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Old 05-17-2012, 09:49 AM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,942 posts, read 5,667,552 times
Reputation: 4192

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Hello, I'm a 32 year old single male. No kids. I work in IT, and I do mostly contract work. My latest contract will be in Seattle which will last about a year. I have lived in the Atlanta area uninterrupted for almost 20 years. This will be my first time spending any length of time outside of Atlanta.


I just wanted to know some things about the city.


Is Seattle "bigger" than Atlanta? I know it has a smaller population, but does the city "feel" big or small.

I'll be living in Bothell. In Atlanta we have a lot of annexed cities and counties which make up the Metro area. Is Seattle similar? Do surrounding suburbs function indepedent of the City of Seattle? In Atlanta certain cities and counties have almost nothing to do with Atlanta despite it being in the Metro area.


How is public transportation? I won't be having a car for my first few months here. Is it better than worse than Atlanta (hopefully better). Is Seattle a "need a car" city like Atlanta?

Just how far is Bothell from Seattle?

I see Sound Transit System and Kings County Transit. I haven't really seen a website explain the differences. Which one serve Bothell?


Are people in Seattle like the typical West Coast people stereotype?


Are people in Seattle friendly? From my perspective Atlanta is quite rude especially for a Southern city. I hear people in the West Coast are more hospitable. I've noticed this somewhat in my trips to AZ and Las Vegas. Is this true for Seattle?


How would you rate the dating scene in Seattle? I'm a pure black male. I heard most people are mixed in this region and non mixed people are pretty rare. Is this fact or myth?

Is Seattle really as liberal as people say? I'm more of a conservative person, but I'm fairly mild on my views. Atlanta has a lot of political diversity amongst its population. Is Seattle population more unilaterally liberal?

Are there really a lot of hippies and tree huggers in Seattle? Or is this just myth?

It appear that the tech competition is way fiercer in Seattle than Atlanta. Am I imagining this?

I'll be making 75k, is this enough to live off of I Seattle. It's really good money in Atlanta.


Could someone suggest a weekly lodge near North Creek Parkway in Bothell. I'll be staying there until I can finalize things with an apartment.


Thank in advance.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:32 AM
 
20,888 posts, read 12,977,495 times
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Is Seattle "bigger" than Atlanta? I know it has a smaller population, but does the city "feel" big or small.

Seattle feels small. The downtown area is very walkable.

I'll be living in Bothell. In Atlanta we have a lot of annexed cities and counties which make up the Metro area. Is Seattle similar? Do surrounding suburbs function indepedent of the City of Seattle? In Atlanta certain cities and counties have almost nothing to do with Atlanta despite it being in the Metro area.

Bothell straddles two counties, King and Snohomish. King County serves North Creek. The metro bus system includes North Creek and goes right there. Bothell is considered part of the Seattle metro. If you live in Bothell and work in Seattle, the commute can be lengthy due to high traffic into Seattle with several bottleneck areas. Most don't love a commute from Bothell to Seattle but if you are working in Bothell, obviously it's easy. There are apartment complexes around there including Stonemeadow Farms. There's one south, closer to Woodinville which I believe is called Archstone Northcreek (rent.com as source). Stonemeadow is within easy walking distance. Archstone is slightly further. You could take a year lease and return to Atlanta after if you don't like it. And you may not due to the overcast and rainy weather in the winter which is quite different from Atlanta.

How is public transportation? I won't be having a car for my first few months here. Is it better than worse than Atlanta (hopefully better). Is Seattle a "need a car" city like Atlanta?

There are buses into Seattle from Bothell.


Just how far is Bothell from Seattle?

There are different routes. Washington measures exits by the mile. Northcreek is exit #24. The 520 Evergreen floating bridge is exit #14. So ten miles from Bothell to the bridge (located in Kirkland) and then maybe three miles to cross into Seattle total. That does not include traffic which can be an hour or more in the mornings, depending on the time. You can also take Lake City Way from Bothell into Seattle but that is a traffic light heavy route adding more time.

I see Sound Transit System and Kings County Transit. I haven't really seen a website explain the differences. Which one serve Bothell?

King County serves the portion of Bothell that includes North Creek.


Are people in Seattle like the typical West Coast people stereotype?

Yes. We're on the West Coast so whatever you think that is, that's what we are. Just like people from Atlanta are like Atlanta.

Are people in Seattle friendly? From my perspective Atlanta is quite rude especially for a Southern city. I hear people in the West Coast are more hospitable. I've noticed this somewhat in my trips to AZ and Las Vegas. Is this true for Seattle?

People in Seattle lean toward introverted. They may take longer to get to know. They will be very polite, outwardly friendly but if you start inviting them to dinner shortly after you meet them, they will likely make excuses. Some say there is a Seattle Freeze - opinions vary.

How would you rate the dating scene in Seattle? I'm a pure black male. I heard most people are mixed in this region and non mixed people are pretty rare. Is this fact or myth?

Never noticed the mixed ratio, wouldn't even know what to look for. I would guess dating is similar to any aspect of getting to know people in Seattle - may take longer.


Is Seattle really as liberal as people say? I'm more of a conservative person, but I'm fairly mild on my views. Atlanta has a lot of political diversity amongst its population. Is Seattle population more unilaterally liberal?

Compared to Atlanta, Seattle is liberal. The city of Seattle is liberal like San Francisco is liberal. The Eastside (East of Lake Washington) is more conservative than Seattle but that's compared to Seattle. Compared to Atlanta, well... Personally, all my Eastside friends are liberal but I would imagine conservatives here would say they know conservatives on the Eastside. It's not like politics comes up all the time but you may hear more during an election year.

Are there really a lot of hippies and tree huggers in Seattle? Or is this just myth?

Seattle is all about the environment. We take our location seriously and if you see it, you will know why. This kind of beauty is the kind you protect and I'm not kidding, on a sunny day, it's so pretty you can't find the words. We recycle, we pick up trash if we see it, we hike on the weekends, we take the ferry just because. We may not literally hug the trees because there's just too many of them. As for hippies, I don't know, maybe in downtown. Not on the Eastside where it's more corporate. And corporate is the attitude, not the dress. You will see a lot of nice cars and the guy in the cargo shorts and North Face jacket may be the president of the company, you just never know.

It appear that the tech competition is way fiercer in Seattle than Atlanta. Am I imagining this?

We have a lot of tech. But with all the tech companies including Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, Google, Facebook, etc., there's a lot of tech workers all competing so I guess the answer is yes.

I'll be making 75k, is this enough to live off of I Seattle. It's really good money in Atlanta.

$75K is quite average for a tech job in this area. As a single person, you will be able to live comfortably though.

Could someone suggest a weekly lodge near North Creek Parkway in Bothell. I'll be staying there until I can finalize things with an apartment.

There is a Marriott Residence Inn right in the North Creek Parkway business complex. You could walk to work. http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/seabo-residence-inn-seattle-northeast-bothell/
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,942 posts, read 5,667,552 times
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Wow. That was a very informative post. Thank you so much.
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Old 05-17-2012, 01:32 PM
 
7,726 posts, read 14,202,114 times
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The SoundTransit is a regional transit authority-- it serves King, Snohomish and Pierce counties. The focus is mainly on the express (inter-counties) buses, heavy rail (the Sounder commuter train) and the Light rail (both in Seattle and Tacoma). It does work with the King County Transit, as well as Pierce Transit and Community Transit (Snohomish county transit). Likely in the future, all will be consolidated into SoundTransit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seacove View Post
Are there really a lot of hippies and tree huggers in Seattle? Or is this just myth?

Seattle is all about the environment. We take our location seriously and if you see it, you will know why. This kind of beauty is the kind you protect and I'm not kidding, on a sunny day, it's so pretty you can't find the words. We recycle, we pick up trash if we see it, we hike on the weekends, we take the ferry just because. We may not literally hug the trees because there's just too many of them. As for hippies, I don't know, maybe in downtown. Not on the Eastside where it's more corporate. And corporate is the attitude, not the dress. You will see a lot of nice cars and the guy in the cargo shorts and North Face jacket may be the president of the company, you just never know.
Even in the Eastside, they recycle, pick up trash, hike, et. c -- so the environmentalism isn't all about being liberal/conservative.

You want hippies/tree huggers... go to Portland for that. Even Seattle is a bit too corporate as well (though compared to the East Coast, it's still too casual and laid back). It's more about quirkiness and individuality here.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:29 PM
 
570 posts, read 1,593,006 times
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75k/year as a contractor is consider low if you are a software developer with 4-5+ years of experience. I think they cheated you.

75k for fulltime with benefit is good. You should able to get 85k+ as contractor. Normally contractor makes 15-30% more than fulltime.
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Old 05-17-2012, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,942 posts, read 5,667,552 times
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I don't work in development. I work with middleware application support. Main things are Weblogic, WebSphere, Java,on Oracle databases. In Atlanta the job max out at 80k for salary, maybe 85 if you're lucky. Java Developers normally works for $45- $60 on contracts. Their annual salaries are are probably 90k and above. 100k in Atlanta is a very good salary, going towards upper middle class. There is pretty much nowhere you can't live and nothing you cant afford for 100k a year.

In Seattle people seem to make it seem like you need at least 100k to even be comfortable. I know people who live in NYC and DC for less (northern VA and DC are more than Seattle, btw). What gives with the cost of living. I get a lot of mixed messages.



Edit: I should add that 4-5 years of Java development should get you 100k in Atlanta. I am curious if this is true for Seattle.
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Old 05-17-2012, 03:20 PM
 
570 posts, read 1,593,006 times
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The reason 75k is consider average is because of Microsoft, Amazon, Nintendo, Boeing in the area.
According to City-data, Redmond(Microsoft), Bellevue's Median income is 82k+, Seattle is around 61k.
ATL is around 50k
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Old 05-19-2012, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Nebuchadnezzar
968 posts, read 1,897,393 times
Reputation: 346
Bothell is more homogenous (less diverse) and conservative than Seattle proper. Although close to Seattle, it just feels more isolated. The bus system is doable but cumbersome, nothing here like Marta.
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:54 PM
 
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
563 posts, read 1,535,230 times
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Bothell is in the boonies! Just my opinion.
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:55 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,366,669 times
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Wink Bothell, etc.

If working in Seattle, you may wish to consider living directly there. Traffic is often a b*tch in the Puget Sound region, and particularly in getting into or out of Seattle proper.

In the right location you could do without a vehicle in Seattle, Bothell as well. But it better be nearly ideally situated in relation to home, work and expected services. Particularly in Bothell, you'll find having a vehicle more convenient, if not just almost necessary. Besides which, and no small thing, there are nearby national parks and a lot of great country to visit, if with wheels.

My impression of Atlanta is of a vast metro area, so Seattle metro for all its size should seem more compact. A place such as Bothell is more like a small town, if contiguous to the greater metro area.

People in Seattle may fit some of your preconceived West Coast stereotypes. No idea on Atlanta per se, but metro Seattle is a fairly liberal place, if not as distinctly so as Portland, OR. Race should not be much of an issue, and most everyone outwardly friendly. But as spoken of elsewhere, do not expect the same cultural standards, or what I understand as Southern warmth. Unless a fundamentalist in everyone's face, your politics can remain your own. If a social person, then I would expect in time you'll make friends and be content.

It really is a beautiful area, with many charms. Although one factor you overlooked is the weather, being quite dissimilar to hot and humid Atlanta. The frequent rain of winter is more often drizzle and mist; but expect to see little of the sun between October and, I guess, May. Some complain that summer doesn't really arrive until July; but for as long as it last then lots of sun, blue sky and relative warmth. To be determined if you'll be one those able to overlook all the grey sky of winter, or even like it.

You should be fine with an income of $75k. Although in time perhaps feeling put upon if thinking of home ownership: the real estate prices of Seattle metro may prove shocking in comparison to Atlanta.

And last but not least, hippies and tree huggers in Seattle? For sure. But you may have to search them out, as most more middle of the road, and if environmentally conscious, perhaps not as inclined to live in a tree or kiss it. But no lack of lovely trees, should you be so inclined.
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