July 12 2008

Seattle Observations

Seattle ProtestersOn my second, and last day in Seattle (my entire time here is 46 hours), and I had some random observations to make about the place.

– I knew my trip to Seattle was complete once I saw some protesters.  I really didn’t care what they were talking about, I just needed to see some to feel like I got the whole Seattle experience.

– As the hotel shuttle was taking me back today from Pike Place Market, he had to drop some other guests off at the Space Needle.  Could someone please explain the allure of this thing to me?  Sure, you get a great view, but there was a 90-minute wait to just go up the thing.  It’s like the St. Louis Arch, I don’t get that either.  You ride up an elevator, you look you go down.  Whee.

– It has  been quite a while since I stayed in a true downtown area, I forgot about the number of homeless people and panhandlers you run in to.

car parking– Did someone forget to inform me this city is made of gold?  I am paying insane prices for EVERYTHING.  Hotel room, food, cab fares… apparently this city has a bit too much money, and they take it out on their visitors.  Even my hotel wants to charge $20 a day to park a guests car.  I’m sorry, but that’s something that I think should always be free to guests.  You want to entice them to stay, not punish them for using your establishment.  I have heard this is happening more and more places, but it still seems pretty stupid to me.

– Sitting in a park yesterday across from Westlake Center, I heard multiple conversations from the younger folks about people who have left Seattle, people who have come back and people who are planning to leave.  Then while walking to dinner at Red Fin (a rant about sushi in the USA will be coming out of that dinner), two people walking in front of me ran into someone they knew buying a Greyhound ticket to leave Seattle.  He just couldn’t take it here any more.

What the heck is with this town and people moving in and out of it all of the time?  I have heard of this for years, thought it might be a bit exaggerated, but nope, not from my small sampling yesterday.

– I went in to two mom & pop record stores.  You would think with this being Seattle, they would be rife with indie labels, obscoure bands from the likes of Sub Pop and so on.


Run-of-the-mill used mainstream BS.  This was really a big let down for me.

All-in-all it has been an enjoyable trip, but it is for sure that Seattle isn’t like anywhere else I have ever been.

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  • Seattle

    Seattle thinks it’s ridiculous to judge our city by the Space Needle (you didn’t need to fly here to learn it’s a tourist trap); our hotel parking (hotels in SF charge $40-$50 btw, and why should other guests subsidize your need for a car in the city? (think green)); and our bricks-and-mortar record stores (what were you expecting, a store full of music unavailable anywhere else?).

    Try to spend more than a couple hours on the ground before forming an opinion. Check out the neighborhoods. Go out at night. Get out on the water. Talk to some people don’t just eavesdrop.

    For a tech blogger such as yourself, visit some startups. Or why not go visit Microsoft, or Amazon, or Boeing, or Starbucks, or Real Networks, or Nordstrom. Think to yourself, how many companies like this were started by people in Missouri? Of course Seattle is going to be a lot like everywhere else, but at least try to find and appreciate some of the good things that make cities different. What a ridiculous and naive post.

  • First off it was called “observations”, meaning “this is what I observed, here is what I thought of what I observed.”

    Secondly, I never put much stock into comments left by people who don’t have the gumption to sign their real name or even leave a real email address.

    As for what I expected from the record stores was at least somewhat of an acknowledgment of the rich musical history of Seattle, not a bunch of beat up used copies of No Doubt albums (which I saw in both stores). That’s just simple marketing, play to your strengths.

    As for what else I did or did not do in Seattle, thanks for making assumptions. Gee, what a “ridiculous and naive” comment left to a post.

    Again, sign your name, or you get ridiculed. My blog is named for me, automatically meaning I stand behind everything I say on it, you can at least do the same.

  • M

    OMG! SEATTLE SPEAKS! I love personification. Although, I must say, Seattle is a bit touchy. Sean, you made a city cry. All this time I thought it was the weather, when really, it’s you. You bastard.

    You also made me laugh and look at you with awe. Sean, if you can make a city speak, can you do me a favor? Could you please write a post about Disney’s Fantasia? Those brooms have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.

    But back to Seattle. Beef up, shrimpy. He’s not even your boyfriend and you’re still overreacting. Sheesh.

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