I trudged into the dimly lit pub on Capitol Hill and peered around anxiously, hoping to find a few smiling faces. The long, wooden tables were packed with a mélange of people. Most of them were millennials, but a few older people were peppered in amongst the sea of flannel shirts and spring beer. I was about to play trivia with members of the Seattle Anti-Freezers, a 9,000-person group that hosts events for those trying to beat the fabled Seattle Freeze. And although I came to play trivia, I had an ulterior motive. I needed to find out a couple of things.
1. What exactly is the Seattle Freeze?
2. Is it really that bad?
The Seattle Freeze is a complicated subject, and one that brings up a cascade of emotions from new residents and diehard Seattleites alike. The idea behind the term is that newcomers to the city often experience difficulty making friends and maintaining relationships because of a general lack of interest from others. People are cold, standoffish, and flaky. And if you’ve been in Seattle for more than a week, you’ve heard the term thrown around at the office or a corner bar more than once. There’s no denying it, the Seattle Freeze is at least perceived to be a tangible thing. So why is Seattle different than New York City or Los Angeles when it comes to creating new relationships, you ask? Is every stranger just a disinterested human, frozen solid in their Patagonia jackets and messenger bags?