With a view of the Space Needle
The last time I came to Seattle was two years ago and I was still living in Mexico. My friend, Grace, was living alone in a 1920s-era apartment on Capitol Hill and she had just started dating her boyfriend, Mike, and I stayed in the guest room for the better part of a week, leaving for two nights to travel up to Vancouver to see Aman & Stephanie, but more or less getting to know the Emerald City, which by the way, no one here apparently says; it seems to be a town above nicknames.
Now Grace and Mike have moved in together and they’re in the same apartment building that Grace was in before but they’ve gone up two floors to a beautiful, airy flat with an enormous kitchen and a wall full of windows in the living room that look right out to downtown, the Space Needle sticking up just above the rooftops.
When I was here before, I did all the touristy things that you’re supposed to do: Pike Place Market and the original Starbucks and a ride to the top of the Needle and even a tour on the amphibious vehicle, The Duck, that makes you don beaks and quack like birds, and takes you past the house on the water, where Tom Hanks’s character was living in the movie Sleepless in Seattle. This time, it was more about staying in the neighborhood, and seeing what it is that Grace does at the event space she opened four years ago, Sole Repair, and getting to know Mike more, and meeting some other friends of theirs, and meeting Grace’s mom, and hanging out with our other friend, Gilbie, and cooking at home and letting Rennie be a part of as much of it all as possible.
“Seattle’s got it going on,” I said to Grace today over lunch.
She agreed. She was raised here and her family of nine is still mostly in the area and she has never lived anywhere else.
“I get sick of it sometimes,” she said, “but then I go away for awhile and I’m always happy to come back.”
And let me just say that both times I have come here, the weather has been beautiful, so that if I come back here a third time and the weather is still pretty, I will start to think it’s all a hoax, this business about it having an awful climate— like maybe they are just saying it’s bad to keep us outsiders away.