Discolor Online

Weblog of the sweetest person you never want to piss off.


Perception vs. Reality

Scanning the headlines, I noticed this article about the Rainier Beach Safeway (which is, apparently, "plagued by thugs"). This is the Safeway I often choose to shop at, bypassing the Safeway on Martin Luther King which is older, smaller, more poorly stocked, more dilapidated, and occasionally has the scary drug-addled panhandler guy roaming aggressively between parked cars and wildly extorting people. If this newly renovated, brightly-lit, spacious, clean, well-stocked Safeway is the "scary" Safeway, I'd really love to know what these people would think of the one that's closer to my house.

Obviously people have been attacked or there wouldn't be a story. There are police reports and victims of crimes that can be listed. Even so, it was a total surprise to me to hear it. I've never seen anything approaching a gang of thugs haunting that Safeway, have never been approached by a single scary drug-addled panhandler, have never witnessed any crime of any sort. I've never felt anything but perfectly safe in my trips there.

JVA over at the Mid Beacon Hill blog has more. JVA and I agree, Beacon Hill is seriously underserved for amenities; apparently, though, JVA is so freaked out by reading the Beacon Hill News Police Log that driving to Buriento shop seems like a reasonable alternative! Wow. I have to say, I'm not to that point. In fact, the violence reported in our area overwhelmingly involves people fighting with people they know, or gang rivalries. When the story starts, "41-year-old man and woman were camping in a vacant lot..." or "A woman complained that her estranged husband (high on PCP) had threatened to kill her..." it doesn't make the violence any less awful but it does put it in a different category for me. Camping out in a vacant lot carries a different risk than going to your local Safeway, even if they're in the same zip code.

I'm definitely not going to start driving to Burien for my groceries is what I'm saying. I do think I may have to adjust my perception of the area.

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