Posts Tagged ‘city

01
Jun
09

enjoy it.

Well everyone, this is what we’ve been waiting for. For months we’ve wilted, whined and waited, and now it’s finally here. Yes, that’s right – the SUN has arrived in Seattle.  Green trees, clean air, sparkling water, blue sky and impressive mountains. On Friday evening I flew home from Alaska and most of the passengers were not from Seattle; I was delighted listening to them talk about my city. I beamed with pride. They were awe-struck with Mt. Rainier, the Cascades, the Olympics, Lake Washington, the Puget Sound, the Peninsulas, and all of the small Islands.  It doesn’t get any better than Seattle in the summer – it’s stunning.

This week, we’ll get to see Seattleites sporting their sunglasses and smiles sans their jackets and umbrellas. Riding bikes, taking walks and drinking on patios late into the evening.  However, I’d like to offer up a word to the wise, enjoy the weather while it lasts. Enjoy every last drop of sunshine because as we all know it could be here today and gone tomorrow.

Here a few night photos Derek took of our striking city!

Untitled-1

02
Mar
08

first-class vs. the simple life

*Post written in my paper journal on 2/26 and transcribed on 3/2.

Today, I’m on my way to Orlando – for business.  For the second time in my life, I’m sitting in first-class.  It’s roomy and very comfortable (and for the record I would never turn it down). But I’ve come to the conclusion that the people who sit in first-class are jerks. They think they are so much better than everyone else. They radiate superiority.  

I’m sitting in the window seat and on my right there is a man in the aisle seat. He is your typical suit-wearing, gray haired, unapproachable corporate man. I suspect he always flies first-class. He’s probably in his mid 50s although it wouldn’t surprise me if he looks older than he actually is. He’s overweight – not obese, but unhealthy (probably due to too many hours at his desk). His face is red and flushed – not from the sun – but rather out of frustration. He talks on his cell phone until they ask him to shut it off.  He hogs the common space between our two seats. He clearly thinks very highly of himself. 

As the flight attendant comes around the man is tolerant, but not kind. No smile for her and no polite laugh at her jokes. He instructs her to bring him orange juice with no ice and a ½ cup of coffee – no more. When she delivers his order, instead of thanking her, he says, “Very good”. I wouldn’t describe him as rude, but rather abrupt and self absorbed. Throughout the flight, he works on his laptop finalizing a PowerPoint presentation.  The presentation looks long and boring; 50+ slides with several charts and too many words. I’m glad I won’t have to sit through his presentation – snore. Periodically, he puts away his laptop to flip through a car magazine. He circles potential cars, no doubt searching for a 3rd or 4th car for his collection. I’m sure he’s a smart man and even a decent person, but I imagine he doesn’t have an ounce of personality or originality in his bones.

Bored with my first-class companion, I turn my attention to the window.  We must be flying over the Midwest. The ground is very flat and is carpeted with a monochromatic blanket of crops. The fields create patchwork squares of varying shades of tan and brown. Speckled throughout the fields is a sporadic “homestead” which consists of a house, a barn and a few trees. Each homestead is far away from the next. So isolated. So lonely and rural.  I wonder what life is like for the inhabitants of those homes.  I imagine it’s simple – not complicated.  Dinner together every evening. Space for a garden. Neighbors you know and trust.  A place where family is important. 

I know it sounds ridiculous, but I often think about raising my non-existent children in the city.  I worry about bringing up kids in such a materialistic culture where “things” are emphasized so much. Materialism has always existed, but recently it has started permeating our youth at an astoundingly young age. How do you instill proper values when 10 year-olds are walking around in designer jeans and talking on cell phones? When our days are driven by demanding clients and crazy traffic? There is too much focus on the car you drive, the purse you carry and what your home looks like. Don’t get me wrong, I get wrapped up in it too. Unfortunately, I find myself doing it all the time.

I wonder if it would be easier raising kids in a small town, living a simpler life. I’m not talking about the suburbs; I’m talking about a very small town. It seems like it might be easier to shelter kids from the extreme materialism if you lived in a rural community. Where they would attend a small school where they knew everyone in their class, rather than a school in the city where they would attend either a gigantic public school or a smaller private school (both of which don’t seem like great options). Either way, the city promises to expose them to extreme materialism. Exposure is both good and bad. I want my kids to be exposed to the culture, diversity and forward thinking that the city has to offer. But with that, the city also brings hard core drugs, unsolicited predators and worse…an over emphasis on materialism.

I know I’m probably romanticizing small-town life and I’m sure these rural communities are filled with many problems unbeknownst to me. I can’t help but imagine it as a place where you can actually afford to buy a home.  A place where I would have space for a vegetable garden and would make more time to cook and write.  On the other hand, I love the city. I can’t imagine living anywhere else. I love the culture, the hustle and bustle, the restaurants, the bars, the neighborhood coffee shops and the local bookstores. I savor the city’s energy during the “Bite of Seattle” or during football season. In a small town, would I get bored? Would I constantly long for the city?

On my right is the quintessential corporate, city man – a symbol of materialism. On my left is a more simplistic way of life.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how things shake out for me. I should probably have kids before I start worrying about how to raise them.




a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.