WHINING IS SO EASY. Oh, everything costs too much. Traffic's a drag. Fremont's ruined. Seattle isn't like it used to be. Hey, buck up! There are still plenty of great things about this city and plenty of reasons to feel optimistic about our future. Consider these, for example:
1. Slade Gorton is out of office.
2. Fewer microbreweries make ordering beer less needlessly complicated.
3. Despite the mess of corporate music critics clamoring to call the time of death on our rock scene back in 1994, bands like Death Cab for Cutie and Murder City Devils continue to gain national and international fame, while local labels consistently release exceptional music from around the country.
4. Mad Cow Disease has yet to reach Seattle. Ditto for Foot and Mouth Disease.
5. Town Hall, brainchild of Seattle Weekly's founder, is a great new forum for political debate and cultural events.
6. A cheeseburger, chocolate shake and fries—just $3.61 at Dick's.
7. Seattle's first city-sponsored all-ages music and art club—the volunteer-driven Vera Project—continues to put on great shows.
8. With various dot-coms folding up, and everyone else just plain leaving town, office space is pretty easy to come by and housing prices have at least leveled out. A large and desperate workforce of former Internet millionaires is also available.
9. It should be easier and easier to find a good physician; US News & World Report recently anounced that UW is the best place to become a family doctor.
10. We're not Portland.
11. One of the lasting local legacies of the WTO is the Independent Media Center, recently raided by the FBI for its continued work on behalf of subverting corporate order.
12. With amazing parks, community centers, libraries, and playgrounds, Seattle is becoming an even better city for raising kids.
13. Software benefactors have saved the priceless Scarecrow Video.
14. Sure, you're sitting in traffic everyday across the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Evergreen Point Floating Bridge—but how 'bout that view?
15. The rebirth of Columbia City into a groovy urban center, the rise of a bustling Little Saigon, and the redevelopment of Sand Point Naval Station for every cultural and recreational purpose imaginable, are all enriching the city.
16. Thanks to federally sponsored goose control efforts—and the sewage agency Metro—Lake Washington water is cleaner than it was when the Weekly was founded.
17. Global warming continues to make the city more balmy.
18. Opening Day of boating season: a small-town ritual that lives on. Put some crap on your boat and sail through the Cut.
19. The Seattle City Council is no longer the rubber-stamp operation it once was, but actually has some progressive members and real debate.
20. Paul Allen is underwriting everything around here, from wilderness acquisitions to film festivals. When the local economy sours, we're going to be even more grateful for a local billionaire who's so committed to local causes.
21. Seattle's moviegoing culture still manages to support a bunch of homey, wildly outdated movie theaters—likethe Harvard Exit, the Egyptian and the Neptune.
22. Ichiro, Ichiro, Ichiro.
23. Even with all the view-obstructing construction going on all around town, it is far from uncommon to gaze upon the full 180-degree arc of a rainbow.