For my own observation, I sat on the balcony outside my work lab in the Health Sciences Building. It was a sunny afternoon, although I felt a chill in the air while sitting in the shade. I was facing Pacific Street, looking over the construction of some out buildings in front of Magnusson. I heard the bark of orders from the worksite, the clanking of power tools, and the rumble of construction machinery, both from in front of me and down the street, where Foege is also undergoing a revamp. The chattering of students crossing the overpass to the biology labs in Hitchcock and the wheezing of old metro busses stopping in front of Health Sciences broke up the sounds of work. The air smelled like gasoline, and bits of poplar fluff were blowing through the wind. My peaceful reflection on the balcony was interrupted by an enterprising spider trying to make a home on my coworkers bike.
As for the pieces on gentrification this week, I feel as though this is a narrative that we have heard many times before. From the news to TV shows, the topic of "moneyed takeover" is often broached. In my own experience, I have already lived in heavily gentrified areas for most of my life and thus have not seen the forces really in action. However, for the last 10 years, I have lived in Shoreline, WA, which is bisected by Route 99, or Aurora Avenue. In the last few years, a major clean up effort has been underway, as more high rises pop up along the Ave while motels get torn down. It has seen the opening of both a Whole Foods and a PCC in areas that were previously the domain of Jack-in-the-Box alone. Aurora and it's businesses are attempting to cater to a different set of people entirely, and in doing so, harms it's current occupants. While I'm sure Route 99 won't lose it's reputation, I think that In the years to come, it will be a very different experience and garner a very different reaction to live by Aurora Avenue.