So, there it is—I’ve left Gotham, the Big Apple, the Empire State of Mind, to move Westward Ho. Like many other poor, struggling immigrants before me, I spent some time there, living in some squalor, tugging my laundry to and fro, surrounded by feces and other bodily fluids, and finally said, “Fuck it. There has to be something better out there.”
And, like my forefathers and foremothers and second cousins and other idiots before me, I decided to Go West.
Oh, I had my doubts about doing it. After all, in America, from the day we spew out, we’re inundated with images of New York City as the ultimate in living, the platinum standard, the cherry on top of that Cold Stone Creamery indulgent creation of all life as we know it! Kids flock there left and right from the Midwest, Northeast and the South—and, of course, Brooklyn West, San Francisco—to begin anew.
I know. I was one of those dipshits. But this isn’t about New York. This is about Seattle.
Upon landing here whilst looking for apartments in July, within a day, I think I had a panic attack. In a Starbucks no less (hey, I had to pee). I’d been looking at apartments, and coming from New York, figured that finding good real estate here would be like taking cocaine from a hipster. Alas, no. Apartments here were way tinier and more expensive than I’d imagined. Not New York tiny and expensive, but still.
I called my friend. “I don’t know what the fuck I’m doing. I think I’m too New York for this place,” I huddled in the corner, lest the Starbucks minions hear my pleas and tell me to take my pathetic cell-phone whining outside.
“How long have you been there? A day?” she says. “Get it together. You’ll find something.”
Smack. New York in your face.
Admittedly, leaving New York is like coming down from a horribly addicting drug habit. You hate it after a while, and you despise it, but you need it—you need the buzz to feel viable and to keep going. I could physically feel my body freak out at Seattle during that visit.
“Too quiet. Where’re the people? Is this all the talent out on Friday night? How come I can get a table here? Why is everyone so fucking nice?”
Then I had a fantastic crab-cake dinner and Columbia Valley wine and settled the fuck down.
See, leaving New York for ’Mer-Kuh at any time can be highly disconcerting. I always experience it when I go home for holidays—the big-box stores, the driving, the obesity, the shitty food, the lines for the latest “Meet the Fockers” movie…it all freaks me out.
Cities, like Seattle, are not technically ’Mer-Kuh—it’s not like I moved to Little Rock, Ark.—but they do contain some very ’Mer-Kuh type parts. Here’s what I’ve observed about Seattle in the short week I’ve been here:
Everyone is so fucking nice. A guy almost hit me with his car the other day. Apparently, living in New York impairs one’s ability to cross the street in real towns that depend on the automobile as the primary mode of transportation. Anyway, he was pissed, but instead of going, “Hey, fuck you, Bitch!” He pulled over and started politely trying to explain to me how to cross the street, like I just wandered off the short bus. Seriously. Nice. I just ignored him and ambled away. Hey, he was lucky I didn’t tell him to fuck off. See? I’m changing already.
The short bus. Maybe it’s because the population’s lower. Maybe it’s my neighborhood. Maybe it’s because I live above a store that sells Rascal mobility carts for the elderly and overweight and the lazy, but holy shit, there’s a real short-bus element going on here. I look around and think, “New York would eat you alive.” Granted, these folks were in New York, too, I was just so desensitized for my own self-preservation that I didn’t notice anyone else around me at any given time to retain my sanity. Did that make sense? If you live in New York, it does.
Ditto on crazy drug addicts.
Hot guys. Here’s my week: hot guys at beach, hot guys on trails, hot guys at bars, hot guys in cars, hot guys in grocery stores buying sausages and Rainier beer. Swoon…Holy shit, more hot guys in part of town where men “build things with metal and ride motorcycles,” according to my friend. Good, Lord, one guy rolled up in his Ford F150 with a fucking dog in the front seat and I about came in my pants. “You’re like one of five single straight women who live here now,” my friend said. “I know,” I said. “I’m so gonna get crazy laid.”
Lesbian or Man. Due to the heavy lesbian and nerd population in town, I’ve developed a game over the past week that I call, “Lesbian or Man?” I still don’t think I’m batting .500 yet.
The Hippy Way. I live here now. I can’t fight it. I gotta embrace the kinder, gentler, free-wheelin’ me. So, now I’m shopping at the local organic market. And I’m buying local produce. And I’m composting. And I’m drinking smoothies. And I fucking like it.
Douchebag Condos! I’ll admit it, after looking at a few shitholes that were a little too reminiscent of NYC, I looked at a new “luxury” condo-like building and I was like, “Sold!” Washer? Dryer? Patio? Amenities? Rooftop Deck? Dishwasher? Hell, yes. Bring it. After living with no amenities for six fucking years, I was ready for a whole shit-ton of amenities. My apartment is still a work in progress and represents an Ikea showroom at this point, but it will get there. Also, I have not heard one fucking noise from a next-door neighbor since I’ve been here. So, suck on that Ahktards.
And it’s so fucking pretty here. Start anywhere. Go any direction. Trees, trees, water, mountains. Oh, there’s a beach? Oh, yeah. We got that too.