Welcome to Neighborhood Judgments, the weekly series where we determine if a designated Seattle neighborhood is actually a neighborhood. We will present arguments on both sides from readers of the discussion and then put it to a vote. Basically, you need to answer the question, when asked where they live, is a Seattleites allowed to use the name of this neighborhood or not?
The Defendant: West Edge
Stated Boundaries: A long, four-block stretch that sits roughly between 1st & 4th Avenue and Lenora St. & Yesler Way (though, like the neighborhood itself, that's up for debate).
The Alternative Name: Belltown or Downtown
Argument Against: First and foremost, it's "contrived" and "a marketing creation." Its boundaries clearly envelop certain areas of Seattle that most people would just call Belltown or Downtown. "That's ridiculous." One reader is "not sure there is really enough of a coherent character in this little stretch to count as an entire neighborhood." One person who lives within the boundaries typically says "I live Downtown" or "near the market."
Argument For: "Lots of neighborhood names were created for marketing reasons," including Capitol Hill. For those who say we have to stick with the same names forever, one person reminds us that "neighborhoods change and evolve over the years." Besides, Belltown and Downtown are large neighborhoods, this gives small areas within them "a chance to develop a personality and defines a specific location." A resident within the boundaries says "the area is distinct," though they wonder if there's a better name to come.
· Help Us Make Some Seattle Mini-Neighborhood Judgments [Curbed Seattle]