If you recently watched KOMO News, you might have heard that "Seattle is dying." Or maybe you heard Fox News' Tucker Carlson say Seattle is "experiencing widespread degradation" and "suffocating under garbage." Or KIRO Radio's Dori Monson say there's "no way" he'd take a late-night walk in Seattle since we've allowed "the criminals to absolutely take over."
Conservative blowhards really want the world to believe that Seattle is a dirty, crime-ridden hellhole. It's not.
Seattle is a beautiful city. It's true that the city faces an unprecedented housing emergency, but it's also true that we're the country's fastest-growing big city for a reason: People really, really want to live here.
On a clear day, a person in the right spot can turn their head and see Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. But it's not just our views—as Seattle Walk Report, a new collection of comics illustrating actual things seen and found while walking Seattle's streets, makes clear. All you have to do to discover the treasures of Seattle is go on a walk.
Seattle Walk Report is exactly what it sounds like: reports of walks in Seattle. Popularized on Instagram (@seattlewalkreport), the project was started in 2017 by an anonymous illustrator who prefers to simply go by Seattle Walk Report. Is she secretly MacKenzie Bezos? Nikkita Oliver? Her identity is so secret that I don't know her name, even though a few of the comics have appeared in The Stranger.
"It's not like I'm George Clooney or something," the author said. What about Sue Bird? We are told she will give up the ruse on August 13, the day her book comes out.
"It wasn't an easy decision to put my name on the book. When I started Seattle Walk Report, I didn't intend to be anonymous, because I really didn't intend on anything," the author said. "It's your classic Hannah Montana scenario. I get the joy of making this thing that people love while maintaining a normal life."
The author did confirm to us that she's not a celebrity.
Seattle Walk Report's 150-plus pages of twee, guidebook-style comics create an endearing collection of the small details that make Seattle a home. An abbreviated list of its findings: Churros. A scary teapot shaped like a sad dog. The Wedgwood Rock. A parking meter wearing a tie. The oldest building in Seattle (it's by the Capitol Hill Goodwill). Thirteen people in Seahawks gear. A money tree in Rainier Beach. St. Paul's Episcopal Church (which has the best roof in Seattle). Twenty coffee-cup lids. All of Seattle's Carnegie libraries. A ground-level mailbox in Georgetown (maybe a mailbox for dogs?!). A starfish AND a crab chilling on Alki Beach. The terra-cotta on a West Roy Street apartment building. One confident duck.
Flipping through its pages, it's impossible to believe Seattle is dying.
"The other day on Broadway, I wasn't even in 'walk reporter mode' when I saw a man in a skeleton costume and an old woman with three Pomeranians and a $2,000 purse having a very animated conversation about their shared hatred of spiders," Seattle Walk Report said. "A block later, there was an open Amazon box with nothing but loose raisins inside! LOOSE RAISINS! Life is good."