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Old 02-26-2019, 02:19 PM
 
157 posts, read 139,252 times
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Posting this as a bit of a social experiment. I'm interested in hearing where people have lived previously and how this corresponds to their Seattle experiences. In my case my wife is from Seattle and I've moved here after living on the East Coast and in Chicago.

1. Climate:
I particularly find the climate bashing of Seattle a bit strange. Unless you are used to California, Seattle compares well with the rest of the country. You get a better Summer (better temps, less rain, more daylight hours) than just about everywhere. Winter is a trade off of cool/wet/cloudy compared to the much colder winters in the East and Midwest- and at least you can be outside a lot in Seattle during winter, with lots of days in the 50's. While Southern winters are better, Southern summers are horrible (so again a trade off either way.) The Spring and Fall is a bit worse in Seattle, but again, not a huge difference. And for people with SAD, the norther latitude is an issue.

But it seems like Seattle's "terrible climate" is only terrible when compared to Coastal California. But isn't that true for almost everywhere in the world? Otherwise, Seattle's climate is different than other places, but I'd be hard pressed to call it worse than NYC, Chicago, Houston or any other major metro in the US aside from LA, SD and SF.

So is the terrible climate narrative being driven by CA transplants, or is it more that people have a preference for the different climates that they were used to, that are not objectively better, just different?

2. Grittiness (crime/homeslessness etc.)
Like with climate, I wonder if CA transplants who grew up in sheltered suburban environments drive the narrative. Objectively, Seattle is a safe city. Like most West Coast cities it has more property crime and less violent crime. IMO, what makes Seattle different is that so many of the "prime neighborhoods" are in the city limits. While in a lot of the country (LA, SD, Chicago) the prime neighborhoods are almost solely in the suburbs, or at least neighborhoods that are far more segregated from the urban core than say, Capitol Hill or Fremont. More akin to Eastside suburban living.

So I wonder if a lot of the negative reactions people have to Seattle's grittiness is due to them relocating from more sheltered suburban backgrounds. In contrast, I really doubt that someone who moves from within the city limits of SF, NYC or Chicago would find any Seattle neighborhood to be all that gritty. But if you move from suburban LA or Bay Area, then yes, Seattle is likely a culture shock.

3. Cost of Living:
This runs in the opposite direction. People moving here from California or NYC probably find home and daily expenses here to be fairly normal. I'm guessing the COL shock comes more from locals who either have not directed benefited from ballooning home values, or only see the negative side (increased property taxes.) Also, people moving here from areas other than the coast are probably shocked- especially if they are not coming with high paying jobs.
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Old 02-26-2019, 03:31 PM
 
Location: Was Midvalley Oregon; Now Eastside Seattle area
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We downsized and urbanized from mid Willamette Valley, Oregon; 210 miles south of Seattle. Climate is milder in Seattle area than previous Oregon location.
Had my Hyundai Accent 2005 stolen in January, and stripped (battery and radio) in Oregon. Why? Because it was easy to do according to my research of car dealers.
COL is lower in Seattle area because we urbanized.
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Old 02-26-2019, 04:32 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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We moved down from Alaska last spring. Many of the reasons for the move are the same as the reasons people complain. The weather is better here. There’s more light in the winter. Rarely snows. With the exception of housing, the cost of living is less. Oh yes, there’s that darn alcohol tax in WA. We are thrilled with the prices and quality of the fruit and vegetables.
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Old 02-26-2019, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Seattle
2,483 posts, read 802,021 times
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I have a ton of friends from California who often complain that Seattle is kind of a low energy, low vibration type of place. It's basically Disney Land for introverts. Seattle is great if you too are introverted, if not, it can be an odd city.
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Old 02-26-2019, 06:06 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
438 posts, read 235,104 times
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I think it comes down to the fact that people that like to complain will always find something to complain about no matter where they live.

I've lived in Seattle/Western Washington most of my life and have heard every single one of the complains you listed from a mix bag of people who have lived here their entire lives and those that have relocated here. If anything WA unites all people from everywhere at feeling "blaaa" after a while. But that's just life...after a while all the glitter washes away and then you start to see the dirty cracks around you clear as day.

another thing to consider is that all 3 of those complaints can be found in the conversations about any up and coming metro that gains traction as a transplant city. With more people comes more criticism, sometimes from new perspectives and that can get people talking about certain topics more. I know that locals sometimes like to pass the blame of problems on newcomers and the counter-reaction by newcomers is to point out the flaws of their current location to places they've lived or visited elsewhere. So I think your observation is definitely a part of the greater trend of growing metros and the primary concerns they all face.
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:22 PM
 
Location: West Coast
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No, I think the negative views just come from the fact that Seattle is massively overhyped by natives who’ve never lived anywhere else and don’t realize it isn’t anything special and is in fact a boring town where you go as a temporary stop to work yourself to death for a few years and leave for a better place.

Why do you think Microsoft really set up shop in gloomy Seattle? It ain’t the mountain views, it’s the awful weather that encouraged employees to just stay in the office and continue working, most other companies in the area followed that and Amazon’s model of work=life
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:48 PM
 
804 posts, read 449,304 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete98146 View Post
I have a ton of friends from California who often complain that Seattle is kind of a low energy, low vibration type of place. It's basically Disney Land for introverts. Seattle is great if you too are introverted, if not, it can be an odd city.
Can confirm now we are outside Pacific Northwest. People actually want to hang and have fun. I get it though, it was 65 and sunny today so weather and lack of Vitamin D I think is an issue there.
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Old 02-26-2019, 07:58 PM
 
157 posts, read 139,252 times
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Quick question, are the last comments from people who are comparing Seattle to California... or to other parts of the country. That was sorry of my original question.

People can certainly compare Seattle to California. I just get the sense that much of the criticism is from that specific comparison, as opposed to a complaining about Seattle culture or climate compared to other parts of the country.

As compared to when I lived in Chicago... the lengthy frigid winter was notable to everyone, not just those who moved from warmer climates.
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:08 PM
 
Location: West Coast
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I’ve heard PLENTY of people from the Midwest (Chicago, Michigan, Minneapolis, etc) complain about the Seattle weather as well, they also struggle with a complete lack of sunlight for momths and months and drizzle that never seems to end, even when compared to long frigid winters
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:39 PM
 
157 posts, read 139,252 times
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Can see how someone might prefer frigid and sunny over grey and drizzly. Personally, I'm enjoying the chance to be outside in winter as compared to Chicago. But both places have suboptimal springs and above average summers.
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