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Video: Is the Seattle Freeze real?

Seattle is officially the fastest growing city in America. More than 1,000 people are moving to the area every week, and some of you newbies want to make new friends. There’s just one problem: the Seattle Freeze.

What is the Freeze, you ask? It’s the belief that it’s hard to make friends in this city because Seattleites are relatively cold and distant.

Is that true? When readers Brian NashRebecca Staffel, Stephanie Carlson, Audrey Carlsen, and Nate Hull wanted to dig in, we passed their questions on to a group of natives and transplants and recorded their answers.

Watch the video above to hear these perspectives and more…

  • “I have kind of fallen into a great sense of community here. That being said, I don’t think that that community is from Seattleites who are natives.” — Dorothy Thomas
  • “If you only stay with other transplants, you’re going to keep perpetuating that, like, ‘Oh, Seattleites aren’t friendly and they don’t want to hang out with me.’” — Kjerstin Wood
  • “It feels like when you first get here that people in Seattle will invite you onto their porch but maybe not into their house right away.” — Casey McNerthney
  • “When people talk about the Seattle Freeze I see myself. I don’t particularly want to know my neighbors. To me a good neighbor is someone you don’t have to know, because you’re both doing your own thing.” — Knute Berger
  • The video is the second in a series made possible by Seattle City Club, which published the Civic Health Index, a new report on our city’s civic health. One fun fact? In 2013, Seattle ranked 37th out of 51 cities for doing favors for our neighbors frequently. Then last year, we ranked 6th. Go us. See the rest of the report here.

We hope this series gets us talking about where our city is headed and how every local — new and old — comes together to build its future. So go to our Facebook page and tell us: If you think the Freeze is real, how have you tried to break through? And if you think it’s a myth, why do you think it hangs on?

Big kudos to the interviewees quoted above — plus Cynthia Brothers,  Mugo Muna, Brian Nash, E. C. Parker, Anthony Shoecraft, Dorothy Thomas, Sarah Worley, and Royce Yuen — for appearing in the video. And thanks to James Andrews and Anika Anand, who produced it.  

Check out the first video in our native/transplant series: What does it mean to be a Seattleite? And what does it take to become one?

By Mónica Guzmán
Mónica is the cofounder and editor of The Evergrey. She's been a Seattle journalist for a decade and adores this city.