Travel + Leisure magazine is out with a rather quirky story on Seattle. Predictably, the piece pays homage to our usual array of homage-worthy highlights -- bookstores, nightspots, the scenic vistas of mountains and sea. And then it leaves the tracks with these jarring passages:
I'm on the life-affirming ferry ride from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, the city's rather quaint steel-and-glass skyline receding behind me, nature rushing in to tickle the eye with aquatic sparkles of sun, the green, hibernating islands strung out across the horizon like outstretched arms.
A big, bearded man choking on his loneliness tells me the story of his life, which concludes with the line "I was too stressed out working at the Hilton, so now I just take the ferry back and forth." This seems to me to sum up some greater Pacific Northwestern wisdom. Cue the melancholy--this is not a city that chooses to turn its back on sadness. There are many things to do in Seattle but after a while, with a sense of resignation, one just may take the ferry back and forth.
So let's see if we got this straight: A lonely and stressed-out hotel worker criss-crossing the Sound is the very personification of a sad, melancholy city. What a remarkable way of connecting the dots.