June 22, 2006

A few weeks ago I was detoured off Pike Street by several dozen people riding bicycles naked through the city, shouting slogans about our energy policy as they went. I found the whole episode hilarious and really felt like I had "arrived" in Seattle. The protest, as it turns out, was part of a worldwide series of "clothing-optional" bike rides known as World Naked Bike Ride (note: site contains lots of pictures).

A week later was the annual Fremont Solstice Parade. Had I not been busy unpacking my things at the new apartment, I would've been there too. (No worries: the next day, my aunt offered me a position on a float in next year's solstice parade.) I've been told by regular attendees that there are many folks who show up in Fremont wearing nothing but body paint. Wouldn't you know it -- Wikipedia's article on painted naked cyclists of the Summer Solstice Parade is considerably longer and more detailed than the article on the parade itself.

This coming Saturday is QueerFest on the Hill. "The Hill" in Seattle is Capitol Hill, just a few blocks from my apartment and a bustling center for young Seattleites to shop, dine, and drink. The culmination of the annual pride event is a parade down Broadway, the main street in the neighborhood, at 6:00 PM. About this parade too I've been told that many attendees come wearing little or no clothing, too.

It makes me laugh to see my neighbors biking or walking down the street nude. That sort of thing's totally new to me -- I've never seen anything like it in Pittsburgh, and of course in the suburbs nobody ever has a parade anything like what I've seen so far. I like to think of these events as the more colorful highlights of my first month in Seattle.