When summer hits Seattle, there is no better place to be. Gray skies give way to a brilliant blue canvas framed by the ragged purple mountain peaks that surround us. We diligently head to the beach, the park, or the backyard to bask in the glory of that big ball of burning gas in the sky, knowing better than most Americans what the sun is capable of. It can awaken our long-forgotten cravings to taste a deeply sweet milkshake or move us to commit a petty crime against a high-class hotel to stay cool. It can inspire us to shed our clothes, paint our nipples purple, and coast through the city streets. And it can bring out the tourist in each one of us, shedding all that natural light on parts of our town we’ve somehow never noticed before.
Unfortunately, all of Seattle’s summer isn’t exactly summery. Those looking for something to complain about—and who among us isn’t?—will find plenty of gripes. It’s always a little too hot (68 degrees) or a little too cold (64 degrees). One day you’ll be searching furiously for sunglasses, the next a cardigan. The Mariners manage to manufacture foolish hope and deep despair in a weekly cycle. And then there is the traffic. Oh, the traffic!
And yet, we Seattleites are a resilient bunch. We will squeeze the last living drop of shine out of those glorious sunbreaks, and then we will don our summer jackets and search for more as the rain falls around us. This guide will help you in that hunt for joy. The good news is that The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a warmer summer; the bad news is that it also predicts a wetter-than-normal season. Bring it, we say. We’re ready. MARK BAUMGARTEN
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