Monday, June 15, 2009

Home is Where They Understand You

Downtown SeattleMy hometown Seattle is known for its evergreen trees, majestic mountains, temperate rainforests, wilderness backpacking abundance, eleven months of rain, grunge music, plethora of vegan/vegetarian/organic choices, software nerds, our very own Fremont Troll, mind-numbing public transportation battles, and excruciating politcal correctness.

Here are some little known nuggets...

Alki BeachFishermen's TerminalHenry David Thoreau once said: "I have three chairs in my house: one for solitude, two for friendship, three for society." Well, in Seattle, we have lots of single chairs. In his Myth of Seattle Nice, Knute Berger of writes: "We're friendly, but not so friendly as to actually want to get to know each other very much. Being too friendly could result in a restraining order."

Mt RainierIf you value your life, don't you dare ever say: Recycling's a hassle. Be prepared to sort your trash 37 different ways and do it with a sun-break of a smile, otherwise you stand of being accused of planetary death.

Seattle on a rainy dayBellevue might be an up and coming smartly planned city, according to national urban planners, but to Seattleites, it's nothing but that gas-guzzling, environment-killing suburban sprawl on the other side of Lake Washington. (Albeit with a great mall, not that anyone would admit it.)

North Cascade MountainsYou like driving more than biking? What is it with you and the destruction of Mother Earth? Cars aren't meant to be washed, waxed, enjoyed, or shown off. Oil changes and emissions control are performed on the pain of death. Cycling is good for you—leads to weight loss, thereby reducing the burden on the Good Ship Earth. Besides, "if you have a coronary riding up a hill," says Berger, "be reassured that Seattle is the 'Best Place to Have a Heart Attack' according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. So bike it and like it."

Pike Place MarketIn our lauded city, pets are people, too, even if they go on your shoe while clogging up your sinuses and scaring your child into a crying jag. So be mindful—in fact, this makes a good slogan for the city: Be mindful of everything no matter how transitory or miniscule—that the frou-frou doggie under your table on your feet could be a lawsuit waiting to happen if you open your mouth to complain.

What are some of the extreme characteristics of your city? If you've been to Seattle, do you agree with my assessment above?


Diane Gaston said...

Several years ago (11?)we took a vacation driving up the coast from San Francisco to Seattle. We wound up in Seattle to beautiful weather, clear skies, mild temperatures. Gorgeous.

Because of my rock musician of a daughter, we had to find the Sound Garden and, I must say, I'm glad we did. It was one of our most memorable days.

My daughter and I went shopping while "the guys" took a trip to see Silicon Valley, and we did encounter a very unfriendly bus driver who seemed to think we should know how to use the bus when we'd never been on a Seattle bus before.

I live near Washington, DC, and I think one of our characteristics is that we often take for granted the beauty and history of the city. We rarely sightsee, unless someone comes from out of town.

Kelly Krysten said...

Allergies blow in Florida! And I have them in spades. A perfect day for me would be getting an agent, published, and be itchy ears and watery eyes free!*g*

Nice to see a post on Seattle after my question on Twitter! What are the odds that that'd go down on the same day? Kismet!:)

Keira Soleore said...

Kel, we're karmically linked. I wrote the post last night. Is it this year that allergies are so bad (they've been bad here, too).

Keira Soleore said...

Diane, I was in Seattle when you guys visited. Wow! Maybe we passed each other on the street.

Heh, about the "guys" going down to Silicon Valley.

The drive down the coast from Seattle to California is so fun: evergreens to sand dunes to vineyards. We did this seven years ago, staying in different bed-n-breakfasts along the way.

Stephanie J said...

Seattle always sounded so lovely to me for many of the reasons listed! I'm sick of people putting up a fuss about sorting recycling in TX. I'm sick of people throwing around offensive stereotypes like it's no big deal. Yes, the majority of the people I know are considerate and don't do these things but it's amazing (and always shocking) when some of the stuff comes out of people's mouths.

We also have the "Everything is bigger in Texas" thing which people take to the extreme. People don't need the bigger portion sizes... they need to bike!

Ha. Ok. Rant done!

My own city, Dallas, is extreme in other ways. We have awesome restaurant selection...better than any other city in TX. However, everyone is really focused on money. It's all about how you look, who you know, etc. We're also known for bad traffic...and I can attest that it's true!

Kelly Krysten said...

I don't know but my allergies do seem to be worse this year. Annoying.

Amanda McCabe said...

I visited Seattle for a week a few years ago (and strangely it didn't rain the whole time!!), and I loved it. Beautiful scenery, good food, congenial politics. :) I don't think I could handle how dark it gets in winter, though.

Anna Campbell said...

Keira, I'd love to visit Seattle one day. I remember back in the days when I captioned TV programs for a living doing a couple of tourist shows about Seattle and Puget Sound and thinking how gorgeous it was. Hey, and you've got a great symphony orchestra! I live at a place called Caloundra about an hour north of Brisbane. It's a family resort area but the section I live in is called God's waiting room. It's full of retirees. Seriously, my not so youthful self counts as a hot young chick in this environment! When you look at the competition, that's not much of a compliment! It's very pretty and very quiet - a seaside place with lovely beaches and lots of wildlife (compared to not much wild life, note God's waiting room comment).