Friday, March 20, 2009

Berger/Egan on TV, plus a "nice" discussion

I have had a bit of a respite from Pugetopolis readings, which is a good thing. Spring may be here but my chest cough is still around. I was sick with the flu during my Town Hall debate with Tim Egan last month and the bug has been sloooow to leave. My next public reading will be March 31 at the Seattle Public Library Ballard Branch, just a lutefisk toss from the old Ballard Manning's/Denny's which is now an ugly vacant lot filled with rubble, And they said not tearing it down would blight the neighborhood!

One thing coming up for those who missed the great Town Hall discussion with Egan (or those who want to relive it again and again): the event will be shown on the Seattle Channel (cable Channel 21), the station that keeps on giving. The Berger/Egan evening will air first on March 26 at 9:20 am and again at 4 pm. And then it will be in rotation for a few days, or longer. You can find the schedule here. It is also available for online viewing at your convenience on the Seattle Channel website. It is well known that once you are on the Seattle Channel and their Website you are permanently part of Seattle's collective unconscious. That is why Maximum Leader Greg Nickels will be with us forever.

Another bit: Virginia Smyth, my editor at Seattle magazine is now blogging, and she came to my reading in Kirkland at Park Place Books. The audience there got into a great discussion about Seattle nice, whether it's a myth or not, and I shared some of the theories I've been collecting on why we locals are thought to be so standoffish once we get to know you. Anyway, she shares her thoughts here. It brings to mind a conversation I had the other day with a French journalist who is based in New York City. He's a devoted urbanist, but doesn't much like living in Manhattan. One reason, he said, was that in the 18 months he's lived there, no one he's invited to dinner has ever reciprocated. Sound familiar? He's living in nice-olation in the Big Apple.

This pokes a hole in one theory put forward at one of my readings that Seattleites are New Yorkers turned inside out. The theory goes that in New York, people are crusty on the outside, warm on the inside. In Seattle, it's just the opposite: superficial smiles and then avoidance of intimacy. Apparently, Seattle and New York have something in common. Or at the very least we have data that suggests that in Seattle, we treat all newcomers like New Yorkers treat Frenchmen!

1 comment:

  1. AS a Seattlite who now lives in NYC - I can tell you that NO ONE invites anyone over to their house for dinner in New York. When he invited his New Yorker friends over, they were probably thrilled but utterly confused.

    I agree more with the Seattle is NYC turned inside out theory. Walking down the street is painful here, but making friends is easy.