Summer is my favorite season in Seattle. Not just because I was born in the summer, to be honest I always hated the fact that my birthday was in the summer after seeing everyone get their birthdays celebrated during school (but I digress). Summer in Seattle, and Bellingham during my college years, was always my favorite because the weather was perfect, the music was always catchy and the perfect songs to crank up loudly via the car stereo and blast with the windows down. It’s shorts and sunglasses weather. I can go to the beach and not freeze my ass off, go swimming, hang out all day in the sun and not have school to worry about – or if I did I got to enjoy my homework outside and tan and get my daily dose of vitamin D.
It’s the season that a smoothie is perfect for, but a smoothie of course can be enjoyed in any season. Tropical, fruity drinks are abound. And as a kid, it meant the time that I got to go visit my relatives in Hawaii. While it’s true that fall is probably my favorite season, especially in Japan, nothing gets me like the excitement that summer is coming. Sure in Japan it means the coming of feeling like I’m squished between fat sweaty tits, but it also means the coming of sunshine, going to the beach, barbecues, relaxing outside and just enjoying the sunshine and outdoors.
It wasn’t until this year, that I realized exactly how much I missed enjoying the Fourth of July festivities. I missed eating potato salad, and chicken and flank steak outside on our porch. I missed the 30 minute fireworks show at Gasworks Park – serving up piping dumplings like I was last year.
That’s summer to me. All the festivals, and the signal that summer is coming to an end is Bumbershoot. Bumbershoot is the epitome of what Seattle is about, in my head – well, that’s not true. But it’s super Seattle. Not only did they change it so that now all the music venues are outside, rain or shine, but it’s named after an umbrella. Odd, seeing as how no true Seattlite uses an umbrella, but fitting because it’s rainy more than half of the year. And the people who go to Bumbershoot…It’s true that Folklife will probably attract more odd ducks, but I love that Bumbershoot tries to cater to everyone. There are bands to keep the teens happy, and bands to keep the hipsters happy, and then there’s a more R&B/hip-hop day, there are comedians, there is art work, and lectures and completely random performances all over – two years ago they had mini circus rides, and the year before they had a vert ramp. It’s uniquely Seattle.
I remember chatting last year about it with my boss, and he was saying that maybe it would be smaller, or maybe they wouldn’t even have it at all. If Bumbershoot were to leave, I’d be a wreck. It’s the one festival, other than Capitol Hill Block Party, that actually happens in Seattle. Folklife is great and all, but Bumbershoot is an actual musical festival on the level with Sasquatch and Warped Tour. It’s what I look forward to every Memorial Day Weekend. What makes it special is that it doesn’t happen at the Gorge Amphitheater. It occurs in the Seattle limits, and the line-up kills every year. This year especially, there are bands that I’ve been dying to hear since I first heard of them and I’m super bummed that I’ll be missing it this year – just like how I missed Deck the Hall Ball this past year, that’s my annual Christmas is coming present to me show.
So this is my ode to summer. While I’m hibernating in Japan, and just starting to get used to the heat, I’m still glad that it’s summer. It’s like I’m a student again, getting the summer off. Summer will always hold a special place in my heart, but over here in Japan land, I cannot wait till fall rolls around.