What I Can Tell You About Seattle Based on the People I've Met Who Are From There

(I Live in Brooklyn)

What I Can Tell You About Seattle Based on the People I've Met Who Are From There

Jessixa and Aaron Bagley


A few years ago, I worked in New York University's library and had friends in New York City who worked mostly as copywriters. We e-mailed each other in giant e-mail threads each day. Two of the people usually in the e-mail threads used to live in Seattle. One day, one of them e-mailed, "When I worked at an ISP in Seattle, I actually had access to all of our customers' e-mail accounts. One day, the guy who sat across from me read Jimmy Kimmel's e-mail."


About a year ago, a person e-mailed me telling me to read a "story" he had published in an online magazine. The story was called "Clichés vs. Concrete Words." The first sentence was "Clichés are not as good as concrete words because clichés leave out information." The person was 22, his name was Brandon, and he lived in Seattle. Later, I went to Seattle on a book tour and Brandon came to my reading. He was working as a copywriter. We had dinner together. A few months later, I read on his blog that his contract as a copywriter was over. A few months after that, I read on his blog that he got a job at a cafe. "I steamed some milk and I shook the milk around and said look at that milk, look at that milk," said his blog. Brandon has a BA in psychology.


"Seattle" searched in my Gmail account has 260 results. "Chicago" has 264 results. "Orlando" has 175 results, and I grew up there. "Boston" has 217 results. "San Francisco" has 142 results. "Las Vegas" has 44 results. "Brooklyn" has 727 results, but I live there.


The other person from Seattle in the e-mail threads mentioned above often said things that didn't make sense. In one e-mail he said, "I asked someone from the Onion to write my bio, and then I was elected president by an army of red ants." I read his e-mail, clicked reply, without thinking typed "Go back to Seattle, Shya, if you want," and clicked send. If Shya was from anywhere else except maybe Iceland or Easter Island, I don't think I would have instinctually typed for him to "go back," and for sure would not have typed "if you want," which maybe only "works" for Seattle because Seattle seems inherently like a "choice" whereas other places seem like "condemnations" or "places impossible to permanently leave." I'm not sure what I mean by this.


For some reason I never heard Shya—or anyone else I know from Seattle—say anything like "In Seattle I would never be attacked on public transportation" or "If we were in Seattle right now we would not be playing two-person poker on a Saturday night drunk." People from Alabama or Florida or anywhere else seem to always be talking about how Alabama and Florida are a lot better than wherever they currently are, I think because they are trying to convince themselves that they were not "cheated" out of something by growing up in Biflow, Florida. It isn't sarcastic at all when someone from Alabama says they wish they were back in Alabama. But people from Seattle when elsewhere somehow do not ever try to convince themselves of anything, I think because they feel like if they say something like "In Seattle my chicken fingers would never be served raw by accident" it would be like saying "A poodle is a kind of dog" in that it's "an accepted fact" to people from Seattle that Seattle is "better" in the same way that it is "an accepted fact" that poodles are dogs. Someone would never try to say that a poodle is a kind of cat.


I know someone from the internet from Seattle and he likes the novel The Moviegoer by Walker Percy a lot. His name is Matthew. I argued with Matthew on the internet one time. I said The Moviegoer was melodramatic and did melodramatic things in regard to existential despair. I met him on my book tour last year. He works in a bookstore. I'm not sure exactly why, but when I was around him I felt strongly that he enjoys existential despair a lot. He seemed to be experiencing existential despair at a higher level than me and to be almost actually "having fun" with his experience of it. I can't think of any concrete details regarding why I felt this way. But it makes me think that Seattle is from the future, because I feel like in the future people will strive for existential despair, for more fulfilling and purer kinds of existential despair, in the same way people in Brooklyn strive for an apartment closer to the L train. This makes sense because existential despair is usually talked about in books and people in Seattle read books more than people in other places.


One night on my two-day book tour in Seattle, I was walking with Brandon and we saw a man and a woman straddling a windowsill off the third floor of an apartment. Half their bodies were outside the building and they were "making out." This made me say something about how the only way the man and woman could "feel aroused" anymore was to have half their bodies in the air 30 feet above the ground. Which made Brandon say something about a Bret Easton Ellis novel. Which made me think about people secretly going around torturing and murdering people and tying people with rope in bedrooms and filming it. Which made me feel like that was what was happening all the time in Seattle.


On my book tour, I read in two stores in Seattle. People said that to get to the other store I needed to take a bus to "the other side" of Seattle. When I looked at a map, I saw two parts. I felt surprised. There were two main parts and I understood that I needed to take a bus across an "irrelevant" area in order to reach "the other part of Seattle." After that, I sometimes realized—while chewing food, staring at something, listening to a person speak to me, or whatever—that I was thinking things like "I wonder what the other part of Seattle is doing right now," as if "the other part of Seattle" were an interesting friend. It was distracting me from thinking about other things, things that could lead to actual results in concrete reality (rather than further alienating me from humanity), but I really felt curious somehow and so kept thinking about it. Now, when I think about Seattle, I start thinking about Nirvana or Tom Hanks or something, then my brain interrupts with "Which Seattle, the one part or the other part?" My brain does not distinguish or visualize either part, there are not even abstractions that I associate with either part, but somehow this still happens. And my thoughts about Seattle stop there. It seems very hard—too hard—at this point in my life (or maybe I just don't "want" to do it) to think beyond "which Seattle?"


I was the only reader at Elliott Bay Book Company and maybe 50 people came. I was confused, sort of. In New York City, usually 10 to 15 people come when there's two or three readers. One time I had a reading with Tony O'Neill in Manhattan at 2:00 p.m. on a Saturday and one person came. I was wearing a bear suit and Tony O'Neill and I stood on the sidewalk outside the bar and Tony said things like: "Poetry in here. Free event. Bear reads poetry. Bear reads great poetry. Suicidal bear on... on Viagra reading poetry. Poetry. Bears and poetry. It's free. Bears, poetry. Bear reads poetry. In here. It's free." No one came in the bar. No one even stopped walking on the sidewalk. I was wearing a full-body bear suit.


I was walking near the downtown Seattle Public Library and felt strongly that it was the "center" of everything in Seattle. I went inside the library and my feelings were confirmed. I felt really intelligent and existentially superior while inside the library, talking on Gmail chat on a public computer, walking around taking cell-phone pictures of red walls. I had the feeling I could look out the window and see the rest of the city, from a "bird's-eye view," though this was not true, there was not an elevated area that I knew of where I could do that like I might from the Empire State Building. Still, walking on the street toward the library, I felt that I was "nearing" the "epicenter" of Seattle, and walking away from the library I felt like I was leaving behind the "main activity" of my day.


People in Seattle seem less obese. I felt little or no intimations of obesity while there and I don't know anyone from there who is obese or even overweight. In Brooklyn, it is difficult for me to view anyone as "not obese or overweight." In Brooklyn, people seem "beat down" and "made obese" by unseen forces, whereas in Seattle people seem "strengthened" by some kind of aura of well-being emanating maybe from the downtown library. People in New York City eat at Taco Bell a lot; people in Seattle are knowledgeable about not mixing food groups. On my book tour, I had dinner with someone who talked about fasting every six months. I can't remember ever having dinner with someone in New York City who viewed "fasting" as a possibility.


When I watched baseball as a child, I always felt strange when I saw the Seattle Mariners on TV. I wasn't sure then why I felt strange, but now I think I know. I think it's just that the blue uniforms they used to have made it seem like they were "merely screwing around." The blue uniforms, in combination with being called the Mariners, made me feel strongly that they actually wanted to be playing Marco Polo in a swimming pool but were forced into professional baseball and so wore blue uniforms to "continue the dream" of "screwing around" in a swimming pool for five hours every day with no responsibilities. Ken Griffey Jr. was a Mariner then and he seemed to be the perfect example of what I just typed about. He seemed to always be trying really hard at being good at baseball which to me only conveyed that he was distracting himself really hard from thoughts about wishing he lived in a special world where each day you woke up, played games in a swimming pool with other adults, ate dinner, played more games in a swimming pool, and went to sleep.


When I make myself think concretely about Seattle, I get an image of a 12-year-old Native American boy reading a Sherman Alexie story collection in a Starbucks and it's raining outside, then I seriously think, "The harsh reality of growing up in Seattle. Seems bad. Hard." But if I think abstractly about Seattle, I feel a strange emotion like I'm currently living in a clean, well-furnished house with expensive electronic equipment in Tennessee in May by a small river on a green hill with no other houses nearby and that I have a steady cash flow and am working on multiple projects each day with a lot of excitement and no obligations. It feels really good and the opposite of hard. So "Seattle" abstractly means to me something like "basking in the sunlight of overwhelming gratitude for life and art" but concretely means to me something like "feeling like there's no possible routes for escaping a life of poverty and alcoholism while staring at sentences written by Sherman Alexie in an environment of people shouting things like 'quadruple soy latte.'" I don't know. I feel "tricked."


I feel that if I moved to Seattle, I would stop writing completely, not use the internet, and do something "insane" like dedicate my life to looking at barnacles very closely but without microscopes or any other magnifying device. There would be no purpose to the activity. I would do it every day. I know I feel this sincerely because when I think about it I feel emotional. A barnacle would eat me and Werner Herzog would make a documentary probably called Barnacle and in interviews say, "The insane effects of the barnacles of Seattle are inexplicable, yet it is not necessary to probe into the ecstatic truths of Tao Lin's sudden attraction toward barnacles."


Currently I write short books about depressed people experiencing problems with human relationships while "fighting" "various things" like "meaninglessness" and "despair." If I moved to Seattle, my next book would probably be 1,000 pages about "one seagull's journey from religious abstinence to occasional, discerning, and safe sex with close friends." I don't know, I think it would sell a lot of copies. I'm not just making a joke. I really feel I might create something like that if I lived in an "urbane" apartment in Seattle.


I feel like most people in Seattle have "given up on life" due to a comprehensive knowledge about existentialism but in a "good" way that doesn't feel bad at all. They wake up, go to work copywriting shampoo advertisements, go home, lie in fetal positions facing the back of their sofas, and feel beautiful and existentially awesome. I can successfully transpose existential despair onto any city, but when I do it to Seattle something happens and it becomes "really good" somehow. I think Kafka would have "thrived" in Seattle and written something like seven 800-page novels about the happiness of crippling loneliness with titles like Helvetica Font and The Seattle Public Library Is Beautiful and The Joy of Existential Non Well-Being. The passage from Ronald Hayman's biography of Kafka that reads, "One Saturday evening [Kafka's sister] came home from the shop to find [Kafka] sitting on the sofa, staring blankly in front of him. Aware he had been eating very little, she asked whether he was going to have supper, but he did not answer, and they just stared at each other," would instead read "One Saturday afternoon [Kafka's sister] came home from Elliott Bay Book Company to find [Kafka] standing on the sofa, smiling widely with his arms out in a kind of ecstasy. Aware he had just published his fifth 800-page novel, Freedom in Capital Letters with 19 Exclamation Points After It, she asked whether or not he had seen review copies yet, but he did not answer, and they just grinned at each other a lot." The passage, from the same book, that reads, "[Kafka] decided to write a frank letter to [his fiancée's father], and show it to [his fiancée] before sending it. It would explain how, for about 10 years, he had been increasingly aware of lacking the sense of well-being most people had. Her father might like to recommend a doctor who would examine him and report on his findings," would read, "[Kafka] decided to write an 800-page novel about how happy he felt that something like 'bagels' existed, and show it to [his editor at Knopf]. The novel would explain how, for his entire life, he had been very happy. [His editor at Knopf] might give him a $2,000,000 advance and let him design the cover himself."


When I think about Seattle, I think about people who are very professional and clean and intelligent going home to apartments where everything is in Helvetica font. When they take off their pants, they have choads. A choad is a penis whose width is the same as its length. Having choads makes them think less about sex and focus more on creating beautiful streets and buildings and drinking coffee and subscribing to literary journals. I think in environments of a lot of coffee, lower levels of poverty than average, and higher subscription rates to obscure literary journals people start having choads. It feels logical somehow. recommended


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Comments (47) RSS

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Tao Lin's writing always comes off as strange to me. And yes I have a choad.
Posted by a.r.b on November 19, 2008 at 8:19 PM · Report this
It is a little off the wall, but I like it.
Posted by sweetgeorgia on December 22, 2008 at 10:41 AM · Report this
This entertained me in so many ways. The Herzog reference made me laugh out loud, in fact. And I felt exactly that way about the Mariners when I was young. Blue?! That's just crazy. And who picks a seafarin' name for a baseball team? I have since given up baseball.
Posted by mkcbunny on March 5, 2009 at 10:51 PM · Report this
"I had the feeling I could look out the window and see the rest of the city, from a "bird's-eye view," though this was not true, there was not an elevated area that I knew of where I could do that like I might from the Empire State Building."

Try something called The Space Needle- elevated, windows, view of city.
Posted by delnada on March 7, 2009 at 3:18 PM · Report this
Once I saw Sherman Alexie in a teriyaki restaurant in madison park, you could get coffee there. Now i live in walla walla and the existential and atmospheric differences of the two places is tangible. I learned about Tao Lin from a blog and his wikipedia page. Academia has crippled (adopted) him, in a way that his world is now completely inseparable from people like 'editors' and 'copywriters' and things like 'obscure literary journal subscriptions'. He is funny, but he is wrong about the library. it is nice, but it is not the ineffable center of seattle. the ineffable center of seattle is the woodland park zoo, or ezell's chicken or something like that. maybe five years ago it was paseo in freemont, it is not now, it might have been then. what i am trying to say is that it would have been a food restaurant.
Posted by peter on March 9, 2009 at 4:00 AM · Report this
i have never been to new york, and i dont want to go.

I have taken acid at the woodland park zoo with some friends.

there isnt a lot of helvetica there, but there are a lot of elderly people with their grandchildren who won't appreciate it if you show up in an orange jump-suit and whisper "boo" in their ears after they think you've passed behind them.

they also frown on public sex. generally. I'm sure there are some people at the woodland park zoo who are fine with public sex.

this project here is fraught with peril. it's very perilous. It flirts with saying very dangerous things.

but ill still chew on it.
Posted by spencer on March 9, 2009 at 5:41 AM · Report this
I enjoy standing at the North entrance to Bellevue Square holding a sign that says "No Thanks, I'm good!"
Posted by Pell Mell on March 9, 2009 at 6:54 PM · Report this
I can't believe there wasn't a single mention of the robots from outer space.
Posted by xcvxcv on March 10, 2009 at 6:23 AM · Report this
miss me with the choads!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by tgeezy on March 11, 2009 at 12:03 PM · Report this
I love reading "Jack Handy". Wisdom in every sentence.
Posted by briktru on March 13, 2009 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Kinda dumb.
Posted by Kelly on March 16, 2009 at 12:50 PM · Report this
really dumb....a pathetic attempt at wit...
Posted by theoceanmonster on March 16, 2009 at 7:53 PM · Report this
The irrelevant area referred to is Lake Washington, the other side is the "Eastside" or Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland etc. I have to drive over this irrelevancy every day to get to work, sometimes it is filled with cars that move at a stop and go pace while I curse at them spilling my Starbucks latte on my Northface jacket.
Posted by Kelly on March 30, 2009 at 1:08 AM · Report this
best. review. ever.
Posted by context ender on May 12, 2009 at 7:10 PM · Report this
If only the review had covered some of the odd superiority that people get when they live in one half of Seattle and commute 2 hours each way to get to the place that is exactly like the other side they just came from. The only differences in this whole area are the name of the bartender, the size of the store where you buy imported junk, and whether or not you can actually get a taxi...
Posted by Trapped_by_market on July 20, 2009 at 10:22 PM · Report this
"I" "read" "this" "article"
Posted by jenzwick on October 13, 2009 at 5:03 PM · Report this
If you're interested in normal/arts/business - come to chicago...NO scenery or anything outdoor to do however...
Posted by sleeprun on October 14, 2009 at 8:53 AM · Report this
It's true, everyone in Seattle does have a choad.

Not only that, but around christmas time Sherman Alexie starts mugging people to buy christmas presents.
Posted by isaac on January 2, 2010 at 8:30 PM · Report this
This came across as a ridiculous exercise of self proclaimed boasting for a city that doesnt deserve it.
Seattle is: a climate of anti-social man children(i.e. most adults here act like scorned children). People here cannot dress, drive,bathe, speak coherently as an adult, loose their marriages over video games and porn and praise the "green" way of living while they cant even pick the trash off the street.
There are far better town to live in Boston, Chicago, New York and so forth.
Sorry folks I tell it like it is as I have felt onslaught of gray not only in the weather but the general attitude and backwardness of this town. Perhaps if I was under a medicated haze I could espouse the drivel and untruths that lie here on this page!
Posted by joeaverage on March 9, 2010 at 4:23 AM · Report this
well i'll say this , i have lived in both place's i was born in cabrini hospital in seattle, and lived there most of young life. after ten years in the MARINES! HOORAH! I became a new york city police officer. That lasted 8 months on the job, i wanted no part of the corruption,filth and crime of new york i had been spoiled by seattle. I now live in a small town called gillette wyoming. i've been here 5 years,shoplifting is a front page crime in this town , and we have a very tough drug interdiction policy here. i will never go back to new york, and peoples little attitudes in seattle make me sick. i may come thru seattle in the future but only long enough to stop at dicks drive inn. new york , fuck that place i'll never be there again. if you're from either place, don't come to gillette your shit won't fly here. we'll bury you on the prarie and burn your shit. your not welcome here.
Posted by gillettebret on March 11, 2010 at 2:58 PM · Report this
Where is the part where we capture how totally and ridiculous chill everyone is in Seattle? I've travelled all the eff over the US and abroad and Seattle BY FAR except for possibly some parts of Spain has the most utterly chill unhurried people I've ever met. They're great. I would someday like to meet a pretty Seattle girl with wavy hair and who likes to read to me while I casually take like two hours to make us some coffee. It's actually like that there.
Posted by twa on March 12, 2010 at 3:08 PM · Report this
O...M...G. I now know what it looks like to watch Tao Lin whack off for 18 interminable, inscrutable, self-indulgent piece of shit paragraphs which have nothing to do with Seattle, Brooklyn, or worthy thought in any form.
Well done, Stranger, and Tao-OW-FuckTHatHurtNoNeverAgain...Jesus! You've successfully solidified pointless. Fuck Off, and keep spraying your man cheese all over your keyboard, but keep it to yourself, for god's sake, Puhleeeeeze.
Posted by soccermomsbware on March 15, 2010 at 1:50 AM · Report this
I just moved from Brazil, Sao Paulo, and I do feel that a lot of my lifestyle there was very similar to what I get here in Seattle. That means I am not a typical Brazilian or at least what you would (maybe) expect, but truth being said, I can relate to the article quite a lot. The crazyest random and senseless things happened to me when I first moved here with no harm done whatsoever, just laughs, which made me love this city even more.
Posted by m2cn on March 24, 2010 at 4:06 PM · Report this
this was an insult to seattle, a huge one, that hit the nail on the head, and the commenters seem to (not realize that). ssshhhhhhh....
Posted by Sasha Grayskies on April 26, 2010 at 5:44 AM · Report this
are you sure you're not in Nilbog, Bret(supposedly from gillette)?
Posted by alethiotheband on September 28, 2010 at 5:04 PM · Report this
Not bad, however, you forget about the people who drifted here from Eastern Wa or the Peninsula after high school. We cavort, drink, laugh, fuck, make witticisms, sculpt, compose music and physical threaten the home-grown girly men that try to get cute when we need that burger or 6th cocktail.
Some of the Seattle 'sons' are crippled from having neurotic, overbearing hippie mothers who made them feel guilty for grabbing the girls hair during the blowjob. This extended recession/depression ought to cull some of them.
Posted by SleepingWithNannyState on October 3, 2010 at 5:15 PM · Report this
Seattle is a sewer overflowing with liberal dipshits and homeless assholes. The architecture (if you can call it that) stinks, the streets are totally fucked up, the air unclean, taxes way high, coffee overrated, and dumb fucks with dogs litter what's left of the landscape. Best of all thousands of fags think they've died and gone to heaven because they can tell their friends they live "in the city".
Posted by SeattleBlows on October 6, 2010 at 2:01 PM · Report this
Posted by amylll on October 8, 2010 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Posted by hansel on October 9, 2010 at 4:43 PM · Report this
Whoever said it might be right; Tao Lin just called us all a bunch of dipshits.

Or, that is actually how he speaks & thinks, even when ordering a Subway sandwich. Those Mexicans weren't too amused when he pointed out the irony of their relatives picking the same jalapenos that he had them put on his 6" Veggie Patty. I think the word "pendejo" was used multiple times.

Bellevue & the Eastside are NOT the other side of Seattle.
Posted by Ted Danson on October 11, 2010 at 6:31 AM · Report this
Seattle is full of assholes, who enjoy being assholes and raise asshole children to be just like them. Fuck Seattle. It is a waste of life.
Posted by 677009 on April 1, 2011 at 4:21 PM · Report this
I like seattle. I like Tao lin. I like this article.
Posted by I like tao lin on April 17, 2011 at 4:19 PM · Report this
Oh man where to start haha;) I liked so many of your comments. I am from areas around Seattle born and raised. I absolutely hate it here! People are rude, fat, cant drive, slow at customer service, hippy stoner lazys. I agree with Joeaverage all the way. Ive traveled enough to know people are way nicer almost anywhere but here. Not to mention the only time its good weather is 2 maybe 3 months out of the year. The people are disgusting, medicated dickwads. Been trying to move for 7 years its like a fkn prison here. Help!! Lol Btw im a hot single girl that cant get a date cause the men are pussy faggots. And no opportunities for work unless its serving dumb tasteless coffee. Lmao
Posted by hostilebeauty on February 20, 2012 at 2:36 AM · Report this
I lived in Seattle for over half a decade and I think its common at first to fall in love with the place. There is so much to do at first especially if your single and looking to explore your surroundings. Pike Place, Freemont, walking around UW and the U district. However sooner or later depending on if your looking to date or not, your social life eventually catches you with you: you have none. At first, yes up front people there are infact nice and polite. However when you try break the ice, you come off as pushy when your trying to make an effort. If you have anything other than an "it will get done eventually attitude" and dont let things work out themselves when and if it does than be prepared to spend a long time alone. Its easy to get involved in activities that only require you, its no wonder Seattle folk often get tied into looking at Barnacles or reading, you think Starbucks is a great place to meet someone? Let me know how you get that persona out of their own world in the books or Ipod to talk to you. Over all if your not a free loving, anti social, hippe or child of a hippe,a bizarre intellect who hates tobacco but loves weed then your not going to do well here. Seattlites are very Xenophobic, for decades they have been fighting to keep Seattle looking and feeling the way it did in the 70s. I also agree with hostile beauty, men there are pussies they dont know anything about socializing and women there are always on guard and dont like being approached, they often think if you as a man are talking to them that means you want to be their boyfriend. Read the Seattle Times Article about the Seattle Freeze, Seattle is one of the worst places to get a social life. I think its cute to see so many people myself at one point had this rosy view of seattle from afar, well I like many others thought this too and have left seattle and looking back, it disappointing experience
Posted by Jonawad on April 17, 2012 at 6:37 AM · Report this
The Stranger makes authors inexplicably write "nastier" than they would in other cities. Still funny, tho.
Posted by ww on April 29, 2012 at 10:20 AM · Report this
Your writing is beautiful & hilarious & i am going to look you up and buy your bear poetry.
Posted by herzog <3s barnacles on June 12, 2012 at 4:57 PM · Report this
I have lived and spent a lot of time in NYC, There, things are happening all around you. The weather can be harsh at times, but the great majority of the year, it is sunny and dry and it is flat as a pancake.
In Seattle, the individual has to make things happen. It is hard to explain how huge that is, and how the cold damp weather affects everything here. The hilly terrain also makes things different, and because of that and lack of planning years ago, we have no public transportation other than buses - waiting in the cold and damp.
Seattle is a very hard working city, sometimes to the expense of having fun, but again, it's the cold and damp. But it can be exquisitely beautiful and I have met tons of great people here. But here, it's all about making things happen for your life because it's not going to come to you. I also believe that there is much creativity here born of depression and emotional difficulties.
Posted by I fight the gloom on February 23, 2013 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Nice how the two biggest Seattle haters in this comment thread also deem it acceptable to call people "faggots."
Posted by TriceratopsMG on February 27, 2013 at 4:45 PM · Report this
So there are no women in Seattle. Because everyone has a "choad."
Posted by Native Washingtonian in Exile on May 20, 2013 at 8:15 PM · Report this
Seattle, maison doux maison. Oh comment tu me manques....
Posted by MichelleM. on May 22, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
Texas10R 41
Do copywriters in New York City know about "kerning"?

Perhaps the crowded single-spacing is emblematic of the crowded sense of self-import, particular to a writer so very far from Seattle.

This article leaves me with a notion of existential syncope in empathy for such "writers".
Posted by Texas10R on May 24, 2013 at 4:54 PM · Report this
"For some reason I never heard Shya—or anyone else I know from Seattle—say anything like "In Seattle I would never be attacked on public transportation".."

I think that is because in Seattle, we have so many people from somewhere else that tell us everything is better in other places, so we don't do that when we travel.

Everything is better somewhere else, according to people who came to Seattle from somewhere else. Bagels, drivers, weather, nightlife, dating, government, pizza...you name it. So it's no wonder we don't brag when we go to other cities.

Posted by rbuzby on May 27, 2013 at 4:33 PM · Report this
Gosh this makes me want to move there! But that's because I'm curious like a cat.. my friends call me whiskers?!!!
Posted by curiousity! on July 16, 2013 at 9:37 AM · Report this
For whatever reason, I find the commentary on this article to be eerily similar to the Biflow, FL reference.. For those of you who are defending Seattle, who gives a shit? And for those of you aiming to offend Seattle, who gives a shit? Go buy yourselves a Starbucks and chill out.
Posted by KEB65 on November 8, 2013 at 3:13 AM · Report this
I don't like this writing style, it seems too diary-ish. Not to mention, you don't even live here. You've visited and it sounds like you communicate with seattlelites through e-mail, which tells me..... nothing.

Anyway, Seattle sucks and is soulless. People are repulsive and unwelcoming to generosity? Backwards, huh? When it sun comes out, everyone freaks out and can potentially have nice tendencies. But manners do not exist, so if you hold the door open for someone, they may just try to open it themselves and look at you like you're crazy.

Posted by alc903 on December 11, 2013 at 4:22 PM · Report this
How can I get back my five minutes from reading this? The illustration is nice, but this makes makes me understand why Brooklyn is often ridiculed. After more than five years shouldn't this essay be culled like a library book that is never checked out?
Posted by ABC123XYZ on December 16, 2013 at 5:49 PM · Report this
Why are so many of these comments so negative? If you hate Seattle so much then go away and forget about us. You don't have to spend the little precious time you have on Earth being so disgusted by us.

I love Seattle. I am originally from San Diego. I find people in Seattle to be open, intelligent, and interesting. I have met many nice people who appreciate other people and are generous to strangers. If you are a "choad", you're going to meet "choads".

Mostly I love that Seattle is a place that induces this type of article to be written about it. Great "diary entry", btw. I appreciate that it made me want to keep reading. You managed to put in words what I felt about the Central Branch.
Posted by MegV on February 27, 2014 at 4:46 AM · Report this

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