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Seattle snow, a new topic for gibes from New York City

Rain City has a new reputation. Soon those superior New Yorkers will start sending us care packages of salt.

As a frequent visitor to New York City for the past five years, thanks to a son working and living in Manhattan, I've become somewhat immune to the oft-remarked reaction I get when I say I'm from Seattle. OK, technically I'm from Whidbey Island, but it's just easier to say Seattle.

It's not the usual suspects like Starbucks, Bill Gates or any one of our pathetic sports teams including the Seahawks, Mariners and that basketball team formerly known as the Seattle SuperSonics. The number one response is: "I hear it's really beautiful there, but doesn't it rain all the time?"

But we didn't hear a word about rain during our recent Christmas visit; it was all about snow. My hubby and I flew from Seattle to Newark, New Jersey on the morning of Dec. 23. Fortunately, we hit it just right, traveling between snowstorms and not booked on Alaska Airlines. We'd heard horror stories about the long lines and delayed flights, so were surprised to be only 30 minutes late in leaving Sea-Tac.

It was cold when we landed in Newark, in the mid-20s. Remnants of an earlier snowstorm were stacked up alongside streets and roads, and the sidewalks were icy. But by week's end, things had warmed up, and compared to what was going on back home (Nickels' Nightmare Before Christmas), it was Springtime in New York.

From the midtown salon where I got my hair cut to a cafe in Greenwich Village, it seemed that every other New Yorker I talked to knew about our big snow. "Wow, I saw it on the news last night, you guys really got hammered!" and "So what's with the no salt in Seattle?" were just a few of the responses. And for once, I didn't have to defend our good rain and give my usual explanation that it actually rains more in Gotham City than the Emerald City. Annual precipitation in New York City is 47", whereas Seattle's is only 36". It just drizzles more in Seattle.

I kept up with the weather situation in Seattle, thanks to emails from friends and reading Cliff Mass's wonderful weather blog. Our only weather related incident while we were in New York was having to buy umbrellas at the corner market — two for eight bucks. I wonder if they're that cheap in Seattle?

Sue Frause is a Whidbey Island freelance writer and photographer. You can reach her at sue@suefrause.com.


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