds include artwork embedded in the footpath,

the South Park Branch of the Seattle Public Library,

Fire Station Number 26,

Oromo Church of God of Prophecy,

Wiley's World Famous Ski Shop (whose tag line is "If we don't have it, you don't need it!"), South Park Marina, the Squared Circle Boxing Club,  what is probably the roasting facility for Caffe Umbria, parts of the Duwamish Bike Trail

and a River City Skatepark (which we passed on the way to Little Rae's Bakery - I thought it would have a place to eat but it turned out to be a baking facility located in an industrial park on Cloverdale near 509).

Along our 8.9 miles walk, we spotted staircases,

murals under the 99 overpass,

a foot/bike bridge over 99,

a sign directing us to "Come stare at the walls and we will tell you stories." with a face painted nearby,

the Duwamish River,

more murals,

tree-lined streets,

modest houses

and lovely trees and gardens.

This area is a real mix of residential, commercial and industrial and this walk was a good introduction to another great Seattle neighborhood and a wonderful new business. I'm looking forward to returning to South Park, walking more streets and visiting Marra Farms.


  1. Thanks for the lovely write up of our neighborhood. Come back any time! We have a great event 12/1/12 supporting our local artists at the South Park community center :-)

    1. Hi Barbara, thanks for this information - I will definitely be back:-)