50 Ways to Celebrate Global Warming

We all know it's getting hotter out there. Here's how to make the most of your ozone-free summer.

Get Out

Get Wet

Eat Cool

Look Good

Shop Without Shame

Take a Day Away

Get Sporty

Garden Wisely

Summer Guide 2005

• 50 Ways to Celebrate Global Warming. MORE

• Ask the Experts. MORE

• Event Picks. MORE

• Author Readings. MORE

• Movies. MORE

• The Bard Is Back. MORE

• Concerts. MORE

Get Out

Monkey Around

In times of drought, high-profile, heavily used gardens and tourist attractions are the last to be removed from the city's irrigation list. So the Woodland Park Zoo should remain leafy and green throughout the season. It can get pretty crowded in the summer, though, so go early in the day or late—that's when the animals are more active, anyway. Summer hours are 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m. For info, call 206-684-4800 or go to www.zoo.org. The ZooTunes summer concert series gets under way July 20 and runs through the end of August. Details on the Web site or at Metropolitan Markets. LYNN JACOBSON

Cast a Wooly Bugger

Want to catch a fish? According to Seth Taylor, manager of Creekside Angling, all you need is a fly rod, a few fly patterns, and a fishing license (unless you're under 15—when no license is required). "Two words: Green Lake," he says, and he's serious. The murky depths are swimming with rainbow and brown trout, smallmouth bass, and carp (overgrown goldfish). Fish 18 inches long are not uncommon. Simple bait will work, but for fly-fishing purists, Taylor recommends casting in the evening using either a chironomid (that's a midge to you and me) or No. 6 Wooly Bugger. "It's an absolute trip," he says, "catching a trout while looking at the Space Needle." Creekside Angling, 1308 Fourth Ave., 206-405-3474, www.creeksideangling.com. For regulations and fishing licenses, call 360-902-2200 or go to www.wdfw.wa.gov. ANDREW ENGELSON

Head Out to Sea

OK, maybe "sea" is pushing it, but you won't find a cheaper way to head across the water this season than renting a canoe or rowboat from the University of Washington and paddling out into Union Bay and the surrounding area. Even nonoutdoorsy types can enjoy the escape by setting a gentle pace and surveying the natural beauty of the wetlands around Foster Island. You can fit three in a canoe, four in a rowboat, and it'll only cost you from $4 (UW student) to $7.50 (general public) an hour. Waterfront Activities Center, behind Husky Stadium on the southeast corner of the parking lot, 206-543-9433, depts.washington.edu/ima/IMA_wac.php. STEVE WIECKING

Go Be a Kite

Look, Ma (way up in the left-hand corner), I'm parasailing!

(Chuck Taylor)

This involves a motorboat, a winch and cable, a harness, and a parasail (half parachute, half glider). It's dry and cool, as you—and a friend, if you like—float as high as 350 feet above Puget Sound, passing cruise ships and ferries. Bring your camera. Pier 57 Parasailing on Elliott Bay gives you about nine airborne minutes plus up to an hour on the boat as others take their turns. $54 solo, $95 tandem; subtract $5 if you pay cash. Starts late May or early June. Pier 57 on Alaskan Way, 206-622-5757. CHUCK TAYLOR

Eat a Wild Huckleberry

One of the region's finest culinary pleasures is found not in the confines of Lampreia or Rover's but on the slopes of the Cascades. Ripening in the August sun, fields of succulent wild huckleberries are an orgasmic taste treat. Where and when to find them? Try mid-August, on the Dickerman Mountain Trail, off the Mountain Loop Highway, 27 miles east of Granite Falls. This is no slouch of a hike—you'll gain 3,800 feet in a little over four miles to the summit, but the berries and eye-popping views are worth the sweat. Dickerman Mountain Trail, 16.5 miles east of Verlot ranger station, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest (Northwest Forest parking pass required), 360-691-7791, www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs. ANDREW ENGELSON

Bowl 'Em Over

It looks like bocce, it feels like bocce, but don't you dare call it bocce. Lawn bowlers are very particular about the special characteristics, rules, equipment, and joys of their favorite game. Two local parks have lawn bowling clubs open to the public (ages 10 and over). Free lessons are offered at both, and bowls (that's what they call the balls—don't forget!) are provided. Jefferson Park, 4103 Beacon Ave. S., 206-762-2490. Lower Woodland Park, North 63rd Street and Whitman Avenue North, 206-782-1515. www.ci.seattle.wa.us/parks/athletics/lawnbowling.htm. LYNN JACOBSON

Fall Down the Slippery Slab

So, you go out late one night sipping martinis at the Alibi Room, and suddenly it's 11 a.m. Sunday and you want to get out in the mountains. No worries—drive less than an hour up I-90 to Denny Creek Trail and make a beeline for the Slippery Slab. Hike just over a mile, and you'll find nature's own water slide: a series of cool rivulets splashing over pillows of granite. Solitude you won't find—on a weekend, you'll have to share the place with hordes of families—but hey, it beats Wild Waves. Denny Creek Trail, I-90 exit 47, west of Snoqualmie Pass (Northwest Forest parking pass required), 425-888-1421, www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs. ANDREW ENGELSON

Send a Friend

Forget the backyard game of youth. Serious croquet requires greenswards as trim as billiard tables, big mallets, and sturdy wickets. Did I mention a set of balls? You must have a killer instinct and the skill to make tough shots to back up your Machiavellian strategies. Locally, the Puget Sound Croquet Club is the center for the game. It has three tournament-ready lawns near Kirkland. Even better, the club invites the public to get acquainted with the sport at free beginners' clinics from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays. This summer, you'll also have a chance to watch America's best players compete on the club's courts in the United States Croquet Association's International Rules National Championships (May 31–June 5). Or, you can battle through sticky wickets yourself in the 2005 Seattle Open (July 6–10). And wear white, please. Puget Sound Croquet Club, 425-453-1561,www.pugetsoundcroquet.com. KNUTE BERGER

Roll, Roll, Roll Your Boat

Now, it's true that just about anyone with a credit card can drive up to the Northwest Outdoor Center on west Lake Union and paddle off into the unknown (or the Montlake Cut, for the less adventurous). But if you're a neophyte kayaker, you will have a lot more fun (not to mention learning something worth knowing) if you take the NWOC's "Basic Strokes" class: two and a half hours of splashing, bumping into each other, exploration, and, if you've got the guts, rolling yourself over in the water. Even if you never kayak again, it's worth 50 bucks and then some. NWOC, 2100 Westlake Ave. N., Suite 1, 206-281-9694 (800-683-0637 outside the 206 area code), www.nwoc.com. ROGER DOWNEY

Walk the Path Less Traveled

The summer traffic jam of walkers, joggers, bikers, inline skaters, baby carriage pushers, wheelchair riders, and dog walkers around Green Lake can be pretty off-putting. Here's a little secret: Seattleites are a bunch of fair-weather walkers. If you want to contemplate the lake, the birds, and the trees without so many of your fellows, go when it's cloudy. If there is a little drizzle, the place becomes positively empty. Other than that, go early. The worst times are late weekday afternoons or weekends in sunny weather. At those times, I suggest you give a few of the other great Seattle strolls a chance: Northwest Seattle's Carkeek Park, West Seattle's Lincoln Park, Magnolia's Discovery Park, or Seward Park. There are lesser Seattles there. For locations and hours: www.seattle.gov/parks. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.

Get Wet

Douse Your Dogs

Even grown-ups like to wiggle their toes in wading pools on a hot day. But if the water shortage gets bad enough, some pools may be filled only on the hottest days, or be shut down altogether. Likely, the "big three" will be last to close down: Green Lake, Lincoln Park, and Volunteer Park. Call the wading pool hot line for daily updates: 206-684-7796. LYNN JACOBSON

Get a Room

We Northwesterners are not a people known for our raging pool parties. We're not a people known for our pools at all. While you're waiting for your backyard to catch up with the climate, consider spending the night at a local motel and using theirs. For less than a hundred bucks, you can chill poolside at the Ramada Inn at Northgate (206-365-0700), the Travelodge by the Space Needle (206- 441-7878), or La Quinta Inn in Kirkland (425-828-6585); for about $50, try the Everett Mall Travelodge (425-337-9090)—that'll really be a getaway. Check in as soon as you can and stay as long as they let you—and spend every minute in between lolling around the chlorinated water with your floating beer cooler. LAURA CASSIDY

Go Where the Sidewalk Ends

Seattle's shoreline street ends are those little plots of land where road meets water. Friends of Street Ends (FOSE), a volunteer-based group chaired by John Barber, has become the city's most outspoken advocate for keeping street ends public, though homeowners can pay for exclusive use. If you're curious, take a stroll through Eastlake, Leschi, Madison Park, or West Seattle and find a nice spot to dangle your feet in the water—or stage a picnic. 149 locations throughout Seattle. FOSE: 206-726-8919, friendsofstreetends.org. NEAL SCHINDLER

Catch a Waterfall

With a drought on our hands and, perhaps, a not-too-distant future of parched, dry land, it makes more sense than ever to enjoy a good waterfall whenever you can. Thankfully, downtown clock-watchers don't have to head to the Cascades to spot a good one. Perched on the outer edges of Pioneer Square is Waterfall Garden, where gorgeous camellias and other lush foliage surround an improbable urban oasis. Privately built and maintained by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the tables and seating areas provide the best location for lunching, hand-holding, and daydreaming of cooler days. Main Street and Second Avenue. LAURA CASSIDY

Scuba, Do

Paul and octopus, from Starfish Diving.

(Jack Connick, www.Deepics.com)

When the polar ice caps melt and the Earth begins to look like Waterworld (minus Kevin Costner), underwater breathing skills will come in handy. Starfish Diving Inc. offers scuba diving classes for reasonable prices, and Discount Divers Supply offers cheap rates on all kinds of equipment. Starfish Diving, 600 W. Nickerson St., 206-286-6596, www.starfishenterprise.com. Discount Divers, 2710 Westlake Ave. N., 206-298-6998, www.discountdivers.com. HEATHER LOGUE

Plunge Into Seattle Center

The heart of Seattle has a killer summer combo for families with kids. Pack a bag like you're going to the beach. First hit the Fun Forest Amusement Park and ride Wild River—not too scary, a little bit wet, and delightfully ticky-tacky. Then head over to the International Fountain: One hundred and thirty-seven mist nozzles, including four supershooters that blow 120 feet in the air, send cascades of wonderful water all over the fountain bowl. Kids can spend hours dodging and dousing. Parents can join in or just relax at the top of the bowl, cooled by the mist. Fun Forest Amusement Park, Seattle Center, 206- 728-1585, www.funforest.com. International Fountain, Seattle Center, 206-684-7200, www.seattlecenter.com. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.

Swim in Lake Washington

Whether you swim at northeast Seattle's Matthew's Beach or southeast Seattle's Madrona Park or places in between, it's not a pristine experience. There's milfoil. There are lots of children and adults shoved inside a bunch of ropes overseen by lifeguards dressed in red suits and white hats. And as the summer goes on, the water quality diminishes. Still, if it's hot, it's worth it. Suggestion: Find a friend with a boat, go out in the middle of the lake, and dive in. Matthew's Beach, 9300 51st Ave. N.E.; Madrona Park, 853 Lake Washington Blvd.; www.cityofseattle.net/parks. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.

Channel Your Inner Polar Bear

It takes a hearty soul to enjoy swimming in Puget Sound. But the points of entry—northwest Seattle's Carkeek Park and Golden Gardens, downtown's Myrtle Edwards Park, and Magnolia's Discovery Park—are lovely, the water is much cleaner than that of Lake Washington, and there aren't as many swimmers to bump into. If you can't bear the idea of swimming, take the dip: water up to first the ankle, then the knee, and then the midthigh. Then it's time for the countdown and the (quick) full-body immersion. Carkeek Park, 950 N.W. Carkeek Park Rd.; Golden Gardens Park, 8498 Seaview Place N.W.; Myrtle Edwards Park, 3130 Alaskan Way; Discovery Park, 3801 W. Government Way; www.cityofseattle.net/parks. GEORGE HOWLAND JR.

Eat Cool

Chill Out

On some summer evenings, it's simply too hot to eat. What to do? Drink! No, we're not talking about making a martini into a meal, we're talking about preparing cold soups. On July 23 at Magnolia's acclaimed cooking school Dish It Up!, chef Laura Dewell will lead a class through the nearby farmers market to pick up fresh ingredients, then into the kitchen to explore chilled bisques, cooling gazpacho, and the like. Or take any of four separate PCC Cooks classes, led by Marie Donadio—aka the "Soup Queen"—and you'll learn to prepare soups like golden vichyssoise, which can be served hot or cold. Dish It Up!, 2425 33rd Ave. W., 206-281-7800. PCC Cooks, 206-545-7112, www.pcccooks.com. LAURA CASSIDY

Take It Ice and Easy

In our new hot, sticky climate, fondue parties will no longer be any fun at all and neither will backyard barbecues. Instead of planning your party around a heat-inducing appliance, embrace the snow-cone machine. Local party equipment rental companies like Party Hoppers and Clowns Unlimited will lease you a machine by the hour; typically they'll sell you bottles of syrup (lime, raspberry, strawberry, etc.) and you'll provide the ice. It's up to you whether or not you want to hire someone to staff the machine as well. Party Hoppers, 425-888-1818, www.partyhoppers.net. Clowns Unlimited, 206-763-3236, www.clownsunlimited.com. LAURA CASSIDY

Eat It Raw

If slaving over a hot stove in balmy weather seems unappealing, dining out on hot food isn't much better. Enter Chaco Canyon Cafe, whose menu consists mostly of raw food. Owner Chris Maykut says the lasagna, made with basil, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and spinach on a base of nuts and seeds, is as summery as it gets. 4759 Brooklyn Ave. N.E., 206-522-6966, www.chacocanyoncafe.com. NEAL SCHINDLER

Catch the Taco Bus

Tacos del Asadero owner Francisco Javior Soltero and son Alexander.

(Jay Vidheecharoen)

Parked on the site of a defunct gas station just south of the old Chubby and Tubby on Rainier Avenue South is one of those taquerias-on-wheels that have been popping up around the city. Inside a white bus, the staff of Tacos del Asadero make tasty, inexpensive Mexican fare in their semimobile kitchen—from $1 tacos to plates of pollo asado (fried chicken with rice, beans, and a steaming foil-wrapped roll of hot tortillas) for $6.50. Wash it down with an old-school Coke in a bottle. You can eat in swivel chairs at counters inside the bus or outside under the awning by the takeout window. There's not much of a view, unless you're fascinated by the auto glass shop across the street, but you can take your instant picnic to a nearby park or beach like Seward Park or Mount Baker Beach. Rainier Avenue South and South Court Street, no phone. KNUTE BERGER

Try Them Tiny

New small tomatoes come in unusual sizes, colors, and tastes. These little babies are the perfect size for snacking, a snazzy salad, or grilled skewers. Use your mouth to take the color test. Orange and yellow tomatoes should be sweet, green and white are tart, and reds balanced in-between. Some of their names are even romantic enough for your sweetheart. Try Honey Bunch, Sugar Plum, or Baby Romanita (available at Seattle-area grocers) and see if they make your honey happy. No sweetheart? All the more tomatoes for you. KIRSTEN DELARA

Buy Locally

Could global warming bring an earlier start to the farmers market season next year? Here's hoping. As it is, all but one of Seattle's six neighborhood markets are already up and running; the last, in Magnolia, opens June 4. And while the University District market, with its heirloom tomatoes, guitar-strumming troubadours, and plentiful free samples, offers the best sensory overload outside Pike Place Market, the big story is on Capitol Hill, where the winter market's success has brought artisanal cheeses, rustic breads, and white peaches—a classic hot-weather fruit—back to Broadway for the summer, too. Locations throughout Seattle, www.seattlefarmersmarkets.org. NEAL SCHINDLER

Shed the Reds

When the hot summer afternoons and evenings arrive, I pity the fool who doesn't make the shift from red wine to white. White wines are chilled and match much better with salads and fruit than red wine ever will. But please, buy European. The French, Germans, Austrians, and Italians generally avoid oaking their white wines, and oak is what gives many American and Aussie whites that nasty buttery flavor and drains perfectly good wine of its acids. When it comes to French whites, the best options come from Chablis (very dry, crisp chardonnays) and Burgundy (chardonnays). There are the sauvignon blancs from Bordeaux and Loire (including the lovely Sancerres). It's also hard to go wrong with Austrian Grüner Veltliner–based wines. The good news is that all these Euro imports can be had for $10 to $15 a bottle. PHILIP DAWDY

Double Dip

While you can't necessarily classify gelato as a health food, it does have less fat and fewer calories than American ice cream, and the Italian frozen dessert also comes in flavors befitting our emerging tropical milieu. If a huge dripping cone of chocolate chocolate-chip fudge brownie ice cream doesn't appeal to you in the dog days of August, perhaps a somewhat daintier portion of coconut gelato will make more sense. Pineapple? Mango? Orange? Sounds a little more refreshing, right? Our favorite gelateria is Bottega Italiana in Pike Place Market; we believe it to be absolutely perfect. (And if you can't be cured of your cream habit, by all means, go to Husky Deli in West Seattle, where the good old-fashioned American stuff is a homemade family tradition.) Bottega Italiana, 1425 First Ave., 206-343-0200. Husky Deli, 4721 California Ave. S.W., 206-937-2810. LAURA CASSIDY

Ban the Barbecue

"Summer is barbecue season" . . . are they mad? Maybe people in other parts of the country want to spend hours with stinky lighter fluids and searing coals to dish up food half raw and half charred; but they're mad anyway, for living where they do. This year, enjoy the summer's fine days with cool food: seafood salads, cold-smoked salmon, bruschetta, paté—all washed down with albariño, vinho verde, and other cool quaffs. Let your neighbors kipper themselves. You're too cool. ROGER DOWNEY

Drink Up

Whether they're alcoholic, icy, creamy, or caffeinated, cold drinks are best appreciated when consumed somewhere in the great outdoors. This is why any bar or cafe with a deck or even a couple of grungy chairs pushed up against the walls grows more appealing as the temperature rises. Try a tangy margarita in the outside section of Broadway Grill, where people-watching is at its peak, or take a trip to Pioneer Square and enjoy an iced coffee at Torrefazione Italia, where the tables spill out onto the cobblestones, giving the cafe an enticing European feel. Broadway Grill, 314 Broadway Ave. E., 206-328-7000. Torrefazione Italia, 320 Occidental Ave. S., 206-624-5847. HEATHER LOGUE

Look Good

Get Hot Waxed

Crazy as it might seem, there may come a hot, globally warmed day when you'll want to trade your frumpy beach cover-up in for an itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini. At that point, you'll also probably want to go Brazilian. In South American countries, where minuscule triangles and strappy bits of cloth pass for swimsuits, a very intimate waxing is all but mandatory. No, it doesn't hurt as much as you might think, especially if you have the right aestheticians. This side of the Panama Canal, my favorite wax wielders are Dejha Colantuono and Lisa O'Leary, veterans of Wax On Spa (the self-proclaimed "Home of the Brazilian") and Salon Dewi. The dynamic duo of hairlessness just opened their own spa in West Seattle, and for about $60, they'll get you ready for that new, um, "suit." Beauty Bar Spa & Boutique, 3507 S.W. Henderson St., 206-938-WAXX. LAURA CASSIDY

Fight the Fade

Nothing is worse than rolling up those sleeves when the sun comes out and discovering that not only are you obscenely pale, but your tattoos have acquired that grayish cast more commonly seen on the arms of haggard old sailors. Luckily, Seattle is the place for ink, and the options are endless in the city where body art runs rampant. A couple that deserve your attention are Super Genius Tattoo, 1017 E. Pike St., 206-322-1630, www.supergeniustattoo.com, and Under the Needle Tattoo Parlor, 2511 Sixth Ave., 206-448-6613, www.undertheneedletattoos.com. HEATHER LOGUE

Grow It, Show It

Attention men: Don't try this at home.

(Out Magazine)

In their zeal to blanket the Internet with Out magazine's worshipful photo spread of new ultrahunk Josh Wald, most media missed the real fashion news: the runway-show shot of Wald wearing nothing but a vestigial bikini bottom exposing a beautifully coiffed hedgelet of pubic hair. Could this be this summer's male response to last summer's bare-belly-bottom craze among women? Maybe. But the lesson of that unfortunate development, now blessedly fading, is simple: Men, don't try this without the attentions of a first-class stylist. ROGER DOWNEY

Practice Foot Modesty

Chuck Taylor All Star Rainbows

It's a rite of summer in these parts that once the temperature rises above 70 degrees, Seattleites slide off their boots and break out the Birkenstocks and flip-flops. And so begins the parade of ugly feet—spider veins, varicose veins, yellowed toenails, and hammer toes. No one, however, wants to see your ugly-ass feet, not even your mother. For the sake of the civic viewscape, get wise to Converse Chuck Taylors or the classic suede One Stars or Vans' Old Skools. Prices range from $25 to $50, depending on where you shop, and everyone on the street will be so happy that you coughed up that coin. Change your socks once in a while, too, OK? PHILIP DAWDY

Shop Without Shame

Think Shades

Whoever has the biggest sunglasses wins.

(Jay Vidheecharoen)

Itty-bitty reading glasses are still in, but when it comes to protective eyewear, bigger is better. For shades you won't find at the mall, trudge your sweaty bod around town and check out dollar stores (I found some gargantuan and striking sunglasses at one on Broadway). Secondhand stores like Red Light in the U District also offer various shapes and colors that will cost less but increase your style on those blistering summer days. Red Light, 4560 University Way N.E., 206-545-4044, www.redlightvintage.com. HEATHER LOGUE

Get Board

You know that global climate change is for real when you see surf shops popping up all over Seattle. Urban Surf on Northlake Way offers everything from wetsuits to the weather forecast in a store crowded with colorful boards, a young, friendly staff, and every athletic brand imaginable. Cheka Looka Surf Shop in Eastlake also offers helpful advice for surfers (ideal destinations, useful equipment) and a good selection of boards, wetsuits, and accessories. Urban Surf, 2100 N. Northlake Way, 206-545-9463, www.urbansurf.com. Cheka Looka, 2948 Eastlake Ave., E., 206-726-7878. HEATHER LOGUE

Buy Hawaiian

With 15,000 items in stock, the Hawai'i General Store in Wallingford plays many roles: It's a party emporium, a music store, a food shop, and a fashion boutique. According to employee Kiapu Wolfe, as soon as the hot weather hits, there will be a run on party supplies—island-themed plates, cups, napkins, invitations, and floating candles. Also popular: fresh-flower leis made with orchids or plumeria (an aromatic Hawaiian flower) and bottled water and juices from the islands. And if shopping there makes you yearn for an actual Hawaiian getaway, you're in luck: The store also houses a travel agency. 258 N.E. 45th St., 206-633-5233, www.hawaiigeneralstore.net. NEAL SCHINDLER

Boost Your SPF

Most of us know that liberal applications of baby oil and reflective Mylar beach blankets just aren't good ideas. As the ozone disappears, we've learned to fear the sun instead of willfully bake in it—but you can't hide from a gigantic star. So we love the minimalist, generic-looking packaging and pharmacology heritage of Kiehl's products, which are available at all Nordstrom stores, Barneys, and the company's retail store in U Village. Their Sunscreen Cream is a great all-purpose UV buffer; the lipstick-esque Ultra Moisturizing Stick is great for earlobes, lips, and eyelids; and some of their every- day products, like the fantastically named Unusually Rich—but Not Greasy at All—Hand Cream, have SPFs of 10 or so. www.kiehls.com. LAURA CASSIDY

Go Deep With Your iPod

Apparently, it isn't enough to be able to fit your entire record collection into a machine the size of a cigarette pack. Now you have to be able to take it into the water with you. And you can, thanks to H2O Audio, who have designed the first waterproof case for the Apple iPod Mini. They've even gotten pro surfer Peter Mel on (cough) board, singing the product's praises. No word yet on whether the music sounds just as garbled as everything else underwater, but gadget freaks will undoubtedly rejoice. www.h2oaudio.com/index.php. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

Take a Day Away

Walk with the Bellinghamsters

Looking for a quick day-trip getaway and a nice waterfront walk? Head an hour north on I-5 to Bellingham (add a half-hour-plus for an optional road trip up the curvy, tree-lined Chuckanut Drive). When you get to B-ham, there's a great four-mile (or thereabouts) round-trip urban trek. The South Bay Trail runs from downtown's Boulevard Park to the Fairhaven Village Green. A good portion of the route is a boardwalk that skirts Bellingham Bay with its bird life, sea breezes, and views of the San Juans. The walk is Green Lake–easy (and popular). One benefit is that like so many good walks in Europe, the trail is bookended by civilized refreshment: pubs, restaurants, and good bookstores. Info and map: www.cob.org/parks/parks_trails/trail_guide.htm and click on "South Bay and Boulevard." KNUTE BERGER

Dive for The Pearl

The expression "cabin fever" was invented in the Northwest. Yet for some unknown reason, Seattleites and Portlanders practically never resort to the easiest remedy: a quickie visit to each other's cities. The place to hit in Portland is the Pearl District, a dirty warehouse wasteland reborn as a gleaming artsy wonderland anchored by Powell's, America's best bookstore, and innumerable galleries, eateries, and infinitely-nicer-than-Belltown condos. You might aim for a first Thursday of the month, to catch the openings and the guided Pearl tour, and stay for the Friday night Flicks on the Bricks film series at nearby Pioneer Courthouse Square. Between Northwest Broadway and 16th avenues and Burnside Street and Naito Parkway, Portland. Info: 1-877-678-5263, www.shopthepearl.com/tour.htm, www.portlandtribune.com/pearl, or www.pioneercourthousesquare.org/calendar.htm. TIM APPELO

Hang Ten

Believe it or not, Seattleites have fantastic surfing options right in their own backyards. Or at least within somewhat close proximity. The waters of La Push (located on the Olympic Peninsula by the town of Forks) are an ideal spot for all levels of surfers—as long as you mind the rocky terrain and the protective locals. Joseph Whidbey State Park also makes a fine surfing destination and is frequently vacant, meaning beginners don't need to worry about embarrassing themselves in front of a crowd. Damon Point Park (close to Ocean Shores) remains a regional classic for more experienced surfers, with its easy accessibility and unoccupied beaches. Info: www.wannasurf.com. HEATHER LOGUE

Mini Cruise


Sure, a cruise to Puerto Vallarta or the Caribbean is fun, but who's got that kind of time or money? Instead, take a mini cruise in Seattle's Elliott Bay, courtesy of Metro's summer Water Taxi. It's much more affordable at $3 (one way; free with a bus pass). Operated by Argosy Cruises, the 149-passenger vessel runs daily, linking Pier 55 and West Seattle's Seacrest Park in 15 minutes. A free shuttle connects the Admiral District, West Seattle Junction, and Alki Point. Details: 206-553-3000, transit.metrokc.gov/tops/oto/water_taxi.html. KIRSTEN DELARA

Get Sporty

Pedal to the Pub

Toujours le Tour

Robert Laberge / Getty Images

Don't know the difference between a brake lever and a breakaway? Whether you're a newbie to the sport or a die-hard fan, or you just like watching those good-looking guys in shorts, you can mingle with other Tour de France enthusiasts at Summit Public House on Capitol Hill and watch this year's race (July 2–24) on three large-screen TVs. They're even bringing in a projection screen for the exciting mountain stages. Summit has 21 beers on tap, and owner Sam Munguia is primed to answer your race questions. Summit Public House, 601 Summit Ave. E., 206-324-7611. KIRSTEN DELARA

Come In for the Storm

Summer may seem like a weird time to go to a basketball game—for the first five minutes. Then the city's WNBA champions will make you forget what the weather's like outside KeyArena. Regular-season Seattle Storm games started last Saturday and continue through Aug. 27. If you've never been to one, it's high time you go. This is a world-class team, folks, playing blazing ball, at a ticket price you can afford ($10–$39). KeyArena, 305 Harrison St. Info: www.wnba.com/storm. Tickets: 206-628-0888 or www.ticketmaster.com. LYNN JACOBSON

Watch the Boys of Global Warming

If things get too extreme, we can use Safeco Field's 9-acre retractable roof for shade. Meantime, get a healthful dose of vitamin D and see grass that's actually green while watching the Mariners, uh, possibly win. Best places for rays: the standing-room area in center field between the bullpens and section 102, where singles mingle in search of home runs; the center-field bleachers, sections 190–195, a great place for teens; anywhere in Area 51 (right field, where Ichiro stretches between pitches), from field-level sections 102–109 on up to nosebleed sections 306–313. For shade, keep to the 100-level seats on the third-base side. Tickets are $7–$50. Safeco Field, First Avenue South and Edgar Martinez Drive, 206-622-HITS, seattle.mariners.mlb.com. CHUCK TAYLOR

Move to the Minors

The Tacoma Rainiers, the Mariners' AAA farm team, have put up some impressive numbers of late, sharing the Pacific Coast League championship in 2001 and generally fielding a .500-or-above squad. According to Assistant General Manager Kevin Kalal, 19-year-old Rainiers phenom Felix Hernandez is the top-ranked pitcher in minor-league baseball, and two other Rainiers—infielder Justin Leone and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo—have played off and on for the Mariners this season. Rainiers ticket prices: $4–$12. Keeping an eye on rising stars: priceless. Cheney Stadium, Tyler Street and 19th Avenue, Tacoma, 253- 752-7707, www.tacomarainiers.com. And don't forget the joys of single-A ball in Everett: The AquaSox play from June 19 to Sept. 7, and tickets range from $7 to $13. 3802 Broadway, Everett, 800-GO-FROGS, www.aquasox.com. NEAL SCHINDLER

Boycott Baseball

What has bats, balls, and a field but isn't baseball? It's cricket—Samoan cricket, to be exact—and it's played every Saturday from now till the end of August on Beacon Hill. The players arrive early by car and van from all over the Seattle/Tacoma area, clad in team T-shirts and colorful ie lavalava (saronglike garments). By midmorning, island music blares over a loudspeaker, and spectators are munching barbecued chicken and mulipipi (turkey tail). For local Samoans, says Samoa Ua Tasi team member Laalaai Howard, "It's all about fellowship and family, keeping custom and culture together." Asa Mercer Middle School, 1600 S. Columbian Way. LYNN JACOBSON

Garden Wisely

Forget Watering

Check out Piriformis Nursery in Fremont, which specializes in drought-tolerant plants. Owner Tory Galloway's philosophy: high drama and low maintenance. "I don't want to drag a hose around or do a lot of weeding and pruning. If you can get the right plant in the right place . . . you're happy, the plants are happy, and you can go for a boat ride or come home and just sit in your garden." 1051 N. 35th St., 206-632-1760, www.piriformis.com. KIRSTEN DELARA

Study Up

Become an expert on low-water gardening with the Miller Library. Visit the horticultural library's Web site, www.millerlibrary.org, and click on the "Drought Help" icon to review links to articles on drought tolerance, suggested plant lists, rain collecting, irrigation options, and sources of mulch. Research things scientifically, using the tool section's water-use calculator and drought monitor. Rather read a book? There's a comprehensive list of drought-gardening titles available for on-site reading or to be checked out from your public library. 3501 N.E. 41st St., 206-543-0415. KIRSTEN DELARA

Lose the Lawn

Lawns are nicer green and plush, but they're not worth the precious water—or the precious dollars to buy that water. We bought our house in 1985; we've never watered the lawn. Each year, it dies by the end of July or certainly by August. Each year, it returns in the fall to its verdant wondrousness. And I hope it goes without saying that you shouldn't fertilize your lawn, either. If you are having trouble letting go of a year-round green, lush lawn, Seattle Public Utilities has a good 12-step program for you. Go to www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/Services/Yard and click on "Natural Lawn and Garden Care." GEORGE HOWLAND JR.

Tiptoe Through the Tropics

The hot and steamy Volunteer Park Conservatory

(Karen Steichen)

Avoid the bugs in your own yard and take a day trip to a tropical garden nearby. Chetzemoka Park in Port Townsend hosts a tropical water garden, in addition to flower gardens and picnic areas. If you're looking for something a little more hot and steamy, the Volunteer Park Conservatory on Seattle's Capitol Hill is loaded with rare plants. Five connected greenhouses hold an extensive orchid collection, bromeliads, tropical ferns, palms, banana trees, and more unusual cacti than you can imagine. Chetzemoka Park, Jackson and Blaine streets off Monroe Street, Port Townsend, 360-344-3055. Volunteer Park Conservatory, 1402 E. Galer St., 206-684-4743. KIRSTEN DELARA

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