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Seattle Bubble Forum Archive • View topic - Seattle Freeze

Seattle Freeze

Things you love, things you can't stand... anything and everything Seattle.

Moderators: synthetik, The Tim, Lake Hills Renter

Seattle Freeze

Postby Locust » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:42 am

As someone relocating from the SF Bay Area to the Redmond area, I am curious what folks think about the so-called "Seattle Freeze" idea played up in some lifestyle articles. For example:



I am wondering if this is more of a thing for single people living and trying to date in Seattle. I am wondering if married folks on the Eastside with kids in school meet other families in the same way it happens everywhere else. Thoughts whether the puget sound region is really any different socially in that way?
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Seattle Freeze

Postby transplant » Fri Feb 23, 2007 9:59 pm

Last edited by transplant on Sat Feb 24, 2007 2:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby T, V & Mr. B. » Fri Feb 23, 2007 10:24 pm

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Postby B-hamster » Sat Feb 24, 2007 3:00 pm

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Postby Matthew » Sat Feb 24, 2007 6:10 pm

As a Californian by birth, a Washingtonian most of my life, but having lived in Texas, Georgia, and NYC, I can agree with much of this article.

A person in NYC is not polite but will give you the shirt off their back. A southerner is overly friendly, in an almost used car salesperson way. A Seattle native seems to be polite, but not friendly, almost seemingly looking out for number one.

I work in law enforcement. Even the law enforcement community here is totally different. In NYC if they know you are a cop or a fed, fellow cops bend over backward to help you out. Law enforcement in general tends to be a very tight knit community. Knowing that at any moment you can be responding to "officer down" will tend to do that. Never in my career have I ever seen people in law enforcement writing tickets to other members of law enforcement WHILE ON DUTY, until I moved to Seattle. It's a different culture out here.
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Postby Erik » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:55 am

I'm was born here, and have to say that the stories about the "freeze" are sometimes overblown, the is truth to the concept. Basically, you've got two components: anti-transplant sentiment and general reservedness.

The polite-yet-distant phenomenon is a complicated matter and I think that it's evolving in subtle ways. I would consider myself an example of the "old school" distant Seattlite. While I always try to be polite, I generally don't try to "butt in" on strangers' business. This probably seems unfriendly to New Yorkers that would make a pizza for a stranger but also think nothing of leaning on their car horn in traffic or generally behaving brashly in public. There is a bit of a holdover from Scandinavian culture there, I think (see also "Seattle Man Syndrome" which inhibits some that would approach women in bars, etc because it's intrusive) but that's not the whole story. As the Ballard diaspora continues, the shy children of fishermen are replaced by kids making six figures right out of college and edgy exploding cow artists that bring their own form of standoffishness.

As for the anti-outsider feelings, well, they're definitely there. My family goes back to the 1800s in Seattle on my father's side but my mother moved here in the early '70s after marrying my dad. She has told me many stories about how she was often made to feel unwelcome and unworthy. Yes, people were usually polite, but they also felt that they were better than her and had no need for her company. This was the greatest place ever and didn't she feel grateful to be allowed here? What? She didn't think that Indiana was truly awful by comparison? Obviously she was stupid. I don't know how widespread that attitude really was or whether the culprits were old money locals or recent transplants trying to close the gate to paradise behind them. I have a feeling that this sort of think has a real shelf life, however, as the local population continues to churn. I could be wrong, but I think that the ridiculousness of folks who moved to Seattle in 2005 holding a grudge against folks that moved here in 2008 would be readily apparent.

I for myself, I'm not going to going to be unkind someone just because of where they were born. I strongly dislike (maybe even hate) the idea of a lot of people moving here in the aggregate, but I can separate my disgust for the population boom from the individuals that may come here. The exception that I will make is for folks who moved here because they liked Frasier or Nirvana or something and then complain that the city isn't like it was on TV in the '90s or that it's not like NYC or something. When I meet those folks, I really do want them to feel welcome to move back to NYC if they love it so much. Everyone else (local or transplant) will receive the same polite yet reserved treatment from me. Yippee.
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Postby Lake Hills Renter » Mon Feb 26, 2007 1:31 pm

We talked about the Seattle Freeze in one of the open threads a while ago and I posted my theory/opinion of it there, but I'm too lazy to go find it (no search feature) at the moment. I'm not native, moving here from Texas about 6.5 years ago, but I feel completely at home here, and I felt completely out of place in Texas.

From my experience, the Seattle Freeze has as much to do with the independent nature of many of the people here as anything else, which is one reason I feel at home. Yes, I'll tell you about where I went hiking this weekend, but don't expect an invitation. It's nothing personal, but if you want to come along... ask. I may very well still say no however, because I enjoy the solitude of the outdoors, so I usually go alone. I not only don't need people to go with me, I prefer to be out there by myself, or maybe with one or two close friends. I generally don't do things in large groups or with people I only slightly know. Just the way I've always been.

That may make me seem distant and standoffish, but I can live with that because I don't particuarly care wht other people think of me either. That's another trait I find common here as well. Polite and honest, but not necesarily open with strangers or casual acquainstances.
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Postby Locust » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:12 am

The social dynamic I experienced growing up in the SF Bay Area was--

As a young married couple with two jobs and no kids, we only socialized with a few friends from work. We didnt know any neighbors or really anyone in the suburban town we lived in, only work related friends from different towns.

Once we had kids and my wife stopped working outside the home, then she met a lot of other moms and other families. This really picked up steam when the kids started school and we met a lot of other families that way. I would have to say that most all of these are really just acquaintances rather than friends. But within that fairly large pool of potential friends, my wife at least has actually made several real friends. I plan to put more effort into this after our move, but we will see how it goes.

For me at least, it is not that important to have a large circle of acquaintances giving rise to obligations to socialize. But it is important to have a few close friends.
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Mediocrity may be the cause

Postby coup999 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:44 pm

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Last edited by coup999 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mediocrity may be the cause

Postby Lake Hills Renter » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:48 pm

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Postby coup999 » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:34 am

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Last edited by coup999 on Wed Jan 16, 2013 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Lake Hills Renter » Wed Feb 28, 2007 8:01 am

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Postby EconE » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:15 pm

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Lose yourself, find a friend through a good book

Postby twistjusty » Fri Apr 13, 2007 9:13 am

The Seattle Freeze thaws, I have noticed, if I am sharing public transportation (bus, train) with someone who finds my choice of reading material curious and commentworthy, and vice versa. I love that about Seattle :D.
"A society in which consumption has to be artificially stimulated in order to keep production going is a society founded on trash and waste, and such a society is a house built upon sand." -- Dorothy L. Sayers
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Re:

Postby Markor » Fri May 23, 2008 1:28 pm

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