First impressions: Seattle is great

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Photo by Han Bui/NWAW

Of course Seat­­tle is great, filled with coffee and trees and such. People like it for their own reasons, but at the top of the list has to be the simple fact that it’s not 4 degrees below zero, ever. People complain about the traffic, but really you can drive just about anywhere you need to go in 15 or 20 minutes and simply add an extra 45 minutes to find a parking spot, which is why you should take the bus.

There are definite rules of etiquette for taking the bus. Don’t sass your bus driver and don’t stare at people no matter how stareworthy they are. If it’s standing room only, always look for someone to offer your seat to.

Seattle also has the Seahawks. On game day, you can go out to certain restaurants and people wearing Seahawks shirts will make up a good portion of the crowd, even after the game is long over. It’s tribal but weird because the shirt-wearers ignore each other, as if they don’t know they are all wearing the same shirt. Go Hawks.

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Photo by Han Bui/NWAW

Seattle also has a lot of rain and in these days of drought and famine across the globe, it seems fortunate to have all this free water falling from the sky. Any rain that falls on your property should be rightfully yours. Just like any bird that lands on your tree is yours, for a while. Unless you’re a renter, in which case you are only renting the bird. You should avoid birds because of bird flu.

Seattle has fun politics, with a gay mayor and a socialist on the city council. The gay mayor has a Japanese husband and the socialist is from India, so there are Asians in high places and that makes Seattle great, too, unless you don’t like Asians, which would make it odd that you’re reading this Asian newspaper. We used to have a Chinese governor and he’s coming home soon. He should probably be governor again someday because that would also be great.

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Photo by Han Bui/NWAW

Except for all the crime, Seattle is a relatively safe city. And despite the overabundance of concrete and cement, it’s not a bad place to raise kids and dogs. The short-term indignity of walking around holding a plastic bag of dog poop in your hand is an OK trade-off for the joy of not stepping in any the rest of the time.

People say people are not friendly in Seattle. People also say people are friendly in Seattle, so that covers the issue of friendliness in Seattle. It turns out that people are not very friendly when viewed from a distance, but when you get up close to them, they are often quite friendly.

There is a lot of visible homelessness and mental illness on the streets of Seattle. This is not part of what makes Seattle great, but it has to be acknowledged. If Seattle could deal with this in a charitable and compassionate manner, that would be great. Maybe what is great is that the amount of homelessness and mental illness on the streets would be a hundred times bigger if it weren’t for the vast array of community organizations whose sole mission is helping people to avoid ending up in perilous straits. Still.

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Photo by Han Bui/NWAW

Seattle is under construction. There’s the theory that someday all the building and street repairs will be completed and everything will be fixed and perfect, but of course that will not happen. A city has to be under constant construction or bits and pieces of it will fall apart irreversibly. So, the same way you never appreciate good health until you’re sick, but should, you should also appreciate those stretches of roads and sidewalks that are not being torn apart today.

Finally, Seattle has a lot of brave bicyclists, which in turn creates a lot of scared drivers. Bikers, don’t assume drivers aren’t at any given moment seriously distracted by their cluttered cup holders. But thank you for wearing those blinking red lights. (end)

2 Responses to “First impressions: Seattle is great”

  1. bobdotbob says:

    Great voice! Welcome back to the Best Coast! Good to ‘hear’ from you again!

  2. Laurelle says:

    Love ya Sue! We miss you in the Methow. Seattle: you’re lucky to have this woman.

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