Monday, August 21, 2006

"I make the noise on this street!"

Pulled into one of Seattle's ubiquitous drive through esspresso shacks -- this one called Moolicious -- the barista asked how I was liking the city. "Good," I answered, thinking that in three short days I had managed to drive all over the city -- Ballard, Greenwood, Freemont, Mt. Ranier. If I had to sum up my impressions of the Emerald City, I would say it's small, clean, spread out, and looks as though it went through a major growth spurt sometime in the late 80s. Most of the buildings I saw -- apart from the residental areas -- look as though they were built sometime in recent memory. This was especially evident in Belltown, a "hip" area located somewhere northish of the downtown area full of new condos and office buildings. Living in New York, I'm used to old buildings in various states of repair, trash, people up at all hours, and density. And as Dennise and I wandered around Capitol Hill Sunday night looking for good times, we found that many streets are desolate after sundown.

So what have I done? Well apart from seeing far too much of I-5, I've driven to a volcano, drunk a lot of beers you don't see on the East Coast, watched a belly dancer while eating Moroccan food, and sought out black people. It's become a game of ours pointing out people of color in this rather white city because it's Dennise, a woman of color herself, who wants to move to Seattle. According to the demographic numbers, there are 52,000 African Americans living in Seattle. By our count, we think the number is closer to 32. If Dennise moves here, the number will rise to an all time high of 33.

Tomorrow my time on the West Coast ends when I board a rather early fight back to New York. I'll have to deal with reality -- namely my bank account and figuring out how to tell my bosses that I'm quitting. Till then, I'm going to finish my tea, read my book, and not think about reality.

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