Seattle 2015 Update #2 - Biking While Bouncing
I've gotten 20 emails shouting "Seattle! Seattle! I LOVE SEATTLE! It's my favorite city!" People LOVE Seattle. It's noticeable.
Where I come from people say "I'm from DC" and if I ask they might say yeah, I like DC. Great city.
Here - whole different thing. It's like an explosion.
I say "Seattle" and there's an instant visceral response "Seattle! I LOVE Seattle!"
How can you love a place where it rains all the time?
People love London, too. So I guess it's possible.
I met my first real Seattleite archetypes on the plane. Walking talking embodiments of this city.
Sitting across from me were two very cool guys, tattoos on their hands! (like Indian henna but even cooler,) boots and jeans with rolled cuffs, cool hair, totally fashion forward urban-hipster.
They were very gay.
And very married.
You can be gay and married in Seattle! Since 2012.
My cab driver said Seattle has tons of gays, and they make Seattle a great city because they love the lively arts, good food, and laughing. He said the mayor is gay. I just googled it - my cabbie was right, he is! An openly gay, openly married mayor of a major city!
Me and these guys across the aisle became instant friends.
They were drinking white wine. Continuously, all the way from Minneapolis, an airport which drives any person to drink.
By the time we landed in Seattle my new friends were, shall we say, a bit sloshed.
They own 20 acres of woods, and a log cabin that's made of glass. A glass cabin. They see deer in their woods. Muskrats, armadillos, and feral pigs stroll regularly through their glass log cabin.
As we approached Seattle they told of tigers and rhinoceroses in their living room, a penguin who got stuck in the jacuzzi.
We deboarded together, dragged our rollaboards through the airport, negotiated up and down escalators (they needed help,) didn't fall down on the train to baggage-claim, exchanged names and numbers and sad, sloshed farewells.
From now on and forever after when I hear someone is from Seattle, in my mind's eye will be the image of these two. Green, hip, damp, colorful, gay techies.
Last night I talked a little with Jim Minty (Event Director) and Chris Jones (Deejay) about how much people love Seattle. Chris is from Portland.
Portland, Chris says, is even cooler than Seattle. Waaaay cooler.
Take festivals, for instance. Jim said Seattle is a festival mecca.
I mentioned they like biking here in Seattle?
Well, they have a biking festival.
A naked biking festival. 300 naked people ride naked through downtown Seattle.
Chris said yeah 300 naked people - I'm not impressed.
We have a naked biking festival In Portland, too.
We get 17,000 people!
Let me repeat that.
17,000 naked people riding bikes through downtown Portland.
So you can see why there might be a little rivalry between Seattle and its edgy, hipper sibling to the south.
"Portland is like Seattle's younger brother, the cool one who's in a band, doesn't work, borrows money from mom for more tattoos."
If you really want to stoke Seattle insecurities, compare it to San Francisco.
Seattleites don't like Silicon Valley geeks. They find them too waxed-and-groomed, too aggressive.
In Seattle they prefer the more understated, rumpled, passive-aggressive approach.
We have just started a Royston Intensive here at SES 2015. Limited enrollment so lucky the folks who got in early. The Roystons taught a workshop last night, before the first Kickoff dance. It was packed.
This will be a great weekend of competitions and social dancing. SES is a NASDE event, with a wonderfully long, nostalgic, colorful history *
We'll be seeing Classic, Showcase, Juniors, and Rising Star ** (first time at SES - yay!)
In Jack and Jills: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, All-Stars, Champions, and Masters, and an "Easter Egg Scramble" (aka All-American)
In Strictlys: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, All-Stars/Champions, and Sophisticated.
You can watch the livestream all weekend, here.
By the way - it's raining here today. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Also, last night lightning struck two planes coming into the airport. Not that there's anything wrong with that either.
- I think I remember writing about the Seattle Swing Dance Club, and the history of Easter Swing, years ago, in my "typing-with-thumbs email list" newsletter days (2007 maybe?) So that Update may be lost - I never saved any of those first years of Updates. I'll look.
- There is a great resource for all you dancers who are contemplating the exciting/terrifying prospect of putting a routine on the floor - a facebook group (I LOVE FACEBOOK!) created by Myles and Tessa, with discussions, questions, feedback, and helpful resources.