Thursday, June 18, 2009

Density?? What Density?

I have just returned from a fact-finding mission deep into the heart of Belltown. To obtain the best results, I needed darkness. I've long had my suspicions about all those assertions of Belltown's population density. They say that the neighborhood boasts some 12,000 or so residents. I really have to dispute that. Of course, my evidence is composed of rough, low-light photos from a Thursday night supplemented by my own skepticism, but it might just prove my case. The lights tell it all. Here we go:

This is the Continental Place at 1st & Blanchard. I have no idea how tall it is, but that is of no concern to me. I'm primarily interested in how many people are home. As you can see, not many. It's always like this, so I've always concluded that the Continental only hosts, say, less than 10% of its tenants at any given time. Moving on:

We've got Twenty-One Hundred Third (they spell the name out - class!) at 3rd & Lenora and the Grandview at 3rd & Blanchard. OK, so I guess it's time that I admit that these photos aren't the best, but they bear out my point: not many folks are home at 10 o'clock on a Thursday night. They never are, no matter what night it is. Here's more:

From the top, we have my favorite cheap-ass, scaffold-enshrouded whipping boy, the McGuire, the brand-new Mosler Lofts (which I like a lot BTW) and the Bay Vista (where I park my 120 square-foot car). Yes, still bad photography, but hear me! Do you see how many lights there are? My point is that if Belltown were as populous as they say it is, then all of these places would be lit up like friggin Christmas trees. But they're not. This only leads me to conclude that based on this completely empirical evidence, that Belltown's population is considerably less than the offical figures. Instead of the approximately 12,000, I'd guess that at any given time, it might be something close to half of that. That 12,000 figure is something I have long failed to acknowledge, because when, in the late evening, I look skyward at the homes of my betters, I don't see many lights. True, many may be asleep (at 10:00 at night?? what are they, rich Quakers??) or out on the town (things tend not to happen on Thursdays around town), but such findings tend to cast doubt on Belltown's claims of high density. I don't know; I just have one question: where are all the people? The streets should be packed, but they never are. I think Belltown's claims, like those of Seattle, are greatly inflated. Somebody tell that I'm wrong. Please, anybody!

1 comment:

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