While you’re nursing that Halloween hangover in your cubicle today, I thought I’d share some of my personal experiences from last night, which to me, was the perfect example of why I love this city and feel like I truly belong here. (One of us! One of us! Gooble-gobble).
I’m fairly new to Seattle, just past the stage where I can give directions somewhat comfortably (although no matter how long I’m in a place, I’m never very good at this). I had to throw myself, head first, into the social scene and boldly barge through the infamous “Seattle freeze” (which is somewhat of a real thing). This is nothing new to anyone who has moved to a new city (all of us) at some point in their lives. But the real magic moment is when you realize you belong, — that the city you chose suits you. I had about as much confirmation of that fact as I could ever ask for last night.
I spent the night in a comic shop, which is oddly where I find myself most Halloweens. Let me just say, if you’re ever looking for a place to go for Halloween or any other event that calls for costumes, head to your local comic shop. If there’s anybody looking for ANY excuse to dress up, you know it’s the weirdos (term of endearment) that frequent the comic stores.
Aside from it being Halloween, it was the release party for a free quarterly comic some local illustrators put out, called Intruder. This is truly Seattle to me. There’s a certain DIY factor to Seattle that cities tend to lose once they get too expensive for artists to live in. Also, the communal aspect of collaborating to create one work of art feels so Pacific Northwesty, doesn’t it? These people actually get together and create something, which if you’re from here, might not seem that different, but it sure is to a newbie like me.
I’ve heard people theorize that this is a byproduct of the weather here. That people spend more times indoors, thus they spend more time in meaningful social situations. I like to think of this as comparable to when our primitive ancestors started drawing on the walls of caves. Being creative out of necessity. You can see this reflected in abundance of board game shops and companies here. Ever tried to count the number pubs in this city? It’s impossible! All with large, welcoming communal tables. This kind of thing is hard to find in sunnier cities.
Sure, “Seattle freeze” might sometimes be a real thing, but once you break through, you’re part of the tribe. And if you’re having trouble breaking in, just dress as a flamboyant, recognizable character and bring a bottle of Maker’s Mark, you’re sure to make fast friends and have that “Gooble-gobble” moment.
More photos below…
Emily Shahan is GeekWire’s cultural attaché. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos by Mark Allender.