Living in this ever changing city can be a bit of a roller coaster, but by now I’d like to think I’m used to it’s lows– and it’s highs! I’m used to the fact that hey– nothing is permanent. Coffee shops close, old buildings come down and new buildings come up. A city either grows, or dies, they say, and I for one, am glad that it’s growing.
DO YOU REMEMBER HOW IT USED TO BE
However, recently I ran across a few developments that are, in my estimation, a bridge too far, even for a town growing as rapidly as Seattle is. See, I grew up on Capitol Hill. Back when it was a community hub. Back when it meant something. At five years old, walking to the YMCA to go swimming. Going to various parks and playgrounds, sliding down the slides– they were so tall! It was a thrill and formative experience.
TIME’S CRUEL, INEXORABLE MARCH
But few experiences meant as much to me on Capitol Hill as going to that little park on fifteenth, where pigeons gathered to be fed by little old ladies. My eyes would shine as I charged at them, laughing, their wings and beaks scattering in terror. What rapture! What joy!
NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY
Recently, having undergone emotional upheaval, I decided it was time to return to some of the more mindful traditions of my youth. I returned to that park on 15th, hoping for the same sort of cathartic communing with nature I’d had so many times before. Well, my fair Seattleites, the park is still there, but the pigeons. . . they’re tiny. They’re like a third of their former size! This, to me, is a sign of untenable growth in this city. This is too much loss. Not only were the pigeons smaller, but the bench, the trees, even the little old ladies– I swear it was the same one– seemed, smaller, dingier, older.
WHY GOD WHY
Look: I get it. A city needs to grow, and sometimes that means other things must move aside to make room, shrink, or even disappear. But this just seems like a senseless, completely avoidable loss. Why, Seattle? Why? After so many changes, did you have to take this too?
WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU SEATTLE
I immediately found the old playground where I used to slide down the slides. Many hours had I spent chasing that elusive thrill. The same thing had happened there! I couldn’t even fit in some of the swings any more. This is when I knew I had finally lost Seattle, and it didn’t care. I walked home heartbroken, thinking about how a city could lose its soul.
Ah well. At least the rats of my childhood that gave my mother nightmares are the same size. Bigger, even.