Swashbuckling Summer Guide 2010

An eye-patched guide to hot, rum-fueled carousing.

OK, we'll admit Dave Eggers' opening of faux pirate-supply stores as hipster fronts for writing centers may have been the bepatched ones' walk-the-plank moment in the pop-cultural zeitgeist. But really, who cares about the zeitgeist? Zeitgeist is such an annoying word anyway (although the coffee shop rocks), hinting at a lack of durability. And pirates are nothing if not durable.You've seen those "Rehab Is for Quitters" bumper stickers, right? Pirates had those affixed to the backs of their ships well before Chris Columbus happened upon America. And if you're willing to accept Vikings as the first pirates, then their lifespan dates closer to the death of Jesus than it does to the Skypes, Androids, and Black Eyed Peas of modern times.The swashbuckling ethos still permeates the modi operandi of major international port cities, including Seattle. Rum? Still pouring. Planks? Now known as "diving boards." Rape? Since criminalized. The hostile seizure and subsequent inhabitation of previously remote islands? As American as truck racing and pulled pork, bubba. Sailboats? Everywhere. Mustaches? As long as cops and musicians continue to walk the earth. Eye patches? Paging Dr. Fefer. Capri pants? Barely tolerated, but, like burlesque and karaoke, so much more than just a 15-minute starlet.Pirates thrive in summer, due in large part to the relatively agreeable weather. Summer is when they're out and proud, much like Seattleites. Pirates and Seattle. Seattle and pirates. Seafair pirates! That's inspiration—and that's the inspiration for Seattle Weekly's Swashbuckling Summer Guide. Get through the following several pages on your own two feet, and you'll never look at a sword—or the sun—the same way again. Plus, you'll know precisely where and when to let your "aarrrgghh" flag fly. Not that you can't do that anywhere; it's just more acceptable in McCaw Hall.

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