Seattle rarely sees the sun, so when a sunny day does occur the number of people in the local parks is so drastically inflated from the norm that it is almost disturbing. For me it is actually disturbing. Have I had this many neighbors this whole time? What are all these people doing the rest of the year? Get out of my park! And so on. To tell you the truth I prefer the partly cloudy mid-to-low 60s days and part of that has to do with the desire to be in an outdoor space that doesn’t look like a parking lot right after a major sporting event.
So in order to combat this drastic change in park attendance I have come up with a few park visiting guidelines that (for the most part) do the trick.
- Time of day is incredibly important, eat a snack and go to the park during dinnertime. The major offenders at super crowded parks are families. Of that massive family unit there is bound to be one (or a few) who will start whining that they are hungry and everyone will have to leave. Then you will be left with this guy:
And guess what? He doesn’t like crowds either.
2. Visit a park at the end of a nice day.
Unless you’re camping or in a national park there is a limit to the length of time a person will hang out. Everyone goes during the peak of the niceness and is exhausted by the sun towards the end of the day and goes home. This is the perfect time for a visit! Going early works too but that involves being awake early.
3. Enter the park using the least convenient entrance. In the case of the Olympic Sculpture Park it might be this bridge in the middle of an industrial area.
Hard to take a bridge jumping picture on a bridge that isn’t empty!
Actually taking a picture of a person jumping in the middle of a crowded bridge might be more interesting.
Now might be a good time to mention that when I say “bridge jumping” I mean jumping while on a bridge not jumping off a bridge. When I told Sue I thought this would be a good spot for bridge jumping it took me a minute after she started looking over the edge to judge the distance to the ground to understand that I might get misunderstood.
4. Find a park that has a name implying cool things can be found there. Olympic Sculpture Park, Something Something Falls. You get it. Go to the park and hang out as far away from the cool things in the name as possible.
That does not mean that you will not see cool things!
Look at how cool these things are!
You just have to be open to seeing the things that maybe aren’t advertised. You’re actually probably missing a lot of cool things if you aren’t already doing this.
5. By the time you get to the more popular areas of the park you will have them to yourself.
6. Then reward yourself with a late dinner and adult beverage.