Starting Over In Skyway

by Robin Boland

True confession time. I’ve lived in Seattle my entire life and I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never explored Skyway. The lovely editor of this publication asked my embarrassed self to write an article about living in the Skyway area from a newbie perspective. So here goes (confession is good for the soul, right?).

I came to live in Skyway following a life change that necessitated renting near Seattle. Since I can’t curse here there’s no way to truly and accurately express the horror I felt, looking for an affordable rental in Seattle. I couldn’t afford to live anywhere near my previous neighborhood (Brighton) unless I was looking to live in a tiny, musty basement with my 6ft tall teenager for 2k a month.

Enter Skyway.

Yes, it’s true I wouldn’t have discovered my charming neighbor to the south if I hadn’t been forced to move but here we are. It turns out that Skyway is really lovely. It’s also a part of unincorporated King County, tough it has a Seattle address (it’s complicated).  That means no sugary drink tax, or plastic straw ban.

My new neighborhood is quiet with lots of cute houses similar to the 1950’s style seen across Beacon Hill. My neighbors are very friendly, and some have been here for generations. I met a neighbor who was driving my Lyft one morning and she told me her family had been on our shared block for 40+ years.

Seen through fresh eyes Skyway is totally worth exploring, embracing and encouraging.

In my recent explorations I’ve discovered a few of my neighborhood’s highlights.

Kubota Gardens (technically in Rainier Beach?) is amazing. I’ve now been there in Fall & Winter and it was differently beautiful each time. On a rainy Sunday it was nearly empty so if you’re an introvert like me that’s the best time to go (the same goes for the Market, rainy Tuesday = less tourists & crowds).

The Skyway library was recently redone and is very inviting. I always appreciate having the community resource of a wonderful library in the neighborhood. I saw the post office was nearby there as well as the Beachcomber. I had never been to the neighborhood bar so after signing up for a King County library card I met up with the previously referenced editor, a Skyway local, to check it out. Potentially this was the moment he began plotting for me to write this article.

The Beachcomber was very welcoming with friendly service and rumored good food that I need to come back to try out. The outdoor cinema is another great neighborhood asset that I’m excited about checking out. Skyway Outdoor Cinema shows free movies on the first four Fridays in August which is really the only time to reliably schedule outdoor events in Seattle. They have food trucks & other concessions for sale so I’m thinking a really easy Friday date night (if that’s your thing).

My favorite find in the neighborhood so far is Catfish Corner Express. I grew up in the Central District which means I grew up eating the Jackson family’s food from the original location on Cherry & MLK. Fast forward to the Brighton years and there was briefly a Catfish Corner location nearby me there. Now I’m in Skyway & voila, there’s a Catfish Corner Express location right up the road from me! That makes it really feel like home.

This concludes my newbie tour of your lovely area. Thanks for having me.

Featured image by Alex Garland