Saturday, December 4, 2010
Gasworks Park, by Dr. J. Palmer
A bit ago, while reading towards the build up of SteamCon II, I came across an article from a local Seattle journalist writing for “City Arts”, which had an interesting title, specifically, “How Seattle became the center of a movement based on a history that never was“. In the article, there are a number of interesting interviews with Captain Robert from Abney Park, Mr. F. Ahmed (an owner of a local Steampunk emporium), and an overview of the Steam Rats effort to save a classic Seattle landmark clock from 1913. However, it could be seen as a bit of a bold title, and even though Mr. Hammond was writing for the local sensibilities (in my estimation), I did start to wonder, is Seattle really the unofficial capital of Steampunk?
The Hotel Seattle, in Seattle, circa 1900
The Emerald City does have quite a number of circumstances which might lend credence to this prouncement. It is the location of a very large Steampunk convention (specifically SteamCon), has outstanding Steampunk-esque builds (notably the Gasworks Park, just north of Lake Union), the home of Sepiachord (an endeavor promoting Steampunk music), and home to the Steamrats, a vibrant Steampunk community in the Puget Sound. So making such a proclamation is not beyond the realm of reasonableness.
Gasworks Park Photo, by Dr. J. Palmer
On the other hand, many other locations in the United States (e.g. Chicago, Boston, New York, New Orleans, to name a few), and other Victorian locations around the world (e.g. cities in Australia, Continental Europe, and of course, the United Kingdom), which might beg to differ with Seattle being known as the “unofficial” capital of Steampunk. The poll question is on the sidebar, and is a straightforward “yes” or “no”, and as always, the commentary section will be open for civil discourse.