When I first moved down to L.A., I swore I would never again be a Washington resident. Six years later I broke that promise and moved back to Seattle. Returning in time for summer was a perfect transition, and I was convinced it was a great decision to come back. It also helped that I began working at Curator, and unlike most of my L.A. friends, was able to say that I loved my job.
Fall was equally as beautiful as the summer months, but then we set the clocks back and the dark coldness that is Pacific Northwest winter set in. I can handle the rain, and even the cold given the right down jacket of course, but the light is what I missed most. Those were some tough months, but thanks to the crazy holiday retail season, I kept too busy to really agonize over my lack of vitamin D.
What also helped was using the bad weather as an excuse to explore new parts of the city, checking out various restaurants, concert venues and even revisiting some of the tourist spots that I hadn’t been to since I was a kid. I realized that even though I’m “from here” I really had to relearn the city, and once I started doing that it felt like I was actually in a whole new place rather than moving “back home.” I’m now one of Seattle’s biggest fans and am slowly turning every visitor I host into one, too. It will be two years back this June, and I still feel like there’s so much I haven’t done and seen, but here are some of the things I’ve come to love about being a Seattleite:
The Music. An avid concertgoer, being in a music hub has been incredible. It’s been such an amazing surprise to find so many people here that share this passion and are always up for a random midweek show at some hole-in-the-wall venue. Because there are always so many shows happening around the city, I’ve found myself not just waiting to see my favorite artists, but rather exploring local bands and music genres I might have never thought to check out before.
The Food. I never knew Seattle was such a foodie city until I started eating my way through town. I thought LA had good sushi, but I’ve got to say Seattle might have them beat. I could eat at Umi in Belltown and Moshi Moshi in Ballard everyday. And holy pretzels! I don’t think I will ever get tired of enjoying a cold beer accompanied by a fresh pretzel and of course the amazing array of dipping sauces (the best part) at Brave Horse Tavern or Von Trapps. Hungry just thinking about it.
The Drinks. I’ve always been a big brunch fan, but these days it feels like I’m more of a happy hour person. Megan wrote a couple weeks ago about the great new app, Sosh, and let me vouch for it again; this is a killer resource for finding the best happy hour spots (and more) around town. And I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of the best perks of being a Washingtonian: the wine. I frequent Woodinville to go wine tasting more than I should admit, but how can you not take advantage of all the incredible wineries that are right at our fingertips! And did I mention most of them are dog friendly?
The Seahawks. It wouldn’t be right to make this list without including our Super Bowl champs! I forgot how much I love professional football. Living in L.A., I settled for college football (Go Trojans!) and really only paid attention to playoff games and of course the Super Bowl. But being able to go to the games and even just be in the city during the season is such a fun experience. While I miss basketball and hockey, I have to say that football season in Seattle takes the cake.
The Art. I’ve always loved street art. That was one of my favorite things about living so close to Venice Beach. There was something so cool about discovering new aerosol art around the city. But the more I look around Seattle, the more I see that here, too. I was just at Pike Place Market over the weekend and realized that every time I’m there I find something new.
The People. It really is true that people here have a friendliness about them that’s I think, pretty rare. At first I had some moments of road rage when someone would signal and take their sweet time to get over in traffic, and maybe still do sometimes, but I’d take that any day over the always hurried pace of other cities (traffic-related and in general). I think Seattle is unique in that as a whole the people are hardworking, but they also know how to enjoy. They enjoy their work and play, and I think that’s what makes the character of the city so kind. It’s refreshing to be around, and everyone that has visited me has commented on this so I know it’s not just me who’s noticed.
The Landscape. I’m not going to lie; I do really miss the beach. And I know technically Washington has beaches too, but nothing beats driving up the PCH from Manhattan Beach to Malibu. You just can’t. That said, I love that Seattle is surrounded by water. Growing up on the lake and then living by the beach has definitely cemented my need to always live near a body of water. There’s something so beautiful about it no matter the season. On top of that, being able to drive 20 minutes and find yourself on a hiking path up a mountain is amazing. Few cities provide the option to live in urban bliss, but offer that rural escape within minutes.
Got any Seattle must-do, must-see, must-try recommendations? Please send them my way at @c_allodi.