From the dog park, to the community pychiatric clinic, to the many shady alleys, we all know there are some wacky people hanging around Belltown. However I find that as long as you avoid those places at night, and deal with the occasional confrontational crackhead by staring straight ahead with intent, you're fine.
Run-in's with aggressive homeless Belltowners are rare, and although I have felt uncomfortable at times, I've never felt in danger. The rowdy drunks are part of downtown living. Sometimes it even makes for excellent entertainment! There are bad eggs out there I'm not saying there aren't, but most of these guys are just lost souls looking to get drunk, not to beat you up and take your money.
I can't help but roll my eyes when people exaggerate the circumstances in Belltown. Take this review for example that I read by MillyJoe on Virtual Tourist:
"...Every public park is infested with urine soaked bums, drinking, begging, yelling and in general exhibiting extreme antisocial behavior...My ten year old daughter witnessed a grown man of about 50 deficate near a rose bush in park by the Space Needle...It is a scary, dirty, nasty place filled shiftless panhandlers who scream and yell if you do not give them a dollar or two...."
Belltown is not that bad!
Or is it?