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duckfeet

Moving to Seattle advice

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My wife and I are looking at moving to Seattle in the near future (mid Jan) from Montana and I'm not gonna lie...going from a town of 60k people to a couple of million is scary!

 

We'd be working downtown at Harborview Medical Center and and wondering about places to live and the commutes. I've heard from a few people about Issaquah. On google the drive is easy, but how is it really with traffic? What other spots would be good to look at with fairly easy drives into the city, but also have good out of town access for climbing/skiing/fun?

 

Anyone here work at Harborview?

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Hey Duckfeet,

 

I'm a former Missoula-ite. Now I live east of the Cascades, but I've logged a lot of time in Seattle.

 

The Issaquah, North Bend, Granite Falls area is probably your best bet for non-urban living within commutable range.

I don't think the commute would be to bad, especially if you work some what off hours. You'll be spending some time in traffic but I-90 generally moves along pretty well. Though, things might be getting worse with the 520 bridge toll. Someone here who does the commute daily may be able to offer better input.

 

I'd like to say that the Seattle area offer some of the same feel or appeal of Missoula, but it really doesn't.

 

That said, there's a whole new range of mountains for you to explore, there's a great outdoor community here, and Harborview should be a pretty exciting place to work!

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

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I would recommend living as close to work as possible. You will inevitably spend more time commuting to work than you will driving to the mountains. Driving in Seattle is a real soul-sucking activity. Depending on what you're looking for, the Beacon Hill, Mt Baker, or Ranier Valley neighborhoods all have good access to I-5 and I-90 and would be a 10 minute commute to work and you could probably bike pretty easily. Capitol Hill, or the Central District would also work. Capitol Hill can be annoying to get in and out of.

 

The Seattle Bouldering Project is also very convenient to all those neighborhoods and is a really fun gym. Good luck!

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Look around North Beacon Hill. It's in town,three minutes from Harborview, no traffic, cheap rents,good food. Access to the mountains is easy. Easy access to bike routes. Issaquah was nice 20 years ago,now it's a Microsoft suburb.

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Also, I don't know if you have your jobs locked in at Harborview; but if your still shopping around you may want to look at working on the eastside. Bellevue and Kirkland have a fairly large hospital system (Evergreen in Kirkland, Overlake and Group Health in Bellevue)which would offer a better commute for you.

 

As far as quality of life, I think Missoula has Seattle beat hands down, but obviously greater career opportunities here.

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Hey Duckfeet,

 

I'm a former Missoula-ite. Now I live east of the Cascades, but I've logged a lot of time in Seattle.

 

The Issaquah, North Bend, Granite Falls area is probably your best bet for non-urban living within commutable range.

I don't think the commute would be to bad, especially if you work some what off hours. You'll be spending some time in traffic but I-90 generally moves along pretty well. Though, things might be getting worse with the 520 bridge toll. Someone here who does the commute daily may be able to offer better input.

 

I'd like to say that the Seattle area offer some of the same feel or appeal of Missoula, but it really doesn't.

 

That said, there's a whole new range of mountains for you to explore, there's a great outdoor community here, and Harborview should be a pretty exciting place to work!

 

Good luck!

 

 

 

Granite Falls? If ya love meth and a 1.5 hour drive each way, go for it! North Bend's pretty good for the meth, too. Issaquah's awesome for its suburban sprawl - Home Depot and McDonald's is never more than a couple of blocks away, plus - they have a Krispy Kreme. Seriously, this is some of the worst advice I've seen here. I'd advise getting your advice from someone who actually lives in the Seattle metro area.

 

I'd suggest tucking into one of Seattle's many lower density neighborhoods - West Seattle comes to mind for the Harborview commute - otherwise, plan on spending hours per day in your car commuting and just plain going to the store for food. I live 6 mi N of town in the Phinney Neighborhood (also a great choice for working downtown). We've got everything within walking distance except McDonalds and Home Depot. Seattle's got a bunch of neighborhoods like mine to choose from: Madison (GREAT for Harborview), Green Lake, Ballard, Maple Leaf

 

The secret of living in a city with 2 million is NOT to 'escape to the burbs' or pretend you can live in a 'small town nearby' and not have a shitty commute: it's to live in a neighborhood right in the city with stuff you can walk to.

 

As for trailhead access, again, Seattle is the best choice, because it's centrally located for all points of the compass, so you can cherry pick location versus weather...a necessity for outdoor living here.

 

Anyway, welcome to WA.

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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Granite Falls? If ya love meth and a 1.5 hour drive each way, go for it! North Bend's pretty good for the meth, too. Issaquah's awesome for its suburban sprawl - Home Depot and McDonald's is never more than a couple of blocks away, plus - they have a Krispy Kreme.

 

Furthermore, the political affiliations of the eastside tend to run right of Communist, so therefore, completely off Pat's approved neighrhood list.

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The secret of living in a city with 2 million is NOT to 'escape to the burbs' or pretend you can live in a 'small town nearby' and not have a shitty commute: it's to live in a neighborhood right in the city with stuff you can walk to.

 

And though Pat can be a complete dickface, I'd agree with him on this.

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Granite Falls? If ya love meth and a 1.5 hour drive each way, go for it! North Bend's pretty good for the meth, too. Issaquah's awesome for its suburban sprawl - Home Depot and McDonald's is never more than a couple of blocks away, plus - they have a Krispy Kreme.

 

Furthermore, the political affiliations of the eastside tend to run right of Communist, so therefore, completely off Pat's approved neighrhood list.

 

Great Jo Jo and Chicken Tenders out that way, if ya like to go out to eat on occasion.

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I agree with TTK, to some extent. I live in Issaquah and commuted to Pioneer square for eight years. I took the bus or rode my bike. Commute by bus was about 20 minutes. It would be an easy enough to commute by bus to Harborview, but I am guessing your schedule reguires you to drive. I would hate to drive into Seattle. If that is the case, I would consider renting an apartment/buying a condo in city within walking distance to Harborview and then buying a cabin in Leavenworth or Mazama if you want a place to get away to. A colleague of my wife and her husband did that. Small apt in Capital Hill, house on Orcas Island. (They were avid boaters).

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For working in downtown Seattle, out I-90 is your best bet traffic wise. Keep in mind that this commute is very dependent on WHEN you need to get to work.

 

Therefore, I'd suggest: Mercer Island, Eastgate (Bellevue), Issaquah, Issaquah Highlands, Snoqualmie Ridge, North Bend (farther and farther away).

 

I'd also suggest getting a short lease (6 mo) down that corridor and then going from there. You'll know exactly what you want after exploring for 6 months.

 

I don't know anyone crazy enough to choose GRANITE FALLS as a good place to live that's COMMUTABLE to Harborview. Are you certifiably insane? 1.5 hours each way?!?! You mean in the BEST conditions (like August sunshine days when everyone's on vacation). Imagine a 2.5 hours in a convergence zone rain/wind storm at 5 pm in November. Uhm, each way. Just don't do it - and definitely don't START that way.

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Why would you want to live in Issaquah when you will work downtown? Do you love driving or something?

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Why would you want to live in Issaquah when you will work downtown? Do you love driving or something?

Rob, if you can commute via bus or bike, like I did, the commute is not bad. If you have to drive, well, I gotta agree with you there. Driving f'ing sucks. I always made it a point to thank my bus driver, because I sure as heck hated driving.

 

As for why Issaquah? A trail head in my neighborhood takes me to trails up Tiger, Squak, Couger, Taylor, and Rattlesnake Ridge - well over a hundred miles of runnable and hikeable trails. Plus 15 minutes to rock climbing and a half hour to lift serviced and back country skiing, ice climbing, alpine climbing, and rock climbing at Snoqualmie Pass. Two hours to Leavenworth, the Enchantments, the Stuart Range.

 

Of course there are the people, many of whom seem to get off on acting more pretentious and dickish than The Real Housewifes cast, but we have our share of committed outdoor athletes too.

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If you want full on crazy move to Cle Elum and commute every day. Some people do this :crazy:

 

I'd agree with the earlier comment on living close to where you work. Moving from a small town to a large city can be a shock at first, but commuting every day will beat you down.

 

Beacon Hill or Baker Ridge south to Columbia City might work. You can get water or mountain views. Save driving for trips to the mountains.

 

DPS's comments on commuting via bus from Issaquah sound good too.

Edited by Feck

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Also, be aware that tolls go into effect on the 520 bridge, so traffic is expected to be heavier on I-90. If traffic levels increase substantially on I-90 they will likely toll that bridge as well. Also, there was some talk about converting the reversable lanes on I-90 to light rail, making the

I-90 bridge more congested.

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Thanks for replies so far. As far as driving, we live south of missoula by 30 miles. Driving between towns or to the store is typically 15-30mins on open roads. So a 20 min drive doesn't seem bad at all. With our schedule, we'd be working 3 days or nights a week and often will have 3-5 days off in a row.

 

Being able to ride a bike or run to work sounds awesome, but DPS saying he's got access to miles of trails, climbing, etc sounds more like what we have here. Google maps has the distance at about 20 miles and that sounds pretty easy, but with no experience in a big city I have no idea how that 20 miles is in reality. I'm sure Pete would agree, 20 miles in Montana isn't something to think twice about!

 

Keep it coming, I really appreciate the input

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Just another thought, but Snohomish is a good option IMHO. Yes you have to drive, but the location allows for the most even amount of driving to climbs in any direction. I grew up in Snoho and I have since lived in Bellingham, and now Seattle. As far as climbing is considered, Snoho seems to be fairly central with regards to the east side, washington pass, cascade pass, Rainier, and Baker areas. Also, the commute to Seattle is around 30-40 minutes in good traffic. Bad traffic can make the drive a nightmare. So if you're working oddball hours (either really early or really late) you should be good.

 

Also, there is a park called Lord Hill Park that has great trail running. The cycling is amazing, and you have access to the Centennial trail, which is a nice paved trail that goes from snoho to arlington.

 

Oh, and Snohomish is a small-ish farming community. There has been a bit of development in the last ten years or so but you can easily find your solitude.

Edited by jordansahls

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I don't know anyone crazy enough to choose GRANITE FALLS as a good place to live that's COMMUTABLE to Harborview. Are you certifiably insane? 1.5 hours each way?!?! You mean in the BEST conditions (like August sunshine days when everyone's on vacation). Imagine a 2.5 hours in a convergence zone rain/wind storm at 5 pm in November. Uhm, each way. Just don't do it - and definitely don't START that way.

 

My bad. I meant Fall City, not Granite Falls. That would definitly be too far.

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DPS makes some great points about living on the eastside. It gives you closer access to the mountains. However, and I'm saying this having grown up on the eastside, if you like fun quirky restaurants, coffee shops, and bars then it's the wrong place for you. The Eastside is more big box and chains and I think would feel pretty stuffy. Seattle is a much more enjoyable place to live, but the key is being close to work and being close to a bus line. The happiest I have ever been was when I could walk to work in 15 minutes. You are not going to enjoy living anywhere if you are commuting 2 hours a day.

 

If you aren't working 9-5 I guess one argument would be your commute from the Eastside would be cake. The flip side of that is how many days are you going to be working versus being outside? You can be in Issaquah in 10 minutes from Seattle with no traffic so it's not really a big deal.

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Pete! No big deal. Fall City is a much better commute than Granite Falls! ;-)

 

Why Issaquah? What DPS says. The location is great if you're into CONDITIONING for climbing/hiking. Between Tiger & Si itself, its very close (like 5 minutes from Issaquah to Tiger trails).

 

I will admit, I'd love to do more up HWY 2, but my location in Sammamish makes it a hard drive to get anywhere in a reasonable amount of time. I can be up Tiger & back in 1.5 hrs with a good workout.

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Seattle is a place. The Eastside is a place you drive through to get places.

 

I lived in Redmond for a couple of months. When the neighborhood's Bored Housewives began holding meetings about getting one of those "Your Speed" units installed so they could better Monitor the Situation, I knew I either had to get out or spend the rest of me days in a cell with my Aryan Nation boyfriend for torching the entire neighborhood.

 

I will say that, after having worked in Bellevue, I enjoyed finding the few weird little places: the Turkish shoe repair guy, the Jewish deli...tucked in between the Mall of Generica and plastic boobs. Driving around the Eastside is a pleasure I'll miss as well. 4 lanes of traffic each way with a 'time to finish that novel' stoplight every block. MODERN, CLEAN, EFFICIENT.

Edited by tvashtarkatena

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That's why it's best to stick with advice from locals...

 

Maybe. But you should have known what I meant. Its your fault, really.

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