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Monday, March 27, 2006

The Blue House at Republican and 22nd, the Buzzing Newsroom, Belle & Sebastian, etc.

Posted by on March 27 at 1:20 AM

If you were in The Stranger’s office right now what you would see is a bunch of newswriters incredibly focused on the developing story gathering tips, making calls, digging into the web, getting what they know up on Slog as soon as they know it, all while writing the new content we’re preparing for this week’s paper and a lot of arts writers just trying to stay out of their way. (Then there’s Megan Seling, who’s somehow doing great reporting and putting out the music calendar.) Upstairs, art director Corianton Hale has been working all day on the cover. The Stranger has a history of iconic covers when big-time stuff happens. The post-election cover comes to mind. The 9/11 cover comes to mind. Will this week’s cover be angry? Beautiful? Abstract? Will it have words?

On Saturday, wanting to do something but aware that Tom Francis, Eli Sanders, Josh Feit, Megan Seling, Erica C. Barnett, and Dan Savage were all over it, I walked up to 22nd and Republican to visit the block where it all went down. It was about 1:30 pm. From behind the police tape, half a block away, you could see the door of the house standing open, men and women in puffy marshmallow suits moving in and out, a bunch of junk from inside the house out on the sidewalk. The house is blue. The sky was blue for miles. You could hear kids in the playground down the street. A reporter from Frontline was holding a notepad and a cigarette in the same hand as she interviewed a neighbor. A reporter from the Associated Press was dictating a news story into his cell phone. There was a KOMO 4 News van. There was a KIRO van. A neighbor asked me if I needed anything.

I went and sat in the park and called my little brother, who lives far away. Then I listened to my iPod. I listened to Belle & Sebastian, particularly their new, upbeat song “Sukie in the Graveyard,” about a girl who likes graveyards, runs away from home, and enters a world of young artists. Belle & Sebastian’s Seattle concert which I’ve been leading up to on Slog with BASFOTDs (Belle and Sebastian Fact of the Day) was later that night. It was a fine concert, they did some incredible renditions from their old catalogue, but you know, seven music fans had been blasted away that morning, and it’s a small city, and it was hard to concentrate on the concert. The last installment of BASFOTD was supposed to appear on Saturday, but nothing seemed less important. Some quiet was in order.

[It is 6:02 p.m. As noted, we are manipulating the time stamp on all these non-breaking-news items so that news breaks show up on top.]