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I have just received an offer for an internship in Bellevue. If I were to take the offer, it would involve bringing myself, wife, daughter (2yrs), and Boston Terrier all to Seattle from New York City. I don't have time to come visit Seattle before the offer expires, so I have a few questions for the forum. Hope you can help!
Where could I find and how much approximately would rent cost for an apartment in a safe neighborhood with great parks, grocery stores, restaurants? We do not have a car since we are coming from NYC and would be completely relying on walking and public transportation. Am I dreaming that such a neighborhood could be in Seattle area within a reasonable commuting distance to Bellevue? How is public transportation in the area? Would it make sense to live in Seattle itself and commute to Bellevue? Ideas and input?
You could easily take public transit from Seattle to Bellevue...there are frequent express buses, but Bellevue itself has come into it's own as a real city...Do you know where in Bellevue the internship is? I worked for Metro Transit for 24 years, so I'm kind of an nerd encyclopedia of transit routes.
Rents won't be terrible. Really nice 2 bdrm apartment will run 1800-2000 or less.
My wife, who is a native of Manhattan, suggests living in Bellevue rather than Seattle, not because there's more culture( there's not), but because it's more kid friendly, lots of parks, etc.
I second everything Ira posted there -- with one additional, very different point of view.
I spent the first 30 years of my life in NYC, in the city, doing all my schools in the area, starting my career in the city and having my apartment near Gramercy Park. You will be amazed at how much more gentle and relaxed, warm and friendly, and polite! people are here than in NY, and how many TREES there are here!! It's quite a delightful C-change! :-) The weather here, year-'round, is much gentler than in NYC, and if you must have beating sunlight all year, this is not the place for you as western Washington is drizzly and cloudy parts of more than 60% of the days from Oct. to April. Which is why everything grows so lushly here, and flowers bloom in January!
Seattle has a fairly small downtown office-building core surrounded on the north, east and south by residential/shop neighborhoods. If -- IF -- you want to keep, somewhat, that sense of crowdedness, fairly tall apartment buildings, interesting and quirky (not bizarre, just quirky) people in the neighborhood, small parks that residents use and love, and tons of small shops and restaurants, with comfortable, dependable busses going pretty much everywhere, with residents able to walk to most things they need, all wrapped up in reasonable safety -- the neighborhoods of Seattle that always remind me of Manhattan are: First Hill, University District, parts of Capitol Hill. Other neighborhoods with less of that "city" sense, but with pretty much all the other traits and delightful character: Fremont, Wallingford, Queen Anne, Green Lake.
All of the above neighborhoods have lots of bus access. But to commute from them to Bellevue, in all cases two busses would be necessary to get TO Bellevue, and then perhaps a third bus to get to your job location, depending on where the job is. Depending on where in Bellevue (which is quite spread out) the job would be, the one-way commute from these Seattle neighborhoods would be anything from ?? -- help, friends! I'm thinking 45 to 75 minutes? Fellow CDers, please chime in!
Doggie will not be a problem since he's small and folks here, even landlords, like dogs, but you will have to give the landlord a pet depo$it.
HOWEVER, when I came to Seattle, I lived in Capitol Hill for 5 years and enjoyed it, and it was a great "decompression" from NYC followed by many years in Tokyo. Capitol Hill is a beautiful and fun area, but all those neighborhoods are. Eventually, I knew I'd had enough noise and crowds. I bought a home in Bellevue, which has many many more remnants of forests, with birds, quiet, peacefulness, families, children and dogs.
Bellevue is suburbia, with lots of apartments, parks, all kinds of stores, restaurants, movies, hiking trails, good day cares/nursery schools, superb veterinarians, workout clubs, etc. you can imagine. But instead of the undercurrent buzz of the city, it has an undercurrent aum left over from the huge forests and working farms it was until 50 years ago.
If you rent in certain areas you wouldn't need a car for shopping, and several busses serve Bellevue going in many directions, but most Bellevueites would die without a car because Bvu isn't the big city and no one here wants it to be set up like one, so going more than a mile to a supermarket, dry cleaner or restaurant is usual. Lots of areas are not convenient by foot or by bus (because busses don't go there, yet). And depending on where one works and where one lives, it's often impossible to commute by bus from Bellevue to Bellevue. Folks who work in Bellevue who go out to lunch together will almost always drive to the restaurant because there's usually no other way to get there, or no way to do it quickly enough.
On C-D, we're constantly advising people to find out where the job is, then live near their work, because commuting time here can be very long, and you want to spend your free time with those you love, doing what you love, not commuting.
When you find out the street address, or the names of the two cross-streets, of the job location, please let us know. Then we can be more specific about commuting advice.
You could LOVE this move, and what's more you could give your family a beautiful, enhancing experience which everyone, including Doggie, will appreciate. :-) I came here in 1982, and I'm here to stay! You all could too! :-) I wish you happy choosing!! :-)
Last edited by allforcats; 03-07-2008 at 03:23 PM..
Thanks for the really, really helpful responses both of you.
As for your question about where the internship is: near Factoria Mall at the intersection of 90 and 405. I'm really not looking for a long internship. The major factors are: easy relatively short public transport commute, walkable neighborhood with all the stuff needed for daily life (park, stores, restaurants).
Lifestyle sounds fantastic! I'm really looking forward to maybe seeing green again when I look out my window. Thanks for the advice.
One question now that you know the location of the internship, would it be possible to find a neighborhood in Bellevue to live in without a car (for the summer anyway) with all the needed amenities or am I limited to Seattle and have to swollow a horrible commute? I'm really looking forward to suggestions.
Ahhh Factoria.... About a mile or so northeast of Factoria Mall (NE of the I-90 & 405 juncture) there's a forest where a pair of Bald Eagles have nested for many years... you can see them gliding in the distance most days... They live there because it's right near Lake Washington, home of their lunch salmon, and because those trees are the tallest in the area. And there are small lakes and streams where Blue Herons, with a wingspan the width of a room, live and soar just above the tops of the trees in the mornings and afternoons when they're teaching their young how to glide on thermals...
Good golly miss molly! I used to work a quarter-mile up the hill from Factoria Mall! YES, NUTSFORNUTELLA, YOU CAN GET THERE BY BUS!!! Even by foot, if you live in some of the apartment buildings or condos near the mall.
The mall itself and the main street the mall is on, have two huge supermarkets, two big drug stores, bakeries, Target, movies, home improvement store, restaurants, jewelers, more restaurants, yahdah yahdah. AND BUSSES -- going east, north, west and south. That location is very well served by busses. You can have a one-bus commute of, oh, 5 minutes? 15 if you really work at it! "Horrible" enough for you?
And wonder of wonders, there are still enough trees in back of those apartments and condos east of the Mall where a few deer still live!!! I saw one many times outside my office window.
You will be itching to buy a car, since you'll be right at I-90 which can scoot you all east into the mountains and forests in 15 minutes, for walking, skiing, snowboarding, camping, photographing, invoking mountain spirits, etc. And on the other side of the mountains is -- DESERT!! Now there's a surprise for us New Yorkers!!!
Now that I've calmed down a bit :-), there will be several areas where you can live that will give you a short commute to Factoria. Perhaps in the beginning, the area closest to Factoria Mall -- called Factoria in apartment ads -- will give you everything you need (except letting Daughter and Doggie roam free; not that), and you can get a 6-month lease, or a month-by-month lease, while you adjust and roam and learn. The other areas, not near Factoria Mall itself, might require a car to go grocery shopping. Check the NWSource link for rentals; also Craigslist.
HEY! Things are looking up The HR Dept. of the organization that is lusting after having you on staff should be able to help you find an apartment that pleases you. Urge them to help you.
PS - Parks: In Bellevue if you don't like a park near you, you can pull out a Bellevue map which you bought at the checkout counter in RiteAid drugstore or Bartell drugstore, and find a dozen more that you can take a bus to. :-)
Coalcreek Park is just a walk south from the Factoria Mall area, and is huge and beautiful. Your daughter and doggie will make lots of friends with lots of squirrels and birds there.
Sunset Ravine Park is a much longer walk uphill, east from the Mall, but a bus goes up & down that hill every 20 or 30 minutes and would stop within a block of the street that goes into the park.
Eastgate Park is south and east of the Mall, and at a distance. I think a bus goes along SE Newport Way now and then, that could take you there.
About a mile straight south of the Mall is an area called Newport Hills, with apartments and condos, and a lovely little lake and little Lake Boren Park. There's also the long, meandering May Creek Park.
A bit more than a mile south of the Mall is the wondrous Cougar Mountain Wildland Park. Yummmmm.... We're starting to need a car... :-) -- especially to escape from the cougars!! Just kidding!!
Last edited by allforcats; 03-07-2008 at 05:39 PM..
While there are neighborhoods in Bellevue that still don't connect with each other, bus transit in Bellevue has become quite good, with frequent service to downtown Seattle and downtown Bellevue...But I concur with AllforCats: There are tons of apartments in the Factoria area, and you wouldn't really need a car. Factoria Mall is a pretty important hub for that area, has a movie theatre, supermarkets, espresso, and one of the few Jewish delis in the Seattle area ( some people swear by it. I think "eh".)
Downtown Bellevue might give you a it more of an urban feel if that's what you're looking for.
... one of the few Jewish delis in the Seattle area ( some people swear by it. I think "eh".) ...
Yeah Ira, I pretty much agree with your "eh". Since Brenner Brothers closed, that's the best we've got on the east side. Ginsberg's? Grosberg's? But when it's all you've got, it's worth a whirl now and then, eh? Say Nutsfornutella, can you bring some Orchard St. knishes with you please please please??? See how nicely she smiles?
I checked: Eastgate, Factoria, Kennydale, Newcastle, Newport Hills and Newport shores (all nearest Factoria Mall; open Mapquest and just search Bellevue WA, and you'll see these neighborhoods).
Also: price max $2,000 per month (just for laughs), and Dogs OK.
I got one result, a nice-looking place for $1,445.
I went back a page and UNclicked Dogs OK, and got 11 results, a couple of which were houses. So it's BosTer who makes the difference. Well, that's another reason to ask your HR person for help in relocating.
Also check Craigslist. I find CL exhausting, so haven't done that.
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