No matter the local, family vacations all seem the same to me. My mother insists on picking a place where we can “equally experience both the city and nature.” But, in all reality she just wants to be able to pretend to be outdoorsy yet return to civilization by nightfall. My family has always been what I like to call “Eddie Bauer outdoorsy.” And this sense of “Eddie Bauer outdoorsy” has led us all over the Mid-West, but not last summer. Last summer the destination was Seattle, Washington.
Seattle had never been somewhere I particularly wanted to go. Maybe it was its reputation for the rain, maybe it was the long list of aviation museums my mom had already prepared, but my level of enthusiasm was struggling to reach apathetic.
But in the same way that a swamp can harvest the most exotic orchids, the streets of Seattle foster lunatics of a gentle breed, lost in the city and in their own minds. Dope-peddlers in torn leather jostling with the elderly, nine-hundred pound behemoths cradling tiny violins. The skies weep with understanding, not disappointment, upon the heads of every gnome in plaid, every dog wearing a hat.
Portland has found its niche as a meth-pumped psycho-pit of dreadlocked pandemonium, folksy to the outside eye but riddled with inner chaos. Seattle toes the line with much more charm and idiosyncrasy than allowed to be crammed into Northern Pacific expectations. Cobain is dead, Soundgarden fell apart, Pearl Jam sold out, and yet the underground still pulses with damp flannel and spit….and I love it.
Folks, here it is! A piece of Seattle’s Best:
(Please note, date on image is off due to incorrect camera settings)