Is Seattle Is Centered?

Do we have a center In Seattle (and I don’t mean Seattle Center)? You sometimes hear people talk of being centered. Through meditation and yoga, one can get it together, so to speak, instead of being scattered and all over the place. Is Seattle a centered place? On a recent vist to Tucson we couldn’t find the center and when we found it, there really wasn’t much to ” downtown.” It seemed empty. To their credit, some Tucsonites(?), Tucsonians(?), are trying to get it together, trying to build comunities downtown, but Tucson, like L.A. and Atlanta, has moved to the burbs and is now encroaching on Saguaro National Park. The park video is all about how to maintain a natural park in an urban environment.

Seattle, San Francisco, and New York have vibrant, distinct, urban cores, whereas Tucson, Atlanta, and L.A. seem scattered and unfocused. Seattle has character, a little cool, perhaps, but character, nevertheless. San Francisco seems to have a hotter culture and street life. New York is intense. Atlanta seems to be about corporations, sports and religion. Tucson has the desert. You guys from L.A. will have to tell me what you’ve got!

So are blue states more centered? Is Jared Diamond right? Is geography destiny? If Seattle is so centered, why do newcomers complain that it takes years to make real friends here despite the superficial friendliness, politeness and political correctness? Or maybe it’s because of the politeness, etc,. Cities have a certain charcter and feel. What’s your sense of Seattle? Are we centered or do we just have a big business urban core dominated by rich developers? What about the other cities in Metroblog?

2 Comments so far

  1. Kelly (unregistered) on December 15th, 2005 @ 11:46 pm

    Mmm. I think Seattle’s center is probably going to be the area around the Market – maybe stretching from Benaroya to the north end of the Market, from Western to Third or so? At least, that’s the daytime center of Seattle for me. Night, I’d probably shift it to either Belltown or the Hill, depending on your preference for nightlife. (I’d say as a whole, we’re less centered for night, which is where San Fran kicks our butts.)

    And I’m a Seattle newcomer (relatively speaking, at this point), and I never had a complaint about the “unfriendliness” of the place. Now, the east coast…


  2. gene (unregistered) on December 19th, 2005 @ 8:40 pm

    Kelly, maybe it’s just the east coasters who experience Seattle as unfriendly and flee back to the home of snobisme. I guess it’s a cultural difference.



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