6 Surefire Signs You’re From the Pacific Northwest

seattle portland


You’ve never owned an umbrella. 

And if you do, you’ve never used it. This is the easiest way to spot tourists. When our state is getting precipitation more than 200 days out of the year, it seems pointless to even bother. Every designer brand makes them; God they’re so adorable. But everyone knows the fate of stepping outside from October-July; rain boots probably take up half of your shoe rack; what even are sandals?

Your makeup is the extent of ‘getting cute’ for work/school. 

Girls who try to heat-style their hair have become accustomed to the sad truth that it will only last an hour at best. And forget any anti-frizz product—because nobody’s locks can hide from that good ‘ole PacNW humidity. This relates to my last point; people who are visiting or have recently moved there will continue to hide their hair under beanies and hoods—only to no avail. And your outfit? Covered up by a pea coat, ski shell, windbreaker or probably a North Face. Good luck out there without one.

Starbucks is last on the list of your favorite coffee houses. 

Born in Seattle in 1971, it quickly became a favorite of the Pike’s Place Market. However (at the risk of sounding terribly hipster and non-conformist), they’ve become such a sell out. If you try their coffee without an overload of cream, sugar and syrup; their coffee is burnt and usually stale. We have the privilege of awesome shops that make mean lattes and piping hot macchiatos that are actually worth your money. Among my personal favorites are Stumptown, Peet’s and Boyd’s. Not to mention the hundreds of private/local vendors that just knock it out of the park. Go ahead, be a coffee snob. However, if you don’t like coffee, drink your Double Java Chip Caramel Mocha Frappawhatever proudly.

Hobos are among the most creative people in your city.

Every state has them, our state breeds them. They have iPhones but nothing to eat for dinner; they have pets but nowhere to sleep tonight. Homeless people seem to be the budding fashion muses of our corner of the country. Thrift stores and secondhand clothing are what’s hot right now (Macklemore even said so—and he’s the national icon for Seattle). Not to mention, their signs. You’ve seen them downtown—“Family attacked by ninjas, need $ for karate lessons.” “Not gonna lie, I just need a beer.” Let’s not forget about the bucket drummers in front of Pioneer Square.

You, a family member, or a close friend owns an Outback.

Subis are the trademark stamp of the Great Northwest. Go on an hour-long drive and watch yourself lose count of how many you see. 4-wheel drive, optional ski racks, lots of cargo room; it’s the perfect POV for spending a weekend on the mountain or heading out for a camping trip. You know you’ve instagrammed a snapshot of the sun setting behind it after a long day of hiking The Gorge.

‘Apple Cup’ & ‘Civil War’ are the best part of Thanksgiving time.

Whether you went to UW, WSU, UofO, OSU or a random community college, you know you watch them. Rival football games are the heart of Turkey Day. There are endless jokes and one-liners about the generally losing teams. This year, both games were nail biters. The Ducks won the Civil War by 1-point and the Huskies rightfully have possession of the Apple once again.

If you don’t understand, you should consider moving (or at least visiting). Washington and Oregon are two of the best states in the country. We have awesome food, nature, coffee, music and things to see.

Sorry, it’s a NW thing.


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