Category Archives for "Seattle, About Town"

Repioneering Pioneer Square

Seattle, About Town

“You look like true Seattleites.” My friend and I, engaged in a spirited conversation about the book I was reading that takes place in early Pioneer Square, stopped dead in our tracks. We both turned to the woman who said this to us as we were passing her.

Dark-skinned with honey-dyed hair turning black at the roots, she was exotic and lovely. Standing twenty yards from the iconic square’s pergola, waiting for the bus with her male companion, I wondered aloud if she was a tourist and what exactly a “Seattleite” looks like. “Oh, I am from Saudi Arabia,” she said, “and my husband is from here.” He looked hesitant during the exchange, uncomfortably grasping an aging bouquet of Stargazer lilies wrapped in green tissue. Now they live in Wallingford.Continue reading

Bar Missionary

Seattle, About Town

Try scraping the ice off your eyes before giving me that cold stare

I visited Nathan Layman at Needle and Thread happened to be his birthday. Several of my fellow bar patrons apparently already knew this, and the mood in the tastefully lighted room above Seattle’s famed bar Tavern Law was celebratory but chill. The women next to me appeared to be having an after-work libation while putting off their commute home to the eastside. Next to them a tattooed hipster was waiting for her date. Upon his arrival, we learned it was his birthday too.

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Noetic Nights

Seattle, About Town

People always ask me if I am in a book club. I was, years ago, but I found that committing to a book a month that was chosen by someone else took up too much of my time. I loved the monthly get-together & subsequent conversation, but I longed for something co-ed and more open-ended.

Years ago, an AP article in The Times (NY, Seattle? I can’t remember) featured a photo of smiling couple in the foreground and a crowded lecture hall behind them. They met at a series of events geared towards adult learners. Most of them had closed the chapter on their high school and college years, but still considered themselves students of life. Because, let’s face it, some of us aim to learn until the day we die.Continue reading

Conversations from the Countertop

Seattle, About Town

“What I bring to the interview is respect. The person recognizes that you respect them because you’re listening. Because you’re listening, they feel good about talking to you. When someone tells me a thing that happened, what do I feel inside? I want to get the story out. It’s for the person who reads it to have the feeling . . . In most cases the person I encounter is not a celebrity; rather the ordinary person. ‘Ordinary’ is a word I loathe. It has a patronizing air. I have come across ordinary people who have done extraordinary things.” — Studs Terkel (Touch and Go: A Memoir)Continue reading

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