Monday, October 29, 2018

Where To Wash Your Dirty Socks At 3 In The Morning

Too often passengers express to me, upon finding out how long I have been cabbing, is "You must have seen so many changes!" and while its true, everyone surprised when I say "Seattle is less of a city" than what it was upon my arrival in January 1973, finding it transformed into a less-than-glorified suburbia.  "So don't believe all those big buildings" I say "this place far from an urban center despite all the traffic clogging the streets."  Back in the 1970's, with Boeing laying off tens of thousands, signs were posted, "Turn off the lights when you leave!"  Well, the lights are dimmed and yawning is the most important activity after 10:00 PM

And back, back in those good, old days of the Penny arcade and youthful male hookers eying you at 2nd & Union, you could do your laundry downtown at 1st & Stewart 24 hours a day but now you have to drive all the way south down to Burien and wash those  soiled sheets and shirts at Andys Handy Mart, located at 150 SW 160th Street.  While there you can also fill up the car with your favorite petrol and wash your vehicle at their car wash in back, Andys Handy Mart a living relic of what Seattle once was and now will never be again, the missing required apostrophe only adding to the charm. 

No more great 4 AM  Greek dinners at the Joker Day & Night or at nearby Steve's Broiler.  And also forever gone is the abuse and ham & eggs dished out by the Dog House's greying dinosaur waitresses, Seattle now asleep at the midnight wheel, instead snoring in bed, happily wed to an 8 to 5 routine, nocturnal roaming left to drunken college kids jaywalking at Broadway and Pike, mere ghosts of memories past when Seattle's insomniac citizens wandered the streets looking for and finding full moon misadventure, many finding themselves down the stairs into the numerous, very active gay bathhouses, someone always ready to rub a stranger's back.

My friend and ex-client Charles preferred Dave's at 1st & Battery, which also had a gay ranch and resort located somewhere in Nevada, though never asking him why liking one over the other, privacy of course the essence of urban gentility.  But I would be amiss not to mention a new proliferation of suspicious looking massage parlours cropping up around greater Chinatown, reminding me of old Seattle, especially Belltown when it was the preferred haunt of landlocked Merchant Marine sailors.  Does anyone out there remember "My Susie's?"

So, goodbye Seattle, and instead say hello to Burien, the 148th & 1st Avenue South Denny's waiting for your socks to dry, forgetting all about boring Seattle, and being a good Pacific Northwester, don't ever ask why!  And if you want a huge plate of pasta, head east to the 13 Coins next to the airport, ready to take all your money and your big appetite for life as you would like it to be, scrambled or sunny-side-up, and your bacon fried extra crisp!

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