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Old Feb 22, 2012, 04:08 PM   #1
calderone
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Seattleites: What do you love? What do you hate?

After spending the last two years in Chicago (my whole life in Illinois), I am headed to Seattle.

Not a lot of discussions on this city here. I have done a lot of research, so I know a lot about the city. I want some impressions from natives though.

I am especially interested in the so called "Seattle Freeze" and feelings on transplants. But really, feel free to bring up anything you want.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 04:33 PM   #2
Designer Dale
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True Seattle natives are very scarce these days. They all moved to Alaska when folks like me moved here from places like Ohio. PEMCO Insurance has a series of ads that describe the local breed. This is the latest. I'm guilty of this after moving out here.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=f2TOmUWliW8

The part of the NorthWest that struck me the most when I moved out here is '78 was the weather. Winter can be one long run of dark and rainy days that can be depressing if you don't adapt to it. Summer can be one long string of bright sunny cloudless days. The sky in the Summer is perfect for setting a manual exposure on a camera. Point it at the sky and take a reading. Set Manual Exposure based on that and shoot perfect shots for the rest of the day. I miss the clouds - the puffy kind - though.

Dale
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Old Feb 22, 2012, 05:15 PM   #3
sysiphus
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Things to love: fantastic air quality, lots of GREEN (all that rain is good for something!), easy access to mountains, ocean, and everything in between within a couple hours. The relatively strong local economy (thank MSFT, BA, AMZN, SBUX) has kept unemployment well below average. Fantastic cheap seafood. Temperate climate with low humidity. I personally love the Oct-April gray weather, but some people hate it. Our summers are fantastic...dry heat in the 80s is perfect. Excellent International District if you enjoy Asian food/culture. This really is more of an endorsement of the general western WA area.

Not so hot: Seattle is seriously screwed up as a city. The mayor/city council are insane, which means that the Eastside (Bellevue, Redmond, etc) are far more pleasant--better roads, less crime, cleaner, free parking(!), etc. Our sports teams are awful, if you care.

That's just what comes to mind off the top of my head. I've lived in the area for the vast majority of my life, for what it's worth.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 03:28 PM   #4
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True Seattle natives are very scarce these days.
We're not scarce, we just don't like to brag about how lucky we are to be native to such a beautiful place!

If your from Chicago, you should be fine with this "freeze" you talk about....
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 03:46 PM   #5
NutsNGum
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I'd love to visit Seattle, don't know why. I think it's Frasier's fault.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 04:15 PM   #6
calderone
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Originally Posted by Designer Dale View Post
True Seattle natives are very scarce these days.
We're not scarce, we just don't like to brag about how lucky we are to be native to such a beautiful place!

If your from Chicago, you should be fine with this "freeze" you talk about....
The freeze is this notion out there that native Seattle folks are very nice, but it is near impossible to break into real friendships with them.
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Old Feb 23, 2012, 04:59 PM   #7
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The freeze is this notion out there that native Seattle folks are very nice, but it is near impossible to break into real friendships with them.
Those are probably the people who left for Alaska when I moved out here in '78...

Most of the locals I met through my wife are very friendly. She's from New Orleans but went to HS in Seattle.

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Old Feb 23, 2012, 06:31 PM   #8
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I'd love to visit Seattle, don't know why. I think it's Frasier's fault.
"Tossed salad and scrambled eggs"??

Maybe you want further South.
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 05:37 AM   #9
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I've lived here for over 2 years now and love it. Lots of friendly people, excellent medical facilities and an absolutely fantastic music scene!!
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 05:47 AM   #10
NutsNGum
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"Tossed salad and scrambled eggs"??

Maybe you want further South.
Too warm in the South. I like the rain!
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 10:25 AM   #11
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Never experienced this "seattle freeze" you talk about. Lived their for 10 years through college and after.

Doesn't rain as much as people say, but the weather definitely is gloomy. Just bring an umbrella and invest in some boots for the winter weather.

Where are you looking at moving to?
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 05:25 PM   #12
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Coming from the upper MidWest, one thing that will impress you is how easily a dusting of snow brings the place to its knees. Most of this is due to the fact that it just doesn't snow enough for the cities to invest in removal equipment to the extent that the Midwest and NorthEast do. Drivers are just as unprepared and need to stay at home IMO. It seems to me that the asphalt mix used in Western Washington is different. It freezes easily and is really slick. Light rain followed by a chill leaves this stuff called black ice which I never encountered in my native Ohio or Boston. My first year out here everything shut down with an inch of snow. I couldn't believe it until I saw video of stranded cars scattered all over I-5.

Speaking of I-5, the area is a natural bottleneck with the Cascades on the East and Puget Sound on the West. There are only two major North-South routes so it can get congested. Mass transit keeps improving but has a long way to go.

There is a lot of great culture out here. Seattle has a symphony and opera and a lot of great theater. The International District has great authentic Asian food. I never had soup noodles before, but they are delicious. The seafood is probably better that I had in Boston with the exception of lobster. The peak of the salmon season is celebrated by the arrival of Copper River salmon from Alaska. They are flown in on an Alaska Airlines jet painted like a salmon.

Both Seattle and Tacoma have excellent zoo and aquarium facilities. Native wildlife can be seen at NorthWest Trek and Wolf Haven is known for it's rescue and breeding programs.

Native American culture is prominent and they will take your money if you like casino gambling... They give back to the community and there are several annual events like the Dragon Boat Races that are fun to watch.

I have flown through Chicago a few times and SeaTac airport is a flower garden compared to it, with the exception of Christmas and Spring break when everyone who can afford it goes to Hawaii.

Hope you enjoy your new roots. Just remember to bring your goulashes and a bumbershoot. Look it up if you need.

Dale
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Old Feb 24, 2012, 10:37 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by kellen
Never experienced this "seattle freeze" you talk about. Lived their for 10 years through college and after.

Doesn't rain as much as people say, but the weather definitely is gloomy. Just bring an umbrella and invest in some boots for the winter weather.

Where are you looking at moving to?
Capitol Hill and Fremont are at the top of my list.

I am actually here right now checking things out. I got a temporary room to make the move a bit easier.

Looking to move into a real apartment around May 1.
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Old Feb 25, 2012, 03:48 PM   #14
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Capitol Hill and Fremont are at the top of my list.

I am actually here right now checking things out. I got a temporary room to make the move a bit easier.

Looking to move into a real apartment around May 1.
Nice those are good areas, but can be hectic at night. I would definitely do a walk by at night to see how loud it is or at least see where the nearest bar/club/restaurant is to gauge how loud it will be. Capital hill you may have some younger kids and it be louder.

We lived by UW up throughout college and then in West Seattle afterwards, but worked downtown. West seattle is definitely cheaper and quieter, but not downtown. That said a bus was only 20min and 2bucks or so.

We are thinking about moving back in a couple years, definitely a great place to live. I miss how there is no state income tax! Plus for big purchases you can go to Portland, OR to save on sales tax.

When you get settled there are so many places I liked going for food/drinks if you want a list. Always had people there so it would a great way to meet friends.
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Old Feb 28, 2012, 08:03 PM   #15
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Thanks kellen.

West Seattle isn't really on my radar. I am not a fan of quiet, I need some energy!

I did a lot of exploring this weekend and found some good spots. Luckily I still have a few months to decide.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 09:32 PM   #16
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It's been a year since this thread was started. I have the opportunity to relo to Seattle and was hoping to get an update from the OP on how he/she has taken to the city. Also, any additional candid opinions are welcome.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 09:45 PM   #17
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lived there on and off for a couple years, many years ago. really enjoyed it. maybe the area i was in, but found it very friendly. best of luck with the move.

liked - culture, coffee

disliked - rain, more rain.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 09:55 PM   #18
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Thanks.

I can get decent coffee anywhere, so that's not an attraction for me. I get how a serious coffee connoisseur would love Seattle. Nervous that the reason coffee is so prevalent there --- the gloom.

How can you survive 9(?) months of concrete gray skies and dark winters without LOADS of coffee (and medication)? I don't mind rain but the darkness sounds, well, foreboding.

For neighborhoods, I'm thinking Phinney Ridge, Freemont, Wallingford. Walkable areas w/ some entertainment (e.g. live music, mom n pop restaurant, tiny one-screen cinema). I don't wanna live in the middle of Crush-It Central though. Not *too* much noise at midnight on a weekday.
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Old Feb 14, 2013, 10:38 PM   #19
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Those north-of-ship-canal hoods are nice but cost of living is pretty high. I'm a fan of beacon hill and Columbia city, a little more affordable and now that the light rail runs through, super accessible to the core of the city as well as the airport. Love west Seattle but with the tunnel construction business just south of downtown it feels more isolated from the rest of town than it used to. I've also got a soft spot in my heart for Ballard but its changed a bit in the last couple of years. Lot of apartmentey condo stuff now. Also look at the central district for good access to downtown and better housing prices than some other areas.

The wetdark season can be a drag if you let it (if you aren't appropriately distracted?). Some people never get past it, others don't seem to notice. Smoking lots of really good weed is a popular option, has always been, but since legalization, not quite Amsterdam but good lord, marijuana USA. Weather I don't mind, I grew up on the face of the sun so cool and damp suits me fine. A positive flip side is that it rarely ever gets super cold or super hot (summers have been known to disappoint the sun lovers and it's rarely even warm before independence day but you'll never have to dig your car out come winter). This winter I decided to stay off the bus and opt for bike instead: this has been an incredibly fun choice. Seattle's a gorgeous city and to be able to be In it the way a bike lets you is a visceral experience. Plus the proximity to ocean, mountains and canada is unbeatable. Everyone who has been here a couple years is pretty fit from all the outdoor oriented adventuring available.

Roads suck. Local government is silly. Cost of living is high. I often feel like living in the pacific northwest is like 90% real life and 10% camping, all the time, but that 90% figure is misleading. There is a bubble of elsewhere here.
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