I've lived here on two occasions. The mid 90's for three years and then again now since 2010. I like to call myself the 10 year tourist and I should be writing a song about it rather then posting my thoughts here but why not?
I think I'm saddest about the lack of radical people here. Seattle had lots of artsy and interesting people in the 90's. Now this place is over priced and full of supremely uptight white folks who make far too much money for doing something that is way over valued. I work in the parks downtown and there are three main food groups of people to observe; Tourists, The business class and the homeless. The only blue collar workers you will see are providing services for the upper echelon. Few people look like they don't belong in the suburbs. I think that's really it in a nut shell. Seattle now feels and operates like a suburb. All the super safe and pedestrian people have decided to bring their earning power here and everything has suffered. Homelessness has risen 20% in the last few years and 150,000 people have moved to the southern suburbs since 2000 as they were priced out. Seattle will not really entertain rent control and only 6% of the new housing is affordable. So this is now essentially a very boring version of SF. Music clubs close and become gourmet taco joints where amazombies stuff their faces before they jump into their sporty fully outfitted bicycle costumes.
Good luck finding anyone with personality let alone a sense of humor. Just try making sarcasm work, how much do you enjoy dead air and enthusiastic indifference?
Sad really as the whole west coast is being destroyed so the wealthy can have a playground in every city they choose. We are now casualties or prisoners of the class war but no one will admit it. Attempt to have a political discussion or state how embarrassed you're to have the presidential candidates we are suffering. More silence and disappearing acts. The only interesting conversations I have are with the homeless people, they still have spirit and are survivors. SF in the mid 90's had an organization called the yuppie eradication Project, we need something here like that. We need a more active push back against the monied classes and stop being so complacent. I have serious doubts that anyone, myself included will do anything about it. Will let it all slip through our fingers and in all reality it's already gone. Farewell...
I've lived here on two occasions. The mid 90's for three years and then again now since 2010. I like to call myself the 10 year tourist and I should be writing a song about it rather then posting my thoughts here but why not?
Why can't people here drive like normal humans.
I drove in NYC for years. I've driven in France , Italy, Austin Texas, across the entire fucking country, nothing beats Seattle. All time worst drivers.
The food here sucks ass. I've never been in a self proclaimed "foodie city" that had worse food than Seattle. Portland kicks your ass in food and as soon as My transfer gets approved I'm moving there. People in Oregon are much warmer and friendlier than the people here. Anyways, seattlites will rave about the food but then you go to this restaurant with alllllll this hype and the food is so bland. You know why? Because the people are bland and miserable. They do not cook with love or passion and you can taste it in their food.
I worked at a restaurant in Madison park for awhile and holy shit were the people rude. The tips were terrible as well. I mean truly terrible. I bartended in NYC for ten years. There's a certain code. You sit at my bar, we chat, I buy you a beer, you leave me a little extra (even just $1 more) as a courtesy of the beer/interaction. It's a respect thing. Not here. People here will sit, ask you ridiculous questions....I mean truly asinine. One guy asked me what type of ice we had. I couldn't contain myself....I just looked at him and said "what?" In a typical NY tone....then he asked me if it was "you know I'm like is it in good ice?" This was asked to me While he stared at the wall...because no one in Seattle can look you in the eye....I just said sir it is the best ice you've ever had...nice and cold and square....he didn't even understand I was calling him an asshole. Anyways, they will ask you 17 questions about wine then order a beer, then food, they will nit pick the smallest of things because they're all fucking neurotic (when really the biggest thing they have to complain about is the terrible food in front of them) and after alllllll that, even if their bill is $75 you will be lucky to get 10% where as back home the super anal annoying people who give you a hard time usually tip more because they are aware that they are a pain in the ass.
Now I know why Kurt cobain killed himself. Because he couldn't take these assholes in Madison park any longer.
I've dealt with a lot of difficult people in my life. And I mean a lot. Madison park takes the cake and is truly the worst place on earth.
I moved here from NYC 2 months ago and I hate this place. Which sucks because it has some serious potential. I love the zero humidity, being near the water is so cool. The produce is amazing. 3 hours to get to Portland, van couver or the Olympic peninsula. Amazing nature...those are the things I like....
Now. The entire city with SO much potential is completely ruined by the people. The people are horrible. I've never met so many pretentious up their own ass snotty pricks in my life. Here's an example of a passive aggressive text I received at ten pm at night to inform me that I no longer had a job (which is in of itself a whole separate issue...not sure how people make money here unless they are in tech)
The preface: I watch a 6 year old girl 2x a week for 3 hours. 6 hours a week. We color, we read, we ride bikes....this is when she isn't being a complete asshole to me. She is an only child and will routinely have problems with other children in the neighborhood and then come home and need "alone" time...for hours. Most of the time when I speak to her she ignores me and then when I try to explain to her that it is rude to ignore people she ignores me some more. Normally I would say it's just kid stuff but this kid is extra special. She's a typical entitled snotty Seattle brat.
Now the parents. "We don't tell E what to do, but make sure she wears shoes and eats dinner" "oh she was upset because you made her wear shoes outside" typical fake liberal "hippie" parents.
So today she comes back from playing with friends and is in a mood. She walks past me not saying a word so I follow her, knock on her door and she screams at me that she needs alone time because she's been around other children all afternoon. She is six years old and it was a beautiful Sunday. Boo hoo, life is so hard. So I'm like ok...whatever. About an hour later I ask her if she wants dinner...no she she informs me that she doesn't have a dinner time...ok thank you. Then she cries and hides under her blanket and tells me to go away. Ok.
The parents come home and I inform them that I think something happened with the other girls because E came home upset. This doesn't surprise them because E routinely has problems with other kids. Because E is a snotty little asshole at 6 years old and the other kids (who are pretty cool) know it. I tell them that she wanted alone time and they shake their heads at me with their mouths open like they fully understand why their 6 year old needed to barricade herself in her room and refuse food for 3 hours. I tell them (now E has come out) that tomorrow will be a better day and I had plans to take E to the museum, something different (E loves dinosaurs and lizards) they thank me and I leave.
Fast forward. It's ten PM. I'm supposed to watch E tomorrow
"Sorry E has been so challenging. She seems to be having some issues adjusting to all the changes so we have decided to spend more time with her after school. We are also going to limit her time with the alley kids for a while and encourage some other friendships. Thanks for all your help and sorry this didn't work out. Feel free to use me as a reference as well. We will happily send you a check for tonight and pay you for this week as a small way to compensate you for the inconvenience. Shoot us a good mailing address.
Wishing you ease in Seattle and beyond. Thanks so much again for your care."
No phone call. No discussion. These people let their child RUN them after 1 bad day. Reminder that I watch this kid 6 hours a week and for about 4 of those hours she's out playing with friends. This is how Seattle parents it's snotty entitled selfish rude children. This is why they turn out to be assholes.
I turned down other opportunities because I understand children need a steady routine and I committed for the year. I carefully planned trips home. In fact I just booked a flight today, non refundable. I could have went home much sooner. People here don't care, they will just passive aggressively fire you because their child was mad that you asked them to eat dinner. Jesus Christ.
I have so much more to bitch about but I have to go to bed. More bitching about the drivers and rule followers tomorrow.
Thank god for this site
I figured it out. This is how you type cast residents of Washington state:
Take the characters from King Of The Hill. Make half of them meth addicts. Then, toss in some really fat people, and some super liberals, and boom! That's the vast majority of Washington people.
Think about it: Not everyone you meet is a meth head, but several of them are. The people who aren't meth heads are super liberal, really fat, or just kind of weird in a weird sort of way.
#fuckseattle I tell you what!
Lived hear all my life. Maybe the Seattle freeze is real because I have no friends. My former best friend is now a tranny pornstar, what a fucking joke. This city is corny and full of the SWJs you read about. This city is has too many men. Every time I go out the men outnumber the women, and the women are usually hunched over looking at there phones. The weather sucks but it's still not add bad as people say. It gets good around mid to late spring and till mid September. The drivers suck. Tailgate you no matter which lane you're in. And they'll pass a bunch of cars in another just to squeeze in front of you and another car at 70 80 MPH. Nevermind all that space behind me where you easily could've merged in. Also this city lacks diversity. White people everywhere and moving into neighborhoods I grew in while my family gets scattered all over the place. I fucking hate it hear.
I grew up in a suburb south of Seattle, and spent most of my life living there. I'm 25, and I spent 4 years in Missoula, Montana and currently I've lived in Chicago for a year and a half. I would never, ever live in Seattle ever again. I hate Seattle without a smidgen of irony and I tell anyone who asks.
I've thought a lot about why Seattle is such a fucking awful place to live, and this is my theory. I won't reiterate the usual shit about the Seattle Freeze, traffic, yadda yadda. If you're on this website, you know the stereotypes, and by God they're true.
Seattle sucks because its only culture is capitalism (or commercialism, materialistic, bla bla). Relative to other big American cities like NY, Chicago, Miami, New Orleans, etc, it is pretty new. Nobody has roots here. Everything is up for the highest bidder.
For example, one of our city council members just ordered the Gum Wall in the Pike Place Market to be steam-cleaned, because it was gross, or unsanitary, or some stupid fucking shit. This is a public monument which people from all over the world have touched - a monument that wasn't planned by any fucking committee, or any fucking bureaucrat, or any fucking rich guy. Culture means NOTHING to us. Could you imagine if Ireland tore down the Blarney Stone? Nothing is sacred in Seattle, nothing is worthy of being preserved, it's all about money. The buildings are all post-WWII Levi-town bullshit. Since the left never had any sort of power here (liberals are not the left btw), there's no public transportation that is reliable or efficient (when I moved to Chicago, the subway was the biggest thing I talked about, it was a revelation for me). There's no sense of togetherness.
But don't blame Seattlites. Their coldness is a defense mechanism for the shitty world they were brought up in. A native Seattlite's biggest interaction with their culture is through school, which is one of the most alienating experiences I can imagine. The idea with the schools is that everyone has to be the same and no rule can ever be broken for any reason. When I tried to rough-house with my buddies in middle school, we got in huge trouble because we weren't interacting in a school-sanctioned way. Kids can't be kids - everyone must always follow the rules. You never matter, you're just a number in a spreadsheet to the state, and your teachers want to help but they can't because their hands are tied too. At the top of the shit heap is the rich, who hijacked education to build an army of loyal cronies--and their efforts have been wildly successful.
The rich control everything in Seattle, to a greater degree than most other big American cities, because capitalism is the only show in town. There's no history of union organizing, no churches to displace, nothing other than the First Nations peoples, who were decimated and exiled a long time ago. So the rich are the only show in town as far as power goes. And the rich do not care about anything except getting really rich.
You know how Bill Gates is from Seattle? You know how he's the richest guy in the world? Yeah, we did that. Gates fucked with my education, too. He has so much money and power that he can make "donations" to the cash-strapped education department and then have all the say about what happens. And of course, as a captain of industry, does he care about art, language, and culture? Fuck no! He wants obedient little workers that never, ever, EVER ask questions. So all through my life, I've endured his fucking awful programs, which always consist of finding new ways to divide, segregate, and alienate students from each other on the basis of shitty little standardized tests. I was always the new kid when I was growing up because of people like him. I had to bounce from school to school to school, and it was unbelievably difficult to make friends when everyone lives a half-hour away and there's no way to get around except asking your parents to give you a ride both ways.
Gates isn't the only one, of course. Now there's Jeff Bezos and his army of autistic sociopaths at Amazon. Their corporate culture is an absolute rejection of all human qualities, a laser focus on "the customer." Now the city is teeming with these little shits, and even the natives can't stand them. Now the traffic, which used to be okay, is absolutely fucking unbearable because Great Lord Bezos is annexing another block for his infernal business. The really sad part is that Seattle is probably the most appropriate place for such a culture.
The Seattle Freeze is there because everyone grew up in a hyper-class-segregated society. We're like the caste system in India. From when you are a baby, you are stuck into some kind of category, and nothing you do will let you out of it. At first it's the schools that do it, but eventually people do it to each other. So when you interact with someone else, you're constantly asking yourself: "Where does this person stand in relation to me? How much respect do I have to give them? Will my standing be threatened if I'm seen with them?" This is what our cliquishness looks like from the inside. It's easier to withdraw, and being alone is ultimately the safest thing unless you're a hyper-charismatic extrovert...which most people aren't.
And believe me, I know something about being alone. Bullying was vicious and merciless when I was growing up. I had almost no friends whatsoever, and even people who were my friends for a while would just disappear completely. When I moved to another state, being able to make friends was surreal for me. I had to change my personality a lot, because when you live in Seattle too long, you have to build a little fortress inside yourself. I still am building doors in that fortress, it's fucking hard to do, because all my life I've been conditioned to keep the drawbridge up. You can't let anyone in, because at any moment they could disappear; some big bureaucratic mechanism, like the free (HAHAHAHAHA) market, the government, or whatever the fuck else, will reach down and pluck them away from you, if they don't leave out of fear of being abandoned by you.
Seattlites are self-centered because everyone else will soon leave, if they haven't left already. You have to have a really vivid inner life if you're going to survive, because the outer is so bland and artificial. You have to have the ability to be alone, because in Seattle everyone is alone. It's just you and the big bad world - nobody will listen to you because they have their own little fortress too, and if they let you in you might break something. Seattlites are dogmatic because their dogmas are small comforts in their constant struggle to live happily in a world under the complete control of profit-seeking corporate dictators. They have to convince themselves everything is okay, because if they can't, then they want things to change. People while away their lives trying to make Seattle livable, but nothing can save it. Seattle is fucked in its DNA, and the rich will never let go of it. Trying to fight them is like trying to pop the tires of a tank. I'm done trying. I'd rather live somewhere where people have fun and care about each other.
Fuck you, Seattle.
Where do I begin?
Well for starters, all this butt fuck traffic can go fuck itself. Been here since 2011 so it's been 5yrs. The first three weren't bad, met a great and fun girl, was going to school but then I lost interest in that. I was coming off a emotionally bumpy deployment and was needing time to heal. So I figured I'd go back into welding. No dice. Couldn't find a job to save my life, so went into the Mason's Union. Brutal work if you've never tried it. Money's not bad but it will beat you down. Couldn't hack that, too many loud and sudden bangs. Not good for PTSD sufferers. Ended up with a production planning job-never done that before, I'll give it a whirl. Fast forward 2016 sitting in a house that's mine and can't wait to sell it. Because I really need to get the fuck outta here. If I could sell this tomorrow id leave on Monday. Seriously. New owners can have the boat and the old Volvo. Titles are in em and keys in the ashtray. I'm soooo sick of this fuckin no talent hack doosh bag place. With their fake bagels and $4 donuts. What a joke-this place ain't progressive. It's totally broken and the weather sucks.
Going back east as soon as possible. Can't wait to tell my job to suck it and tell Bill W*** he's a fuckin dinosaur and should've been shitcanned years ago. Hey Rhode Island I'm on my way back, pour me a sams and save me a slice of that delicious $8 pizza. My girl (same girl as above:-) is there too. In a little house near the ocean.
This post can be split into two parts:
The first part is the annoying stuff that, while annoying, I could easily look the other way.
The second part is the heart of the matter: what the serious issues are with the city, but first, a little context.
My wife and I are from a mid-sized midwest city, which while being the butt of many jokes, is actually not too bad, as is currently undergoing a sort of reinvention of itself. Anyways, my wife and I decided for our honeymoon that we'd visit the Pacific Northwest (Portland and then Seattle), because we had fallen for the "marketing" that Seattle displays of itself as being this progressive, hip, ultra-cool place with wonderful people very tolerant of others. Needless to say, a honeymoon in Seattle was bad for this reason: due to the fact that we were elated that we were coming off of being married, we were overlooking massive red flags about that city.
Fast forward to about a year after our honeymoon, through a series of strange coincidences, I manage to find a good-paying travel nursing job to Seattle. After all of the bullshit to get my license there and that stuff, we had finally made the decision: "ok, we're doing this. We're moving there, because on our honeymoon it was AWESOME, and we didn't see any problems AT ALL :D :D :D". We packed up all of our shit, and our two cats, and made the 2500 mile drive in the middle of the winter, away from all of our friends and family - to build a new life out in Seattle.
Part 1 (The annoying, but ultimately tolerable stuff):
1 - Seattle hates cheese. Seriously, we come from an area of the country where cheese is considered sacred.
2 - Zero free chips and salsa: we come from a city where any mexican restaurant you go to, you can expect free chips and salsa as though it's a birth-rite, immediately after being seated.
3 - The food is generally quite bland and uninteresting, except for asian food and biscuits. Otherwise, the food is insanely expensive, and is largely tasteless.
4 - The parking ripoffs, everywhere. For example, we were paying 250/month for a surface lot, which was next to an Ethiopian church. As one of the rules for parking in that lot, we had to completely vacate the lot on Sundays, or risk our car being towed. That's right, we paid 250 a month to deal with that nonsense.
5 - The traffic - holy mother of fucking god. EVERYWHERE you go, and it doesn't matter if it's Sunday at 9pm, is a god damned nightmare. I don't believe we had ever gone above 60 in all 9 months we lived there, even if the highway was "clear" and there was no "reason" for traffic to be shitty, it was always shitty.
Part 2 (The real problem of the city, and why we couldn't wait to leave)
1 - It goes without saying, but the people. Bar none. Seattle is the most up-its-own-ass city in America. It's just full of rich autistic tech workers, and when you add that to a generally stand-offish culture, it's insane. There's simply no other way to describe what it's like to "interact" with Seattleites, without seeing it for yourself.
2 - The irony that everyone - and I do mean EVERYONE - complains about hating that city, but will simultaneously defend it, and angrily too. It's the ultimate in cognitive dissonance. Everyone is miserable, everyone will secretly confide to you that it's super shitty in all aspects, but if you as a new person, dare agree, you're literally Hitler.
3 - The utter lack of empathy and regard for others.
4 - My wife and I are very left on the political spectrum, and while it prides itself in being this liberal paradise, it's actually a glimpse into the hyper-capitalist nightmare vision of a dystopian future.
5 - No one, and I mean NO ONE gives a fuck about you, or your life, or where you come from, or anything. No one cares about you in the least. You're a nobody to anybody here. Coming from the Midwest, where the baseline is friendly, it's really hard to connect here, because no one gives a shit about you at all.A cartoon called Bojack Horseman put it best, when talking about LA, but is applicable to Seattle: "LA [Seattle] is a superficial town. No one cares who you are, or where you come from. They only thing they care about is what artisinal nuts they can get on their salad". That line is absolutely one hundred percent applicable to Seattle.
6 - Conversations in Seattle are like two or more people talking - for the lack of a better way of describing it - "towards" each other, not "to" each other. Again, it's really hard to explain in a concrete example. No one is actually talking directly to anyone, it's all sort of sound noises coming out of mouth holes, in the general direction toward another being with ear sound holes. So you'll be around town and in the chance that you hear people talking towards each other, the conversations sound disjointed and disconnected.
7 - The "war on drugs" has taken a definite cease-fire in Seattle. Holy shit, we'd never seen more OD'd people in 9 months than our entire lives in a mid-sized Midwest steel town which is still suffering from NAFTA and the global financial meltdown. People shooting up in the middle of the street in broad daylight. It was stunning to see, and is really depressing and makes you feel helpless and hopeless.
8 - Everyone is concerned about wind power - as long as it's not in the Sound. Everyone's all about caring for the poor - as long as they're over there, tucked away. Everyone's all about being green and living healthy lives, yet they smoke more than any city I've seen, while simultaneously scoffing at you for buying a burger. All around town are signs telling you to not idle your vehicle (which I agree with). But you can walk past any Seattle PD at any time of the day or night, and there are 6 cruisers out front idling all day long. There's just massive hypocrisy everywhere you go.
9 - Finally, there's kind of a funny metaphor about the rich and poor - it's not universally true, but is generally true, and it goes like this. Basically, on the top of most large hills in Seattle, you can expect to find the rich. Guess who you tend to find at the bottoms of these massive hills? The poor. It's a perfect metaphor for the rich looking down on the poor. Again, it's not 100% accurate, but is mostly true.
That's what I can think of for now, but there's far more. We have since moved back and couldn't be happier that we got out.
Seattle lacks culture due to all the neurotic, arrogant, immature, rule obsessed, passive aggressive, conformists who couldn't socialize or drive to save their lives...2 things people from Seattle really suck at are socializing & driving. However, they make up for it by excelling at unwarranted arrogance, passive aggressive immaturity, and ostracism of those who disagree with them or the "group" on the most insignificant of levels. One has to agree with the group 100% to be accepted in Seattle, not 99.9%. The excessive conformity & passive aggressive stupidity combined with the lack of social skills & any common sense has rendered the city of Seattle a large herd of bland boring sheep. Ive found much of the state of WA to be like this. Vancouver, WA is one exception. Bellingham, something of an enclave, is another. Group-think does not seem to prevail in Bellingham like it does in Seattle. People in Bellingham can't drive, and they love rules too, but they are DEFINITELY more original, friendly, accepting, and laid back than anywhere else in the state. That's why I moved here, and will stay here...