Charles Hadrann misses old Seattle. As a guy who was born and raised in the city, he’s certainly not alone in lamenting the change that has taken place in his hometown, especially the rapid growth of the past five to 10 years. But as a small business owner, he’s also not shy about letting his customers and passersby in the Fremont neighborhood know how he feels about it all.
“Seattle sucks now,” reads the new bumper sticker on the window of Wright Bros. Cycle Works, a bike repair shop that Hadrann started in 1974 and that he’s run out of the same old building on North 36th Street since 1984.
Hadrann didn’t make the sticker. It bears no indication of its creator. But he said two women came into the shop one day to ask if he wanted any of them…
Of course I do, he told them. Now the sticker — and a bold pronunciation about the city where he has lived for 66 years — jumps out next to others on the window advertising bike parts or proclaiming his business as a “Best Places Seattle” location.
The lowercase typeface is unmistakably the same as that used by Amazon, and the “seattle” in front of “sucks now” even has the tech giant’s signature smile logo beneath it.
“A lot of us who are from Seattle, we talk about how it’s just out of control. They have overdeveloped Seattle,” Hadrann said, when asked why he put up the sticker. And while he’s quick to blame city government — including everyone from the Council to the Mayor’s office to the Department of Planning and Development — Amazon gets a fair share of Hadrann’s ire.
“Their business practice is predatory,” he said. “They put out how many thousands of bookstores? Doesn’t matter if it’s a shoe company, doesn’t matter whether it’s a chocolate factory. Thank God they can’t do repair service … so that’s what I do.”
Hadrann is thankful that he not only owns his business, but the building it occupies… read more >