From the ARCADE Issue 36.1 feature,"ARCADE at 35: A Retrospective." Articles from the issue will release online over the following weeks. Subscribe to receive ARCADE in print.

Peter Miller at the ARCADE Reunion BBQ

Issue 32.2 Launch Party. Photo by Cole Benson

Seattle is a clever town. So clever, deep in its DNA, proud to be the source of The Wave, weirded out to be the source of Ted Bundy, proud of its real estate people, proud that the Kingdome saved money on fewer bathrooms, proud that Amazon is paving it, proud when Microsoft and Boeing use their forces to dominate.

We are corporate, the franchise capital of the Northwest. Things start here, but their point is the rest of the world. So clever. We place a value on this and sometimes even a dangerous value. We are proud when Starbucks brings a cappuccino to every corner of this land. And then proud to not use Starbucks.

But we also have another side. We love Edgar Martinez and Pearl Jam and London Plane bread, and we love that the Walrus and the Carpenter should be in every other sea town, yet there is nothing even nearly like it anywhere else. We love that NPR's BirdNote comes from a woman in Langley, Washington. We love independence, brilliance, intuition, character, intention, attention. Who does not?

But, often, we miss each other—the wind or rain or streets or habits or indolence. We miss each other. That is why ARCADE matters. It is just one of those things that makes it possible for A to meet B, and both to learn about C.

Otherwise, we are dangerously prone to just clever. And little is drearier than just clever.