Friday, 13 August 2010

Friday Buoy: 6 cheers for the Pacific Northwest

{Picnic on Bainbridge Island}

While living abroad as an American (not cool), my one saving grace was being from Seattle (very cool). In general, Brits like Seattle about as much as they like San Fransisco and nearly as much as Canada, and those places are frankly untouchable. Seattle's got a strong international reputation, and not without good reason.

I've got to admit I'm full of raging regional pride. I really do love the Pacific Northwest, and now that I'm back after a 12 year hiatus I love it even more.

For today's buoy, to top off a lovely week in WA, I thought I'd share all the reasons I could think of about why I love Seattle. Here goes...

  • Trees! I love trees and Seattle's got so many. The first month back I was constantly in awe of all those big tall green things everywhere. They don't call us the Evergreen State for nothing I guess. We've even got a rain forest on the Olympic Peninsula, how awesome is that. Heather at In Search of Squid calls Seattle a city in a forest and that image makes me happy. 
{Can't get much more Seattle than this.}
  • Youth. I'm not talking about young people, I'm talking about the age of Seattle as an incorporated city: a measly 141 years old. Old cities may look down on us, but I like the energy that comes without age and tradition. There's a sense of wanting to be progressive and find the next big thing that excites me.
  • Edumacation. Apparently Seattle is the most educated city in the country, with the highest percentage of college grads. I'm not braggin' but...

  • Local wineries. I didn't realize this but I seem to have grown up 5 minutes from one of America's largest wine producing regions: Woodinville. I knew there were wineries around but I didn't realize just how much juice they were turning out. Washington is the second largest wine producing state, second only to the mighty California. Who knew?
  • Chilled out-ness. Just the other day Dan remarked how not stereotypical-American Seattle is. Don't get me started on stereotypes but it's true. People are just pretty laid back here, not at all in your face with enthusiasm, but still nice and civil. I've heard mid-Westerners and Southerners call it the Seattle freeze, but I think we've got a nice balance of friendliness without being annoying.
{Incredibly helpful}
  • Underrated. Growing up I always thought Washington was boring and dreamed of living in a cool place like Florida, California or Hawaii -- the states that got to be pink and purple on the maps. Washington was always orange, so not cool. But now I like that not everyone has gone on vacation here, it's kind of a secret gem just waiting to be explored.
This list isn't at all comprehensive (I didn't even mention the word coffee), I just like giving my soggy city some time in the sun. Probably the main reason I love Seattle is that it's where I'm from and I have roots here. You're supposed to be biased about your home city, right?

How about some other regional pride shout outs? Why do you love the place you're from, or where you're living now?

{Heart in Washington, The Uptight Seattleite}


Shannon of ** Happiness Is...** said...

I hear ya! I have so much WA pride. I'm sooo happy I moved back here :) xo

Rachael Randal said...

Bainbridge Island looks gorgeous! And Seattle sounds lovely - Hope to visit one day!

Jenny said...

that bainbridge shot it quite stunning.

i'm so happy you're glad to be back...i've got some serious seattle pride and am sad when people move away...ahem...jocelyn ;)

soggy city some time in the sun- i like that.

Nadine said...

I've only been to Seattle once but I loved it! Didn't know about the wines - that's awesome! I look forward to hearing about wine tasting!

And I loved your photo of your picnic! Sounds amazing!

John Brown Rose said...

YAY!!!!!!! Feels great to be proud of where you come from! I LOVE being from NZ and Auckland is brilliant...I loved growing up 2 mins from it's beaches, and parks and waterfront. I LOVE that you can drive 40mins each way for either black sand and wildness or white sand and gentle breezes. Bliss. It's home xxx

alisha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
alisha said...

Hooray for PNW pride! And Rachael and Becs, you know I've got it bad for Auckland too of course, but one region at a time...:)

Dianne said...

Aw this is great. I can think of trillions of things about my hometown I am proud of, the Wine, the WEST COAST [Kare Kare reprezent] and that one episode of shortland street where leonard dodds drove his car off the hill like 5 minutes from my parents house. genius.

ps i can think of nothing about London I love right now. I'm sure you know this feeling. BELRGH I WANT HOME PLEASE

alisha said...

Dianne, geographical absence indeed makes the heart grow fonder...Hang in there! :)

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