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You Can Never Go Home Again...

...unless you wanted to pay $1,900 a month for a 600 sqare foot apartment.

So yesterday morning I found myself on Capitol Hill to meetup with Ryan (who is designing a website for Questionable Content becasue he's amazingly awesome). I took an Uber to the Hill and found myself at our meet up place a half an hour early. The deli we were meeting at wasn't even open yet for me to sit down and chill out while I waited for Ryan so I walked around a little bit. In that time I couldn't help but muse on how my opinion of the Hill has changed so drastically over such a short amount of time.

I used to love the Hill so much. I was such a proud Capitol Hill kid. I lived there from 2005-2010 and before that 2001-2005 was a student at SU so I was spending all my time there. It was where my youth, my 20s, were spent. So the Hill will always be special to me. However I can't help feel, the way it's changed and been developed, like it's been taken away from me. It's not the Hill that I painted red. Buildings have been torn down and replaced by monstrocities. Or in a different approch which I can't decide if it's admirable or equally grotesque, buildings have been gutted leaving only the facade as a more modern building mushrooms up through the roof, like O. unilateralis coming out of the head of a dead zombie ant that was its host. I understand this method is to preserve a certian aestheteic of the Hill, and can appreciate that, but at the same time, the facade is just that and it just reinforces the memory of Captil Hill that is no more and shows the monster that has sprung up in it's place.

The thing is, I distinctly remember when I was 18 and thought it was so cool to be on the Hill on a daily basis and i remember older people, or the weekly rags, dismissing me saying the Hill was dead, that it it was soooo much cooler 10 years before. Now I'm that older person! I'm glad the Schmee got off the Hill becasue I feel it is dead. It's lost its soul.  But of course, try driving up Pike on a Staurday night and it looks far from dead. There are loads of young drunks out painting the town red in thier 20s. To them, it's never been cooler and more alive than it is now.

So is that just it? Is my resentment of the Hill just a natural part of getting older and being resistant to change? Maybe that's part of it. If not just the fact that it has changed but also a bit of growing out of what it stood for. Certianly the amount of stepping around or holding my breath on account of pools of vomit from the drunk kids the night before was something I certianly don't miss and am totally over. What seemed gritty and real to me10 years ago I now just find fucking gross and irresponsible. So yeah, I think that some of it can be classed as just a part of growing older. However, at the same time I knew there was more to it than just that.

As I walked by the new apartment building that had sprung up from the remains a building left abandonded during my whole tenure of being on the hill, another piece of the puzzle became clear. The one building, I should mention, that I had long said, I wouldn't mind if they built up becasue it really wasn't serving any purpose short of being two walls for show posters to be put up. Those appartments are between $1,500-$2,000 a month for studios and one bedroom apartments ranging from 300-700square feet. So class resentment has certianly got a lot to do with it. The young hipster douchebags that are making enough in their 20s and can afford or have their folks help them with that kind of rent fills me with such class resentment and rage. Again, to sound like an old man but " back in my day" the $400 of my half of the rent was half my paycheck every month. That was a quarter of my monthly earnings, the other quarter was still going to student loans. Now with a Masters degree under my belt to pay for and the rents being higher, this ratio delegation of my monthly earnings is roughly about the same but I'm making a bit more so I can afford to pay my half of the almost $2000/mo. on rent for our house. However, on my own? If I wasn't married to Andy, there's no way I could pay the rent myself. So there's a certian resentment for thise kids who, at such an earlier stage of their life, are not even just at where I am but beyond where it's taken me a decade to be. It seems so alien to me. For a while, when I first moved into Melrose before I had a full time job, I was living off of $75 to last two weeks and though I hate to say it, more of that was going to cigarettes and PBR than to actual food. Is this this same for them? Are they paying so much in rent they still make stupid early-20-somtheing-financial-decisions such as I did or does everything just come easier to them? They seems so familiar and yet so alien in thier privilige that I want to punch them in their smug hipster faces.

There's always been a hipster problem on Captiol Hill. There's always been a "too cool for you" attidude that you just have to not give a shit about and let roll off your back. Maybe it's my own class issues and the income thing, but noting the snobby snarles aimed at me from the few hipsters up before 11 Sunday morning, irked me more than usual. That projection of "you don't belong" or you don't deserve to be here, you don't make enough money (which is probably all in my head, but still) pisses me off.

Anyway, the Deli opened and it was a cool place, I dug it. There are still places on the Hill I really like. 15th still seems pretty genuine to me. (Which, I think serves as evidence that it is partially a getting older thing, since 15th was more of the older hipster crowd I thought) Usually these days when I go up there it's to hang with Raye at Melrose and I usually bus it up there and Uber home or have Andy pick me up so I don't have to think about it as much. The thought always comes though as we drive through the hill and usually it makes me sad. However as I was musing on Sunday, it was actually making me more mad than anything. I'm not sure why. Anyway, I felt the need to write about it and get it off my chest and, as I was too busy getting things together for Ryan for the website and taking care of a sick Andy over the weekend, like everything else, I had to get around to it when I could.

This article in the Seattle Times pretty much says it all and explains everything I've been feeling, even though I don't live there anymore and no longer want to.


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