Saturday, April 24, 2010

More on Seattle

Well, at least that's what my notebook says at the top of a few pages. I ran out of reading material and just started writing. I have enough professional sense to not blog about job interviews exactly. There's probably an unintended connotation there, that were I to do so I'd have nothing nice to say. I have enough professional sense to not blog even positive things about job interviews. Similarly, I think there was an unintended connotation when I told John that I couldn't grasp Seattle. Really, I just hadn't had much time to absorb Seattle; I'd been there just over 24 hours and spent a lot of time interviewing, sleeping, eating, driving places (it's hard to absorb a place at anything more than 15 MPH or so)*. I had a long and beautiful run from the hotel in Bothell, but you know, I run for truth, not beauty.

* I rushed my excursion through Pike Place Market and downtown because I thought I had to get to the airport. And even though I had trouble finding an entrance to I-5 at first and eventually took a back surface road most of the way, I got there way too early. It's safe to say I did have time to grasp Sea-Tac, and SLC airport, too. Airports take very little time to grasp. They are mostly culturally blank, purely commercial spaces. Denver Airport, as far as places go, is only marginally interesting, but as airports go it's downright fascinating. There are places in the concourses where you can sit down surrounded by big art installations, and there are places where you can just go where there's just nothing going on at all, not even ads (fr rlz, ppl!). And then there's the terminal, which has all sorts of weird and semi-controversial art and design elements. Plus the conspiracy theories. I'm sure some day the airport will fill out its frame and it will all be ruined.

Maybe the biggest problem was that I kept trying to see Seattle through the lens of Chicago. And it just doesn't make any sense that way (despite the newspaper bringing news of a strip club scandal involving prostitution and political favors, the underground sidewalks, and a street grid that's very Cartesian in places). Memphis has bumper stickers that say Midtown Is Memphis. I don't think Seattle calls any part of itself “Midtown”, but it pretty clearly has lots of Midtown to it. Chicago has rather little Midtown. There's some in River North and River East. Maybe in the northern part of the South Loop.

Ultimately I think if I ended up in Seattle I'd love it.

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