10 Things Yakima Is Known For (The Good, Bad, and Ugly)
Whether you have lived in Yakima for 20 minutes, 20 days or 20 years, you have heard some crazy things about this town.
Before I moved here in 2002, I had never even heard of Yakima, but once I moved here, I quickly learned a few things.
Here are ten of the things our city is known for, including the good, the bad, and the ugly:
1. The Palm Springs of Washington
What started off as a billboard has become an in-demand t-shirt and controversial conversation topic.
2. Crackima/Methima/Yakompton/STD's/Obesity Rates
Oh my. Yakima is well-known for its high rates of meth abusers and crack cocaine drug trafficking. It also lead the state in rates for childhood and adult obesity as well as cases of chlamydia.
3. The Great Prison Breakout of 2020
The prison break was captured on someone's cell phone and uploaded to Twitter and Facebook. The story made national news and the video of the escape has over 26,000 views on YouTube.
4. All-American City of Whenever that Was (Twice)
In 2015, the city of Yakima was awarded the prestigious honor of All-American City because of efforts to combat the prevalence of gangs, youth employment opportunities, and community-supported perfect attendance initiatives.
5. Selena (Quintanilla)
Okay, technically, Selena Quintanilla's father and cousins are from the Lower Yakima Valley. The name "Yakima" belongs to the Valley, so we will take that and run with it. Our favorite Tejano singer, Selena, is royalty 'round these parts!
6. Oleta Adams
"You can reach me by airplane..." Oleta Adams' soulful song, "Get Here", is still a beloved slow song and is revered by many. She grew up in Yakima and attended Davis High School. We yearn for her to perform a concert in her hometown, however, right about now, a Zoom concert would suffice!
7. Kyle Maclachlan
He grew up in Yakima and went off to become a superstar. Kyle has starred in the ever-adored cult classic, Twin Peaks, as well as starring roles as "Trey McDougal" in HBO's "Sex And the City", and as "The Mayor of Portland" in "Portlandia".
8. Los Hernandez Tamales
James Beard Award-winning asparagus-and-pepper-jack-cheese tamales have placed this restaurant on the map for famous Yakima stuff.
9. Yakima Valley Wines
Arguably one of the key reasons I personally brag about Yakima is the abundance of our esteemed Yakima Valley Wines. Folks come from miles around and even out of state to attend our reputable "Red, Wine, and Chocolate" and "Spring Barrel" wine events. Treveri champagne was even served at the White House for an important dinner. I have become a self-described wine snob. I consider myself to be a fairly informed wine-enthusiast and have developed a pairing palette and taste discernment of various reds and whites that none of my Nashville hometown friends can match with a ten-foot pole.
10. Yakima Racks
Not even made in Yakima, but for some reason, people think they are. The founders of the company are from here, alas, all the famous bike racks are made in Mexico. And China.