Tell me of Seattle

There’s a possibility that I’ll be in Seattle for an unknown period measured in months starting who-knows-when. I’ve heard that the PNW is the best part of the U.S., and “best place” lists always have places like Portland ranked high.

I don’t know exactly what I should be asking, but I’m trying to figure out if I’d like it there. So tell me anything you think I should consider.

Tell us what you like and we’ll be able to address your concerns. I’m a native northwesterner, and lived in Seattle for about 10 years.
What do you like to do? What will you be doing there? How are you set financially? Age and marital status, etc?
And just for the record, yes, it’s the best place in the world to live, primarily because we won’t let just anyone come live here. Have you submitted the application yet?

I’ve lived in Arizona for 20 years.

I was in Seattle for 1 week earlier this month.

That 1 week had more happiness packed into it than all my years in Arizona.

Nobody’s answered my application yet.

Seattle? It rains a lot? Microsoft HQ is near there (in Redmond)?

Wait, don’t we have a poster who JUST moved to Seattle from Europe a few months ago? Who was that? Anyone know?

I believe there is a moratorium on apps for both Seattle and Portland at this time.

I may lose my residency permit for sharing this… Seattle ranks 44th among US cities for annual rainfall.

From October to March - we might hold the record for overcast days.

How interesting! However I thought Seattle was frequently overcast with some drizzle – not pouring rain. Raw rainfall volume wouldn’t necessarily tell the whole story if there was frequent, light rainfall.

From what I understand from the locals it is generally overcast with light drizzling, but not constant drizzle. Hoodies are favored outerwear for this reason; you really don’t need anything heavier, not even umbrellas.

Yeah, it’s a lot of light rain during the gloomy 9-month long winters. The summers are great.

I’m young and married, if that helps. I stay inside a lot, but I’m told that’s a no-no in Seattle. Two factors really weigh heavily on my enjoyment of an area - traffic volume and weather.

I graduated high school there. Spent summers on Whidbey Island. Around every corner there is a new vista. Green everywhere. Ivar’s Acres of Clams a good place for fish n chips.

If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes.

Hence, our seasons:


I think you misspelled “ten months.”

We have several breathtakingly beautiful, but inconveniently located bodies of water. Traffic is hideous if you have to go near or get across one or more of them on your commute.

It is overcast for a good part of the year. There are days, sometimes several in a row, without sun; it simply does not get through the cloud cover. One transplant told me that she finally felt at home when she could appreciate the various shades of grey. It doesn’t get that hot or that cold, but if you need clear skies, this is not the place.

Assuming, of course, your application is accepted.

The weather is like this: the summers are warm and generally sunny from late June until end of September, usually, but it can rain at any time. The winters are long and gloomy. It rains and is overcast sometimes for weeks at a time. Pounding gullywashers are rare, but it can drizzle for seemingly ever. Snow is rare, though most winters will have a little. It seldom freezes, but even a tiny skiff of snow will shut the city down for several days. When I lived there the city owned 2 snow plows. Snow never sticks long, though, so you’ll be back to endless cold drizzle in short order.
You do not have to be an outdoor activity type to enjoy Seattle, it’s just that the area is so green and beautiful, with access to both sea and mountain experiences, that it draws many people who are really into outdoor activities. If you are into museums, clubs, restaurants, etc. – the typical hip urban scene – there will be plenty to do.
Housing is very expensive. Traffic is awful. The city is wedged in between Puget Sound and Lake Washington so there is no room to expand. Commuting could be a long and tiring proposition.

Seattle proper, as in the city? Hope you like panhandlers, urine and mildew. Do yourself a favor and stick to the suburbs on the eastside.

I am following this thread with much interest, as I am hoping to have my application accepted for emigration from Arizona in a couple of years.

Just, you know, sick of the sun. My favorite things are coffee, books, trees, large bodies of water, music, and not staring into the sun’s ferocious, cancer-inducing glare.

Heading back up to Seattle in February to see if we like the non-summer months. Planning to take public transport around, see if we can figure out what it might be like to live there.

Biggest downside: housing costs about twice what it does in Phoenix. (For a smaller house.)

Please consider my application! Even sinners in the Bible only had to live in the desert for forty years! (I’ve lived in the desert for forty years last month.)

Since I’m a native Californian my applications for both Seattle and Portland are “on file”, but other nearby communities are wonderful as well.

Its a really difficult place to get a good night’s rest. There was a documentary about this phenomenon narrated by Tom Hanks that was made in the 1990’s.

Seattle life will live or die for you based on your relation to residence location vs transportation flow. The bus system is a slow victim of the area traffic, with poor route and transfer coverage. Car travel is choke-pointed by bad traffic, old bridges, and ferries. A distance of only 2 miles can easily add an hour of driving to get somewhere. Bike commuting is for the diehards due to the weather, hills, and shoulder-less roadways.

Basic rule: Don’t put downtown or a water feature between your residence and your workplace and you’ll be fine.

That said, if you can manage setting up your nest in the right place, Seattle is fantastic.

You might want to check out Portland, as well. We’re not on the ocean, but are bounded by the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. The city, IMO, is much greener than Seattle, has Powell’s Books, a coffee shop every 30 feet, and a vibrant music scene, including a blues festival on the waterfront every year, a jazz festival, free concerts in the parks, etc. And the traffic is not as homicidal as in Seattle. We get the drizzle also, of course. We went back and forth as a good place to live, and Portland won out for a variety of reasons:

Real estate is somewhat cheaper. Excellent website.

Public transit is better.

No sales tax.

Out-fucking-standing restaurants and food carts.

Tons of parks. Here’s one of three or four in my neighborhood.

Lots of green to offset the downtown concrete.

Few hills to climb.

Forty miles of paved bike path just on one route.

Easy access to both the coast and the Cascades.