Day 316

Day 316 says, “Hey, I’m in Seattle and things are going great!” And that’s the bottom line, because Stone Cold Steve said so.

Now that I got the outdated 90’s reference out of the way, I think it best to move on.

One thing I find rather interesting about Seattle is its ability to balance two very different personalities at the same time. On one hand, you have this quaint little harbor town, filled with specialty shops and a wide array of artisans and do-it-yourselfers. They push healthy living, farm-fresh ingredients and supporting all things local. Even when walking downtown, you could easily forget you’re in the presence of skyscrapers, because at street level, the whole area still maintains that ‘small town’, residential feel.

And the people? They’ve all adopted the punk rock mentality—one that says, “We can’t rely on others to do it for us, so we’ll do it ourselves". Heck, just take a stroll around Capitol Hill and I challenge you to find a single lamp post that isn’t covered in six feet of flyers, posters and event notices.

On the other hand, Seattle is extremely modern and if you ever take in one of the city’s stunning views, you’d think that mentality never ends. The cuisine is more upscale; the newer apartments offer bright colors, stainless steel appliances and a copious amount of amenities—all housed in neighborhoods that are seemingly popping up over night. There’s also a lot of new construction going on in the city—enough to rival that of Austin—and the blame seems to be squarely on Amazon.

Personally, I think you could equally blame Google and the wealth of other companies who are building offices here too. But given that Amazon is literally building its own neighborhood, I can understand the frustration. True, jobs aren’t a bad thing at all, especially for a city with a rather visible homeless problem. But if the city were to lose it’s charm and character in the shadows of high rises and glass buildings, you have to question if it’s worth it.

Despite these very disparate characteristics, Seattle maintains a balance that few cities are capable of. The residential areas offer more than you’d expect and the downtown areas still feel like home. It’s a place where people find happiness in their healthy lifestyles, but still have a tendency to go out and indulge on a weekly basis; a place where goths and punks can freely roam the streets, without seeming out of place. In Seattle, creativity is king and there’s no point in hiding it, because it’s on display in every corner of every neighborhood.

-Steve-

Day 309

I think I picked the best day of the year to leave Austin. Between ACL, the Austin Comic-con and a UT home game, there was plenty going on downtown Saturday. It also meant no one was flying out of the city and I'm pretty sure I was one of only 10 people in the entire airport. Although long, the flight was rather relaxing and I arrived into Seattle without a hitch. I did have a moment of panic when we landed though. Once the wheels touched down, I turned my phone back on—as most of us usually do. Well, Foursquare popped up almost immediately and said, "Welcome to Anchorage". Since I had fallen asleep for an hour or two, I didn't know what to make of this news and had to ask the person next to me, just to be safe. Thankfully, she assured me that we were, in fact, in Seattle.

I’ve only been here a day and I can already tell I really lucked out with the location of my AirBnB. Located on Pike Street in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, my quaint little studio apartment is right in the center of a vibrant and bustling area. Yesterday, I spent a majority of the afternoon just walking along Pike Street into downtown and was amazed with the number of artisan shops, eateries and stores I came across. From gourmet groceries to pubs and crafts, I’ve already acquired a rather lengthy list of places I need to check out during my time here.

While venturing around the city, I also took a moment to visit one of the city’s many piers. It’s pretty bonkers to finally see the Pacific Ocean after all these months. Yes, I am aware that I didn’t really see the ocean. Technically, I saw Elliot Bay, but come on; it’s close enough. Regardless of what body of water it was, the whole experience made me stop and appreciate all of the opportunities I’ve received in the past 10 months. To process that we started this whole project on the other side of the country is a bit surreal. It just goes to show what we can do when we put our minds to something and give it 110%. 

Self-reflection aside, I’m overjoyed to be feeling fall weather for the first time this year. It was 65º and partly cloudy when I arrived—a most perfect forecast, if you ask me. Lastly, I wanted to mention that this month is going to get a little crazy. Not only is it one of my shortest stays in a city, but I also turn 30 on the 19th and my two best friends are coming to town to celebrate. I promise to recap the entire… well, most… no, some… uh… as much of the weekend as possible. You only turn 30 once and I plan on partying my heart out. 

Well, I'm off to my first day at Young & Rubicam Seattle. Tune in Thursday for a recap of my first week. This is going to be a good one—I'm sure of it.

-Steve-