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It's a sore subject for me, what's happening to my beloved city. We've been dealing with and bitching about it for years now; the invasion of the techbros. The development catered strictly to people who make enough to afford and are willing to pay 1500 a month for a studio and 3K for a two bedroom apartment. The gentrification that has made Capitol Hill unrecognizable to me and effectivly priced out the musicians, artists and weirdos that made this city unique in the first place. Luckily I have come to terms with the fact that my days of being a Capitol Hill resident are behind me. Even though I now feel unwelcome and out of place on Capitol Hill, becasue I spent 10 years there, and I lived 5 of those in Melrose there's a part of me that feels like that's home. Now that home, which has had a target on it for a number of years for development, has succumbed to the gentrification.

The building colloquially known as Melrose has been sold to investors aiming to remodel the building to justify charging the rediculous market rates of apartments on Capitol Hill. All my former neighbors and friends, who are like my extended family, are getting the boot at the end of their leases. This is particularly shitty timing for Raye, who's trying to navigate her way through process of immigration paperwork and requirements to get Rob over here. This throws a significantly large spanner into the works for that plan. Part of me is already starting to mentally prepare for the possibility of losing my best friend instead of gaining my friend from across the pond. If I were Raye i'd surely be thinking "fuck it, I'll just try my hand at living in the UK. Seattle has made it too hard me to stay" I don't want this to be the case, and honestly, I'd be jealous as fuck, but I'd totally understand.

I figured that they'd tear the building down. In which case I'd moan on about the memories demolished, paved over for something prettier. However, it looks like they're going to refurbish the building, like I said, to get high-end renters. That somehow feels worse. Like our ilk is not welcome. Like our community is has no value. This merry band of functioning alcoholics and stoners, surrogate family members full of love and support, no longer have a place in this neighborhood they've called home for over a decade. The market dictates that if you don't pull in 100,000k a year at Amazon, then you aren't worthy to live here and that shit breaks my heart and enrages me.

Melrose was the first place I lived when I moved out of my parents' place. It's where I lived when I first learned to adult. I have so many wonderful memories there and of course some harrowing ones. It's pretty much where the bulk of my 20s happened, of experimenting and finding my independance, etc. I guess I should consider myself lucky to have had the option of affordable rent in those years. When i first moved in I was fresh from college, working odd jobs and living off of a budget of $75 to last two weeks after rent and student loans and a staggering amount of that went to cheap beer and cigarettes yet somehow I made it work and survive. It bums me out to think that that's not a thing anymore. Well, this whole thing bums me out and pisses me off. I hate that my Melrose family has been displaced. Grrr.


In more up-beat news... Andy's job has sent him to some crappy places over the years--Vegas, Phoenix, Lousiville--but finally those trips have paid off and in March he is being sent to work a convention at a resort in Puerto Rico and this lady is tagging along. I had to buy my own plane ticket, of course, and will have to pay my own expenses once I'm there but I'm down with that. We wont have a car so we are for the most part limited to the resort. However, the resort offers trips to San Juan for a self-guided walk in Old San Juan and I am definitly signing up for that. It $70 for a self guided tour, which is pretty pricey, it's more for the transport than anything. If that's my only option I'm going for it becasue it's pretty important to me. I'm just not satisfied by staying at a resort, which could be anywhere tropical. When I travel I yern for history, architecture and culture so at least I'll get a bit of that while I'm there. However I'm a bit more anxious about this than I normally would be just on account of not speaking the language but I'm working on that. The resort does have a bar in a pool and that has been a bucket list item for me for years so I'm pretty stoked about that. There's also a little private island you can go to for beach times. Hell, it might be like when I joined Andy for Vegas, I just look forward to getting out of town and reading a lot!

Yeah so January's been a pretty tough and miserable month but I'm looking forward to the chance to have new earth under my feet in March and relax and in the mean time, try to learn the basics of a new language. That's preety neat.

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