I started my trip to Seattle overtired (having awoken at 4am Eastern time), hungry (not having eaten since 4am, except some crackers on the plane), and having to cancel my rental car because they added on fees and charges that doubled the cost. My initial panic at being alone, in a strange city, and faced with a public transportation system whose map I didn't understand, I attribute to my tired, hungry, and cranky state. Once I decided just to get on the light rail and head toward downtown I found comfort in the familiarity of the rail system, it being very similar to Baltimore's. Since then my trip to Seattle has beeen enjoyable and here are my first impressions of this Pacific Coast city:

  • The airport was surprisingly calm.
  • Once I had my bearing and a map, the city was easy to navigate.
  • It is hillier than I expected here, although having been to San Francisco, I don't know why I didn't expect this.
  • There are more coffee shops than anywhere I have ever been.
  • And more Starbucks here than even in New York.
  • People are not overly friendly, everyone seems content to be doing the things they are doing (this could also be my attitude).
  • The artworld bubble seems firmly intact.
  • Pike's Place Market is awesome!
  • The museums are nice.
  • There are outdoor meal sites for people that need a meal.
  • I ate one of the best almond croissants I have ever had this morning.
  • Left Bank Books is a great collectively owned bookshop!
  • It was cool yesterday, but people didn't seem to mind and were wearing shorts and t-shirts. Today I understand this as it has gotten warm.
  • Like many other cities neighborhoods are divided, each having a unique identity and charm. I have traversed the tourist area, a college neighborhood with fair trade coffee shops and vegan pizza, Chinatown, a wealthier family oriented neighborhood, the market, etc.
  • Duk Li Dim Sum - so good!
  • There are many homeless people here, but it is one of those cities that seems to address it. Real Change is a paper homeless sell to make money. I keep meaning to ask if they also contribute to it.
  • I randomly stumbled upon a theatre that is holding "Youth Speak Seattle" a youth poetry slam tonight, which is great because the Youth Dreamers will be co-hosting the Wide Angle Youth Media Poetry Event in April and getting to see this will help with that!

More upon my return, but I do think that Seattle has a good feel and many great things going on!