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Old 11-13-2014, 04:41 PM
 
328 posts, read 927,281 times
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I'm totally aware that SF and the Bay Area is way bigger than Seattle, but I'm looking for a change after being here for 5 years. Especially because I can't stand the cost of living anymore here, and I have no desire to live in Oakland or the surrounding suburbs. I'm a city person, and being in the action is important to me...and my partner and I want to start saving for a condo/house in the future.

I'm 28, work in e-commerce (marketing), and love to be outdoors and social. I've already got a number of friends living in Seattle, so the "freeze" doesn't really make me nervous. What I'm a bit apprehensive about is the following:

- Does Seattle get really boring, or can you still have a big city life? There's always something going on in SF, whether it's new restaurants, DJ events, parties, mixers, etc. All year round, all the time. It could be hard to leave that environment if Seattle is only about cafe culture or shuts down half the year due to weather.
- Obviously Capitol Hill (which I visited recently and loved) is no Castro, but is there a strong LGBT community overall? I love going out, dancing at clubs, socializing and meeting new people. Could anybody gay that's spent time in the big cities of CA offer some insight in the differences between Seattle's scene?

Thanks!
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 879,007 times
Reputation: 521
I lived in both cities (though only in SF briefly - I sure visited a ton - and was in Seattle for 13 years) and I wouldn't classify SF as "way bigger" than the Seattle metro, though it is "bigger". If you visited Seattle like you say you have, you should know that it could only be boring if your point of reference is NYC or Paris, and even then there is so much going on (and so many amazing neighborhoods) it's hard to keep up with it all. The only time Seattle sort of shuts down is if there is a snow-storm, which means rarely. The LGBT community is massive and active, and is way more than what you see on Capitol Hill.

Seattle overtakes San Francisco as No.1 city for gay couples | FYI Guy | Seattle Times
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:31 PM
 
Location: Seattle, Washington
1,876 posts, read 2,903,062 times
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Well I dont know much about the lgbt scene is Seattle but I know Seattle has the highest percentage of gays of any US city. It has been voted ahead of SF in terms of gay friendliness. Its a chill vibe here.
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Old 11-13-2014, 05:58 PM
 
644 posts, read 1,055,997 times
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Seattle definitely doesn't party as hard as San Francisco. We have a bit of a club scene and some especially exciting developments on the EDM front, but it's going to be decidedly more limited than what you're accustomed to.

And the same goes for restaurants - Seattle always has cool stuff opening that's worth checking out, but you should know that San Francisco is probably the #2 or #3 dining spot in the country, up there with New York and Chicago. Seattle is probably top 10, but it's a step down for sure. What this means in practice is that most restaurant categories are represented, and that's sufficient for most people, but there will be less of everything.

If you're gay and like to party and live the big city life, you have zero other choices for where to live aside from Capitol Hill and areas within walking distance of it. Aside from the areas adjacent to downtown, Seattle is very sleepy and suburban, and the sidewalks roll up at 11 pm. Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, Belltown, and Lower Queen Anne are the only neighborhoods I'd describe as bustling. Late night transit is quite lacking, so if you go out a lot, it's really best if you can live near your favorite haunts.

As for seasonal variation, you will notice a big difference in the number of people out walking around, hanging out in parks, and running on trails in summer vs. colder and wetter months. The other big difference is with outdoor festivals - all the outdoor events are concentrated in July and August, and then suddenly it all ends after Labor Day. But there is no such effect on indoor events or dining. Clubs don't cancel shows when it's raining outside.

This might all sound rather negative, which I want to avoid. The quality of life here can be excellent even if you value aspects in which Seattle does not excel compared with other large cities nationally. While there are fewer opportunities for a banging big city party experience, you can probably still get enough of it to quench your thirst. And the lower housing costs and taxes mean you can do more fun things with your money. I travel frequently to San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, and overseas to get my big city experience elsewhere. This arrangement gives me a high quality of life in a manageable city for the daily grind while providing me with plenty of options when I get bored.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:21 PM
 
328 posts, read 927,281 times
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^^ Wow, thanks so much for the detailed response!!
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,714 posts, read 1,569,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBVirtuoso View Post
And the lower housing costs and taxes mean you can do more fun things with your money. I travel frequently to San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, and overseas to get my big city experience elsewhere. This arrangement gives me a high quality of life in a manageable city for the daily grind while providing me with plenty of options when I get bored.
That's an important thing irrespective of your lifestyle. Having lived in both SF and Seattle, one thing that always strikes me as a positive is that if you want to go someplace, three hours in the car or train from SF gets you to... Fresno? Reno? Three hours in the car or train from Seattle gets you to Portland, one of the most interesting and fun cities in the US, or, in the opposite direction, Vancouver BC, one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the world. Yeah, it rains and gets dark early in the winter, but the summers are glorious, and the choices - things to do, places to visit... are very many.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:49 PM
 
328 posts, read 927,281 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
That's an important thing irrespective of your lifestyle. Having lived in both SF and Seattle, one thing that always strikes me as a positive is that if you want to go someplace, three hours in the car or train from SF gets you to... Fresno? Reno? Three hours in the car or train from Seattle gets you to Portland, one of the most interesting and fun cities in the US, or, in the opposite direction, Vancouver BC, one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the world. Yeah, it rains and gets dark early in the winter, but the summers are glorious, and the choices - things to do, places to visit... are very many.
I'm a HUGE fan of Vancouver.

In the Bay Area, there are a lot of beautiful day getaways you can do (Napa, Monterrey, Tahoe, Marin) but not really big cities worth visiting (SJ is a bore as is Sactown).
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 879,007 times
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Default Vancouver, BC

This is an excellent point - I have traveled the world and Vancouver, BC is one of my favorite cities ever - basically #2 after Paris. Besides the fact that it is stunningly, stunningly beautiful, there is a cosmopolitan vibe there that is just not present in any city I have visited on the West Coast.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Gardyloo View Post
That's an important thing irrespective of your lifestyle. Having lived in both SF and Seattle, one thing that always strikes me as a positive is that if you want to go someplace, three hours in the car or train from SF gets you to... Fresno? Reno? Three hours in the car or train from Seattle gets you to Portland, one of the most interesting and fun cities in the US, or, in the opposite direction, Vancouver BC, one of the most interesting and beautiful cities in the world. Yeah, it rains and gets dark early in the winter, but the summers are glorious, and the choices - things to do, places to visit... are very many.
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Old 11-13-2014, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Durham
660 posts, read 879,007 times
Reputation: 521
Default The Day-To-Day Reality

If the OP wants to move "up" their only *REAL* choice is New York City in the United States (that is at least what you make it sound like, though it may be true) . . . I see Seattle as a less expensive, SLIGHTLY smaller, and more laid back version of San Francisco; to me the two cities are similar in so many ways that the real day-to-day differences would be hard to summarize. When it comes to gay life, if you want to party that hard, stay in SF (and the Castro is tame now compared to what it used to be) or move to NYC or Ibiza. :-) If the restaurants in Seattle are not up to your standard (and there are some AMAZING world class chefs in the city), then you're probably a jet-setter who wouldn't really be satisfied in San Francisco either (places like Paris dwarf SF's restaurant scene in all ways).


Quote:
Originally Posted by JBVirtuoso View Post
Seattle definitely doesn't party as hard as San Francisco. We have a bit of a club scene and some especially exciting developments on the EDM front, but it's going to be decidedly more limited than what you're accustomed to.

And the same goes for restaurants - Seattle always has cool stuff opening that's worth checking out, but you should know that San Francisco is probably the #2 or #3 dining spot in the country, up there with New York and Chicago. Seattle is probably top 10, but it's a step down for sure. What this means in practice is that most restaurant categories are represented, and that's sufficient for most people, but there will be less of everything.

If you're gay and like to party and live the big city life, you have zero other choices for where to live aside from Capitol Hill and areas within walking distance of it. Aside from the areas adjacent to downtown, Seattle is very sleepy and suburban, and the sidewalks roll up at 11 pm. Capitol Hill, Pioneer Square, Belltown, and Lower Queen Anne are the only neighborhoods I'd describe as bustling. Late night transit is quite lacking, so if you go out a lot, it's really best if you can live near your favorite haunts.

As for seasonal variation, you will notice a big difference in the number of people out walking around, hanging out in parks, and running on trails in summer vs. colder and wetter months. The other big difference is with outdoor festivals - all the outdoor events are concentrated in July and August, and then suddenly it all ends after Labor Day. But there is no such effect on indoor events or dining. Clubs don't cancel shows when it's raining outside.

This might all sound rather negative, which I want to avoid. The quality of life here can be excellent even if you value aspects in which Seattle does not excel compared with other large cities nationally. While there are fewer opportunities for a banging big city party experience, you can probably still get enough of it to quench your thirst. And the lower housing costs and taxes mean you can do more fun things with your money. I travel frequently to San Francisco, New York, Vancouver, and overseas to get my big city experience elsewhere. This arrangement gives me a high quality of life in a manageable city for the daily grind while providing me with plenty of options when I get bored.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:37 AM
 
Location: Independent Republic of Ballard
7,458 posts, read 6,149,736 times
Reputation: 5199
Quote:
Originally Posted by DevanXL View Post
Well I dont know much about the lgbt scene is Seattle but I know Seattle has the highest percentage of gays of any US city. It has been voted ahead of SF in terms of gay friendliness. Its a chill vibe here.
Which doesn't necessarily say much, since Seattle is relatively circumscribed, with the greater metropolitan area extending far beyond its boundaries - while the population of the city proper is about 650,000, the population of the greater metropolitan area is about 3,600,000 (including Seattle, Bellevue, and Tacoma).

Capitol Hill (a.k.a. "the Hill") historically has been the artist/counter-culture district of Seattle, where everyone was welcome, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion (or non-religion), or sexual persuasion, which originally wasn't at all the case in most other Seattle neighborhoods. It has the highest density of apartments than any other part of the city. Think of it as the Greenwich Village of Seattle, although much smaller, of course. While the number of gays living on Capitol Hill has increased significantly, it is not an exclusively "gay" district. Yes, there are plenty gay bars and clubs, but also bars and clubs at which gays and straights freely mix.

There are several excellent parks on Capitol Hill or adjacent to it, including Volunteer Park, home to the Seattle Asian Art Museum (which was the original Seattle Art Museum), Interlaken Park, and the Arboretum. You can fairly easily walk Downtown, to the Market, the Seattle Art Museum, Belltown, etc. By the summer of 2015, the First Hill Streetcar will run from Capitol Hill via First Hill to the International District and Pioneer Square. In 2016, the light-rail tunnel should open, linking Downtown, Capitol Hill, and the U District.
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