Civic boosters should flock to local newstands and pick up the June 2005 issue of The Atlantic magazine, in which the French writer and...
Civic boosters should flock to local newstands and pick up the June 2005 issue of The Atlantic magazine, in which the French writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy — in the second part of two articles commemorating the American journey of Alexis de Tocqueville — pronounces himself seduced by our city:
“I loved Seattle’s delicate, sun-speckled docks,” he writes, “its pulsing, heterogeneous marketplace … I loved the city’s hills and its interminable steps, the floating bridge over Lake Washington, the boats leaving for Alaska or Panama.” Also pronounced good: the “Jimi Hendrix Museum,” Seattle Times publisher Frank Blethen, Microsoft engineers and a bistro near First and Virginia called Le Pichet.
End note: “If I had to choose an American city to live in — if I had to pick a place, and only one, where I had the feeling in America of rediscovering my lost bearings — it would be in Seattle.”
Having recently lost some bearings trying to fathom the Seattle School District’s reorganization plans (will the last middle-class family to leave Seattle turn out the lights?), I’m inviting Lévy back for a few school-board meetings. The rest of you can read his American perambulations beginning in the May 2005 Atlantic, continuing in June.
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Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times book editor