Eastlake residents came out last evening (Tuesday, Aug. 7) to enjoy three Night Out block parties, two on Franklin and one on Minor. That's the most Night Out events I've seen in the three years I've been writing for Eastlake Ave.
Neighbors gathered in the 2600 block of Franklin (between Roanoke and Edgar), the 2300 block of Franklin (between Lynn and Louisa) and in a driveway just off the street in the 2200 block of Minor. There were barbecues going at all three locations and more food than you could ever hope to eat.
Night Out Against Crime is a national program that encourages people to gather at block parties the first Tuesday in August to get to know their neighbors and build unity. The hope is that knowing your neighbors that will translate into crime prevention.
At the party in the 2600 block of Franklin, several people who were walking by decided to stay, chat and eat. Barbara Sherman, who used to live in the area but now owns an Eastern Washington winery, said she somehow always manages to be at this block party. Her mother lives nearby, which has a bit to do with her attendance.
In the 2300 block of Franklin, the living room had been brought out into the street, with a rug and a comfy outdoor sectional. Neighbors were talking about a disputed new apartment building being planned at 2371 Franklin E., at the end of the block. When I came back by later, Pagliacci had delivered pizza as a gesture of neighborliness.
Neighbors in the 2200 block of Minor Ave. E. said they were too late getting their request to block the street in to the police department, so they held their party in a driveway that had access to a great backyard. Again, there was a barbecue and tons of food and lots of talk about plans for the neighborhood.
As the sun finally set, neighbors at all three parties reluctantly began to clean up and pack away their picnic gear. The purpose of the evening -- making connections -- seemed to have been successful.