A city district frequented by vagrants and alcoholics and addicts
Ever since my Dad went to Seattle last month he's been pestering me to post the knowledge he gained there; namely, the origins of the term Skid Row.
Being that he just paid for my groceries and some new clothes, I feel it's the least I can do to appease him. So Dad, this one's for you!
Seattle isn't that old but it's certainly done a lot in it's 150 or so years on the map. One of those things was to provide a lot of trees to the rest of the country. If you know anything about trees - and, honestly, you really should - you'll know that they are big and heavy and not easy to move. Enter the coduroy road, a method for moving logs across smaller logs covered in sand. Lo and behold, old Seattle had just such a road.
The corduroy road - or skid road - lead down to water where the logs would be transported to Henry Yesler's lumber mills. The street, which was actually called Yesler's Way, was commonly known as skid road or skid row. But how did it come to mean a trashy street?
That came courtesy of the Great Depression which turned the street into a desolate alleyway filled with 'riff raff.' The term stuck and now almost every big city has a filthy street they have christened their own skid row.
Being a New Yorker, we claim The Bowery as ours.
There. Are you happy dad?
The OTHER Skid Row