A funny thing has been happening to me lately when I meet new people and tell them I live in Ballard (a neighborhood in Seattle for you non-Seattlites). They tell me how cool it is to live in Ballard and how much they love my neighborhood. It’s occurred to me that many people in GenX and later don’t even remember how uncool Ballard used to be; all the jokes about Snoose Junction and cars driving along with the seat belt dangling out the door. Instead they know Ballard as the place with all the nightclubs and bars and galleries, etc.

I was as shocked as anybody when The Stranger chose Ballard as the hippest neighborhood in Seattle. More than Capital Hill…and Fremont….and even Queen Anne where I met some new friends last night. To me that’s amazing.

So then why are people trying to ruin my cool neighborhood with all these new condos and townhouses going up, replacing many of the bungalows that so defined Ballard? Not to even mention the old Denny’s and the Sunset Bowl, and the Yankee Diner, and even my neighborhood QFC, all to replaced with condos and more condos.

I agree that maybe this attempt to save the old Denny’s by calling it a landmark building sounds crazy to people in other neighborhoods, but I see it as an attempt by our neighborhood to save itself. Enough is enough. If people like Ballard so much why are they trying to change it?

Now Will over at HorsesAss.Org likes to claim that this is NIMBYism run amok. He claims to be a poor schlub who couldn’t afford to buy a house in the city if it wasn’t for all these new developments going up.

I have to admit he gave me pause here, but Will, honestly have you priced these new condos lately? They are not much cheaper than houses, frankly, and they certainly don’t qualify as low-income housing.

Frankly, I don’t know who is buying all these new condos, and I suspect that they really aren’t selling that well. It appears to be speculators upon speculators, and the situation is getting worse all the time. I predict a crash in the condo market in Seattle. You read it here. Why would people buy a condo in Ballard, a residential neighborhood? They would be much better off buying one downtown, where there are amenities and you don’t need to have a car to get around.