A Love Letter to Tacoma: An open letter to Amanda Knox

Helen Smith, Guest Writer

Editors Note: This is a response to an article written by Amanda Knox about a visit to Tacoma for the West Seattle Herald. Knox was tried and convited in an Italian court for the murder of her roommate, but was later acquitted.

Dear Amanda Knox,
I have most certainly heard of you. I’ve heard many stories about you, and so many of them are contradictory that I’m not sure at all about whatever it is that you did or didn’t do. Luckily for you, I’m not concerned about that at this moment. Unluckily for you, I am mortally offended by your article in the West Seattle Herald about your impromptu visit to my hometown of Tacoma.

First of all, I’m wondering, why did you write an article about Tacoma for the people of West Seattle? Is Tacoma a secret? It’s hardly even forty minutes down the freeway. Is Tacoma like that one weird family member that all of you up in Seattle don’t like to talk about? I really don’t think so. Seattle and Tacoma even share an airport, it’s called SeaTac.

Your article is a little like my friend telling me about this great burger restaurant and then revealing to me that it’s called McDonald’s.

My next problem with your article is you admit yourself that you only spent “a few hours” downtown, and then decided that the place is “spooky,” and “kitschy.” A few hours is hardly enough time to figure out what Tacoma has to offer. I’ve been here for 18 years, and I’m still surprised by what I find every now and then. I’m not saying that I never find Tacoma a little scary, but it’s mostly because of how popular it is to wear socks with sandals.

I’m not saying your opinion of Tacoma is wrong, exactly. I just think you’re mistaken. Tacoma has been a huge part of my life, and my overall impression is that it’s a pretty charming place to be. For a city it’s size there’s a lot of diversity. There are decades old family favorites, like Frisco Freeze; outdoor opportunities throughout the city, like Point Defiance Park; beautiful waterfront views like on Ruston Way; and little stores with a lot of character, like the antique shop you visited. You’d think you were in a different city if you went from downtown to Proctor. Tacoma has a lot to offer, aside from what you’ve seen.

So, Amanda, I suggest we settle this. I’d be happy to show you around, or take you to tea, or find you a Tacoma brochure. Whatever works best for you. I think you have a lot to learn.

Sincerely,
Helen

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