Waking up at 5 am after your first night of sleep in the Pacific time zone is something that I’ll take as a win. We tried our hardest to stay awake as long as we humanly could. We walked the Belltown neighborhood, we had dinner, we drank many libations and made it not long after 9 pm before the travel, the booze and our internal clocks were having no more of it. But waking up a mere 2 hours before my “normal time” from the east coast is admirable, at least to me. It’s a small victory and one that I will take with great pride.
In my nearly 24 hours in the Emerald City I have already noticed things about this city. Firstly is that rarely do you come across a city nickname that seems to fit as much as Seattle’s. The landscape is splattered with wonderful swatches of evergreens that are magical from a landing 767 and even more awe inspiring as you traverse the sprawling city and it’s suburbs. Being so used to the palm trees of South Florida it is nearly a spiritual experience to take in something that we only ever see in people’s houses in the winter time covered in lights, tinsel and red glass globes.
The next thing I noticed was the true neighborhood vibe walking into establishments. The patrons seem proud to call a place their local bar, pizza joint, deli or even laundromat. People walking, riding bikes, taking trolleys or even on a monorail they identify with their neighborhood and their damn proud of it.
And lastly what I’ve noticed thus far is acceptance. Let’s face it, the last few days have been trying for our country. We’ve watched white supremacists (that’s what they are, they aren’t nationalists, they are plain old racists) take to the streets of Virginia and we’ve seen people stand up against them. It has been loud and clear that this is not behavior that is acceptable.
I was informed as I landed yesterday that there was an alt right rally here in Seattle. Strange to think of because all too often when we hear about the Pacific Northwest we here about hippies and liberal havens and the like. But it is often forgotten that outside of the major cities there tends to be people from the more conservative side of things and with them can be the ultra far right leaners as well.
As we walked the streets in Belltown you wouldn’t think that there was any hate here. Establishment after establishment showed love and solidarity by flying rainbow flags. These were not specifically gay places of business but wished to show that all are welcome. Once again, pride.
The 5 Point Cafe is the epitome of this neighborhood. Come as you are but don’t be a dick. Good food, cold beer and great tunes coming from the jukebox. They have morning happy hour every weekday. Let that sink in. This place will be my embassy for our time in Seattle.
This city has brought a nearly constant smile to my face in the short time I’ve been here already, the beautiful girl that is traveling along with me helps as well. The local beers have been stellar thus far and I hope that my liver is prepared to partake in even more.