Monday, April 18, 2016

10 things I love about Seattle and 10 things I don't like about Seattle


1. Scenery: This state is freaking gorgeous. The snow-peaked mountains. The Puget Sound, the rivers, lakes, the parks, Mt Rainier. It's a beautiful area. San Juan Islands, Ferry to Bainbridge, wow, it's overwhelmingly pretty. Specially for me coming from the Tropics, this is very different from what I grew up with. 

2. Coffee: I live within walking distance of Vivaci, Ladro, Torino, Victrola, Vita, not to mention Starbucks Reserve and more. Good stuff

3. Tech Scene: There's competition for hiring the best software engineers, the big companies like Microsoft and Amazon cannot pump people fast enough. There's tons of smaller companies too and all the big players like Google, Facebook and Uber have offices here, if you can code, you work and live here and not have to pay the high cost of living of the Bay Area.

4. UW: The University of Washington is an great organization, the campus is beautiful, and the ties to the tech industries feed the private sector with world-class talent.

5. City Life: Good restaurants, museums, all kinds of cultural festivals in the city center, there's always something to do here. 

6. Pho and Teriyaki. Enough said. 

7. Nerds and Geek Culture. So there's a lot of scientist and engineers here, so, yeah, there's a lot of geek stuff going on, and it's plain awesome. I've never lived in a city where being a geek was the norm. 

8. Dog Friendly City. You can take your dog anywhere. There's a bulldog meetup, there's tons of dogs everywhere, there are more dogs than kids in Seattle

9. Weekend things with the kids: Hiking RattleSnake Ridge, Chilling at GasWorks Park. Going to the IMAX theater at the Pacific Science Center

10. Safeco Field and Century Link: Going to see the Sounders and the Mariners. I heard the Seahawks are good too, I just haven't had a chance to catch an NFL game yet. 

Needs Improvement

1. Traffic. Probably the worst thing about Seattle is it's traffic. I am not one to complain since I don't have a very long commute. (My office is a 2 minute walk) But still, the way the city is structured plus the lack of a solid public transportation infrastructure make Seattle one of the worst places to drive in the United States. 

2. Pacific North West Passive Aggressiveness. Seriously, wtf? People here are the opposite of, say, New Yorkers, they are nice to you and yet cold to you at the same time. This one warrants more in depth analysis. Just know that people here are...different.  We have met many nice people here, but the funny thing about that they are usually other transplants from the East Coast. Our closer friends here are mostly Floridian, although we've met nice people from Utah, California, Oregon and even Australia, but we're yet to be close friends with any native Seattleites, what gives? 

3. The Weather. It doesn't bother me a lot, but I'd be lying if I said that sometimes the constant drizzle doesn't get old. It's one of those things that you don't think about much as you go about your day, but last week when I was driving back from San Francisco, we had nice weather all the way, until we literally crossed the Washington border and bam, that annoying drizzle again. Maybe I am writing this because we had a brutal super rainy winter, but thankfully the weather has been nice lately so it's making up for lost time. When I first moved here a friend told me that locals just pretend like the rain is not there. That trick actually works most of the time. When you've been driving for 10 hours and want to get home safe, the PNW drenching drizzle is the last thing you want to see on the road. 

4. I-5. See traffic, it's so bad it needs its own entry. 

5. Homeless problem. Man, there's a big problem with homelessness in Seattle. You will see a lot of people on the parks, streets, under the highway, every where. 

6. Drug and Crime. It's not Chicago, it's not the Bronx, Hialiah, nothing like that but, there's a lot of car prowling and petty theft.  It's not uncommon to see used syringes laying on the sidewalks or on the public parks. 

7. Anti-tech sentiment: Amazon has transformed South Lake Union into a hub of mid to high rises with a bunch of new office buildings and a bunch of new rental apartments, as a result, rent has gone up and many people resent it, I totally get why people would get upset if their rent goes up, but the way they express it is by lashing out against programmers and transplants, because we must be the cause for everything that's is going wrong in Seattle. It's ironic that the same people who preach about tolerance and understanding and against stereotypes loves to stereotype the typical tech worker as self-absorbed, boring, white, privileged "brogrammer" when in fact, these companies are introducing a lot of diversity to the city. We transplants are helping the economy and are, for the most part, making Seattle a better place. 

8. House Prices: While it's not as bad as the Bay Area, it's getting there. You can still live quite well out of the city, but then you'd have to deal with traffic. See points 1 & 4.

9. Your vote doesn't count as much. We're all liberals here, so what's the point of voting? the vote has been decided already. If you are a conservative here. Good luck with that. 

10. They don't have a Publix here. (This should have been on top of the list)



Michael said...

Wait, I think 9 needs to be turned into 11 on the first list!

Having lived six months across the tiny sliver of Idaho from you in Montana, I can relate to Good #1. I don't have the ocean, but I have Flathead Lake and it is beyond spectacular. I went back to Indiana for a week recently, and my heart broke from not being able to see mountains.

Traffic.... traffic is a mixed bag here. In so very many parts, it's awesome because there are so few people on the roads. And normal highways have a 70 MPH speed limit! But I just happen to have to drive regularly on a stretch of road where I'm as likely to get stuck behind the one asshole doing 40 MPH. I also do not look forward to tourist season.

Jose said...

I want to visit Montana, we get snow in the mountains but rarely down in the city. I am a big city person, but I love the nature in this part of the country.

Michael said...

I love cities as long as they continue to keep the majority of people away from me. That being said, if you ever want a tour of the Flathead Lake area, be sure to look me up. We'll take you out on the lake, up to Glacier, and to the best food & beer.