Thoughts- This one is for Paige and her obsession with this city. I thought I would try and better understand a city I have only been to a few times. Seattle in my opinion is a very interesting city. It is hard for me to really look into a city that I have not quite experienced to its fullest. Disclaimer: The following thoughts are based solely on my impressions and assumptions. Seattle has a great location on the Puget Sound with nature in abudence. I only was able to visit the more “touristy” areas, but got the feeling that many of these areas are main points of public space in the city. Seattle does a great job in creating urban space that is used by both tourist and resident, but I felt that I did not get to experience the city in its entirety because of this. Seattle has a great port city feel with so much history packed into the urban core. Out of the cities core many neighborhoods with small families reside making daily commutes in and out of the city. The surrounding area seems pleasant and the neighborhoods though low density residential feel very connected to nature around them. A house surrounded by hundreds of other single family homes still feels like it is nestled in the woods. Overall Seattle had a very similar feeling to Vancouver…at times not as appealing but the location, people, and neighboring suburbs give Seattle a very homey feel within a dense urban environment.
Fun Fact- Seattle was the first city in the U.S. to play a Beatles song on the radio. (this fact might be enough for some to live there)
Today was a crazy day for me. I learned so much in one day. From the politics involved in urban design in France and England, to more issues on global climate change, then Egypt’s role in the Palestine Israeli peace process. My mind has so much going through it right now I can’t even think. Since the person I usually am able to talk about these things with is not present…you guys get to read what is on my mind.
Urban Design- Cities are full of power trips. People fighting for claim to the biggest tower. Countries wanting to build strong axis and central business cores to suggest they are more powerful. It is amazing how political designing a city can be. Politics truly shape cities, and in most cases in the United States hinder evolution and development. It is hard for me to find interest in such large scale projects when I know of how many people in developing countries need planning to help bring basic ammenties to their everday lives. Learning about cities fighting each other for development of a second more awe inspiring central business district made me very critical of humans motives in city planning today.
Climate Change- This is an issue that is not going away anytime soon. Once the U.S. stops assuming they are superior and better than nature change may begin. Once the U.S. can change from a consumeristic mindset and realize that the wrong kind of growth reduces our quality of life then proper steps can be made. As of now ecosystems and nature have no rights and they are treated as such. The fossil fuel industry has control of every aspect in life. A quote really stuck out for me today that read, ” Things are thieves of time.” Quotes such as this make me really think of how I am living, and I hope do the same for you.
Israeli-Palestine Conflict- Never have I tried to understand an issue more, and each time I try and learn more feel like I know less. This conflict has so many views. It has so much history intertwined and more dates and people than I can keep track of. I went to a lecture tonight by Dr. Talhami as she spoke of Egypt’s role in the peace process. She lectured on so much history I was in utter amazement how she was able to remember all the names, dates, and roles these people had in the history of the conflict. The lecture did not help me better understand what is taking place, but did bring in points that I was unaware of before. Egypt once had a major role in the decision within the Middle East. Egypt used to be a major player in the conflict with Israel and Palestine. These days Egypt has very little role in any negotion or peace making. Dr. Talhami explained how she believes that soon Egypt’s border closest with Israel will be tested. She does not believe Egypt will be able to remain lifeless regarding the conflict and it is matter of time before they become involved. To some this may not be anything you have not heard, but I found it interesting that Egypt having such a great influence on what has happened in the region now plays a very little role in the decision or peace making process.