Dating can be rough. Especially in a city known for locals who might be shy about making new friends (a.k.a: the Seattle Freeze). Couple that with the seemingly never ending stream of new dating apps, sites, and well-intentioned setups, and dating can feel like a total headache.
Jenna Bean Veatch wants to fix that. She’s a local performance artist who curates dance-theater shows, writes music, and dedicates her time to creating delightful things. Her latest project is “The Not-Creepy Gathering for People Who Are Single and Want to Fall In Love.” It’s a dating mixer she launched in May 2015 to foster genuine human connection with a little stand-up comedy, small group activities and answering questions like, “What’s your favorite feeling?”
We caught up with Jenna to learn more about just how hard dating is in the PNW and how she hopes her project is helping solve those challenges.
OK, so what’s this gathering all about?
“I think there’s power in coming to a place where by just showing up, you’re naming that yes, you do want connection or you do want love. I feel like in our culture there is this shame wrapped up in admitting that you want this thing you don’t have.”
How would you describe dating culture in the Pacific Northwest?
“What’s the opposite of direct? [laughs]
Maybe this is a Pacific Northwest thing, but I feel like it’s so common to not know what it is that people want. Like, ‘Oh, this person asked me to go to coffee. But what does coffee mean? Is it a date?’ … People aren’t bold in their directness.”
What was the first event like?
“The first one was in Bellingham at a teeny tiny venue and 70 people showed up. It just seemed so clear that I had stumbled upon something that people want and was filling a need that wasn’t being met in other ways.”
Tell us where the “not-creepy” part of your event’s name came from.
“A lot of the creepiness is found – say in bars on a Saturday night – because of people being hit on or hitting on other people based solely on physical appearance. I think some people really enjoy that interaction and some people feel objectified by it and want to be seen as whole people.
Once people are [at my event], it becomes clear pretty quickly that it’s about connection much more broadly than just romantic connection. I encourage people explicitly to be open to the possibility of connecting with anyone they meet there and not write people off because they’re clearly not who you came looking to meet.”
What’s the response been like?
“After the last event [in Bellingham], someone who was there sent me a really beautiful email saying that she she felt more like herself in those three hours than she had in the last three years. She was so grateful for the opportunity and space to safely be herself.
That’s why I’m doing this: creating a space in which people feel safe enough to be a little vulnerable because that’s what makes space for connection. We have to let down our guards enough — that can be fucking scary, but that’s essential.”
Wanna get a little vulnerable? The next Not-Creepy gathering is happening this Friday, April 27. If you go and want to write about it for us, hit reply and let us know.
OMG SUN. We’re heading into what local weather guru Cliff Mass is calling a mid-spring heat wave, and as a result we’re stripping, innovating, and “riding my bike until I felt like I saw Jesus.” Fun fact: The sun is actually as strong this week as it was around late last August. We’ll be up above 70 degrees at least a couple days. On Thursday, we might even hit 80. 😆
Why can’t we be more like Vancouver? That’s what locals who are fed up with our transit problems have been asking lately, and Vancouver’s gotta be blushing by now. “As Seattle struggles with bike lanes, Vancouver, B.C., has won the battle,” goes one Seattle Times headline. “Why Vancouver’s SkyTrain Leaves Seattle’s Link Light Rail in the Dust,” says a column in The Stranger. And then, of course, there’s this: “Is this the future of Seattle transit? A look at Vancouver, B.C. — a city that figured it out years ago.” Time for a field trip? 🍁
The house stays. So there’s this cute little house in Ballard that looks completely out of place, but everyone adores it. Neighbors call it the Edith Macefield House because its late owner, Edith, refused to sell it to a developer who then went ahead and built around it. It looks like something out of the movie “Up” (for real — take a look) and neighbors tied balloons on its fence over the weekend when it turned out that a demolition they were afraid would happen didn’t. In fact, the developers told MyBallard they have no plans to tear down what’s become an icon against big development, and they might even turn it into something fun. Like a flower shop. 🌻 (MyBallard)
‘90s, we can’t quit you. Seattle usually likes to charge forward and look ahead. But what about with pop culture? “For a progressive city on the cutting edge of the tech world, Seattle sure does rely on its old brands, particularly in areas the city struggles to match its former glory,” argues Darren Davis of Seattle Met. Among the ‘90s icons he sees lingering? Hip-hop’s Sir Mix-A-Lot, Chef Tom Douglas, and our new but returned Mariner outfielder Ichiro Suzuki. (Seattle Met)
Go behind the scenes of Ballard’s working waterfront. Tour the Ship Canal by boat, race in a survival suit, build your own boat, and learn to weld. Learn More ».
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Recycling right is hard work, and after we shared six top recycling hacks on Friday, a bunch of you told us how you’ve been trying to do right by the planet…even when it’s trickier than just pitching things in to the right in.
Ziploc bags are not recyclable in Seattle — even when they’re clean. But as reader Smriti Chandrashekar told us, that doesn’t have to mean they’re doomed to the landfill.
Don’t mind if we do. What’s Seattle ReCreative? A nonprofit “creative reuse store and community art center” in Greenwood. Pro tip for parents of little ones: They’ve got art classes six days a week that look pretty rad, too. Thanks for the tip, Smriti! 👍
🙋 Know a kid who wants to learn app dev? App Camp for Girls teaches youth to plan, design & develop apps. Register an 8th/9th grader for this one week summer camp in downtown Seattle today!
💻👩 All week: Connect with inspiring mentors, peers, and resources at the weeklong Women in Tech Regatta (South Lake Union)
🎙 Tuesday: Boost your small business and meet peers in your industry at the inaugural Elevate NW Conference (Queen Anne)
Want to partner on your event with us? Here’s how.
🗣 Ask what to do about white nationalism in Seattle (Capitol Hill)
💡 Learn how rich guys are colonizing space (Tukwila)
💡 Hear from Madeleine Albright (Downtown)
👋 Mingle with fellow small biz leaders at Elevate NW, an Evergrey partner event (Queen Anne)
🎨 Learn “radical self-love” from a couple poets (Capitol Hill)
💪 Brush up on your Mandarin (Downtown)
🎈 Take the kids to this Family Trivia Night (Ballard)
🗣 Dig into leadership with fellow techies as part of the weeklong Women in Tech Regatta, an Evergrey partner event. (Westlake) — moderated by our own Mónica Guzmán
🍴 Dine out to fight disease and poverty (All over)
🎟 See “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in sign language (Capitol Hill)
🗣 Mark the 50th anniversary of Seattle’s Black Panther Party — through Saturday (Central District)
🍷 Wine down with some syrah (West Seattle)
👋 Meet fellow singles in a non-creepy setting (Fremont)
🎈 Connect to nature with your kiddo (Montlake)
🎶 Dance to the beat of the drums — through Sunday (Queen Anne)
🎨 Get tantalized at the Erotic Art Festival — through Sunday (Queen Anne)
🗣 Hear a sermon for shared civic purpose (Central District)
🎨 Gorge at the Pancake & Booze Art Show (Downtown)
🍴 Eat bacon and drink beer (SoDo)
🎈 Fill up at the Green Lake Food Walk (Green Lake)
🎨 Mark Independent Bookstore Day at your fave book shop (All over)
Going to one of these? Email us a pic or tag #theevergrey. See more upcoming events (and submit your own) on our events page.