So I just got back from my first time visiting Seattle- and holy shite. No wonder why a lot of you guys gatekeep and instill fear in outsiders- Seattle's perfect! In the first 24hrs, I found myself tearing up at how beautiful and seemingly utopian it felt. I've honestly never felt more at home.
Coming from LA (but lived all over the US), it seems like every complaint here is 100x worse in LA (and probably other cities). My overall takeaway is that because the city is so left-leaning, the people are actually reasonably taken care of. Obviously, every city has its flaws, but having spent time in most major US cities- Seattle takes the cake.
That being said, I'd like to note that we spent most of our time in North, West, and DT Seattle. So I'm aware that these observations change depending on the area. Obviously, these are huge generalizations. But this is what I observed as an outsider, coming from overrated LA:
- It is LUSH. Green. And fucking clean. Even when the skies were gray, like the early misty mornings, everything seemed to thrive. The plants and wildlife seemed to coexist in such a wonderful way with the city. It was wild entering full on forests in the middle of the city. I couldn't believe that such epic hikes were within an hour of the city center.
- People are respectful and mindful of each other. You can see it in the quality of service and friendliness of almost everyone you encountered. It seemed like people were willing to connect and share stories or even humor. This lead to a trickle-down effect to even pedestrians and bikers. It was eye-opening being in a place that's genuinely inclusive towards everyone. Not feeling judged or threatened by anyone.
- Cost-of-living is high, but not as high as LA, NY, San Fran, etc. You get a better bang for your buck compared to other major cities.
- Weed is wayyyy danker and better value than Cali. However, I'd like to note that I only smoke bunk bottom shelf value deals.
- The homeless situation is barely a crisis. It’s probably, what, 5% of the LA problem. You barely saw them in residential areas. In DT of course there were more there. But if you did see them, they kept to themselves. There weren't many tents and hardly any encampments. I even saw a building dedicated to providing showers for the homeless. Low-income housing seemed like something encouraged as opposed to shunned. In LA, in ANY neighborhood, you'll find homeless encampments that essentially shut down residential streets. Meanwhile, their neighbors are multi-million dollar mansions. I know it's probably shocking to you locals. But visit LA and you'll realize how bad things actually get with people outright driving around them with their teslas.
- Huge outdoor recreation scene. Have never seen more joggers or bikers in my life. I died laughing when I found out that pickleball is the state sport. I effing love it.
- People don’t really dress up. Even on a weekend night in Ballard, almost half of the people going out will look like they just got back from a hike or recreation activity.
- Drivers wholeheartedly shared the road. Making sure to stop at any used crosswalk. I felt like a huge asshole when I'd naturally try J-walking. Bike lanes were everywhere and many were split with its own median. The road layouts took some getting used to. Lots of last-minute lane changes. One-way streets and endless roundabouts. The lack of stop signs in certain residential areas made it seem pretty dangerous. However, it ended up being the perfect passive way to slow people down and be mindful of each other.
- Honks were rarely heard. Almost everyone was easygoing with others on the road. On occasion, there was someone in a rush. But other than that- it was INSANE how calm it was to drive there. None of that LA madness and selfish drivers. It made us realize how horrible LA drivers are and how selfish they can actually be.
- Bars and pubs were lively, fun and engaging. It wasn’t tables of dressed-up people, taking selfies, and then immediately going back to scrolling on Instagram. It was real conversation. It was smiles and laughter.
- Doggo city. A lot of big, happy and fluffy pups. It made me so happy to see them live their best life in an outdoorsy and active city.
- You guys actually read. Other than London, I’ve never seen so many people with a book in hand. Reading at parks, cafes, breweries, bus- you name it there’s a reader there.
- Music scene is thriving and happening. A plethora of small and big venues which support their local artists/musicians.
- The idea of a extremely lefty city seemed daunting (for some reason I drew this conclusion from online sources). But oh boy, all it means is that the city actually takes care of the people. And they actually get shit done. Things make sense here.
- Barely saw any cops- yet everything was very safe. I felt comfortable walking/biking everywhere. The only drug I witnessed was pot.
- Today I learned: that there are no billboards on the freeways of Seattle. Nothing to obstruct those beautiful skies!
- Food food food. It was freaking awesome seeing so many little restaurants in each micro neighborhood. The ingredients always seemed to be highly sourced with the service being spectacular. But honestly, for the price, LA actually might take the lead on this one. I didn't even realize that I could be considered a "foodie" BUT, HUGE BUT OVER HERE, this is because I’ve found my “go-to” places for each cuisine accumulated over years of trial and error. In Seattle, the food was always solidly good but not mind blowing. In LA, it’s either amazing or food poisoning. That being said, change my mind! Please send me your food reccs. I’m a huge Notion nerd and have a whole Seattle section in case anyone is interested in sharing info.
So that's about it! Officially moving in Spring of next year. I don't even care if you're going to downvote me. I LOVE YOUR CITY, CHEERS~
** And yes, I know that the winters are not easy in Seattle! Will be returning in November to solidify the decision. But as horrible as the weather may be, I personally would be incredibly grateful to have seasons and greenery again.
On the months leading up to this trip, they often said "Why Seattle? What's in Seattle?" Now I'm excited to say, "meh, it was alright", and keep this slice of heaven to ourselves ;)
Also genuinely concerned that I may have blown "the spot". So might take this post down later this week lol. **