Wow, what a freakish past few days it’s been. Starting last Thursday, it began to snow and it didn’t stop until Friday night. It then picked up again with a vengeance on Saturday afternoon, and soon we were looking at a foot of snow. The outlying areas got even more, especially in the mountains. I know, I know — it snows much heavier elsewhere in the country, so this is nothing compared to that. But this is very unusual for Seattle. Usually we only get an inch or two, if even that, so you can imagine the chaos it’s creating.
And boy, does snow make people around here freak out. “So much snow! The End Times are nigh!” When the warning came out about the Saturday storm, we decided to walk to the local grocery store (since our car was more or less stuck) and get a couple of dinners’ worth of stuff. The place was packed — people were buying food like Armageddon was just around the corner. They also don’t know how to drive in the snow around here. They just speed along as usual, then wonder why they have no traction. Stupid.
And speaking of stupid, one particularly nasty accident happened just down the street from my old haunts on Capitol Hill: a couple of tour buses, ignoring all common sense, went down a steep, icy hill and crashed through a guard-rail overhanging the I-5 freeway. They damn near went over the edge, potentially killing people in the bus and on the freeway. I used to walk up and down that hill every day, and while it’s nothing compared to other places in the city, you’d have to be out of your mind to drive a tour bus down it when it’s covered with ice. (See it for yourself on Google Maps.) What is it about snowy weather that turns people into complete idiots?
The city’s mass transit is one giant clusterfuck as well, which doesn’t
help things at all. The buses are only running half their regular
routes, leaving a ton of people with three shitty choices: 1) drive to work on solid ice, 2) walk to an arterial route that happens to
still have service and hope a bus actually shows up, or 3) stay at home and work from there if possible. The King County Metro website has also been hosed for
days, making it nearly impossible to get current route info. Oh yeah, and the airport and downtown Greyhound bus station have been shut down for the past couple of days, stranding even more people here. Shit, this city is totally unprepared for this kind of weather.
At the same time, a lot of Seattle folks know when to just dig in and have fun with the snow. People were out and in full snow mode all over town — sledding, snowballing, snowboarding, snowman-building, you name it. However, we saw a few twits tromping around on skis, and that’s where we draw the line. Sigh…how preciously pretentious, and very Seattle.
But now that we’re into our sixth day of this stuff, the “Yay, it’s snowing!” feeling has dropped off dramatically. I haven’t been able to get downtown to the office since Wednesday, and cabin fever has long since set in. Luckily I can work from home, but I don’t wanna! Today I decided I had to go to work, so I went out there and waited for nearly an hour in the freezing cold. Three of my buses went by, all of them completely full. Around 9:00 my bus stops running, and my only option is to grab one that runs through the University District. Normally that takes an hour, but a day like today would make it much more than that. So I gave up and came back inside. Again, sigh…
But I’ve managed to take a bunch of photos of the snowy goodness, so feel free to drop in and take a look if you’re bored and have nothing better to do. 🙂