When friends discuss being a travel writer, they are usually visualizing far flung destinations. But I snagged an assigment (courtesy of Gina Misiroglu of Red Room, who introduced me to the AOL travel folks) that forced me to think hard about my own town as both a long-time resident and a tourist.
The AOL assignment required me to take a few common myths of Seattle, and a few ideas of my own, and use them to "myth bust" Seattle. Of course, I used one of the most commonly quoted lines about Seattle and got a chance to plug a few of my favorite bookstores (yes, it is true that we are a city of readers, writers, and bookstores) as well as some other well-known and not so well-known destinations.
Two of the "myths" that I included came out of real life conversations with tourists in town. Once when boarding one of our nifty ferries to see family across the Sound, a woman seriously asked me "if she could see Canada from here." Trying not to giggle, I answered, "no, those mountains are all Washington State."
Later, when covering the Seattle International Film Festival for a local newspaper, I was chatting with some out-of-town filmmakers. One of them was determined to find a Starbucks where he could stand and photograph another Starbucks through the window. The idea was to show that Seattle did have a Starbucks on every corner. Several of us thought it sounded feasible but couldn't think of a corner where that actually occurs. You can, of course, photograph many espresso places here while standing in a rival coffee stop.
As always, I couldn't include all the fun things you can do in this town, but I hope I inspired a few tourists and maybe some locals to take a new look at Seattle.
Test your Seattle IQ and read the article at AOL Travel.