Plus: Our home prices went up how much?!
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Good morning and welcome to another summery Seattle Wednesday. You probably want to go out and make the most of this record-breaking dry weather.

But if you’d rather be trapped inside a room and have to think your way out, well, we’ve got a story for you …

ESCAPE FROM SAM’S APARTMENT 🔍

What’d you do last weekend? Hit the beach? Hit the couch? Whatever you did, it probably looked a lot different than what Sam Tisdale was up to the weekend before we chatted with him.

“I spent twelve hours from Saturday to Monday sitting in my kitchen while a bunch of strangers were rummaging around my living room,” he said. And that wasn’t anything out of the ordinary.

Yeah, that’s right. Sam regularly, willingly lets strangers into his place so they can mess with his stuff. Why? Last year, Sam transformed most of his two-bedroom apartment into an escape room.

The concept of an escape room (sometimes called a “puzzle room”) is simple: Grab a group of friends, pay some money, and try to solve a bunch of puzzles before your time runs out in order to “escape” the room. As far as we can tell, there are about a dozen escape rooms in Seattle right now (plus several more in the surrounding areas).

We had heard Puzzle Break was the original room around here, so we reached out to Nate Martin, one of the company’s co-owners, to get the deets. Nate told us that Puzzle Break’s Capitol Hill location was actually the first puzzle room in the whole country, and it opened just four years ago, in August 2013.

According to Nate, other escape rooms started showing up around 2015. So Sam must have hit the scene pretty early when he tried his first escape room at a bachelor party last year.

“I was really enamored with the concept, but at the same time, I was disappointed with the execution,” Sam said. “I walked away that day thinking, ‘Wow, what a great idea,’ but ‘I can do something better than this’ …So I did.”

Want to know how, exactly, Sam “did it better”? Head to theevergrey.com to read the full story and watch a video of Sam in his element. Plus, learn why Sam has to close his room, Bricklebrit Escapades’ “The Madness from the Sea,” in mid-September.

 

WANT TO TRY AN ESCAPE ROOM? 🙋

You can sign up to try Sam’s room on his website. If you’d rather get some experience with a more “beginner friendly” room, Sam recommends trying out “The Vanishing Act” in Fremont and to check out this blog to satisfy your escape room curiosities. There’s also this list of the top 10 escape rooms in Seattle that gives a nice overview of good puzzling spots around the city.

If trying one of the city’s escape rooms sounds super fun, but you’re not sure who to puzzle with, hit reply or email [email protected] and we’ll connect you with other readers who want in.

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NOW HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR CITY 🍊

  • What’s up with our weather? We just broke the record for the most days in a row without measurable rain (new record = 52!) and are on our way to breaking a record for the most days over 80 degrees in a row. Should we brace ourselves for a hotter future here in the PNW? Climate scientists say yes, but just how hot depends on what we do to fight climate change.
  • Our home prices went up how much?! For the first time ever, the median price for a home in King County went up more than $100,000 in just one year. We repeat: more than $100,000 in just one year. The median cost for a house in Seattle right now? Almost $749,000. (The Seattle Times)
  • 1,362 votes. That’s what’s separating second-place finisher Cary Moon and third-place finisher Nikkita Oliver as we tally more ballots from our August 1 mayoral primary. Since there are only about 1,200 ballots left to count, though, The Seattle Times is calling it: Jenny Durkan and Cary Moon are moving on to November’s general election. But might there be a recount? If Nikkita catches up a bit more to Cary, then yeah. There might. (The Seattle Times)
  • Seattle’s wide, wide wage gap. A new report shows that Seattle’s working women make just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes here. And our gender wage gap is widest between workers who have college and grad degrees. But in other cities the size of Seattle, women make at least 86 cents to every man’s dollar. Ugh. (The Stranger)
  • ‘If you love Uwajimaya, you’re going to freak out.’ Popular Asian grocery store H Mart just opened a store in the U District and there’s another one planned for downtown. Want to make the most of your first trip? Get the hacks from Chef Rachel Yang of Joule, Revel, and Trove. For starters, that corn iced tea sounds delish. 🍣 (The Seattle Times)
  • Russell Wilson loves juice. Do you? If so, you’re in luck: Our Seahawks quarterback is bringing NYC-based Juice Press to University Village this fall. (Seattle Met)

AND SPEAKING OF PUZZLES…

Seattle Mystery Bookshop in Pioneer Square just went up for sale last week, and might close if it doesn’t find a buyer, its owners told local book writer (and Evergrey reader) Paul Constant.

“The shop has hosted hundreds, if not thousands, of mystery authors over the years, and some of them travel to Seattle Mystery Bookshop on their own dime to launch their latest books into the world,” Paul wrote.

Like a good mystery but can’t exactly buy a book store? “Stop by to show your support,” Paul suggests.

Happy puzzling. — The Evergrey

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