A Tourist in My Home Town


(Photo from Kerry Park by Brian Kasey)

I live in Seattle. I’ve always lived in Seattle. I know Seattle. It’s gotten to the point where, as much as I love Seattle, the city just kind of bores me. What is there to do that I haven’t done a hundred times before? I live out in the suburbs, so why would I trek my way downtown and deal with the crowds and urbaness of it? (Is urbaness a word? What about urbanity? Oh, the urbanity of it!)

The answer, of course, rests in my friend, Chris, who was up from San Mateo. There’s nothing like having an out of towner show up to re-inspire your hometown love. Suddenly, I wanted to prove to him just what a wonderful place I lived in, and how exciting it is. I dragged him all over…we met under the Space Needle, I explained Dale Chihuly’s glasswork to him, we wandered around Seattle Center, headed down to the Olympic Sculpture Garden, meandered along the waterfront and onto Pier 66, then headed back up into Pike Street Market. We saw the fish staring at us from the ice and the street performers folding balloons and playing ukuleles. We stopped in the comic book store and browsed the collectables, talked about board games, and got root-beer. At Westlake Center, we had Seattle’s best truffles and stopped in the Japanese dollar store, Daiso, to pick up new notebooks and strange foriegn candy. We sat for a while and talked about machine learning, building computers, and the nature of post-primary education.

It was great to spend time with a friend who’s usually eight hundred miles away, and have the chance to look at my town through new eyes, vicariously exploring and enjoying it through him. I didn’t do a blasted thing all day but enjoy a good life, a beautiful city, and friendly company. I think everybody needs a day like that every once in a while. It makes me wonder how many other people lose track of how magical their homes are, and how much fun it can be to spend a day just out on the town anywhere.

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