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Old 07-14-2013, 08:42 PM
83 posts, read 231,745 times
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Did you purposely move to Seattle from either a bigger, more popular city? Or, did you you have the option to but you decided to go with Seattle?


I don't mean you got moved to Seattle because you "had" to (job, spouse/partner moved there you had to follow, etc).

I'm just curious to see what interests, values, etc. people have that strongly pulled them toward the place, when they had may options.

I hear a lot about weather, for example. For those of us who prefer cooler/moderate temperature and (gasp) actually like the rain, it's a big draw.

There's also water, mountains, and an educated, I'm guessing well-informed/read populace (and being able to say that without being judged or called snobby).

People talk a lot about Seattle being overly PC. To me that just means calling people out for saying stupid stuff not based on fact or personal experience.

Of course no one wants to walk on egg shells but I prefer the more socially progressive stance (sidenote: seems like Seattle is a cool place for people who might be fiscal conservatives but socially progressive, which is a double plus).

Anyway, I'd be so curious to hear from people who moved to the PNW ESPECIALLY from the East and South - and had other options (meaning you weighed the pros and cons of other cities but went with Seattle).

I hear alot of talk about people deciding moving to Seattle from say Montana or California or Oregon and while that's nice it doesn't quite fit the perspective of say someone thinking about Seattle vs. say Boston or Washington, DC of Chicago, Stockholm, New York, London, Paris, Buenos Aires or a bunch of other happening places for self-described global citizens.

From the US Perspective, I'm particularly curious about people who moved from big metro centers in the east and South to Seattle.

I'm genuinely interested so thanks so much for sharing your very valued insights and perspectives.
a job, I'm curious to hear from people who purposely
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:39 PM
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I can live anywhere in the U.S. with my business and I chose to move to Seattle. I think for nature lovers who want to also live in a large city, Seattle is the #1 city in the U.S. hands down. New York City is a great city for example, but it's just not surrounded by the natural beauty Seattle is which is a deal killer for me. I also like that it is rarely oppressively hot in Seattle as much of the rest of the U.S. swelters for 4-5 mos a year. It is also just a really cool, hip, interesting, dynamic place to be in my opinion. I also love how there is no state income tax.
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Old 07-14-2013, 09:54 PM
Location: Seattle
1,651 posts, read 2,781,706 times
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Well - I don't fit your cosmopolitan demographic. In fact quite the opposite. I'm from the res in a rural state. However, do fit your criteria of 'people who chose to move here and love it'. I single-mindedly worked my behind off to have the option of going wherever I wanted. Just as long as it was somewhere where people wanted more. A place where no one looked at me like I had two heads, or was speaking blasphemy when I uttered the words 'does this make sense?'. I don't need people to agree with me, just to argue using actual facts and logic instead of dogma, tradition and superstition.

I graduated near the top of my class, and my husband did as well. We both got some pretty prestigious internships, and when graduation came, we had plenty of options. We chose to take an offer here over several other offers in other states.

Top reasons?

1. Weather. I lovelovelove rain. To me it is the most magical of things. I will never get sick of it. I remember horrid drought when I was a kid, huge cracks in the soil, the worry on my parents faces (we were farmers). When the rain finally came, it was one of my first memories of my parents being joyful. We went out and danced in it in our bare feet. I remember being in the barn in the hay while the rain beat on the roof feeling warm, protected and soothed. As a farmer, you are out in the weather all day, every day. I've been out in weather so cold your nostrils freeze shut and so hot that you can barely stay hydrated. And there's no choice, you have to keep getting the work done. Here? So what if it drizzles? The temps here are perfect for being outside all year round. Lesson learned? Know what makes you feel joyful and seek it out.

2. People. OK - so I'm a bit of an introvert myself. That said, I have more friends than I know what to do with. Seattle freeze? Haven't experienced it. Here I've meet lots of people who are as fiercely loyal and weird as I am. They don't bat an eye at my quirky fashion sense, oddball blurted-out observances, (which made me 'the weird kid' back home) and lack of social skills. I can truly relax around them and be myself without second guessing what they really think, and knowing that we can have an informed discussion about any topic and still be friends regardless of what our viewpoints are. I am definitely one of those Seattleites with a tight-knit group of friends. This was actually the last criteria on our list when we moved here, but it's one of the biggest reasons we haven't gotten itchy feet.

3. Proximity of wilderness. Being that I did hearken from the intersection of Isolation & Desolation - sometimes I need quiet, and to get away from people, more than I need to breath. You can do there here and it's not even that far away. There's not a lot of major metropolitan areas in the south or east where you can so quickly be on the edge of an incredibly vast wilderness area.

4. Jobs - while there is a good market for what I do, generally I'm only useful as part of a large organization. You don't get that unless there's a large population center with industries that can support it. This happens to be one of the better markets for my skills in addition to meeting my other criteria.

Note: just because I came from the sticks doesn't mean I didn't make every effort to explore (and keep exploring) the rest of the world. You might even say I've been obsessed with it. I used to read the world atlas as a kid, dreaming of all the places I'd go. I've studied several foreign languages, and been all over, and no place has felt as much like 'home' as this one. Zurich and Paris probably come closest, but I still prefer Seattle. Right now going back 'home' feels more foreign than many foreign countries do. I'll also say that the minute Seattle stops feeling like home, I'll pick up and move on.

Good luck with your adventures - wherever you end up. Just remember that it's the journey that is the goal, not the destination.

"Where you came from is gone, where you thought you were going to weren't never there, and where you are ain't no good unless you can get away from it..."
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:08 PM
Location: SW FL
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It's vibrant and creative and people don't talk so loud. Also I like the outdoors.
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Old 07-14-2013, 10:58 PM
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I moved here a month ago from Chicago, and I also had a brief stint in New York City. I don't really fit your criteria for answering this thread, as I moved here because I found a job here after having no luck anywhere else. Seattle is not in my top five list of cities where I'd like to live. Those spots are reserved for Chicago, New York, Boston, San Francisco, and DC (in that order). But I'll tell you why I went ahead with moving here, and why a month later, I'm still okay with that decision.

1. Seattle is a young and nerdy city. As a young person myself, it was important to me to move somewhere that has a lot of people like me. I'm young, tech savvy, like walking, enjoy going to chill bars and coffee shops, and don't ever plan on owning a TV. Sure, I could move someplace like St. Louis or Houston or Jacksonville or Phoenix, but they don't have enough young and nerdy stuff to keep me interested. I don't want to live somewhere where everyone talks about remodeling their kitchen or their children's illnesses. I'd much rather hear about which city's public transit you like the best, or which foreign movies are your favorites, or about your latest adventures in Thai cooking. Obviously, the larger cities will have more people who are into young hip stuff, just because they have more people to begin with. But Seattle has a high concentration of young nerds, so despite its smaller size, there are a lot of people whom I find interesting.

2. The natural beauty. I'm not really outdoorsy, but I am a sucker for good views. What I love about Seattle is that if you look one direction you have awesome city views, and if you look another, you see water, and in another, snow-capped mountains. For outdoorsy people who like camping, hiking, backpacking, kayaking, etc., this city is probably amazing. I don't really care about any of that myself, and since I don't have a car, going into the mountains has so far not been an option for me. But the nature is there if you want it.

3. It's decently walkable. I'm able to live within walking distance of work, which is awesome. Seattle also has a lot of walkable neighborhoods. The public transit here doesn't suck, but it's also not that great. The bus drivers here are the least aggressive drivers on the planet, and they're very good at making a short trip take hours. But since neighborhoods themselves are walkable, once you've landed in one, you can just walk to whatever you need (grocery stores, cafes, bars, drugstores, etc.). Living here without a car has so far not been too much of a hassle.

4. The weather isn't really that bad, and it's actually amazing during the summer. I've only been here for ridiculously nice summer weather so far, but even though 8-10 months of the year are rainy, the temperatures are moderate. As long as you don't care about walking in the rain, the weather is very manageable. Sure, it's cloudy, but that also helps to moderate the temperatures. And even though most of the winter absolutely sucks for sunlight, the sun will come out on an average of four days in January. Just think how awesome those four days are! But, really, is there anywhere in the northern US that has nice weather in January? I didn't think so. I guess the weather might be a draw or a dealbreaker for some people, but I regard it as a non-issue overall.

As an aside on that, I'm starting to get really worried since it hasn't rained for over two weeks. It just doesn't feel right. But moving on...

5. I already knew a few people here. I have some relatives in the burbs, and a couple of old friends in the city. If I didn't have these connections, I'd probably be a lot more reluctant to move here. There are probably people out there who would have no problem moving to a new place without knowing a single soul, but for me, this was important.

6. Low(ish) cost of living. Seattle is not the cheapest city out there, but it's cheaper than many other cities where I'd consider living. It's roughly equivalent to Chicago, and much cheaper than New York, Boston, SF, and DC. I rent, so the buying vs. renting question might change this equation, but for renting, the prices are comparable. The lack of state income tax in Washington is a major advantage if you're in a high-paying job, because you'd pay a healthy chunk of your paycheck to the state anywhere else. Aside from housing and taxes, most other expenses will be about the same as they are in the rest of the US.


I've hinted at this already, but I want to make it clear that there are plenty of things I don't like about Seattle. The city is small, and kind of just lacks stuff. If you're into a diverse and quirky restaurant scene, for instance, you won't find it here. The public transit is mediocre, and it's not really convenient to live without a car unless you live in a couple of select neighborhoods. The hills, while beautiful, also make for some extremely challenging transportation no matter which mode of travel you choose. But despite these (relatively minor) grievances, I think I'll grow to love Seattle. The fundamentals are all there, so now it's up to me to make my experience here a good one.
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:57 PM
83 posts, read 231,745 times
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Wow, Kayela esp (and others), I loved the feedback! The only city I've lived in where one can be in the heart of a metropolis then skip only a few minutes away then be so close to nature is Stockholm and I've been looking around different parts of the USA for something similar.

@ JBVirtuoso - how does Seattle compare to DC to you in terms of likes and dislikes?

Also do folks in Seattle regularly travel to Vancouver? I would think going to Vancouver would be an awesome way to experience another large city that isn't too far away. I know Portland is closer but Vancouver seems a bit more Vibrant.

Oh my last question - what is the coworking vibe like there?
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:59 PM
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Like others, with fewer words, weather,proximity to water/ocean and job opportunities here are greater than any other US city.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by tekniskagal View Post
@ JBVirtuoso - how does Seattle compare to DC to you in terms of likes and dislikes?
I haven't spent a ton of time in DC, so my opinion on that might not mean much. But what I like about DC is that it's a vibrant city with good public transportation and walkability. It has a large and diverse immigrant population. And due to all the government-related jobs, the city is full of young people. I guess I prefer DC's walkability and history to Seattle's (I prefer old masonry buildings). Another major advantage of DC is that it's only one hour from Baltimore, two from Philadelphia, and four from NYC, so visiting other large cities is pretty easy and cheap, even without a car. Vancouver and Portland might fill that need well enough, but I haven't made it to either place yet. They're smaller cities than their eastern US counterparts. In Seattle, you trade proximity to other civilizations for proximity to nature. My preference for DC over Seattle might change eventually as I get more of the West Coast Kool-Aid in my system, but this is how it stands now.

As for what I don't like about DC, I guess the main issue is that it lacks some vibrancy compared with the higher-ranking cities on my list, it has a high cost of living, and the federal government-dominated economy can lead to a stifling and competitive work environment.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:37 PM
Location: Los Angeles
5,864 posts, read 15,234,836 times
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I left DC and moved to Seattle a few years ago. Honestly, I was sick of DC and when I went to Seattle to visit my cousin I was thoroughly impressed. The people were nicer. I preferred downtown Seattle over downtown DC. Loved picking up my fresh salmon and cheddar cheese rolls at Pike Place Market and the impressive retail district with everything from Ross to Gucci and Barney's. The streets were safer, my neighbors were neighborly. Also loved the fact that it was right in between two large bodies of water. Loved the in-city beach scene. Loved the hoods like Madison Park, Capitol Hill, Madrona, Queen Ann Hill and Seward Park. I always thought the east coast and mid atlantic cities were hard to beat, but in my book I have nothing but praise for Seattle. Even the weather impressed me. No more sticky, hazy heat and humidity and all those bugs. I had fun in DC but the people were not the best. Snooty, keeping up with the Jones' mentality and imo just not very nice. Seattle was cool, laid back and none of that snooty bs that I always felt in DC.
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Old 07-15-2013, 11:38 PM
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
5,281 posts, read 6,585,656 times
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Seattle is more expensive than DC if we're talking rent prices. At the very least it's comparable. Seattle ranks one of the most expensive cities in the country. It is definitely more expensive than Chicago as well.

Seattle really is cheaper than a handful of cities, that being L.A., NYC, the Bay Area, and maybe some other So Cal cities. Let's not get it twisted, $1700 for one bedroom apartments is not cheap no matter how much you slice it. Considering the media income for the entire country is under $30,000 per year. The average prices for an apartment in Seattle is going to be $1300 and up in a decent neighborhood.

The good thing about Seattle IMO is the weather. I personally hate hot weather. I lived in Atlanta nearly 20 years, and never adjusted to the harsh summers. IMO, Seattle winters are about as bad as Atlanta's worst (which about 30 degrees on average). I like Seattle's climate over Atlanta's hands down. I hate Atlanta's schizophrenic weather changes. "4 seasons in a day". Yeah, I love Seattle's boring predictability in terms of weather.
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