The thing about growing up and living in a city that is consistently ranked in the Top 3 Most Dangerous in the U.S. is that is tends to…alter your personality. When you’re used to living in a place like that, you become tougher, guarded, and more assertive. Meaner, I guess, even though you’re not trying to be mean, you’re just trying to lessen the number of people who get to be mean to you. And it’s not really the way you become; the city doesn’t alter you and you don’t develop this over time. It’s just how you are. If you’re from there and manage to live in it everyday, it’s who you have to be.
So it’s disconcerting at first to be in a city where people aren’t douchebags for no goddamn reason whatsoever, and where, according to people who live there, a neighborhood where you are afraid to be doesn’t really exist. Wait, you mean I can walk down the street and not be ready to pepper spray anyone who gets within 3 feet of me? You mean that people are looking at my face out of curiosity and not because they want to eye fuck/intimidate me? You mean that complete strangers on the bus and in the market and just out there on the street minding their own business can be helpful and polite and forthcoming with a greeting?
WHAT KIND OF PLACE IS THIS?!
Seattle, man. You guys are strange. I mean that in the best possible way, I really do, but I find it difficult to understand this thing you have about treating your city and the people within it with some degree of non-shittiness. I’ve heard you have a lot of drugs and there are bums fucking everywhere but I haven’t been hassled once. Not once! Do you know how crazy that is, Seattle? Do you know how crazy it is that nobody plays Fight Club on the city bus and that the bus drivers actually show up and take you to your destination rather than driving by you with their middle fingers out? Do you know that you can be way bigger assholes about everything because it’s pretty and (somewhat) clean out here? Because your real estate is super valuable? Because you’re not an urban center at most points east, where growing up aggro is a survival skill rather than a personality defect? I don’t understand you, Seattle, but I am enjoying the fuck out of you for now.
Especially Piroshky Piroshky. You guys, I’m just going to have to live there. I know Pike Place Market is a tourist-ish thing to do, but man. I found some super helpful vendors with very decent products and those piroshkies. Goddamn. You know pierogies, right, those Polish dumplings filled with potatoes, onions, and cheese? Okay. Piroshkies are Russian and made with pastry dough and you can fill them with pretty much anything before you bake them. Graham described his as “what a Hot Pocket dreams of being.” They are delicious. They are sex. They are amazing things to smell and hold and put in your face. Graham took a photo of me doing just that, but he’s still sleeping and I don’t know how to work his phone.
Piroshkies, man. And Seattle. I don’t get it. But I like it.
Thing No. 1: You would be surprised at the number of visitors to St. Louis who I hear say things like, “I can’t believe how nice people are here” or “Your downtown is so clean,” etc. What hangs in the air unsaid, of course, is something like “I really kind of expected to get mugged.”
Thing No. 2: I had a similar reaction to San Francisco last year. I had to stop myself from writing San Francisco a big love letter in which I told it how much I wanted to be a part of its dog-walking, coffee-getting, skinny-jeans-wearing culture where people actually take public transportation and ride bikes and accessorize well and leave you alone to write in parks.
Thing No. 3: I’m so glad you’re having a good time. 🙂
You would really think you had died and gone to heaven should you ever visit my area. 🙂 Have a blast and wear the lamp shade home that is what vacations are for. LOL..do the unexpected 😉
I loved Seattle. I went about 10 years ago and have always told myself to go back. I did all the tourist stuff like Pike Place, Space Needle and EMP (which were all great) but I loved just walking around and checking out all the shops downtown. It was so clean! That was crazy to me!