Seattle: observations from the green city
I've barely scratched the surface of the Seattle experience, but I already have the following observations:
Seattle is indeed a very green city. It's not only green in the literal sense, because of all the rain, but in the political sense as well.
The area where I'm staying, Mercer Island (with some wonderful and exceptionally hospitable relatives), approaches rain forest dimensions--if not by strict climactic definitions, then at least visually. Swooping vistas of mossy ferny dense vegetation, lush and massed, interspersed with towering evergreens. Canyons and curves and tasteful woodsy-appropriate homes and tiny little lanes that strain the driving skills of residents who wield their SUVs down them.
Yesterday I had occasion to drive on one of the local freeways, and since there was more than one human in the car we were able to use the diamond lane. It was rush hour, so one would think that in eco-conscious Seattle there would be many other cars there as well, reflections of conscientious carpooling.
But no. As far as the eye could see, we had the diamond lane nearly to ourselves. Glancing to my right, I could see only a solitary driver in car after car--proving, not that residents of Seattle are evil; but that, like most people, they like independence in their wheels.
To continue the green theme, last night I ate dinner at a restaurant called Cedars, which I now hereby plug. Crowded, warm, noisy but not so noisy you couldn't carry on a conversation, and an interestingly eclectic menu of both Indian and Mideastern. Why so crowded? The winning combination: good food, plenty of it, and very reasonably priced.