Thursday, April 9, 2009

"it's raining in baltimore..." - counting crows

it's probably sunny there, actually.

in this rainy seattle spring I've been missing pink cherry blossom adorned Calvert street, the smell of people and produce mixed up at waverly market, the nutella in sophie's crepes, the cinnamon-y kabuli at the helmand, getting a pint of resurrection at brewer's art, and so many other homey baltimore things....

myndi linked to this article her friend seth wrote about baltimore, and I love it. it captures so much of how I feel about this city, and how I never really know what to say about it when people ask me about my time there.....

I love seattle for many things, mainly the green, the water, and the mountains that sustain my soul in the misty grey skies. But I'm having a hard time with people here. Even though there are people I love dearly here, I'm not feelin' the overall culture of seattle lately.

I was teaching english in winter of 06, when the seahawks were playing the steelers in the superbowl. Our math dpt head gave me a rick reilly article about why seattle wasn't going to win. (Giving Seattle the Needle) Of course, I showed my hometown pride and insisted reilly was wrong on every count. but after moving back home, i've come to think much of what he said was true. A nd I don't know if I like it very much.

(My current favorite line from that Reilly column is: " Your sportswriters are more forgiving than Hillary Clinton. If they covered Jeffrey Dahmer, they'd refer to him as "a people person." "
It's true. We accept mediocrity in too many ways. And passion? If you have passion for something, as say, the author of this blog might exhibit at a meeting in which long-term vision for kids is addressed, she is called "fiery," and afterwards, a colleague might come over and tell you "thanks for consistently bringing up the hard issues." Damn right I'm gonna bring up the hard issues when kids are concerned. We can't pretend it's all hunky-dory, peeps.)

I mean, here's what I'm thinking about in the Seattle cons column:

1) the sonics debaucle. sherman alexies testifies hilariously, and we still don't keep them. this is a long-standing issue, btw. hearing from experts and then not listening to them. (summer 08)
2) our biggest debates while there's a bunch of shootings happening in the south end are over whether to salt or sand the streets. (winter 09)
3) light rail is finally being built, but there's been arguing over the damn transportation system since my parents moved here in 1982. Come on, people, get it together. the public transportation system we do have takes WAY too long in most cases to get anywhere.
4) $$$$$. Um, the median income in Seattle is 78,000, and the cost of living reflects that. For those of us who don't make that much, it's a pricey place to live.
5) the seattle freeze.

where are my pros? any seattle lovers? What am I missing?


Meg said...

Hmm, what are you missing? I think in general Seattle, like most of the west coast, is a place where a transient can move and feel accepted. In Baltimore, there was more tradition in who you chose to befriend. How many friends did you have in Baltimore that were actually from there? People often said "what school did you go to" meaning high school in Baltimore.

I agree with you about the passive approach of west coasters - God forbid you use direct language here. But there is some appeal to the fresh start the west coast provides. Now we just need to toughen up.

Did you ever read about Bobby Kennedy's campaign in the Oregon Primary? He couldn't win the Oregon people over with his speeches about ending poverty and injustice and felt he couldn't talk to "these people" because they don't have any problems. He tried to impress them by jumping in the ocean in May, but they just thought he was crazy.

LKT said...

i have a menu from sofie's crepes. Thus: we may need to have crepe night and relive the sofie's experience.

Kaitlin said...

familiarty breeds contempt, i see? and how does it go about absence?