Thursday, February 21, 2008

Watching Cars and Seattle Style

I am up in Seattle three days a week for school. The routine (starting in Tacoma) generally goes as follows:
Spike runs on and off my bed, does it again, barks. Wake up. Feed dog. Make Coffee. Eat breakfast. If time permits crawl back in bed with coffee, my computer, and spike. Snuggle. Look at clock and realize I must move quickly. Pack up my life in a bag, throw meal together, head to bus stop. Get anxious about finding a parking spot. Make it on bus. Read. Get off bus. Watch cars and people as I walk downtown. School. Watch cars as I wait for the bus. I enjoy watching cars.

I don't know what it is about cars, but I find myself curious about all the cars that pass me downtown and the lives of people inside. Many of the cars that I see are luxury models with business suit dressed people inside. I think it is interesting the difference between the cars I see pass the Tacoma Dome station and the cars I see pass the Seattle bus stop on 2nd avenue. Tacoma is known to be "gritty" and if the cars are representative of this adjective it's true. A lot of dirty trucks, beat up cars, and used SUV's pass by me in Tacoma. In Seattle, especially if I wait in the afternoon or evening it seems that every car is newer, clean, and luxury. I just wonder about why people choose to purchase those cars, if they are happy in their luxury, what their cars mean to them, how often they get a new one. I admit, I like nice cars, the design, speed, technology. I also like gritty ones like mine. As the waves of expensive cars pass by me I consider the millions of dollars I watch every day. It is pretty amazing. I guess I want to know the story behind the cars, but it is fun to have them remain fleeting mysteries. I sometimes try to imagine myself driving in the drivers seat, where would I be coming from? Where would I be going? Would I have a family? Would I eat in expensive restaurants? Would I wear stylish clothes? It's a fun game to pass the waiting. Right across from the bus stop is a valet parking stand for a spendy restaurant. That operation gives me lots of fodder.

I also feel like somewhat of an outsider walking downtown Seattle because everyone seems so stylish. Black boots, black coats, black pants, ipods, eclectic/artsy outfits...I wonder what is behind the big sunglasses. I wonder if people see me as a tourist. You can generally tell who the tourists are. People up in Seattle are stylish. Perhaps I should take some lessons from them! That would be a lot of work though. It'd be interesting to observe different neighborhoods as all of my observations are downtown in the shadows of skyscrapers. I like Seattle.