In the last week I was on the same bus as an old co-blogger from an earlier blog, I saw a writer of a blog I used to read back in the day and who was a Drinking Liberally regular at the Columbia City Farmer’s Market, and randomly bumped into another friend — who isn’t associated with politics or blogging — while out walking. That’s more than most weeks, sure, but it’s hardly uncommon. And I wonder what it is about Seattle (and me) that makes that sort of thing happen.
Part of it is simply that I’ve lived in the area for a long time so the number of people to accidentally run into is higher. But part of it is Seattle. I ran into those people on transit or on foot, and the city and county have invested a lot of money in those things. Of course, the primary reason for those investments is to get people around, but it’s a nice side effect to run into people you know.
I don’t really think of it as a suburban thing.* When I lived in suburbia (both growing up without a car and as an adult with one) there were a few places where you would see people. So at a coffee shop, a restaurant, a bar, or even the Post Office, you would run into a bunch of other people also there for the coffee shop, restaurant, bar or post office. But not as much out and about or commuting.
* Although I did run into my cousin the last time I was at the Lake Forest Park Farmer’s Market, but that’s maybe more of the type of thing I’m talking about in the rest of the paragraph.