Thinking of moving to Seattle? Well, make sure you’re done reading this Buzzle write-up, as it contains some quirky, yet useful facts about the Emerald City.
A newcomer to Seattle arrives on a rainy day. He gets up the next day and it’s raining. It also rains the day after that, and the day after that. He goes out to lunch and sees a young kid, and asks out of despair, “Hey kid, does it ever stop raining around here?”
The kid says, “How do I know? I’m only 6.”
There was no way we could’ve begun a piece on Seattle without taking a goodhearted potshot at its purported gloomy weather.
And that actually gets us to point numero uno. Which is,
Seattle’s weather may be an issue for some.
Seattle’s location on the rim of the Pacific Northwest places it in the oceanic climate category. In plain English, this translates to downright gloomy weather, especially if you’ve been used to, let’s say, the Californian sunshine. It is approximated that Seattle has close to 200 cloudy days and around 90 days of partial cloudiness throughout the year. This may not seem like a lot, but believe me, that’s a lot of grayness to handle for someone who’s used to waking up to cerulean skies. And yes, it does rain here quite often―not the lashing kind, but more like the drive-you-insane-with-perpetual-drizzle kind.
But it’s also nice!
Because Seattleites do not take their sunshine for granted. They discard their rain gear with heartfelt gusto, and soak in the sunlight like there’s no tomorrow.
Seattleites love to cycle.
To say that the Seattleites are an environment-friendly lot is an understatement, but we’ll have more on that further in the article. The people here are passionate about bicycling, as is evident from the fact that the city ranks among the most bike-friendly cities in the world. You’ll find a lot of dedicated cycling lanes crisscrossing the city. Reason enough to go pedaling around yourself? You betcha!
The great outdoors are just a short drive outside the city.
If you happen to be the outdoorsy type, you should not waste a moment in coming to Seattle. The city, as we do know, is already formed on hills (local talk says 7 hills, a la Rome). The surrounding area comprises beautiful hikes, waterfalls, and rivers, all of which are under an hour’s drive from downtown Seattle. So if you wish to take a picnic to Snoqualmie Falls, or go swimming in the Green River, it won’t take a lot of effort or planning.
The Pike Place Market is way too awesome!
Seattleites and tourists throng the Pike Place Market, which is the biggest and most happening markets in the city, and probably in the Pacific Northwest as well. It’s obvious popularity aside, the market is regarded to be the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the United States. This is where you’ll find everything from comic book stores, to craft stalls, and from fresh bakes to fresh fish. As someone living in Seattle, you cannot not come here.
It’s so Left, that there’s no Left left.
Okay, get a hang of this―Seattle has an overwhelming blue bent, with all precincts in Seattle voting for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election. Social issues like same-sex marriages and reproductive rights have found approval with the residents, as did the recreational use of marijuana. Seattle was the first city in the United States to have elected a female mayor, Bertha Knight Landes. They also gave the thumbs-up to Ed Murray, the city’s openly gay mayor. Plus, the city consistently fares high regarding the number of atheists, with church attendance, religious belief, and political influence of religious leaders bearing little significance here than in other parts of America.
Seattle happens to be quite scholarly.
More than half the city’s population over 25 years of age hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, and more than 90% residents have earned a high school diploma. A 2008 survey noted that the city had the highest percentage of college and university graduates among all major American cities. No wonder, then, that Seattle consistently finds itself among the most literate cities in the United States.
Not to mention, it’s quite nerdy as well.
Techies coming to Seattle can rejoice―after all, the city and its surrounding areas are home to tech giants like Microsoft, Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, T-Mobile, Expedia, and several more. Coffee enthusiasts may know of it as the birthplace of Starbucks. And speaking of coffee…
It is a city of bespoke coffee drinkers.
Seattle’s love affair with coffee has to begin with Starbucks, with the chain’s first store being opened in the city on March 30, 1971. The store’s current location in Pike Place is close to the original store on Western Avenue. But that’s not all. They also have Seattle’s Best Coffee and Tully’s. And that’s not all either. They have, in addition, several independent cafes that dot the city.
And like every other city, Seattle too has its fair share of wows and duhs. But if you’re considering moving here for whatever reasons, ensure that you’ve got all these pros and cons weighed and sorted.