There are plenty of reasons to live in Seattle… and just as many not to. Allison Peryea graciously narrowed it down to just a handful for this week’s Friday 5. See our “Top 10 Reasons Not to Live in Seattle,” plus more all-in-good-fun Seattle-bashing, in the November 2014 “Not-Seattle” issue of NWLawyer!
Traffic: I can literally see my office building from my deck at home, and it still takes me a half-hour to get to work when the roads are busy. I run errands based on the traffic report, which is basically the urban dweller’s daily horoscope. In Wenatchee, where I grew up, the rule of thumb is that it never takes longer than 15 minutes to get anywhere under any circumstance. A traffic jam occurs only when somebody’s vintage Ford F-150 stalls at the intersection.
Techies: Thanks to Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and similar companies, Seattle is crawling with techies, and their willingness to spend a lot to lease an apartment in the city drives up rent and makes the rest of us feel poorer and stupider. We continue to tear down old, historic buildings (often condemned, but still) to accommodate their fancy new office buildings. I have a ton of techie friends, and they never had student loans and are always buying stuff (the newest phone, fancy kitchen knives) because they are already paying the maximum into their corporate retirement accounts and have nothing else to do with their money. They get corporate discount cards, so they can get into movies for a fraction of the normal ticket price. Resenting them is an around-the-clock task. You don’t have to deal with these types of people on a regular basis, so you only have to resent them when one of their software programs has a bug. This frees up a lot of your time.
Eating Out: If you want to eat out for dinner, you go to a restaurant. In contrast, if we want dinner out — especially on the weekend — we have to either make a reservation ahead of time, pick one of our go-to unpopular spots usually known for their mediocre fare, or spend the bulk of the evening in a crowded entry area for a table. Seattle is known for its fit inhabitants, and the secret is not because we exercise and eat healthy. It’s just that we can never get a table at the Italian place.
Crowded Events: The best part of city living is that there is an endless list of fun things to do. The downside is that everyone else wants to do those fun things, too. I once went to the Fremont Solstice Festival and it was so crowded, nobody could move. It was just a solid block of people, some of them wearing nothing but body paint, frozen in place. I had to duck into a booth selling felted wool hats just to take a breath. You, on the other hand, can get tickets to an event on its scheduled evening, and have to park a block away at most.
Pet Mania: In Seattle, we love our pets as if they share the same genetic material as family members. Statistics show that we have more households with a dog or a cat than a kid in our fair city. (That’s right, we appear to prefer “fur kids” more than the real thing.) A walk around Greenlake is like taking a free trip to a dog show. Meanwhile, most of us live in apartments and condominiums, so letting our pets outside usually involves shoes and a coat (for us, and perhaps the dog). Where you live, there is a good chance that residents like both animals and people. But in Seattle, if you want to start a family, we will be looking out for the housewarming party invitation for your new home in Shoreline or Issaquah (which we probably can’t go to because of traffic and also we never leave the city limits except to go hiking). We will, however, volunteer to watch your pet if you go out of town.