Sunday, June 14, 2009

Olympia as "an arm pit," Olympia as a "Best City"

You can't please everyone and generally speaking you can't please Andy at Thurston Pundits. The same week Olympia celebrates being number 6 on some national list (yawn, I'm so tired of being honored so), Andy rips out with this one:

I avoid Olympia proper as much as I possibly can. I don't shop there and I try to avoid dining there if I can think of an alternative. Why? The place is an arm pit and has become more so in line with the volume of the "We hate America" crowd that infests downtown and nearby areas.
Generally speaking, the reason Olympia gets on certain national lists as being a good place is that its relatively cheap to live here, because of government our employment levels are stable (generally), there is a lot of culture here for the size of the city (thanks to the state government and Evergreen), temperate weather and pretty geography.

The reason Andy hates downtown Olympia is because a lot of liberals hang out down there and there is graffiti. Makes sense to me, people oftentimes make decisions where to be based on politics and how their politics inform their culture.

Far be it from Andy to shop at Einmaleins, that anti-American shop owned by a German! (By the way, that's a joke. In my mind there is no more pro-American shop than Mathias' place.)

Anyway, it makes sense because so many people make the same decisions. Read a great series by the Austin American-Statesmen on the Great Divide phenomena here. Generally speaking, it says people choose where they live by Andy's standards: do you agree with me, do you like the stuff I like.

So, for the very reason Andy hates downtown Olympia, a lot of people simply love it. They love the liberal to radical politics of our geography, they love things like graffiti art (a portion of it is art) and Procession.

The Kiplinger's rating has nothing to do with taste, but rather other, less subjective standards. Other than, I guess, the presence or absence of culture.

All that said, Andy is right. Olympia is a total hole. Crap hole filled with dung heaped with bad food and smelly people. Don't move here. Just send envelopes of cash. Thanks!


Elaine said...

That Austin-American series was expanded into an amazing book: The Big Sort, which I read last fall. All in all, it was good to read during the campaign. Gave me a different perspective on things.

Anonymous said...

Good point about State government keeping the employment levels steady.
Also, it should be said that the Kiplinger report as well as other recent praise for Olympia isn't about just Olympia, it's about the metropolitan statistical area (MSA), which really means all of Thurston County.

Anonymous said...

Nobody hates a place versus any OTHER place because it is "liberal." They might choose not to live there or spend their money there because the people are intolerant, or overbearing, or refuse to kick the masturbators out of the public library, or reward homelessness so they get more of it, or otherwise behave in the way many lefty towns in this country behave in another thousand examples, which turns off more than a few real "liberals" as well as everybody else.

Make people feel welcome, stop bashing America, Christianity, the military, etc. and all the other predictable targets, and the rest of us would be more interested in moving in. Living next to liberals is fine. Living next to freaky, raging, condescending, intolerant haters is not. Tone down the culture war, people. Everybody in town ALREADY AGREES WITH YOU. You are not brave. Just spoiled, with a giant self regard, as well as completely aware that the freakin' country only works if we all live together. Peace, man.