Slog News & Arts

Line Out

Music & Nightlife

« Bad News for Gregoire | Call to Action »

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Centro

posted by on March 5 at 12:09 PM

2004001796.jpg

Fabrizio Troccol, a Perugian photographer, to me:

I met Amanda Knox. I used to own a gallery near the Piazza San Francesco. Paintings, pictures, that kind of thing. And she came to the gallery with a friend. Yes, I remember her because we talked about Seattle. She said she didnít like it. Seattle did not have a center. Just a lot of houses that all looked the same. But no center to this place. Perugia is better, she said. It had a center and looked better. We talked about this for 30 minutes. She is an attractive woman. Don’t you think?

Amanda Knox might be on to something. Seattle does not have a real center. It has neighborhoods, a downtown, club districts, but nothing that is clearly the center in the way that Piazza Novembre is the center of Perugia, Italy. The closet thing we have to a center is the Central Library, but a center should be open and not enclosed.

Note: At three today I will be on Northwest Afternoon talking about this Amanda Knox.

RSS icon Comments

1

But...but what about Nickels' City Center Seattle campaign?
http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/center_city/Overview/

Posted by Lou | March 5, 2008 12:17 PM
2

Charles, what about Seattle Center? Where the Space Needle and that bustling amusement park is? It's even CALLED Seattle Center! (This was sarcasm.)

Posted by Matt Fuckin' Hickey | March 5, 2008 12:18 PM
3

Fuck that bitch.

Posted by Patrick | March 5, 2008 12:19 PM
4

I thought the Stranger was the closest thing we had to a center and that your writing was at the very center of it.

Posted by Deacon Seattle | March 5, 2008 12:20 PM
5

Who cares what some murdering bitch thinks?

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 5, 2008 12:21 PM
6

seattle center is invalid. that is not a civic space in the traditional sense of a civic space.

Posted by charles mudede | March 5, 2008 12:25 PM
7

Maybe everything can't be viewed through the prism of European superiority. Perugia was founded 2500 years ago, when city centers were more important. Plus it a quarter of our size. you could argue that Seattle's center is the Pike market. Or that large American cities don't have European-style centers because they were founded so much later. NY has Central Park, but you could argue 3 or 4 other places as its center.

Posted by C | March 5, 2008 12:27 PM
8

When you go to NWA, make sure and give Cindy Rhinehart a nice firm slap on the behind for me, Charles.

Posted by Hernandez | March 5, 2008 12:28 PM
9

Again...fuck that bitch.

Posted by Patrick | March 5, 2008 12:29 PM
10

Seattle could build a replica of an old world city center, but that would be as real as some global village recreation at Epcot. The modern city center is located in cyberspace.

Posted by elenchos | March 5, 2008 12:31 PM
11

Amanda Knox is terribly, terribly wrong. Seattle does have a true center, namely, Paul Allen's ego. And eventually, Seattle's psychoeconomic center will swallow up Seattle's (approximately) psychogeographic center, namely, Lake Union. Literally. One day he'll just get so thirsty for more real estate acquisition that he'll just drink up Lake Union whole, in one big swallow.

Then there'll be no more precipitation in Seattle, and our fair city's raison d'etre will cease to exist.

Burp!

Posted by Jeff Stevens | March 5, 2008 12:35 PM
12

where is the "center" of NYC? London? Paris?

comparing a TOWN built in the era of donkey carts to any CITY is comparing apples to oranges.

Posted by max solomon | March 5, 2008 12:36 PM
13

I think it's pretty well understood that "downtown" is the Seattle's center, just like every other city in the world. And just like anywhere else, locals often prefer to avoid city centers.

Rural towns have town centers, and for very obvious reasons, local people enjoy congregating in them. Usually it's the only choice you have for interacting with people outside your immediate relations, buy goods, etc. That's probably why it FEELS like the center of town, as so many essentials to life there revolve around it.

Posted by Dougsf | March 5, 2008 12:36 PM
14

London doesn't have a center, Charles. Public spaces, sure, but not a CENTER. It too is a collection of villages grown together.

Paris doesn't have a center. Public spaces, sure, but no true center. Like all large cities, it has many centers. So does Seattle.

Perugia's center is mostly for tourists now, vistors, people like Amanda Knox.

Posted by Fnarf | March 5, 2008 12:39 PM
15

I'm sorry -- maybe it was the schrooms, but did you say that you'll be appearing on "Northwest Afternoon"?!

Oh no, bad trip...

Posted by Mudede NWA | March 5, 2008 12:42 PM
16

She just sounds like one of those college kids who finally left home and feels the need to bad-mouth it, that's all.
Also, bite me MIlwaukee!

Posted by C | March 5, 2008 12:47 PM
17

Fremont is the center of the universe, so I see no need for a center of Seattle.

Posted by joykiller | March 5, 2008 12:59 PM
18

What could be better for a Slog post for Charles than Amanda Knox talking about architecture?

Posted by John | March 5, 2008 1:07 PM
19

Wait, I just checked, and Seattle does have a "center of the city". It's at Minor Avenue North, between Harrison and Thomas streets in the Cascade neighborhood of Seattle. There's even a plaque.
http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM29A8
Maybe we need to bulldoze everything in a 2-block radius and install faux remnants of a Roman circus maximus or bullfighting ring, and call that the center?

Posted by Lou | March 5, 2008 1:08 PM
20

Damnit, Thinking about how London is laid at, Fnarf's right, I rescind my "all cities have a downtown = center" idea. Not that it matters really, or at all.

I also guess it depends on who you ask.

Posted by Dougsf | March 5, 2008 1:13 PM
21

Damn I wish I'd known before coming to work this morning... I totally would have Tivo'd that action. Someone please get this on YouTube after it airs!!

Posted by kid icarus | March 5, 2008 1:15 PM
22

Most old cities have centers- when I lived in france I lived in a teenie town called Saint Anne d'Auray and it even had a center. Most old world cities/towns, when they were built, it started with the church, then they built the town around it. Hence the winding circular roads. Look at a map of Paris and you'll see spirals, and thats where the old saying that Paris is shaped like escargot comes from.

I never really saw an american city or town built like this until I moved to the SW. Albuquerque and Santa Fe both have "old towns" or "city centers" that shape the town. It's kinda nice, I kinda like it. Feels european.

Silverdale, Washington has a city center. I remember, they built the MALL first, then the town around it. But that's the gross americanized city center.

But this doesnt mean seattle sucks, and I dont think seattle is an ugly town because of it.

Posted by catnextdoor | March 5, 2008 1:33 PM
23

max solomon is right. so is dougsf. so is fnarf.

Yes, central spaces like Il Campo in Siena are cool. But major cities do not generally have a place where *all* the functions of the town are bundled like that. That is because they are large enough to be able to afford to displace some of those functions.

The only thing this girl is "on to" is the absolute most traditional critique of American cities. A modern metropolis isn't formed in the same way as a village that grew organically around a church and central square! SHOCKING!

Charles, your posts about architecture really are fun because aesthetically your heart is in the right place. But they are slightly removed from reality.

And the Amanda Knox thing? Uh... I don't really know what to say about that.

Posted by k | March 5, 2008 2:14 PM
24

Lou @1 & 19:

Hey Lou, is your last name Guzzo? If so, then perhaps you are The Center Of Seattle:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Guzzo

Good to see you survived that Punk Rock Eruption (not to mention the 1980s)...

Posted by Jeff Stevens | March 5, 2008 2:23 PM
25

Sure, she's attractive, but big deal. A lot of guys stop being suckers after a while.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | March 5, 2008 2:42 PM
26

@ 24
Nope, though I am "largely inoffensive and moderate". I'm a Chicago-dwelling Seattle transplant that can't stop reading about what's going on back there.

Posted by Lou | March 5, 2008 2:46 PM
27

I've turned on KOMO to watch Northwest Afternoon... a few minutes early... and some soap opera is on. It's really awful... wooden acting, people talking and the next thing you know they're wrapped in towels, post-sex presumably... someone just got strangled with a rope on a wharf... what is this shit? Who watches this?

Posted by JMR | March 5, 2008 2:49 PM
28
Posted by orson | March 5, 2008 3:10 PM
29

May this be the first and last time I watch Northwest Afternoon. Do the give "highlights" of soap operas every day? I thought that bedroom fight scene was actual uncovered footage of the Knox murder.

Posted by JMR | March 5, 2008 3:13 PM
30

My god JMR, if you have no idea who Cindi Rinehart is then you know little about Seattle.

Posted by stinkbug | March 5, 2008 3:18 PM
31

What's with Charles's fake-ass British accent? Oh, he lived in England? Never mind.

Posted by JMR | March 5, 2008 3:27 PM
32

@3 & 9: "Fuck that bitch"?

Well well well. Maybe Hillary Clinton should pick Amanda Knox as her running mate. Then the ovariphobes would really need a diaper change...

Posted by Jeff Stevens | March 5, 2008 3:42 PM
33

No center?

The Center of the Universe is in Fremont.

She was just looking in the wrong part of Seattle.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 5, 2008 4:35 PM
34

oh, you mean like @17

Posted by i heard it coming a universe away | March 5, 2008 7:32 PM

Comments Closed

In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 14 days old).