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Considering relocating to Seattle

Regional discussion and conditions reports for Washington and Oregon. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Pacific Northwest Climbing Partners section.
 

Postby SophiaClimbs » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:47 am

etsnyd wrote:I think Seattle people are superficially friendlier and nicer than NYC folks. But they tend to be harder to get to really know, and to be included and welcomed into their group is much more difficult. At least this has been my experience.

I haven't been to SP in ages and last time I was here, I was asking nearly the same question. Moved here last year.

My experience has been the same as etsnyd - most people are really friendly superficially. However, with the exception of climbers looking for partners or guys asking me out, the people I meet casually mostly act like I've fallen off the planet once we part. (This goes for people who give you their numbers, cards, ask you to FB them, etc…they seem truly surprised when you actually contact them.) I've only developed friendships with people that I see regularly for some other reason (work, non-profit boards, climbing, etc.) My impression is this is different for younger men (that guys are more open to new friends) but I could be imagining it.

The weather has been fine. The summer was totally clear and dry. In the winter, even during the worst stretches rain, the sun would come out every day or two. I have a view of Rainier from my balcony and on my commute to work so I see it fairly frequently all year and nearly every day during the summer.

Despite climbing in that really popular "moderate" range (5.8 - 5.10b and a little easier alpine) I easily found uncrowded climbing areas with easy access. I made it to Squamish almost every weekend for 2 or 3 months.

I'm a total geek and there are plenty of geeky activities, especially if you're a liberal leaning, wine sipping, NPR type. Lots of interesting lectures, musicians, authors on book tours, etc. swing through Seattle. The regional theater scene is pretty good. Nice museums. Good restaurants and wine. (There are better of course, but it's solid here.) If you never want to dress up again, it's a good place to be. I've been debating whether or not to donate all my suits and dresses to Goodwill (keeping one set for the occasional business trip to NYC or DC.) I reverse commute (live in Seattle and work outside) so I don't see the traffic that people complain about. The little neighborhoods with their unique characters are fun to explore.

So, I'm not totally in love with the city but it's not bad.
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Postby fatdad » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:12 am

b. wrote:I drove through LA the other day. Couldn't really see much of it at all. I thought San Diego was much cooler and easier to deal with. There is definitely not enough skiing or ice climbing down there for me.


Yeah, the freeway just passes thru LA, it's not LA. And as far as skiing and ice, there isn't any. Local skiing, which is OK but two hours away. Most die hard skiers just go to the Sierra, which is also the closest ice.
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Postby b. » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:54 am

Thanks, Sophia!
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Postby lcarreau » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:19 am

Hey, I didn't forget about the North Cascades or Olympics across the Sound.

Mount Rainier just burns in my mind. It looks so close, and (of course) that's on those days when you can see it.

Yes, I would say in those 9 months outta the year, it really helps to have a WARM BOOK,
GOOD WOMAN and incredible micro-brew CLOSE at hand.

:wink:
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Postby bird » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:31 pm

A friend who moved from NY to Seattle a few years back lamented about the "Seattle Freeze". She found it very hard to make friends and break in, which is not uncommon from what she had heard.
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Postby lcarreau » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:51 pm

bird wrote:A friend who moved from NY to Seattle a few years back lamented about the "Seattle Freeze". She found it very hard to make friends and break in, which is not uncommon from what she had heard.



Actually, I was born in Tacoma, and I could see the "smugness factor" growing between
Seattle & Tacoma back in the 1980s.

But, most recently, my wife & I took the commuter train between Puyallup and Seattle.

The people in Seattle were awesome! Very helpful with directions! And, NOBODY swung their umbrella at us in any "threatening" manner.

Of course, within all major cities, it pays to be "street sauvy" and grow eyes in back of your head ... :wink:
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Postby lcarreau » Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:59 pm

And ... don't forget to check out "Tom Hanks'" houseboat in Lake Union!

If you find yourself "clicking" with the locals and enjoying the misty (heavily-laden with rainwater) atmosphere, you too can be ...


Sleepless in Seattle!
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Postby Klenke » Thu Jun 10, 2010 7:50 pm

lcarreau wrote:And ... don't forget to check out "Tom Hanks'" houseboat in Lake Union!
yaaaawn.
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Postby Dane1 » Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:57 am

Dude, do you like to ice climb and see the sun on occasion? If so stay in Bozeman...trust me on this :) We are 30 minutes from the Needle.
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Postby lcarreau » Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:09 am

Dane1 wrote:Dude, do you like to ice climb and see the sun on occasion? If so stay in Bozeman...trust me on this :) We are 30 minutes from the Needle.


WHAT needle? The Space Needle ???


Better yet, check out northern Arizona !!!

The "nights" are cool enough for shut-eye, and you won't be "sleepless in Seattle."

Instead, a scorpion might join you for a midnight snack!

8)
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Postby Sunny Buns » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:43 am

Seattle is awesome - Olympic Mountains to the west, Cascades to the east, Volcanoes from Shasta to Baker, Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canada to the North, Pacific Ocean beaches as far as the eye can see on the coast (and not crowded at all), Summer temps 70-90 degrees mostly, Winter temps rarely get below freezing (but there is a lot of drizzle). AWESOME backcountry skiiing in the winter in the mountains.

Join the Mountaineers and take their climbing classes, snowshoeing classes, back country skiing classes, and meet a lot of really nice people who are into the great outdoors.

Don't leave anything valuable in your car at a trailhead.

Good luck. Portland, just to the south is nice too, but Seattle has more mountains to choose from.

In either place, try to live where you can walk to work because commuting isn't a lot of fun due to heavy traffic.

BUT don't move here if you think gray dreary weather would bother you because there is about 9 months of it per year. BUT, if you go up on Rainier or in the cascades, many times you'll be in bright sunshine on the snow while it is so dark in the valleys that the street lights are on at noon and water is coming down in buckets.
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Postby Sunny Buns » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:59 am

For in-town recreation there is the Burke-Gilman bicycle trail; it goes around Lake Washington and is about 50 miles long. There is also Green Lake which has a 3 mile paved trail around it and on hot days the scenery can be pretty good. :wink: There are also bike trails along the Green River at the south end of the city near Tukwila.

If you would rather not live right in the big city, best bet might be to live up north near Everett, or to the east near Issaquah so you can escape to the mountains more easily. Just don't ever try to escape from downtown Seattle at rush hour on a hot Friday afternoon unless you like monster traffic jams.

Be sure to try a hamburger at Dick's Drive-In. There's one in Wallingford and also one on Capitol Hill I think.

What's the popular book store near Pike Place market? I can't remember the name, but you'll find it. In Portland, the book store to go to is Powells - it takes up a whole city block.
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Postby Marmaduke » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:00 am

b. wrote:I drove through LA the other day. Couldn't really see much of it at all. I thought San Diego was much cooler and easier to deal with. There is definitely not enough skiing or ice climbing down there for me.


How about the Sacramento area or in the foothills? Or anywhere, pretty much in the Northern Bay Area.
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Postby ericwillhite » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:02 am

I lived for 33 years in the Seattle area. Love the place but the weather was the deciding factor in wanting to live some place new. Growing up in it you just get use to it, but once I started traveling around the west....well, my eyes were opened. If you like to get out every weekend (in the mountains), no matter what the weather, year round, expect about 40 percent of your trips to be in crap weather. I've got pictures for over 100 mountains in bad weather! Usually a complete cloudy summit shot, so all the pics look like they could be in the same place. Contrast that with my Utah trips, almost all of the pictures for every trip are in blue sky. I just wish I could have brought the Olympics and Cascade Ranges down here with me....but then the glaciers would melt, rivers dry up, etc.

As for people, I thought everyone was ok but I'm re-thinking it. When we go back to see family, my wife plays a game called "grumpy-face". Drive down the road looking at people in their cars. Most of them look miserable. I was a skeptic at first but it seems to hold true. Still, when the weather is good, my opinion says, there is no better place. And you see far fewer grumpy faces as well.

As for LA....was that person serious?
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Postby Sunny Buns » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:52 pm

It is true that you get used to the weather. The big plus is the mild winter temperatures that rarely get below freezing. Being from Montana you will think you are in the banana belt.

I've lived in both Portland and Seattle. Portlanders do seem more friendly. But if you make friends easily and expect to have lots of buddies to go climbing with, etc then you should do OK in either place.

This spring has been particularly nasty for lack of sun. For Portland, today (June 22) is the 5th day in June when the high temp will reach into the 70's. It's getting really old.
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