Seattle Spends Weekend Embarrassingly Sentimentalizing the Viaduct

Comments

1

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have found, truly, the last ironic hipster on Capitol Hill.

2

Did you ever drive on the viaduct, Charles?

3

Sentiment and celebration comments aside, this is a great line: "Reading this kind of thing makes my soul crunch horribly like a ball of tin foil." Wonderful writing.

4

Final... Proof that Chuck is actually Satan incarnate:
"First, replace in your mind the image of a viaduct with an image of hell. See the cars on it as nothing but devils with pitchforks. See the exhaust fumes as smoke rising from brimstone. And hear the honking and motors as the screams of the damned."

"There should be no celebrations, no dancing, no nudies, no sentimental strolls. The proper emotion for the Viaduct should be the intense dread one feels when, in a horror film, a person is buried alive."

Only the Devil himself would dread the closing of Hell...

5

The northbound viaduct was one of the most beautiful roads to drive on in Seattle at sunset. Until the early 1990s it was, along with route 99 in general up to Green Lake, a comparatively quick way to get from north to south or vice versa. I am going to miss it.

6

Good luck instructing readers on the 'proper emotions' they should feel.
But in keeping with the spirit of your writing, I do shed a tear for the now gone waterfront Benson trolley. The city abandoned a viable tourist attraction. The cars were beautiful wood-paneled from Australia, and were sold off for a song.

7

News Flash: Charles Mudede's little black pit of a soul miraculously scrunched into a ball of tinfoil, fashioned from his collection of tinfoil hats. Party invitations drop to zero.

8

This too shall pass, dearest Charles. You'll feel better tomorrow. There's always light at the end of the tunnel.

9

8 FTW!!

10

I'm with Charles. I moved here from somewhere else 35 years ago and could not believe Seattle had a stupid freeway on its waterfront. Everyone else: Have a great time with that Seattle nostalgia!

11

Wow, okay. Thanks for instructing me on the proper emotion to have. I had one of my most precious moments on that viaduct when I was 9 years old. My dad and I ran the Seafair race together. I was having a difficult time as we made our way across the Viaduct, but my dad was there every step of the way encouraging me and got me to the end. Every time I come back to town, my breath is taken away from the view of Seattle, The Sound, and The Peninsula from the Viaduct, and each time it makes me feel at home, a feeling I don't feel on a day to day basis. Yeah, maybe people went overboard saying goodbye? But you don't have to be lame about it.

12

I'll miss the viaduct as much as the next person (although I am much more touched by things like the closure of Frederick & Nelson), but that poem made my eyes roll so badly that I was afraid they wouldn't come back.

14

@13 - 2nd'ed. Please, every moron who mourns the loss of this engineering diarrhea speak up so we know where the stupids are.
I actually thought the panic-pigeons in Bellevue would be the biggest babies about losing this hunk of shit.

15

Like #5 said, that northbound drive could be stunning.
Very powerful vista with mountains in background, Sound & ferries in foreground, Space Needle some of Seattle's graceful architecture in middle distance, the light bouncing around off surfaces everywhere, a huge expanse of horizon.
Some of us who grew up here love this city, love this place.
And viaduct northbound was a great place to remind ourselves of our love.
With that said, it really had to go, its time was up like a beloved old dog.
And now we say good-bye.

16

Just let us have our goddamned fun, Charles. Jesus.

17

The Luddites love themselves a pity party. You sadsacks can have a pity prayer circle together while waiting at the fotomat.

18

On tonight’s news: carpetbagger Charles and fellow carpetbagger sloggers comment on critical roadway designed over 60 years ago.

Also on tonight’s news, Charles ponders the fuzz gathered up in his navel while looking for economic inspiration.

19

I just wouldn't know what to feel if I didn't have Charles to instruct me on the appropriate feelings for things.

21

Glad to see it go. I always held my breath when traversing the fucker, afraid I'd end up like those people on I-880 in the Loma Prieta quake.

22

The comments in this post are quite indicative of those who are generally happy in life and those who are generally pouty and depressed.

23

Charles, the party on the viaduct on Friday night was not a tearful, shirt-rending eulogising. It was a joyous victory of humans over the structure. A celebration of neighbourliness among strangers. In a city where people are generally satisfied not to interact with each other, for those of us who happened by chance of traffic flow to end up on the southbound waterfront between the closure at 10, and 11pm as the last entrants crawled through, we were dancing and waving and honking and giving mobile high-fives to drivers as an unplanned, spontaneous gathering of people, not the cars they passenged. Nor was anyone hugging pillars or shedding tears on the concrete: what the fuck, we've all wound up in this sandwich of streets in the moments that it's technically no longer open, let's make it ours before it gets returned to the earth.

If the city couldn't summon the will to create a High Line on the structure, transforming the boondoggle to public parkland and claiming a fragment of touristic appeal and green beauty from its hapless servitude to personal motor vehicles, at least the people took it over for an hour or two, creating a flicker of life and community from pure chance.

24

Once again I question what does Charles like? Where does he find joy? He is like the grim reaper of happiness snuffing it out wherever he goes. He does not live life but sits in judgement of it. The only joy he must have is that he found a job where he can write about the sentiment and foibles of us mere mortals.

25

I won’t miss it, but I will miss the delightfully seedy area underneath it. Lots of transient folks will miss it too. This was downtown’s underbelly, and now we look forward to all the slim and trim condos that’ll get built in its stead.

26

I'll mss it. The People's way to work. With views. Now us proles get to commute like moles.

27

@24 You should go read his articles about urban forests and trees, or his music and art posts, that might answer your questions. That is, if your post was sincere, rather than just a rant about a journalist you don't like.

28

No surprise: it is happening in AmeriKa ( and Seattle is a very, VERY small percent of 'Muricans -- many who sentimentalize Jim Crow U.S.A. . . . . )

29

It may seem unnecessary today but 60 some years ago it was a solution that not only was approved but it worked. It connected an interstate highway through Seattle.

"What all of this makes clear is how much work must be done to instruct standard citizens on the appropriate feelings for things like freeways and highways in cities."

Wow, Charles, maybe internment camps and gulags for reeducation of the masses could do wonders to spread your point of view. It worked so well in Russia and China didn't it?

30

Charles, your becoming more and more like Stalin.

31

Please give it up, White Trash Viaduct Lovers! ...it is just an ugly, loud waterfront concrete highway ...nothing more. Get a life!

32

All things must pass. Some are good to go. Some are not. Some are hard to see leave. Some elicit cheers. The Viaduct is a mixed bag.

As someone who has lived here his entire life, I celebrate the Viaduct's passing but am very melancholy about this change. Can't a person feel what they feel, Charles?

That view. That view. See, back in the 70s and 80s, the roads around here were fine and traffic didn't really exist except for in spurts and globs. 99 was a fun drive, especially Northbound. The last time I drove it was the night before it shut down, and I relished in seeing the ferries in sunset, the wheel reflected in the sound. As ugly as that thing was, it had its own beauty, too. The Seattle of the 90s wouldn't be what it was without it; haunts such as the OK Hotel wouldn't have been as popular without the grungy gray white noise running above.

I agree completely that it should be gone, and for many of the same reasons that you do. We must become a public transport city, and cars are horrid. Yet, that doesn't remove the pining heart from memories of place. This aspect of the city was iconic in its way for 70 years. I don't know that you can completely understand having not lived here since birth.

This city is folding in on itself and all positives are becoming negatives and vice versa. Its a tough time to be a Seattlite who lived and breathed this city in a very different time. Change is hard.

Be patient with us as our memories are razed on the daily.

Thanks.

33

JFC. The only embarrassment here is you, chuckles.

34

My memory of the viaduct will be running on it during the annual St. Patricks Day Dash and the great views. I ran the Dash many more times than I drove or rode my motorcycle on it. It was a fine part of the Dash.

35

'What all of this makes clear is how much work must be done to instruct standard citizens on the appropriate feelings for things like freeways and highways in cities.'

I must confess to being a member of the urban bourgeois class, who may experience "feelings" deemed not appropriate by my intellectual and moral betters, and sorely in need of "instruction". I am sure that Mao and Pol Pot left behind a significant body of work regarding the task of "re-educating the masses". Make haste, Comrade Charles!

36

@22 true, and I'm guessing a little more.

Spot the newcomers in this thread, I guess. Chalk another one up to their hostility toward people born and raised in Seattle and the things they like. Some pretty idiotic sentiments -- white trash viaduct lovers?

@32 The OK Hotel was an amazing spot. And the Velvet Elvis.

@25 the seedy underbelly made things interesting, for sure.

@13, @14 I wish you newcomers would tell us what kind of birds we are supposed to be. Is it pheasants or pigeons? Make up your minds.

37

36.

We are ALL members of the pheasantry class,
Chicken.

Well, except for the Peacock class. Obviously.
(oh -- and the Vulture class).

38

28

YES! if you are sentimental about the viaduct, you MUST be racist!

or something...

39

37

correction...you are a member of the loser class....been pretty apparent since you started posting.

enjoy scraping by for the rest of your life and always bitching about how the man has kept you down.

40

@Destroying_your_narrative: smiles, If you beLIEve the persons who both designed and built the viaduct were and are Racism-free - in the system that PERFECTED Racism for the entire world to imitate - then you are beyond Moral rehabilitation.