DURST: Hobnobbing in Seattle

The WTO protesters are flooding the streets of this town, and you couldn't ask for a nicer place to try and bring down an international trade body.Seattle is the American city where nature and civilization reside in the leafiest of harmony. The most cultivated of frontiers. Up here, the loggers are environmentalists. Where even the mahi mahi is dolphin free. A town with homeless guys in Pioneer Square yelling at unwary tourists for throwing empty bottles in the wrong waste bin. "Does that look like aluminum to you, Coat Wearer?" See, only coffee is more important than recycling in the upper left hand corner of the United States, and that's because coffee is a reason to live, while recycling is just a full time avocation.Too bad the delegates and the protesters aren't allowed to mingle: they could comfort themselves at some of the best book stores in the country to sit and sip and not communicate in. Alas, the big dog, Fidel Castro, finally decided not to apply for a visa, meaning not a single head of state accepted Clinton's invitation to come to Seattle, but they're probably just heeding the advice of their intelligence chiefs armed with inside information that the cabs are going on strike tomorrow and its going to rain all week. Will Durst can't imagine: rain in Seattle?

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