Fighting the weasels, and winning

The Seattle Times has a heartwarming story up this week about the saving of that city's iconic Pike Place Market, 50 years ago. Against long odds, the preservationsists were able to defeat the "urban renewal" boneheads who were going to tear the market down for some monstrosity or other.

It was a rare victory, of course. And here in Seattle's little sister to the south, it would never happen. The real estate developers and construction contractors have the local government in Portland by the short hairs. Public money is constantly siphoned off for the soulless high-rise "urban renewal" schlock that has robbed Portland of its soul. What little is left of the city's charm, few people care enough to save. 

Seattle is not free from these problems, either, of course, but at least once in a while, they do things right up there. On with their anniversary celebration.


  1. Great article Jack. I remember that area from 40 years ago and the market will always hold a special place in my heart. I was there the day John Lennon was shot and an impromptu memorial sprang up complete with sing along and signs. I have always been intrigued with that place with all of the cool nooks and crannies in the lower section.

    Last time I was there a few years ago I also stayed at a nice hotel on old skid row that I once lived in briefly when it was a flop house for winos. It was disgusting and I still remembered the smell 40 years later. And there I was plopping down some $300 a night to stay in the same place, albeit a bit nicer this time 40 years later.


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