Seattle is the most literate city in the United States, probably the entire world. The Seattle Public Library, which I love, has issued the highest percentage of library cards. Of course, Seattle has the original Skid Row (Yesler Way) of any city. It is still pretty seedy down there, with lots of homeless.
Seattle is the northernmost U.S. city with a population of over half a million. Seattleites buy more sunglasses per capita than any city in the U.S. Could it be the unbridled enthusiasm, ala’ Billy Mumphrey?
Columbia Center is Seattle’s tallest building at 76 stories, and 937 feet. It is the twelfth tallest building in the U.S. Is that where Frasier Crane lived? Seattle was the first city in the U.S. to play a Beatles song on the radio. Does anyone know the song? My guess is “I Want To Hold Your Hand.”
In 1907, Seattle opened the world’s first gas station on East Marginal Way. Little did they know of price wars, then oil embargoes. Seattle was the first city to put policemen on bicycles. Was it because the gas station on East Marginal Way was too far away? Seattle also has the largest percentage of people riding bicycles to work. Seattle’s houseboat population is the largest in the country, and second only to SE Asia, of course. Remember the famous scenes from “Sleepless?” That houseboat is still there, as I recall. But Meg and Tom are not!
The Farmer’s Market at Pike Place Market is the longest continuously operating farmer’s market in the U.S. (1907). The city wants to modernize Pike, much to the dismay of current tenants, tourists, and citizens. Pike has to be one of the best and most colorful marketplaces in the U.S. Foreign markets, of course, are much bigger, more diverse, and so much more interesting. The merchants at Pike seem a little “tired” but I love the vibe and the rustic setting.
The biggest company based in Seattle is not Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, or Microsoft. It is Costco. Two famous TV shows set in Seattle were Frasier and Grey’s Anatomy. And I have cruised the Sound several times, even passing by the famous Gates compound.
Annual rainfall in Seattle is only 37 inches. Boston, Miami, DC, Houston, and NYC all have more annual rainfall! But I always bring an umbrella, in fact, a really nice umbrella. Nobody who lives here uses one. That is how they distinguish tourists from locals. But I did see a You-Dub game on TV Saturday, with many students using umbrellas and ponchos!
Washington is the only state to be named after a President. However, they may change the name of Arkansas to Clintonville if Hillary becomes President in 2016. After all, two Presidents named Clinton? Lewis and Clark came here in 1805. Poor Sacagawea, the caffeine in the coffee must have driven her crazy.
Moving on, our Seattle friends are just the best. Maybe we should just move up here for a few years. Of course, we would gain so much weight from the great food. But I could ride my bicycle all over Puget Sound and beyond. In fact, there are so many places that would be a great place to live: Seattle, San Diego, Kauai, Bigfork, Great Falls, Westlake Village, Monterey Peninsula, did I leave anyone out?