About the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard
Ballard has been called a city within a city. In fact, it was a city for just 16 short years until Seattle annexed it back in 1907. (Which explains, by the way, the Free Ballard bumper stickers you see from time to time.) “Ballard was old Scandinavians,” explains Almost Live comedian John Keister, who cracked jokes about Ballard’s slow, elderly drivers back in the 90s. “Today, it’s a bunch of wealthy people who work in the information industry.”
Well, not everyone is wealthy, but Ballard certainly has transformed into a popular destination for 20- and 30-somethings. New condos, apartments and restaurants are sprouting up to accommodate the neighborhood’s rapid growth. Yet much of Ballard’s Scandinavian culture and fishing industry remains.
Home to terrific restaurants, shops and pubs, Old Ballard is one of Seattle’s most popular weekend hangouts — especially on Sunday, when the Ballard Farmers Market takes over Ballard Ave. Other Ballard communities include Sunset Hill, Loyal Heights and Whittier Heights (see map).
Officially known as the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, the Ballard Locks is one of Seattle’s most popular tourist attractions, especially during the sunny months. The grounds also feature a fish ladder and the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden — one of the most beautiful park settings in Seattle.
Ballard is also home to one of Seattle’s most beautiful beaches. With its amazing view, Golden Gardens Park attracts large crowds during summer months and loyal locals during the winter.
About My Ballard
We’re Kate and Cory Bergman (and that’s Kai and Asher), a Scandinavian couple who started MyBallard.com in December of 2007. We both have long resumes in journalism — Kate spent years in local media until leaving KING 5 News to work on MyBallard.com, and Cory works at msnbc.com — and we noticed Ballard lacked a daily news source and community forum. My Ballard soon became the neighborhood’s most popular news site, even winning a community service award from the Ballard District Council.
As My Ballard grew, we started a company called Next Door Media and expanded to nearby neighborhoods: PhinneyWood for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood, Magnolia Voice in Magnolia, Fremont Universe in Fremont, Queen Anne View in Queen Anne, My Wallingford in Wallingford, Maple Leaf Life in Maple Leaf, Wedgwood View for Wedgwood and View Ridge, and U District Daily in the University District. In late 2009, we won a national Online Journalism Award for community collaboration, beating out several large newspapers for the honor.
The biggest surprise has been the enormous role that all of our readers play in helping us cover the neighborhood. Unlike traditional news sites, My Ballard is powered by the community, not us. So if you see something interesting in the neighborhood, please let us know. New store? Road construction? Land use issue? Accident? Lost pet? Drop us a tip at email@example.com.
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