This is basically going to be a random collection of things I’ve noticed about Seattle since moving here about 2 weeks ago.
Biking stuff: The bike lanes and paths are pervasive enough here that I can get to most parts of the city within a 10 mile radius of downtown and have mostly bike lanes or paths. This is awesome. There are tons of bikers here, but not for the reasons I originally thought. I thought it was because the city was full of forward thinkers, and I am sure there is some of that. But it might also be because the traffic is pretty terrible. Only Cincinnati friends will get this, but here we go… Imagine that every neighborhood in Cincinnati had the road configuration of Mt. Adams. No major roads or highways in. No major roads and highways out. Now imagine Cincinnati was twice as big in terms of population. Now imagine that 71 doesn’t exist. Well, now you’ve basically got Seattle traffic. It’s not uncommon for traveling 5 miles to take 20 to 30 minutes. So, back to the foward-thinking bikers. It’s actually faster to travel by bike at certain times of the day here. So, I think the active bike community here is driven in part by philosophy and in part by practicality.
Note that Seattle is hilly much in the same way Cincinnati is. Downtown is in a basin, and you are climbing to get out of it. There are three things I’ve noticed about the cyclists here that gratify me. They seem to be extremely practical. So, fixies? Great big no. I have seen one since I have been here, and I have seen LOTS of bikes. All cyclists shamelessly wear there cycle-appropriate gear everywhere. And in general it seems when the people of Seattle need to make a choice between form and function, they all lustily choose function. Finally, I have yet to see a single cyclist break traffic laws. The only tense situation I have witnessed between a cyclist and a motorist involved the cyclist dressing down the apologetic motorist. The motorist was incorrectly turning into the bike lane when the cyclists had a green light and the motorist had a red. A police officer apologized to me when a car happened to be in my right of way for a few seconds.
Food stuff: The food scene here is bigger than Cincinnati’s without question. However, it seems that everything is priced around the same price point. So, you’ll pay Senate prices everywhere (~$15 to $20 per plate no booze), but you won’t get Senate goodness. I’ve not had a bad meal here, but I have had quite a few mediocre meals with a few stand outs. I had duck confit hash for brunch a couple weeks back, and it was out of this world. I also had some pad thai and green papaya salad for the same price that was just ok. I think I need to do more exploring. I know I will find stuff that’s stellar, I just haven’t figured out how to pick the best from the rest yet.
People stuff: The people here are really pretty great. The city seems to be completely made up of nature-loving hippies, hipsters (the weirdo kind and not the pretentious kind), and computer coders (that could border on douche bag, but not excessively). There isn’t a salmon shorted bro to be found. So that is just lovely. I live right next to the sports stadiums, and although it’s a little loud on game day, people are polite. Even when drunk walking home they do nice things like throw their trash in trash cans. Yay adults!
Nature stuff: Have you seen my pictures? Yeah. So, the proximity to many, many camping areas and hiking trails is really phenomenal. Sorry about it Midwest, Seattle is smoking you here. I will lump the weather in here, because it’s a natural thing. Although I have had some rainy days here, the days when it isn’t raining are just gorgeous. It’s typically a high in the 70’s and lows in the 50’s. Perfect weather for doing anything… I mean anything at all outside. Ok so sure, a good part of the winter is rainy but nearly all of the summer has great weather. Plus, on the winter days where it does happen to be dry, with the highs in the 50’s you can still sneak off for a hike.
I am still exploring spiritual and music stuff. That will have to wait for another post.