Features Feb 26, 2014 at 4:00 am

Hey, You. Yeah, You. Book Nerd. Forget the Literary Conference You Came to Town for and Spend Your Time Exploring the Most Literary City in the United Goddamned States of America Instead.


Jonathan Raban! How could you forget Raban? He's the best of the bunch!
Also Left Bank Books!
Suzzallo. Now, THAT's a beautiful library. Central is just architectural masturbation.
Nice piece -- although how on earth did you miss author Charles Johnson, who is the second African American to earn the National Book Award, his for MIDDLE PASSAGE (the first, of course, being Ralph Ellison for INVISIBLE MAN)?
Half Price Books in its various locations has a good used selection.
Also forgot: Ivan Doig, Timothy Egan and librarian/author/critic Nancy Pearl.
Thanks for mentioning my pal, David Lasky! He is truly talented! I have a question though... what do you mean, the public transportation is bad? Did I miss something? Y'all got more bus lines than Atlanta, GA. Sound Transit was just getting going when I moved away in 2001--Seattle has much better public transportation than the cesspool...ooops, CITY of Atlanta, I mean.
“I went topdeck as the ferry pulled out in a cold drizzle to dig and enjoy Puget Sound. It was one hour sailing to the Port of Seattle and I found a half-pint of vodka stuck in the deck rail concealed under a Time magazine and just casually drank it and opened my rucksack and took out my warm sweater to go under my rain jacket and paced up and down all alone on the cold fog-swept deck feeling wild and lyrical. And suddenly I saw that the Northwest was a great deal more than the little vision I had of it of Japhy in my mind. It was miles and miles of unbelieveable mountains grooking on all horizons in the wild broken clouds, Mount Olympus and Mount Baker, a giant orange sash in the gloom over the Pacific-ward skies that led I knew to the Hokkaido Siberian desolations of the world. I huddled against the bridgehouse hearing the Mark Twain talk of the skipper and the wheelman inside. In the deepened dusk fog ahead the big red neons saying: Port of Seattle. And suddenly everything Japhy had ever told me about Seattle began to seep into me like cold rain, I could feel it and see it now, and not just think it. It was exactly like he’d said: wet, immense, timbered, mountainous, cold, exhilarating, challenging. The ferry nosed in at the pier on Alaskan Way and immediately I saw the totem poles in old stores and the ancient 1880-style switch goat with sleepy firemen chug chugging up and down the waterfront spur like a scene from my own dreams, the old Casey Jones locomotive of America, the only one I ever saw that old outside of Western movies, but actually working and hauling boxcars in the smoky gloom of the magic city.”
--Kerouac, The Dharma Bums
"Crossing the tracks on Railroad Avenue I came to a small coffee place, painted white, in the corner of a drab freight shed built out over the water of the Sound. I stood at the end of the counter and had two bowls of clam chowder, a big mug of coffee, and for good measure emptied the cracker bowl. It set me back twenty-five cents but it was worth it. Feeling pretty good, I strolled north along the waterfront."
--N.C. McDonald, Song of the Axe
Thanks for the plug, Paul. My response to some of the issues raised here: http://paulenelson.com/2014/03/04/seattl…
@2:and Revolution Books.

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