"This is a totem we erected to protect us from Courtney Love."
January 6, 2012 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Seattle is objectively superior to the place you grew up
posted by Artw (237 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh yeah? At least we didn't give the world the most boring band in 20 years.
posted by philip-random at 10:50 AM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm happy to be from a city which everybody thinks sucks, but which is actually awesome. And no, I'm not telling you where. I want to move back there and I don't want you moving there and pushing up the price of housing.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:51 AM on January 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Oh yeah? At least we didn't give the world the most boring band in 20 years.

Coldplay is not from Seattle.
posted by Artw at 10:53 AM on January 6, 2012 [103 favorites]


The Canadian version of this would be about Vancouver, and it wouldn't be a joke.
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:53 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Utterly nailed it.
posted by zvs at 10:53 AM on January 6, 2012


Isn't "Vancouver" just Canadian for "Seattle"?
posted by madcaptenor at 10:53 AM on January 6, 2012 [17 favorites]


Taken during the 1 week of sun per year otherwise most of those pictures would be a grey haze.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:54 AM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Photos suspiciously sunny.
posted by gallois at 10:54 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm happy to be from a city which everybody thinks sucks, but which is actually awesome. And no, I'm not telling you where.

Psst. It's in your profile. Say hi to your mother for me.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:54 AM on January 6, 2012


Lived in Seattle for a couple of years. It's the best place on earth for both weeks of summer.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:55 AM on January 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


Psst. It's in your profile. Say hi to your mother for me.

I don't mind talking it up a little bit, so if people want to click through to my profile and look that's okay.
posted by madcaptenor at 10:56 AM on January 6, 2012


Isn't "Vancouver" just Canadian for "Seattle"?

Vancouver is the Paris of Western Canada. Seattle's merely the Paris of Warshington, State.
posted by philip-random at 10:57 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've seen landfills that are objectively superior to the Nebraska shithole where I grew up.
posted by COBRA! at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


One of my best friends grew up in Vancouver. When I met her we were working together in Toronto, and she rarely passed up an opportunity to disparage T.O. and/or sing Vancouver's praises. One day I got a bit fed up and asked her if there was anything she didn't like about Vancouver and she said "Well, it does rain a lot...but I like rain!"
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Vancouver is the Paris of Western Canada. Seattle's merely the Paris of Warshington, State.

Clearly you've never been to Yakima.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:58 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


But seriously, "Vancouver is the greatest city in the world," is a comment one hears all too often in Vancouver. My response is pretty much always the same. "So you've been to all of them, have you?"
posted by philip-random at 10:59 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


"See how there's nobody biking? Seattle traffic is so generous and efficient that a woman sued the city in the '80s because it took her more than 7 minutes to get to work."

They won my ire with that. Rereading the captions prior to it, I'm surprised they didn't win my ire before.

Also, New York has a sound, and everything else you could possibly want, too, except mountains, which are stupid.
posted by millipede at 10:59 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


except mountains, which are stupid.

All mountains do is tire me out when I'm walking. And I don't have a car, so I walk a lot. Mountains are a big middle finger to people who are not in motor vehicles.
posted by madcaptenor at 11:00 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Clearly you've never been to Yakima.

Everything over the mountains is mad max style radioactive wasteland.
posted by Artw at 11:01 AM on January 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


Vancouver was objectively waaaay better than Seattle in the growing up years of the seventies. Now? Not so much. Today's kids of Seattle can make the claim, kids from the seventies/eighties? No way.
posted by Keith Talent at 11:01 AM on January 6, 2012


Photos suspiciously sunny.

Indeed.

The sun is literally always shining. Those clouds were artificially pumped in because there were out-of-towners visiting and we didn't want them to stay .

In Stockholm we actually have to employ the use of real clouds and real cold to keep the riff-raff out.
posted by three blind mice at 11:03 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


The bodies of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner en route to Xzibit's house to be pimped.

And I giggled.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Minor quibble: That's not the municipal courthouse. That's a federal courthouse, for the Ninth Circuit.
posted by mhum at 11:04 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was all like "meh" until I got to the 787 fuselages being sent to Xzibit's house for pimping, and then I laughed.
posted by zomg at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


... just like Mister Fabulous
posted by zomg at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2012


But seriously, "Vancouver is the greatest city in the world," is a comment one hears all too often in Vancouver. My response is pretty much always the same. "So you've been to all of them, have you?"

I have, and so I can tell you that the best city in the world is either Nicosia in the Spring of 1972 or Tokyo between 3:15 and 4:15 PM on October 11th, 2007.
posted by Copronymus at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


Minor quibble

Um, you may have cause for a few of those.
posted by Artw at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2012


I don't mind talking it up a little bit, so if people want to click through to my profile and look that's okay.

Your old city? All the fashionable punks and radicals from here moved there circa 2000. Then they moved to your current city starting in about 2007. Official hipster punk rock opinion is that your city is played out, man.
posted by Frowner at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2012


People who have a Bellevue stamp in their passports aren't allowed into Seattle.

Oh, man. If only. It makes me kind of a terrible person to wish that were true, I think.

*wish*
posted by gurple at 11:06 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


mhum: keep reading and you will see a whole array of such misidentifications.

My wife was astonished to see one of her own photos on this page - the tourist guy on the Space Needle is apparently her friend James.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:07 AM on January 6, 2012


See how there's nobody biking?

Hah. The irony and sarcasm is thick in this post. That's a picture of my local bike path. It's a park that has one of the only dedicated bike paths in the area that isn't mixed pedestrian use and it sees a lot of commuter and recreational bike traffic.

It's literally one of the only places within two-three miles of downtown that has a separated pedestrian path and a marked "bikes only" path, and it's one of the only places I can actually hit top speed on my bike on relatively flat ground, with relative safety and not braking for pedestrians or cars.

It gets a lot of bike traffic - a bike or three every couple of seconds or less during peak use. It's a known racing spot and gets a bit aggressive in ways that the main Burke-Gilman trail doesn't seem to get since the B-G is mixed with ped traffic.

Many of the pictures and statements in the post are hilariously wrong like this. You'd have to know Seattle to get most of them.
posted by loquacious at 11:08 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Um, you may have cause for a few of those.

Nope. Everything else is pretty accurate.
posted by mhum at 11:08 AM on January 6, 2012


My favorite bike lane is seattle is the one near the elephant car wash downtown which is in the middle of the street so that cars turning right have to cross over it, to the mutual terror of both drivers and bikers.

Okay, maybe a bit less terror from drivers.
posted by Artw at 11:10 AM on January 6, 2012


Oh yeah? At least we didn't give the world the most boring band in 20 years.

In retrospect I'm not a huge fan either, but I had no idea at the time Eddie Vedder was going to launch a thousand imitators and eventually spawn Nickelback.

Also, Neither Seattle nor Vancouver is Montreal and therefore this is all wrong.
posted by Hoopo at 11:10 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, St. Mark's isn't a synagogue. If it were humorous, that would be more inside humor.
posted by gurple at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seattle is nice but I'll stay in San Francisco, weather-wise Seattle is kind of yucky, and their traffic may actually be worse than ours. Also, the vampire/werewolf quotient is much lower down this way although I think we're about even on angsty, moon-faced teenage girls
posted by doctor_negative at 11:12 AM on January 6, 2012


I was lucky enough to stay in Seattle during a rare month when the sun was shining more than 50% of the time. It was pretty nice.

Also, Seattle's grocery stores put everyone else to shame when it comes to seafood selection.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Flew into Seattle about 26 years ago on a transatlantic flight. It was my first visit. My then boyfriend, a local, had persuaded me that I really did want to think about working here after law school. He denied that it rained all the time and that people were constantly commiting suicide by jumping off the Aurora bridge. I'd interviewed with some law firms and they had pooled resources to invite me back for some all day interviews.

When I got off the plane, it was raining and dark. I was very jet lagged. My boyfriend met me at the airport and drove me through the rain to the Space Needle for a look at the view of lights through the rain.

By the time we'd gotten from the airport to the Needle, I had fallen in love with this place. It was as permanent and inexplicable as love at first sight with another human being. I still think it is the most beautiful place I have ever seen, in every weather and at every time of year.

Still here, of course. Never plan to leave. Glad there is now irrefutable proof to support my biased viewpoint.
posted by bearwife at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Mountains are a big middle finger to people who are not in motor vehicles.

Mountains were designed for people who are not in motor vehicles! Also my beloved but unnamed adopted home city is surrounded by them on three sides, which minimizes sprawl.
posted by headnsouth at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2012


Having lived there, this is my rebuttal.
posted by photoslob at 11:15 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


My favorite bike lane is seattle is the one near the elephant car wash downtown which is in the middle of the street so that cars turning right have to cross over it, to the mutual terror of both drivers and bikers.

Yeah, but who the in their right mind turns right on Denny from 7th? You'd be better off cutting over to Westlake or other feeder streets south and east of that whole Denny/5 points clusterfuck.

But, yeah, biking in that area is often pretty terrifying. I usually avoid it on my bike, or tiptoe through it on the sidewalks, which is thankfully legal here.
posted by loquacious at 11:16 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem I have with seattle, and the rest of the US, is you guys are like an albatross around New York's neck. We could be the most powerful nation state in the history of the world but instead we have to drag the rest of you around with us, like some goofy younger brother mom made us watch. It is cool and all, we love you guys out there in the hinterlands and it is really cute you think seattle or wyoming or wherever is superior and those mountains are adorable, but come on!

BTW, we have Bear Mountain, so whatevs.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


This is a totem we erected to protect us from Courtney Love

*nosemilk*
posted by hypersloth at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


Chuck Norris of cities, is it, then? Puts Portlandia to shame, I'll tell you what.
posted by gusandrews at 11:20 AM on January 6, 2012


Seattle traffic is so generous and efficient that a woman sued the city in the '80s because it took her more than 7 minutes to get to work.

He lost me right there. For all of its vitues (and I love Seattle), traffic there is worse than I have experienced in LA, the Bay Area, or Portland. It is a nightmare to get anywhere in a car there.
posted by Danf at 11:21 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh the Germanity
posted by Artw at 11:22 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Vancouver is the greatest city in the world," is a comment one hears all too often in Vancouver.

This is frequently mistaken for bravado. In actual fact, it's a sort of mass experiment in self-hypnosis, a daily affirmation of good cheer to combat the fact that it's been nearly four months since anyone's laid eyes on that yellow orb that was visible in the sky over Vancouver that one time.

Here on the other side of the Rockies, we bask in 300 days of sunshine a year and just shrug when everyone tells us how unsatisfactory our weather must be.
posted by gompa at 11:23 AM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Clearly you've never been to Yakima.

Everything over the mountains is mad max style radioactive wasteland.


Clearly you've never been to Paris.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 11:23 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seattle is nice but I'll stay in San Francisco, weather-wise Seattle is kind of yucky

That's what they want you to think. Unless they actually do want to lure you in. Conveniently, summers are when grad students do the intern jobs at all the big companies. And I can't think of a better climate to spend your summers in. However, I can say from experience that the first October after two and a half summers in Seattle is a rude awakening. But still not as bad as everyone outside Seattle thinks it is!
posted by mysterpigg at 11:24 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


> In retrospect I'm not a huge fan either, but I had no idea at the time Eddie Vedder was going to launch a thousand imitators and eventually spawn Nickelback.

Pearl Jam are the Led Zeppelin of their generation, in that most of the bands they inspired were so bad you have to wonder if the world would have been better off without them.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:25 AM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Y'all are adorable.

-New York
posted by Navelgazer at 11:26 AM on January 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


I visited Seattle for a week, and in that week I met people from Popcap, Bungie, Valve, Amazon, and I had recruiters calling me from Google and Microsoft. I even got to meet someone who worked on Enter The Matrix, he was a cool guy.
posted by hellojed at 11:27 AM on January 6, 2012


Don't get me wrong, I loved the city and loved my time there, but like I said above, the weather. I like to send my Seattle friends pictures of the blue skies regularly so they remember what it looks like.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:28 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


When I met her we were working together in Toronto, and she rarely passed up an opportunity to disparage T.O. and/or sing Vancouver's praises

This is sort of a natural state of Vancouverites. The old joke about Torontonians is that within thirty seconds of meeting you, they will ask "so, what do you do for a living?" (because Torontonians, as you know, are All About Work). Vancouverites love to make fun of this.

The response is that Vancouverites, within thirty seconds of meeting you, will ask "don't you just HATE Toronto?" because of their all-consuming, incredibly vast and completely deserved citywide inferiority complex as compared to the Centre of the World.
posted by mightygodking at 11:29 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seattle and Vancouver were rather rainy but like in Pittsburgh these past ten years, winter is not what it once was.

I can recall maybe 15 days of rain in Vancouver from October to December. That number is usually something like 50-60.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:29 AM on January 6, 2012


I'll stay in San Francisco, weather-wise Seattle is kind of yucky

hahaahahahahaha. Oh boy, that's a good one.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:29 AM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


A good friend of mine took a contract job as a technical writer in Seattle after having lived in NYC for many years. His emails went roughly like this:

Feb 23 -- Got to Seattle! Beautiful! You'll have to come out when I'm settled in.

March 1 -- Found apartment. Not cheap, but near bus stop. If I stand on the toilet seat, I can see mountains out the window.

March 30 -- Work is OK. Going hiking this wknd.

April 30 -- I think my landlord is shooting heroin.

May 15 -- Fuck this rain! Haven't left house in weeks. Almost got fired for being late after I missed the bus. Sushi w/ Jim Fri nite.

June 30 -- Everyone is on heroin.

July 15 -- Man I am so broke. Had to move after landlord nodded out and burnt house down. You wouldn't think wood that wet would burn. New place closer to work tho.

Sept 30 -- SEAHAWKS SUCK GO GIANTS

Oct 15 -- Blonde dude from Foo Fighters spilled beer on me. Dick.

Nov 30 -- I think there is moss growing on the floor. I hope it's moss.


Dec 15 -- Be home for holidays next wk. bringing some microbrews. Have u heard of any tech writing jobs down there?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:29 AM on January 6, 2012 [35 favorites]


The response is that Vancouverites, within thirty seconds of meeting you, will ask "don't you just HATE Toronto?" because of their all-consuming, incredibly vast and completely deserved citywide inferiority complex as compared to the Centre of the World.

I think it might just be the attention the Maple Leafs get. And the fact that Luongo is no longer pulling his weight (in comparison to previous years).
posted by Slackermagee at 11:30 AM on January 6, 2012


The ground floor of that church is a Starbucks. Which Seattle invented.

Oh, I see. A joke site. Carry on.
posted by aught at 11:32 AM on January 6, 2012


Artw: "_________ is objectively superior to the place you grew up"

I grew up in New Jersey. Tell me something I don't already know.
posted by schmod at 11:33 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


loquatious is right. As someone who lived in Seattle for two years, I can tell that some of these are actually self-deprecating sarcasm. I don't think that they are ALL like that, though, but then again, I was only there for less than two years.
posted by Edgewise at 11:33 AM on January 6, 2012


The problem I have with seattle, and the rest of the US, is you guys are like an albatross around New York's neck.

you know, there's an increasingly popular idea of "Cascadia" around here which suggests that Seattle/Portland/Vancouver and their associated hinterlands would do a lot better if they cut the rest of the continent loose and formed their own little nation.
posted by Mars Saxman at 11:34 AM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


As a Seattleite, I found this hilarious. But people who don't live here will miss out on some of the fun.

it really is a great city just delightful
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:34 AM on January 6, 2012


Blonde dude from Foo Fighters spilled beer on me. Dick.

He went to school with my wife. Apparently he's usually quite nice.
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on January 6, 2012


Seattle is objectively superior to the place you grew up.

Seattle > Scunthorpe. Got it.
posted by Jehan at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2012


The problem I have with seattle, and the rest of the US, is you guys are like an albatross around New York's neck...

Y'all are adorable.

-New York



Yeah, see, the thing is, the rest of the country really doesn't give a rat's ass about New York. </true fact
posted by stenseng at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2012 [16 favorites]


Clearly you've never been to Yakima.

I don't think anyone actually goes to Yakima, I believe it's a place that people only leave.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 11:37 AM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Okay. I pretty much lost it when I got to: This is a totem we erected to protect us from Courtney Love.

Well done. Well done indeed.
posted by schmod at 11:37 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Clearly you've never been to Yakima.

They have a winery. Also smack.

Hey, it's not the Tri-Cities! That's something!
posted by Artw at 11:38 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I've been to Seattle a couple of times and it was fine. There is this, though, all up and down Broadway, which is excellent.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:40 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think it might just be the attention the Maple Leafs get.

Why does anyone care about that AHL team?

you know, there's an increasingly popular idea of "Cascadia" around here which suggests that Seattle/Portland/Vancouver and their associated hinterlands would do a lot better if they cut the rest of the continent loose and formed their own little nation.

Shhh... Weren't you at the meeting? Don't go revealing the plan until after 12/21/2012. PS, we're gonna steal Northern California, too.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 11:41 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Third comment and now I'll stop:

Having lived in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, visited Seattle, DC (and the suburbs), and myriad small towns there's one thing going for Vancouver that you almost don't expect given its stunted Metro system.

BUSES. Do you know how nice it is to walk five blocks and know that there's a bus route north/south from the border river to downtown? Or that it is really relaxing to know that every 15 or so blocks there's a major east/west busline that takes you from the University on the edge of the coast to the middle of the suburbs?

These aren't loop buses either (die in a fire Fairfax county bus system), these things go in a straight line (with a minor jink of two to five blocks before hitting downtown) and come every 20 minutes during the day, tops. Even the minor lines out in the middle of no-where. The outlying suburbs aren't quite as good, but its still entirely possible to get from the University to downtown in 30 minutes. To get to the Richmond shopping centers in 40 minutes. You just don't need a car out here.

There are also two game stores on the skytrain line but that's a bit tangential.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:42 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, see, the thing is, the rest of the country really doesn't give a rat's ass about New York.

hahaha because they're dumb

posted by millipede at 11:42 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


-New York

Well bless y'all's heart.
posted by cmoj at 11:42 AM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Thing I like about this area: It's mild, with just hints in the winter of what it would be like to live where "white christmas" is a curse and "90 degrees and sunny" is a cool day in May without getting all apocalyptic on your ass. Summers are pretty nice, most years. Winter? Meh, who cares. We're far enough north we get long summer days. You, generally speaking, don't have to assume every apartment comes pre-installed with cockroaches, and there aren't giant spiders, centipedes or scorpions under every box in the basement.

The flip side is your basement, if you have one, is going to leak, your roof will have moss on it, if you need blue skies winter won't be your friend, and it's insanely crowded compared to what it was even 20 years ago.
posted by maxwelton at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


you know, there's an increasingly popular idea of "Cascadia" around here which suggests that Seattle/Portland/Vancouver and their associated hinterlands would do a lot better if they cut the rest of the continent loose and formed their own little nation.

There's actually an Eastern Washington successionist movement, which i think is kind of hilarious.
posted by Artw at 11:44 AM on January 6, 2012


He lost me right there. For all of its vitues (and I love Seattle), traffic there is worse than I have experienced in LA, the Bay Area, or Portland. It is a nightmare to get anywhere in a car there.

Pretty much the entire post is bitterly sarcastic. I've never even been to Seattle and I figured that out.
posted by asnider at 11:45 AM on January 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


The funnest part about Seattle is trying to recognize all the down-and-out former Grunge heros who've aged 20 years. That and the friendly cops.
posted by Twang at 11:46 AM on January 6, 2012


I grew up in New Orleans. This is an invalid premise.
posted by brundlefly at 11:47 AM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Slackermagee: "(die in a fire Fairfax county bus system)"

Buses in Virginia are a part of an elaborate plot to punish and torture the poor. I challenge anybody to prove me wrong. Fairfax County is far from the worst of them. (*Ahem* Hampton Roads)
posted by schmod at 11:49 AM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Twang: "The funnest part about Seattle is trying to recognize all the down-and-out former Grunge heros who've aged 20 years. That and the friendly cops."

Friendly until you jaywalk. Then those guys turn mean.

I also do remember there being surprising amount of homelessness there, and also remember the Space Needle and its surrounding environs being the absolute worst thing about the city.
posted by schmod at 11:50 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been living in Seattle for the past year and a half. This photo-essay is nothing but pure, unvarnished TRU7H.

Also totally fucking hilarious.

also it's nice to see a post here about how TOTALLY AWESOME some city that ISN'T New York, srsly it seems like i see one of those every six weeks and like half the things people say they love about that town give me the willies.

But to be serious for a moment... Seattle is constantly surprising me with gorgeous views in a way no other city I've lived in has done. A friend who's lived here for five years says he still has regular moments of "oh my god would you look at that lovely view".
posted by egypturnash at 11:51 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


The problem I have with seattle, and the rest of the US, is you guys are like an albatross around New York's neck.

That's cool, NYC, we'll leave you alone. The food stops coming in tomorrow, have fun.
posted by keep_evolving at 11:54 AM on January 6, 2012 [10 favorites]


Whatevs. My hometown brought us the snakehead.

And Bill Belichick, another cold blooded predator.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:56 AM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gompa: "Vancouver is the greatest city in the world," is a comment one hears all too often in Vancouver.
This is frequently mistaken for bravado. In actual fact, it's a sort of mass experiment in self-hypnosis, a daily affirmation of good cheer to combat the fact that . . .


Wow, in that one comment, you have captured my exact sentiments about Texas, except it goes a little like this:
Texas is the greatest place in the world," is a comment one hears all too often in Texas.
This is frequently mistaken for bravado. In actual fact, it's a sort of mass experiment in self-hypnosis, a daily affirmation of good cheer to combat the fact that they are in Texas.

I spent the first two years of college in the early Nineties screaming at people who made this declaration despite the fact that they had never left Texas. I spent the next *cough* years of college screaming at those same people declaring that Seattle was the greatest place in the world, again, despite never having been there.

(I like rain. I hate excessive sunshine. You couldn't pay me to live in Seattle.)
posted by Seamus at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2012


I love Seattle), traffic there is worse than I have experienced in LA

I-5 and the bridges are for visitors. After (undisclosed # of) years you get a plain brown unmarked envelope showing the secret routes. Once you learn to spot the pattern of fir trees and curves used to hide the entrances, it's five minutes to everywhere.
posted by Twang at 12:00 PM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


I moved to Seattle from LA in 2004. I teach here, so I've gotten a better idea than most folks my age of what it's like to grow up here...

...and I gotta say that I love this town and I don't ever want to leave, but I'm really glad I grew up in LA. I don't think I'd have appreciated Seattle as a kid. I know a lot of the kids here don't. It's a matter of perspective.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 12:01 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here on the other side of the Rockies, we bask in 300 days of sunshine a year and just shrug when everyone tells us how unsatisfactory our weather must be.

The only downside to that is having to live in Calgary.

/Former 108th street bridger
posted by bonehead at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pearl Jam are the Led Zeppelin of their generation, in that most of the bands they inspired were so bad you have to wonder if the world would have been better off without them.

With the big difference being that Led Zep were the best f***ing band of their era, whereas Pearl Jam were maybe the 8th best band from Seattle. So one can understand why all the Zep imitators failed so completely. As for the Pearl Jam wannabes, I think we need to blame video games or something.
posted by philip-random at 12:04 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the way the writer can't suppress his hatred of the Mayor long enough to complete his tongue-in-cheek portrayal of how awesome Seattle is.
posted by Aquaman at 12:06 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


As for the Pearl Jam wannabes, I think we need to blame video games or something.

Or heroin.

Gaming + Heroin.

Sounds like an album title.
posted by philip-random at 12:07 PM on January 6, 2012


Cost of living in Seattle is comparable to that in LA, so not much to brag about there.

Yeah, see, the thing is, the rest of the country really doesn't give a rat's ass about New York.

The feeling's mutual.
posted by blucevalo at 12:11 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


you know, there's an increasingly popular idea of "Cascadia" around here

Increasingly popular is not the preceding phrase that comes to mind so much as woo-woo-topian.
posted by y2karl at 12:16 PM on January 6, 2012


robocop is bleeding, next door to you we had piranhas in Fox Hill Lake ... and of course the Goatman (which I have just learned spawned a movie!)
posted by headnsouth at 12:21 PM on January 6, 2012


Yeah, see, the thing is, the rest of the country really doesn't give a rat's ass about New York.

The feeling's mutual.


Except that it's only people living in "THE GREATEST. CITY. IN. THE. WORLD." who are always shitting on everybody else's party whenever they're talking about how much they love their own city that is not NYC. It's like all these nice people leave wherever they came from and move to NYC and then are still totally nice except when it comes to place of residence, at which point they fall victim to the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory. Which is weird, because it's like they all have some kind of weird inferiority complex because they just cannot shut the fuck up about how much better it is in NYC even though nobody asked, and frankly, most people are grown up enough not to believe that bullshit anymore anyway.
posted by nushustu at 12:22 PM on January 6, 2012 [12 favorites]


Tacoma is still much, much better than Seattle.

I'll say that again.

Tacoma is still much, much better than Seattle.

That's right, Seattle. Y'all think Tacoma smells bad or something because you went there thirty years ago and it kind of did back then. Well, not anymore. Tacoma is like your New Jersey, if New Jersey were actually better than New York. Which, well, maybe...
posted by koeselitz at 12:26 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seattle is the only city I've visited that I hated. And then I had to go back and hated it more. People can't dress and it's boring. The entire state of California, "from Diego to the Bay" as our poet laueate would have it, is the most perfect place ever. Beaches (with swimmable water), mountains, we grow all your food and have two excellent cities with four basketball teams. So, in conclusion: evs Seattle. Try buying clothes somewhere other than REI or khakis r us.
posted by dame at 12:27 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tacoma is like your New Jersey

YES SEATTLEITES TACOMA IS YOUR NEW JERSEY, FIT ONLY TO BE AN OBJECT OF YOUR SCORN AND DERISION

gah koeselitz don't tip them off, I like my affordable rent
posted by trunk muffins at 12:30 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


People can't dress and it's boring.

What do you mean it looks ridiculous to leave the house wearing a hooded sweatshirt, shorts, wool socks, and Birkenstocks?
posted by trunk muffins at 12:31 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is true that fashionwise the only thing that seperates Seattle homeless people from internet entrepreneurs is the white iPod headphones and slightly nicer backbacks.
posted by Artw at 12:32 PM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


I didn't grow up in Seattle but you'll be taking me out of this city in a plain pine box. People really need to stop telling everyone about the 100% true facts as they do in the link, because I don't want anybody I haven't personally invited to move here.
posted by Mizu at 12:35 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have walked around downtown Seattle in a three piece suit and tie. I think people would have stared less if I had been naked.
posted by backseatpilot at 12:35 PM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I always like it when people turn up to interviews like that.

I wore a suit to an interview, once.
posted by Artw at 12:37 PM on January 6, 2012


dame: “People can't dress and it's boring.”

Artw: “It is true that fashionwise the only thing that seperates Seattle homeless people from internet entrepreneurs is the white iPod headphones and slightly nicer backbacks.”

Which is precisely how it should be. Clothing as a marker of distinction or class is the acme of pretention and a foothold of the American caste system. If you want to know whether you're allowed to associate with someone by the way they're dressed, by all means go to New York, but we Western souls prefer that things be kept on one level, thank you very much.
posted by koeselitz at 12:38 PM on January 6, 2012 [20 favorites]


You can't waterski on Lake Union, speed limit is 7 knots.

Seattle weather can be weird. I have gone kayaking in 60+ degrees, during February. There have been summers with more than 90 days of no rain. Sunrise this Christmas morning was insanely beautiful, a few hours later, so windy there were whitecaps on the lake, then back to clear skies and sunshine.

Having literally lived all around the world, I'm pretty darn happy here. OK, I wish my knee was in better shape so I could take advantage of the snow-sports opportunities more.
posted by nomisxid at 12:39 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I live in California, and grew up in LA, so don't even start being all Westerner than thou. I have gone to a grocery store in a bikini before. But day-to-day, I try to have something vaguely aesthetic going on, as do my citymates. It doesn't have to be expensive or uncomfortable, but I have to look at you, so can you try at least?
posted by dame at 12:40 PM on January 6, 2012


If you want to know whether you're allowed to associate with someone by the way they're dressed, by all means go to New York, but we Western souls prefer that things be kept on one level, thank you very much.

We have other, subtler, systems of snobbery.
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: irrefutable proof to support my biased viewpoint.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:43 PM on January 6, 2012


Well, I grew up in NJ and had a fucking blast. Regardless of where you are, having good friends and freedom to roam are what's up. The idea was to see how much trouble we could get into without getting into too much trouble.

We had bikes, the woods, places to eat good pizza and bagels, musical instruments, our wits, and shit-load of time to kill. And it was enough.
posted by defenestration at 12:44 PM on January 6, 2012 [9 favorites]


Ahem:
At 944mm (37.17 in.), in reality, [Seattle] receives less precipitation annually than New York City (1201 mm, 47.28 in.), Atlanta (1290 mm, 50.79 in.), Boston (1055 mm, 41.53 in.), Baltimore (1038 mm, 40.87 in.), Portland, Maine (1128 mm, 44.41 in.), Jacksonville, Florida (1304 mm, 51.34 in.), and most cities on the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S.
Just sayin'.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seattle
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:44 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Here's an amusing local joke

Q: Why do Seattle residents go to Tacoma pawn shops?
A: To get their stuff back.
posted by chaff at 12:47 PM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Also, lol at someone from SoCal criticizing the way we dress.
posted by chaff at 12:49 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought the west coast was supposed to be all laid back and shit and all I hear is bickering about superficial matters oh
posted by defenestration at 12:50 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


It isn't the volume of rain that is an issue, it's the distribution. Thunderstorms are fun. Drizzle isn't.
posted by jeather at 12:51 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have never lived in or visited the various cities mentioned in the comments. But a city that I have also never visited, San Diego: I have never ever heard anyone who has spent a week or more there who did not say it was by far the best place to live in, at least for year-round weather.
posted by Postroad at 12:52 PM on January 6, 2012


The only downside to that is having to live in Calgary.

Ah, but here in the People's Republic of Hillhurst-Sunnyside, bonehead, we've alleviated most of the suffering you're implying. By winter's end, we're going to be able to walk downtown across a Calatrava-designed pedestrian bridge! Paved-with-gold's got nothing on us! Join us! It's bliss!
posted by gompa at 12:53 PM on January 6, 2012


Sure, it rains a lot out here, but our rain has personality!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:56 PM on January 6, 2012


In this picture, the very dark building that looks like steps at the top left? That top step is where I lived. Cost a bloody fortune but awesome view.
posted by scalefree at 12:59 PM on January 6, 2012


i miss coffee messiah.
posted by beefetish at 1:02 PM on January 6, 2012


San Diego: I have never ever heard anyone who has spent a week or more there who did not say it was by far the best place to live in, at least for year-round weather.

Yeah. You really can't tell someone who lives in San Diego how nice the weather is where you live. Because it's not as nice.

As you spend time there, you start getting real picky about the weather. For instance, it was 73 degrees yesterday, a little warm. It's 67 today which is more my temperature. It will probably stay this way until July. Last year it was above 80 degrees for 4 days in August. Of course, the trick about San Diego is that all that awesome weather is in a stripe of about 20 miles from the coast, and everything east, is the desert. And there are plenty of places to live in the desert that don't cost nearly as much as California.

Granted, since I grew up near a town described on Metafilter as a "irredeemable shithole" (and I mostly agreed with the assessment) it all washes out.
posted by zabuni at 1:03 PM on January 6, 2012


Oh yeah? At least we didn't give the world the most boring band in 20 years.

Just for calibration, that same website has a longer article about how Hannah Montana is totally cool.
posted by straight at 1:04 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


there's one thing going for Vancouver that you almost don't expect given its stunted Metro system.

BUSES. Do you know how nice it is to walk five blocks and know that there's a bus route north/south from the border river to downtown? Or that it is really relaxing to know that every 15 or so blocks there's a major east/west busline that takes you from the University on the edge of the coast to the middle of the suburbs?


Oh, this is quintessential Vancouver. Describing what inadequate public transit looks like, while thinking they're bragging. 15 blocks between major bus lines? Really only 15? Wow, man. Must be the greatest place on Earth, eh?
posted by bumpkin at 1:05 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Tacoma is still much, much better than Seattle.

"I want to tell you about my hometown/
It's a dusty old jewel in the South Puget Sound/
Well the factories churn and the timbers all cut down/
And life goes by slow in Tacoma..."

posted by Rangeboy at 1:11 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


I would just like to take a moment to mention that there's something very Zen about living in New Orleans. You spend so much time eating delicious food, drinking, celebrating, and listening to incredible music that you forget that there's even a competition for best city and somehow that means you win.
posted by komara at 1:12 PM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


zabuni: “You really can't tell someone who lives in San Diego how nice the weather is where you live. Because it's not as nice.”

San Diego weather always seemed terrible to me; it's hot constantly, never comfortable. And it gets really hot. And it never snows, which pretty much kills it for me.

For me, the best weather I've ever experienced anywhere is in Santa Fe. It pretty much never goes above 95 degrees, it snows but melts in less than a day usually (the perfect amount of time) and the air is really, really clear.

Everybody I know that's lived in Santa Fe feels the same – except for one guy, who claims that Jerusalem is just a little bit better.
posted by koeselitz at 1:12 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Y'all are adorable.

-New York


To a real New Yorker that would be youse are adorable.
posted by xetere at 1:13 PM on January 6, 2012


To a real New Yorker that would be youse are adorable.

I'm from Philly, and I didn't realize that youse guys knew about youse.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:15 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


We would love to see New York City cut itself off from the rest of the country. And then come crawling back to us when the people there realize they have covered their land with buildings and left NOWHERE TO FARM.

-The Midwest

(P.S. We do really like to visit Seattle. Okay? We'll admit it. Landscapes with . . . landscape fascinate us. Also there is something soothing about this concept of rain without tornadoes.)
posted by BlueJae at 1:21 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


*something something Chicago something better something*
posted by Windigo at 1:24 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


To a real New Yorker that would be youse are adorable.

To me, that sort of sibilance, as in youse guys with a drawn out "S" sound screams Chicago more than New York. A New Yorker would be more likely to say youze with a kind of "Z" sound.
posted by lordrunningclam at 1:29 PM on January 6, 2012


@madcaptenor youse guys in Philly don't even know what to call a hero, fugeddaboutit.

But in all seriousness, I have to tell you, Seattle is nice, very very beautiful, but it is a bit, well, lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. Can't put my finger on it, but it is like a rather large college town, where everyone is "white" even people who aren't white. And, yeah, it is one of the whitest cities in the US I have ever been to. Since it is on the west coast, I was very surprised by that (Full disclosure, never been to Minneapolis and I am talking about large cities, not Portland ME or similar).

What is annoying about people from Seattle , and Texans are how excessively, EXCESSIVELY proud they are about being from there. Pride in your hometown is great, but, people, tone it down a notch!

You know the reputation of New Yorkers who think their city is the only city that matters? Less true than it used to be esp. now that New York is getting so generic, but one so-called arrogant New Yorker comment on metafilter will get about 40 fuck you New York! comments back - this thread is an example. But for my money, Texans and Seattleites have New Yorkers beat in the "my home town/state is vastly superior to yours" department by a mile. it does get tiresome after a while.
posted by xetere at 1:29 PM on January 6, 2012


We would love to see New York City cut itself off from the rest of the country.

All right, midwest. If you hate NYC so much, why did all of you vote a warmongering president to a second term, when the war mongered was spurred by an attack on buildings in NYC? If you hate us so much, why not just be pleased that someone terrorized us? Once we're all gone, we'll stop making fun of your clothes and your chain stores and your need to drive to get anywhere.
posted by millipede at 1:32 PM on January 6, 2012


Viva Seattle-Tacoma, viva viva Sea-Tac.
They've got the best computers and coffee and smack.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 1:33 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


All right, midwest. If you hate NYC so much, why did all of you vote a warmongering president to a second term, when the war mongered was spurred by an attack on buildings in NYC? If you hate us so much, why not just be pleased that someone terrorized us? Once we're all gone, we'll stop making fun of your clothes and your chain stores and your need to drive to get anywhere.

Not a midwesterner here, but you know how it is with siblings -- you'll tease them relentlessly all day long, but if someone else attacks them, you stand up for them. :)
posted by Celsius1414 at 1:35 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


but you know how it is with siblings

I don't! I'm an only child! But okay, that makes sense.
posted by millipede at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2012


All right, midwest. blah blah blah

Is there a term yet for invoking 9/11 similar to Godwin's Law?
posted by mysterpigg at 1:36 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


your roof will have moss on it

Is that a bad thing- does it harm the roof?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:38 PM on January 6, 2012


Is there a term yet for invoking 9/11 similar to Godwin's Law?

The Bush/Fox/Giuliani corrollary?
posted by xetere at 1:39 PM on January 6, 2012


People can't dress and it's boring... Try buying clothes somewhere other than REI or khakis r us.
...
But day-to-day, I try to have something vaguely aesthetic going on, as do my citymates. It doesn't have to be expensive or uncomfortable, but I have to look at you, so can you try at least?

I think it's legitimately true that Seattle has a lower percentage of people who think like this than most other American cities.

I love Seattle.
posted by gurple at 1:40 PM on January 6, 2012 [15 favorites]


Don't taxes from large cities like New York help fund US farmer's subsidies?
posted by defenestration at 1:47 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seattle: The 20th most unhappy city in America... ranked #6 in depression!

San Francisco: The 7th happiest city in the world.

(...and a better skyline!)
posted by markkraft at 1:51 PM on January 6, 2012


dame: “I live in California, and grew up in LA, so don't even start being all Westerner than thou. I have gone to a grocery store in a bikini before. But day-to-day, I try to have something vaguely aesthetic going on, as do my citymates.”

LA? Seriously? There are maybe parts of LA like that. They are not the parts I know. But then I guess I didn't grow up there.
posted by koeselitz at 1:52 PM on January 6, 2012


Is that a bad thing- does it harm the roof?

Excessive moss can destroy a shingle roof, yes.

Seattle is nice, very very beautiful, but it is a bit, well, lacking a certain je ne sais quoi. Can't put my finger on it, but it is like a rather large college town, where everyone is "white" even people who aren't white. And, yeah, it is one of the whitest cities in the US I have ever been to.

Agree with koeselitz that Tacoma is indeed superior to Seattle, at least in that respect. Tacoma is a very diverse city, and has a vibe much different than anywhere else on the Northwest Coast. There are also a few spots in Tacoma with views that are superior to Seattle views, in my opinion, being closer to both Rainier and the Olympics. But Seattle has better food.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:53 PM on January 6, 2012


True or false:

"Trying to develop a friendship in Seattle, you can feel a bit like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." Like with each encounter you have to start from scratch, back to the surface niceties."

I actually love Seattle, but do remember it being a bit like the above quote. Also, Seattle Freeze?
posted by seriousmoonlight at 1:56 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seattle: The 20th most unhappy city in America... ranked #6 in depression!

You clearly don't understand us at all. We self report as unhappy. Because we are proud of our depression. It makes us happy.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:58 PM on January 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've seen those kinds of assertions before, seriousmoonlight. They don't ring true to my experience here. YMMV, of course. I think the interesting thing is that those assertions do strike some kind of chord in Seattlites.

There's another stereotype about Seattleites that they're overly polite. It's true to my experience, for instance, that drivers will slam on their brakes to let a pedestrian who might even be thinking about crossing the street go first.

So perhaps the politeness is the stereotype that is true, and the "Seattle is standoffish" bit is a bunch of polite people thinking, "oh, my, are we too standoffish?"

Or perhaps these kinds of stereotypes don't have too much value.
posted by gurple at 2:02 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I moved from Seattle to SF 19 years ago. One day during the very first spring I lived here I was sitting inside writing, and realized it was sunny and I should run outside immediately to enjoy it. But I wanted to keep writing! Oh noes! Then I realized that I had been out in the sun yesterday. And the day before that! And the day before that! And that was when I realized that the gloomy Seattle weather actually did bum me out.

And then my next winter in SF lasted from mid-November to the following September. You can't win 'em all.
posted by smartyboots at 2:03 PM on January 6, 2012


If you want to know whether you're allowed to associate with someone by the way they're dressed, by all means go to New York, but we Western souls prefer that things be kept on one level, thank you very much.

Man, the first time I went to LA, people thoought I was homeless and tried to chase me out of shops. Then they heard my accent and were all "Australia?" and I was like "no, New Zealand" and they were "cool, Lord of the Rings!". Yes, I'm a hobbit. A poorly dressed, backpacking hobbit. Now please take my money. On the other hand, the homeless guys were pretty cool to me till they realised I wasn't homeless and lost interest.

I don't know how this scenario would have played out in Seattle, I've never been.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:07 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


San Diego weather always seemed terrible to me; it's hot constantly, never comfortable. And it gets really hot. And it never snows, which pretty much kills it for me.

Really? The only thing you got right was the never snows part. It does get toasty in East and North County (inland) because it is the fucking desert. But rarely will it ever get above 85ºF near the beach. But if you're going to count the inland deserts and its heat, you should also count the inland mountains where it does snow. I can drive an hour to play in the snow in winter or see the leaves change color in the fall. The typical summer temps are low 70s at the beach (if that high), 80s-90s inland like in Escondido or El Cajon, and 100+ in the desert. From my neighborhood I think it has been above 85º once in the past few years. It got down to 52º once. I can't remember the last time the rain kept the roads wet for more than 2 days.

You're right. The weather here sucks. 72ºF and abundant sunshine in January. Terrible.
posted by birdherder at 2:11 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I didn't think that blog could be any funnier until I read all the resentful comments that missed the irony.

Although it's still funny cos it's true.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:13 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"it is like a rather large college town, where everyone is "white" even people who aren't white"

This.

I love that I can walk four blocks from here and get real Vietnamese food made by Vietnamese people, real Thai, real Turkish, real French, real Burmese, real soul food, real Cajun, real Ethiopian, real Korean, real Chinese, real Japanese, real Persian, real Mexican, real Salvadorean, real Italian, real Indian, Texas-style BBQ, Memphis-style BBQ, good fish & chips, pizza of all sorts... and one of the top-rated vegetarian restaurants in the world.

...that, and I simply like the diversity. And the fact that they are allowed to be really damn diverse!
posted by markkraft at 2:14 PM on January 6, 2012


I've been here in Seattle over ten years, and I've yet to see a cockroach. Do you have any idea how exciting that single fact is to a Floridian? No cockroaches. Be still my beating heart.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 2:14 PM on January 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Try buying clothes somewhere other than REI or khakis r us.

Try finding other clothes that work in the drizzle but aren't too warm, that aren't stained by flying clumps of wet leaves and mud, that don't immediately show spilled coffee stains, or that survive riding a soggy bus or bicycle anywhere. REI and North Face and Columbia all started here for a reason, and it's because no one made clothes that actually work in warmish drizzle all year long.

I'll keep my utilitarian black jeans, jackets and t-shirts, thanks.

Also... man, I love hats and scarves and jackets. Jackets have pockets for gadgets. Low temps mean I can carry more gadgets without being annoyed and sweaty.

And, frankly? I love the Seattle style. A woman in boots and tights and cute skirt/jacket combo with a book tucked under her arm and that rosy-cheeked, wind-blown Seattle look just does, well, everything for me. I like form and function. I like timeless and classic. I like nerdy and adventurous.

And I lived in LA. The fashion and style there is flashy, fast moving and pretty vacuous as a whole. I worked up and grew up in the running shell game that is the sportswear/casual fashion industry. My dad's company accidentally helped launch a small zoo full of now relatively known "$100 T-shirt designers" that people pay big bucks for today.

Sure, there's tasteful Angelenos, like anywhere, but as a whole? Man, the people in LA dress generally like idiots in branded t-shirts, shorts or jeans.
posted by loquacious at 2:15 PM on January 6, 2012 [13 favorites]


birdherder: “You're right. The weather here sucks. 72ºF and abundant sunshine in January. Terrible.”

Mean number of days of sunshine annually:

SAN DIEGO: 146
ALBUQUERQUE: 167
posted by koeselitz at 2:18 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


REI and North Face and Columbia all started here for a reason, and it's because no one made clothes that actually work in warmish drizzle all year long.

Excellent work, Agent 3472! Keep spreading the story that keeps them all away!
posted by gurple at 2:19 PM on January 6, 2012


Oh, right, sorry. IT RAINS HERE ALL THE TIME. THE WEATHER SUCKS. THE TRAFFIC SUCKS. DON'T MOVE HERE.
posted by loquacious at 2:26 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


The entire state of California, "from Diego to the Bay" as our poet laueate would have it, is the most perfect place ever.

Apparently neither you, nor our poet laureate, have ever been to Riverside.

I grew up in Seattle and loved that city until the grey and drizzle finally did me in. My wife and I still have the same conversation once or twice a year consisting of ten minutes listing everything we love about the city and how we would love to be there, followed by a forlorn admission that the weather would still defeat us.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 2:31 PM on January 6, 2012


On the other hand, the homeless guys were pretty cool to me till they realised I wasn't homeless and lost interest.

I love to garden and do so in my most raggedy clothes. A few summers back, I was out in the yard until around sunset and then ended up walking down to QFC to pick up some groceries. The panhandler just outside the front door greeted me with a Spare ch... Oh! Sorry, buddy! There's nothing like professional courtesy, I guess.
posted by y2karl at 2:32 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I look around me everyday and think to myself "Self, at least it's not Houston."
posted by Devils Rancher at 2:42 PM on January 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


Seattle is objectively superior to the place you grew up in.

And that's not difficult, as Middelburg's glory days were safely in the 16th and 17th centuries.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:43 PM on January 6, 2012


Growing up in a conservative Baptist family, I'm always bemused at the sight of so many children watching with their parents, during the naked bike rider portion of the Fremont Solstice parade. Not that my parents would have approved of the people with clothes on, in that parade. In general, Seattle kids seem pretty happy and free to be.
posted by nomisxid at 2:45 PM on January 6, 2012


New York is the place where a cab driver told me the Seattle Opera was not to be missed.

Seattle is the place where that opera is.

San Francisco is the place that's all like opera? Sure, I suppose, if that's what you're into (wow, somebody really needs to get out more).

Portland is the place that's reinventing opera but it's not done yet and won't ever be done.

Vancouver is the place where the opera is Chinese and that's pretty cool, too.

Los Angeles is the place that's, wait, fuck you, fuck your opera holy fuck really can you go back to Encino kthxbi I kill your whole family.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:48 PM on January 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


I like visiting Seattle and New York and San Francisco. Very much. But you'll never get me to move to any of them. I quite like it here in flyover country, where the cost of living is obscenely cheap (seriously, obscenely cheap), where I can buy a 2220 square foot house for $250,00 (in this awful market; we actually bought it in 1999 for $189,900) with a huge yard and wonderful neighbors. I have family and dear friends nearby and there's tons of fun/cultural/musical stuff to do here, even if we don't have beaches or mountains. I also don't have to deal with horribly annoying tourists (who I am familiar with, having lived in Munich).

Most of you would be horrified, I'm sure, to think of living here. That's fine. More for me. But yeah, Seattle's nice.
posted by cooker girl at 2:48 PM on January 6, 2012


Mean number of days of sunshine annually:

SAN DIEGO: 146
ALBUQUERQUE: 167


Ah, you caught me! Your point was SD was always too hot and I countered with heat-related data.

San Diego loses in a mean days of sunshine contest to ABQ because that same ocean that keeps the summers cool and the winters mild also produces a marine layer in May (May Gray) and June (June Gloom). Usually it is gone by lunchtime. I'd rather have a 65ºF day in July with marine layer than a sunny 110ºF in Yuma.

Since this post isn't about San Diego or Albuquerque, I think the real eye opener from your link is:
SEATTLE-TACOMA AP 58
SEATTLE URBAN SITE 71

posted by birdherder at 2:52 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hrm. I can see that we're getting nowhere here.

Maybe we need to have some independent opinions from people who have literally traveled the entire country -- nay, the entire world! -- as to what the best city in America is.

How about letting Stephen Fry decide? Or maybe Anthony Bourdain, perhaps?
posted by markkraft at 2:54 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


the cost of living is obscenely cheap (seriously, obscenely cheap)

I often wondered how people with low-paying jobs in small towns seemed to be able to afford things like fishing boats and expensive trucks and shit. That's how.

On a lark, I was looking at houses in small towns in North Carolina, around the Winston-Salem area, as my wife has family there. I realized I could buy a house that's newer and twice the size of my current house for cash just from the sale of my current house in the Seattle suburbs. And I sure as hell don't live in a palace.

Then I closed the browser window and cried.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:56 PM on January 6, 2012


Then I closed the browser window and cried.

Yeah. And there are definitely tradeoffs! You won't find me denying that sometimes it sucks to live in the midwest. The winters can be brutal, the freaking humidity in the summer makes me homicidal, and the attitudes can often be...provincial at best. But I do love it here and I love that we can make a median income and still travel overseas and have a lovely house and go out with our friends whenever we want to. And don't even get me started on how cheaply we can eat out, at really amazing restaurants!

But we'll never have the lovely surroundings of Seattle here, so there's that.
posted by cooker girl at 2:59 PM on January 6, 2012


"Apparently neither you, nor our poet laureate, have ever been to Riverside."

Riverside? Apparently, you have never been to Fresno.
posted by markkraft at 3:00 PM on January 6, 2012


The entire state of California, "from Diego to the Bay" as our poet laueate would have it, is the most perfect place ever.

Apparently neither you, nor our poet laureate, have ever been to Riverside.


I'm pretty sure our poet laureate was speaking only of the California west of the 5 (or I-5 as it is referred to north of Magic Mountain).
posted by birdherder at 3:00 PM on January 6, 2012


This is one of four American cities I would actually like to visit on day. The others are Chicago and Boston and SF. Sunshine is overrated anyway, I get it non-stop and I am still miserable as hell.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:13 PM on January 6, 2012


Posts like this - even if they are sarcastic - just ruin it for those of us who find a good thing and don't want to share it. As I said about my other home -- come visit; don't stay.

And if anyone knows how I can leave my body in Hawai'i and my brain in Seattle, you will have solved my life-long quest for utopian living.
posted by Surfurrus at 3:31 PM on January 6, 2012


A friend who's lived here for five years says he still has regular moments of "oh my god would you look at that lovely view".

Seriously. This past fall's sunsets over the sound were beautiful. Amazing colors of red and orange.

I love that I can walk down the block at night and just look out over the water from Olympic Sculpture Park, and occasionally see seals pop their head up. That I can take a trip out of the city and have access to hundreds of short day hikes, with more breathtaking views.. Where the phrase "Oh, the mountains out today" can be uttered.

Other cities have beautiful features and people too. I love Detroit, it's my "home" city and many fun times were had there in my youth. San Francisco has tons of tech and geeks and freaks and I love it too. But Seattle costs half as much and has more green.
posted by formless at 3:31 PM on January 6, 2012


Objectively, Seattle is better than Reno, NV.
posted by fnerg at 3:32 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


All "NYC > you" joking aside, I am writing this in Brooklyn and I want to go to there.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 3:35 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, it's great to be able to get off of work, pack up my scuba gear, drive 15 minutes, and go diving with the aforementioned harbor seals without having to charter a boat.

All that, and a thriving tech industry make the venn diagram overlap of what you can do and what I want very nice indeed.
posted by fnerg at 3:37 PM on January 6, 2012


We had free health care were I grew up. Did Seattle have it?
posted by rpn at 3:39 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Every morning when I arrive to work, I go to the break room, pour my coffee, and look for Mount Rainier. Usually it's too cloudy and I imagine it looming there out of view. I'm a Midwesterner and the concept of 'mountains' is still a little theoretical. Then I return to my desk and watch the ferries and the Olympics over the sound.

I hope to never live anywhere else.
posted by Kwine at 3:42 PM on January 6, 2012


Chalk me up as Brooklynite who would love to visit Seattle. (And the west coast in general, as I've never been.)

Who's couch can I sleep on?
posted by defenestration at 3:45 PM on January 6, 2012


I would just like to take a moment to mention that there's something very Zen about living in New Orleans. You spend so much time eating delicious food, drinking, celebrating, and listening to incredible music that you forget that there's even a competition for best city and somehow that means you win.
posted by komara


And that really seems to be the difference between NYC and New Orleans, both great cities. It seems really, REALLY important to New Yorkers that their city is acknowledged as the greatest in the world. It's really cute and everything, but different from New Orleans where you just don't give a damn what other think because, well, you're in New Orleans, and you'd rather be there than anywhere else.
posted by justgary at 4:08 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not from Seattle or Tacoma, but I have friends from Tacoma who constantly bitch about Seattlites being hypocrites and snobs and other less savory things. There's definitely a hint of inferiority complex going on. But either way, NW Washington is still a pleasant place to live. In the summer, anyway.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:08 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seattle -

Has less rainy days than most cities, but yeah has more grey days than most. If you like clouds then it's the best thing ever.

Sure we have 6 inch slugs, but you have to look for them and there are almost no cockroaches. I'm saying that as someone who lived above a restaurant in Chinatown.

Also, as someone who has lived in many different places around Seattle I can say with certainty that there is indeed many people who are not white. It's not half as white or racist as I've heard people say and if you don't think so you only need to look and get around more.

I've driven in rush hour traffic in many large cities and the traffic here isn't bad at all. Especially since it usually only goes one way. Want to drive into the city at 4:30 PM? Cool, add 5 to the usual 15 minutes. Seriously. LA or Atlanta? That's bad traffic.

Seattle is actually quite small. You can walk through and enjoy a large portion of it in a day. It also doesn't take much effort at all to get out of the city if you need to.

The mass transit needs work and they're working on it. As long as the residents pull their head out of their ass' and put the money down for it like they should've done in the 70's. And FFS Seattlites, stop making up stupid shit like "we can't build a subway". We have a huge tunnel that runs through the heart of it already!

Biked to and from work for 6 months within the city; scariest time of my life. I salute you loquacious.

It's true, people can't dress, but that means it's easier to dress up.

P.S. Tacoma can suck it!
posted by P.o.B. at 4:10 PM on January 6, 2012


I lived 3 years in Seattle before my current 15 in NYC. I love Seattle and return often -- three or four times in the last year alone. I know it well. It's fucking gorgeous and an easy place to live a great life if you have money and love accessible wilderness (when I lived there, the latter was more true than the former for sure).

NYC is a whole other thing. It's tough and rigorous even when it's luxurious. It's obscenely expensive. And you always feel like you're indoors even when you are outdoors in a storm, or at least I do. It's mostly butt ugly, except when it's achingly beautiful (as I look out my window at the lights of lower Manhattan and New York Harbor beyond).

NYC is, on the other hand, a bottomless fountain of energy and ideas that springs from its sheer size, density, and diversity. At least in my particular cultural and intellectual universe, Seattle could not compete as a place to work (presuming work is among the most important things you do, which is subjective and variable). Something about Seattle's culture made it feel both slightly too comfortable and Epicurean, and ironically, insecure and provincial -- simply by being up in the damn corner of the country, people don't just pass through Seattle the same way they do New York.

But oh, if only NYC had the Puget Sound and Mt. Rainier, sigh.

They are both great world class cities. And they share a disdain for LA.
posted by spitbull at 4:20 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


"And they share a disdain for LA."

Who doesn't?! Those from Las Vegas, perhaps?!
posted by markkraft at 4:38 PM on January 6, 2012


Landscapes with . . . landscape fascinate us.

I spent the first half of my life in southern California and the second half (and counting) in western WA. About 10 years ago I went on a road trip from WA to WI, and North Dakota/MN/WI Freaked Me Out, because there was such a long stretch of no mountains. NO MOUNTAINS. Where the hell is the edge?

Also: yay Tacoma! 10 years ago we moved to "all those bands were here and way more cool before they went to Seattle" Olympia, but my first 10 years here were in Tacoma, and I still miss its weirdness sometimes. (Mr epersonae and his group of friends are all from Puyallup & surrounding. Non-locals, go ahead & hurt yourselves trying to pronounce it.) True about the astounding views, too. For years, my favorite view of Rainier was from a Target parking lot, then from my best friend's teeny tiny studio apartment. Now she lives in Seattle, and the monorail is seriously right outside her window, at the same height as her apartment, even.

Anybody interested at all in our quirky weather should really check out The Weather of the Pacific Northwest. Not just about the rain (not a LOT of rain, but most days of overcast & drizzle), but windstorms, temperature, freezing fogs, etc. With pictures! I basically made my mom (the lifelong Californian) buy a copy when she decided to move to Portland next year when she retires. (She's mostly come to visit in the summer. I keep saying, "but seriously, we have February. And November.")
posted by epersonae at 4:39 PM on January 6, 2012


P.S. Tacoma can suck it!

From what I've heard, yes. Yes it can.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:53 PM on January 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


You know, compared to Chesterfield, Missouri, yes, Seattle is far and a way a superior place. When I moved here I became retroactively jealous of all the kids that could just jump on a bus and head into the city (and now, in some places, on a light rail train).

Also, the pizza planes are amazing, but tipping is a bitch.
posted by gc at 5:17 PM on January 6, 2012


spitbull: “And they share a disdain for LA.”

markkraft: “Who doesn't?! Those from Las Vegas, perhaps?!”

Speaking of people from Las Vegas, one of my favorite meditations on a city is David Hickey's classic piece "A World Like Santa Barbara." (That's a .DOC link there, fair warning.) David Hickey is, of course, from Las Vegas, which he considers the greatest American city. And he really, really doesn't like Santa Barbara:

“In a world like this, I realized (and not without trepidation), art and society as I understood them simply could not exist. I understood art to be a necessary accouterment of urban life, a democratic social field of sublimated anxiety and a forum of contentious civility. I assumed that free citizens cultivated their responsiveness to works of art in order to mitigate their narcissism and fuel their imaginative grasp of that which is irrevocably beyond themselves, to transform their anxious discomfort at not-knowing into a kind of vertiginous pleasure. In Santa Barbara, such adaptive behavior was unnecessary. Everything was regulated and explained. Urbanity, anxiety, otherness, contention, loud colors, and bright talk were wholly absent. Even shopping (that quintessential urban activity) was conducted as a form of relentless grazing administered by tastefully regulated signage. Antique agrarian values had been fully reinstated, and civilization, in this rubric, was defined as a bucolic quietude prefiguring the silence of the grave.”
posted by koeselitz at 5:19 PM on January 6, 2012


linking to a .DOC doesn't seem to work, here's the bare link:

ucsbmfa.pbworks.com/f/A+world+like+Santa+Barbara.doc

posted by koeselitz at 5:21 PM on January 6, 2012


We had free health care were I grew up. Did Seattle have it?

"Today, if Seattle were an independent nation, its life expectancy would rank second in the world, just a month behind Japan’s."
posted by neal at 5:28 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seattle: The 20th most unhappy city in America... ranked #6 in depression!
Portland, Ore.
Overall rank: 1*
Depression rank: 1
NUMBER 1! NUMBER 1! NUMBER 1!

You Seattleites aren't even trying.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 5:52 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's so depressing!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:16 PM on January 6, 2012


We had free health care were I grew up. Did Seattle have it?

Where in the world is health care actually "free?"

And I might point out that there are some places that do indeed have government provided health care, but many of those places are otherwise rather dire places to live, and given the choice one one hand of paying for/needing a job to have health care but being able to see Mount Rainier, watch the sun set over the Olympics, walk to the movies and restaurants and the UW campus, take public transportation to work, eat at an abundance of great restaurants, take advantage of a first class library system and, on the other, of having government subsidized healthcare but not having all this other stuff, I'm at peace living in Seattle.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:02 PM on January 6, 2012


We had free health care were I grew up. Did Seattle have it?

Kind of, yeah, or at least it did recently. It saved my life. I was in a nice hospital for something like 10 days. I had my own room. With 24/7 room service with decent food. I've never seen a bill, but I'm guessing anywhere else in this general part of the world it would have cost me well over 100k, at least.

Like damn near everything else in Washington State the care was... quirky and self-actuated if professional and friendly, but I'm ok with all that. People generally knew their shit and took me seriously when I self-actuated about problems in my care/healing. It could have been a lot worse and, well, they did their jobs just fine 'cause I'm still here.

ACK I MEAN IT SUCKS HERE EVERYTHING IS GREY AND WET AND EXPENSIVE ITS HARD TO MAKE FRIENDS EVERYONE IS DEPRESSED IT RAINS ALL THE TIME.
posted by loquacious at 7:10 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


DON'T FORGET IT IS THE WORST TRAFFIC EVER AND IT IS HARD TO DATE BECAUSE OF THE SEATTLE FREEZE AND WE HAVE AN ABUNDANCE OF QUALITY WEED I MEAN NO WE DON'T THIS PLACE IS THE PITS
posted by P.o.B. at 7:18 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Silly bitches, everyone knows London is the center of the universe--has been since before those asshole Pilgrims ever crawled up on this shit...


And Chicago (despite its fill of shitheel professional sports teams-- FU Bears! love U Cubbys --keep losing though! ) is much, much cooler than Seattle will ever be.
posted by Chrischris at 7:25 PM on January 6, 2012


Yeah well duh, I grew up in the sortof dead zone between Kenmore and Bothell in Snohomish county. But I could bike into the U district in 20 minutes and parking in Seattle is easy. Well compared to Boston's chinatown, which is where I work now. I'm probably missing the point but Seattle has/had some cool stuff, the UW had an incredible open house of every engineering department, the art museum had great oriental sculptures of gods with hundreds of arms, the Space Needle, and the ferry's are always a blast.
posted by sammyo at 7:30 PM on January 6, 2012


Did I mention the Space Needle, now really of all the cities with stupid non-building towers (that lame arch to no where; Toronto's tower is just a clone) none are cooler. It was totally modern for years and then it shifted to totally retro.
posted by sammyo at 7:44 PM on January 6, 2012


Well, we're back to Paris again. Maybe Cairo.
posted by loquacious at 7:47 PM on January 6, 2012


i miss coffee messiah.

Heck, I miss the Last Exit.
posted by sculpin at 8:02 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Seattle is a horrible place. All of you who hate Seattle should only come visit and buy things before leaving as fast as possible. Maybe you can just mail us your wallets.

It rains 423 days a year. The reason people ride bikes is because it's faster than driving and pedestrians get shot. Drive-by shootings. Made all the stranger by the gunman's car not being able to get away from the traffic.

Our mayor recently stopped a news conference to unmask his Chthulu-like tentacles and devour a Seattle Times reporter. When asked why, he said he needed to devour the souls of the young to maintain his strength.

The city's anthem is "We Built This City" by Starship. Schoolkids are required to learn it or else they are not allowed to graduate.

The reason Seattleites aren't nice to you is because they have all had dreams about how you are going to die, and that knowledge is too painful for them to share with you, so they suffer in silence. If you marry a Seattleite, they know but have not told you. Seattle couples often know whom they will be with in disquieting dreams and find it impossible to manifest the free will to break the destiny the dreams dictate.

If we do not sacrifice a rudden-haired virgin to the Orca Gods the winter is not allowed to end. We do this during the Fourth Of July while the rest of you have fireworks. We tie the lass to a buoy and watch as the orcas play with her before tearing her body apart. It is considered a great honor to provide the summer virgin, and families are given cash gifts and Starbucks cards as tokens of appreciation not amounting to more than $50.

The Starbucks mermaid is based on the image of the founders' daughter who was sacrificed in 1968. He was given $5 in Texaco gas coupons, which he then traded for the coffee stand in Pike Place market.

Pike Place is named for the spikes early tourists were stuck upon for violating one of the Three Great Crimes of Seattle: Jaywalking, Saying Yes To The First Social Engagement Invite, and Telling A Foreigner The Secrets Of The Decent Weather.

Microbrewers in the region are cursed with knowing that no matter how much they hop their beers, they will never be able to produce an IPA as good as Doc Maynard's, the one that the fire department drank the night of the Great Fire.

Tacoma has an inferiority complex to Seattle because of post-hypnotic suggestion. Were they to know they are part of an elaborate simulation built by the University of Washington to study Brownian motion, most would crack.

Bellevue is the only city in America made entirely of plastic, including the android population.

When Millenium was first shown in Seattle, people thought it was a sitcom.

The only things preserving Portland from experiencing the same horrors that have been inflicted upon Seattle is a) The Water Spirits Of The Willamette providing a high lithium content in the drinking water thus protecting residents from the foul demons that would torture their minds, and b) the incredible amount of pot Portland residents smoke.

Olympia does not have water spirits, but they do have weed.

In general, please just move to Vancouver and send us your wallet. Sending your wallet will ensure were you to share any of these truths your head will not be placed on a pike in the market.

I've said too much.
posted by dw at 8:16 PM on January 6, 2012 [29 favorites]


Seattle is objectively superior to the place you grew up.

Unless you grew up in Seattle, of course.

Then, it's so much worse.
posted by jamjam at 8:21 PM on January 6, 2012


The food in Seattle is good. SEATTLE is an anagram of LET'S EAT!
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:00 PM on January 6, 2012


The police in Seattle are nice. If you jaywalk, they'll invite you to their club.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:06 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heroin in Seattle has been a problem. What do you expect from a city whose major symbol is a giant needle?
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:09 PM on January 6, 2012


Seattle is so white that they made a band called Pearl Jam, because, you know, pearls are white.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:21 PM on January 6, 2012


The traffic in Seattle is so bad that it takes 20 hours to drive to L.A.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:24 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's so much rain in Seattle that...

Shit. There really is a lot of rain in Seattle.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:25 PM on January 6, 2012


Seattle scores well because they curved the test. It wasn't the same before the regrade.

Also, all of those buildings in Bellevue really *are* malls.
posted by stet at 10:39 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


It wasn't the same before the regrade.

This no one can denny.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:47 PM on January 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Zzz. These jokes are Boren me.
posted by neal at 11:15 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


You Seattleites aren't even trying.

I thought Portland was number one for not even trying?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:19 PM on January 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have lived in this town for. . . what, eighteen years? and until today I have never driven on Mercer from Queen Anne Ave to Aurora during rush hour. Which is, no shit, eleven damn blocks, and which took me forty-two minutes. May it be another 18 years before I drive that nonsense again.

I love this town, for real. But unless there were limbs strewn on the roadway, there is no excuse for that traffic.
posted by KathrynT at 11:22 PM on January 6, 2012


The problem I have with seattle, and the rest of the US, is you guys are like an albatross around New York's neck. We could be the most powerful nation state in the history of the world but instead we have to drag the rest of you around with us, like some goofy younger brother mom made us watch. It is cool and all, we love you guys out there in the hinterlands and it is really cute you think seattle or wyoming or wherever is superior and those mountains are adorable, but come on!


By all means, please stay in New York and never leave. We won't miss you out here in the hinterlands. Keep your high finance "industry" as well please.
posted by dibblda at 12:44 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Whatevs. I grew up in New Jersey semimountains, and every time I come home it feels lovelier than it was the last time. I live in Philly and Philly is beautiful, has great food and great music, and the people occasionally compliment you in the street. Right now I'm spending a week in Ocala, Florida, and it's a lovely place full of lovely people who cook delicious foodstuffs.

I have very little wanderlust (have never left the United States, for that matter) because I think that almost every place I've been is wonderful. I could spend years in the ten-block region around my apartment and be satisfied with that. About the only place I don't like is NYC, but that's because I only see it when I'm trying to buy something and that's not a good state of mind to see a community in.

The world's so strange and beautiful that sometimes the only way I can handle my love for it is to look for excuses not to. But I prefer to simply not be able to handle my love, and to spend some time every day lying spreadeagled on some soft surface, stretching and squirming with things-are-too-good-I-can't-take-it-right-now.
posted by Rory Marinich at 4:56 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


...is objectively superior to the place you grew up

Given that I grew up in Grimsby, this is not exactly a difficult achievement.
posted by Decani at 5:11 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I lived there for 18 months. Was miserable, but in retrospect, the problem was with me and not with Seattle. I'm not really wired for constant grey skies.

It is a pretty town, and I applaud Seattleites for not gushing about their city as much as Austinites.

And yes, I've lived in Austin as well. Austin is choking on its own cock, frankly.

For all of its problems, I am really digging DC lately.
posted by Thistledown at 6:23 AM on January 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I live in Victoria. It's on an island north of Seattle, west of Vancouver. We're the Paris of the Olympic Peninsula (and more!) and the weather is warmer and drier than both Seattle and Vancouver. There are no hipsters, and everyone bicycles everywhere.
posted by KokuRyu at 6:33 AM on January 7, 2012


Oh, gods yes, Thistledown.
posted by Seamus at 7:48 AM on January 7, 2012


It's true to my experience, for instance, that drivers will slam on their brakes to let a pedestrian who might even be thinking about crossing the street go first.

This is also common in BC. I hate this. Absolutely hate it. It is not polite, it is just a pathological desire to cultivate an image of politeness and I hate it.

OK, so I approach the side of the road and a car is gliding down the road in my direction with no other car directly behind it. Now, if the driver just keeps going, then I can just slow down my approach. Maybe I'll have to actually stop at the side of the road... but for about two seconds. In this scenario, the driver continues unimpeded, and I am marginally slowed down in comparison to a fully unimpeded path. Great! Optimal travel times achieved! However, if the driver instead decides to slow down to "let" me cross, then my two second stop gets dragged out into a ten second stop as I check to be sure the driver is really stopping for me. The driver honks or makes a hand wavy gesture. Finally I cross. The driver has been slowed down and inconvenienced (reducing fuel economy), and I have been slowed down and inconvenienced. No one has actually benefited in this second scenario. Ahh, but the driver can pat him or herself on the back for being so nice, so thoughtful and caring. But its not even helpful to the pedestrian. I mean, what if I wasn't even sure I wanted to cross? Now the driver has cajoled me into crossing. The driver has injected confusion into this whole traffic scenario, and only managed to slow down people's travels, not help them out.

It's cloying nonsense.
posted by molecicco at 9:03 AM on January 7, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've avoided Victoria on account of being told it's basically just the local Englandshire themepark.
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on January 7, 2012


Molecicco, thank you for bringing up this important issue. You don't even mention the line of cars behind the stopped driver who are *all* inconvenienced.

When this happens to me (I live in Seattle and walk everywhere, so it is a daily occurrence) I pause at the sidewalk step off slowly and cross at a snail's pace, glaring menacingly at the driver the entire time. If I'm in a bad mood I don't even cross which *really* pisses them off. I strongly encourage everyone to do the same.

I grew up in Frisco for the first 25 years of my life and constantly felt this urge to tell everyone I knew who didn't live there how great it was. Now I've been in Seattle for 12 years and I've never needed to do that. I've found perfection and who cares what the rest of the world thinks.

What I mean to say is yes, Seattle's cold and rainy and dark and provincial and passive aggressive and I want to commit suicide every day. You wouldn't like it here.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:49 AM on January 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


I live in Victoria. [...] There are no hipsters,

Yes there are.
posted by philip-random at 9:56 AM on January 7, 2012


I live in Victoria. [...] There are no hipsters,

Yes there are.


It's not even a recent development. (Great book btw)
posted by molecicco at 10:06 AM on January 7, 2012


Oh, man. The "let's stop wherever and wave people across the street" thing is dangerous.

"Hey, man. I'm just standing here smoking a cigarette and looking at flowers. I really don't want to cross the street. If I actually wanted to cross the street I'd just barge into the middle of the street like a native. No, seriously, I don't want to cross the street. Stop waving at me. You're still waving at me. You're not going to move on until I jaywalk, are you? Fine. I guess I'll look at the flowers on the other side of the street."

The above has actually happened.

Another time I was biking down Pine. Dedicated bike lane, downhill towards downtown, etc. Around Boren Street someone traveling the same direction down Pine in a car is a half dozen car lengths ahead of me in their lane. There's a car waiting to cross Pine at a side street.

The car on Pine slams its brakes in the middle of pine, no stop sign, no signal... and waves the car through the middle of Pine traffic, against even the most basic traffic rules known throughout most of North America.

I'm doing 30-40 MPH on two contact patches about the size of a nickle on a wet, mossy asphalt and concrete road. I accidentally lock up my brakes and try to slide to the right to not T-bone the car that's now suddenly pulling right out in front of me while they're looking straight at me, but they pull out anyway because someone is waving them across the street. I can actually see the "Oh fuck" and polite confusion on their face as this happens. I miss the rear quarter panel of this car by millimeters and manage to keep everything right side up as I whip around the back of the car and get back in the bike lane while bellowing "whhaaat the FUUUCK are you DOOOOOING!?"

Meanwhile the car that shortstopped in the middle of Pine to let the car through is about to get plowed into by a bus that was following it. The bus also skids and skips to a stop with inches to spare.

It's seriously one of the dumbest, craziest WTF things I've ever seen on the road, and I grew up biking and walking in LA, intentionally without a car.

KathrynT wrote: I have lived in this town for. . . what, eighteen years? and until today I have never driven on Mercer from Queen Anne Ave to Aurora during rush hour. Which is, no shit, eleven damn blocks, and which took me forty-two minutes.

Heh. I can walk that same route in about 10-15 minutes, if not less. It's less than a half a mile. I can bike it in about a minute or two, with or without traffic.

The Denny triangle is a traffic clusterfuck, but I think I can identify why. It's not the natives who actually live in the Belltown-Denny-Queen Anne triangle - because they're all too smart and experienced (and mostly carless) to even try something as foolish as driving anywhere in Seattle during rush hour.

It's all the commuting workers from suburban places north and east of Denny Regrade behaving very badly and selfishly. People drive right into congested intersections even if there's no room to proceed yet in the forward lanes like they're getting paid triple overtime to do it.

Seriously, it's so bad that if I'm in the area and having a walk, I'll just stop and gawk at it because it's such a clusterfuck that it nearly defies belief, and, well, being a smug pedestrian seems to be Seattle's primary sports activity.

"Oh, really? You're going to pull into the intersection now? And you too? Oh, there's like 10 of you here, now, and none of you can back up because everyone followed you. Excellent work! The intersection is now almost gridlocked, and the light should change... now. Cue the cross traffic and... yep, you're going to try to cross and enter the intersection anyway. Full two-way gridlock achieved! That's amazing! If this were a game of Tetris you'd all be winners!"

I've noticed the traffic only gets like this when people are here from suburbia are in the big city and freaking out or something. It happens during rush hour. It happens during major events at the Key Arena or Seattle Center. Sometimes it happens when it's the weekends and the bridge-and-tunnel crowd from Bellevue is partying in Belltown and QA.

Seriously, why do those popped-collar, Ed Hardy wearing douchebag people come to Belltown to get stupid drunk and puke, fight and/or fuck in my alley? Don't they have any bars or liquor stores in Bellevue? Or is it just some vast conspiracy to intentionally trash Belltown every weekend? Look, I know Bellevue is boring, but the natives of Belltown are deeply unimpressed by your clothes, money or your stupid shiny car.

Here's an offer for you, Bellevue. Just send us all of your partying money and stay home. We'll send back plenty of overpriced watered down drinks and some shitty DJs. You can party like a frat at spring break over there, and then you wont have to drive home drunk.

posted by loquacious at 10:30 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


I visited Seattle once for 2 weeks with my family, and liked it quite a bit. Even the weather, though we only saw a couple days of sun.
The plethora of "up-and-coming things to do" advertised seemingly everywhere was extremely appealing. Bands, concerts, gay pride this-or-thats, some gathering involving tattoos.
The people-watching was some of the best I've ever experienced. Some day I'll get a picture of the man who looked like he took a walkabout through a Dune novel, with his white loincloth, walking stick, wild bush hair, skin tanner than a whole team of volleyball players, muttering soft gutteral things while staring vacantly, walking steadily forward while the only people who noticed him seemed to be tourists. For some reason, seeing that man made me want to live in Seattle.
"Trying to develop a friendship in Seattle, you can feel a bit like Bill Murray in "Groundhog Day." Like with each encounter you have to start from scratch, back to the surface niceties."
This whole article actually appealed to me. People constantly trying to invite me to things makes me uncomfortable for some deep unknown reason. On average, the time I spend with friends seems to max out at 3 days a month. The rest of the time, I just want to invite myself to various city "happenings" (i.e. the band-in-the-bar scene, author book signings, downtown events) and in general be left alone.

Inviting me along to a party wherein I only vaguely know you from work can occasionally make me feel like the third person in a stranded boat, the one you consider eating first after 3 days of being unable to catch any fish.
posted by DisreputableDog at 10:53 AM on January 7, 2012


It's true to my experience, for instance, that drivers will slam on their brakes to let a pedestrian who might even be thinking about crossing the street go first.

Washington state law requires that cars must yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk. So what the drivers are doing is legally mandated. And it should be.

I'll tell you what a far bigger problem is:
Car wants to turn left across a congested multi-lane street. Car in near lane stops and opens gap to let driver make left turn. Driver making left turn proceeds but doesn't realize (or think to look if) there's more than one lane where traffic is flowing. Turning driver gets hit (usually t-boned) by driver in far lane.

Happened to my wife a couple months ago (she was the driver in the far lane). Insurance company says it's so common here they've dubbed it "the Seattle accident."
posted by dw at 11:11 AM on January 7, 2012


Driver making left turn proceeds but doesn't realize (or think to look if) there's more than one lane where traffic is flowing. Turning driver gets hit (usually t-boned) by driver in far lane.

In British Columbia, if you're traveling on a two-lane street and a car in the adjacent lane (traveling the same direction you are) stops, you need to stop as well. It makes sense from the perspective that you need to be wondering why that car has stopped. What have they seen that you haven't?

I acutely remember one instance where it happened to me. Somebody stopped in the adjacent lane. I slowed a bit, curious, then saw (last instant) two little kids crossing the street who had been completely in my blind spot. I jammed the brakes. Nothing happened except I aged about five years in a second.
posted by philip-random at 11:26 AM on January 7, 2012 [1 favorite]


Driver attitude toward pedestrians is always going to tend toward one direction or the other, with the extremes acting moronically. Send those over-zealous Seattle yielders to Pittsburgh, and we'll give you all the jerks who think they can get their right turn in before you get to that half of the crosswalk!
posted by palliser at 11:46 AM on January 7, 2012


Washington state law requires that cars must yield to pedestrians at a crosswalk. So what the drivers are doing is legally mandated. And it should be.

The problem isn't the people who come drive reasonably and follow the law. It's the people who will stop, let you across, and then slowly inch forward as you pass in front of them. I don't need a multi-ton piece of metal intentionally rolled toward me because you somehow think this will make me walk faster.

When I come to a corner, and a car pulls up at that instant. I'll just sit there like an idiot staring vacantly anywhere except at the driver until they move the damn car. Sometimes it takes up to 2 minutes.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:42 PM on January 7, 2012


The Denny triangle is a traffic clusterfuck, but I think I can identify why...

Ooh! Oooh! I know this one! -- there is an onramp for I-5 going south on Yale street just east of the Denny overpass on I-5. All the cars intending to go south on I-5 line up for it eastbound on Denny and the line extends from Stewart Street to Queen Anne Avenue during rush hour or during any day there is a game or event downtown. And that line blocks every cross street intersecting with Denny between the Freeway and Belltown.
posted by y2karl at 2:55 PM on January 7, 2012


New York's alright if you like saxophones aggressive gentrification.
posted by speicus at 5:34 PM on January 7, 2012


oops
posted by speicus at 5:35 PM on January 7, 2012


Heh. I can walk that same route in about 10-15 minutes, if not less. It's less than a half a mile. I can bike it in about a minute or two, with or without traffic.

The thing is, I drive that section of Mercer ALL THE TIME. I sing with the Seattle Symphony Chorale, and we rehearse at the Swedish Cultural Center on Dexter, and when my husband was working at Big Fish Games on Elliott I'd pack the kids into the car, drive down there (yes, from Bothell), pick him up, and then we'd scoot down Mercer to Dexter in about three minutes. Of course that was at 6:30 PM, not 4:10 in the afternoon. I didn't realize that two hours made so much difference -- I'd have expected it to be bad from 5-7. For some reason.
posted by KathrynT at 6:50 PM on January 7, 2012


And, frankly? I love the Seattle style. A woman in boots and tights and cute skirt/jacket combo with a book tucked under her arm and that rosy-cheeked, wind-blown Seattle look just does, well, everything for me.

Oh, loquatious, thank you. So much. I was so afraid I was the only one.
posted by lhauser at 7:51 PM on January 7, 2012


Homegrown (no pun intended) Seattelite here. Well, if I have to be completely honest I was raised on that little island the ferry boat goes to.

Let's all be honest, I think the location of Bill Gates' palace speaks for itself.
posted by northxnorthwest at 6:57 AM on January 8, 2012


Portland, Ore.
Overall rank: 1*
Depression rank: 1


Heh. Always thought that, out of all the places they might have spent the winter after a long, hard summer of crossing the continent, Lewis and Clarke must have been surprised.

On the other hand, Portland, there's a ton of AMAZING, dry landscapes east and south that you can visit. And I wish had had such easy access to the geology in that part of SE WA. Trying getting out more!
posted by Twang at 8:14 AM on January 8, 2012


I wholeheartedly agree.
posted by custard heart at 8:19 PM on January 9, 2012


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