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One of my favorite places is Seattle. Growing up, I never thought I'd be able to go to Seattle. I grew up in eastern South Carolina, so that's as far as you can get from Seattle, unless I lived in Miami.
I'm not going to say I'm not a fan, but I'm a fan of house music, essentially, and kind of indie, and I was always into the kind of sub-pop Seattle Mud Honey and Pearl Jam kind of sound. But my kind of big love was house music ever since I was 15/16, going to raves when I was 15 or 16 years old and not going to school, like a naughty boy.
To some extent, Seattle remains a frontier metropolis, a place where people can experiment with their lives, and change and grow and make things happen.
Who was Amanda Knox? Was she a fresh-faced honor student from Seattle who met anyone's definition of an all-American girl - attractive, athletic, smart, hard-working, adventuresome, in love with languages and travel? Or was her pretty face a mask, a duplicitous cover for a depraved soul?
I met Quincy Jones in Seattle. We were kids together... liked each other when we met and have been close ever since. He wasn't writing when we met - in fact, I more or less started him off to write; voicing, harmony, and stuff like that.
At night, what you see is a city, because all you see is lights. By day, it doesn't look like a city at all. The trees out-number the houses. And that's completely typical of Seattle. You can't quite tell: is it a city, is it a suburb, is the forest growing back?
In Seattle, I soon found that my radical ideas and aesthetic explorations - ideas and explorations that in Richmond, Virginia, might have gotten me stoned to death with hush puppies - were not only accepted but occasionally applauded.
Seattle is like a global gumbo, a melting pot with all kinds of people - the rich, the poor, white people, some Chinese, Filipino, Jewish and black people - they're all here.
I think it's evident that expensive neighborhoods in Seattle are surrounded by natural beauty. That elevates city life. So if we can make cities more attractive in the long run, we can be smarter about issues like development, zoning and economics.
If I'd written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people - including me - would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.
Hunter S. Thompson
If Nirvana had remained a small, underground punk rock band, Kurt Cobain would still be alive. And he'd probably be living in Seattle, getting kind of fat and balding, be relatively happy and producing records for other people.
As far as the grunge thing, there are three bands from Seattle that I would call true grunge.
Seattle was built out on pilings over the sea, and at high tide the whole city seemed to come afloat like a ship lifting free from a mud berth and swaying in its chains.
My grandfather was hit over the head by a crane boom in Seattle. Some of the family claimed he was never a violent, crazy person before that. Some say he was. It depends who you believe.
Traditionally, Seattle has been a great sports town and great football town. What the Huskies have achieved over the years has been pretty amazing. That's how I got my first taste of football - when I went with my father to Husky Stadium.
I have an affinity for the old Seattle coffee shops, places like the Green Onion and the Copper Kettle, the classic kind of coffee bar - little places that served breakfast, lunch and dinner and have pretty much disappeared.
When time permits, I try to see interesting people in the cities I visit. In Seattle, I met Paul Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft, who is shy in personality but flamboyant in his philanthropy.
And Seattle isn't really crazy anymore. It's a big dot-com city.
I collect old Coon Chicken Inn memorabilia. I collect black memorabilia, like old minstrel posters. It was a real place. There was one in Seattle, one in Portland, and one in Salt Lake City. They started in 1925, and then they went out of business around 1958.
I got a scholarship to Seattle University and I was writing arrangements for singers and everybody. But the music course was too dry and I really wanted to get away from home.
When it comes to grunge or even just Seattle, I think there was one band that made the definitive music of the time. It wasn't us or Nirvana, but Mudhoney. Nirvana delivered it to the world, but Mudhoney were the band of that time and sound.
My wife and I just prefer Seattle. It's a beautiful city. Great setting. You open your front door in the morning and the air smells like pine and the sea, as opposed to bus exhaust.
One of the first bands to break out of Seattle was Heart.
Whatever Seattle says, the great chief at Washington can rely upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons.
Some people have no respect whether you are with your family or not. That's the hardest part. I was shopping in a grocery store in Seattle looking for stuff for Nicholas. This guy kept following me with his cell phone video on.
I have a fond place in my heart for Seattle, so I hope that an NBA team comes back to this great city, this great sports city.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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With self-discipline most anything is possible.
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