Tell me about Seattle, part 2- Lynnwood

This thread is a part 2 to my previous thread, in which I asked Seattle dopers past and present for advice on my impending move. I received many helpful posts, ones that made me say to myself: “Damn, I can’t wait to move!”

Well, long story short: Life intervened, and the move got postponed until, well, now.

The one thing that has changed is the 'hood that we want to live in. Instead of the apparently stale and unimaginative Redmond/Bellevue area, we’ve been looking at Lynnwood. Does anybody here have experience with this place? Lived there? Heck, just drove through the place? I’d very much like to hear your impressions, memories, hates, loves, etc. about the neighborhood.

And since I’ve got your attention, past and present Seattleites, I have two other quick questions:

  1. Are there any neighborhoods we should avoid?


  1. How is the commute from, say, Lynnwood, to Seattle? Bearable? How’s the traffic on that particular route? I don’t have my map handy, but I think it was about or less than 15 miles. And I’m sorta used to that already, as that’s how far I am from the happenin’ places in Honolulu. But it still can be a hassle to make the commute.

I guess, in other words, my question is if we live in Lynnwood, are we better off forgetting downtown Seattle exists?
Many thanks in advance for whatever recommendations, anecdotes, and in general stress-relieving, fear-allaying answers you can provide. :slight_smile:

Heh. I just re-read OrcaChow’s remark about it being safe to make fun of Lynnwood. What are we getting ourselves into? :smiley:

No, really, why is Lynnwood made fun of?

Tell me about it!

Notified in October that I’d be laid off.
Expected layoff January. Nope.
Expected layoff in February. Nope.
Expected layoff April 1st. Nope (although two people who were notified in October are going).
Told layoff would not happen before summer.
Then told layoff would not happen until the end of the year.
Then told layoff might not be until the end of the fiscal year (April, 2003)!

Aiyiyi. Now, I appreciate having a job that I like and being able to spend/save money that I wouldn’t otherwise have; but I’m getting anxious to move! Now that taxes are done, I need only pay them. Then I’ll look for a house to buy and rent out for a little income. Still just cooling my jets…

Anyway, I stayed in Lynnwood when I was in Seattle last year looking for work. I didn’t see much of it, but it looked like an okay place. I’ve driven through Seattle on the freeways, and they’re worse than in L.A. Seattle is situated between some mountains and Lake Washington and Puget Sound. It’s kind of compressed into that little space, and that doesn’t help traffic. I’ve heard that many people park their cars in North Seattle and take busses into downtown. (I’ve also heard that some busses are free.)

I still don’t know where I’ll end up, as I don’t know what job I will get or where it will be. I’ll start out in Birch Bay and go from there.

I remember seeing an episode of Almost Live where they were making fun of big hair and blue eyeshadow in Lynnwood.

I’ve never lived in Lynnwood, but have spent a lot of time there. Imagine big hair, and corvettes and camaros. Everyone I know who has lived there has moved. And don’t even get me started on the traffic. The I-5 corridor from Lynnwood to Seattle is unbearable. It’s not a long distance, but it’s usually jam-packed with traffic. Just take a look at the traffic cams.

I’d say that there really aren’t any areas you need to completely avoid. Every area has its pros and cons. But I wouldn’t completely rule out Bellevue/Redmond, or any of the so-called Eastside.

Oh, almost forgot. Check out StepOne.

Here’s another site you should check out:

Greetings, as a Seattle Doper I will attempt to assist. The first thing to know is where you will be working. This will drive where you want to live (for example, Lynwood to Seattle will not be a great commute). Also, price range will matter.

Generally, IMHO, there is no point in living in this general area if you are going to land somewhere like Lynwood, Renton, or Kent. I can specifically recommend the Capitol Hill area (where I Live), Freemont (where I work), Wallingford or Ballard. As a newbie, you will do well to stay away from the so-called Central District (cheaper rents, but you have to know your way around as some areas get pretty rough).


It has a reputation as being a very hick, pick-up truck drivin’, good ol’ boy, Budweiser drinkin’, big permed hair, Seattle district. This is when compared to all of the other local North Seattle districts in the area (Ballard, Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Ravenna, etc) of which there is a constant image rivalry being waged. Most of the slams against Lynnwood are hyperbole and just good-natured ribbing. Heck, most Lynnwoodies are very nice people with their cute electric blue eye shadow and lovely tobacco-stained smiles :wink:

In reality it is a nice and quiet area, slightly more blue-collar than the neighboring districts, but that’s all. It could be a lot worse, you could be thinking of moving to Lake City :wink:

But what do I know, I live in Capitol Hill, and we’re all tranvestite piercing-fetishists up here :wink:

Howdy Neighbor…

I think it’s safe to say that one of our prime concerns is rent. One of the things that’s drawing us to Lynnwood (other than AudreyK being able to wear her blue eyeshadow without ridicule) is that the rent is/appears to be relatively low.

This is, OTOH, compared to rent in Hawaii, where a one bedroom apartment can cost as much as some of the two bed, one bath apartments we’re seeing in Lynnwood (about $700-$800). The only other neighborhood we were looking at with comparable rates was Kent, which appears to be an even longer commute than Lynnwood’s.

OTOOH, all this is based on a purely hypothetical “what if we worked in Seattle” scenario. As it is, neither one of us have jobs lined up and I, personally, will probably temp it until something better pops up. (Anybody hiring? ;))

As far as commutes go, I’m pretty sure we’d both be willing, if only barely capable, of waking up early to beat the rush. That or we could bus it. It’d still be slow, but at least it’d let me catch up on my reading…

ALso if you’re working in Seattle and want something closer look into Magnolia, It’s a pretty decent neighborhood.

THere is nothing wrong with living in Redmond/ Bellevue… it’s nice and it’s within driving distance to downtown…

<mutter> damn elite downtown snobs anyway </mutter>

Lynnwood. Ugh. Well, it grows on you, it’s convenient, and you don’t have to live right in it.

I’m in Mountlake Terrace, actually, about 2 blocks from Lynnwood. It’s all true, I tell you: the big hair, the tobacco stains, the roach clips, the Camaros. But who cares, at least they’re not Eastside snots (::looks around, wonders if ducking and running is necessary::). Lynnwood has most of the conveniences of Seattle, if none of the charm, and many of its residential areas are quite nice, and far cheaper than comparable neighborhoods in Seattle.

The commute to downtown is a nightmare, let me restate that, a horrible neverending NIGHTMARE that will ruin your life forever. I don’t recommend it. However, in off-hours, it will take you just 15 minutes to get downtown. If the freeway system worked in Puget Sound, Lynnwood would be a suburb. As things are, it’s an exurb. I’m about to start looking for work, and I’m looking in Everett - it will be far faster than Seattle, if not actually closer. Heck, it may even be closer.

Welcome to the area, new neighbors. Y’all stop over and visit, y’hear?

If you want to base where you live on commute (a wise thing in the city of traffic), try to live near where you want to work. The east side is a greta place to live if you like suburbs and if you work on the east side.

Downtown is great if you like the busy city life and if you work downtown.

Commuting from one to the other twice a day will make you irate and unpleasant to be around :slight_smile:

Well, if you find Redmond/Bellevue stale and unimaginative, wait until you see Lynnwood.

That said, housing is relatively cheap, and the commute is only mostly awful (Kent is equally as bad). In fact here’s the Seattle area commute map It’s kind of fun to see the lines turn black during morning and evening rush hours…

If you are planning on using public transportation (bwahahaha) Kent to Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond is probably going to be much easier than Lynnwood to Seattle/Bellevue/Redmond. Lynnwood is across the county line, so two bus systems, new and even stranger hassles.

3 slams against Kent, guess I have to speak up for south King County. I don’t actually live in Kent, I live in a little triangle of unincorporated King County between Kent, Auburn, and Covington. Nice country lifestyle 15 minutes from anything you could ever need. I commute at least one week a month from home to Boeing Field and back and the commute is a breeze. Less than 30 minutes each way. Unless there is an accident on I-5 in the Southcenter area.

Use to drive through Lynnwood everyday when I worked in Everett. Folks that live there are familiar with what the local weather folks call a convergence zone. As weather systems come in off the Pacific they are split in 2 by the Olympics. The area where the weather system rejoins in called the convergence zone. Snow, wind, hail, thunder, lightning, and that is just in the summer time. The other 3 seasons are worse. Left Everett one afternoon in 75 degree sunshine. Hit Lynnwood and had to drive through 4 inches of snow and hail. In June.

My sister lives in Edmonds, hon, and I think it is a very charming town. It is actually closer to Seattle than Lynnwood as well, at least a little. Of course I only visit, and living there might be less pleasant than visiting…but my sister and her family seem to like it very much.

Oh, and when are you finally coming? We need to start planning a welcome DopeFest for the two of you!

Much Love,


I work a few blocks from Lynnwood. I would never live there. I live southwest of downtown Seattle. Every morning I watch the countless thousands from Lynnwood and Everett stuck in traffic heading south to downtown. On paper the bus service is pretty good to downtown; but reality is uglier.

Speaking of which, Lynnwood is a sort of working class suburb. Lots of strip malls and a large indoor mall; no downtown or spiritual center like most small cities have. The attraction is affordability of home ownership within an hour commute of downtown. Also valuable is the access to the Eastside (Microsoft, Bellevue, Redmond etc.) via I-405.

Because dealing with downtown traffic is getting worse and worse (if that is possible) more folks I know who live in Lynnwood are pursuing leisure pleasures in Bellevue or near the University in north Seattle. But if you work downtown, you will probably hang and get some culture and get home late.

Slightly west of Lynnwood on the water is Edmonds which is fairly charming and upscale and older. Much more expensive. Many of my work peers live in Edmonds and love it–good schools and community.

But most everyplace within 50 minutes commute from downtown is expensive nowadays. It is all relative, but the average housing price range comes close to 300K in King County (Seattle).

There are very few really undesirable places to live in the Seattle area. A lot of the former slums in the Central District are now being gentrified. But you still gotta be careful there. Also, White Center (which has been informally called “Rat City” for over 50 years I am told) can be tough in southwest Seattle. Some parts of west Seattle are also high crime neighborhoods. But other parts are lovely and pricey.

My advice is to bring a huge chunk of money and rent a place in north Seattle or west Seattle for six months. Learn the lay of the land, job gigs, and where you and your friend fit into to all this. After a couple more moves and job changes you will figure it out and become an almost-native like lots of us.

Could you commute by ferry?

Take a look at your options on a map for ferry-served communities, such as Bremerton, Southworth, Bainbridge Island.

Bremerton’s a Navy town, but it’s got more going for it than Lynnwood for Gawd’s sake.

OOC, does anybody live in one of these “high speed Internet acess” places? Any idea of how “high speed” these places are? Personally, I’m guessing an underwhelming shared fractional T1, but I’m hoping for dedicated (okay, shared) OC12 or better. :wink: