Where am I?

During my new regular routine downtown, I’ve noticed a lot of odd little things here and there, that I’d never thought would be commonplace in my life.

Shoe shines: I have yet to get my shoes shined, but not for lack of places to go. Seems like every building lobby or concourse downtown has a shoe-shine booth. In the Rainier Tower concourse by the garage elevator is George’s Shoe-Shine. One of the two seats is often occupied by one white-haired businessman or another, reading the day’s newspaper (Wall Street Journal, of course), while George brushes and shines in a rhythmic, almost dance-like manner. I see the act as a relic of another era, much like the straight-razor shave.

Lobby umbrellas: Next to many lobby desks you’ll find umbrella holders with 4-5 identical umbrellas. Forgot to bring an umbrella today? Started raining unexpectedly at your lunch break? Here, borrow one of our umbrellas.

Elevator etiquette: Oh my, there are so many unspoken rules of etiquette in elevators. There are also numerous lists of fun things to do in elevators, completely breaking most “rules.” The most basic, which had occurred to me one day, is simply facing the “wrong” direction. Reminds me a lot of this subway experiment.

I’m sure there will be more, as I get more familiar with this strange new world.

One thought on “Where am I?

  1. Ryan

    The shoe-shine culture is an interesting one. My old boss liked to get his shoes shined and took me a couple times to see George. Apparently, old George has pissed off a lot of other shoe-shiners with his predatory practices and treatment of an ex-business partner. You should ask around for the whole story – it’s a weird one.


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