After our morning routine of waking up and prepping up in 30 minutes, we were scheduled for a tour by SCIDpda. SCIDpda is an organization that is similar to San Francisco’s Chinatown Community Development Center. Just like CCDC; they provide senior services like the afternoon lunch and/or brunch, develop and/or redevelop the affordable housings and SROs located around Seattle’s International District / Chinatown, and they have services that support the local shops and stores of the International District. During our tour we had learned about the new development of the future park that replaces the old USPS post office just right next door to Hing Hay Park. Further on our tour we also learned about the backgrounds of community planning and the risks of it. One street for example had many stores that flourished until construction for the road in front had to close down all those shops because the whole entire street was closed down for 2 years. On last few moments of the tour we visited the children’s park of the Seattle’s international district to get a glimpse of it and that we later on learned more about it during the powerpoint presentation. During the particular part of the Children’s Park, the park originally had a Ying and Yang symbol on the middle but was not put back in despite the community’s voices rebutting against it. This shows me that overall it’s the community that is the one power that could possibly decide how the outcome of the development or redevelopment turns out. You see, the park, despite being targeted to kids, had incidents of drug use and illicit activities that deterred its desired visitors from going anywhere near the park all because you can’t see in and out of the park because of its foliage. The development plan included professional architects and planners that went door to door asking the inhabitants of the international district about the children’s park. And the final design just so removed the Ying and Yang symbol. Despite the community’s effort to help themselves out, they are met by hate from a bigger fraction of the community.
The next stop was the Seattle’s central public library at downtown. Its massive floors were like a huge maze and the architecture of the building was more impressive than SF’s. The 10 floors that dedicated to a single use like the reading room, writers room, meeting room and even a massive living room. Of course with 10 floors there is also a wide, huge, every other words and synonyms that relates to GIGANTIC!
The next and final stop was back at the international district just across the street from the Hing Hay Park. We had another interactive tour with a youth group called WILD (Wilderness Inner-City Leadership Development) they were a pretty fun group to be with and to relate with. WILD does similar things to what CCDC’s Adopt-An-Alleyway does such as interacting with seniors. But while AAA does arts and crafts with the seniors, WILD of course takes the seniors bird watching in the wilderness and they also have individual retreats for the youths of the program. Although our time was indeed short, the connections we made together …I have a feeling it might last longer than expected. The bonds that have been forged today on 6/9/15 should last a bit longer. “Why?” You might ask or “How?” well the reason is fairly simple. We youth, although from different programs and organizations, experience the same feelings while we are at our programs. We attend to see our friends, to do service with them, they care enough for the community to take action. They had taken part of the planning for the new park development that I had spoken of earlier. We do/did the same things and we enjoy the same things making us compatible to become more than acquaintances and business buddies. I mean take a look at one of this trip’s participants, David Trang. It looks like he got along well with the members of WILD.
Well that is it for Day 2 of our Seattle/Vancouver Observation Trip. Stay tuned and ready for my report on Day 3.