Once you’ve lived in a city for a month, you get a free pass to decide how you feel about things – everything – and make gross opinionated statements. Due to my general community outreach and diligent exploration, I’ve been given permission at the three week mark. I feel so special. Without further ado:
Everything Good and Bad about Seattle from someone who has lived here three weeks
(as most frequently compared to Austin Texas due to that being the former residence).
- Traffic: Traffic sucks here. It must be the worst traffic in the universe. Austinites that complain about traffic should be forced to visit Seattle. It is always rush hour. Seriously. The roads make no sense. Even with GPS and coffee and a sherpa.
- Public Transportation: What’s that? Really though, it will be good. In a few years. Seattle is renovating the underground bus terminals and putting in light rail. As I type, I can see them working on it. And the bus I took from my place to the baseball game did get me there and back…but also made me decide against a bus pass. I’m walking and cabbing. (Side note: Only ONE acceptable cab company in the whole city!!)
- Food: Mmm, delicious. What do you want? Best Vietnamese and Pan Asian, because we’re close, duh. The seafood is not what I expected, in that it’s so expensive and basically what you can get anywhere else, just fresher. (Hopefully.) I prefer to go to Market Fresh and cook it myself. Apples are fresh. They’re from here. What else? The restaurants are crazy busy, the good ones, that is, and the atmosphere everywhere is of a community that loves to eat and treats a dinner out like a party. I love that.
- Clubs/Bars: There is definitely something for everyone. Typically, if you journey out, you’re there for the night though, it’s hard to hop around in small areas other than Belltown (where we are) and Pioneer Square (where the homeless sleep). We have loved everywhere we’ve been, with the exception of the pool hall turned ghetto booty dance club. My fave that I’ve mentioned, is Shorty’s, my pinball home away from home, and I also like Twist, home of $2 drink and food Happy Hour.
- People: I feel that Seattle is a very diverse community. I don’t really have experience in trying to peg the locals vs. the tourists, I’m not used to that game. For the most part everyone we’ve befriended rocks, and strangers are unfriendly. Like NYC unfriendly. Whatevs.
- Clothes: Retail here is going to make me broke. But happy. The boutiques are surely mostly imports of fab findings, and it’s lovely to walk to a Nordy’s and Macy’s downtown. Austin needs that. There I go comparing again…People here are all either dressed to the nine’s or dressed to hike Mt. Rainier even though it’s closed. It’s funny.
- Community: Never living in a downtown condo before, I’ve loved the seeing of the same people at the same places, becoming a regular at certain places and feeling part of it all. Seattle is cool like that, area neighbors are by default buddies. In no time at all.
- Weather: Dude, seriously, it has rained once. And been cold twice, rain day included. They tell you it’s bad all year so YOU DON’T MOVE HERE.
- Ageism: The average age in Seattle is 35. There is a huge group of Google, Qwest, Starbucks-ers that deserve their own category title. I also think MK and I are the only married people without kids in the city…
- Homeless: This is a problem. There are (to me) a disproportionate amount of homeless everywhere, in every public park, at the market, on the square. And they are, by far, the most aggressive I’ve ever seen – including the east coast. I talked to one friend who told me he volunteers to help them and the issue is they are severely under medicated and there just isn’t proper aid. Think of 7th St/Salvation Army area of Austin and spread that out over the downtown. It’s really sad.
- The Arts: The Ballet and etc. etc are big here. There’s a Paramount and opera house. The museum and library are fantastic. I’m becoming more cultured…so they must be good.
- Sports: Reminder Seattle and Austin are roughly the same size and Austin has no pro sports. Qwest and Safeco (Mariners and Seahawks) are right next door downtown. Sonics (for now) play at the Key Arena in the Seattle Center. I like sports. The layout and all aspects of the fans make the sports up here good times.
- Parks: 6,200 Acres (about 11% of the City’s total land area) here is a park. I love running by the water, MK and I have driven to numerous parks. My favorite by far is Gas Works Park, 20 acres north of the city that was a former plant, where the boiler still stands, with a great view. (picture below)
- Coffee: Everywhere we go, we’ve seen the popularity of the French Press. We even have one. That’s how the restaurants seem to serve it. There is, literally, a coffee shop every block. And sure, people drink Starbucks, but I’d venture to say locals go elsewhere…there are thousands of local places to choose from.
- Wifi: There is a pretty huge list of places that you can go to get free wifi here. I am decently impressed with the connectivity of the city, the blog community, and the technology overall.
Well, what did I miss? What gross sweeping generalization am I utterly wrong about? I look forward to the discussion!