The Seahawks’ win on Sunday was a wake-up call to the rest of the country.
Seattle is hot.
I’m not just talking football. This city is leading the nation on multiple fronts. In November, Washington voters took an evolutionary leap ahead of the country and legalized same-sex marriage and recreational marijuana.
Seattle rapper Macklemore’s single “Thrift Shop” just went platinum. Even McDreamy wants some Seattle action, with actor Patrick Dempsey leading an investment group to acquire the coffee chain Tully’s.
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The Washington Post tried to argue in a story that D.C. trumps Seattle. It failed. I refuse to compare the leathery Beltway to the sparkling Emerald City. Because to quote rapper Jay-Z, I’m not looking at you, I’m looking past you.
At a holiday party in December, I had a chat with a twentysomething. Evan Bush is a Seattle Times digital news producer, 23, and just moved here from Missouri. “How are you settling in?” I asked. I remember hating this city’s chilly attitude and gloomy weather for the first year I lived here.
“I’m great,” he said. “Seattle’s on a roll.” He extolled the legalization of same-sex marriage and marijuana, the success of musicians Macklemore and Allen Stone, and the Seahawks.
My first instinct was to argue. We have so many problems. Traffic is a disaster in West Seattle, the Mercer Mess, Highway 520 interchange. Early Windows 8 sales disappointed. Seattle schools are failing our students. High unemployment persists. The Mariners.
I’m also harboring the resentment a nerdy, employed older sister feels toward a tattooed, slacker sibling called Portland. That town has enjoyed endless media coverage, including the TV show “Portlandia.”
Evan doesn’t want to move to Portland. “Seattle is a real city, with real industries,” he said.
I still wanted to demur. Our Scandinavian and Asian ancestors taught us modesty was a virtue. “This dish not salty enough,” like Auntie Lindo said in “The Joy Luck Club.” Our city is so divided. We seem unable to have a real dialogue, and we instead race for the antipodes. Are you for the state Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus or the Democrats? Do you bicycle or drive? For charter schools or the status quo?
The Seahawks’ victory transcends our squabbles. Their stories are the stuff of allegory. Marshawn Lynch is a man who refused to fall down. Russell Wilson was told he was too short to play quarterback. He never took no for an answer.
Evan was totally right. Seattle is winning — for real, not in a Charlie Sheen way.
In fact, it’s beginning to feel like the early ’90s. That’s when Microsoft boomed, the movie “Sleepless in Seattle” came out and Nirvana rewrote the music world with the album “Nevermind.”
Can’t you smell the optimism? The economy has finally taken a few shallow breaths after three years of CPR. The Great Wall of Alaskan Way is tumbling down and a new waterfront is taking shape. Towers of glass and steel are rising in South Lake Union, filled with thousands of tech workers.
If twentysomethings like Evan can hear Seattle’s siren song, that means smart, ambitious people are moving here and making the city greater. They are this century’s Yukon Gold speculators, the ones who turned our hamlet into a city.
Who cares about Windows 8 when Boeing sales topped Airbus’ in 2012? Who cares about “Portlandia” when our Goodwill store inspired a platinum single? Who cares about the Mariners when Marshawn Lynch can palm a fumbled ball like a grapefruit and run it 20 yards?
Let’s toast our city’s success in sports, love, drugs and rock and roll.
I’m spiking this football in the end zone and doing an airplane dance.
Go Seahawks. Seattle rocks. Let’s win forever.