The only constant is change: a Seattle example

Here in Seattle for a family event. It’s always easy to see changes in a place that you come to infrequently, and this city is no exception.

I first came here 20 years ago and was stunned that real estate prices were cheap in comparison to suburban Chicago. The traffic was light, it was physically beautiful with mountains, ocean, Olympic peninsula, San Juan islands, and Nordstrom’s department store was here (one of my wife’s favorites).

Today, the real estate prices, traffic and volume of humans that have moved here are pretty crushing. It’s highly unlikely that this would be a place we’d choose to live. Still, it’s pretty fun to visit though in years past, the area that comprised the 1964 World’s Fair (where the Space Needle* sits) was not some place you’d want to be as it was a bit seedy.

Yesterday’s adventure included a stop at the Experience Music Project (EMP) and the Science Fiction Museum in the shadow of the Space Needle and the entire area has changed for the better . My daughter, who is drawn to music in ways I’ve not seen anyone else be, absolutely loved EMP (and paid no attention to its locally controversial Frank Gehry designed building) as did my bride. I found it interesting but not personally compelling. I think my little guy was bored silly.

Next we stopped at the smaller SciFi museum next door (both are labors of love and investments by Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft). My son and I loved it though my wife and daughter did not. Books, memorabilia (like Captain Kirk’s chair from the bridge of the Enterprise, a Tricorder, the creature from Alien, the robot from Lost in Space that used to cry, “Danger, danger Will Robinson” and much more) and videos made it a pretty fun experience. Even though my 10 year old son had no context for much of the memorabilia, he had seen many of the movies and remarked at one point, “I remember seeing that one as a kid!”

*It’s funny the things you remember as a kid which really makes you aware of change. My grandparents had come to the 1964 World’s Fair in Seattle and my Grandma told me on the phone that she’d be bringing me a present: a “replica of the space needle”. My mind went wild with thoughts of a space ship or some large metal toy perhaps. When they arrived home and paid us a visit, I ran up the driveway as they pulled up, she climbed out of the care and handed me a small, metal replica of the Space Needle. “What is THIS?” I thought. I was crestfallen but tried not to show it.

Both grandparents are gone now. When my grandma passed and my Dad asked if there was anything I’d like to remember them by, I chose their replica of the space needle since mine had been lost. So being here has made me ponder change…and not just change to the city of Seattle itself.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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Podcasting hit the mainstream in July of 2005 when Apple added podcast show support within iTunes. I'd seen this coming so started podcasting in May of 2005 and kept going until August of 2007. Unfortunately was never 'discovered' by national broadcasters, but made a delightfully large number of connections with people all over the world because of these shows. Click here to view the archive of my podcast posts.