Sunday, September 23, 2012

Seattle: East Coast View of a West Coast City

We’re flying over Lake Michigan at 39,000 feet, heading West.  The lake appears calm, deep blue, beautiful with a thin strip of sandy shore along its edge.   The flight is smooth, comfortable, and relaxing.   We are headed back home- to Washington State.

Seattle has been a perplexing experience. Washington is, in our humble opinion, the most beautiful state in the continental United States.    But the city has a personality problem.

First, the Seattle Sway has to go.  This purposefully-slow pedestrian stroll across major intersections while drivers wait to turn forcing traffic to back up is more than a bad trait- it’s ignorant.  This isn’t the Appalachia backwoods and your name ain’t  Jethro.  Knock it off, stop looking back and sneering at the driver you are blocking, and move your lazy ass across the street like a normal person.
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Second, rich (or pretend rich) Seattle folk need to chill out and grow up.  You don’t need to ride a 3K bicycle,  wearing your 1k matching bike ensemble (with white ipod earbuds) in order exercise off last night’s dinner at Mama's Mexican Kitchen.   Techno Geek Yuppies are not a pretty sight and there are wayyyy too many of you in Seattle.  You are just a different kind of Seattle Sway- both are ugly.

Speaking of Techno Geek Yuppies -  Are you so busy running, jogging, biking, sailing, eating, regurgitating, more sailing, and sunning ,that you have forgotten to do the stuff that got you here in the first place?  Microsoft, hello?  How do you lose money in a fiscal year?  That means you and I are twins.   

Just because you have a bike lane doesn’t mean you get to yell at automobile drivers who temporarily invade your special strip of macadam.   We have to make turns, drop off our loved ones at work, and sometimes dodge other drivers.  Don’t shake your fist at us and yell that we are in your lane.  We know where we are on the road.  You have a thin, little bike with cracker-wide tires.  Go around us.  It's not intentional.

Seattle is a young town, full of backpacks, scooters, smarmy bikes, and young people who think their poop is an odorless air freshener.  That doesn’t mean you disrespect the older folks who also live here.  Show some respect.  Also- answer your email, say thank you when we do something nice for you, and get that digital stick out of your ass.   

To the Seattle Traffic Engineer who sets the timing on the traffic lights:  How do we put this delicately?  Screw you buddy.   Why are we sitting for 5 minutes at every light?  A minute and a half each way and 30 seconds for the turning lanes works fine on the East coast.  We don’t need to check our email at every red light.    Stop torturing the driving public, scratching your butt, and fluffing your ego. Set the light timers properly.    We smell a God-complex here and we don’t pray to civil engineers.  Your statue is a traffic light.

To the weekend Freemont Bridge operator: When the Queen of Seattle paddleboat calls you on the radio and you reply “we will open on your approach”  that means you open the damn bridge on their approach.  You don’t wait until the last Techno Geek Yuppie rides their bike across..that line will never end in Seattle.  

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Red Mill Burgers:  You can’t make burgers that delicious, add perfect onion rings and then slam us with a 5-star chocolate shake.  It is not lost on us that your meat supplier is MACDONALD.   Very funny, guys.  Now give us the recipe to your secret sauce so we can mass-produce it and make more money than Paul Allen.   You are the shining star of blue-collar cuisine and we love you.

We've been here three months and we’ve been mostly silent. We have been observing you, Seattle.  We have been working for your mid-level managers, eating at your over-priced restaurants, driving your construction-laden streets, photographing your endless beauty, and steaming over your avoidable ugliness.
We are from the East coast and proud of it.  We’re bringing that to you and calling you out on your lack of common-man culture, your failure at creating simple, elegant ways to enter and exit your downtown, and your acceptance of mediocrity in exchange for the direct deposit.

We don’t have the answers, but we do have a cruise ship full of questions and it’s time to begin an excavation into Seattle’s heart and soul – right after our brunch shift is over.    

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