In Seattle

Today was a beautiful day in Seattle, where I am visiting all too briefly. The more often I visit here from NY, the more I become aware that I am – albeit in a subtle way – a visitor from a somewhat alien culture. I start to see myself through the eyes of my friends and colleagues. They and I have much in common, and yet we differ in so many ways, subtle yet systematic, that bind me to my fellow New Yorkers.

There is a love of the outdoors here, a premium on natural dress and a kind of “green” way of being, which belies the fact that people drive big cars to get anywhere.

Everything here must go into the correct recycle bin, apparently on pain of death (although I would not dare to test this theory, for fear of an untimely demise), and there is a kind of laid back attitude that is distinctly un-Manhattan.

It’s not that either way of being is right or wrong, and it’s fun to slip into another way of being for a few days. I’ve enjoy my time here, and I adore Seattle, to see my casual friends with their wonderful brown hiking boots, their easy and slow style of talking, their unhurried way of strolling and driving about their vast wooded world.

But I must confess that some part of me is already looking back to being home again, to that cramped fast-moving world of people piled upon people, of a million different cultures all zooming past each other at lightning speed, of everyone wearing black and feeling fabulous to be part of something so fast moving and outrageous and crazy as New York.

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