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  #1  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 11:25 PM
MrVandelay MrVandelay is offline
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What is Bellevue?

Is Bellevue a "new Brooklyn?"
By Danny Westneat
Seattle Times staff columnist
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...1_danny14.html

BELLEVUE — The corner of Northeast Eighth Street and 106th Avenue Northeast is the perfect place to ponder: What is Bellevue, anyway?

You can see what it used to be. Here sits an abandoned gas station of vintage "Googie" architectural style: low-slung with a sloped carport roof jabbing optimistically toward the sky, as if about to take flight. It was built to signify the Jetsons space age. It says: This is suburbia, where everybody can have a big car with fins and room to park it.

But it's slated to be torn down. In its place: the new Bellevue, a mega-development of five high-rise condo towers.

If you look up, you can see eight tower cranes running simultaneously, racing to stack Bellevue vertically so nobody ever accuses it of sprawl again.

And if you stand at this corner and listen, you can hear what else Bellevue is today.

Which is ... Brooklyn?

"You've got to be kidding me," says Caryl Abergel, who's from Detroit and whose husband, Robert, is an immigrant from the real Brooklyn.

Abergel runs Topolino's Pizza ("The True Taste of Brooklyn") in a strip mall at this same downtown corner. When I was standing there, trying to listen to Bellevue, her cook and a driver began shouting in heavy New Yorkerese about a botched delivery.

I tell her there's a new book that says Bellevue is one of the nation's "New Brooklyns." Titled "Boomburbs: The Rise of America's Accidental Cities," it argues that our quintessential whitebread suburb is now so packed with immigrants it actually looks more like New York's famed borough.

"I don't think so — maybe a very, very white-collar Brooklyn," Abergel says.

But as I eat my pizza, someone orders in Russian-accented English. An East Indian woman stops by for soup. A quarter of the passers-by are people of color, usually Asian.

The book's author, Virginia Tech professor Robert Lang, says he doesn't mean Bellevue feels urban like Brooklyn. It surely doesn't — downtown feels more like a giant mall than ever, now that it has four of them. Three are insufferably titled "The Bellevue Collection." Only Bellevue would "collect" malls.

Lang says he means that Bellevue is a "cosmoburb" — a place tagged as a white suburb that is no longer either white or suburban. Bellevue now is less white than Seattle and has nearly as high a share of foreign-born residents (32 percent) as Brooklyn (38 percent).

Yet people can't bring themselves to call it a real city. At the Wikipedia online encyclopedia, the folks writing Bellevue's entry first labeled it a suburb, then a city, then back to suburb. After a big argument, they settled on the '90s term "edge city."

So what is Bellevue?

Whatever it is, it ain't no bedroom community. It's so brash it's demanding a subway tunnel. There's even research out debunking the notion that places like Bellevue are socially isolating. A UC Irvine study says burbs are more social than high-density cities.

Figures. Everything we thought we knew about suburbs is wrong. And just as we're figuring that out, they aren't suburbs anymore.
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  #2  
Old Posted Dec 14, 2006, 11:41 PM
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Oh, that's easy: Bellevue is the definition of retrograde culture... hideous, hidebound RepublicanLand, with copious anger and frustration.
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  #3  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 5:10 AM
MrVandelay MrVandelay is offline
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^^^ Sounds like Dr. Smoke feels a bit threatened.

I like Bellevue. Its clean and very culturally diverse. I think of it more as an Edge city than a suburb anymore. Its starting to rank pretty high against other skylines of major cities in the US. Its a pretty exciting time for bellevue right now, with the growth of the downtown! We would be on the map even further if the sonics move their team to town and Bellevue has a major stadium built!
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  #4  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 6:34 AM
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^ I'm sure they would still be called the Seattle Supersonics though. Beaverton, a suburb of Portland fits that discription. It gets dispairaged as just being surburban sprawl even though its denser and more diverse than Portland.
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  #5  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 7:11 AM
seaskyfan seaskyfan is offline
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It's hard to call Bellevue "RepublicanLand" anymore. They're sending more Democrats to the state legislature these days.

I've been really impressed by what's going on in Downtown Bellevue - I remember how sterile it used to be and it's great to see more pedestrians around.
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  #6  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 8:16 PM
ratbear ratbear is offline
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Two reasons why Bellevue is so diverse:

1. Subsidized housing in the Crossroads and Lake Hills neighborhoods

2. Close proximity to Microsoft and the tech industry in general (foreign engineers).

There are still vast swaths of almost exclusively white neighborhoods, although that too is starting to diminish. Apart from the smallish urban core of downtown, Bellevue is as suburban as it gets.
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  #7  
Old Posted Dec 15, 2006, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ratbear View Post
Two reasons why Bellevue is so diverse:

1. Subsidized housing in the Crossroads and Lake Hills neighborhoods

2. Close proximity to Microsoft and the tech industry in general (foreign engineers).

There are still vast swaths of almost exclusively white neighborhoods, although that too is starting to diminish. Apart from the smallish urban core of downtown, Bellevue is as suburban as it gets.
Its not just the subsidized housing and Microsoft. Its the enormous amounts of Asians who are moving to bellevue who have money from all over the Puget Sound area.
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  #8  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 8:45 AM
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Asians dont contribute to diversity. Asians contribute to the whitebread effect but with a FOBby aftertaste . It sounds terrible and Im not proud of it but I was raised in bellevue and fell that, on this matter, i speak the truth.
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  #9  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 9:21 AM
SeattleHusky82 SeattleHusky82 is offline
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Originally Posted by horatio_the_hermit View Post
Asians dont contribute to diversity. Asians contribute to the whitebread effect but with a FOBby aftertaste . It sounds terrible and Im not proud of it but I was raised in bellevue and fell that, on this matter, i speak the truth.
Wtf? Just because Asians are often better off than other minorities and are rather affluent doesn't mean they don't add to the diversity. That was a pretty ignorant statement. Do you have some animosity towards all the Asians who are getting all the good grades at Newport?

And somehow I'm the one on this forum that gets accused of being a racist. Go figure.
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  #10  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 5:08 PM
MrVandelay MrVandelay is offline
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It seems that cultural diversity ranks pretty high among people on this forum for what defines a city, but what about other aspects? Los Angeles is stacked with suburbia, but if you look at some of these suburban cities, they have quite a bit going for them such as city centers, sea ports, and in some cases their own Intl airport (John Wayne for example).

I recently read an article that more people are employed within the city limits of bellevue than the number of people that actually live there. I would think that would mean people outside of Bellevue are commuting here to work, which starts to sound more like a 'City' than a 'suburb'.

Perhaps the result of past urban sprawl, is the birth of downtown cores appearing in previous city suburbs.
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  #11  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 7:24 PM
MtnClimber MtnClimber is offline
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Originally Posted by SeattleHusky82 View Post
Wtf? Just because Asians are often better off than other minorities and are rather affluent doesn't mean they don't add to the diversity. That was a pretty ignorant statement. Do you have some animosity towards all the Asians who are getting all the good grades at Newport?

And somehow I'm the one on this forum that gets accused of being a racist. Go figure.

Often times the problem with liberals is that they equate diversity with being poor and ghetto. I wish more people would realize the true agenda of many so called do gooders.
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  #12  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 8:07 PM
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That's just your agenda talking. Most liberals wouldn't leave affluent Asians out of their definition of diversity.
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  #13  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 9:25 PM
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Too many white people make a place whitebread and stagnant but, too many of another race is, of cousre, inherently diverse.
Right.
The area I live in has more Asian residents than white. Therefore, couldnt it be deduced that with every new asian resident comes a step AWAY from diversity.

And in response to SeattleHusky, I enjoy your use of old-time scholarly Asian stereotype. In fact, in my graduating class (about 40% Asian), the top 5% and 10% represent an almost perfect spread of our racial makeup. And yes, I am in both.
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  #14  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 9:30 PM
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I realize that some of my arguments sound racist, and i apologize. I use gross overstatements to better communicate my points.

Please understand that I enjoy and respect Asian culture. As it could be assumed, my best friends ARE Asian, foreign and domestic born.

Bellevue, however, is not different from other north american neighborhoods with high concentrations of ethnic groups. It is common knowledge that when an area becomes very heavily concentrated with one (non-white) group, other ethnicities will be pushed out.
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  #15  
Old Posted Dec 16, 2006, 10:39 PM
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It's true that diversity is about a wide spread of cultures, income levels, and ages. But there are a lot of Asian cultures in Bellevue.
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  #16  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2006, 1:19 AM
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Originally Posted by SeattleHusky82 View Post
Wtf? Just because Asians are often better off than other minorities and are rather affluent doesn't mean they don't add to the diversity. That was a pretty ignorant statement. Do you have some animosity towards all the Asians who are getting all the good grades at Newport?

And somehow I'm the one on this forum that gets accused of being a racist. Go figure.
Right, you only hate "most" black people...
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Old Posted Dec 17, 2006, 7:34 AM
SeattleHusky82 SeattleHusky82 is offline
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Right, you only hate "most" black people...
LOL. Again, please show me some proof when I made any racist comments towards black ppl. The hilarious thing about this accusation is that I AM black. You absolutely have no basis for those statements at all.
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  #18  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2006, 8:12 AM
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Alright, sorry i started this all.
There are a lot of Asian cultures in Bellevue, youre right, im wrong, my apologies.
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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 18, 2006, 11:50 PM
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LOL. Again, please show me some proof when I made any racist comments towards black ppl. The hilarious thing about this accusation is that I AM black. You absolutely have no basis for those statements at all.
Threads that have no replies after several months are deleted.

For clarification that I am thinking of the correct poster, are you the bus driver?
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 19, 2006, 8:48 AM
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Wtf?
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