Ode to White Center

So I feel liked I’ve been givin’ my ‘hood a little too much hate in the last couple weeks…so here is my ode to “rat city” aka White Center.

Dear White Center,

      When we first looked into moving here we were thrilled with the inexpensive homes, accessibility to downtown, and diverse culture. We didn’t necessarily realize that we would also be subjecting ourselves to the neighborly meth dealer/prostitute, creepy dudes in wife beaters, and parents who think it’s totally acceptable to send their 6 year old to the park along with their two-year old…alone…although this might possibly be preferable to the parent who drives them to the park but then sits in the car the whole time and drinks a 40 while the children play.

    But you also have your good sides, White Center. Here are a few…

1) If I don’t feel like getting dressed and showering on a particular day…it’s totally okay! And even better, I can go around town and still feel like I completely fit in and actually feel pretty good about myself because I still have my teeth.

2) There are really great dollar stores here. In fact, a lot of our decorative items come from there and no one is the wiser…once we saw our doorstop in a fancy store selling for, like, 40 times the price we paid.

3) We are indeed very close to the city…in peak traffic it only takes me 20 minutes to reach downtown, and along the way I can pass judgement in my own privacy about the people that have really fancy vehicles, but live in a shack with 10 of their relatives because having a cool car is soooo cool.

4) I always feel like I am the best mother in the world…in comparison to all the completely crazy parents I’ve met here…and they all think I’m really “cool” ’cause I’m too much of a wuss to be like “uh, could you tell your 4 year old not to swear, please” or “Your kid is about to walk into the very busy street right now, dumba$$” (hey, I’m trying to keep this G-rated, but it’s hard!!

5) There are great taco vans around here…and I’m not trying to be funny on this one. They are fantastic!

6) I feel closer to God because, whether I like it or not, I can hear the sermon from three blocks away in our front yard…and understand most of it, even though it’s in Spanish.

7) I get to see, for real, the guys that make an exceptional living doing random illegal what-have yous. Before moving here I thought that the guy with the 6 different gold necklaces, baggy clothes and fancy, I’m talking fancy car was kind of a character, but now I know it’s for real…and the head honcho’s son plays with my kid everyday at the park and we’re on a first name basis, so I guess I’m “protected”.

   All in all, White Center, you are a quirky gal, but I’m glad to call you my home (or at least until my son is old enough to pass by the meth house and ask “Mommy, what’s that smell?”).


P.S. Here is a picture of a fabulous find at the dollar store today…and kid sized umbrella for the rain.

Yellow Ducky

P.P.S This is meant to be “cheeky”, and White Center is actually very cute…(Dave is sensitive about this subject and wanted to make sure that I didn’t scare any of our relatives that live outside of Seattle).



  1. #1 by Mandi on August 25, 2008 - 9:23 am

    Love the cheekiness! Here’s another cheeky post I think you would like: http://anythingsaid.blogspot.com/2008/08/it-just-keeps-getting-awesomer.html

  2. #2 by kirida on August 25, 2008 - 1:55 pm

    Hi Kirsten–found your blog via West Seattle Blog’s blogroll. I like what you’ve said about White Center, but you didn’t mention Full Tilt! Best ice cream ever.

    Also, hit me up if you’re interested in doing a WC/West Seattle photostroll!

  3. #3 by Jill on August 25, 2008 - 9:21 pm

    OMG, I am giggling over here. You have such a way of writting! The images that you paint, so clear, I can see it all in my mind. Seattle is such a diverse place, it takes all kinds to make it so colorful. Thanks for the positive perspective. Isn’t it so true that it’s all about how we view our little slice of the world?!

    PS. LOVE the shot of Coen in his bright yellow slicker!

  4. #4 by Krisi on August 26, 2008 - 8:18 pm

    What a great picture! You are doing some amazing shots!! And I love seeing pic’s of my nephew!

  5. #5 by killlashandra on August 27, 2008 - 6:32 am

    Love it! I used to live in West Seattle and my folks still live in Burien and White Center, wow, definitely been there and I could so totally see all your points about it. There are perks and definite downsides to the area that’s for sure. My Mom tells great tales of her adventures there too. 🙂

  6. #6 by Jonni on August 27, 2008 - 10:07 am

    Too funny Kirsten and I love the the photo of Coen. Isn’t he just the sweetest?


  7. #7 by Chad on August 27, 2008 - 2:30 pm

    That was too funny, great idea. Maybe I should do an ode to Capitol Hill, LOL. Great pic of Coen btw :).

  8. #8 by Todd on 21st and Roxbury on September 4, 2008 - 11:32 pm

    Nice. Truer words couldnt be spoken. Though you did leave out the neighbor who has 4-5 trucks, only one or two run at anytime. The neighbor who, instead of walking his garbage out to the trash cans in the alley, makes a huge pile of bags off the back porch until someone complains.
    Keep the faith, keep picking up after the idiots, and someday this will be our kool utopia.

  9. #9 by Jerry on September 21, 2008 - 7:24 pm

    I cannot believe how true all of the things you’ve put into this post really are. I don’t live in White Center, but I teach at one of the schools. I just have a couple things to say:
    1. Some of the parents I have met in my years of teaching are just like what you describe. But most of them are hard working (mostly immigrants) people who are fantastic parents that want more for their children than what they currently have.
    2. The El Rincon taco bus is Awesome!
    3. Every once in awhile my wife ends up coming down to White Center and we might stop at some place like Albertsons. After about 5 minutes she will turn to me and say, “I want to go home …… now.”

    Happy Blogging to you…..

  10. #10 by kate on September 27, 2008 - 7:41 pm

    I think that the climate here varies greatly depending on your block. Now where is that meth house? I have yet to smell it.

    Oh and don’t forget the beer! Big Al is making some fine beverages.

    Thanks for sharing your pics.


  11. #11 by Meghan on October 3, 2008 - 4:16 pm

    Hey there Kirsten!
    A friend of mine had emailed this to me because I also live here in White Center. I absolutely loved your blog about this “special” city that we live in! When I saw the pic of that little angel at the bottom, i thought he looked familiar and when I saw his name, and a pic of you in there, I almost fell out of my seat because I know you from the Tot Lot! I’m Aedans mom (the bald baby with the non stop talking mom) Small world huh?! Hopefully I’ll see you next Friday!!!

  12. #12 by candice. on October 14, 2008 - 12:24 pm

    Woot Woot White Center.

    When my first friend bought a house here we all thought he was nuts. Now us and 3 other of our best friend have purchased here.

    We used to live in Ballard and I still work there. Let me tell you: Ballardites sure are snooty folks.

    And Jerry… before we moved to WC we stopped in at Albertson’s and my husband was like “and you think WE live in the ghetto… check this place out”. That was when we lived in Columbia City. Now we live 5 blocks from said Albertson’s. It’s cool though. 🙂

  1. Hilarious “Ode To White Center” Blog Post | White Center Blog

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