EXPLORING – summer in seattle

I’ve been back home in Seattle for a couple of weeks now, and while the weather and I may have gotten off to a bit of a rocky start, old mother nature is turning on the charm and more than making up for her past misdeeds this week. Oh glorious summer – how I love thee!

Summer in the northwest is a bit different from the rest of the country. Due to our innumerable days of rain and dark grey gloominess, it only takes the slightest hint of sun to send people into a summertime frenzy. They just can’t wait to whip out the shorts, t-shirts, and you guessed it… sun dresses. It may only be 70 degrees outside, but in the hearts of Seattleites it is a balmy 87.

Those first few days of sunny weather in Seattle always make me think of this song by Regina Spektor. The first line goes like this – “Summer in the city means cleavage, cleavage, cleavage…” It sure does. The more skin the better is our unofficial motto, and even though we are extremely ill prepared for the sun after so many months without, we are not deterred in the slightest.

Bring it on sun – show me what you’ve got.

As all those pasty white bods turn various shades of less white, pink, and unbearably painful looking red; the sun has the last laugh. We relish our brief season of summer and pack a years worth of activity into two all too short months. Everywhere you go, everyone else is there too. Any outdoor venue you can possible think of is jam packed with people trying to absorb as much summer lovin’ as possible.

While here in Seattle I am staying with a couple of super awesome friends, R+M. They house me, they feed me, and all I have to do is cook and clean – pretty sweet deal, pretty sweet people. This past weekend, we ventured down to Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill to absorb a little sunshine of our own.

I had lived for several years in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle and had visited the Cal Anderson Park numerous times, but until writing this post I had no clue who Cal Anderson was. I wonder who else was as ignorant of this man as I.

Cal Anderson was the first openly gay legislator in Washington way back in 1987. He went on to become a state senator in 1994. He was a decorated war veteran, serving the US Army during Vietnam. During his political career as a Democrat he fought for gay rights and anti-discrimination initiatives, campaign finance reform, and easier voter registration among other things. Sadly he passed away in 1995 from an AIDS related illness. In 2003 the Cal Anderson Park was dedicated in his honor and memory.

The park itself also has a bit of history. It began life as an adjunct to the Lincoln Reservoir which was finished in 1901 as a response to the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. The park later became know as the Broadway Playfield and underwent a mass makeover when they covered the reservoir in 2005.

All of this history, right under our toes…

It was a great day spent with wonderful people in a beautiful park in a fabulous city. I hope you are all enjoying summer, wherever you may be.

And now for a word from my father – “Don’t forget the sunscreen!”

Thanks for reading!

-Rene

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