Friday, April 22, 2005

Bellingham / Whatcom County Rural Character; NOT

I came here from a much smaller community over in eastern Washington.

Pullman.

To me, Bellingham was a "big city."

It even had two Colonel Sander's Kentucky Fried Chicken places. Pullman had none, back in the mid 1970s when I came for college.

So much shopping in Bellingham. Hustle and bustle.

Pullman had practically nothing. Shoppers would go over to Moscow, Idaho for lower sales tax.

When I came to Bellingham, I thought I was moving to a city. Compared to Pullman, it was.

Now I find there are things I like about "city life;" like a better climate for gay people.

Working night shift, I also appreciate a city that doesn't close down at sundown. What happens if one wants to eat a normal meal during my working hours?

Some say ungodly hours?

Bellingham's got a ways to go, compared to 24 hour Vancouver, BC., but it's a lot bigger than Pullman.

In some ways, it feels like a big city with a small town mind set.

Some find it socially stifling, professionally stifling, yet still clogged with traffic.

The bad things about "small town" and "big city" life.

Stifling, limiting, but still hassled.

Pullman, on the other hand, is much smaller, and the rural area around the town - It really is rural.

Thousand acre wheat ranches. Roads with hardly a house in sight.

On Whatcom County roads one hardly ever looses sight of showboat homes everywhere. Mini marts galore.

Tiny Pullman was, and still is, kind of sophisticated for its size. A college town where WSU is located.

Bellingham has more than one college, but the college town feel is more diluted by tons and tons of commercial businesses all over the place.

Pullman has some new businesses now, but when I was a kid, one nearly had to travel to hustling Spokane in order to see neon.

Spokane, NEON.!

I enjoy living in Bellingham, but maybe I wouldn't if I hadn't sought out and developed lots of good friendships here.

Just about any place can be, in part, what one makes it.

3 comments:

eegan said...

Do you really believe that any any place can be what one makes it? The ingredients have to be there. For instance, I live in New Orleans. New Orleans cannot be made into anything else other than what is no matter how hard one tries. You go with it. The other day a nutcase was singing in the street, "Nawlins you can do whatever the f--k you want and nobody gives a sh-t. Can that be said of Bellingham. Because, if it can I will move there. Please let me know.

Robert said...

I believe just about any place, in part, can be what you make it. Only in part. Yes, you do have to have some things. Bellingham is often thought of as cold and clammy. Shades drawn. While I have never been to Nawlins, New Orleans, I hear people describe it as a party town. In Bellingham, one can get the feeling that only the college students party and enough of them party to make a mess, but the rest of us aren't invited. Often people ask about Bellingham, where is everyone? Must be our subdued climate. This city is often called "land of subdued excitement." Some people find cultural life in the Pacific Northwest a bit standoffish.

Robert said...

PS. there are a lot of police here, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing.