When I got back to my scooter at Seattle Center today, I realized that I had a full hour and fifteen minutes left on my parking sticker.
Not wanting to hand the money over to the parking gods for nothing, I decided to roll down the hill and spend some time at one of Seattle’s great parks … Olympic Sculpture Park.
Olympic Sculpture Park is at the far northern end of the Seattle Waterfront, and true to its name, it hosts many sculptures on its 9 acres. I encourage you to read about the museum on the park’s Wikipedia page:
As I sat on a park bench this morning, looking out over the Puget Sound at the Olympic Mountains in the distance, I began thinking.
You know, I understand why people leave Seattle. The experience of living in many different places is a requisite for the intellectually curious. Even if you live in the greatest place on earth, you can’t possibly appreciate it until you’ve lived in other, inferior places.
What I don’t understand, however, is how people can leave Seattle and never come back.
Honestly, when I lived here back in the late 80′s/early 90’s, I didn’t really think that this was the greatest city in the USA. How could I? I was young, and I hadn’t been everywhere else. I had yet to live or travel to countless other environs which I was assured were far more exciting and interesting. I had to go and see for myself, otherwise, I would just have been spouting other people’s ideas.
Now, however, with the benefit of several moves and 20 years of first-hand experience, I know. I know the fools gold of Los Angeles, and the cramped flats of Manhattan. Everyplace has its benefits, its attributes, and its reasons to exist.
Seattle, however, is in a class by itself. There’s us, and then there’s everyone else. I love this city as much as a human can truly “love” a city. It’s the only city I would take up arms for and defend against those hostile toward it. It’s not perfect, of course. We have problems. Lots of problems. Problems which anger me 24/7. Traffic is rough, the police have issues, crime is high, and our state and local governments would be comical were they not so corrupt.
We’ve got a great canvas to work with, though. A better canvas than anyone else. It’s a good reason, nay, the BEST reason to solve these problems that face us; to get rid of those who use it for their own pompous and corrupt self-interests.
I can hear it now: “You’re just biased Rex, I live in XXX and it’s every bit as great and beautiful as Seattle!”
Well, I respect your loyalty, but you are wrong.
Look at the pictures on this page.
Good god, man, look at them.
Does your town have a park that looks anything like this?
Keep in mind that these aren’t even our best views. They’re our average views. There are a dozen other parks throughout the city with backdrops that are just as visually impossible. Also, I didn’t even use a good camera. These were taken with a consumer-grade compact camera shoved into my pocket. Imagine what a good photographer could do, or better yet, imagine what this place looks like in person.
You know, I really need to stop championing Seattle. It’s going to backfire. Traffic is going to double, the cost of living is gong to skyrocket, and every Californian with an Internet connection and every hipster with a trust fund is going to beat a hasty path here to jack up prices and piddle all over the town.
With that in mind, allow me to inject the following in this post with the hopes that search engines will pick it up:
Oh god, it’s so gloomy here. It rains all the time and the sun never shines. Never. Never ever. From 6am to 11pm each day, it massively downpours. It rains twice as hard on the weekends. I’m so depressed that I’m on Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Wellbutrin simultaneously just to make it through the day. It’s just unlivable here, and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t want to shoot myself for not moving to beautiful, sunny California.
There, that should do it.
Well, except for these pictures I took today from Olympic Sculpture Park.
I’m clearly self-destructive.