It’s disgraceful that we live in a society where people forced to live in tiny houses are the lucky ones because they don’t have to survive in tents. In a city full of billionaires.
It’s heartening to realize that the owner of a vacant lot in Seattle has let a branch of the Nickelsville tiny house community set up shop. In a neighborhood where right now – in Seattle’s insane ongoing real estate bubble – the cheapest house would sell for three quarters of a million dollars, in one day, after a bidding war.
Many right wing Seattleites talk about the homeless using language like “sweeps” and “vermin” and “filth.” Terminology familiar to Nazi propagandists of the 1930s. They say Seattle Is Dying (in a documentary that Leni Riefenstahl would be both proud of and embarrassed by). And they hate everything Nickelsville stands for: compassion for victims of capitalism, access to affordable housing, mutual aid. Some of Nickelsville’s neighbors aren’t too happy either. Good.
Disclosure: I’m friends with the owners of the property where Nickelsville now sits. One wonders what would happen if more people like this friend would get creative about contributing to society instead of spending their time scheming to extract from society. It’s complicated. Certain teen members of my family who lean Communist (a majority of the young people these days are communists or at least socialists) would say that the property owner here is a ruthless capitalist and that in the Anarcho-Commie future we’ll have zero tolerance for landlords and whatnot. Really? So what’s the alternative right now, in the present? To have Uncle Ike, real estate mogul and owner the pot shop down the road, buy the lot and develop it into another boxy McMansion?
Disclosure: I’m friends with Ian (Uncle Ike) and the criticism of him is valid - he’s a gentrifier and leans libertarian with a tendency to troll. Very retro traits. My only problem with the people that like to call out Ike for his transgressions is that there are many real estate developers in Seattle who are just as predatory and who have done more to drive out lower income populations from Seattle neighborhoods than a dozen Ikes. They need scrutiny too. I’m thinking of the low key billionaire heiress Jody Allen and others who operate with little media scrutiny. None of them are flamboyant pot shop owners, but all of them have troubling track records when it comes to building stuff for rich people and displacing everybody else.
There are usually over a dozen residents living in Nickelsville at any given time, according to Sergio, a volunteer. On a recent trip Nirvana Wok delivered 11 meals. The person at the security desk accepted the food. Not expecting feedback from this visit and not needing any. Guessing savory stuff like corned beef and cabbage won’t be going to waste.
We sent Nickelsville five large servings of corned beef, cabbage, potatoes and carrots in 32 oz. containers and six servings of bacon mac and cheese in 26 oz. containers along with some chopsticks, napkins and mustard. Accounting for food, utensils, transportation etc. the bill for feeding 11 people a hearty lunch was under $40, or about $3.50 per serving.
Uncle Ike … Nickelsville residents … people living in tents - we’ll be interviewing all of them in the future. Or not. The main mission right now is to donate meals. Call Nirvana Wok what you will: virtue signaling, a guy testing out ideas and recipes for his upcoming chain of franchised hole-in-the-wall take-out only restaurants … a food blog … a state of enlightenment produced by having a full belly. Yes. Full belly.