evergreen state

I left with Seattle in the rear-view-mirror. I have a lot of great memories from this chapter of my life.  For both my own personal health and one of my family members, I decided to point it toward the Great Lakes. I may return to the evergreen state, but it won’t be to the emerald city. I spent 9 years there and felt like that was enough. 

I saw so much change.  Tech companies bringing in more and more people every day.  Too many.  The infrastructure is lacking and it showed these past few years.  It is a city that embraces everyone, which I can appreciate, but also a city with no rules. So much so, that you can legally walk around with heroin. No joke. I had many interesting and concerning conversations with law enforcement, firefighters, and other first responders regarding the homeless issue and all it brings with it. From his police cruiser with the window half down, an officer shared with me it’s a matter of job security for him. If he brings petty theft, drug use, etc. into the courtroom, he’ll lose his job, so he watches. That’s messed up.  

I lost a friend to heroin. Not even 30 years old, he fought the vicious cycle for years. He got help, got clean, relapsed, got clean, relapsed, until one time too many.  He was clean for 2 years and overdosed.  I watched another friend stay clean for 2 years. He worked his way into a respectable job and had a great friend network. He has since chased the dragon to another state.  Amidst the latest opioids news, pharmaceutical companies are paying families money for their lost loved ones.  Too late, in my opinion, but I hope the families take ‘em to the bank. 

I like Seattle, but I don’t agree with how they manage some critical issues. Disciplining people for breaking the law is necessary, but it is not happening.  Regarding homelessness, opioids, and other issues within Seattle (and now other cities), I strongly suggest watching the documentary ‘Seattle is Dying’.

Now for things I love about Seattle, a place I spent nine years, eight on north capitol hill.  Some places I frequented on the bike around the city include; Volunteer park (but all parks, really) for Frisbee, climbing trees and watching people fight each other with foam weapons, TJs and QFC (miss ya, Larry), Egyptian and Harvard exit movie theatres, amazing sushi restaurants, arcades, SnoCon (r.i.p.), REI, Kedai Mekan, Paseos Cuban, Honey hole sandwiches, watching the Lions play the Hawks at the Clink (thanks, Sean), Mariners games (always cheap tickets), Supersonics fans (maybe one day) and on and on.  These things I miss already, as well as friends I made.  Through my job as property manager, I met a lot of really interesting people from around the globe.  All with different cultural practices, religious beliefs, foods, and rhythms of life. I love you all. Funny and not-so-funny, I put out 3 fires in the building I managed (another story for another time). While at the Lookout pub across the street (cheers, Mike), I heard a guy launch his car off a fifteen-foot wall out back. After running out and calling 911 at the same time, I watched him 50 yards downhill, get out of the passenger window, car destroyed and smoking, and begin picking up his things that had flown out as the car rolled down the hillside.  Crazy. (I’ll add to this story another time too. Perhaps a podcast). 

The weather that blows in and out of Seattle is incredible.  Easily the freshest air in any big city I’ve been in. Clean. The kind you like to breathe. Sure, it rains, sometimes hard, usually light and misty.  But, when it does, that means snow in the mountains.  People generally have a favorite mountain for snowboarding/skiing.  I like them all for different reasons and WA has a nice variety. I will say, on a deep pow day, it’s hard to beat Mt. Baker.  And speaking of Baker, the Legendary Banked Slalom remains one of the best events I have seen and/or been a part of.  Biking around the city of Seattle is a blast, but the dirt around the Pacific Northwest is dreamy.  Biking, snowboarding and friends within these sports have helped with my TBI recovery.  Thank you to those of you that pushed me into new trails, literally and figuratively.

Until next time, here a few of my favorites from the evergreen state.