Sunday, April 6, 2008

Why Seattle?

Lately, as I have been mentioning to others that I intend to move to Seattle, I get the same response over and over. "Why Seattle?" Most often it sounds like a genuine, "why-would-you-want-to-go-there" question. This is so self-evident to me, that it always takes me a few seconds to reply; I never know where to start. So I'll make a top ten list, though the order means nothing.

10. Culture—The museums are rad, the opera/philharmonic/theatre all put on way awesome shows every year. There will be something cool to see just about every night of the week. Furthermore,

9. Concerts—Every band I love generally makes a stop in Seattle. I can't afford to keep flying up and driving, and in fact I often don't and thereby miss a lot of awesome concerts.

8. Shops—Bourgeois, I know, but there are some seriously cool shops in Seattle. Clothes (which I usually don't give a crap about, but up there there are so many cool places), cool record shops, unique paper stores: for all the dorky crap I like, in Seattle there are several interesting, offbeat places for.

7. Transportation—This is huge for me, as I don't drive (I have never gotten my license), and I don't intend to, especially with the whole impending energy crisis. Every general neighborhood I want to live in gets an 88%+ walk score, that means that one really does not need a car in many of these neighborhoods; there is such a proximity to grocery stores, medical establishments, hardware stores, restaurants, shops, etc.. And on top of that, the bus system is so stellar in Seattle, that even if what I want to do is not in the neighborhood, I can take a bus at virtually any time of day and get there.

Plus, the King County Metro website rocks, it has a Trip Planner! You can tell it where you are, where you want to be, and whether you prefer fewer transfers, minimal walking or the fastest way, what time you want to leave your starting point or arrive at your destination, the farthest you're willing to walk and it spits out a few itineraries for you to choose from. SCIENCE!

6. Food—Oh my in Seattle. SO MANY awesome restaurants, for so many kinds of food. The best middle eastern (my favorite) restaurant I've ever eaten at is in downtown Seattle. Oh, and then there are the piroshkies in Capitol Hill, the Asian/French fusion place near Beacon, some of the best Thai food I've ever had in the University District, the vegan-friendly bakery in Wallingford...oh yum...mmm...

5. Water—This may sound weird, but I love that there is a close proximity to water. I love the ocean, and while the waterfront in Seattle is a little...uncharmingly olfactory, the fact that the ocean is nearby is sort of comforting...

4. Neighborhoods—I love that each neighborhood in Seattle has its own character, and in and of itself, there is always plenty to see and do.

3. People—It has been my experience that aside from the few crazies every once in a while, the people in Seattle are generally incredibly nice and cool. I know it's not just because I'm always in a good mood there, but also because other people have corroborated that in general, people are nicer and more easygoing.

2. Feeling of home—This one I cannot explain, because it is probably the most subjective, feeling I have. However, every time I go to Seattle, I feel like I'm at home. I'm happy and excited and when I have to leave, I get sad and shaky, and always think of ways that I can hide out and miss my plane and just stay forever. I'm weird, I know...but this is one of the biggest pulls for me...the great unexplainable.

1. BOOKS!—I am the biggest bibliophile in my one-person universe. So the fact that Seattle is one of the most literate cities, with so many incredible book shops, STUNNING libraries, book groups, writing classes, rain to keep you inside reading and coffee to keep you reading into the night, this is definitely the icing-on-the-cake reason for me to move to Seattle.

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