Every city has a special flavor that makes it special and unique.
Downtown Seattle is a labyrinth of one way streets, coffee houses, and streets that don’t quite align. You can turn a corner and realize that you’ve turned onto a street that ends directly opposite of a separate one-way street heading in your direction.
It might sound like Seattle was designed by a crew of drunken monkeys with a grudge against the future. You wouldn’t be that far off from the truth. During the pioneer days, two different developers had a difference of opinion about how the grin patterns for the streets should be laid out. David “Doc” Maynard preferred that the streets were based off cardinal directions while Arthur Denny wanted to follow the Elliot Bay Shoreline.
Hence, the streets of Seattle follow three different grid patterns (due north, 32 degrees west of north, and 49 degrees west of north).
Driving successfully in Seattle is a testament to understanding the history of the city and how traffic flows around the unique landmarks.
There are nine major bridges in Portland according to Wikipedia. This weekend I managed to get lost on almost all of them. Portland feels like a distorted mirror of Seattle. Things are very familiar, yet different in subtle ways. Seattle has bounced back from the recession while the effects of the economic downturn are still keenly felt in Portland.
I managed to hang out with friends, attend a couple of business meetings, and explore this strange city. Powell’s Books is the largest bookstore that I’ve ever had the pleasure to enter. I like to wander the shelves and count how many books of mine are represented there. (For the record, I had four anthologies and one RPG supplement.)
On the ride home, I thought about the differences between Seattle and Portland and promised myself I’d try setting a couple of stories in Portland in the future. I mentally went through my list of projects that need to be completed by the end of the year and I suddenly felt quite overwhelmed by the thought of all of that work. It is a long and strange list filled with dream projects that I feel honored and lucky to be involved with.
Sadly, I am under four different Non-Disclosure Agreements at the moment, which means that I can’t discuss any of them until they are announced by the parent companies.
I am currently working on the sequel to my novella “Fear and Loathing in Bat Country: Hunter S. Thompson Versus Dracula” titled “Fear and Loathing in Innsmouth: Richard Nixon’s Revenge.” The difficulty is keeping the same humorous tone while being true to the Lovecraft Mythos and actual historical events I’m spoofing. Thankfully, I have until Friday to finish editing it.
Sunday, I came home very tired to a clean house thanks to wife #2 aka my wife’s best friend Amanda and then relaxed a great deal.
Last night, I prepared my work spreadsheet and I am fully determined to kill items off it this week so that I can relax without guilt this weekend.