Seattle keeps transforming itself

Seattle today: So many changes, and Knute Berger highlights the differences through comparisons to the past.

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Despite Seattle's run of boom years, it's never aimed to be a get-rich-quick town, and it shouldn't now.

Seattle today: So many changes, and Knute Berger highlights the differences through comparisons to the past.

Since we’ve got a year or two to go until the Mayan calendar runs out, there’s still a chance to think reflectively before the end of the world. There’s no denying that world has been changing, and so, too, our corner of it. Today’s Seattle is not the old Seattle that we knew.

I’ve been sifting through our civic storage unit and have come up with a list that documents the changes. January is a good time to make such lists, because we can see clearly where we’ve been and where we are. It’s up to you to determine where we’re going in 2011.

Old Seattle: Anyone out after 10 p.m. is up to no good. New Seattle: A 24-hour city.

Old Seattle: Free downtown street parking. New Seattle: Bikes rule!

Old Seattle: Dick’s, Dag’s and Herfy’s. New Seattle: The $12 burger at Luc.

Old Seattle: Deep-fried captain’s platter. New Seattle: Sustainable seafood.

Old Seattle: Dutch babies and Swedish pancakes. New Seattle: Designer cupcakes and doughnuts.

Old Seattle: Gai’s Bakery. New Seattle: Gay friendly.

Old Seattle: Saving the P-I. New Seattle: Saving the P-I globe,

Old Seattle: Hating The Seattle Times’ ridiculous editorials. New Seattle: Hating The Seattle Times’ monopoly on ridiculous editorials.

Old Seattle: Grumpy school nurses. New Seattle: Global health.

Old Seattle: Having a neighbor kid mow your lawn. New Seattle: Growing corn on your parking strip

Old Seattle: Pioneer Square. New Seattle: South Lake Union.

Old Seattle: Fighting over the downtown tunnel. New Seattle: Fighting over the waterfront tunnel.

Old Seattle: Designing the Space Needle on a napkin. New Seattle: Spending millions on a preliminary concept for a new waterfront park.

Old Seattle: Riding the waterfront streetcar. New Seattle: Riding the SLUT and light rail.

Old Seattle: Skirmishes between the city council and the mayor. New Seattle: All-out war between the city council and the mayor.

Old Seattle: Barrels of lutefisk. New Seattle: Ballard condos.

Old Seattle: Moving to Bellevue to escape diversity. New Seattle: Discovering Bellevue has more diversity

Old Seattle: Riding the Wild Mouse in the Fun Forest. New Seattle: Demanding green space at Seattle Center.

Old Seattle: Hydro drivers. New Seattle: Bike anarchists.

Old Seattle: Green Lake Aqua Follies. New Seattle: Sounders and the Storm.

Old Seattle: The dollhouse at the Museum of History & Industry. New Seattle: Eco mini-houses and backyard cottages.

Old Seattle: Vacant lots. New Seattle: Green roofs.

Old Seattle: The Rainier Club. New Seattle: The Cascade Bicycle Club.

Old Seattle: John Keister. New Seattle: Jon Stewart.

Old Seattle: TV weathermen cartooning. New Seattle: Cliff Mass blogging.

Old Seattle: Totem poles. New Seattle: Calder’s “Eagle” at Olympic Sculpture Park.

Old Seattle: J.P. and Gertrude. New Seattle: Dina Martina and Waxie Moon.

Old Seattle: Nordstrom moves to Frederick & Nelson. New Seattle: Elliott Bay Book Co. moves to Capitol Hill.

Old Seattle: Filling swamps creates new neighborhoods. New Seattle: Restoring wetlands creates salmon habitat.

Old Seattle: Fines for jaywalking. New Seattle: Fines for not recycling.

Old Seattle: Flushing the toilet into Lake Washington. New Seattle: Cleaning up toxins in the Duwamish River.

Old Seattle: Mariners, Seahawks and Sonics suck. New Seattle: Mariners, Seahawks and Huskies suck.

Old Seattle: Say “Seattle” and the chief will roll over in his grave. New Seattle: Say “Seattle” and people think “tiny island of liberal dysfunction.”

This article originally appeared in the December issue of Seattle Magazine.


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Knute Berger

Knute Berger

Knute “Mossback” Berger is Crosscut's Editor-at-Large.