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Saturday, November 24, 2012

CROSSCUT COMMENTS ON PROVINCIALITY & THE P.I. GLOBE


crosscut.com/2012/11/22/mossback/111639/p-i-globe-mohai-where-public-help/



 

 
 





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle_Post-Intelligencer

provides the history of the Post Intelligencer, which became
a Hearst Paper in 1921. The global reach the globe was meant to signify with its design
certainly is Hearstian, the man who contributed so much to starting
the Spanish American war during which Puerto Rico and the Phillipines
changed colonial masters and brought low wage Phillipine labor to
Seattle.

I lived opposite the sign on Elliott Avenue during my first three months
in Seattle in Summer 1994 and much liked looking at it from the hugely
timbered mezzanined loft that I shared with probably the toughest l'il hippie ever
to raise hell in Seattle, whom I had met, all cooled out, in a date palm
forest in Mexico, on a trial run with a 5 ton truck, his elephant, with which
he was planning to plough all the way to Patagonia, an imperialist of sorts
too... and from Myrtle Edwards Park... I appreciated the Globe's incongruity, it
had a kind of fairy tale touch sitting there, an eagle that had
gobbled up too much and now sat there with the fruit of its vulture instincts.
I'd probably vote to keep it in place I say not being familiar with
its original home. The sculpture park? I would say no - those are all self-conscious
pieces of art. The P.I. Globe is sort of accidental pop art - and a museum
for them might be fitting. Perhaps on top of one of the three Cargill grain
elevators? Although the Cargill corporation might be persuaded to design
a piece of its own, Port Commisioners!, perhaps in honor of the geese that gobble the grain that
spills on the tracks there! The globe ought to have affixed to it on a very
legible plaque the paper's history. As a paper, like all Hearst papers, the P.I.
of course was never of much reknown except locally, and in that respect indicates an affinity with Rainier beer, the signs are superior to the signified.
  ======================
    


http://crosscut.com/2012/11/13/mossback/111403/mossback-neighborhoods/#comments
 








Althought Mossback does not seem to recognize the Central Distric as a neighborhood, perhaps what with it being gentrified out of existence, he appears to have touched a handful of nerves. Among the commenters are those who would prefer Seattle to be like old time Malmoe, some like the kind where everthing was fine and you could kiss the cop on the beat - that is, there exists a recollection of the kind of city this has never been since its very rough beginning. The pastorals I call them. They are pastorlists because they lived in what used to be the suburbs which, meanwhile, have been absorbed, sort of, against their resistance, into the city proper - which yet in its very own way - in some respects like L.A. but unlike Chicago, New York, Atlanta - lacks a real center. Thus you have a whole variety of deeply provincial neighborhoods that are gradually decimated as the city becomes a real city. Meanwhile a whole new set of suburbs surrounds the city proper. How much "pumping" Mossback's neighborhoods actually do, and where that "pumping" becomes evident, and what is "pumped," Mossback's rhetoric fails to specifiy. I would say what emanates, rather than pumps, is provinciality - and of a kind that you find in the largest of real cities. Paris, Walter Benjamin, declared as the capital of the 19th century - because he liked to walk, stroll in cities, because he was a flaneur, a dreamer in a cityscape, a sexy experience, as compared to a country walker. Yet what was Montparnasse not all that long ago with it Moulin Rouge? That then turned into a dance hall.
 What venues might fit that description in Seattle, with the kind of mix that pleases a flaneur? Broadway on Capital Hill for a stretch. A gay neighborhood with lots of signs of it there.
 Westlake Center. The Ave in the University district come to mind. The surround of Pike Street Market. Perhaps a few blocks on top of Queen Anne. The Seattle Center area has possibilities.
These are promiscuous busy places that are NOT neighborhoods! What do the NEIGHBORHOODS feed into them, anything distinctively neighborly? One could maintain that the International Disrict is a city unto itself - if it were not but for its Japanese component never having recovered from that paroxysm of provincial paranoid misapprehension after Pear Harbor - the few gruff Japanese American shoemakers and busdrivers stick out among the masses of Chinese, Vietnames and Thai Americans.




 

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