1. It’s a place with lots of quirky touches.
I knew something was up with Seattle on my second trip on the light rail and I noticed this.
Playing cards flashing by me in the light rail. From here I knew I was visiting a city with humor. Seattle has all kinds of small touches like this all over the city, and my daily commutes were always met with something strange or different.
2. There is always something to do.
I only made one plan for my visit to Seattle (eat at Five Point), and otherwise, knew very little about it. Stephanie acted as my tour guide, taking me to neighborhoods that are important, but other than that, we just kind of freestyled every single day. “Oh, that store’s open? Let’s go inside.” “This looks like an interesting place, let’s go inside. Our friend Seth, after we relayed our days to him said, “This stuff never happens to me when I wander around Seattle. I have never been to a soda tasting.” So maybe it was just the charisma of Stephanie and I? Nonetheless, wherever we went, we found something to see (like a belly dance festival) or something to do (like learn about the fascinating world of building robot models for a half hour).
3. There is also always something to buy.
This is something I love and hate about any city. I love souvenirs, and when vendors see my face, they just know that I can be exploited! Spending more than a moment at Pike Place Market or any of the small businesses around Seattle, and I inevitably end up buying something. Click on the souvenir haul tag and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Seattle, as a result, can get a little expensive, and there is apparently a growing debate on the minimum wage. Either way, in Seattle, I found an assortment of things to buy from cultures all around the world. Wallets sold by an Egyptian in the style of ancient hieroglyphics, Russian candies, Brazilian Guarana (and BOY do I love Guarana), coin jewelry sold by a man from Peru, and so on. Whatever you want, you can probably find it in Seattle.
*And don’t forget to check out their thrift stores. Lots of great records, costume jewelry, and clothing.
This one is strange, so bear with me. Seattle is a dog city. You see dogs everywhere. There are more dogs in Seattle than children (which, by the way, I didn’t see too many of). It is at once, disconcerting and intriguing. I love/hate this about Seattle because one, I have a visceral reaction when I see dogs in places that dogs shouldn’t be- like restaurants, malls, and food courts. I immediately think, “Why did you think it was appropriate to bring Fido here? We’re eating here? I have allergies!” On the other hand,
5. The food.
I never ate anything I didn’t like in Seattle. I loved everything.
6. The people.
Seattle has a wonderful mix of people from all over the world and of all types of backgrounds. They’re all super helpful and pleasant, and even if they’re faking, you don’t encounter that kind of openness typically. Maybe it’s because I’m from the Northeast, but the few times I’ve been West I’ve noticed a hint of fakeness among people. But in Seattle, it really does seem sincere. For example, in the Unicorn, the bar/restaurant I told you about saying that I felt like I didn’t have enough tattoos to enter? The waiter we had looked like this,
and yet he was cordial and funny. In Seattle, you’ll see all kinds of people (and not all of them are dressed strangely for the Comic Book Convention). And a great deal of them will be helpful, nice, and capable of making great food and/or jewelry!
7. There is art all around you.
According to Stephanie, Seattle has a lot of rival graffiti groups that tag the city all over. So much so, they influenced the video game Infamous, Second Son
. Graffiti isn’t particularly unique to Seattle, but it seems as if it has been… allowed to a certain degree to flourish. As a result, you don’t see your typical “Such and such gang” or “such and such was here” or “this is a smiley face picture” tagging around the city. Instead, you find art installations.
8. Public transportation.
Public transportation is not a priority in every city. Seattle has made it so, and as a result getting around is pretty darn easy. I can’t speak for the whole of Washington, but I saw a lot during my short time in Seattle, and I’m pretty sure it’s due to the light rail and bus system.
Oh and my thighs. Shoutout to my gals for keeping me upright while traversing up those ridiculous hills.
(I thought I had a picture for this… no? Okay, next!)
9. It’s a pretty city.
Seattle has a great mix of architecture, geography, and ingenuity to make the most out of its hilly terrain. You have low buildings at the Waterfront
, tall skyscrapers like the Columbia Center
, and colorful apartment complexes all around the city. A lot of the buildings in downtown Seattle and the neighboring …hoods, all are pretty tall, 3 stories and above, something I don’t think I will ever get used to seeing. Exploring the city is never boring because there is always something interesting to look at, and even my light rail commute was spent gazing wistfully out the window at the city around me.
10. It feels just like home.
Home is where the heart is, and maybe I project Maryland in every single city I visit, but Seattle is a strange collection of familiarity and foreignness. For example, Seattle doesn’t have a lot of trees (it’s a city after all), but certain areas of Washington (like where I was), are woody, semi-suburban areas. The people are nice, and within the city, the possibilities to find a place for you to make “your spot” are endless. It may be because my best friend from WAY back is there, and that as long as we’re hanging out, it’s always going to feel like home. Either way, five days in Seattle made me feel like a regular Seattlite, I even got sort of
used to the never-ending rain.
But Seattle, I love you. Through rain and more rain.