Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ode to coffee and overcast skies

Well, the rain has finally arrived. A couple overcast days in a row here - still comfortably in the sixties, but brisk, a little wind coming off the water, and the drizzly faucet of the Seattle sky let loose. It's funny how much different kinds of weather affect different people. Seyeon's mom, Andrea, and I both thrive in this kind of climate - cold enough to drink tea and wear fleece around the house. It's heat and humidity that suck energy out of me - if it's hot, I tend to think, Well damn, I'm uncomfortable; what can I possibly do today but sit still in front of my fan and be miserable? But the cold makes me feel alive. It gets me moving, if for nothing else but to keep myself warm, my blood moving. My mind is more alert.

And the overcast sky! It's obviously far too early in the game to lay claim to total enjoyment of it, but for now, I don't mind it at all. It's an enabling condition for two of my favorite activities: writing and running.


Often times, if I stay inside to write, I feel guilty for not doing all the other things I could be doing with my day, outside in the sunshine like normal people. Staying in with a laptop feels antisocial. But not here. It's no surprise to me that so many of the great business leaders, computer programmers, writers and artists have thrived in Seattle. With a host of coffeeshops to hole up in during the long, gray days and work away at, it's easy to slog away and get things done here. I have taken on the challenge of building myself a rockin website from scratch, and despite the tedium of teaching myself code and implementing it, it's been a blast to get swept up in the nose-to-the-grindstone-but-in-a-creative-way vibe of Seattle's coffeeshops.

I told myself I wasn't going to repeat any cafes for at least my first few months here. There are so many to explore, there's really no excuse to repeat. Each place has its own ambience and vibe...its own aromas, couches, freshly baked pastries, artwork on the exposed brick walls, script on the chalkboard menus. Nevertheless, I've failed miserably, having discovered a small local place that I absolutely adore, and can't seem to break out of the habit of frequenting in the mornings to write, work on my website and conduct my job search.

Cappuccino: the price of productivity.


Cool, overcast weather is absolutely ideal running weather to me. Again, the sun drains me - so with it safely behind the clouds, I feel like I can run forever. There's an entire blog entry in my discovering the joys of urban running, but for now, suffice to say that I've had several amazing runs around the city - exploring residential and commercial districts alike (though the two are often deeply intertwined in Seattle), getting lost here and there (I actually ran several days ago with a printed Mapquest map clenched in my hand; the ink wound up getting wet from sweat, leaking all over my palm and dissolving into complete illegibility by the end of my run), but thus learning how all the neighborhoods connect. It seems near impossible to run more than ten minutes in any direction before running into a huge, sprawling park with trees and trails and solitude - before emerging again on city streets, and running across bridges over scenic stretches of the bay, with stunning views of the mountains, the Space Needle, the downtown skyline and all the lush, green hills that surround it. Beautiful! I did 13.1 miles yesterday, running from my doorstep through Interlaken Park, across the University Bridge, along the Burke-Gilman Trail, to Gas Works Park, then up a 2-mile stretch of gradual uphill to arrive at Seattle's runners' paradise: Green Lake! And then back home again to stretch out my unbelievably tight calf muscles!

And finally, bonus of the weekend: Zephyr calling me with an extra ticket to go see Othello at the Intiman Theater near the Seattle Center - an absolutely fabulous performance.

1 comment:

  1. Coffee < tea. ;P

    Glad to hear all is well in Seattle.