You know those people who start every sentence with, "Well, when I used to live in NEW YORK..." and what they really mean is, "Prepare to be amazed, ye foolish bumpkins"? Yeah, those people are awful. And I apologize in advance. So, I used to live in LOS ANGELES (am I blowing your mind up, country mouse?), which is where entertainment comes from. In Los Angeles, everyone is David Arquette's assistant, and works for Tony Hawk's production company, and does Pilates with Jennie Garth, and their other car is George Clooney, and they're all orange and peekin' at each other at the Pinkberry and beep-boop-boop-thank-Xenu-I-have-my-iPhone-so-I-can-tell-you-about-how-I-saw-Kato-Kaelin-buying-deli-meat-at-Gelson's. (Oh, and there are some poor people, too. But sshhhhhhhh.)
Seattle is not like Los Angeles. We're not as orange, and we're not as over it. So it was unsettling when, one day last week, I wandered into Pike Place Market and—between the fishes and the flowers and the novelty nylon frog beanbags and the hand-painted dog-breed aprons—Los Angeles had set up shop.
I approached a sullen PA in a headset. In Los Angeles, it's important to aggressively ignore people in show-business headsets, to prove that you are not impressed. "What's going on?" I asked the sullen PA. He looked away from me, into the middle distance, and mumbled, "movie." "What movie?" "Traveling." Still no eye contact. "The movie is called Traveling?" He left.
I walked further into the crowd, toward the circle of wires and personalized chairs and expensive-looking things on wheels. I looked to my left. The mayor was there—just standing there with the rest of us wide-eyed Seattle bumpkins. THE MAYOR. I inched closer to the mayor. Very close. A dude with slicked-back hair and shiny sunglasses glided up to the mayor and asked, "Have you met the director?" He indicated a baby-faced baby-man with big headphones around his neck. "The script was set in Seattle, so that's good," I heard the director say. "It's an honor to shoot here in your gorgeous city." "Sorry the weather isn't cooperating!" quipped the mayor. (It was sunny.) The important men laughed.
Then, out of nowhere, came Aaron Eckhart—butt-chinned, yellow-haired semi-hunk; Mormon; and star (with Jennifer Anist... zzzzzzzzzzzzzz) of Traveling. He shook the mayor's hand. He seemed bored. "It really is a beautiful city. I'm really enjoying it," said Eckhart. "Thanks for letting us film here. I've heard a lot about your weather." "Sorry it isn't cooperating!" said the mayor again. He laughed at his own joke. Again. "How's things going here in Washington?" Eckhart asked. "How's the tax incentives going?" "Ha ha," said the mayor. "I'm hitting you up for legislation here!" hollered Eckhart, clearly still bored. "Ha ha," said the mayor. "Ha ha."