Living and working in Seattle is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen or done. I’ve been a Washington resident for around five years now; I moved from my humble St. Louis, MO, origins in 2010 to attend the Evergreen State College (“that hippie school,” to your mother), and got acclimated to Olympia quickly and well, in all its insular, weirdo bubble-ness. I drank the well water (it tastes metallic, which, by my assumptions, is just a byproduct of all the voodoo), ate at QB & the Reef too much, so on and so forth. I liked living in a small town where everyone does whatever it is that they do; I also liked living near water and mountains and rainforest.
Seattle couldn’t be more different; it is urban entirely. And the people don’t resemble Olympians, either. The two cities might as well be 2,000 miles apart for how dramatically different they are. I used to tell people that I thought of Seattle as the World’s Largest Starbucks; now that I’m more intimately familiar with the city, that doesn’t sum it up entirely, but, y’know, it’s not bad for starters.
Working in Seattle has been very difficult (as in, finding a job), but also so different from anything I’ve ever experienced. Crown Social, this glorious and fantastic and jubilant company for whom I am currently working, is located inside this large conglomeration of people and start-ups and who’s-its and whuzzits called WeWork, where there are many glass offices where people discuss things that are of a lot of importance (today, I overheard a lengthy discussion of quesadillas, grilled cheeses, Snack Packs, and breakfast burritos–OMG, dairy overload–but I’m sure there are a lot of other things people talk about here, like, say, social media). WeWork is unlike anything I have ever seen. This morning, as I was sitting in the lobby, a brunch formed around where I was sitting, all people in flip flops and nice button-up shirts and khakis, keys dangling from carabiners, all seated at a lengthy wooden table, and I’ll tell you, it looked like the last supper, except it wasn’t supper at all: it was brunch. I realized, if Jesus were alive and working in Seattle, his last meal would be The Last Brunch; he would drink his last mimosa and eat his last eggs benedict. I believe his foot attire would be roughly the same.
WeWork is a level of urban business efficiency the likes of which were previously unknown to me. For reference, my previous job involved doing social media and promotions from the office that used to belong to a rabbi in a synagogue. It was ramshackle and haphazard but also, in its own strange way, very Olympia. Crown Social is very Seattle. The distance between the two is nearly unbridgeable. This past year or so has given me such a range of feelings and experiences; I am thankful to count my time at Crown Social so far among that.
Above image: The wall on the second floor landing of WeWork, decorated with bands signed to SubPop–and a play on the SP logo–the label for which my girlfriend works, and the reason I moved to Seattle in the first place–and a business that started in Olympia. It all comes full circle!
Below image: Olympia, Wash., at night. Photo by Sarah Cass.