Ten years ago this week, I came out to the Pacific Northwest for the first time. My friend Dave AKA “Jabone” had moved to Seattle a year earlier and having a place to stay was about all the excuse I needed to take a vacation out here. At the time I was in grad school, freelance writing in the game industry, singing in a punk rock band, and working retail in a coffee store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. I decided a break was in order and arranged the trip for early summer, which was good timing. The weather was absolutely gorgeous (unlike June so far this year), sunny, temperate, and pleasant.
I stayed with Dave and his girlfriend Rachel in Seattle and they showed me around town. We went (to the Crocodile, IIRC) to see the Boss Martians, a cool garage band that have kept at it and have been getting some attention over the past couple of years. Rachel’s sister, who I had also known in NYC, was acting in a Star Trek parody musical (later shut down by Paramount) so we checked that out and it was pretty damn funny. I also visited the old corporate offices of WotC. This was when they still had their old roleplaying division and they were preparing the release of Everway.
After a few days in Seattle I took the bus up to Bellingham and visited another friend there for a day, getting to see a bit of the rain forest. Then I went on to Vancouver, where Nicole was living at the time. This was when she was pregnant with Kate too (little did I know at the time what in store for me!). I had timed my visit well because the Subhumans, one of the Vancouver’s greatest punk bands (not to be confused with the also great English band of the same name), were doing a reunion show and I managed to get a ticket at the last minute and catch an awesome show. Nicole also introduced me to Tojo’s, a kickass Japanese restaurant that we still patronize when we go to BC.
I returned to Seattle for a couple more days with Dave and Rachel and then flew home. I had had a great time and thought to myself, “I could totally live in the Pacific Northwest.” And only two years later I moved to Seattle. That trip laid a lot of groundwork for me, though I didn’t realize it at the time, and it seems weird that ten years have gone by already.