Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Seattle Summertime Secrets

Oh Seattle, how I love thee when you are sunny. Warm and radiant. Green and lush. Numerous cool bodies of water, flanked by verdant forests and crisp mountain peaks studding the horizon. Puppies on parade at Greenlake. Hippies on display at Folklife. Birds chirping away. Okay, so maybe that one bird outside my bedroom window doesn't need to be quite so damn happy at 5am in the morning. But if he comes with sunshine, I am not complaining.

I have said it frequently, but there is hardly a more beautiful place on the planet than Seattle in summertime. Our first warm and sunny day last Saturday was a delicious taste of what I've been waiting on for the last eight months. Summer is my favorite season, when I can stockpile some much needed Vitamin D (from underneath the safety screen of SPF 30, of course). With that brief glimpse of sunshine, I have an itch to start all my favorite summertime activities. Want in on some of my summer secrets? Here's the juicy scoop.

Lazy Afternoon of Reading in Parsons Park
Where are you headed for your favorite park in Queen Anne? Are you stopping at Kerry Park? Oh no, not you. You're continuing a few blocks down Highland Avenue to a hidden secret garden called Parsons Park. Wave at those tourists snapping pictures as you saunter on by. Amateurs. Only a seasoned local like you knows where to partake in the perfect afternoon of park perfection.

Ice Cream from Molly Moon's
Alessandra you say, this is hardly a secret! The line is never shorter than an hour in summertime. Yes, true, very true. And I have waited in that line more than once to satisfy my sweet tooth with unique combinations of chocolate ice cream with olive oil and sea salt, or shredded carrot sticks and creamy vanilla bean. Ah, but the secret my friends, is that now there is a Molly Moon's truck! And so far, said truck does not have a line. The truck moves from location to location, which they announce via Twitter. However, lately, the truck has been making regular appearances on the top of Queen Anne. You have been officially informed.

Picnic in Kubota Gardens
A hop, skip, and a jump outside of downtown, on the other side of Rainier Valley, lies Kubota Gardens. An immaculate Japanese garden with winding pathways, delicate wooden bridges, meandering streams, and terraced garden beds. Idyllic locale for a picnic, as you won't have to worry about bustling crowds, rowdy parties, or really any other type of disturbance for that matter, because you'll be one of the few people there. And the cherry on top? There's no entrance fee like there is to the Japanese garden inside the Arboretum.

Mediterranean Fantasy Festival
This is a belly dance-based blog after all, so how could I not say something about Med Fest? Before I started belly dancing I'd never heard of this festival, but now it's one of my favorites. Two days, two stages, non-stop belly dance performances. Add to that workshops and costume vendors and I'm in belly dance heaven. This summer's Med Fest will be July 16th and 17th at the Hiawatha Community Center in West Seattle. Check out the Babylonian Ensemble website for more details.

Flash Mob
I have to admit that this is one I haven't done yet, but it's on my radar. Here's how it works: the organizers teach you the routines and tell you the date of the event. But it's not until performance day that they announce the times and locations. Flash mob day, you show up in your normal, everyday clothes, the music starts, and one by one, the dancers join in, taking the bystanders completely by surprise with an impromptu performance. Can't picture it? Check out this video of when Oprah's producers flash mobbed her. They haven't announced the summer flash mob details yet, but if you want to get on the mailing list you can sign up here. Sorry, Oprah and Black Eyed Peas not included in your local flash mob experience.

Have a favorite Seattle summertime activity? No holding out on the rest of us now. Post it below!

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