Nathan Vass has been sharing his observations as a bus driver with The Urbanist for nine years. From the first conversation chronicles and desaturated photos, he has been building an honest and nuanced portrait of a living Seattle. There’s no Instagram filters here, and that’s fine. Not because the city’s bumps and bruises are beautiful, but because they’re evidence of human lives and interactions.
And that’s the quiet part of what makes Nathan’s columns and artwork so touching. We come to hear about the tons of steel that he navigates through the city streets. We stay for the empathic eye of the artist who is observing the city coming and going from this “mobile living room.” For this podcast, I got to talk with Nathan about the hard work of transit, art, living in a city, and what it means to move people across a city. It was a conversation full of insights and surprises.
We want to know your thoughts, opinions, and sites you have seen from a transit window. Reach out to us at podcast [at] theurbanist.org.
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Ray Dubicki is a stay-at-home dad and parent-on-call for taking care of general school and neighborhood tasks around Ballard. This lets him see how urbanism works (or doesn’t) during the hours most people are locked in their office. He is an attorney and urbanist by training, with soup-to-nuts planning experience from code enforcement to university development to writing zoning ordinances. He enjoys using PowerPoint, but only because it’s no longer a weekly obligation.