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Old 08-05-2012, 12:57 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,556 times
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I grew up in Yakima 50 years ago, riding horses through orchards, unsupervised as a very little kid. It sounds idyllic but, the truth is, we had all kind of nutty neighbors out in the West Valley. The rural areas drew people who wanted to hide out or had something to hide. The crime that went on was of a different sort but it was still crime.
Yakima was known then for prostitution but I never saw it. In the same way, people I know who still live in Yakima don't report being effected by gang violence. These aren't just the extremely wealthy types. However, living in poverty -- whether you're white or black or Hispanic or live in Paris or Amsterdam -- makes you more vulnerable. This is true in Seattle, parts of Bellevue and Spokane (currently rated with the highest crime rate) just as much as it is true in Yakima.
Yakima doesn't deserve the lousy comments.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:24 AM
 
2 posts, read 8,392 times
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Originally Posted by skygravel View Post
Yakima always makes me laugh. The welcome signs when you enter city limits claim it's "The Palm Springs of Washington." I've never been to Palm Springs. If Palm Springs is a gang infested dump, then I guess those signs are accurate.
I don't know of anyone who cares for that ridiculous sign, however it owned by a wealthy good ole' boy whom apparently thinks otherwise. Since it is privately owned and on private land I guess he can do as he wishes.
However with all the ridicule that sign receives from both visitors and residents alike, coupled with the vandalism and graffiti issues that plague the city I am surprised no one has tampered with it over the years.

I personally would much prefer that sign be taken down, put it in the museum as an outdoor exhibit, for all to tag...
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Old 10-01-2012, 07:50 PM
 
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I've lived in Yakima for a total of twenty five years off and on. This post is not very complimentary to the city in some ways. In other ways, yes. It is a good place to live depending on who you are and what you want in life.

I happen to love a large area like the Seattle corridor on the west side. From the top of the state, to the San Juans on down to Olympia. There is so much to do! Yakima, by comparison, could be called a slow death by boredom.

I concur with Reagansquad's map. Give or take a few streets you would want to stick to that map.

The crime in Yakima is a real problem. There are gangs and drugs. If you are careful and stay out of the rough areas of town you should be fine.

Also, Terrace Heights (not on Reagansquad's map) has nice areas. But not so much around Butterfield Road and the lower areas.

The pink area on the map is better the further west you go. Especially past 40th avenue.

Where to live is not my gripe about Yakima. It's the total dearth of intellectual stimulation, culture, artistic "anything" and plain old "things to do". This is where artists come to die. There is no eclectic art scene. Aside from the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley Community College, it is a typical small town, (conventional) art scene. I do not consider this an artist's colony in any sense of the word.

Ellensburg has some very nice art at the Central Washington University art buildings and in downtown shops. It gets props, but to me Yakima lacks that edge.

The only thing open late at night are bars. You won't find a bistro that is open at 2:00 am. Not like Seattle.

Shopping is somewhat ordinary. There are some good chain stores and a mall. But if you want something unique you will have to special order it.

This is a generic, agricultural town with lots of old money. Everything is geared toward those who have a lot of money and are content to golf, watch over their holdings and visit other wealthy friends. They go to Seattle, or even farther away to have real fun. Otherwise, Yakima is a mundane town with a middle class and the poor.

Still, people with lots of family and friends can do well here. There isn't much else to stimulate your mind or challenge your imagination.

If you are an outdoors kind of person and have lots of friends who also enjoy the outdoors, then you will like it here. It could also be fulfilling if you like going to church. There are a lot of churches here of all denominations.

The middle class here is hard working, good, salt of the earth people. There are many self made people in the middle class here in Yakima. I have nothing but respect for those folks. But to me there is also a pervasive small town mentality that goes along with being so distant from any larger cities.

You probably won't sit down in a coffee shop and have a spontaneous philosophical conversation with a stranger. Or find "out of the box" people who like unconventional things like you do in Seattle. I hunger for that. But I am stuck here for now because of family obligations.

If you are older and want a job, work is hard to come by. College kids take up a lot of the part time or minimum wage jobs because of the junior college. The most readily available jobs are service jobs.

The Hispanic culture is strong in Yakima. We have a lot of undocumented Hispanics in Yakima. And there are also many legal Hispanics. They seem very supportive of their own. There is a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce - from what I understand. There are many celebrations throughout the year. Cinco de Mayo is always richly celebrated in downtown Yakima. There are some fabulous Mexican food restaurants here!

If you are concerned about health care in Yakima, I would say it is hit or miss. I've had good experiences and bad experiences. It depends on what your needs are, really.

Last edited by lovelegos; 10-01-2012 at 08:04 PM..
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:15 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,681 times
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Default What to say about Yakima...

I moved to Yakima from Eugene, OR 9 years ago. I think of Eugene as a little slice of heaven. Yakima is a little slice of hell. The people are extremley gaurded and rude. The crime rate is aweful even in the good areas. While living a few miles from Eugene in a good area my car was stolen. I literally went into the house to get my child and it was gone. I have had raving lunatics in my yard. My landlord was a creeper. He was hiding behind the bushes one day picking fruit from our fruit tree. He was behaving like a thief. My husband and I are warm people who would have gladly let him take the fruit he needed. Any relationship romantic or friendly was abusive. Until my husband. Its a hard place to live or thrive. In the middle of the day I saw a cracked out prostitute with barely any clothes on solicite a car full of men who also had a child in the car try to get her to do them for free. I was a bystander and heard all this garbage. My kids were in the car it was repugnent. THere are loads of prostitutes walking up and down first street all day long. Its a horrible meth ridden place to raise kids. If you have a choice dont move there any where in that valley west wa is much better. Crime rate comes with cities but Yakima isnt even that big so there are non of the perks of living in a city that warrents tolerating that crime.

The good things about Yakima are loads of fresh fruits and veggies! Yummy I miss that. It is beautiful. There are some good parks on the west side of the city. Randall park is a great place to walk and play and feed ducks. They also have a great halloween maze for kids. STay out of the parks on the east side of town. I walked from my house to visit my mom and stopped to play at a awesome park once. WHen i got to my moms work everyone freaked out and said dont go there you could get shot apparently i was a point of conflict for gangs. It was a sad shame as it was a fun place to play. I do love the libraries there they are pretty good. The have a decent farmers market. I eventually adjusted. You have to be careful where you go and try to find someone who knows the area to tell you where is safe. I cannot possibly incude all the ins and outs about yakima living in one blurb. It is a good place to be low income there are a lot of food banks and other resources. Though much of the affordable housing is in the rough areas.

Last edited by bellflowerbee; 12-05-2012 at 01:18 PM.. Reason: left some out
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:28 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,681 times
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Originally Posted by ourrousehouse View Post
There's more Yakima talk on the Tri-Cities forum for Yakima vs. Tri-Cities. I chose not to move back to Yakima despite its beauty, knowing good people there and having family there. Mainly due to crime. My husband is in the security industry and backs that decision because he traveled there for work, not just bad neighborhoods either. I even lived deep in West Valley attended their schools at one time, but still wouldn't want my children going to school in an area where the gang mentality sucks so many in, and if that doesn't get them meth does. I also grew up in a bad neighborhood in Cali, the worst in the town and had a dead body in front of my neighbors house, but Yakima's bad gets way worse and usually it doesn't even make the news because its so routine. This is in all areas of Yakima, I have friends and family that live throughout the area and get reports all the time, and most of them would move away if they could or haven't already. The things they've seen would normally belong on Dateline but don't even make the news. If you have to live there just be choosy about neighborhoods, don't expect back-up in the event of being a victim to a crime, and really get to know your children and what they experience at school. Also the police are overloaded and some are corrupt. Yakima DSHS Child Protective system is so overloaded they don't do any good. One set of children weren't removed from their parents until over a dozen CPS complaints, by then there was psychological damage from multiple molestations by older kids and adults, exposure to meth, witnessing stabbings and beatings, having guns pulled on them, used to getting any toys they owned stolen etc. It took forever to get the child to not run everytime he saw a hispanic person with baggy pants, heard rap music, or saw a tricked out car, duck for loud noises, forbade me to go there because he thought I'd be raped. And the child is hispanic as am I. And the child was returned to the parents so DSHS could get it off their work load and because they are so overloaded they keep on some incompetent social workers, ok at least one I know of. Yeah sure this trauma to a child can happen anywhere, but as commonplace as this is for Yakima I'd expect it from a larger LA metropolitan area. It may seem I'm jaded since I saw this through the child's eyes, but my choice to not go back was made a long time before I knew what I know now. I won't raise a family there. Hopefully things will improve there, there's been talk about it, the city does great promotion for the wine industry there, and the place is beautiful.



My husband was a security guard at the hospital while our neighbor/friend was a houskeeper. THey both said a lot of crime related injuries/events came through without making the news. So the crime is actually worse than reported.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:20 PM
 
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Well, I'm probably not the best person to take advice from, because I'm still in High School and whatnot, but I'll throw in what I think about this town.

I live in the East Valley area, which is a pretty good place to be. You can walk around there at night and not be scared of the bloodthirsty methheads lurking around. That can't be said for all of Yakima, though. Downtown is atrocious, and known for how gang-filled it is. The eastern half of downtown is especially dangerous. West Valley is a decent place, too, and is actually arguably better than East Valley.

The apartments downtown are garbage. I've heard about how nasty those places are, such as unkempt communal toilets all the residents have to take turns using, among other nightmares. There are also suburban areas around the YMCA and Target store that should be approached with all the caution of approaching a wild bear. Loads of shootings around there; nine times out of ten, when you watch the news, they'll show footage of those areas.

Behind the eastern Walmart is more meth houses. One of my friends even jokes about shooting flaming arrows around the place to see what houses explode from all the meth labs everywhere. This guy also works in the juvie correctional places as a security guard, so he's seen his fair share of trash. Another joke that has been tossed around quite often is that the eastern Walmart is the "Mexican Walmart" and the western Walmart is the "White Walmart". You can probably guess what that means. (Hint: White Walmart isn't covered in old diapers.)

The crime really isn't too big of a deal for me, as it usually doesn't affect me directly. I think I've only once ever heard a gunshot while downtown, although I know that it still happens. Just remember this: if you don't have to go to the bad areas of town, then just don't. You can buy gas and Doritos elsewhere. Keep out of trouble, and don't go out of your way to make someone mad, and you'll be fine and bullet-free.

lovelegos was right about saying that there really is no artistic scene here in Yakima. It is an agricultural town, and has agricultural events, attended by agricultural people. The County Fair even has a lot of farming-based attractions. I hope you like learning about apples.

There are drugs. A lot of drugs. You can avoid it, but if you have kids, you don't know if they'll be confronted by someone who can pressure them into trying weed (Farily benign, but establishes that connection to the underworld, which could potentially grow.) or, in a worst-case scenario, meth. As a High Schooler, I can tell you that drugs are a HUGE deal. To some kids, it's all they have. One kid even dropped out and the last anyone ever saw of him was him begging for meth money behind the aforementioned eastern Walmart.

One guy in this thread talked about all the "Mexican beauties" he's seen. I'd really like to know what the hell he is talking about. This isn't as important of a point, because really, it's a subjective thing, but most of the women I see here are pretty old, or just overall nasty-looking. Also, STDs. SO MANY STDS. Look that up.

Besides all of it's shortcomings, there can be some nice people. Many don't know English, but that doesn't mean that English isn't generally known. It's fairly rare to find someone who doesns't know English compared to all the people who do know the language.

Lots of rural areas outside the downtown area. Lots of places for horses, if you're into those. Hills and trails like Konnowac Pass offer great opportunities for going 4-wheeling and shooting. We have a river as well. Filthy little stream, but has fish and nice stretches for floating the river during the summer. There are certain times when you SHOULDN'T float the river, though.

The canyon road nearby is a shining example of the scenic beauty this place has to offer. Once you get used to the desert area, you learn to love the fields and hills and stuff. Sagebrush smells delicious, and we have plenty of it.

If you're a young adult, then you will have loads of fun having nothing to do. Seriously, whenever I think "Things to do in Yakima!" the only thing I can think of is Meadowbrook, an arcade/mini golf/go kart/bumper boat place in West Valley. Find some people who do fun things from time to time, and hang out with them. For the religious types, there are plenty of youth groups that mostly meet on Wednesdays. Mine has brought some fun times to me.

The weather here is, as mentioned before, very sunny. Honestly, I'd say too much so. I wish it would rain more often here than it does. Depends on what you like more, I guess.

And to finish, get a gun for your residence, lock your doors (both car and house) at ALL times, and learn as much as you can about the surrounding areas. And if you're artistic, maybe you can bring about some kind of local Renaissance to spark interest in people!

So this boils down to:

+Some nice people
+Beautiful surrounding areas
+Outer Valley being mostly crime-free
+A river that can be used for some fun things
+Not too far from Seattle and other areas with actually more to do
+Sunny weather

-Horrible downtown area with nothing to do
-Racism toward both of the prominent races (expect to hear "**** ['Spice' without an 'e'.]" and "Whitey" a lot)
-Loads of crime
-Exposure to drugs at an early age
-No artistic scene to speak of
-Seriously, Sunny weather
-STDs (I really can't stress this enough...)


(And as a totally irrelevant mention, I'm SO GLAD that this site has an Undo feature. I thought I spent the past 45 minutes tpying this just to replace the whole thing with "cz" on accident.)
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Old 04-05-2013, 12:00 AM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
3,737 posts, read 3,267,855 times
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I have never in my life heard of the term **** (spice with the 'e') until right now. Had to look it up.
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Old 04-05-2013, 07:58 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,122 posts, read 12,193,642 times
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Originally Posted by cjg5 View Post
I have never in my life heard of the term **** (spice with the 'e') until right now. Had to look it up.
Wow! Yeah, it's not used much in my experience, but I have been called one.
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Old 04-11-2013, 07:27 AM
 
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Ok peeps, just read this thread and I must say my decision to move to Ellensburg/Yakima is wavering.
Is there any Organic market for food? I read about the famers markets. I am a vegatarian and will I feel like a oddball in this area? Anywhere to buy a glass of carrot juice?

I am kind of weary to hear there is no arts, music, cultural scene outside of wineries. hummm.
I already live in an unenlightened place and moving to Yakima does not sound very progressive?

Is cle elm better?
Where would you go in the area for a more progressive enviroment?

thank you!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:13 AM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
9,122 posts, read 12,193,642 times
Reputation: 6657
Quote:
Originally Posted by 333elizabeth View Post
Ok peeps, just read this thread and I must say my decision to move to Ellensburg/Yakima is wavering.
Is there any Organic market for food? I read about the famers markets. I am a vegatarian and will I feel like a oddball in this area? Anywhere to buy a glass of carrot juice?

I am kind of weary to hear there is no arts, music, cultural scene outside of wineries. hummm.
I already live in an unenlightened place and moving to Yakima does not sound very progressive?

Is cle elm better?
Where would you go in the area for a more progressive enviroment?

thank you!
Over the hills.
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