The West Seattle Junction may be the only intersection in Seattle where pedestrians can walk all ways across the street when they get the signal. If these things are any indication of the hipness of a neighborhood, one can deduce that the Junction must be one of the coolest places to live in Seattle, right?
People certainly agreed with that sentiment in the early 1900s. When two streetcar lines were finally constructed in 1907 along Alaska Street and California Avenue, their intersection—the Junction—was developed faster than any neighborhood in Seattle’s history. Times got tough during the great depression in the 1930s, but soon rebounded with the advent of the automobile. This was when the All Way Walk signal made its debut—too many cars were competing with too many pedestrians. And although there were a few more blips in the neighborhood’s success here and there, it’s safe to say that today, West Seattle is established and here to stay.
The Junction is considered to be downtown West Seattle, and according to the community website, this is “Where It’s At.” And by ‘it,’ they probably mean: shopping, dining, drinking, desserting, concert going, coffee sipping, wine tasting, farmers-marketing, and on and on and on. Events like art walks, seasonal festivals, open mic nights, and outdoor movie nights keep locals and visitors busy all year round.
The neighborhood actually goes by a few names these days. You may hear it called The Junction, Alaska Junction or simply Junction. Technically there is a neighborhood to the west called Genessee, though it overlaps and many residents will simply say they live in “The Junction.”
Activities and Attractions
Some establishments worth mentioning are the Husky Deli, which has been selling groceries and ice cream since the 1930s, Easy Street Records, a funky new-and-used music shop that also serves up a cheap and delicious brunch, and Bakery Noveau, which took over the space of a historic bakery. Really, there’s no shortage of shops and eateries to pop into; it all depends on what you’re in the mood for!
Maybe you’re in the mood for something a little more active than dining and shopping. In that case, the Junction is also home to one of the only bowling alleys left in the city—West Seattle Bowl. Or, to get out in nature, check out Camp Long and its hiking trails, climbing rocks and newly constructed ropes course.
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