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Entering Rosalyn - The inexplicable charisma of the rival — LiveJournal [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
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Entering Rosalyn [May. 31st, 2005|12:25 pm]
Just me.

now stop laughing, that's what the sign said.

Spent the Monday holiday on a random road trip down I-90 with Ivan and Sally (the dog). Elected to stop in Rosalyn, the town best known as "the place they filmed Northern Exposure". The main "downtown" strip has familiar landmarks, such as "The Brick", the radio station (still intact, though all the stuff inside is dusty and fading), and the mural the moose walks by in the opening credits. Rosalyn used to be a coal mining town, but started dying in the 50's and 60's (when the last mine was closed) and somehow hung on between then and the coming of TV tourists.

It's a weird little town; there can't be enough NE fans to keep the tourism afloat, and it seems to have no industry to speak of, but it doesn't feel like a dying town. There are 4 or 5 restaurants in the downtown area, including a hippie-ish coffee shop that has vegan (and/or meat) sandwiches. It's kinda in a valley, so if you were stopping off the interstate for food and gas, you'd probably go to Cle Ellum (about 10 miles away) instead. Almost all the houses have metal roofs, which I'm guessing is a practical move (because of snow accumulation?) rather than a cost-saving consideration.

We wandered around the residential area; there were lots of abandoned houses that seemed neither boarded up nor for sale. We made up possible explanations for the weird vibe we got: Stephen King-esque small town with an unspoken, sinister secret (Ivan's theory), or meth production capital of the I-90 corridor (my theory). The occupied houses seemed to be in a constant state of renovation, like everyone was waiting for the money or time to fix them. That, or for the meth to wear off.

weirdest thing of all: the Hippie cafe sold ice cream cones from a very small cooler, so they could only offer 4 flavors at a time. The flavors were Chocolate, vanilla, rainbow sherbert, and ...licorice?! I can see offering Licorice if you're already offering 20+ other flavors, but my guess is it's not in the top 4 by sales in most areas. Either someone who works at that cafe is really fond of Licorice and orders it because they like it, or the town's Sinister Secret is that it's the licorice ice cream capitol of the Western US.

Spent the rest of the day taking the dog to swim in a nearby lake, then drove back to seattle and hit a few thrift stores having Memorial day half-off sales. Most notable purchase was the store's entire stock of bowling balls (12)(normally 99 cents each, 49 cents each on Monday) that Ivan felt I needed for my yard, since they were so cheap. I used to have Bowling balls as yard ornaments back in Ohio, but I elected not to move them across country for obvious reasons. I had not bought any more since moving here and didn't feel an overwhelming urge to buy 12 bowling balls at once, but hey. Ivan has a plan to mount them on rebar posts in my yard, which I think will be fun. I suspect over the years my yard may become a playground for artists that want to build crazy stuff to be displayed outside, but can't because they rent or don't have yard space. okay by me.

[User Picture]From: colvincd
2005-05-31 07:36 pm (UTC)
I'm not laughing, but only because my famliy is so familar with the area it's not even funny (25+ years).

Much of Roslyn and nearby Ronald are essentally tourist towns, the kind of places where people own a second home to the one they already have in Seattle or Bellevue. Much of the economy is propped up by them, the campers that go through on their way to Salmon La Sac and parts north, and the fact that it's essentally a suburb of Cle Elum. It's also a sort of bedroom community because people actually commute from there into the city for thier jobs. The town has always looke like that. If there's any meth, it's probably being made up in the hills.

I'm told The Brick has good pizza, but I wouldn't know because I've never actually eaten there.
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[User Picture]From: ringbark
2005-06-01 05:52 am (UTC)


There is a small town in New Zealand, north of Auckland, called Rodney.
Rumour has it that on the highway into town there is a sign saying
"You are now entering Rodney"
and on the way out, a sign saying
"Rodney thanks you"
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[User Picture]From: gryph
2005-06-01 05:29 pm (UTC)
Rosalyn has an awesome cemetery up there. I got some wonderful photos there.

I love the river that runs through that area, but haven't been able to find access since they fenced the access I'm used to.
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