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Topic Seattle -- what are your thoughts? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By girl.unsung On 02/06/04  

Last night, I got an amazing lead on a job on Bainbridge Island, and I am thrilled beyond belief about this opportunity. So of course, I want to do all my research on Seattle while I wait to hear more about the job....cos of course, I've never been to Seattle! So I've been reading through all the past posts about Seattle (the pros/cons about your city, etc.), and I was hoping you all could shed some more light about life there for me.

*What's the cost of living like? (For apartments at least, it definitely looks lower than DC, which is where I live now.)
*I see that everyone said public transportation is awful....does any of you not have a car? How difficult would it be to get around if you don't? (I don't mind walking, but don't know how walkable the city is.)
*Where are good areas to look for apartments?
*It seems like you all are pretty active with SnBs and stuff....yes? Is there a decent arts scene there, too?
*Anything else really positive or negative that I should know about?

Thank you all so much!!


By mishymisu On 02/06/04  

Well, Bainbridge Island is actually across the sound from Seattle. I think it takes about a 40 mins ferry ride to get across the water. I don't know anything about it, so I can't answer your questions, but I thought you should know that it's really not Seattle and the situation in Seattle is going to be quite different. Most of the girls from this area who post regularly live in Seattle and have never even been to Bainbridge Island.

By girl.unsung On 02/08/04  

I'm actually just really curious about Seattle, though Paperdoll, your info about Bainbridge is helpful, thank you!! I would likely live in the city and take the ferry to Bainbridge, just cos my understanding (from the guy who'd be my boss, who lives on Bainbridge) is that as a single 20-something female, I'd probably enjoy life in the city a lot more. Since I've never been to Seattle, though, I'd love ANY info you all could give me! The only reason I mentioned Bainbridge at all, is that cos I know since I'll be working there, I want to be able to commute to the ferries pretty easily.

Thanks again!

By Paperdoll On 02/07/04  

Hey there, I actually used to work in Silverdale and in Port Orchard, so I took the ferry every day for awhile and drove through BI quite a bit. I live in Seattle now.

Bainbridge Island is in Kitsap County across Puget Sound from Seattle. There's a lot of contention (or there used to be) about how fasts the ferries are allowed to cross the water (something about disturbing aquatic plants and wildlife), but it takes between 40 minutes and an hour each way. It's also quite expensive to take the ferry: I think the auto ferry has gone up to $10 each way. The passenger-only ferry is much cheaper, but then, of course, you've got to either have a bike or catch public transit on each side. Still, if you're going to have to commute every day there and back, it really makes a lot more sense to live on the side you work on unless you're making a ton of money and can afford to drop a couple hundred a month on ferry fare.

Housing in Kitsap County as a whole is cheaper than it is in King County (where Seattle is), but I think among the cities in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island is one of the most expensive. It's very cute and quaint and definitely capitalizes on its artsy, cozy harbor feel, but it drives the cost of housing up. There's a ferry that runs from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. There are cities just on the other side of a little bridge, like Kingston, that are definitely less expensive. Farther down Highway 305 (I think) is Silverdale, which is an unincorporated town that's actually pretty decent sized with a mall, several strip mall developments, schools, restaurants, bars, etc. Farther down is Bremerton, which used to be a pretty busy city with a naval shipyard, but now it's kind of a gritty, dirty, tired town with a pared-down shipyard. It's definitely the closest thing to city living in Kitsap County, but it can be a little rough in some areas. There are apartments there and they are affordable, and there are also cute areas of town. There's no mall (the one in Silverdale killed off the economic activity in Bremerton), but there are restaurants and bars and clubs, schools, social service agencies, lots of churches and daycares and offices and whatnot. There's a Seattle to Bremerton ferry. A little farther down is Gorst -- it's a shithole, don't live there -- followed by Port Orchard, which is also a cute little town (in some places) and is the county seat. Port Orchard has an historic downtown with old wood buildings and a nautical theme, and you can also catch a ferry there that connects to West Seattle (which is nowhere near downtown Seattle; West Seattle is a whole different section of town.) Housing there is definitely more affordable, though apartments aren't in as good supply.

From all the people I've known who lived out there, it's not terribly difficult to take the ferry over to Seattle in the evenings (I think the last run is somewhere around midnight) and on the weekends for hanging out or whatever. Most of the people I met over there were nice, if not somewhat quirky, and most wanted to live there because of the natural beauty and space. There are some nuts there, though, who are all about that rural, militia-type, government-off-your-back thing, and there have been some grumblings about white supremacy activity, though there's a very active human rights network that does tremendous work over there. I remember talking to a comic book artist who had moved with his wife and baby son to Port Orchard, and he said several artists he knew were moving there because it's so much less expensive than living in Seattle. I don't know if there was any sort of exodus from Seattle to Kitsap County for cheaper living, particularly for artists/creative types, but he definitely had a point.

Anyway, this was probably far more information than you wanted, or than should be posted on a message board. :) If you have more questions or want help finding more information, just drop me an email at I'd be happy to help.


By copacetic On 02/08/04  

I don't really have anything to add, 'cause I'm in Seattle and have only been to Bainbridge Island for picnics, but I just wanted to tell Erica I *LOVE* your e-mail address!!!!! :) :) :)

By lizzz On 02/08/04  

I can't really help you because I live South of Olympia but I like to put my two cents in.

I have read in Sunset magazine (its a northwest living mag) that the commute on the ferry is the best in the region because you get to go up stairs and have coffee and read and blah blah blah and talk with your friends, if you have any, or make some. That sounds so great to me.

Also, I have a friend who lived in Seattle and he really liked the Central district which was behind Capitol Hill (one of the trendiest parts of town). Isnt THE NICEST part but it was still good and it was cheap and close to all the good stuff. But I guess if rent seems cheaper then DC you can look for housing anywhere.

There are a lot of hills wooonelly are there a lot of hills.

By mishymisu On 02/09/04  

Nope, no more coffee on the ferry. From what I heard, the service people on the Ferries were trying to get better benefits and instead of giving them what they wanted, the state just stopped all food and beverage service. So no more coffee. Unless it's from a vending machine.

By lizzz On 02/11/04  

now that you mentioned that thing about the coffee i remember hearing that too...that sucks

By robotgirl On 02/13/04  

There was just an article in the paper about the ferries. The concessions ended because the company contracted to provide them opted to not re-up their contract. The ferry sytem is currently taking bids and expects to have concessions again in a few months.

It will be a bit of a commute, but lots of people either live in Seattle and work in Bainbridge, or, I think more commonly, do the reverse commute. Seattle doesn't have the cheapest cost of living in the world but compared to DC I think you will be very happy. :)

Public transportation is kind of crummy but not un-doable. Lots of people don't have cars. The public transportation system is sort of like spokes on a wheel, with downtown being the center and the spokes leading to the other neighborhoods. If you need to get downtown the bus is great, but getting to other neighborhoods is a pain. I have a car but I only drive it about once a week. I walk or take the bus to work every day and walk everywhere for my errands and such. I live in Capitol Hill, which is pretty centrally located, so walking everywhere is easy.

If you go up to the "search" function and search the Guide board for the keyword "Seattle" you'll find a lot of good info on neighborhoods, apartment hunting, the scene, etc. Seems like this topic comes up every few months. :)

Let us know when you come up!

By theboy On 02/15/04  

i've lived in seattle for just about six months now. i wouldnt recommend living in queen anne unless you like quiet and a lot of elderly. i live in lower queen anne (cause i am only blocks away from my school) and i dont really like it much. though i do love my apartment. ive never been to bainbridge island, so i cant help you much there.

for me, the bus works pretty well. unless you are in a hurry, in which case it doesnt. i honestly havent ventured far in the city, but the places i do go to are very bus-friendly.

as far as walking, seattle is a pretty hill-y city. so unless you want a work out, walking isnt the most fun

By girl.unsung On 02/24/04  

Thanks robotgirl and theboy....your advice is just what I needed! I find out more about the job tonight.....and that'll determine if I'll be flying out to check out the city, and then (hopefully) moving! Keep your fingers crossed, and I'll keep you posted!


By kungfugirl On 02/25/04  

I've lived in the city for 7 years and have never had a car. The public transportation isn't that bad, unless you like going out late at night or live in an area like Ravenna or Fremont, where buses don't run every 15 minutes after 10. I'd definitely suggest Capital Hill as the place to live. It's the most popular area for people in their 20s, and within easy walking distance to Downtown and Belltown, where most of the clubs are.

There's a really big craft scene, including a Sunday market in Fremont, where anyone can rent a booth to sell their handmade crafts or flea market items (and is pretty hippie), and Rummage, a punk rock craft sale that happens the first Sunday of every month at the Crocodile Cafe.

There are also lots of glitter girls and former glitter girls, and we have stitch n' bitches and general drinking/dancing nights that you can, of course, come to!

And I was just on the ferry last weekend, and indeed, there's no more food, but there is a coffee vending machine with an amazing selection. I, too, have heard that the food should be back in a couple of months.

By theboy On 02/27/04  

kungfugirl...can i ask what all goes down at a stitch n' bitch party? i assume that everyone just hangs out and works on whatever project they have, but ive never been so i really know.

By mishymisu On 03/01/04  

That's exactly what goes on at a stitch and bitch. Although the seattle girls are a little half assey, so we usually knock off early to sit in the hot tub and drink champagne.

By girl.unsung On 03/01/04  

Rock! Seattle already sounds much more crafty than DC....although I do have a group of glitter gals here who are wonderful. It sounds like Capitol Hill is definitely the place to live, too...especially after a bunch of glowing recommendations.

Keep sending good luck vibes my way...I should be finding more out about the job this week!


By kungfugirl On 03/18/04  

theboy -
Sorry, hope you don't think I was being unfriendly by not responding, I just saw this. Anyway, what mishy said. The glitter girls I know are so half-assed, we haven't had one in months, and the crafting has turned to going to clubs and dancing. We really should plan a get crafty one, then maybe some Seattle people I haven't met yet will come.

By papergirl On 03/20/04  

Hi kungfugirl and mishymisu and others,

I am in Seattle too. If anyone is interested to have a "real" crafty get together, please drop me a line -- I am only interested in a real one, not clubbing dancing or drinking champagne....

I do not sew or knit though.... I do paper products :)

By mishymisu On 03/20/04  

You might want to look into the Seattle Church of Craft then, because I'm not sure the Seattle glitter girls are capable of having a craft get together that doesn't involve a certain amount of non-craft related boozin', munchin' and social fluff.

By thriftstorediva On 03/21/04  

so Darnit!@! where's the Tacoma Church of the Craft? are there no crafty gals out here? Between my new job and kids, there is no way I can get up to Seattle realistically! and I am bit too stick in the muddy for clubbing or drinking more than a glass of wine... ;^)!

By sailorpup On 03/24/04  

well, i actually live on bainbridge island and work in seattle. i love it. the commute by ferry is so much more relaxing that driving in traffic or stuck on the bus (you can knit, read, sleep, wander around, etc.)

i moved from portland and needed a change. a little quieter existence. i haven't ventured into the seattle craft scene yet, but am getting more and more interested.

best of luck with the job and move!

By girl.unsung On 03/25/04  

I forgot that I started this thread forever ago....but happily, I'll be moving to Seattle in May!!! I start my job on Bainbridge on May 10, so I'll be arriving there around that time.

I'd love to gather with any crafty gals....for social fluff, or for crafting. Mishy, I added you to my lj today, and I'm hoping to meet up with some of you gals (and guy) when I get out there!


By sailorpup On 03/25/04  

i hope i'm not being to nosy, but i'm curious what sort of job you found on the island...

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