it always seems like it never snows in seattle, but it actually does almost every year, for like a day, or at least an overnight dusting.
we homegrown seattleites know folks from eastern washington, eastern oregon, idaho, and montana laugh at us and say, “that’s not snow.”
like when you meet those folks at work in the morning, the ones that get in earlier when it snows, laughing to themselves, getting to work early just to greet you, when you walk in the office wet, breathing fog, just to be able to say to you “what took you so long?” …. as you pregnant pause, then finally give in, and admit the snowy roads made you a little extra cautious, and the commute took longer than you expected (of course it did, because YOU don’t know how to drive in the snow).
well, when i was a kid (over 3 and a half decades ago, ugh), it seemed to snow here pretty hard and consistently every year. not as much as the eastern part of the northwest, but enough to get me stoked, when in the AM (right after starblazers on channel 11), the AM radio announcer would do the role call through the list of schools who got out of school because the roads WERE ACTUALLY TOO DANGEROUS to drive on back then. especially the windy ones down to issaquah from pine lake, where the suburban sprawl was farmland.
the poor kids in the banana belt never caught a break back then, like some of the seattle kids did this year. yeah seattle kids, i might be an old ass man, but i noticed you got a snow day already this year, before christmas. i secretly got stoked for you, even though i can still pretend to roll and role with the other oldies, and hate on snow for its dangerous annoyance in the streets.
if you’ve been feeling like an immigrant, or a refugee, at your home in seattle, and are sick of being an outsider, AND saw the snow on the ground yesterday (1/1/2017), well now you can finally call yourself a local. that’s what it takes to call yourself a local in seattle: one good snow story. and now there’s new meaning to the “seattle freeze.”
(another thing, besides being part of the seattle snow witnesses, that makes you a local: remembering what something used to be, like a condo in ballard where a denny’s and bowling alley used to be).
yes, even if you’re from california or new york, and everyone blames you for mean people and shitty traffic. you can call yourself a local if you get mail here, or live on your girlfriend’s couch, and have witnessed snow on the ground. bonus points for actually going out in it. double bonus points for going out and having fun in it. triple points for commuting to work in it.
yes, even if you’re an east indian who keeps getting blamed for amazon campus, and suburban district condo sprawl. if this is your first sight of snow, you are most definitely a local now. if not, double points for being able to quote snow from a previous year. triple points for a backhand sarcastic comment like, “ever hear of the ganges or the himalayas?”
the snow storm of 1991 was probably one of my favorites. i was well quipped in driving my first car, a white, 1983 subaru brat (go figure), and lived on the 7th floor of the Bay Vista Tower (2nd and Broad). although, that fun quickly ended when i was doing doughnuts in the tower records parking lot (now qfc tower), and hit a curb hiding in the SUPER SUPER DEEPEST SNOW EVVERRR.
after that ordeal, messing up my 4×4 brat in snowmageddon ’91 (quit laughing eastern northwest), i had to walk around seattle to get my kicks. good thing too… for i got to witness and take part in sledding down denny avenue on box spring mattresses, cardboard, and whatever else was laying around curbside pickup. someone was smart enough to pull one of those mattresses out (it was probably some san franciscan punk rocker with experience (capitol hill before amazon wasn’t so “little bellevue,” just old money, punks and gays back in the day)). i was too chicken to ride that, but it struck me as hella cool (i’m not worthy). those dudes were hauling ass down denny ave on capitol hill, and by the time they hit the I5 overpass, they hauled ass even moreso, as they descended to cross stewart st..
not a fear in the world on that racing, screaming box spring mattress, because there were no cars on the roads; they were caked with snow and ice. that was before snow plows were really a thing in downtown seattle. i think we had one or two, but they were probably too busy cleaning up counterbalance on queen anne hill.
happy snow day, yesterday. go hawks!
that reminds me, speaking of snow, like snow on astroturf… one other thing that makes you a local: when you get really excited about the seahawks or mariners doing really well the whole season, then choking right at the end. a choke that keeps them out of the playoffs, or right before the end of the playoffs, for some off reason… like not utilizing beastmode when it could’ve won the superbowl.
now THAT’s a plain as day, normal, local seattleite experience. THAT’S what being a seattlelite is all about. not just guilt, regret, and embarassment, but major disappointment that gets you tail spun in a good hard depression to match the clouds in the sky, and the tailpipe smog laden snow on the side of the road.