A catalog of Seattle ads

Seattle's independent newspaper, The Stranger, is nationally famous for Dan Savage's column. It is irreverent and a bit "edgy." In reflecting on the differences between North Carolina and Seattle, the Independent Weekly is the closest North Carolina equivalent I can think of. However, the Independent is not very close. To demonstrate, here's a list of all the advertisements in the Stranger vol 28 no 13 (Feb 13, 2019).

The ads

These ads are listed in order. I typed these in by hand. I made up these categories. I don't know much about most of these so I made guesses e.g. that "The George & Dragon Pub" is more alcohol than restaurant.

Ad Category
PCC Community Markets Grocery store
Oleum extracts Marijuana
Ruckus recreational cannabis Marijuana
Real estate broker Real estate
Seattle Drum School of Music Summer camps
Bud light Alcohol
The Reef cannabis Marijuana
King County charter review Government
Eyes on Fremont Eyeglasses
Distilled organics Alcohol
Natural American Spirit Tobacco
Seattle Sounders Sports
Seattle Warehouse Clothes
Bedrooms & more Mattress
Sodo vision care Eyeglasses
LiveMatch.com Sex
Zymurgy Alcohol
Underdog sports leagues Sports activities
The Grange Gas station ??
99 tunnel Government
Bikecitement Bicycles
Moisture Festival Cultural
Heritage distilling Alcohol
Timothy De Clue Drinking glasses
Chophouse Row Restaurants
gilmansmith Metal shop space
Cloud lift cellars Alcohol
Plate of Nations Restaurants
Fluffybutts Pet sitting
Highline Restaurants (vegan)
Feminist Karate Union Sports activities
Barberella's barbershop Haircuts
The Stranger The Stranger
Dockside Cannabis Marijuana
Urban Animal Veterinarian
Champion Party Supply Party supplies
The Ballroom Restaurants
Beer Star Alcohol
3W Healthcare
Orange Dracula Dime store
Livible.com Storage
Events & Adventures Social clubs
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Government
Barleywine festival Alcohol
Herb(n) Elements Marijuana
365 Recreational Cannabis Marijuana
Oz. Marijuana
Satori Marijuana
Margie's Pot Shop Marijuana
Holy Smoke Marijuana
Katie Herzog The Stranger
Canna Republic Marijuana
Seattle Fantasy Maid Sex
MegaMates Sex
Livelinks Sex
Seattle Erotic Festival Cultural
Guyspy Voice Sex
Trichome Marijuana
Pan Eros Foundation Sex
Rock of Ages Musical
A + P Quarterly The Stranger
Frame Central Picture frames
Seattle Art Museum Cultural
Autobiography Company Wayne McGregor Cultural
The Salem Witch Orgasms Cultural
Batsheva Dance Company Cultural
Mercer Island Thrift Shop Shopping
Emerald City Comic Con Cultural
Early Riser by Jasper Fforde Books
A. I. M. Cultural
The Showbox Music
Nectar Lounge Music
Bites of Bangkok Comedy
Meryhew Law Group Lawyers
The Central Music
The Stranger's Geek Issue The Stranger
Seattle Opera Cultural
Hard Rock Cafe Music
Mike Thrasher Presents Music
The Point Casino & Hotel Casino
STG Presents Music
Columbia City Theater Music
Neptune Music
Century Ballroom Sports activities
Century Ballroom (again) Sports activities
McCaw Hall Cultural
the triple door Music
Parlor Live Comedy
Moore Theater Comedy
Tractor Music
Neumos Music
Stranger Tickets Cultural
The Crocodile Music
Club Z Sex
Cocktails at the Ruins Social clubs
Pony Sex
Balkan Night Cultural
The Coathangers Music
The Stranger The Stranger
Classic Seattle Watering Holes Alcohol
Highline Music
Sea Monster Lounge Music
Trinity Night club
STG Silent Movie Mondays Movies
Scarecrow Project Movies
The Stranger presents Spliff The Stranger
SIFF Cinema Movies
Grand Illusion Cinema Movies
Central Cinema Movies
Gluten Free food/alcohol Restaurants
Cutting Board Restaurants
The George & Dragon Pub Alcohol
Sisters and Brothers Restaurants
TNT Taqueria Restaurants
Zeeks Restaurants
Happy hour on Capitol Hill Alcohol
El Camino Restaurants
Athenian Restaurants
Uncle Eddie's Restaurants
South Town Pie Restaurants
Elephant & Castle Alcohol
Biscuit Bitch Restaurants
Sansei seafood restaurant Restaurants
The Stranger's food & drink The Stranger
il Bistro Restaurants
Stellar pizza Restaurants
Pacific Inn Pub Alcohol
University Seafood & Poultry Grocery store
Little Maria's Pizza Restaurants
Uncle Ike's Marijuana
Twice Sold Tales Bookstores
The Joint Marijuana
Herban Legends Marijuana
Cannabis City Marijuana
Herbs House Marijuana
Curved Papers Marijuana
ponder Marijuana
Have a Heart Marijuana

Totals by category

Category Count
20 Marijuana
18 Restaurants
15 Music
12 Alcohol
11 Cultural
9 Sex
7 The Stranger
5 Movies
4 Sports activities
3 Government
3 Comedy
2 Social clubs
2 Grocery store
2 Eyeglasses
1 Veterinarian
1 Tobacco
1 Summer camps
1 Storage
1 Sports
1 Shopping
1 Real estate
1 Picture frames
1 Pet sitting
1 Party supplies
1 Night club
1 Musical
1 Metal shop space
1 Mattress
1 Lawyers
1 Healthcare
1 Haircuts
1 Gas station ??
1 Drinking glasses
1 Dime store
1 Clothes
1 Category
1 Casino
1 Bookstores
1 Books
1 Bicycles

For anyone interested in how I built this summary table

Grand totals produced by copying the org-mode table that has the raw data and then running

pbpaste | perl -F\\\| -lne '$_=$F[2]; s/^\s+//; s/\s+$//; print $_' \
  | sort | uniq -c | sort -nr | pbcopy

and then pasting the result back into Emacs and building a macro with C-x ( .. C-x ) to convert the result into a table. There's probably a way to do this in Emacs.

Qualitative differences

Besides the counts, there are some other key differences from the Independent:

  • Many of the "sex" items are about sex-positive culture rather than just 900 numbers.
  • Federal, state, and local government are advertising in the Stranger.
  • The Feminist Karate Union runs activities all over town.
  • No car/car repair advertisements.
  • Fewer bookstore advertisements than I'd expect; there is a strong independent bookstore network here.