A terrible accident

Well, there is only one thing funnier than watching Seattle desperately strive to be a world-class city, and that is watching Paul


". . . one self-deluded narcissistic monument after another rises on the Allentown landscape. . . ."

A terrible accident

Well, there is only one thing funnier than watching Seattle desperately strive to be a world-class city, and that is watching Paul Allen desperately strive to prove he's a world-class guy ["Allentown, WA," 11/16]. Yes, every time the man who happened along into becoming the third richest man in the world tries to show us that it wasn't by accident that he is who he is, he proves once again, that it was, and he isn't. As the creation of one self-deluded narcissistic monument after another rises on the Allentown landscape, only one word can be used to describe it: A-PAUL-ING, simply A-PAUL-ING.



We demand single malt!

Let me get this straight: Michael Krugman had a bad time at the Simpsons Fanfest in Los Angeles ["Worst convention ever," 11/16]. I knew right off the bat that this reporter was being a little to big for his britches when he stated his demand for a single-malt scotch. He then scoffed when offered the rather appealing choice of Early Times and Clan MacGregor. He frowned upon the free eats and drinks and the wide variety of amusing merchandise such as the German Simpsons tape. For crying out loud, he even got to witness a near full-cast episode reading. Sounds like a ton of fun. But excuse me, Mr. Krugman would rather see debates on whether Kang or Kodos would win in a fight. Sounds to me like Mr. Krugman would be happier at the Bi-Mon-Sci-Fi-Con.



Smell the fear

In his November 16 column "Decision time for third parties" [4th & James], James Bush writes, "As the state's most liberal enclave [Seattle's 43rd Legislative District], there isn't a lot of room to set up on the left of the current Democratic officeholders. Do the ultra-politically correct Greens dare take on Ed Murray, one of the state's two openly gay officeholders?" My answer is: Been there, done that. When I was living in Madison, Wisconsin, I voted for Labor-Farm candidate Mary Kay Baum when she ran for the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1992 against openly lesbian Democrat Tammy Baldwin. Of course, Baum didn't win and Baldwin has moved on to become a darling of the "liberal" wing of the Democratic Party.

As for Bush's suggestion that local Greens basically become a caucus within the local Democratic Party: No thanks. I recently joined the Green Party, not the Green Caucus. Besides, I enjoy the spectacle of the Democrats waving their collective fingers in our direction, chastising us for our infantile ways. I enjoy smelling their fear and their anger when a nascent movement dares to defy its purported monopoly on representing the left. Perhaps they are too dull to figure out that they are mimicking Lenin in "Left-Wing Communism," which ranks among the ideological cornerstones of the one-party state in the former Soviet Union.



We demand blues!

Thank you for printing "Almost blues," [11/16]. As a supporter of a full-time blues musician, I was overjoyed to see Susan Waterworth's well-written article about the Ballard music venues that feature blues. When I moved to Seattle from Spokane back in 1984, there were many places to go and hear GOOD blues. However, as the years progressed and more musicians moved to town to get in with the grunge scene, fewer and fewer clubs had blues. Many had to close their doors and now there are not many places to play or hear REAL blues.

It seems as if live music is a cyclic thing, and in the mid to late '90s the popularity of karaoke and the resurgence of disco hurt many full-time local musicians. It's a sad thing when, in a city as fine as Seattle and with people who claim to support the arts such as live music, a full-time musician can not earn a living doing what they have spent years learning and honing.

I remember when Pioneer Square was the place to go when you wanted to see and hear the best blues available in Seattle. Now all I hear coming from the clubs on the weekends is rock that has been promoted as blues. The only time you can hear real blues in the Square is if you go during the week. For example, the J&M has a fine Tuesday night with the John Hodgkin Band.

Thank you again to Susan for writing about what I hope is a continuing and growing tradition of clubs in Ballard supporting the blues. I hope to read more from her in the future.



We demand liver and onions!

The Ballard bridge is salt-encrusted ["It's hot, it's hip, it's . . . Ballard?" 11/9]! How amazing that could happen in FRESH WATER! Try walking the railroad tracks in Ballard next time you're there. No shortage of bums there. And you call Hattie's Hat a greasy spoon. Not since it changed owners (for the worse) several years ago. Try getting liver and onions there now. Do you really believe Ballard is on the rise, well you neglected to mention all the storefronts on Market that are empty, no thanks to the Fred Meyer down the road. Oh and the new condos you mention will take up three blocks that will be off-limits to the public after certain hours. Well now I know why we moved to the West side of Puget Sound. Ya, sure, you betcha!

Take care,



No place like home

How ironic that Seely uses language in the first paragraph of his article ["It's hot, it's hip, it's . . . Ballard?" 11/9] that our "hard-core lushes" (Seely's words) would NEVER use in the Ballard Smoke Shop— or anywhere else. In fact, one of my customers began to read about the Smoke Shop—and threw away the Weekly because of that "f-word."

Second, you misspelled the owner's name. I was the bartender on duty the night your photographer took the photos, I wrote the owner's name on a piece of paper, told him Tom Economou is, undoubtedly, the best boss in Seattle, and why. Tom is quick to tell us how much he appreciates us, has loaned out more money than he'll ever get back, and has a heart as big as a house. It's not surprising he hung up on you when you called; he probably thought you were another darn phone solicitor. Besides, when he's bartending he's too busy to talk on the phone.

Most importantly, you degrade our customers. Many of them are self-made millionaires, fishing boat owners who've worked their butts off to get where they are. Others are their crewmembers, who work harder than most people could imagine and don't deserve to be categorized as "drunk sailors," etc. These guys work hard—and they play hard when they're home. They risk their lives in the Bering Sea to give you fish and crab munchers the food on your plates. The rest of our customers are "salt-of-the-earth" types with hearts of gold. I could write PAGES about their kindnesses.

Fourth, it's sad that the Burke Cafe's Kay Ogren surmises that "people sitting on one of my bar stools and vomiting" in days past had been in the Smoke Shop. Doesn't she realize that winos and "street people" (yes, Ballard has them, too) carry their own bottles?! DUH! I've never been in Burke's (I'm a vegetarian). But I'm sure none of my co-workers and customers who've read this article will ever go there again.

Last, the Ballard Smoke Shop's bartenders don't leave. I've been there more than 13 years, the senior bartender has stayed more than 25 years, another, nine years. The "rookie" has only been with us a year (she has an MBA and used to work on Wall Street). Yes, we have educations and could do something else. But we stay 'cause "THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE BALLARD." Ballard has the kindest, sweetest people anyone could ever be lucky enough to know. It's your loss that you've never gotten to know our bar customers or our boss.



Not funny?

The Pet Lady is not funny. Sorry.

If it is supposed to be in the vein of the "Ask a . . ." articles in The Onion, where an archetype of a person answers the question posed in a stereotypical diatribe that doesn't match the question, leading to mirthful incongruity, then it is way off. In addition, Pet Lady is also repetitive. The Onion changes the advice columnist's "motivation" every time that they run the "Ask a . . ." article. Please put more comics in its sorry-assed place.

Thank you.



P.S. Someone needs to slap around those egotistical, dickheaded Culture Bunker kids. They do not impress me with their arcane knowledge of obscure bands. Every band that they said they couldn't find on Napster was easily found (in excess of 50 hits) by me. To be honest, some part in the back of my head tells me that there have been sections of past Culture Bunker articles that I have enjoyed, so these guys shouldn't lose their jobs, but a severe reprimand is in order.


Woa there! girlie, a couple of things [Dategirl, "The doctor is not in," 11/16]. First, next time warn us before you start swinging your baggage around. Somebody might get hurt. Second, you obviously are not fluent in male-anese. Otherwise you would not have taken the gentleman's letter completely out of context. Maybe the Seattle Weekly should get a "date Guy or Dude" to handle the letters from the testosterone bunch since you seem incapable of handling even the smallest of slights against female kind.



Letter o' the week

Dear Robert[a] Cruger,

I read your story ["UFOs coast to coast," 9/21], it was excellent! I don't exactly know if you really meant anything you said, or if you really believe that there are really and truly aliens out there, but I do know what I believe. I am a believer. I really know how stupid this sounds but, there has been proof that there are really another type of being out there. I mean, have you seen the Web site Coast to coast? Well, you may have just made this all up but I still believe in UFOs. (Unidentified Flying Objects.) I am soon to seek a real X-Files job that I hope exists.

A Fan,



This is just the beginning. . . .

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