Monday, March 29, 2010

End of an Era

I'm happy that Elliott Bay Book Company is moving to my neighborhood, but it still makes me sad to see them leave their original Pioneer Square location. I worked in Pioneer Square off and on for seven years, and Elliott Bay was where I spent my lunch hours. It was there, at age eighteen, that I fell in love with Walt Whitman and Nikos Kazantzakis, where, at twenty-one, I developed crushes on Jeanette Winterson and Mary Oliver and also a literary trustaffarian named Devon, who was a great conversationalist and a bad kisser. Till I was twenty five, I went there bleary from break-ups, dizzy with inspiration or infatuation; I went there when I was looking for research materials for plays I was acting in, then plays I was doing dramaturgy for, and then eventually for books that would help me to write: John Gardner, Anne Lamott, Vivian Gornick. I would take their books with me to New York as I started to write my first solo show and first book, Yoga Bitch. My bookshelves at home are the result of so many lunch hours spent in that treehouse of a bookstore, wondering if I could buy all the books I desperately needed and still pay my rent.

Oh, deep sigh.

(I can't resist-- that 'Oh deep sigh' is a line stolen from a Ginsberg poem. I bought the book containing that poem, "Elegy for Neal Cassady," at Elliott Bay.)

So, yeah, deep sigh. But also . . . hello, old friend! Welcome to my neighborhood! I can feel myself getting poorer with every day that brings you closer to my house!

More details about the move here, on the Slog.


Erin said...

I bet we won't even drink wine anymore, we'll just meet for long chats amongst the shelves of Elliot Bay. It will be so good for our livers!

SM said...

You are hysterical. You know that it's going to be within a stone's throw of a dozen bars, right?

Kate said...

SO SAD! That was one of the few reasons I ever went down there.

SM said...

Kate, that was the only reason anybody I knew ever went down there! That's why they're moving.