I’m sitting here in our hotel room, looking out of the window. Six stories up, I can see 4 construction cranes perched in the air. I could also see the sunrise, if it wasn’t obscured by the fog creeping in over the city.
We’re in Seattle. We arrived on Sunday. I took notes for the Microsoft fall PAC on Monday and Tuesday, and edited them while here as well. I wanted to blog, but needed a break from the small screen.
Down below us is a transit station area. A lone golden tree sheds its leaves at random all over the street, whenever the wind blows. Traffic piles up and pulls out on the on-ramp and highways just past the transit center.
City life hums along at breakneck speed. An entire block got demolished since last we visited in April. Now, it’s under construction. I got a massage yesterday. Unique restaurants make dining fun. We’ve met some great people while staying here.
Every morning, because the coffee our timeshare provides is simply vile, one of us goes down to Cafe Lardo (not its real name) and pick up our daily allotment of caffeine.
The times I’ve made the one-block trek, I’m struck anew by all the foot traffic. People commute to Seattle to go to work. Computer techs. Designers. Retail workers. And on and on. The gals wear leggings, boots and hooded coats. The guys wear skinny pants, dress shoes and button-down shirts. Most of them have backpacks, too. Almost all wear earbuds.
Nobody looks happy. Nobody. Everyone has their “hurry-up” on.
Thursday, the sun shone down on us, a rare treat in November. We walked around downtown Seattle, peeking at architecture and window shopping a bit. We played tourist for awhile, since I completed my work. Walking downhill, then uphill, we heard Mandarin, French, German and possibly Hindi. The kaleidoscope of skin colors dazzled. So many good-looking, stylish people all in one place.
But it didn’t feel like a community. Nobody seemed content. In fact, the only truly happy people we encountered either worked in the service industry or lived on the street.
Now Susan, I hear you say, city people act differently. They’re leery of strangers. Don’t you remember working in downtown Portland and how often you got hit up for spare change? I get it. How could I forget? I had more pocket link than spare change.
I look out the window again. The fog remnants obscure only the tops of the tallest buildings now. Traffic moves along at a good clip. I’ve had my fill of the thrum and rush of big city life. I’m ready to go home.
And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. – Ecclesiastes 3:13