Sunday at Volunteer Park


There’s nothing as satisfying as spending a Sunday afternoon in the park, just hanging out with friends and enjoying the perfect summer weather.

When I first moved to the Seattle area I lived briefly in a ghastly Archstone apartment complex in Woodinville — a Purgatory for wretched souls in transition if there ever was one. In the process of trying to extricate myself from the slow train wreck of circumstances that had brought me there, I bought a map of Seattle, located Capitol Hill (I’d been told that this was the place to live), and then looked for green space. I was still running at that time, and figured that planning my escape from Woodinville around a jogging route made as much sense as anything.

The block of green on the map was Volunteer Park, and I told the apartment agency that I was working with that I wanted to live someone near this park, even though I’d never seen it and knew nothing at all about it. This was in the halcyon days of the Tech Bubble and finding an apartment was very difficult. After going to several cattle call showings of miserable, tiny, over-priced studios, I broke down and hired a rental service. Within a day they found me a stunning, spacious, reasonably priced studio in a beautifully preserved 1928 building. That was one of the first strokes of great good fortune that attended my arrival on Capitol Hill.

As I was preparing to move all of my worldly possessions into my new apartment, I mentioned Volunteer Park to a random stranger and he commented dismissively that it was a gay pick-up spot. Not too surprisingly, this led me to expect something a bit sleazy and perhaps unsafe. Cracked concrete, a few weedy patches of lawn, sickly pigeons, cars cruising in slow circles

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