The House on Atlantic Street

Jean Vengua recently mentioned a recent article about the Eminent Domain Ruling made by the US Supreme Court, showing once again that big business will trump small business, no matter how viable, in our current culture.

For me, though, besides resonanting with my small business ownership past, I remember the house on Atlantic Street in Seattle. It was a huge old craftsman house boasting four bedrooms upstairs, a living room, dining room, kitchen and foyer on the main floor, and a deep cavernous basement, complete with dank corners and old appliances. It was the grand dame of her block with the first functioning intercom calling system I had ever seen (a series of bells in each room connected to a main box near the kitchen). Even as large as it was, it was barely enough room for my grandparents and their six daughters, recent immigrants to the US. I remember the pink walls and the pink carpet carved with intricate patterns. I remember the broad porch and the steep concrete steps that cascaded from the porch to the street. I remember how the windows sweat when all of us came for dinner and Lola cooked festival foods, while 'the sisters' chattered in Ilocano and Pangasinan in the kitchen. I also remember the glow of the reversible lane lights in the small room I slept in sometimes when my parents danced the night away. The house sat parallel to I-90 and in the late 80's, the state finally put the money together to expand the freeway.

I don't know if they received a fair price for the house. I just know the house isn't there and that I have a novel in my head based on that house, its rooms, its secrets, its memories. At least my brain is one space where the US Supreme Court cannot rule contrary to my wishes...at least I hope not, though with the retirement of Judge O'Connor, I gotta wonder just a bit.

1 comment:

Okir said...

Ah Seattle, one of my favorite cities. Last time I was there, I took a ferry out to the San Juans and caught the Northern Lights overhead on the way back.