Bellevue VS Rachel BelleAugust 14, 2012 @ 5:33 pm (Updated: 1:35 pm - 8/15/12 )
By Rachel Belle
Sometimes when I'm on the radio, I kind of forget I'm on the radio, and I talk smack about a person place or thing. Like, last week, when I threw Bellevue under the bus. During "Ring My Belle," I mocked the city's campaign to bring in new tourists:
"Belleuve is on this crusade to make themselves a tourist destination. They did some research and they found that a whole bunch of people were coming there to be tourists, allegedly. This is my point: Bellevue, great place to live, but you can't put this out there as a tourist destination. How upset would you be if you came over from England and you get there and you're like, cool, there's the Cheesecake Factory aaaand....that's it! You can't do that! You can't do that to the English!"
Well, two days after that aired, I got a call from our very own John Curley.
"Listen, I don't want to get you too upset, but did you say something about Bellevue the other day? Did you mention something about that the only thing they have is a Cheesecake Factory or a Dress Barn or something like that? This morning actually, at like 6:30 in the morning, I got a call from my buddy who does the PR for Bellevue. I mean, he's not one that over reacts, but he sounded really concerned on the phone. For him to call that early, I think you really pissed somebody off. I think the whole city of Bellevue [is mad at you]. This company represents all of Bellevue. I guess they're running commercials, or something, and you said there's nothing there and..."
So I had to make nice. John put me in touch with Sharon Linton, marketing manager of Visit Bellevue Washington, the campaign that I snubbed, and I invited her to come down to the studio. Man, I was nervous! I was about to go face to face with a woman who hates me. But when Sharon walked in, it was all unicorns and rainbows. Sharon said she wasn't mad at me, that no one was upset with me! What happened to the anger? The fury? Is this just typical passive aggressive Pacific Northwest behavior or has Sharon truly forgiven me for making fun of her pride and joy? That I will never know. But I do know that this tourism campaign isn't targeting the English like I had predicted. She says they're trying to target people who live within five hours of Bellevue. Sharon tried to sell me on Bellevue's natural beauty, like kayaking on Mercer Slough.
"You can see all kinds of nature. I saw a beaver dam, I saw a little otter while I was in there and a bunch of turtles. As you kayak along, you suddenly see the whole skyline of Bellevue up above you."
Sharon swears that there are other places to eat beyond the Cheesecake Factory.
"The Bravern opened up. It has John Howie steak, we've got El Gaucho, Purple Cafe has an outside dining area."
Then she hit the nail on the head: She said people play Scrabble at Crossroads Mall!
"There's a giant chess board that's always being played. Older men playing and little kids playing. There are also all kinds of game tables. There are magic games going on, Pokemon games, people playing Scrabble."
Suddenly I was drinking the Kool-Aid. Where is this Bellevue and how I can I get there?!
I still don't think we should trick the English into coming to Bellevue for a holiday, but perhaps I was a bit harsh on the old suburb. But I have to admit I was kind of looking forward to a good old fashioned smack down.
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