I ventured out to the west coast for a seminar in Seattle. Not knowing when I'd have the chance to get back that way, I arranged to fly in a day early so I could spend the afternoon doing a little exploring in the city.
First (and only) impressions:
*They are not joking about the rain situation out there. I realize it has been extra rainy even here in Philly, but it was apparent that rain and drizzle are just part of Seattle. The air just feels heavy with mist and the local news uses the term "sunbreak" in the daily weather forecast. Not partly cloudy or periods of afternoon showers...."several sunbreaks expected in the late afternoon."
*It's a very outdoor friendly city aside from the whole rain factor. There were tons of people biking throughout the city which in most areas seemed to have separate bike lanes. There was a particularly large number of people running and biking near the water. And, the public rail line into the city is equipped with upright bike racks and easy loading.
Ferry-whistled was blowing, better hurry
*The rail system in general was great. My hotel was south of the city, closer to the airport. I just hopped on the rail line for $2.50 and was in the city in about 15 minutes. It was very clean, inexpensive, and runs every 2-10 minutes depending on the time of day.
*The city, at least the area I walked through, was clean and not over crowded. Cities in the northeast are just old, crowded, and icky. I did see some homeless folks lounging around, as well as several groups of young folk with those big knotted braids and hemp jewelry smoking these funny smelling cigarettes. The air felt clean and refreshing, which I think was a combination of ocean and mountains. It's was also quite hilly in parts making for good exercise.
Photo taken on Friday, around 6pm