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Dejà Vu Showgirls – 1510 1st Avenue – Downtown – Seattle, WA

Once upon time 1st Avenue, better known as skid row, was the premier place in Seattle for dive bars that served up cheap schooners of Pabst Blue Ribbon or Rainier, alcoholic street people, strip clubs, pornography, pimps, cheap prostitutes, cheaper rooms, drugs, robbery, and general mayhem. It was the kind of place where the cops would pull you over during the day if you looked like you belonged in the suburbs and strongly encouraged you to leave town.

The effect that 1st Ave. had on the rest of downtown wasn’t all that much different from having a drag queen third cousin from Walla Walla show up unannounced for Christmas dinner reeking of cigars, whiskey, and with every intention of staying around through New Years. The kind of person that held a deep love for bright blue boas, hoop earrings, and wasn’t the least bit self-conscious about yelling, “Fabulous!”, upon hearing that midget ‘rassling was coming to town. The kind of soul that could cause an awkward silence to break out during a bar fight.

1st Ave. was a glorious capitol to everything decadent and embarrassing in life.

Then quite suddenly some years ago the whole place started to fall apart as it transitioned from a red light district to a rezone of high-rise condos, hotels with valet parking, tourist shops, downtown ambassadors on bikes that encourage you to stay, an art museum, fancy pants night clubs serving up $5.00 craft ales, and the final death rattle, a Target store, which just arrived this month.

Barely anything is left that points to Seattle’s past when it was a town that lived and died by shipping, logging, and fishing; things that had to be plucked from the land and sea. Places like 1st Ave. were as organic as the organic kale sold today, one street over, in Pike Place Market. It grew the way it did because of the endless demands by those men, who worked in those hard industries, for woman and getting messed up. Fornication and fighting are something of a universal truth in the right circumstances.

What is left that reflects the original character of 1st Ave. are the buildings, the street people, the street thugs, buskers, and this one last strip club now known as a gentleman’s club. What’s up with this place? One on One talk booths? This is what 1st Ave. has come too: a place where men pay woman money to repeat some crappy porn script they have in their heads and play with their dicks. This is sad, sick, and utterly emasculating. Good God, what a load, and I don’t mean the type that cause balls to turn blue. The only thing that is even remotely slick in this place is the store front.

What a pathetic headstone on the grave of that time when 1st Ave. was dirty, disgusting, and, deadly. And yes, utterly alive with hard men.

Copyright 2012 By Katherine Johnson – All Rights Reserved.