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Old 12-28-2011, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC Metro
7 posts, read 15,753 times
Reputation: 23

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Here we go again. I've read the previous thread but I'm wondering if anything has changed in a year: I'm single, 30-something, African American woman relocating to Seattle for work. I'm working near Denny Park and will have my car shipped to the area within a few weeks after my move (the weather isn't suitable for a solo cross-country drive in sedan). I'd like any brief insights re: --

Neighborhoods
I'm considering Denny Triangle, Capitol Hill, Ballard, and South Lake Union.

Great apartment buildings
In the aforementioned neighborhoods, is there somewhere you really love?

"You should know" commentary
For instance, I've noticed that people are a little less chatty.

Fitting in
If you don't know what I mean, you probably don't have insight here.

Transplant stories
Any of you from the East? Any advice to offer?
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Old Bellevue, WA
18,782 posts, read 17,256,090 times
Reputation: 7990
I will be of limited help since I live in Bellevue and have spent little time in Seattle lately. But of the places you mention Ballard would be my choice, unless you can find a place within walking distance of your job, which of course is always nice.

Capitol Hill is more or less Seattle's gay center, just across I-5 from downtown, and the others are close to downdown Seattle. Don't limit yourself--take a look at Bellevue too. It is a nice combination of urban/suburban with a beautiful downtown & much lower crime than Seattle.

In any case best of luck with your move--you're moving at a bad time weather-wise but after May or so you will love it.
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Old 12-28-2011, 10:33 PM
 
314 posts, read 458,063 times
Reputation: 334
I'm assuming you've been living in the District, and not a suburban location like Arlington, Alexandria, Prince George, etc. The biggest difference you are likely to notice is how much whiter Seattle is. Where DC is the sine qua Chocolate City, Seattle is pretty much a white town, with a modest sized Asian/Pacific Islander population (about 15% of the population). The Latino community is of negligible size. There is an African American community (10% of Seattle) but its housing settlement pattern is highly segregated. (In disclosure, I'm a white male who grew up in the mid-Atlantic near Philly and also lived for significant time as an adult in Boston, San Francisco and Oakland). And as with any community that is very white, the white folks live in a bit of a cultural bubble not realizing exactly how white they really are.

All of which is to say that depending on your previous social circles, you might (or might not) find it more difficult to get to know people - esp. if you are used to being in a city with a robust professional African-American community, nightclubs, cultural events, networking groups, etc. As with anything, your mileage may vary.

Finally, ignore what people around here say about crime problems. Seattle is a very safe city. Coming from DC, you know what a city is like where you need to keep your street smarts about you. Seattle ain't it.

To your more specific questions:

Neighborhoods
Denny Triangle - this area is near downtown and more of a redevelopment area than anything - meaning, its not really a neighborhood which developed organically over many decades, but more a recent nabe from scratch filled with a lot of new condos, apartments, office, and retail buildings. I find it very sterile. If you've been living in one of DC's older, more historic or organically developed neighborhoods, you might not like it.

Capitol Hill - yes, its history is as the center of Seattle's GLBT community, but its not the Castro (or even close). There's a solid GLBT community, but also lots of single straights and breeders pushing strollers. Regardless of sexual orientation, you'll be comfortable. Its a bit of a hipster hood, with lots of music clubs, cocktail lounges, bistros, and the like - its becoming the center of Seattle's foodie and craft cocktail scene. Its also the densest nabe in Seattle, so you'll find plenty of apartment options, esp. if you are looking for the features you only get in an older building stock (hardwood floors, crown molding, build-ins, etc.) Its compact, with lots of amenities and a good start for a newcomer. There's also a light rail stop opening in a few years.

Ballard - north side of town. Can be a bit of bear to get to/from downtown, esp. if you don't have a car. Historically, a mostly older Scandinavian neighborhood, but a spate of condo development has attracted a younger, downtown professional crowd. Popular with the 30-something professional crowd looking to own a home. You'll get your share of stroller moms in yoga pants. Also a growing food scene in Ballard, with lots of hip restaurants. I like the area, but its not as convenient as other areas. Reminds me a bit of Park Slope in Brooklyn.

South Lake Union - Like Denny Triangle on steroids. I find it completely sterile and uninteresting except for the lake. Popular with people from the suburbs who don't know what a real city is supposed to look like.

Great apartment buildings

As I mentioned, Capitol Hill (and the surrounding areas), have a great stock of older apartment buildings with character. And they tend to be more affordable than the new construction stuff. Near in on the north-side (Wallingford, Fremont, U-District), if you can find a bungalow with a yard with some roommates, that would be my next choice. If you are into the loft-living scene, you might try Georgetown. I'd stick to the City limits - a lot of posters on this forum are suburbanites whose idea of cosmopolitan living is Bellevue- which is great, if your idea of a fun time is hanging out at a shopping mall and driving everywhere.

"You should know" commentary / Fitting in / Transplant stories
- Beyond what I mentioned above, as an East Coaster turned Californian, moving to Seattle was a modest culture shock. My East Coast brash/sarcastic/loud personality melded with my "hey let's all just hang and have a good time" California vibe didn't exactly fit in with Seattle's more closed in personality. Folks can be a bit clique-y here. But I've found just by being myself (meaning outgoing and positive), I can force myself into a conversation - in a good way. Having moved from a certified world-class city (San Francisco) where I was quite successful professionally, I remind myself - I got nothing to prove. You're moving from the nation's capital (I love ya, CC) - hopefully, you got nothing to prove too. Just go out there and make some friends.
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Old 01-21-2015, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC Metro
7 posts, read 15,753 times
Reputation: 23
Default GoBlueInSeattle so right!

Hi there,

I just hit my three year anniversary here and everything you wrote was spot on! Thanks for the insight. It helped. I should have avoided two pitfalls: living in Ballard and Bellevue -- but I'm going to look into Georgetown soon. The city has changed a bit (Lake Union and Denny) but your comments were great direction. Never told you that.
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Old 01-21-2015, 06:48 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
8,060 posts, read 8,273,161 times
Reputation: 6208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prettysmartchic View Post
Here we go again. I've read the previous thread but I'm wondering if anything has changed in a year: I'm single, 30-something, African American woman relocating to Seattle for work. I'm working near Denny Park and will have my car shipped to the area within a few weeks after my move (the weather isn't suitable for a solo cross-country drive in sedan). I'd like any brief insights re: --

Neighborhoods
I'm considering Denny Triangle, Capitol Hill, Ballard, and South Lake Union.

Great apartment buildings
In the aforementioned neighborhoods, is there somewhere you really love?

"You should know" commentary
For instance, I've noticed that people are a little less chatty.

Fitting in
If you don't know what I mean, you probably don't have insight here.

Transplant stories
Any of you from the East? Any advice to offer?
Unless you're emotionally attached to your car, I'd suggest selling it and just shipping your belongings. You can live easily without a car in all of the neighborhoods you mentioned, plus parking can be expensive or hard to find. Car-to-Go and ZipCar are available in Seattle, if you should need a car for anything.

There are not a lot of rentals in the Denny Triangle. Instead, look at: Lower Queen Anne (Uptown), Belltown, and South Lake Union, all within walking distance of Denny Park.

The #8 bus goes from Capitol Hill on Denny Way by Denny Park. Capitol Hill has more apartment buildings than any other neighborhood.

Ballard is further out. The #40 bus goes from Ballard via South Lake Union (a couple blocks from Denny Park) to Downtown. Easy to get to the U District (#44), but harder to get to Capitol Hill.

Other neighborhoods you might want to look at:

Fremont: #40 or #5 take you close to Denny Park (10-15 minutes).

Phinney Ridge/Greenwood: #5 takes you to a tenth of a mile from Denny Park (15-20 minutes).

Central District (the CD): East of Capitol Hill. Rents can be a little lower. #8 runs on MLK Way (with a jog over to 23rd, between Yesler and Jackson) through the CD, before going west through Capitol Hill to Denny Park. The CD is historically where most of Seattle's African Americans lived. Langston Hughes Performance Center, NW African American Museum, and black churches are there. Due to gentrification, the black population is now around 30%, but it is still a majority-minority district. There is a sizable population of East Africans. Figure 25-35 minutes to Denny Park.

What you should know: The "freeze" is greatly exaggerated. Seattle is an "indoor" city for much of the year, however. For most ease in making social connections, live on Capitol Hill.

As to "fitting in", you shouldn't feel uncomfortable living in any of Seattle's neighborhoods. Some are less diverse than others. Generally neighborhoods north of downtown are majority-white by a pretty wide margin, while many south of downtown are majority-minority, which dates back to the 1950s and earlier when many Northend neighborhoods had covenants that excluded blacks, Jews, and other minorities.

I'm NW born-and-bred (a vanishing species), so no transplant stories.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,880 posts, read 2,056,516 times
Reputation: 4879
Thread is from 2011.
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Old 01-21-2015, 07:48 PM
 
256 posts, read 459,394 times
Reputation: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prettysmartchic View Post
Hi there,

I just hit my three year anniversary here and everything you wrote was spot on! Thanks for the insight. It helped. I should have avoided two pitfalls: living in Ballard and Bellevue -- but I'm going to look into Georgetown soon. The city has changed a bit (Lake Union and Denny) but your comments were great direction. Never told you that.
How do you it so far? Currently live in DC and rejected a job in Seattle area. It seems like owning home is not much cheaper than DC area but cost of living seems cheaper. Of course quality of life and the food you get better than DC. Also, how do you like to weather so far? It is one of the reasons I declined the offer. Thanks for the input
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:14 PM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
8,060 posts, read 8,273,161 times
Reputation: 6208
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
Thread is from 2011.
Ah, fooled again. Have to read those dates...
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC Metro
7 posts, read 15,753 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vademo View Post
How do you it so far? Currently live in DC and rejected a job in Seattle area. It seems like owning home is not much cheaper than DC area but cost of living seems cheaper. Of course quality of life and the food you get better than DC. Also, how do you like to weather so far? It is one of the reasons I declined the offer. Thanks for the input
My original question is from 2011, but I actually just thanked the person today, so LMK if you still want a thorough response. :-D The weather isn't a deterrent for me at all, but the Freeze is a lot for me. Your perception of how much the Freeze exist will depend on your own cultural norms, the groups you affiliate with, and your own desire to connect to people (socialization habits).
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