I took this picture in a small atrium overlooking the lobby of the Seattle Library, designed by Rem Koolhaas and opened a year ago. As Mara and I enjoyed the cool, green light, we overheard a conversation that went something like this:Middle-age woman to her husband: I can't believe they spent so much money on this thing.Husband: It's absurd. What's in a library? Books. You don't need all this other stuff.Middle-age woman to Mara: What a waste of money, right?Mara: [Flabbergasted]People raise the same argument when cities build new sports stadiums. Of course, stadiums bring in huge amounts of revenue and, the last time I checked, libraries were free. On the other hand, stadiums house teams owned by zillionaires who, the last time I checked, could probably afford to build the stadiums themselves.In any case, the taxpayers of Seattle have contributed to the construction of an amazing public space where EVERYONE can go, read, hang out FREE OF CHARGE and be inspired by the wisdom of the ages surrounding them. I can't imagine a better environment in which to do this. Citizens of Seattle, I salute you.