We seem to finally have our answer to “Why did you leave me Frank Russell? Why? Why?”
The answer is, we’re uncool.
To be more precise, it was T-Town’s “uncoolness factor” that had Russell eyeballing the glittery metropolis to the North, according to Lisa Picard, a Seattle developer and consultant. Picard was part of the commercial space marketing tour last Friday that was hosted by Tacoma politicians and business leaders.
The apparent purpose of the visit was to downplay the City of Destiny’s rough edges and highlight the diamond in the rough-ness. Somewhere during the fashion show, Picard exposed our Achilles Heel.
Lurking somewhere in the back of all of our collective Tacoma-Pierce County minds is the fear that we may be exposed as Seattle posers, Emerald City wannabes. We’re afraid of not being hip, unless the cool people in Seattle no longer think it’s cool to be “hip.”
Insecure we may be. But there is so much more to us, to our city.
I remember my first real exposure to Tacoma–the beautiful homes in Old Town, the myriad and teeming waterways at the port, the surprising drama of Stadium Bowl, the stretches of beach and promenade at Ruston Way. It was as sweet and warm as Peggy’s cinnamon rolls or Mrs. Frisbee’s cakes. It was as juicy as the sauce at Bimbo’s and brilliant as the sunset at Titlow.
I chose Tacoma over Seattle and it was easy.
It is a town whose military presence makes our chests swell with pride as it makes our hearts ache with loss. It is a melting pot filled with ethnic pride and diversity unbridled by neighborhood boundaries. It is filled with potholes and gravel roads, and if the wind blows up from the port it smells. It feasts on Frisko Freeze and Primo Grill, on Asado and Indochine. It is surrounded by waterways and bridges, and looked down upon by an immensely beautiful mountain.
Tacoma is approachable, vibrant and malleable.
In short, Frank Russell, it’s too cool for you.