Talk about an explosion of Seattle pride. One word comes to mind: zeitgeist.
Just consider what we’ve seen in the last 24 hours:
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis rocked the MTV Video Music Awards Sunday night in Brooklyn, N.Y. (Here is a replay of the show.) Seattle’s golden boys won two Moonman trophies for best video with a social message and best hip hop video. Local singer Mary Lambert joined the duo on stage for a stirring performance of “Same Love,” which was released during last year’s Referendum 74 campaign to affirm same-sex marriage in Washington. Macklemore called it his most important song because “it’s a testament to what is happening right now in America, on the forefront of equality. Gay rights are human rights. There is no separation.” Beautifully said.
Here in Seattle, soccer star Clint Dempsey debuted with the Sounders and became the city’s newest hero. (Here is the news side’s story.) Since the kick-off, I’ve watched my Facebook and Twitter feeds blow up with proud fans wondering whether we live in Seattle or Europe. Soccer fans rejoice. The Sounders beat the Portland Timbers, 1-0. It takes a team to win a game, but Dempsey’s presence certainly added some momentum. Now is the time for our city to show America how to appreciate this truly global sport. (Yeah, I’m biased. I play a little recreational soccer on the side.)
Over the weekend, The New York Times highlighted Amazon.com’s role in reshaping downtown Seattle. The rest of the nation is catching on to what we’ve been watching happen right in our backyard. (The Seattle Times is located next to the Amazon compound in South Lake Union.)
Amazon is both local and global. By encouraging its employees to live within walking distance, it could help Seattle meet its goals for energy efficiency and conservation, city officials said. As part of its development agreement, Amazon also plans to buy a new streetcar for the light rail line that runs past its properties, and pay for a stretch of dedicated bicycle lane.
Indeed, hugely successful companies have an obligation to help their communities gain improved access to transit, innovative public art (I’d place Amazon’s interesting biodome concept in this category) and Tom Douglas-caliber restaurants. We could talk about the trade-offs, but I still tip my hat to Jeff Bezos and company for redefining the modern workplace in an urban city.
Finally, I stumbled across a cool project this morning called “We Make Seattle.” (The Seattle Times’ Monica Guzman wrote this cool column, too.) The thinkers behind the project want to make a film about why Seattle is “the greatest city in the world for entrepreneurs, creators and makers of all kinds.” Well, duh. Why hasn’t anyone done this yet? The Kickstarter campaign ended Monday morning and the producers announced 261 backers contributed about $30,000. Congratulations to everyone involved, including the production team, Mayor Mike McGinn’s office, the Office of Economic Development and a group of start-up leaders.
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May all this creative spirit continue to put Seattle at the forefront of pop culture, sports, media and private-public partnerships.
And in case I don’t say it enough, I’ll say it again: I love this city. I’m so glad I moved back.