Lynden, Washington, "the Queen of the Nooksack Valley": Lynden is the American Dutch capital of the West Coast—not so much in a touristy way, but in a tall, blonde, moneygrubbing, dazzlingly superficial, authentic American Dutch way. No other phonebook has so many names beginning in "Vander" or ending in "-sma". (At the time this definition was written, the mayor and three out of the seven council members had Dutch last names: Korthuis, Bode, Kuiken, and Laninga). There is a church on almost every corner, and Lynden is conservative to ultraconservative and proudly CRC (Christian Reformed). Lynden actually has city ordinances requiring the meticulous maintenance of lawns. Everyone is related to everyone. The wives of Lynden are tall, skinny, tan, and plastered in makeup; for some inexplicable reason, they all have spiky, highlighted hair. Front Street is overrun every day by Asian tourists who find the Dutch fake fronts that decorate its buildings exciting enough to stop the bus on their way to and from Canada. Thus, the very buildings of Lynden are a metaphor for its people. If you live in Lynden, you know the phrase, "If you ain't Dutch, you ain't much."
Still, Lynden has good public and private schools, the Northwest Washington Fair, very little violence, lots of trees, and a Little Caesar's, so it's not all for loss. And, well, superficial people are people, too.
To be fair, names ending in "-sma" are Frisian, not Dutch, but Lyndenites don't even make the distinction.
The people of Lynden really are, in general, all of these things, but they are not racist, if anything above came across that way, and they do make an effort to be nice and upstanding. (And fortunately plastic surgery has not caught on.)
Prices shown in USD.
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