On January 18th, my favorite music store in Seattle closed. And in no more than one week later, the shelter I once found comfort in, is already in disassemble. A chain link fence has closed around it, and where Eastside exterior wall once rotated a seemingly endless palette of painted album covers and music posters, there’s a hole where the wooden framing has become exposed. It’s hard to see. I don’t want to remember my old home in this way.
When I first moved to Seattle, I had a studio apartment located on 3rd and West Olympic, about four blocks from Easy Street. I grew up in the NW on Whidbey Island, but until then never experienced life inside The Emerald City… and what a better place than lower Queen Anne to start? After all, I had a view of the Space needle from my bathroom. And I could step out my door at anytime of night and stroll down the street to lift my spirits… which became one of my favorite past times. My typical walkabouts would eventually wind me into the Easy Street isles, where I’d start at the new releases to eye what was on arrival. I’d then hop into the used collection, to peruse, while taking note of the latest staff picks on display. I’d follow that with a phone booth and headphones to find something I hadn’t heard to turn me on. Easy Street Queen Anne was a home away from home for me when I was lonely in a new place. A warm alcove on a wet Seattle night. A place to satisfy a craving musical appetite. Places like this are more than just stores, or businesses. I personally believe that they serve the community, and the quality of life offered in our neighborhoods. They give our neighborhoods and homes a sense of place… a sense of place that’s not just like every other american town, or street with a Safeway, a Starbucks, and chosen handful of any given bank.
There are still numerous independent music stores which will continue to carry the torch – including the Easy Street Records that remains in West Seattle. And I take comfort in that. But as I see businesses like these leave our communities, I cannot help but be concerned. And it’s not just about them leaving, but it’s what we are filling their spaces with.
They Destroyed Paradise and Put Up a Bank
The word on the street is that a new bank is moving in. Apparently we do not have enough Chase banks in the city, and in close enough proximity to each other. So, as a great service to the people and community of Lower Queen Anne, the void of Easy Street will be filled by your favorite big bank. Make sure to stop by and welcome them to the neighborhood.
And all the while…
In the midst of it all, I keep getting banks offering my band credit cards, and bank accounts. But all I want is a weekend show… and not to have banks breathing down my neck.
– Jon Lanman