Seattle, anyone bean?

My wife got offered a job in Seattle. I’ve heard that it rains a lot, there’s coffee shops everywhere, and that it’s really beautiful. Oh and it’s insanely expensive.

Have any of you good people visited? Do we have any Pacific NW based DiSers?

Sharing some recent comments on SA:
" WA & OR have a similar social/political dynamic as here, where the state overall is pretty progressive, but once you head outside of the big cities you start to run into plenty of chuds. They tend to be better armed and more organized up there though, we have less of a militia subculture among our right wingers here, thank god. Still present, but not as bad."

" The Seattle area is a mix of libertarian business ethics (Amazon rules downtown Seattle) and The Wokest Social Outlooks skipping hand in hand down the toll bridges.

The cops have a real bad rep, but thats because no one local has ever encountered an average cop from SoCal.

Rent and sales tax are high, but coming from CA you wont even notice! Alcohol is really expensive because stacking taxes on the poor makes up for not taxing Amazon."

"I’ve lived in Seattle for a very long time and moved back here to my hometown for tech. Despite Seattle having a decent Asian population, I would still get looks from white people when walking into places on the rare occasion.

King county is actually pretty progressive but when you get out of Seattle/Bellevue area it’s full of chuds, like Still Dismal said. The PNW thread here and the Seattle thread in LAN can fill you in on politicians like Tim Eyman–when you get your voter ballot you’ll probably see that guy’s name. There’s also (at least used to be) an opioid epidemic, so some public bathroom stalls have very short walls so homeless can’t just go in and shoot up.

Seattle is a small town that pretends it’s a big city, and is even worse now that Amazon has transformed the entire downtown/SLU area. The people in the PNW in general are pretty introverted and passive aggressive despite being very nice to your face–there’s actually a name for it: “the Seattle freeze”. The weather is miserable about 6 months out of the year, but summer is super beautiful with long sunny days. The outdoors there are amazing and if you’re tired of the local outdoors you can drive up to Vancouver/Whistler. The local brew scene is great and you can even pick up raw apple juice to turn into cider yourself.

There’s a big nerd culture there and some people pride themselves on being weird, but I don’t know how much of that is dead now thanks to Amazon/Google/FB."

1 Like

Big Nerd Culture is my grunge revival band name

3 Likes

Erm yikes? ha ha I was hoping for the good bits. My wife works in politics so chuds might be a good thing. She can convert them :slight_smile:

The weather is probably better than Chicago tbh. I’ll take 6 months of rain over humidity for five months, a month if your lucky of autumn then, five months of almost laughably cold nonsense, then maybe a month of spring.

In all seriousness… I’m feeling a little iffy. I made precisely one friend here (that wasn’t my wife’s already) in 4.5 years. All I’m reading is how unfriendly the people are. My best pal from school lives in California, I’m closer to him at least.

Is there a SA thread where they talk about the good bits?

Probably! There are PNW threads in the politics forums and in the Local forum (LAN). I haven’t read much of them though, sorry. I only know the ones I shared because someone in the California politics thread mentioned moving to Seattle. I… could try looking about and maybe pm a couple of people but that will take a bit of time.

1 Like

Holy shit!

1 Like

…well, it’s not a lie.

1 Like

Sure I just. Dunno, nothing like an extra grade of shitty cop to worry about!

Aren’t Chicago’s meant to be more or less the worst? Or is that old news?

1 Like

oh boy, the cops here! If you want to be utterly depressed have a read about Jon Burge, Guevara and this mess https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/oct/19/homan-square-chicago-police-disappeared-thousands

It’s one of those weird misconceptions that Chicago is left wing. It really isn’t.

I think it’s just assumed it must be because 2/3 Shellac live there.

Yeah The Good Wife has an episode or two about that place - nuts

1 Like

I’d say it all hinges on whether it has a craft brewery to rival Half Acre

1 Like

Half acre is pretty neat. One of the parents at my son’s daycare is the head brewer there. 5 rabbit is my favourite Chicago area brewery, closely followed by Old Irving :slight_smile:

1 Like

Looks lovely, like its near neighbour Vancouver seems a mix of big-city sophistication and the most outstanding forests, lakes, natural beauty in North America, but I’m not moving anywhere with a similar climate to Keswick. Plus bet they don’t have a cool pencil museum.

2 Likes

Just want to add for context people will move to cities like London for work, so really moving anywhere is fine

4 Likes

My brother lives there and owns an English style brewery, so visited a few times

I like Seattle, it’s a bit of a weird mixture of West Coast hippy culture and corporate/tech money

Has some nice galleries, decent music scene, obviously loads of cafes/restaurants, big craft beer scene.

A bit like London, you’ll find the more interesting/less corporate parts a bit further out. There’s some really beautiful nature in and just outside the city- the gasworks is quite pretty on a nice day.

From what I’ve heard from my brother, renting is pretty difficult and expensive- basically down to Amazon.

1 Like

I studied there for a year back in 2011-2 at University of Washington, and been through a couple of times since then to see old friends.

As a student I didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. It’s super pretty and great in the Spring/Summer, especially if you’re remotely outdoorsy. As mentioned above, you can get to Vancouver easily, and Portland’s also nearby. One of the things that I struggled with was it being relatively parochial, especially in terms of the students there. Almost everyone I met was from Washington state and viewed Seattle as being the centre of the universe - I’d lived in London my whole life and missed the pace and buzz while I was there. I think it’s also a city that is massively improved if you have money/disposable income, which obviously, as a student, I didn’t.

When I’ve gone back I’ve really enjoyed it, more so than living there, for a number of reasons. Firstly, spending time in different parts of town away from the U-District: Fremont, Ballard and Queen Anne are all great, and Capitol Hill is fun too. Secondly: the food and drink scene. You’ll get some of the best seafood available anywhere, and there are a tonne of really good places to eat. There’s also a lot of good beer to find there (and legal marijuana, if that’s your thing).

As others have touched on, the big business influence is fairly strong and I’d imagine that’s only increased as time has passed. That said, there’s also a lot of long-term residents and a lot of local pride, which is frequently coupled with progressive politics and a hippy-ish fringe.

If you and your family are going to make the move, I’d say that finding the right neighbourhood is the key. Many of my friends are still there and love it, albeit with gripes about cost of living (though that’s an issue in most major cities).

1 Like

I spent about three weeks in the PNW and about five days in Seattle - have no idea what it’s like to live in but I liked the PNW as a wider area a lot.

2 Likes

I work for one of the OG PNW tech companies, so have spent a bit of time in Seattle/Redmond/Bellevue and know loads of people there or who have lived there; the thread broadly chimes with my experience. Seattle itself isn’t huge, but as with a lot of American cities, the metro area sort of sprawls on.

Outside of the city and suburbs, it’s unbelievably pretty; it’s frighteningly expensive to live there unless you’re working for someone like Amazon/Google/MSFT; there’s definitely still traces of the alt/weird/grungey 90s version of Seattle around, but downtown that’s all been sanitised by Amazon.

Traffic is crazy bad, especially if you’re hitting the 520 at anything approaching rush hour. Finding somewhere to live that’s affordable and doesn’t have a 90 minute commute each way is going to be tricky, and unless you’re living and working downtown, you will be driving. It’s generally politically progressive, it doesn’t always rain, there’s a great music scene and yeah, the food and drink is great.

All the colleagues I have there seem to be incredibly outdoorsy and basically spend their weekends hiking/climbing/fishing/sailing/skiing/mountain biking and I’d be lying if I wasn’t incredibly jealous of them having all of that on their doorstep.

1 Like

Went for about 3 days and really liked it, although the friend I was staying with echoed what’s been said above about the Amazon effect. The surrounding countryside is amazing, it’s a bit surreal when you turn down a street and see Mount Ranier towering over everything. Also I was there in August so the weather wasn’t an issue.

1 Like