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Seattle Met Magazine: Magnolia is best place to live

March 28th, 2011 · 3 Comments

The Seattle Met Magazine is out with its list of the Top 20 Places to Live and Magnolia is on the list.  No big surprise to those of us who live here but still nice to be recognized.

Here is what they had to say:  “It’s hard to think of Magnolia as a best-kept secret, what with its name recognition, proximity to downtown, and stately homes. But that’s just how its residents think of it—and they like it that way. “It keeps us from being overrun,” says Julie Szmania, co-owner of the eponymous eatery in Magnolia Village.

Magnolians have watched fickle Seattleites hop from one hot neighborhood to another while their own little corner of the city has remained relatively unchanged. And that steady-as-she-goes status has helped the community built on wide streets and anchored by Discovery Park maintain a close-knit, family-friendly feel. Some even jokingly call it Mayberry R.F.D. “I wouldn’t quite go that far,” says Loree Schoonover, editor of the Magnolia Voice blog. “But it really is a charming small-town atmosphere five minutes from the city.”

The only drawback to all that quiet: It’s almost lulled portions of the commercial core—located on West McGraw Street—to sleep. Stubborn landlords are reluctant to pony up development dough to improve vacant storefronts, and skittish entrepreneurs won’t set up shop in the isolated enclave. The lack of retail action peeves people like Szmania, but not enough to sour them on Magnolia. “We may not be the most exciting neighborhood in town,” she says, “but we have great views, big yards, and it’s safe.”

Thanks to Seattle Met for the Magnolia Voice shout out.  You can check out the list of the other top neighborhoods here.

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  • Snarkbark

    Not exciting???? Well I saw a Sasquatch once, but it wasn’t in Magnolia…..

  • http://www.charlesredell.com/ Charles

    Do you think they just meant the West side of the hill? Most people don’t think of the east side of Magnolia when they think of Magnolia and that does seem to be all they’re talking about. But those of on the East side are closer to downtown, also have great views (though not of the Olympics and the Sound) and have more exciting neighborhood options at our doorsteps than the sleepy village where I at least, never go. Also, we seem to share very few of the same concerns as the Magnolia Community Club. After all, is airplane noise really a concern for those of us living within site and hearing of the train yards (which I love).

    I think this side of the hill needs to change its name. West Interbay? South Ballard? How about Upper West Side?

  • newinmagnolia

    I’ve only lived in Magnolia a short time, but it really is a great neighborhood. I was skeptical at first – it wasn’t even on my list of places to look. But I do wish these “stubborn landlords” would fix improve the vacant storefronts and that more businesses would choose to come here. It doesn’t have to be a bunch of bars that create noise and people all over the streets, but some excellent restaurants, specialty stores, clothing boutiques that are actually stylish and quality spa/salons would be nice – like Ballard Avenue but not as big, and with drinking/dining establishments geared toward an older crowd. Everything good sets up shop in Ballard, Capitol Hill or Queen Anne. I think it’s Magnolia’s turn.