Sunday, December 21, 2008

SNOWPOCALYPSE 2008


Liberty and Dave in a snowball fight with Jake.
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Seattle gets our fair share of rain (but surprisingly less than New York) but when it comes to snow, we just don't get that much. When we do, newscasters go NUTS (I'm talking to you Jim Foreman!). I think there's a contest to come up with the most dramatic, most fear-inducing name for each storm. Every year gets more and more extreme. When I first moved here, StormWatch was sufficient. Twelve years later and they've really outdone themselves. Ladies and gentlemen, presenting SNOWPOCALYPSE 2008!
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Bus chaos on Thursday. Jack-knifed buses everywhere.

The city is built on seven hills. And the hills aren't tiny. They're steep and once more than an inch or two accumulates, that's all she wrote for buses.


Photo by Ali Simmers
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By Friday, snow gave way to ice and the hills became treacherous. That didn't stop tour buses from attempting to drive down one of the absolute steepest hills (later to become sledding central for drunken adults, using surfboards, snowboards and even cardboard). One bus slammed into the other and pop -- one went through the guard rail and sat dangling over I-5.
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These are cars -- under lots of snow.
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By Saturday, it became pretty apparent that we might actually be in for a real storm. When I woke up, it was 15 degrees outside. Huh? That's not the mild climate of the Seattle I know and love. Snow is one of the few things that actually make Seattleites civil towards each other - at least when you're on foot. If you're in a car, odds are you're barreling down an icy hill at 30 miles per hour. Since the city can't seem to figure out how to close the iciest hills, you get a lot vigilante street closures. Garbage cans, traffic cones and "caution" ribbon haphazardly placed at the tops of streets protect cars from that awful crunching noise of metal on metal. The bonus is the instant creation of sledding hills. If there was a hill, there were sledders. It's so fun to watch. People actually let down their guard and smile and talk and laugh with total strangers.
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My first snow angel in years!
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Lots of my friends live on Capitol Hill, which also happens to have most of our favorite bars and restaurants. It's felt like one long super vacation. Meeting up with friend after friend, then walking down to the next place to meet up with more friends. And stopping to have drinks, hot sandwiches and Pabst at every stop in between. Between the cookie decorating parties, snowball fights, drunken stories, sledding, and singing, these have been my favorite days of 2008. What a way to wind down the year.

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