In unit 7 we covered how the socio-spatial produces difference. We covered four differences that matter, class, family/household status, race/ethnicity and lifestyle. We can observe these differences though out the city of Seattle. One way socio-spatial produces and reproduces class is though relative locations of home and work. Before their use to be company towns, where big companies build towns to sheltered and provide certain lifestyle their employees. This way, the employees don’t have to travel much to get to work.
Although company towns are non-existence now, we can still see similar built-environment around some parts of Seattle. For example, South Lake union and other places close to Amazon headquarter is filled with apartment complex that house Amazon’s employee. More than 18,000 employees work in that area. Just recently, Amazon bought another block in Denny Triangle. According to the article, “Amazon buys another block in Denny Triangle” the company already leases or owns about 3.2 million square feet of office space in that area and is near a deal to lease Blanchard Plaze. Budget Car Rental, Hurricane café and motel leased to Cornish College of the Arts currently occupies the block. The Cornish college bas been told to vacate the leased motels by mid 2015, this is one consequence of zoning. Another source published just a month says, “Clise [properties] planning 40-story apartment tower near new Amazon campus.” Only certain socioeconomic class can afford high rents on these apartments due its location and view. This is an example of how class-specific property development practices enforce differences.
In Seattle, I’ve also observed race and ethnicity difference. The history of China town or International District in Seattle shows how the race and ethnicity difference is produced through narratives difference by or for dominant interests. In 1880’s Chinese workers were recruited to built railroads and dig coal-mines. Soon after than discriminatory laws restricted immigrations during economic recession. The Chinese community was leveled to build the 2nd ave extension. But in 1900’s, when work began to extend south of Pioneer Square, the city’s major railroad agreed to locate their Seattle passengers’ terminals in the area. Many hotels were built to shelter railroad passengers and workers, which later became Seattle’s Chinatown. In some sense, Chinatown was an immigrant home. Many other immigrants joined this little neighborhood, especially Japanese and Filipinos due to inexpensive housing. Immigrants faced many discrimination and racism, for example, after the Pearl Harbor attack, Chinese were compelled to were badges that declared they weren’t Japanese. Despite all the racism and discrimination, these communities spread through Rainier Valley. This is an example of race/ethnicity produced through resistance to narratives of difference. Also, Chinatown is filled with Asian restaurants and other grocery markets like Uwajimaya and We can say that it has become a consumption zone.
Seattle truly has a rich history, and is constantly changing and developing. I think Seattle residences are able to experience different lifestyles within a city. We are known for many things such rain city or Starbucks, Microsoft, Amazon, Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix. Each neighborhood or community differs from one another, and it’s never boring.