It’s been twelve years since P and I moved to downtown Seattle. Time flies! Here are some of the things I love about living in the Emerald City:

  • Cityscapes: I love seeing downtown light up at twilight. And it’s so soothing to watch rain fall between the towers on a gray, cloudy day.

  • Parks: We have such beautiful parks, and the buses go straight to them. We haven’t owned a lawnmower since we moved downtown (condo living FTW!) but there are plenty of grassy hills, trees, and walking paths to enjoy. You want mountain views? Salt water? Birds? Lakes? We’ve got acres and acres.

  • Coffee Shops: Our home away from home. For the price of a drink you can settle in with your laptop for an hour or three, chatting, people watching, or working on your laptop. Coffee shops smell divine. Usually someone has brought their dog with them and if you ask nicely, you can pet them. The background noise is perfectly ambient.

  • Tourists: Cruise ships pull up to the dock and visitors rush up into our city center, supporting our small businesses and restaurants, looking around with curious eyes, holding their damn maps upside down. They all want to know where Pike Place Market is, even when they’re standing twenty feet away from it.

  • Literary Events: We have one of the world’s most interesting libraries, and the Hugo House, plus dozens of writerly events and book readings. One of our fancy hotels hosts “silent reading nights” with piano music and velvet couches to sit upon while everyone reads in silence. An introvert’s paradise!

  • Transit: I can tap my ORCA card at Westlake Station, and 45 minutes (and $4.50) later, I’m at the airport ready to board a flight. Buses are plentiful. I can use an app to quickly reserve a rental car for an afternoon or a weekend if needed. Mountains, rivers, and hiking trails await just outside the urban core.

  • Weird & Interesting Things to Do: Oh, how I love our weirdness! One weekend a year, in the summer, our bars are full of pub-hoppers dressed like Santa Claus. My neighborhood closes down the streets once a year for loud hip-hop music and wrestling. (Why wrestling? I have no idea.) And we have parades, rallies, music festivals, and block parties. Seattle Center hosts a different cultural festival almost every month. Thai. Irish. Iranian. Japanese. There’s usually food and dancing involved. Comicon lands every year, filling the streets with children of all ages. There’s too much going on to keep track of, which means you find yourself stumbling into all sorts of merriment.

  • Moods: Seattle is a city of moods. Some days, the city is pissy and dark. Other days, it’s upbeat and full of potential. Walk the streets and feel the pulse of urban life. The city is a living thing.

How lucky I am to be living in this place. As I wrote out my list of appreciations, I noticed how many of the things I love about Seattle have been put on hold for the last nine months. I’m hopeful that 2021 is the year we get our Seattle-ness back. I can’t wait!

PS: What do you love about where you’re planted?