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Wednesday, January 16, 2008


posted by on January 16 at 13:58 PM

Seattle Times columnist Lynne K. Varner in this morning’s paper:

When I tell Seattleites I make my home on the Eastside, I get the kind of stare usually reserved for someone claiming residence on Mars.

Uh, Lynne? Seattleites are shocked when we meet a Seattle Times columnist or editor that doesn’t live on the Eastside.

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It's because the Eastside sucks donkey dick, Lynne, and we have no idea why anyone would want to live there.

Oh how I wish I had a job in Seattle so I didn't ever have to come over here.

Stupid office parks and parking lots and sprawl. I HATE IT.

Posted by NaFun | January 16, 2008 2:08 PM

Editor. South side.


Posted by 98108 | January 16, 2008 2:10 PM

Will that paper go belly-up please, finally.

Posted by S. M. | January 16, 2008 2:11 PM

Actually, Dan, most of the Times editors, and most of the columnists, and most of the reporters, photographers, artists, etc., do live in Seattle.

But you'd have to actually ask someone over there to know that. What a concept.

Posted by Bob | January 16, 2008 2:13 PM

That's where I pick up The Stranger...

Posted by Roy | January 16, 2008 2:15 PM

I am totally close minded about the E. side. To live out there means driving 20 minutes on clogged 8 lane highways to get a cup of coffee, having total strangers who live behind the wall next to you be your "neighbors" and have a carbon footprint that rival a coal plant. It seems that you make a decision to have an isolated, sad life full of TV watching and praying for a heart attack to end it all...

Posted by StrangerDanger | January 16, 2008 2:16 PM

The Eastside is a total wasteland.

I know. I live there.

Freeman Kemper alone is a reason to avoid it.

But I work in Seattle (and overseas) and spend every possible minute -not- in the Eastside. All my friends are in Seattle, all my free time is spent in Seattle. As soon as I can clear up a messed-up family situation, it will be bye-bye to that land-O-SUVs and perfect lawns. And they're all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | January 16, 2008 2:22 PM

She's misinterpreting those stares as "Mars", when they are probably just picturing where she really lives, the East Side.

Posted by Dougsf | January 16, 2008 2:26 PM

I've lost a couple of friends to the giant sprawling vortex that is the East Side. They go there, and they vanish forever, never to brave the 520 and return to civilization again.

I want them back, you bastards.

Posted by tsm | January 16, 2008 2:35 PM

"That" should be a "who."

Posted by Grammar Police | January 16, 2008 2:43 PM

"that" works for both people and objects. "who" specifically for people. "which" specifically for objects.

Posted by Judith | January 16, 2008 2:47 PM

I used to be embarrassed to say I lived on the Eastside, especially to other gay men. Screw it, I'm out and proud now. I work on the Eastside, why would I want to cross one of the bridges every day? I still get to Broadway/Seattle (which is turning into Bellevue I might add) at least once a week, the rest of the time I feel pretty happy to have my neighbors behind a wall. Also, I can go to the grocery store on a Saturday morning without showering, and nobody cares and I won't run into every guy I've ever dated/slept with.

Posted by DJSauvage | January 16, 2008 2:49 PM

When I read about that bowling alley in Ballard being replaced by apartments and other sentiments like these, I can't help but think that maybe a lot of the (perceived) readers here would be more at home in Spokane. That city is pretty much exactly what you're looking for in everything with exception to culture. Why don't you go bring it over there? This isn't trolling, I'm serious. You might actually quite like it.

Posted by more east | January 16, 2008 2:53 PM

hmm. I grew up on the eastside, and of course fled as soon as I could. But I'm perplexed by people who seem to think it's the land of perfect lawns and mcmansions. My impression has always been that most people live there because they can't afford Seattle.

Posted by poltroon | January 16, 2008 2:54 PM

I know it's only Slog so you don't have to do any research or even give it much thought, but here are just some of the Times columnists and editors live in Seattle: Dave Boardman, Mike Fancher, Danny Westneat, Nicole Brodeur, Joni Balter, Jerry Large, Kathy Best, Carole Carmichael, Jim Simon, Cathy Henkel,Steve Kelley, Sharon Lane, Michelle Matassa Flores, Nick Provenza, Bruce Ramsey, Pamela Sitt, Terry Tazioli, Kathy Andrisevic...

I could go on.

Posted by duh | January 16, 2008 3:02 PM

Are 98108, Bob, and duh one person working for the Times?

Posted by the bloop | January 16, 2008 3:11 PM

Thanks for playing to the stereotype Seattle dwellers. The provincial "us v. them" attitude is extremely helpful when dealing with regional issues like transportation, the environment and the economy. Can't imagine why we can't ever get anything done around here.

You'll be doing everyone else a favor by keeping your your holier than thou attitude over there on the hill.

Posted by PA Native | January 16, 2008 3:12 PM

@16: Speaking for one of them, no, not the same person.

Posted by duh | January 16, 2008 3:15 PM

Right on, PA Native. Judge people by who they are, not where they live (the Times won't come out any better on that score...).

Posted by amocat | January 16, 2008 3:15 PM

Not every single staffer at the Stranger lives in a one-room apartment on Capitol Hill!

The horror!

Posted by BREAKING NEWS! | January 16, 2008 3:26 PM

duh @15:

Back before I finally wised up and stopped reading Nicole Brodeur, I seem to remember quite a few references to her home in Issaquah (or another one of those identical car-devoted circles of hell... I can't keep 'em straight.)

Posted by giantladysquirrels | January 16, 2008 3:32 PM

I live in Seattle, work on the Eastside, and am generally happy with that arrangement. However, I'd be a lot happier if Seattle had the quality schools that exist on the Eastside. Seattle's public schools suck overall.

Posted by Brad | January 16, 2008 3:40 PM

Kirkland is OK.

the rest of it, not so much.

i only go over there when i have to, but i also only go to west seattle, or richmond beach, or mt. baker when i have to. its pretty much downtown & northeast of the ship canal for me.

Posted by max solomon | January 16, 2008 3:45 PM

Why do you want to know where so many of us live? Planning on stalking anytime soon?

Posted by Georgetowner c. 1992 | January 16, 2008 3:47 PM


Seattleites shouldn't discourage people from moving or living on the eastside. If they can stand it over there or if they have that kind of predilection, why not live there? Do we really want to add all those people to Seattle's housing market?

I say...stay where you are, eastsiders...and enjoy!

Posted by Bauhaus | January 16, 2008 3:53 PM

@15: Perhaps long ago, can't say, but I know she's been in Seattle quite a while.

Of course, the whole argument is silly. It's a regional newspaper, not a parochial weekly focused almost exclusively on the gay community of a single neighborhood. Having a mix of people from all over the region the paper covers should be seen as a good thing. And you can nitpick my list (it's possible somebody moved at some point), but it includes most of the top editors and columnists, all of whom live in Seattle.

Posted by duh | January 16, 2008 3:53 PM

The only time the Stranger/SLOG staff is sad and provincial is when they're trying so very, very hard to stir up shit with the Times, the Weekly, or the Eastside. Congratulations on two of your obsessions into one post, Dan. If you could just work in snowboarding, pit bulls, and straight child abusers it would be the perfect article.

I could say that many people at SLOG night secretly admit that they live on the Eastside. I could explain how my wife's job is in Bellevue, and we have a shorter commute than if we lived in Seattle. I could talk about the schools. I could talk about all the great, non-corporate restaurants in Issaquah (the Brewhouse, Jax, Pogacha, and above all Noodle Boat to top the list). About house most of the houses in Issaquah proper are neither new nor McMansions.

But really, the waits for tables are already long enough. If you don't want to come over, don't. We won't hold it against you.

Posted by Big Sven | January 16, 2008 4:15 PM

Slog's irrational hatred for the Eastside is, as always, disappointing.

Posted by Greg | January 16, 2008 4:20 PM

Except for (maybe) Kirkland, how hard would it be to live anywhere on the Eastside without a car? It's LA with trees.

Posted by DOUG. | January 16, 2008 4:22 PM

They should rename it the Suburban Seattle Times.

That would be more intellectually honest.

And, yeah, the Eastside, for the most part, reminds me of LA.

Posted by Will in Seattle | January 16, 2008 4:41 PM

I guess I'm a bit late for this, but don't so many of these anti-Eastside comments seem, oh, I dunno... a bit provincial themselves? It's not as though Seattle is the most urbane place in the world itself. The tudes taken up here against those hokies on the Eastside could just as easily be applied to Seattlettes by anyone from any of the world's many many more substantial metropoles.

Posted by johnnie | January 16, 2008 5:31 PM

@27: Dammit, don't tell them about Noodle Boat! I want it all to myself! Though if you're going to be in the 'Quah, I'll also recommend Room 38 as the least-skeezy bar in town, with the nicest staff.

Oh, the horrors of living on the Eastside. Yeah, we're looking to move from our apartment in Issaquah to possibly the hill, or Bellevue. Here's the thing: if we move to Bellevue, we get an apartment with a dishwasher for the same price we get a smaller apartment with no counter space for on the Hill. Bellevue: yuppies complaining about "the poors". The hill: cranky yuppies complaining about clubs.

And while living on the hill means you can walk out your door and be in the middle of a metropolitan area, living in Issaquah means that five minutes' walk away from me is Tiger Mountain and all its trails. It means that I can continue to live practically in the middle of the woods, the way I grew up, while still being on a bus line and ten minutes' walk to Jak's. Mmmm... Jak's.

While I do hate a lot of the people who live out here, there are more and more people moving out here because it's becoming more affordable than Seattle. How many of you have been priced out of your apartments or booted for condo conversions? I'm paying less that $700/month for an apartment with a vaulted ceiling that looks into the woods. It's a 25-minute commute to Microsoft for the husband, and a 15-minute commute to BCC for me.

@29: I sold my car last year because I didn't need it. I carpool to school in the morning and am able to get back home within 40 minutes of my last class getting out via Metro and Sound Transit. There's a free bus that loops through downtown Issaquah, though I wish it ran later than it did, or at least on weekends. I've worked in Kent and bussed from the Quah, and I've had friends who work here who bus in and out easily from as far away as Lake City.

While I love Seattle for the architecture, the higher-education institutions, and the fact that some of my best friends live there, it's not the end-all, be-all of NW living.

Posted by Jessica | January 16, 2008 5:45 PM

Dan, we all know the Times is a so-so daily newspaper, but lots of their reporters and editors live in the city. Why make these stupid generalizations when you know they aren't true (or at least haven't researched it)?

And, duh, I've got a shot for you too. The Stranger isn't a hobby sheet for the Capitol Hill gay community, it's a good big city alternative rag that at least equals the dailies in covering local government and urban life. How else do you explain the fact that every disparaging post about the Times is immediately answered by Times employees like you? You guys troll the Slog in search of stories you didn't break yourself and will have to do so more and more as the Blethen bankroll dwindles and staff cuts become an annual event.

Posted by J.R. | January 16, 2008 6:40 PM

blethen is still a douchebag.

Posted by superyeadon | January 16, 2008 7:17 PM

Christ a'mighty, where does this impression of the Eastside as some horrible wasteland of McMansions and dead souls come from? It's just like LA? Seriously? Anyone who says that has never been to either place. There are lots of parts of Seattle that are indistingushable from the Eastside. There are plenty of walkable neighborhoods and open space. Get a grip, everyone.

Posted by laterite | January 16, 2008 7:58 PM

My lord, Dan Savage is such an asshole.

Posted by Dan Ravaged | January 16, 2008 8:02 PM

Lynne K. Varner is a dumb cow.

Posted by Mr. Poe | January 16, 2008 8:44 PM

Grew up in suburban L.A., been to the Eastside more than enough to say yes, it's the WA equivalent of suburban L.A. There are a few walkable neighborhoods and a bit of open space in L.A., too. They're just far outnumbered by the soulless tracts and strip malls.

Posted by leek | January 16, 2008 11:32 PM

The eastside isn't that bad, if your idea of a neat place to live is West Omaha with trees.

Me, I'll stay on Beacon Hill.

Posted by catalina vel-duray | January 16, 2008 11:43 PM

So true #36. He's such a burden. Is there any demand for his contributions here? I think not.

Posted by Stop whining | January 17, 2008 12:00 AM

@33: "... (Times employees) troll the Slog in search of stories you didn't break yourself.'' RIGHT, oh yeah, we really dropped the ball on the guy with the oversize gonads story and we SO regret how we blew it on the autofellation piece. Now that's investigative, quality, top-notch journalism folks. All puns intended. And when the fuck did the stranger last break a news story anyway? I'm sure that trembling ninny Josh Feet will be glad to fill is in on the deets shortly...

Posted by Excema S. Psoriasis | January 17, 2008 7:00 AM

J.R.: You really think 90 percent of Stranger readers pick it up to read Josh's political crap (as opposed to Savage Love, the club ads and the personals)? Ha!

Posted by duh | January 17, 2008 9:08 AM

kirkland is the new capitol hill
and vice versa

Posted by kirk land | January 17, 2008 11:41 AM

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