In Nashville no one talks about anything except stuff. Stuff that matters, stuff like clothes, looks, sports and food whatever stuff to them that matters at that moment. Conversation is not possible, it is always a type of talking that is more akin to lectures emulating the Pulpit. This makes sense as it is their frame of reference. And it can be equally as circuitous but less honest as we know religion is. Again that is the entire conundrum here, the declaration of religion and in turn the contradiction of it. They lie to your face here in ways that boggle the mind. As for possessing a sense of humor no, that non-existent and they are very very literal. Odd that the city that is owned by the Amazon does not celebrate the printed word as does Nashville but then again that is about stuff and in Seattle they pretend that stuff doesn't matter. Each to their own truths.
As the Mayor scandal heats up with nude photos and the like I have to laugh as I have thought many times here that thanks to Jesus they are fucked up here about fucking. Now with the case of the Mayor I was not sure why she is screwed up as she is not from here, apparently she was born in California. Yes born there but grew up and went to an all girls school in Kansas, and we all know that Kansas is a hot bed of liberal insanity. Oh wait that was Dorothy and her cohort the regular population not so much. But they keep saying she is from California. Hmm I see where one is from versus where one lives matters in Nashville. Oh wait it mattered in Seattle too. So for those keeping points - its a wash. But somewhere in this mess is a truth it is just whose and do we care and why?
Seattle is so proud of being liberal but it is just as conservative in its liberalism as any conservative is with their conservatism. It is boring on both ends of the spectrum and frankly I can see no value to either. I am often asked why I came here as that vests as polite inquiry. Irony in Seattle I was asked constantly where I was from as if I was some alien lifeforce. Oh Seattle. So that tells you I am not the norm. And to answer the follow up question about if I like living in Nashville, I don't.
Today the city of Nashville has been listed number four for being the most violent city of its size and number 14 for gun deaths in the country. Neither is shocking and the faster I leave the better I will be. That undercurrent pulls a big tow here in these deep red waters; However, I have no intention of returning to Seattle. That ship pulled out of the port and I have few to no good memories left in which to dredge.
Finding one's tribe is always hard but I have never been a tribal person and apparently I am not alone in that thought. But if I was to pick sides let's go liberal and intellectual - One Point Seattle! Two you say. Oh no let's not go that far! Truth is Seattle is not that intellectual as degrees don't mean smarts. Four Universities and Colleges abide in both cities and frankly the money ain't worth the paper its printed on. Today's grads are getting ripped off. Truth.
Ah yes "very Seattle" is now to me "So Nashville" the paradigms are not so much about the place but about the people and are these really people where I belong? Well I am past menopause maybe that explains. We all have our own truths and we all have our own lies which we live in and with.
Welcome to Seattle, New Person!
Here are some tips and my condolences.
by Derek Erdman The Stranger
Congrats on the new job, Deb. (Mind if I call you Deb?) Good for you for getting that signing bonus (God, I hope you have one) and moving to a city you've heard so much about.
As a person who lived in Seattle for the last seven years, I have some thoughts about what Seattle is like to live in. I know what it's like to be new here, because I was new here seven years ago. And I also know what it's like to move away: I recently moved back to the Midwest, to a part of the country not frantically under construction, an area where the overall attitude toward life has eased into menopause. As innocuous as that analogy may seem, I can assure you that a Cap Hill resident is seething wildly after reading it.*
When I first moved to Seattle, the complaints from longtime residents were mostly that the old days of the early 2000s were long over—music venues with boxing rings or laundromats with pancake bars were replaced by off-white storefronts with a fiddle-leaf fig in the window. When I left Seattle six months ago, the sole complaint on everyone's lips was that Amazon had ruined everything. I don't know about that, but you should know there's a neighborhood with an Amazon chute system that delivers items to your Fjallraven Kanken backpack before you even know that you want them. I can't remember the name of that neighborhood, but I know they sell "keep [neighborhood] weird" T-shirts.
Oddly, the food scene in Seattle doesn't get the national accolades that it deserves. Cream cheese on a hot dog, why not? The sushi is tasty, the burgers are fine, and a passable version of any regional fare is a Postmate away. There's a vegan ice cream shop that sells the best salty charcoal caramel ice cream you'll ever taste (but oh, you'll pay). A slice of pizza served up by a tattooed brat over the din of obscure black metal could cost you $9.
Everything is clever these days, and a heavy-metal-themed pizza shop is borderline ordinary. (Soon just having a regular pizza shop will be shocking. "These gingham tablecloths," Caleb will say to Mason, "are lit as fuck.") I was once scolded by a bouncer of a heavy-metal pizza shop in Seattle for drinking homemade kombucha out of a jar on the sidewalk while waiting for a takeout order. "You can't fucking drink beer in front of places that fucking sell beer," he told me. When I told him that it wasn't beer, his response was that he didn't "fucking care." He had face tats and was wearing a Darkthrone hat. Very serious, very metal.
I'd recommend having a car. Most Seattle neighborhoods feel like small separate towns, and part of your life will be defined by where you live. The public transportation is clumsy, and the hilly street system (seemingly designed by dropping yarn on the ground) makes biking unpleasant for anybody who doesn't care about toe clips.
But driving in Seattle only works if you employ the offensive approach. I once witnessed a four-way stop result in a stalemate of Israeli-Palestinian proportions. (Someone in Shoreline is fuming that I just said that.) Lifetime locals seem to feel a deep guilt about the right-of-way. With just a tiny bit of aggression, you'll own the streets—but you'll lose some "friends" in the process. Aggression does not stand in Seattle. Unless it's expressed on Facebook.
Which brings us to the Power Hippies. This is a term that I learned from a person who was moving out of town as I was moving in, though it's become nearly extinct after years of use in hushed tones. The lush green spaces of the Pacific Northwest obviously attract nature-loving people with Gaia-worshiping tendencies. My experience with these types in other parts of the world has usually been pleasant (open-minded, live-and-let-live, "funky"-dressing outsiders who are kind and purposefully harmless). The Seattle version looks similar, perhaps Patagucci clad with neon-dyed hair, but the "live-and-let-live" stuff is right out the window. If you're not wholly convinced that burning palo santo can eradicate bad energy, maybe don't mention it out loud.
"Vibes" are a huge thing in Seattle and are taken as fact. A friend of mine made the mistake of saying she wasn't wild about the policies of a mayoral candidate and was branded a "literal Hitler." The lefties of Seattle politics are eating each other alive while the rest of the country burns.
There are a lot of unwritten rules in Seattle's social culture, and a misstep can land you in hot water. The last time I held a door open for somebody was in 2015, when I was informed that "bullshit like that is why men are garbage." I was perplexed but also relieved to never have to hold a door open for anybody again.
I'm sure you've already heard about the chilly non-relationships you'll form with your neighbors and coworkers. While a lot of that stuff is exaggerated, there are some truths—but also some loopholes.
Don't be alarmed if you're treated like a psychopath for trying to interact or make small talk. An older gentleman once backed into my car in a parking lot at 23rd and Union, and when we got out to survey the damage he'd caused, it became apparent that he was intoxicated. "Your car looks fine," he slurred. "And this isn't your neighborhood." Once while visiting the Tillicum Village longhouse on Blake Island, an older gentleman told me that the land in the area didn't want white people. My point is that you'll feel better knowing that you're not welcome in Seattle, instead of having no idea why a person who was enthusiastically friendly to you one day pretends not to know you the next.
Luckily, if you do work at Amazon (and if you're new here, you probably do), you've already passed one major hurdle by having a well-paying job. Seattle is not a place to arrive empty-handed. Too many have been lured by the bright lights of the "Thrift Shop," only to end up sleeping on the street in a heap of orange needle caps. With the exception of a crusty punk who brought her vicious barking dog that bit a child's face onto the number 11 bus, I didn't have any intense interactions with the outlaws of Seattle. The street maniacs are mostly harmless.
Overall, it feels a lot like living in a secondary college town—a maturity purgatory. It's commonly accepted to have three or four roommates who are unemployed musician-artists well into their 40s, as it should be. Seattle is a place that proudly challenges society's norms. Once, two friends heavily under the influence of some legal marijuana while listening to Sublime surmised that "there are no bad decisions in life." I married one of those people. Eventually we got divorced.
Oh, one more thing: If you're ever depressed during the winter, take some vitamin D and jog a mile or two. Also make a long-winded post on Facebook espousing a widely agreed upon political idea (e.g., white supremacy is bad, the future is female). Those likes will cheer you up in no time!
* No one refers to Capitol Hill as “Cap Hill” except new people.
Now while the Author makes salient points I could do the same here about Nashville only substitute Church and where one is from and talk about what neighborhood one lives in now, the music scene and that pretty much defines conversation and connection here. I laugh about the level of ignorance and idiocy here but in Seattle is equally as provincial and boring they just think the band named themselves after the city itself - Nirvana. I get it I really do. But when I look at Seattle I don't see anything different only more liberal and more high. I got zero problem with either and Mae Beavers could use a joint. But no people are truly vested in their city in ways I find dull and uninteresting. It is just a town, just a city and frankly you can live anywhere but most don't. Roots run deep and digging in the dirt is not just about gardening it is a metaphor for finding one's truth. Who wants to do that? Its messy and shit.
I am my own tree but I am planted in a container pot so I just pick it up and go. I don't care about where I live I just want to be with some people who truly read, laugh and see irony and then move onto the next. America can't they identify with the most extrinsic of factors as that is how they find their most intrinsic self. Whoops not really. I have no idea why people are afraid of truths or other people truths they just are. I think it is because it requires them to look outside themselves and their world view and well you don't need far to look to see what that brings. But how the rich and the poor view their truths that is the largest distinction.
The poor and the rich have very different ways of resolving conflicts and settling scores. The poor are more prone to violence and hence that explains the situation here. Seattle is a very wealthy city but one very divided by that wealth so they choose their method of destruction through words and through professional accusations and inferences. It comes from also being highly educated as 76% of the population vs the 33% here that are. Again I see very much an odd paradigm when asked where I am from and I always say where I live. I will never say I am from Nashville. At least I know the surface and sometimes our truths always just lie above the surface. One point - Seattle.
And it is economics and education which is why we ostracize people with shame and labeling as the writer shared in his essay. Look a the tale of the two Mayors. In Nashville we are in the middle of a scandal with regards to the Mayor and her indiscretions. The Mayor in Seattle suddenly prior to the election found himself in a scandal. One that suddenly emerged after years of being in the Legislature and finally his enemies found the smoking gun, he molested his foster kids. Now why this was never brought up for years is beyond my reasoning and given that few liked him it had to be that when he set foot in Seattle itself the city turned at the time the city was turning into the Amazon. and the conflicts over gentrification grew. Coincidence? The same for the Mayor here. Gentrification brings enemies and transit bills, public hospital changes and suddenly a long term affair comes public. Coincidence? But here in Nashville there is full on TBI investigations and the City Council has a panel as well. In Seattle ours was all done in the public arena, Murray's accusers never even made it to civil court. Only when the Portland Social Worker report was "found" did he step down. Politics does make for strange bedfellows and well at least Barry's was with a peer. One point - Nashville!
But of course this is apples to oranges but the division in Seattle around Murray fell to the fact he was openly gay and many thought it was just political enemies doing this until it wasn't. Seattle doesn't do well with conflict and if two cities share one trait it is passive aggressiveness. So in Seattle it took awhile and in fact remember how I said in Seattle we destroy you with words not guns one of the accusers was found dead (suicide not murder) and the other is suing for defamation. We hurt deep in Seattle, in Nashville they just shoot you and anything else you go to Church and its over via forgiveness. At least that is a better option. So hey another point Nashville!
We like our truths like our lies, covered by dirt, by history, by whatever we want to lay on top of them that will prevent them from rising to the surface.