The rise of social media (to say nothing of the rise of the cost of living) has made the "Dear Seattle, I'm moving away" letter more popular than ever. We've all thought about writing one, opting instead for a click of the Like button and a heartfelt "THIS" in reply. Here's a tool to help you draft your own version of this all-too-familiar sentiment, because you're probably too busy working 80 hours a week to pay the rent you can't afford to write it yourself. As always, you're incredibly welcome. —Eds.
I first moved here in ____ [YEAR], and soon found myself in the warm embrace of an arts community founded on principles of camaraderie and inclusion. Though I am a __________ [TYPE OF ARTIST] myself, I was surrounded by like-minded fellow travelers from all artistic disciplines. The ________ [NAME OF DEFUNCT BAR] was our headquarters. It's a ________ [TYPE OF BUSINESS] now. We were broke and miserable, but we were happy, because we could survive.
Last week, almost exactly ___ years to the day since I first arrived in this city, I received a note from my landlord (funny how he never responds to MY e-mails or phone calls) informing me that my rent would be going up by $____ a month, effective immediately. That's a ___% increase over the current rate, and ___% higher than when I moved in. The really fucked-up part is that when I moved to this neighborhood, I paid $____ a month for a place twice this size. Like the song says: I wish I still had that old, cheap apartment (though I hated it at the time).
What happened to our soul? When did the pursuit of the almighty dollar begin to supersede all other considerations? I remember when even having a job was considered suspect in certain parts of the Seattle arts community. Now look at us: We can't even get one if we try.
Well, I'm done trying. I'm packing up whatever fits in my ____ [YEAR] ______ [MAKE/MODEL] and moving to ____________ [NAME OF CITY], where I'll keep making my ________ [ARTISTIC MEDIUM] until the brogrammers and woo girls catch up and ruin that place, too.
Thanks for breaking my heart,
_____________________ [YOUR NAME]