Thoughts about World-Class Cities
Well, in the last eighteen months, I've been to three world-class cities: Paris, New York, and London. I'd never been to any of them before. They all have a lot in common. Rivers run through or near them. They're ports. They have good public transportation. They are diverse. They are at or near the center of politics for thier country. All of them have rich and varied cultural options - theatres and museums and big parks in the middle of the cities that actually provide a sense of real space. They are all basically liberal, but with a good enough balance of the conservative voices to maintain sensibility.
I compare that to Seattle, which I love, but which is not quite on a class with these cities. I think our biggest mistake was screwing up the transportation. In fact, we're still doing that. Screwing up the transportation. We have the water, we're a port city, and we're reasonably diverse. Not much to do about being far away from DC, and maybe that's a good thing. We're socially progressive. We do all right on museums. We have good theatre and nice summer venues for concerts. But we can't, for the life of us, figure out the transportation. The people know that - they voted for the monorail. Three times. Now we just need the political will to make it happen. Or better light rail which is all connected. Something. Instead, we throw everything that's not perfect away, which leaves us with nothing.
You know - we voted against the stadium once. The powers-that-be built it anyway. We voted for the Monorail three times, and I suspect it will never get built. What's wrong with this picture?