In August, Jon Stewart inexplicably forgot about Washington (and the legality of its weed). More recently, erstwhile replacement John Oliver committed similar oversight during his segment on the controversial “Race Together” campaign from Starbucks:
The story of Starbucks’ betrayal of the city of Seattle has been thoroughly rehearsed. And since it had been some time since that series of unfortunate events, Microsoft decided to remind Seattle it too can act with callous disregard of local sports icons.
Now, I like Microsoft. I use/am a PC. I have a Windows Phone. Which is how I came across this upsetting discovery:
Boston Mayor Martin Walsh was too scared to place the traditional Super Bowl bet against Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, but — have no fear! — New England managed to turn up a stand-in: Providence, R.I., Mayor Jorge Elorza.
If the Patriots win, Murray will send Elorza “a package of Northwest alder-smoked salmon from Pure Food Fish Market, coffee beans from the original Starbucks at Pike Place Market and a giant bag of Marshawn Lynch’s favorite snack, Skittles.” Even if certain items are of somewhat dubious quality *cough* Starbucks *cough*, at the very least, this basket is pretty authentically Seattle.
But when the Seahawks win, here’s the dreck Murray earns in return:
The summer of 2001 was a magical time – and not just because it was the last period of my life living in a pre-9/11 world. It kicked off with my eighth grade trip to Israel; the Mariners did not lose a single game the entire time I was out of the country (true story). Starbucks CEO, local hero, and Sonics owner Howard Schultz delivered the commencement speech at my eighth grade graduation. My dad sent regular box score dispatches to me at camp in New York as the Mariners completed the Greatest Regular season Of All Time (GROAT) – and for once, I had something to say to those incorrigible Yankee fans.
But the final month of the summer of 2001 – the August I spent traveling the American West with Camp Lech Lecha – was the most memorable experience of them all. Lecha Lecha was a roughly three-week bus tour that traveled from Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula, swung through Idaho and Montana, down to Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, and ended with a train ride to Los Angeles, a visit to Disneyland, and a flight home — sorry, Oregon — just in time for the start of high school.
A lot has changed in the dozen years since. As you know, we now live in a post-9/11 world. Once baseball resumed, the Mariners lost to the Yankees in the playoffs (the one time I do not begrudge that team its success) and haven’t seen the postseason since. Howie sold the Sonics to Oklahoma Shitty, so yeah, I don’t think he’ll be invited back to SHA graduation. And the financial model for Lech Lecha turned out to be sadly unsustainable – after a couple more summers in operation, the camp ceased to exist.
But even with all that’s changed for the worse, those memories of that magical summer can never be taken away from me. Or from the internet. And that’s what this post is all about.
It was late August, and I was literally on my way out the door, when a friend forwarded me a New York Times article, along with the following message:
You should write a post about this. This is honestly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.
And so I was introduced to Cecilia Giménez’s restoration of a fresco depicting Jesus somewhere in small-town Spain. I opened the article, fell in love – how could I not? – and immediately shared it with everyone in my family. In case you somehow have yet to see it, I share it with you now:
At the time, I didn’t have much to add – how do you enhance something that’s basically perfect? – so while I gleefully shared the article with people I thought might appreciate it, I did not seriously consider writing anything about it. You may have noticed that I write a lot, but even I have to draw the line somewhere.
But now, about a month after I first locked eyes with the restored “Ecce Homo”, I’m finally fulfilling my friend’s request-in-jest to weigh in. The impetus for this post was the publication of an article that linked the above fresco to my future profession, Spanish woman who disfigured painting of Christ lawyers up, wants money:
A Spanish woman who made headlines worldwide for her botched attempt to restore a 20th-century painting of Jesus Christ says she has hired lawyers and wants royalties from the fees church owners are charging visitors, according to the daily Spanish-language newspaper El Correo.
Of course, at the heart of Cecilia’s decision is the realization that her ‘work’ could be monetized:
I’ve only lived in New Haven for a few weeks, and I don’t drink coffee, but I’ve already managed to note the existence of one local institution, Blue State Coffee:
For one, the shop is located right next to Slifka, where I have dinner a few times a week. For two, it boasts one or two other branches in New Haven (in addition to two more in Providence and another in Boston). And for three, locals seem to feel comfortable dropping the name like it’s Starbucks.
But, while the company is indisputably located in a blue state, and its values strive to reflect that fact, Connecticut clearly also has a significant and powerful red state contingent: “after Utah, Connecticut ranks as the top state for large donor individual contributions to GOP presidential candidates.”
So, if Blue State Coffee ever decides it would prefer to avoid alienating potential customers, I have a suggestion – as a native of Seattle, I’m basically an expert on coffee shops – that also might just make a little more sense: