“Dragons march across the 45-foot arch of the historic Chinatown Gate, welcoming visitors to this diverse community.”
That’s how Visit Seattle — a private, nonprofit marketing organization — describes the Chinatown-International District on its website.
It goes on to say, “Wander the area to discover eateries, shops, and attractions that speak to Seattle’s Asian American roots.”
For those who live and work in the International District (ID), we know how special this area is.
It received its official designation in 1951 when Mayor William Devin named it the “International Center.”
Now comprised of three neighborhoods — Chinatown, Japantown, and Little Saigon — the ID is not just a tourist attraction, but a central hub for locals.
It’s an underappreciated community, according to Aaron Crosleycone, one of the owners of World Pizza. He and his brother opened up shop in the ID in 2011 because it’s a great neighborhood. Like his, there are many family-owned businesses in the ID, and Crosleycone said he appreciates how everyone looks out for one another.
Just like how the late Donnie Chin used to patrol the neighborhood, protecting the vulnerable and frail.
More recently, there was a community barbeque to raise money for Moksha, who got robbed last month.
The ID is also a food paradise with most restaurants featuring modestly priced menu items. Food choices run the gamut — from Asian (Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hawaiian) to Cajun, Mexican, Ethiopian, and Greek, to pizzerias, bakeries, and tea shops (yes, there’s coffee, too — including a Starbucks). There’s even a classic American burger joint. Each diverse restaurant has its own unique clientele — it is truly a thriving community.
Food, community, history, culture.
Also convenience. The ID is centrally located. With the International District/Chinatown bus station, and King Street Sounder Station, you get here on a bus or train, and get to anywhere else. The First Hill Streetcar takes you to Capitol Hill, and Colman Ferry dock is just a short bus or train ride away. The Link light rail takes you directly to Sea-Tac Airport.
With modern conveniences, historic and cultural landmarks, and a foodie’s paradise, the ID is one of Seattle’s most unique and interesting neighborhoods to explore.
Come and support the businesses in the ID, an important part of Seattle’s economic fabric.