Some people scoff a bit at Councilmember Nick Licata’s practice of starting Housing, Human Services, Health & Culture Committee meetings with poetry and, more recently, film clips. Critics see it as fluff, not the real work of a legislative body. I like it, though. The city is more than memos, briefings, policy and budgets. The poets always seem the most out of place in Council Chambers, but the juxtaposition can be a nice break from the usual committee table work.
This past Tuesday afternoon it was film’s turn and the guest curator was from the University of Washington Special Collections archive. She explained that in Victor Steinbrueck’s papers researchers found a short film with the note “Herbie Mann Comin’ Home Baby 24 frames per sec.” Researchers found the film was silent, but have since made a copy with the soundtrack. It’s a great “day in the life of the city” piece showing greater downtown Seattle from different angles sometime in 1968. Much of the footage is while driving through and around the edges of downtown. The skyline struck me as the most impressive part of the film. Seattle’s skyscrapers at the time were the Smith Tower, what I think is the Seattle First National building (though that building wasn’t officially dedicated until 1969) and the then six-year-old Space Needle.
Maybe someone right now is making the “day in the life of the city” people will find 40-some years from now. What would you capture to show people 40 years from now?